Exceeding My Expectations Already

Written by Sydney May 29, 2019

Cinque Terre

The view from Asolo

My first pizza in Italy!

Gelato in Bassano

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre


Ciao! Italy has been better than I ever imagined, and this past week has been nothing short of magical. I have met new people, traveled to new places, and have found a love for this new culture that I am experiencing in exciting ways daily. Even with rainy weather in the forecast (it’s been one of the coldest Mays in years according to the locals), I have fallen in love with this country and know my experience here is going to be life-changing.

Getting into the routine of going to classes and having optional evening excursions throughout the week has been really fun. There’s always something exciting to look forward to after the school day is over. This past week I got the chance to travel to Bassano, Asolo, the mall, and even tried the local pizza joint in town. Each location is rich in history and has a variety of sites to see and darling little shops to look in. Since it’s hard for me to ever pass up ice cream, I’m also on a mission to find a gelateria in each town which has been a fun task. Having these night trips is a relaxing break during the week, and has allowed students to gain an appreciation for the smaller towns and all that they can offer.

Over the weekend I traveled to Cinque Terre, an area on the west coast that situates five towns (hence the Italian translation to five lands). It’s hard for me to describe the surreal time that I had there, and I couldn’t imagine a better weekend to finish my first week in Italy. Around 50 CIMBA students took a charter bus to the area, and spent the weekend taking trains and hiking from each town, going to the local shops and browsing around, finding hidden beaches, swimming, and watching the sunset from boat tours. I would definitely recommend visiting these beautiful towns, and even though it can be known as a ‘toursity’ location, it wasn’t overcrowded and featured low prices at the stores and restaurants. Each of the five towns were easy to travel by train, and they offered a daily train pass that could get you from each place for an unlimited amount of times for only one fee. It was everything and more that I would have imagined it to be, and I am going to remember my weekend there forever.

I am stoked for this weekend, as we are going to Rome, and I’m glad that I have a feel for what traveling in a foreign country is like now. I feel like I have some better ideas of how to travel more efficiently, such as downloading a GPS-based Google map of the area and pinning restaurants and places to see beforehand in case there isn’t cellular data, booking train tickets online to avoid the lines, and bringing homework to complete on the long journeys to the location so it doesn’t have to get all finished on Sunday night once I’m back.

I’m so excited for the next three weeks and all of the adventures that are still in store. Ciao for now!