Every few years my coaches take the women's soccer team on a European soccer tour of sorts. The goal is that each player will get to go on this trip once during their four years at Greenville. This summer was my turn! Through XL Travel, we planned a ten day trip to Italy that included two soccer games against European teams, two practices with Italian coaches and a whole lot of sight seeing. Our whirlwind trip included visits to seven different Italian cities (Milan, Como, Florence, Rome, Venice, Padua and Verona) and four different countries (Italy, Switzerland, Vatican City and San Marino).
1. Soccer with the Italian girls club team- During our second full day in Italy we led a training session for a group of girls on a club team in Milan. There was definitely a language barrier, but it was fun to figure out how to communicate and connect through playing soccer. The Italian girls and the American girls all had a blast.
2. Rome-I did not expect to like this city so much because I expected it to be super touristy, which I guess it was. The Colosseum blew my mind. It was incredible to be in a place with so much history. The Trevi Fountain was also beautiful and we had tons of time to roam and explore this ancient city.
3. San Marino- This place is the smallest republic in the world. We went to the capital, which is also called San Marino. It is so quaint with an amazing view! The history of San Marino is fascinating and we even got to climb one of the castle towers.
4. Bonding with my teammates- I was with the same people for ten days straight, so naturally we had a lot of time to get to know each other better. I am lucky though, because I have some incredible teammates and was blessed by getting to hang out with only them for so long. This has also made the soccer season more enjoyable for me so far. In the past, sometimes soccer has been a struggle because I have felt weird, different and on the outside, but in part because of this trip to Italy I have developed some wonderful friendships with my teammates.
5. The food- We ate a three course meal at our hotel every night with pasta, a meat course and gelato for dessert. Oh man, I miss that pasta. And for the record, cookies was my favorite flavor of gelato.
So that is my trip in a nutshell. It has been a while since I arrived safely back in the States and I'm missing everything about beautiful Italia.