ASU Women's Basketball in Italy
May 18, 2007
Arriving in Italy
We arrived in Italy today and it was incredible. Our day was packed with tours, shopping, traveling and of course, eating gelato. The trip over was long and most of us slept on the second leg of our flight which was eight hours long. It was the shortest day I have ever experienced. Right now it is the end of the second day, but it really feels like it is still the first day. All of this to say, I am so blessed to be here in Italy. It has been a dream of mine to come to this country since I was a little girl sitting in the backyard with my grandpa listening to him speaking Italian. I am very Italian; it comes at me from both sides of my family. I fell in love with this unknown land when I was a child and the love affair continues now that I am here as an adult.
Today we got off the plane at around 8:30 Italy time, which is nine hours ahead of Phoenix, and headed on a bus to Milan. Milan, as we learned today, is the shopping capital of the world and leads Italy in business and commerce. Like Charli said, 'This place (Milan) is basically the Beverly hills of Italy.' She warned us of this because all of the shops were going to be pricey, and of course they were. Our first stop in Milan was the Duomo. The Duomo is a gothic cathedral built in 1813 on orders from Napoleon and is large enough to hold 40,000 people! Suffice it to say the cathedral was massive and amazingly beautiful. We were first given a tour of the inside and learned all of the history behind the Duomo. My favorite aspect of the cathedral was the stained glass. This stained glass was not like any I had ever seen before. The attention to detail and the way the sun hit the glass perfectly was breathtaking. After our tour inside we bought tickets to go on the roof of the Duomo. From there we could see all of Milan and the surrounding regions. The Duomo was impressive with over 2000 statues on its exterior.
After our tour of the Duomo we were allowed to walk around for a couple of hours to get something to eat and to shop. I am not a big shopper, so Kayli Murphy and I just walked around and people watched. We also got our first taste of Gelato. Yum! I ordered strawberry and it was really good! We left there at 2:30 and headed to Lake Como on our bus. If you ever travel to Milan know that traffic is really really bad. I thought that San Francisco was congested growing up. Well, San Francisco has nothing on Milan!
Lake Como is more my style. It is a lot smaller than Milan and the city is centered around a beautiful clear lake. There is greenery everywhere and not as many people. We checked into our hotel and then met to see the sights. We took this train sort of thing straight up a mountain. It was really steep and scary at some points, but the view at the top was worth it. From the top all of Como was visible and in the distance Torino was also located. I was excited about this because Tornio was the site of the most recent Winter Olympic Games. We then ate at a darling restaurant. I am now headed off to bed, because as you can imagine I am exhausted. Therefore, ciao until the next time.