Ciao Italia! With just a jump, skip and a hop away, Wesleyan was across the globe in Italy this past summer. They were off, and the students were ready to learn and expand their with through new culture, history and art. Their travels included stops at the famous cities of Verona, Venice, Florence, Assisi, Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri and Rome. When most people think of Italians, they typically think of short, tan and dark haired people, but what they do not know, is Northern Italy populates people who are fairer skinned with lighter hair as a result of their surrounding climate. Their first stop was Verona, Italy, where they were instantly submerged in Italian Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet, is said to be one of the most romantic cities in the world.
Shortly after, they traveled east to the city of Venice where they learned how to navigate tight streets and beautiful water canals. Part of the group went on a gondola ride through Venice. Junior Abbie Blauser said, “Venice was my favorite mostly because of the gondola ride and our driver, Fabio!” The group went to a fascinating glass blowing shop where they witnessed glass being molded into shapes like the famous Italian car symbol, the Ferrari horse. After eating pounds of gelato, the group decided to head south a few hundred miles to a town called Florence. Florence holds many historical artifacts and cultural must-haves such as the Medici family, the breathtaking statue of David: crafted by the famous Michelangelo, and finally the food.
Italian food holds so much richness and importance to the countries’ culture, that people from all corners of the world desire to try and experience at least one time in their lives, and the students had the opportunity to be a part of a cooking class, where they cooked authentic Italian food. From Florence, they traveled south, yet again, to a small mountain top located city called Assisi. The students dug deeper into the Catholic faith by visiting and touring the Basilica of Saint Francis. Heading south once more, the group visited the ruins of Pompeii, submerging into the culture and life of the ancient ruins of Pompeii while they sipped the Southern Italian drink, Lemon Gratis (the equivalent to lemonade slushies). A few miles south was Sorrento, a city full of shops and beautiful coast lines.
“My favorite memory from the Italy Trip was when we were in Sorrento. Abbie Blauser, Payton Kaloper and my room got upgraded to the romance sweet! When we went outside and we saw are view it felt so unreal, like out of a movie! We freaked out because of the view and we couldn’t stop jumping around and hugging each other,” said Junior Madison McKemie. Nearing the final two days of the trip, the group traveled back up north to the capital, Rome, to visit the Roman Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain and the Vatican, including St. Francis’ Basilica. After many hours of traveling home, the Wesleyan students and faculty were home after an unforgettable trip.