San Marino ” Beach ” Pizza Making and first look at San Marino.
Day 4 was amazing! We got up and were ready to relax and go to the beach, however it was a pleasant surprise to see that the beaches here in Rimini, Italy were a bit different. First, we had an entire section reserved with our own individual cabana-like chairs for the couple hours we would spend on the beach. It was extremely nice and beautiful to lay on the beach and be able to touch the Adriatic Sea! The weather was great, and while some sun bathed, others went around to the cute and lively markets and shops around the area. The awesome fruit and seafood at the beach restaurant and market only added to the great experience too.
And not only was the beach amazing, the authentic pizza making experience was something none of us will ever forget. The chefs and pizza guys were awesome at teaching and helping us, and provided some comic relief for those of us that were not as natural as others. Nevertheless, everyone ended up with tasty personal pizzas. And after pizza the more than accommodating pizza place gave us a huge and ridiculously delicious cake for our teammate Alyson’s birthday. It was overall an amazing and one of a kind day!
San Marino (second day/night) and 1st day of lacrosse
The Blue Jays are back in action!! It was a whole day dedicated to tweaking twine, ripping g’s and laxin’ it up. We were all so excited to be back on the field doing what we love: playing lacrosse. There was fierce competition among the Dream Team (aka us), the Czechs, the other Czechs, and the UK. We took our first game handedly defeating the first Czech team (aka Prague) and the next two against Czech and the UK followed suit. It was difficult at first to focus on anything but lacrosse with the beautiful landscape encompassing the field, which consisted of rolling hills filled with strategically placed country villas and a enormous bell tower that just so conveniently happened to ring all four of its bells every hour on the hour. It was great to end the day with 3 W’s and high hopes for the next day of play.
We ended the evening heading back to the beautiful San Marino to enjoy a delicious meal at the hotel and some of us went on mini adventures across the city. These mini adventures were more like Mount Everest-like expedition trekking across ravenous terrain with jungle cats lurking in the surrounding trees. Not only did we conquer these dangerous and at times risky missions, but naturally we did so with class. Hiking in miniskirts, sundresses and flip flops, scaling rocks and Medieval fortresses is only a feat capable of the Johns Hopkins Women’s lacrosse team. Other treks included but were not limited to gelato crushing, mastering the art of stair stepping, and taking countless panoramic pictures, which were done Scope style for those of you from the Ocean City, MD area. With a curfew of 11:30, we completed our mission of doing as much as we could to take over the Republic. We all went to sleep at 11:29, anxiously awaiting another lax filled day followed by an evening of impending events of epic proportions.
-Julianne Wisner & Brett Bathras
San Marino (3rd day/night)
After the Dream Team went undefeated and took home the Gold, we wore our medals around San Marino beaming with pride. We had not only brought the sport of lacrosse to Italy, but we represented the U.S. with impeccable class and incredible talent. To further demonstrate to the Republic of San Marino our phenomenal array of skills, we marched to the local salsa club and showed Lionel, our Shaggy/Bob Marley-like bartender, who was boss. And by boss, to put it simply, we destroyed. We were jiving to our right and shimmying to our left right on beat to the carefully selected Akon CD that remained on repeat. Kareoke was attempted but it was simply unrealistic to compete with Lionel’s natural ability to rap perfectly every lyric to Akon’s smash hit, Smack That, in Italian of course. Soon after, a Conga line formed out of thin air which not only demonstrated our grace and poise, but also our rhythmic flexibility, twisting, turning and pretzeling to follow Lionel’s unprecedented maneuvers. We soon wooed the crowd, Italian boys flocked the dance floor to watch us cut the rug the American way and they applauded, cheered and brava-ed us as we swayed our way into the rhythm of their hearts. In case we didn’t make it clear, they refers to our team, being as though we and just 4 other random Italians were the only ones getting after it at this tastefully crafted Italian salsa bar. The night ended on a high note as we all flocked to the late night gelati hot spot to get our fix before bed. Tomorrow was sure to be yet another fun-filled afternoon.
-Brett Bathras and Julianne Wisner
Transfer to Venice ” Padova
From the glass factory to the gondola rides, Venice was quite the trip! The sinking city was one of a kind and very busy. There were tourists from all over the world, some lucky enough to stay for the night on such an expensive island. Over the course of a year, 12 million tourists will visit the island that only inhabits 67,000 people. After enjoying a beautiful gondola ride in which we were serenaded by a gorgeous Italian stallion, we topped the day off by getting gelato for the 15th time this trip. For some reason, we all feel obligated to try every kind of gelato that Italy has to offer. After gelato, we returned to our bus with bags of souvenirs, and all agreed that without a doubt, all of our suitcases will now be extremely overweight.
Our trip to Milan was a little lengthy ” we got stuck in traffic for a few hours on the way to the city ” but none of us minded, we were all watching movies on the bus! After finally making it to Italy’s main business city and the world’s fashion capital, we were all anxious to get off the bus and explore!
Milan definitely had a different feel to it; the buildings were less rustic and the city was filled with more business people than tourists, but there were several attractions that were well worth the trip (not to mention all the great shopping!!). After breaking for lunch, we all met back in front of the Duamo (the third largest church in the world) for a guided tour of the cathedral and the galleria. Our tour guides were fantastic and walked us through the magnificent, humongous church that was made completely of marble. I believe that this was the highlight of the day ” all of us were incredibly impressed with the history of the building and the town. The tour continued and took us in to the galleria ” a glass-enclosed shopping area and home to one of the world’s few 7-star hotels. According to our tour guide, the hotel door is hidden and the location is only divulged to those high-end customers who book a room there for well over several thousand dollars a night.
We were all given several hours to go through the city on our own, shopping (and just looking) in all of the high end designer stores and other great shops along the way. At 7pm we all met back at the bus, most of us weighed down by all our purchases, and took the bus to our last hotel, the Leonardo da Vinci, a few miles outside of Como. Dinner here was by far the best, and all of us went to bed ready for an early morning on the Lake!
Where to start. Como and Bellagio had to have been the prettiest place we have visited thus far. After trying to spot George Clooney at his massive villa on the gorgeous Lake Como, we enjoyed a glorious boat ride over the glassy waters that led us to Bellagio. We tasted some fabulous, home-made wine, and continued to dine on caprese paninis while looking out on the surrounding mountains that separated Italy from Switzerland. We continued to find some glorious gems in the mesmerizing jewelry shops and boutiques. After officially spending all of our money, some of us even maxing out on our daily credit card spending limits, we returned by boat on a gorgeously sunny afternoon to Como and topped off our second to last day with some, per usual, to-die-for gelato.