Raiders Take the Mediterranean!
Culture is the fifth of Cardinal Ritter's Five Pillars, which is a value that a group of Raiders recently experienced on a higher level. 20 students, ranging from incoming sophomores to recent graduates, and three faculty members traveled to Italy, France, and Spain this June. The group had a mix of seasoned travelers and newcomers but everyone had a transformational experience. When striving to understand other cultures, there is no substitution for being totally immersed. These students engaged fully with the surrounding cultures and now have lifelong memories.
The journey started with over 15 hours of travel from Indianapolis to Milan, Italy where the tour bus was prompt and ready to start the week. Cardinal Ritter was paired with a smaller tour group from Philadelphia and everyone became fast friends! The first hotel was in Riviera della Versilia, Italy, which was only an hour bus ride from our first destination, Cinque Terre! Located in the Italian Riviera, Cinque Terre is comprised of five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Cinque Terre is known for its colorful villages nestled in the coastline and was designated as an Italian national park in 1999. The group toured four of the five towns, skipping Corniglia due to severe flood damage. The towns are all located just brief train rides from one another. The group spent the day jumping on and off trains.
The next stop was Monaco, a sovereign city-state located on the French Riviera! The students travelled by bus, stopping first at the Saint Nicholas Cathedral, resting place of Grace Kelly. The students had time to wander the tiny streets and shops while taking in the breathtaking Monaco views. Monaco's visit was short but definitely at highlight of the trip! Before checking into our French resort, the group stopped in Cannes, France for dinner. The next day took the group to Nice. While some students spent the day in Nice shopping and enjoying the beach, another group travelled to Saint Paul de Vence. This commune is also located in the French Riviera and is one of the oldest medieval towns, established in 400 BC!
After spending an entire day on a bus travelling from France to Spain, the group was ready to hit Barcelona running! The group started with two Barcelona treasures, Park Güell and La Sagrada Família, made famous by the renowned architect Antoni Gaudí. The day ended with free time, which some students chose to enjoy via bike tour. The last day in Barcelona, and of the trip, was a free day for all travelers to enjoy. Most everyone went to the lively beaches, wandered the old and new parts of Barcelona, and some even spent time at a Flamenco theater. The group reconvened for dinner by the water front and prepared for the nearly 24-hour trek home to Indianapolis.
It's hard to adequately articulate the sights, sounds, and smells the group experienced. It is safe to say that all who went returned with a deeper appreciation of the world, and of our home! To see photos of the trip, visit Cardinal Ritter's Flickr account. For more information about Cardinal Ritter's eduational travel program, contact Kerry Lynch.