Spring break is underway and John Cabot University students are enjoying the much-needed weeklong break from studying. As students living in Europe, we often make it our mission to visit as many countries as possible and take advantage of the proximity of so many amazing places. Most of my fellow classmates seem to have a similar wanderlust, so it is always very exciting to hear where they are headed.
As expected, the travel plans are as diverse as the JCU student body. Many students are visiting Europe’s major cities, such as Barcelona, Paris, and Amsterdam. These cities are notorious hubs for young travelers, offering some of the best food, museums, and nightlife. Some students have gone off the beaten path and are vacationing in faraway locales like Thailand and Bali. Other students opted for a less adventurous spring break itinerary, but nevertheless an important one, and are home spending time with their family and enjoying homemade meals.
One JCU student that I spoke with decided to really go off the beaten path and has spent her spring break taking a class. Elisabetta Frisaldi, a JCU junior studying Communications and Creative Writing, decided to spend her vacation in London taking a course in fashion journalism. To many she is breaking the unspoken rule that “one does not study over spring break.” However, she explained to me prior to spring break that this is something she was very excited to do: “I was looking to do something that combined my two passions: writing and fashion. I discovered this fashion journalism course and saw it would be offered at the same time as JCU’s spring break, and I just couldn’t miss it. Some might think studying over break sounds awful, but to me, there is nothing I would rather do than study fashion in London in the springtime.”
While most students had their trips planned and accommodations booked well in advance, a few procrastinators were still at a loss just days before spring break as to where they would go. Luckily, Italy is a procrastinator's paradise! There are some amazing towns near Rome that can be visited even as a day trip: no prior planning required, and it won't break the bank! These small towns can easily be reached by train and at the price of a cappuccino.
One example is the town of Tivoli, just an hour outside Rome. Tivoli is famous for its thermal baths and Villa d’ Este, a 16th-century mansion that was once the home to the wealthy d'Este family. The mansion has beautiful gardens and architecture and is a must-see. Tivoli’s sights are noteworthy, but their food is also remarkable. I went to Tivoli two years ago and am still dreaming about one restaurant's ravioli ripieni di calamari (ravioli stuffed with squid). Other towns near Rome well worth a trip include Ostia Antica (with Pompeii-like ruins), the Castelli Romani (a series of towns on the outskirts of the city, such as Ariccia and Nemi), and Orvieto (an Umbrian hill town), all known for their ancient streets, delicious food, and unique character.
Overall, whether your spring break consisted of eating tapas in Barcelona, visiting the Louvre in Paris, surfing in Bali, or binge-watching Netflix from your sofa, I hope everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable spring break!