Postcard from Italy -- Aug. 15

Aug. 16, 2005

FLORENCE, Italy - Each day during the men's basketball team's trip to Italy, different members of the squad will offer their impressions of their visit. In today's diary, center DeVon Hardin discusses the Bears' visits to the Uffizi Gallery, Pisa, Lucca and the beach.

Hello friends and family:

This morning in Florence, our group took a tour of the Uffizi Gallery. Some of the art works we viewed are centuries old. They had amazing painting by world-famous artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo. One painting stood out in particular, which was a depiction of the Last Supper. It displays the events that night from Jesus washing his feet of his disciples to his Crucifixation.

Next, we got on the bus and headed to Terraina on the Mediterranean Sea. That was a lot of fun simply because we were all together, and we had a common goal - to have fun! The group of 11 men looked like six-year-olds playing in the water (very good looking and well toned six-year-olds!).

After a short excursion on the beach, we had lunch and then continued onto Pisa. The town was surrounded by walls, so what we saw once we got inside surprised us all. The leaning tower was absolutely magnificent. As a child growing up, you hear and see photos of such things. It's not until you are actually there, that you appreciate extraordinary building and its intricate details.

Next we rode to Lucca, another small town surrounded by ancient walls. There was so much history that I don't know where to begin. At this point, we were all pretty tired. Afterwards, we ate dinner at Fattoria La Torre in Lucca. This Italian meal was probably as authentic as it gets. Lastly, we drove two hours back to our hotel and wait to play our very first game against the Italian team called Cavriago.

DeVon Hardin

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