Written by Ginnai Wheeler '17
The Marist trip to Italy was one of the best experiences of my life. I was hesitant before going because there is a lot going on in the world right now. There was just an attack in London and you never know what can happen. Although justified, my fears were unwarranted. The trip went off with a hitch.
Our first stop was Genova. We stayed in Genova for three days. While we were in Genova we stayed with host families from the Marist school in Italy. They were incredibly welcoming. Upon my arrival I was greeted with a hug and bouquet of flowers from my house family. The first day in Italy could be labeled the freshman day. Everything was new. It was a polite game of cat and mouse with my house family in terms of how comfortable I was and what I wanted to eat. My host family was lovely and made me feel completely welcome in their home. On the first day I went sight seeing around the town with my host boy and his friends. His friends were nice as well and when my jet lag began to kick in he escorted us home as soon as possible.
I enjoyed my time with my host family and I'm sure the other students on the trip did too. We were even able to develop a steady relationship with the students coming to Chicago this month. We speak with the Italian students regularly in our group chat. Everyone is excited to see each other again and we are already discussing activities for when they come to America. Their experience in America will be completely different from our experience in Italy. We did so many things in Italy that it would be difficult to go into detail about each event. While in Italy we saw many churches and were given presentations by the students.
Brother Massimo accompanied us for most of our activities. He was a shining light and made it possible so our class could spend a day in Venice. He was with us when we went to Pisa. While in Pisa we saw the Tower of Pisa. It's the leaning tower the people take photos with pretending to push against it. Another activity that stood out was our day in Florence. We went to the prestigious Uffizi Art Gallery. We were able to see world famous Renaissance art. Also, while in Milan, we were able to see the actual painting of the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. It was fascinating to see something so renowned and famous. Not many people will be able to say they were given the chance. Italy was a dream. It was more than I can put into words. I will definitely consider going back in my lifetime.
In the photo Ginnai is at the top.