Travel, travel, travel. It seems like everyone is globetrotting these days. And our students are quite the globetrotters themselves! In addition to the department’s recent trip to London, many of our students are doing their own personal traveling this summer. Here’s a look at junior Francesca Aloe’s incredible trip to Italy.
Before I get into my trip details let me lay out some background for you. The reason I made this European trek is because I was celebrating a family reunion. This year marked 100 years since my dad’s side of the family came and settled in Amantea, Italy. Quite a bit of the family still resides in Italy today, so several of the stateside relatives crossed the pond to visit: Nana, two aunts, my parents, four cousins, and four second cousins. And that’s not even all of my family…
Thursday June 2nd
In typical Italian fashion we went for breakfast. Well, if you call a cappuccino and tons of cookies breakfast. Everything in town can be reached by foot so we walked all around. For lunch we went to my great aunt’s house. No surprise the food there was nothing less than plenty. Pasta, chicken, calamari, artichokes, salad. As much as I loved the tremendous amounts of food I had eaten that day, all I could think about was getting some gelato that night.
Friday June 3rd
Today went to San Francisco Di Paola’s monastery, which is a family tradition when we visit Italy. My mom’s parents actually got married in that church. Okay, I’m sure most of you would get bored walking around a church all day, but it’s actually more than that. There’s a scenic walking path, a drinking hole that never runs dry, and an unexploded WWII bomb. Oh, and check out that view of the beach too. The apartment I stayed in was actually a block from the beach. Guess where I went that night?
Sunday June 5th
Surprise, surprise…we did a lot of eating. Mamma Mia it was seven courses and six hours. It was so long we had to have a palate cleanser in-between. Side note, my family kind of grew up in the water. We’re basically mermaids. So, of course, the main ingredient in all of the food there is fish. Well, my mom is allergic, my dad is a vegetarian, and I just don’t have a taste it. Those poor waiters had to fix each of our courses since every single one contained some kind of sea creature. Six and a half hours later we finished eating. Thank god I wore a loose dress.
Monday June 6th
What a day this was! We walked to a hilltop castle in Amantea in effort to burn off the previous day’s meal. When I say hill I mean mountain. It’s so mountainous that the air pressure changed.
Friday June 10th/Saturday June 11th/ Sunday June 12th
Time to switch gears and visit my mom’s side of the family. My mom’s family lives in a very small town. There’s not much shopping, but there are markets and that’s where we went for part of the day. Saturday and Sunday were lazy days, but we needed those after the busy week we had before.
Wednesday June 15th
We flew from Lamezia to Rome and spent the day there. My dad has a cousin who lives in Rome and he took us around to all of his favorite spots. We all loved seeing everything, but the highlight of the day was stopping by the Pittsburgh themed bar and our favorite gelato place, Grom.
Thursday June 16th
After another long day of travel, I’m finally home. I won’t ever forget those two weeks I spent in Italy. I tried new things, ate tons of food, met new family members, and made memories that will last a lifetime.