While many Pacifica students were being entertained during Spring Break in the U.S., some of Pacifica’s students and staff lived it up in Italy. Before I begin, I would like to tell you now that getting there was nowhere near as fun as being there. The entire group arrived at LAX to board a transcontinental flight to Frankfurt, Germany. We began our trip with a normal wait in security. Inside the terminal a small group, including me, almost was left behind. Although nothing bad came of our fiasco, it was not a preferable way to start a vacation. The group’s favorite part was probably the eleven hour plane ride. The most redeeming point of the flight was the hundreds of movies we could watch, ranging from Interstellar to Foxcatcher. Finally arriving in Frankfurt, we had to weave our way through German Customs and board a bus to take our group to yet another plane that would take us to Milan. This plane ride was much less painful because it was only 45 minutes and not a double decker.
In Milan, we proceeded through customs and were finally free from long periods of boredom. But wait there’s more! Our newly met tour guide, Fabio, informed us we would be taking a five to six hour drive just to get to our hotel. This really excited us. To skip ahead of the sleeping, yelling, and pure boredom of a six hour bus ride, we FINALLY reached our hotel in the Chernobyl-like suburbs of Venice. The next morning we woke up and bused to the Venice ferry. Before we hit the main attraction, we stopped at a glassblowing store and watched a thrilling demonstration on glassblowing. As I watched the demonstration I thought it was going to be dull, but I was amazed at how precise and pretty the glass was and the effort they put into it. After the glassblowing, we traveled to Venice and began our tour of the Doge’s palace. The Doge was the leading political figure in Venice who ruled for over a thousand years. When our tour was over, the group went on a gondola and explored the Venetian canals. We finished our trip to the Doge’s palace and were given free time to explore the city. To end our first full day in Venice we boarded the ferry and shifted back to our hotel.
After our amazing trip in the canals, we traveled to Florence and witnessed beautiful scenery as well as architectural beasts that will most likely never be built again. I say that in the sense of our generation will never get to be wowed by any architectural giant. When the Dome of Santa Maria del Fiore was constructed six hundred years ago, it was a new and unbelievable piece of art because it was constructed of marble and bricks. We then made our way to the biggest secret of the trip. We would be staying in wine country villas nestled in the Florence mountains. The villas were exciting because it was eight kids to a room and had a full working kitchen, which we couldn’t use. The villas surrounded a beautiful looking pool which unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to use. The only downside to our houses were the toilets would clog after anyone used them. Sadly our fun was cut short when we had to leave after 2 days; however, we made a stop in the famous Piza to view the well known Leaning Tower. We were given free time and myself and others toured a cemetery with hundreds of people residing there.
Fast forward about a day and a half and we arrived at my most favorite city, Rome. Although we didn’t stay in Rome’s city center, we got to enjoy a sweet view because our hotel was in the mountains of Rome. This was by far my favorite hotel we stayed at. It was decked out with bunk beds, and to some students excitement, a soccer field. The following morning we departed the hotel and left for our first action in Rome. To make it more interesting for you, I will spare you from the Vatican tour because it is a long story and mostly art; however, I will still share our amazing experience at the Coliseum. After our tedious journey through the Vatican art gallery, we departed for the Coliseum. Inside the stadium we toured the covered areas as well as stepped out into the amphitheatre. This area had the best views and the best photo locations. The only downside was our parade was rained on literally. From the time we stepped into the Coliseum till the time we left, it rained buckets. We returned to our hotel soaked and with the hope we had enough clothes to last us through the next day.
We rose to find that Italy had been partially sunk, figuratively. The group boarded the bus and we made our pilgrimage to Pompeii. We arrived in Pompeii to be greeted with rain as soon as we started touring. Our tour was short lived because the weather was freezing and everybody was soaked. We returned to prepare for the inevitable.
The following morning we had an early wake up call of 4 am so we could begin our trip to the Rome airport. We arrived at around five or six and began our check in process. Since it was early, there wasn’t a single stop getting through security. The groups split off and traveled the airport until our 7:45 boarding time. Before we boarded the plane we wished Italy goodbye and flew to Munich. As we arrived in Munich mysterious things flew from the sky: was it snow or rain? All I know is that it was colder than needed. Our layover wasn’t very long so before we knew it we were on a 10 hour flight back to the City of Angels. The inboard entertainment was the same when we arrived in Frankfurt a week prior.
Although I was happy we were returning home, I could not help but feel sad because it will be the last time I get to have personal time with this year’s seniors. I had countless experiences I will most likely never forget. I recommend going on Pacifica’s trips because it gives you a new perspective and builds friendships you would’ve never thought were possible.