March 29, 2010
Holly Grady, a sophomore Athletic Training Major from Beavercreek, Ohio, recently returned from a spring break trip to Italy. Her trip was organized through the Collegiate Sports Medicine Foundation (CSMF). Holly represented Wilmington College on the trip as she and 25 other sports medicine majors from the United States traveled to Italy for this amazing experience. In addition to a wonderful trip, she also took this course as an independent study and received Wilmington College credit hours by doing research, power point presentations, and by presenting to the WC Athletic Training majors about her experience upon her return.
Reflections on Italy
Imagine with me, if you will, a roller coaster ride. Not just any ordinary ride but one filled with twists and turns of laughter and unexplainable adventure. You might get stuck in traffic, find yourself deprived of sleep, or realize that you need to go on a diet because you ate too much gelato. But take my word for it; this is an experience worth every obstacle. Take a trip with me to Italy. Andiamo!
First Stop - Naples
We didn’t spend much time here, but the little time we had here was the perfect introduction to the country. During our short stay, we had the opportunity to visit the beautiful island of Capri. Though small, this little place is significant.
Next - Pompeii
Going to the ancient, uncovered city of Pompeii was amazing. To be walking on the streets of this ancient city is quite unimaginable. Because of the way the city was buried, it was preserved so well and much can be learned from it. Pompeii was one of the most advanced cities at its time, but because of the earthquake followed by the volcano that hit, this city’s ideas and technology were lost and would later be rediscovered. It’s crazy to think that I actually got to be inside of a city that was once buried. I will say that going to the garden of the fugitives was a little sad, just to think that those people died a terrible death being buried by ash. The overall visit was eye opening in more ways then one.
And Next - Florence
The city of Florence first reminded me of Naples, but after touring and learning about the history that the place held, I came to the realization that it is almost nothing like Naples. The two days we spent there were frigid, but I don’t think the weather detracted from the experience, rather, it may just have added to it. The coolest aspect about Florence, I think, was seeing ‘The David’ and learning about Michelangelo’s life. The carved marble slab of this perfect creature known as ‘The David’ was sheer perfection. I was amazed by the detail in the muscles, veins, and even facial expression. I was also informed that he was a soccer player. I suppose the great detail put into the anatomy of the legs gave this fact away. Florence was fantastic.
We got the chance to experience one of the few places visited by tourists, a place known as San Guiliano. High on the mountaintops in Tuscany rests this small town secluded from the rest of Italy. The day we went, there was snow on the ground. I felt like I was in the Middle Ages as I walked through this rustic town. It really is beautiful and well built.
My Favorite - Rome
Rome, by far was my favorite place. It seemed so modern that at times I forgot I was even in Italy. But I was reminded every so often that I was when I saw the coliseum. The coliseum was outstanding. It is basically an ancient stadium. I went and saw it numerous times, and every time it was just as grand. It stands high and mighty in Rome like a soldier would stand facing his enemies. The awe and majesty this place gives off is breath taking. Upon entering the stadium, I think I really understood why Romans are so proud. After our initial visit, I went back three times. It was such an emotion gripping and majestic site.
And even more!
Some other places we got to see in Rome included the Roman Forum, the catacombs, the Vatican (which is really its own country), the leaning tower of Pisa, Trevi fountain, and the Spanish steps just to name a few. The Roman Forum was majestic in every way, the catacombs were humbling and breath taking (no pun intended), the Vatican was marvelous, especially the view from the top. The Leaning Tower of Pisa was fun. All of us had a great time taking numerous amounts of pictures. Trevi fountain was an unheard of yet sweet idea, and the Spanish Steps was a perfect place for a photo shoot. Every little detail of Rome adds to it like all the strands in a tapestry add to the big picture.
The culture of Italy is slightly like that of other European places, yet so different. I was under the naive impression that all European countries were the exact same, but I was sure faced with a reality check. Of course, Italy is known as a romantic place, and after just one day there, I can understand why. The way the people act and talk, the language that they use, their mannerisms, and so much more gives off on air of romance, not to mention all of the art and sculptures. Romance isn’t exactly my favorite thing, but it was neat to see how it defines their culture.
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