Class trips are the best way to learn about Italy hands down!
Last weekend my International Trade class took a trip to Sicily and it’s safe to say that so far Sicily has been the place with 1) the best food 2) the best weather and 3) the best views.
We were greeted to the city of Catania by an active volcano, Mount Etna. One of the coolest things I saw in Sicily was the view of Mt. Etna at night. The tip of the volcano would glow red at night from the lava!
On Friday we visited several companies, including: SASOL, Oranfresh, and ETIS2000.
Orangefresh is responsible for the production of orange squeezing machines, aka the best orange juice you will ever have in your life. Our hotel had one of Oranfresh’s machines in their breakfast hall, and I’m considering making a plee bargain with Temple University to bring one to main campus!
For lunch we went to Tenuta del Gelso where we were treated to a wine tasting along with a typical Sicilian meal. The Sicilians know how to cook! I don’t think I could describe this meal in a way that does it justice. Homemade pasta, the best red wine I’ve ever tasted, and a Sicilian salad that consisted of oranges along with raw onion and a variety of other things like olives. It may sound incredibly weird, but it’s one of the few recipes I feel confident bringing home with me and recreating.
Our next stop was to ETIS2000, a large printing company in Sicily, also the printer of the daily newspaper, La Sicilia (the one we were actually in, see photo below.)
On Saturday we visited the Colleroni company and one of their orange orchards. The fact that we were able to walk through an orchard grove and at any time pick an orange and eat it was a highlight of the trip. Seriously, how do you get any fresher than that?
We had more Sicilian food for lunch, this time in the town of Buccheri. Nestled on the top of a hill overlooking a valley we were treated to more pasta and wine, along with a series of sausage and veil.
Quick side note, I feel like every other post that I make includes pasta and wine, and you would think I’d get sick of the same foods over and over again, right? WRONG. There are so many different styles, sauces, and flavours its impossible to every try them all.
We were given free time on Saturday afternoon, and with the gorgeous weather (it was consistently around 70 degrees our entire trip) just about everybody in the group hit the beach. Some people made it to the sandy beaches, but me and some friends opted for the rocky beach. There I am with the Mediterranean Sea in the background!
Before catching our flight back to Rome on Sunday afternoon, our professor took us to Taormina.
While visiting the amphitheater we decided to show our school spirit and spell out Temple with the coast, the city, and even Mount Etna behind us!
This is also where I bought my Italian espresso set! Some hand painted ceramic cups and a matching trey will accent my Philadelphia apartment quite nicely (:
The fun didn’t stop there though…
While waiting to board our flight back to Rome we found out that we were on the same plane with S.S. Lazio, the professional Italian football (soccer) team! Students (myself included) asked players for photos and autographs to take back to our friends in Rome. Overall this class trip gave me a tour of Sicily that I would have never been able to get on my own, I would definitely recommend to anyone interested in studying in Rome to look at the list of classes and take into consideration class trips. They are a truly unique experience and something you do not want to miss out on!