Saturday, March 22, 2014

Joe's Posts

Sunday March 2, 2014
                Today began with us driving to the Sforza Castle to meet our tour guide.  Our tour guide got on the bus with us and drove around Milan as she explained everything about the city.  After that we got off the bus in front of the Sforza Castle and our tour guide led us through the castle explaining the meaning of certain structures inside the castle.  The castle itself was very interesting and it was also interesting to see wild cats that live inside the castle.  We then left the castle and continued our tour of Milan on foot.  After finishing the tour we ate lunch and then had some free time to go shopping.  After we were done shopping we got on the metro and headed back to the hotel.  We then met the group later that day in the lobby of the hotel.  We loaded onto the bus and headed toward the AC Milan vs Juventus soccer game.  The game was such a good experience and I was even very surprised to find a group of police men with riot shields standing outside the stadium.  Today was a very exciting day and a good day to learn about the Italian culture. 

Monday March 3rd
                Today started with a quick breakfast at the hotel.  We then got onto the bus and headed to a meeting with the Series B soccer marketing people.  This was a very interesting meeting and I got to learn a lot about how they are struggling to market their Series B team.  I also enjoyed talking with them after the meeting about the differences between going to college in the United States and going to college in Italy.  After the meeting we ate a quick lunch and then boarded the bus again to go to the Formula One race track.  We got to experience a drive around the track and even got to tour the building right next to the track.  Today was a very interesting day and I must say I had some good experiences. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Jon's Posts

The Club

The last night before we departed to come home we all decided that we had to go out again for the last time as a group. All week we had been tossing around this idea of going to the club, but we really didn’t know much about it or where it was. On the last night though we decided that we had to go and find it, and after asking around we finally found it. “The Club” was the name of the place and we really didn’t know what to expect at all. We all have been to clubs at home and knew what we would get there but didn’t really know what this was all about. We get inside and this place is crazy. It’s very packed and the music is really loud. We danced all night and it really was a great ending to amazing week. Jamal and I actually got to meet the owner too, which was great. He came up to us and talked to us about how he was from NY and moved out there a few years ago.  It was like the big party at the end of the week and we really couldn’t have asked for a better night. We didn’t end up getting back to the hotel until 4:30am when we had to leave at 5am for the airport. Needless to say we were all exhausted.

- Jon 

The Traffic Jam

On our last night in Milan we all went out for dinner downtown, which was normally just a few minutes down the road, but on this night it seemed a little different. At first we were all just having fun in the bus talking about the week and paying no attention to what was going on. Then after about 35 minutes we started to think this is taking a long time. Now coming from Pittsburgh I thought I knew what the definition of traffic was, but what we saw outside the bus was way more intense then what we see back home. We literally were weaving in and out of cars in intersections just to get through them. I don’t think that the sight “Do not block intersection” exist in Italy. Luckily our bus driver was great and knew how to get through this mess. At one point we were all up front and cheering him on to get us through and he did. Never again will I look at traffic the same way.

- Jon

Venice Map

I thought that the map of Venice needed its own blog post because how crazy it is. Our tour guide gave us a map of Venice the night that we went out for carnivale because she said that we would get lost pretty easily. Being young adults we thought that we would be able to figure it out, but just incase we brought the map anyway. Little did we know this map would end up being a lifesaver. After a night of partying and meeting new people we got all turned around and had no idea where to go. It was 3am and we were officially lost, but we still had that map. After what felt like all night figuring out how to read all the little streets and canals we finally made it back to the hotel. There is no doubt that if you ever visit Venice you should definitely pick up a map you won’t regret it.

- Jon

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Julianna Sacco

03/01/2014 -
Ciao tutti!
Oh my, I really think it just hit me now that I am actually in Italy. The whole trip there was not an effect on me whatsoever until I just started to write this post! Being on a plane all day yesterday and into this morning really never got to me, just felt like I was flying in the states. We landed bright and early at 6:30 am Italy time and 1:30 am US time. Jet lag is not going to overcome me in any way. We immediately got off in Milan’s airport and met our lovely Tour Guide, Rafaella. Boarded a coach bus, all to ourselves, so naturally being the badasses that we are, we all crammed into the back of the bus. We drove on their highway, passing businesses that we would never expect to see, ex Johnson: a family company (that lady’s voice in now saying it in your head). We arrived at the Sforza Castle and went across the street towards a CafĂ© place that was remarkable. I enjoyed a refreshing cup of espresso and an Italian pastry Sfgiollate, a pastry that I grew up loving, and my brother to kill me over because they are just too good when my Nana makes them. We tour the castle tomorrow but that as our meeting place, there was a gentleman dressed as some man from the 1700s and approached one of our students and we told him we were from America, he immediately thought Angelina Jolie. Go figure. He continued to interact with another group from possibly Japan or China and that man said “Oh, BRUCE LEE!” We continued the day to the San Siro Soccer Team, home to A.C. Milan and F.C. Internationale. Very cool. Tomorrow we get to witness a match there. We made it to the hotel, relaxed and then left, via metro, to go see the magnificent painting by Leonardo Da Vinci, “The Last Supper”. Actually physically being there was very VERY moving. Just looking at the painting takes you back in time and feel the emotion that was poured into this masterpiece was incredible. No photography. So unfortunately you just have to take my word for it. We are now back in our rooms either napping, showering or like me possibly doing work. Meeting for dinner and the nights ours.
Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!
-Julianna Sacco


Happy Ash Wednesday!
I’m pretty sure this trip to Venice was my favorite part!! This part of Italy was so beautiful and I could definitely stay here for the rest of my life and never stop finding intricate alleys and beautiful buildings. I could never get tired of walking in and out of the streets and the bonus is not having to worry about getting run over by a car…because there are no cars! Just have to be aware that you don’t walk down an alley and end up right in a canal! Robbie, Amanda, Kelly and I took a lovely gondola ride through the canals of Venice with our gondolier, Jaccimo. We also attended a beautiful Ash Wednesday Service in Saint Mark’s Cathedral in San Marco Square. It was such an experience listening to the mass in Italian, even though I could translate it because it’s just like a normal mass that I attend on Sundays with my parents but it felt so different being in that kind of atmosphere. We went out last night to get a taste of the Venice night life and celebrate Carnivale. I have never seen such a huge celebration before. It was insane and crazy! Definitely want to do that again!!
-Julianna Sacco


Arrivederci Italia!
Until we meet again oh dear Italy, we say our saddening goodbyes as we leave your beautiful country. We sit on this 9 hour flight back to the United States, I began to reminisce the wonderful memories we all made when we were there. We a group became closer in friends and I even met people on this trip who I have just seen around school but never really have talked to before. It was amazing and truly beautiful to experience their culture and also eat food that was just out-of-this-world! We were all completely full by the end of the week! I am looking forward coming back and visiting your country and uncovering more secrets that you hold and taste a different side of your food.
-Julianna Sacco