There is no other word to describe the final day in Italy on the shores of Lake Como besides beautiful. The sun was shining and the weather was warm as the Hokies set out for a boat tour around the lake this morning.
Today’s contributors to the blog are recently graduated Nia Evans and Monet Tellier. Nia thought that the boat ride was something different from other parts of the trip, “It was a more relaxing day out on the boat, and it was really cool to see all the beautiful villas along the lake.”
One of the highlights of the tour around the lake was seeing George Clooney’s villa. However, Monet wasn’t quite expecting the villa to be as simple as it was, “I was really expecting it to be much larger and more extravagant than what it was. More like Richard Branson’s place” (which was also part of the tour).
Following the first half of the tour, the team stopped in the famous Bellagio area of the lake where everyone had the opportunity to do some more shopping. “I liked the shops,” said Nia. “Even though a lot of the stores we’ve been to have similar items, this place was really cool and different because there were all these little alleys and steps up the side of the mountain. It was neat.”
The next stop on the trip was the actual town of Como. While many were disappointed because the funicular (railway) up the side of the mountain was closed for repairs, others made the best of it and decided to go on a paddle boat ride. Monet was among those who enjoyed that part of the trip, “It was fun to be able to go out on the lake. The boats didn’t go very fast however even though it felt like we were paddling A LOT. I was also hoping for more boat traffic on the lake so we could ride the wakes.” During the stop in Como, the team also had the chance to do some shopping, grab lunch or see the beautiful cathedral located in town.
After returning to the hotel, everyone started the long process of packing all their purchases while trying to stay under the 50 lbs weight limit. Once that was out of the way, the entire travel party made their way to a nearby restaurant for one final team dinner before leaving tomorrow. During dinner everyone had the opportunity to say what they had liked best about the trip, our two bloggers had this to say…
Nia: “To go off of what Bill [Old] said during dinner, we talk about these places and learn about them when we’re in school and growing up, but it was really cool to be able to actually see them and go inside of places like the Sistine Chapel and the Colosseum. I also really enjoyed seeing all the street performers that were set up in the cities. Another part of the trip I liked was getting to eat dinner with the second team we played and how open they were to us. Inviting us on their owner’s boat for dinner was just a really nice gesture. People are very friendly here and you kind of feel like you’re part of a family.”
Monet: “It’s pretty cliché but I enjoyed the entire trip. Not everyone gets to take a ‘free’ trip to Italy. After talking to my family who are aren’t on the trip, it really hits you and is kind of humbling to be able to do something that other people dream of doing but may never get to do. Our tour guides have been great throughout the trip. They have really paid attention to all the little details of every part of our trip and made everything run really smoothly. I have really appreciated their time spent. It was just really nice of them to leave their families and come to show us around this country. Throughout the trip it didn’t feel like we were in Italy until you went to speak to someone or order food. The terrain is very similar here as to home, but Rome was very different because of all the ancient history that can be found there. We are leaving such an incredibly nice place.”
The Hokies will depart for home early tomorrow morning with a 5 a.m. wake-up call before heading for the airport in Milan. We should land just before 5 p.m. in Charlotte after a layover in Munich.
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