While studying abroad it is normal to take weekend trips to places nearby. Before coming here I had a list of places I wanted to go that was filled with both well known must see destinations like Venice and Florence and recommendations from family and friends. Many people I know have already taken trips to other cities since we arrived but I have not yet (apart from a day trip to a nearby beach). My last couple of weeks have been spent exploring Rome!
Now I think it’s about time that I start travelling around Italy some more. My roommates and I have a spreadsheet that outlines where we plan to go each weekend, what we want to do there, where we are staying, and who will be coming. Most of it is currently blank because we haven’t yet booked many trips. I am realizing that it is quite difficult to finalize plans when you have many people involved. Just a few nights ago, a few of my roommates and I were up until 2am trying to figure out our plans for next weekend. Originally we had planned on staying at the Amalfi Coast, however, because there wasn’t a direct train there and the weather wasn’t going to be very warm we decided that we would go to Cinque Terre instead. Then, my roommate Erin realized that it is expected to rain in Cinque Terre the days that we were there so we quickly adjusted and began looking for somewhere else to go. Erin mentioned two towns near the beach called Bari and Taranto, then we also looked into Bologna, and eventually we landed on Genova (or Genoa, like the salami). We were all so tired so we waited until the following day to book the Airbnb. But by then the one we had agreed on was booked. Luckily, we had another comparable option and we booked it immediately.
We also booked our train tickets to make sure we got that done. We want to maximize all of our free time so we are taking the earliest train available at 12:11am on Friday to arrive in Genova around 6am. We are also taking the latest train on Sunday (11:53pm) to arrive back in Rome by 6am on Monday.
My suggestion to current or future study abroad students is to be hyper aware of the weather. For example, we should have gone to the Amalfi coast when we first got here when there was little chance of rain and the water would be warm. Also, be sure to book things in advance, the experience will be much more enjoyable if you are not worrying about reservations and what you are going to do once you get there. And lastly, (this is actually just advice for myself) be willing to go with the flow, you can’t plan and prepare for everything, just accept things as they are and adapt! I am hoping that the process becomes easier as we plan and book more trips and I am very excited for the rest of the semester.
A Message from the Office of Global Engagement:
The safety and security of Drexel students is a priority for the University. As part of the efforts to support Drexel students that are studying abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Global Engagement has conducted a rigorous review of programming and provided additional support to participating students with customized pre-departure orientations and regular check-ins during the required self-isolation period and the term.