Memories from JCU’s weekend trip to Umbria

December 15, 2023
JCU students in Umbria

Every semester, the Student Services Office at John Cabot University takes JCU students on dozens of cultural trips across Italy. 

The central regions of Italy are the perfect place for John Cabot University students to immerse themselves in nature, exploring sacred and artistically precious towns, enjoying art, history, traditions, and made-in- Italy craftsmanship. All these are perfectly blended in the Umbria region, where we took a group of 10 students this past October. 


                                      JCU trip to Umbria. October 2023


From the artistic nobility of Perugia to Assisi and its sacred places, through the Marmore Waterfalls and Lake Pediluco, our itinerary was under the banner of the rediscovery of simplicity, combined with the beauty not only of the landscapes, but also of creativity in all its declinations. Our journey began with a visit to the factory of the Lorena Antoniazzi brand, a made-in-Italy fashion house specialized in high-quality knitwear. The guide showed us the process of creating each garment; inside the factory we witnessed how creativity, team spirit and hard work are elements of a precious weave that makes the final product possible. Starting with the concept of the star, the brand's guiding symbol, our students were inspired to write down their thoughts: 



                                    JCU trip to Umbria. October 2023


“My star is creation. What really gives me passion is being able to make things with my own hands, whether it is putting together travel videos or paintings or sewing my own clothes, it gives me meaning to know that I am contributing something to this world that is uniquely mine.” 

“I'd say my star, or guiding light is nature. As much as my future is in technology and engineering, the way everything works in the sky is ultimately in the hands of nature. When I need inspiration, I just go for a walk, away from the city, and usually I get ideas of where to go and what to do.” 

We continued our itinerary by exploring the city of Perugia. Together we explored the historical part of this city, traveling not only in space but also in time, walking through the ancient streets of medieval Perugia. Next, we headed to Assisi, our home away from home for two days. Our guide told us about the deeds of Saint Francis and Saint Clare, whose presence still permeates the churches and streets of Assisi, a place that welcomes and embraces everyone, bringing together every religion in the true sense of spirituality. There was no shortage of art, a sense of togetherness, and delicious tastes of the typical dishes that Umbria has to offer. A student wrote: 

“I would say my star for the trip was going into the Basilica of Saint Clare. When I entered the space, I felt this spirit encapsulate me from the voices singing in the service being held in one side of the Basilica to the beautiful artwork on the walls. I watched as people observed the service and they were in awe just like me from the people praying. I took this as an opportunity to go to the other side and make a prayer to God. I consider myself a religious person but since I’ve been in Rome I haven’t been spiritually aligned. I haven’t found a church to go to and I haven’t felt connected to God in a long time till I entered this Basilica. It was almost like I could feel him saying welcome back you are home, and you can be comfortable.” 



                              JCU trip to Umbria. October 2023


The second day, we visited an ancient farmhouse making extra virgin olive oil on the hills of Assisi. The expert owner taught the group how to recognize different varieties of olive oil and led us through a properly done olive oil tasting. 

On the third day, we visited the waterfalls of Marmore and the shores of Lake Piediluco. There we sat and reflected on all the stories we had heard and the places we had seen. 

"I was very impacted by St Claire’s story and visiting the Basilica of St Claire this weekend. The way that she decided to cut off her hair as a symbol of rejecting what was expected of her by her family and as a symbol 

of embracing a holy life with the Franciscans. Everything in this trip made me reflect on my own journey. I am not sure I have found my star yet or know what my inspiration is, but I do know that when I do find it, I hope to pursue it. Once you have your star, you cannot worry about what other people think you should do with your life." 


Learn more about JCU’s cultural programs here. You can find all available JCU trips here. The trips and activities for Spring 2024 will open for purchase on December 19. 


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