Paderno and Beyond

Written by Allyssa January 31, 2020

Three weeks into my time in Italy and there’s already so much to talk about! But first, I’d like to give an update on a few of the goals I mentioned in my previous blog. One of my personal goals had been to appreciate the outdoors more often and I must say, in Italy that was hardly a challenge. All I have to do is open a window or step out the door, and mountains and blue skies fill my view. One of my new favorite down-time activities now include taking a walk around Paderno del Grappa and the little towns close by because I always discover something new whether it be a cafe, a pizzeria, a park or a new walking path. 

One other goal I would like to mention before we really get into the interesting stuff is my goal of not using my phone as often. This was surprisingly a lot easier to do than I had thought. I’m in Italy! Why would I want to be on my phone when I could be admiring the snowy mountains or practicing my Italian with locals? 

Paderno del Grappa is small but despite that, I can’t deny how excited I am to discover all of the hidden gems in this little town over the next few months. 

Now onto the really exciting topic, travel! Everyone in the CIMBA program is always more than eager to talk about their travel plans. Travelling in a safe, cost efficient, and fun manner is not easy, but at CIMBA, there are so many people who are more than willing to help you through the process or point you in the right direction. CIMBA also provides opportunities to travel locally by busing us to nearby cities.

Throughout these past three weeks, I have had the fantastic opportunity to visit Asolo and Bassano del Grappa with the help of CIMBA. Both cities were absolutely beautiful! They were great places to interact with locals and take some nice pictures. Over this past weekend, I took the train to Florence and Pisa with some friends. We got to see the centuries old Cathedral of Florence, the statue of David by Michelangelo, and the leaning tower of Pisa! All experiences that are for sure unforgettable!

A few of my friends and I are excited to say we have already booked our trips for the week-long break we will be getting later in the semester. We will be flying to Barcelona and Amsterdam for a few days before heading to Milan and taking the train back to school. From my experience this past weekend in Florence and Pisa, I know without a doubt in my mind that we will be exhausted when school starts again but I also wholeheartedly believe that every second will be worth it. 

Now what would be a blog without a little advice? Below I’ve listed some tips I’ve picked up while traveling and planning future travels. Feel free to take from it what you need. Just remember to stay safe and have fun! 

  • Plan ahead – The earlier you plan, usually the better deals you’ll get with tickets. 
  • Do some research – A few days in advance or on the train, look at some of the history or hot spots in the city you’re going to.
  • Don’t be a typical tourist – Be aware of your surroundings and be considerate of others. Also look for local favorites not just tourist favorites. 
  • Buddy up – Always stay close to friends and keep tabs on each other, for your own safety and theirs. Nobody wants to be lost and alone in a foreign country. 
  • Keep a spending log – Believe me, I didn’t like the sound of it the first time too, but it’s actually extremely helpful in keeping you aware of your spending habits which can help you budget your money appropriately. 

If I leave you with anything, I hope it is the same level of excitement that I feel every time my brain reminds me that I am in honest-to-goodness Italy! I will forever be grateful for this chance to explore Europe. Wish me luck on my journey and I wish you all the best for yours, wherever you may be and wherever you may go.