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Journey with Jess Veite to Italy!

April 09, 2010

Sophomore Jessica Veite recently returned from a spring break trip to Italy. She earned Wilmington College credit hours for taking the trip as well as lasting memories.

Join Jessica on her trip to Italy!

The IDS396IA course met seven times before departure. We learned about our travel destinations and did papers on the background of the places we would visit. Overall, the trip lasted from Friday, March 5th to Saturday, March 13th.

I traveled to Venice, Verona, Florence, Assisi, and Rome.

Venice was by far my favorite city. Venice is known for Murano glass. Historically, Murano artisans were treated like royalty and were even allowed to marry into Venice’s wealthy families. Glassmakers were also immune from persecution by the Venetian State and were allowed to wear swords as a symbol of their status. Venice is also known for their masks for Carnevale. Venetian masks originated in the 1400s when the citizens were trying to overthrow the Doge and did not want to be recognized by the corrupt cops. In Venice, our group took a gondola ride on the Grand Canal, visited St. Mark's Cathedral, and visited a glassblowing demonstration.

Verona is where Juliet is said to have lived. The group visited the balcony where Juliet used to call to her Romeo.

Florence is known for their leather making and many fashion shops. In Florence, we attended a leather tanning demonstration and visited the Academia to see Michelangelo's David.

Assisi is known for its patron saint, St. Francis, and the group visited the Basilica di San Francesco to learn more about him. The interior of the cathedral was gorgeous. On one side of the wall it had paintings depicting the life of Jesus. On the opposing wall, it had paintings depicting the life of Francis as it compared to the stories of Jesus. The story of St. Francis adds to the rich religious history of Italy. This patron saint came from a very wealthy family and had everything given to him. However, he gave everything up in the name of Christ and vowed to serve Him for the rest of his life. Instead of wearing gold and red robes, St. Francis now wore brown, filthy robes that resembled that of a beggar. He treated everyone as equals, including the animals. This is why he was painted talking to pigeons in his cathedral.

Rome was my second favorite city. This was mainly due to the Colosseum. Originally named the Flavian Amphitheatre after the emperors who built it, the Colosseum was used for animal hunts, social gatherings, and gladiator battles. Our group walked along the lowest seats that were open in the arena. This is where the senators and equestrians would sit on account of their high social class.

What was your best meal there?
All of the pasta meals were spectacular! Not only were the meals very fresh, but you could tell that a lot of time went into preparing them. The gelato was also extraordinary.

What were some of the cultural aspects of the trip?
Italians love fashion and, subsequently, the women wear high heels a lot. It was very uncommon to see an Italian woman wearing gym shoes or flats even on the cobblestone roads. Also, Italians wear a lot of dark colors and leather is very popular there.

The driving conditions in Italy are crazy! Cars litter the streets and it is always bumper-to-bumper traffic no matter the time of day. The streets are also packed with pedestrians who walk right in front of the cars to get to their destinations. One girl in the group got her foot ran over trying to follow our Italian tour guide after she ran out in front of a car. Don’t worry, she is alright.

Thank you Jess for sharing this amazing adventure with us!

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