It is hard to believe that we are already past the midway point of the Italy program.

As I write this on the ferry coming back to mainland Italy from Sardinia, in some ways it seems though we have only just arrived.

Looking back on Siena, we have all had the incredible experience of witnessing one of the most eventful Palio races in history. The passion that the Italians have for their Contrada would put any North American sports fan to shame! The history we have been immersed in in medieval cities like Siena and San Gimignano brings history to life more than any textbook ever could.

In Florence, students got the sense of what metropolitan Italy is like. Even though many of the students are traveling for the first time, they are already learning to avoid the typical tourist traps, and have constantly been in search of unique experiences, enjoying the incredible Italian cuisine, and bargaining for better prices in the souvenir shops. Looking at countless incredible pieces of art in the Uffizi Gallery, walking in the footsteps of Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Galileo, and Botticelli, or visiting Il Duomo are just some of the experiences that we will all cherish forever.

Our day in Venice was a dream come true for many of our students and staff alike! Enjoying a gondola ride with friends, sightseeing in Piazza San Marco, or searching for that perfect piece of Murano glass were highlights of the day for many. Others simply enjoyed some of the fresh seafood, took pictures at the Bridge of Sighs and Rialto Bridge, or sampled another of the countless flavours of gelato.

Sardinia has given us a taste of an Italian holiday destination. We were spoiled at the Geovillage Resort, with an amazing pool, a huge selection of food choices, and trips to some of the beaches along Costa Smeralda, the Emerald Coast! Some students also took advantage of the fitness and spa facilities, along with some improvised games of volleyball. We also celebrated birthdays for both Kyle and Mackenzie here, with cakes and small gifts only found in Italy!

As we leave Sardinia to enjoy all that Rome has to offer, students are taking advantage of the ferry ride to catch up on some schoolwork, have a quick nap, or just watch the waves go by in the beautiful waters of the Mediterranean.

Looking ahead, there is still so much to experience. The Colosseum, Roman Forum, Pantheon, Vatican City, Spanish Steps, and the Trevi fountain are just some of the sights that await us in Rome. I am so excited to get there, but for now, it is time for another espresso!

Buona Sera,

Jason

Program Manager