Week 2 & 3, Rome and Lake Como!

Written by ceciliapatramanis June 6, 2023

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

As I enter the last week of this program, I am in shock of how quickly it has gone by. I’ve been fortunate enough to make many friends on this trip that I am dreading saying goodbye to at the end of the week. However, I am extremely grateful to have everlasting memories with them that I look forward to sharing. Week two of classes was chaotic in the best way possible. We had midterms at the end of the week, but still had time to engage in some of the after-class activities that CIMBA offers. During the second week I made pasta with friends in the city of Asolo and participated in pasta making in Castelcucco! The pizza making experience was amazing and I will be dreaming of the pizza I made for the rest of my life. We learned the most important ingredients in pizza as well as how to know when it is cooked properly. We were able to customize our individual pizzas which made the activity even more special. I added artichokes, spicy salami, tomatoes, and zucchini slices to mine and I ate the entire thing just like everyone else in our group. During week three of classes, we got to experience Bassano, a nearby town, at night! Here, we enjoyed drinks and the company of friends. If you study abroad at CIMBA, I encourage you to check out the afternoon activities and participate in as many of them as you can. These are where you get to meet more people and learn about Italy from the locals, who teach it better than anyone.

After week two of classes, my roommate, Natalie, and I ventured to Rome, Italy. Here, we toured the Colosseum, Roman Forum, took a nighttime tour that shared the dark history of Rome, and got to experience some of the nightlife. The weather was spectacular, and the Colosseum offered much needed shade during the hottest parts of the day, but regardless, the tour was fantastic. I would highly recommend that anyone traveling to Italy, or Europe in general, takes a couple of hours to see the Colosseum. I was lucky enough to have seen it six years prior when my family took a trip, but it was just as captivating the second time. The Roman Forum was beautiful and unlike anything in the United States, so it was definitely worth visiting. After a long two days of tours, we were able to meet up with some friends who were studying abroad in Rome and enjoy the nightlife with them. It’s astonishing how such a vibrant city can be filled with rich history and have the perfect modern feel. Overall, Rome is a must-see city in Italy and, personally, is one of my favorites in the world.

We are just now returning from Lake Como which was our final weekend trip during the program, and it was the best relaxing end to our time studying abroad. We stayed in the city of Como but ventured to Lenno and Bellagio during our stay. The first day at Lake Como, we found a public beach to relax at and enjoy the view of the water and houses that paint the mountains. Here, we spent the day reading and relaxing while enjoying each other’s company for one last weekend, as we will be parting ways with some of our new friends at the end of the week. The second day of our stay at the lake was filled with ferry rides, touring the Villa del Balbianello, and exploring Bellagio before returning to Como. My family is a huge Star Wars family, so touring the Villa del Balbianello was a huge deal, but for anyone that is not a Star Wars fan, I would still highly recommend it for the magnificent views. I can genuinely say that it is the most beautiful view that I will ever see, and I can fully understand why George Lucas, the director of Star Wars, chose it to be in one of the movies. You truly do feel like you are on a different planet, so he could not have picked a better location to set as Naboo. There is a small hike to reach the destination, but I would not trade the experience for anything.

This program has gone by so quickly and it still has not hit me that I will be parting ways with so many of the new friends I made here in such a short amount of time. It feels like just last week we were unpacking our bags in our dorms and eating in the cafeteria for the first time. I’m very grateful for my time on campus and I am looking forward to continuing my travels with my family for one week past the end of the program!