Viva l’Italia: The schedule

So, I figure the best way to give a rundown on the trip to Italy is to just give the itinerary. It was quite busy but very exciting. For the full experience, check out the complementary pictures on facebook. Here goes:

Monday, May 17

  • load the bus at 1 a.m. to the St. Louis airport
  • fly from STL to Dallas to New York
  • overnight flight to Milan

Tuesday, May 18

  • arrive in Brugherio, a suburb of Milan
  • press conference in the town about our visit (it’s a small town, and they were very excited)
  • buffet lunch at an outdoor pavilion
  • nap
  • drive into Milan for our first concert — in the church that has The Last Supper
  • buffet dinner at our hotel at midnight

Wednesday, May 19

  • Morning free to explore Brugherio
  • lunch at the hotel
  • visit to the Castello Sforzesco and the museums inside
  • first taste of gelato – stratiacella
  • pizza and tiramisu dinner at the hotel
  • party with the Brugherian college kids we befriended

Thursday, May 20

  • Morning exploring Milan
  • lunch at Luini Panzerotti (like calzones)
  • five hours of lectures on Leonardo da Vinci, translated between English and Italian
  • concert in Milan in a church with a saint lying beneath the altar — we saw his skull. This church was also one of the first Roman Catholic churches.
  • buffet dinner at hotel

Friday, May 21

  • Morning visit to Monza
  • lunch at the hotel
  • hang out at the hotel pool
  • Volleyball game: U Singers vs Brugherian team (turns out they’re legit volleyball players. Hilarity ensued)
  • town hall presentation of one-of-a-kind book covers made for us by a local artist
  • concert at the church in Brugherio
  • reception at the church
  • went out to a pub with our Brugherian friends

Saturday, May 22

  • Morning visit to La Scala opera house in Milan
  • visit Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, the library where Leonardo worked
  • lunch at hotel
  • visit to the music school in Brugherio
  • free time in Brugherio – second gelato (lemon)
  • gala dinner with the town dignitaries at the hotel

Sunday, May 23

  • visit to Bologna
  • Basilica di San Petronio. Has the oldest functioning organ in Europe, built in 1475.
  • visit to the music museum
  • visit to the Accademia Filarmonica, where the likes of Mozart studied. We saw an original Rossini Cinderella manuscript, out in the open.
  • concert in Bologna
  • third gelato – cookie and magica di Bologna (nutella and white chocolate)

Monday, May 24

  • said a tearful goodbye to Brugherio
  • free day in Milan
  • went up the top of Duomo
  • spun on the bulls’ balls
  • hung out in the park
  • walked through the fashion district
  • found a small non-touristy restaurant for a fabulous dinner

Tuesday, May 25

  • eight-hour drive to Rome
  • explored the outskirts of Rome and hung out at the hotel
  • dinner at the hotel

Wednesday, May 26

  • morning walking tour of ancient Rome
  • lunch at a restaurant
  • free afternoon for sightseeing (Piazza Navona, Pantheon, wedding cake) and shopping
  • fourth, and best, gelato (strawberry and pineapple)
  • concert in Rome
  • dinner at a restaurant

Thursday, May 27

  • Drive to Pompei
  • walking tour of Pompei
  • drive to Salerno
  • explore
  • dinner at hotel restaurant
  • Hang out on the rooftop terrace

Friday, May 28

  • Boat ride to Amalfi for the morning
  • lunch on the hotel terrace
  • afternoon exploring Salerno and the beach
  • concert in Salerno
  • dinner and dance party

Saturday, May 29

  • shopping in Salerno
  • drive back to Rome
  • more sightseeing (Spanish steps, Trevi fountain, Piazza del Popolo) and shopping
  • fifth and final gelato (tiramisu and caramel)
  • dinner at a restaurant
  • discoteca

Sunday, May 30

  • fly home, Rome to O’Hare

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