International Club Trip to Italy

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Delaney & Joanna are definitely in “catch up” mode here!

By Dr. Vickers At 9:30am on February 14th, when many were thinking of valentines and chocolate hearts, 26 members of the International Club, 4 teachers, and 1 administrator headed out of Cazenovia en-route to Italy. The next 14 days were filled with lots of great memories, tasty culinary feats, and lots and lots of walking. Averaging 10 miles of walking per day, we were able to get up close and personal with the cultural history of Italia. Traveling with a group of 31 adults plus a tour guide, it was a challenge keeping the team together. Often, Mr. Tugaw and I (we brought up the end of the line) would yell out “andiamo”. This resulted in a quick sprint to close the gap with the rest of the group. We explored Rome on our first day in Italy, and began with a trip to the Colosseum, Pantheon, Roman Forum, and Victor Emmanuel’s monument. Dinner this evening was multi-course feast at a local restaurant near our hotel. Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 8.43.53 AMOur days often began with a wake-up call around 6:00am, followed by breakfast and a departure from the hotel around 7:30 -8:30. More often than not we headed out on foot to our destinations. With full days on our itinerary, we generally concluded our days with dinner around 7:30pm, followed by a walk home. Upon returning to the hotel around 10:00pm, we conducted a quick closure meeting. At the meeting we offered a quiz of the day’s events, complete with a prize for the person with the most correct answers (although we often gave points for creative answers!). A preview of the day to come including what time to be at breakfast and our departure times were also included. Upon completion of the room checks the day would be complete. Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 8.44.09 AMNo trip to Italy would be complete without a visit to the Vatican. Our tour guide of the Vatican was captivating as she explained the many nuances of the Vatican, the artwork, and St. Peter’s Basilica. This was one of our longer tours, and when it was complete the students were unanimous in their desire of a large gelato! Apparently the gelato business in Italy surged during our stay.
Will was a great chef as he created his own pizza.

Will was a great chef as he created his own pizza.

After a few days in Rome we traveled by bus down to Naples, known as Napoli to the natives. Here we began our tour with a class on pizza making. Everyone made their own margarita pizzas and then dined on them for their lunch. Just about everyone ate an entire pizza, which was not difficult given the fresh ingredients and master instructors. After a divine lunch, we toured the underground ruins of Naples and then headed to our lodging for the next 3 days. Our lodging was in a convent in Sorrento, but don’t laugh, our convent had stellar views as it was directly on the Mediterranean coast. We returned one evening prior to dinner so that students could take sunset photos from the rooftop patio of the convent. With quiet hours beginning at 9:30pm, and hot water not turned on until 7:00am, our stay was a very unique experience. Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 8.44.48 AMScreen Shot 2016-03-02 at 8.44.58 AM Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 8.45.13 AMScreen Shot 2016-03-02 at 8.45.25 AMBy far the favorite stops on the trip for our students were the Isle of Capri and the Amalfi Coast. A boat cruise around the isle of Capri followed the highlight of the day, which was a chair lift to the top of Capri. From this viewpoint we could see all of the isle as well as Mount Vesuvius in the background. Traveling prior to the tourist season allowed our students an unobstructed view of the region, and an opportunity to interact with the local people. In Amalfi it is an honor to be the first one to swim in the sea at the start of the spring/summer season. Well this honor for 2016 belongs to our very own Taylor Ketcham as she took the first dip, and upon exiting the water received applause from the locals. Our final destination was a trip to Tivoli and a tour of Villa D’Este. This was a wonderful city and tour as the architecture, food, and friendliness of the people made us feel at home. The villa was ornate and included numerous fountains and frescos. Our students took advantage of the beauty by posing for numerous photographs. One more walk to dinner, followed by a passegiatta serale (Italian for evening stroll) home to the hotel, one last meeting, final packing, and then to bed. An early rise gave way to a day of traveling back to Cazenovia. As grand as it is to travel, nothing beats the sense of coming back home. As our tour guide left us he noted that he had been taking students on international tours for over 26 years. This trip to Italy was the best ever he said, and then added he was humbled to have met such a great group of kids. Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 8.45.46 AM

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