Part Time Student, Full Time Travel Agent

Written by marywoodliff June 21, 2022

As my time at CIMBA comes to a close, I am thankful to have had this blog as an outlet to share, reflect, and remember all of the special moments I have had. I am going to be honest – I have been pretty busy since you last heard from me! I have travelled both out of the country and explored a few more places in Italy.

To catch you all up, I will start by recapping my second travel weekend. My travel group and I knew we wanted to go somewhere outside of Italy, but we were not exactly sure where. We did extensive research of flights, trains, cities, countries, hotels, Airbnbs, and historical sites all around Europe, ultimately to decide on Vienna, Austria!

Transportation to Vienna was a cheap and quick one-way flight from the Venice airport. Arriving in a different country with a new language, food, customs, and culture was both exciting and intimidating. We quickly learned that Vienna catered to the English language very well, which helped tremendously in our ability to adapt for the short weekend. Upon arrival we headed to our hotel and made an itinerary for our time there.

Here’s what we were able to check off:

  • Mozart Statue
  • Schmetterlinghaus (Butterfly House)
  • Heldenplatz Square
  • Kunsthistoriches Museum Wien
  • Café Spearl
  • Column of the Trinity
  • St. Peter’s Catholic Church
  • St. Stephen’s Cathedral
  • Belvedere Palace
  • Gelateria La Romana
  • Starbucks

Vienna was truly amazing. We felt great about the museums and sites that we chose to prioritize, but there were of course things that we did not have enough time to do such as go to the Opera House or spend time by the Danube River. I highly recommend traveling to Vienna!

During the week I caught up on homework & sleep, studied for tests, did my laundry, and made reservations for my upcoming trips! The school weeks seem to go by fast, but it is nice to be able recharge for the next weekend.

For our third and final travel weekend, I went to Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre means “five lands”, as it is made up of five cities situated on the coast of the Ligurian Sea. On the way there, our train had a stop in Pisa, so we paid a quick visit to the Leaning Tower! This was such a fun way to utilize the train system and maximize our weekend. Later that night, we arrived in Riomaggiore where our Airbnb was. After two travel weekends of booking places to stay, we learned that location is key, so we chose this Airbnb because it was just 2 minutes away from the train station that runs between the 5 towns!

On our first day we went Monterossa, the northern most town. Monterossa has beautiful beaches filled with striped sun umbrellas that stylishly protect you from the June heat in Italy! We ate lunch with a beautiful view of the sea and explored the local shops, cathedrals, and cafes.

The next day was spent on the water. We started our day with a 3 hour boat tour. We got to see each of the cities by boat, and it was absolutely beautiful. We also got to swim in coves and stand under a waterfall! That evening, we had a sunset boat tour with a big group of Arkansas students! This quickly turned into one of my favorite nights in Italy and is a memory I will cherish forever! Being with people you love in a beautiful place is so special. The next day we headed back to CIMBA to finish up our last week of classes and take our finals.

What an incredible 4 weeks it has been! Thank you for reading and reminiscing with me!


Mary Jane