Beauty in New Places

Written by juliabernstein February 5, 2024

Arriving in Paderno Del Grappa two weeks ago a lot was going through my mind. I was excited to meet new people, exhausted from the plane ride over, and in awe of the world around me.

Stepping off the bus extremely tired, I somehow managed to find the energy to check in, find my room, collect my class material, and go through an orientation all before dinner. (How I did this I am not sure because all I wanted to do was eat food and get some sleep.) With the quick paced afternoon, I got a glimpse of what the my time abroad would look like and quickly decided I was going to love this semester which sounds crazy as I had not even been in the country for a day yet. However, I had a gut feeling this was the right experience for me.

After an early dinner I returned to my room and quickly unpacked my belongings, but not before I figured out how to open my window. Why did I care about opening my window? Well… I love nature and one of my favorite things to watch is the sunset. To me seeing the sunset on my first day in Italy was important as it was not only beautiful watching the pinks and oranges fade into the night sky blues and blacks, but it also signified that I made it through my first day in Italy and it gave me the time to clear my mind for a great semester ahead.

Now I have been in Italy for two weeks and I have only come to love and appreciate this experience more. The local people are kind, and the professors are great at giving advice whether it be on where to eat or beautiful places to travel, the welcome I have had here has been exceptional. All the other people studying abroad with me have been easy to talk to because we all have one thing in common which is our love for traveling!

There is always a conversation to be had about what destination you would like to go to first or what your bucket list places to visit are and that is something that has helped me make connections with my peers. With my desire to travel as much as possible, you can imagine how excited I was to learn we would be taking a trip to a neighboring town on our first Sunday here.

Asolo – a quaint Italian town with a rich history, gorgeous architecture, and magnificent views was the place we visited first. Being only a ten-minute bus ride away allowed us a full day of exploring. I started my time in Asolo by walking with my friends up to La Rocca, the medieval fortress in the town. I did not realize how long it would take us to walk up to La Rocca. However, the view from the top of the fortress was worth the journey as you could see a vast expanse of Northern Italy. I could not get enough of the stunning view, and I am going to remember the view for years to come. After visiting the fortress, I ate lunch with my friends and took a trip up the tower which proved yet another excellent view of the city.

My first travel trip was memorable, and I know it is only going to get better from here. After all, I get to look forward to planning my own trips and making an insane number of memories with friends over these next few months. I will forever be amazed at the beauty around me, and I cannot wait to see where I will travel next. All I know is each place I travel will teach me something new about the world around me and for that I am endlessly excited!