I have been to Italy a few times but I invariably learned quite a bit more on this trip. Traveling with SAS makes a big difference in that you can’t help but delve deeper into the history and culture at hand. The words of the professors linger once you wander off the ship and take on a refined meaning as you start to see the country all around you. There IS much more to Italy than pizza and gelato!
I produced 2 slideshows for our stop in Italy, viewable on the Semester At Sea website. The first piece is about Il Palio, which is a horse race among competing neighborhoods (called contrades) held in Sienna 2 times a year. It dates back to the 13th century (that’s quite a tradition!). A special invitation was extended to Semester At Sea to get a behind the scenes look at race preparation by one of the 13 contrades. Although we were not there for the actual race, the opportunity to see how it all comes together and to behold this rich tradition first hand was quite a treat. Here is the link to view the slideshow:
And below is a link to a second more involved slideshow that looks at conflict, grace and glory in Italy throughout the ages. See Rome, Vatican, Jewish Ghetto, Herculaneum and more: