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University of Chicago Department of Athletics & Recreation

Softball updates from Italy and Spain 2013: Day 5

Today we took a boat tour of Cinque Terre (and apparently survived a 5.3 magnitude earthquake that occurred while we were on the boat, so we didn't notice). A region sitting on the west coast of Italy, Cinque Terre is a region comprised of five small villages.

Our first stop was Riomaggiore, the second-largest village in the Cinque Terre area. The houses in the village sit precariously upon the cliffs overlooking the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. The village was originally home to many of Italy's fishermen, who emigrated from Greece, and after getting a little tipsy and losing sight of their originally stone-colored homes, they painted them bright pastel colors so they could easily be spotted from far out at sea. These colors are now a trademark of the area.

Following a brief tour of the village cliffs, we were able to break off into smaller groups and further explore. Many of us enjoyed a nice seafood lunch, a local favorite. After looking in some of the shops, we all went down to rock beach and enjoyed a swim in the Mediterranean Sea. The water was choppy and proved difficult to navigate, and so most of our team struggled to stay on their feet. After our attempted swim, our rather salty team made our way back to the boat for a second roller coaster boat ride.

After enjoying a short trip, we arrived in the village of Vernazza, known for its silent beaches and decadent gelato. Unable to resist the siren call of Italian gelato, we ventured into yet another sea side Gelataria.

Soon after our mid-day dessert, we were swept back into or boat that took us to the last island destination in Monterosso. In Monterosso, we ended our day of island hopping with one last stroll on the beach, and said goodbye to the beautiful Italian landscape. Our bus driver Antonio drove us back towards Milan, but first had to maneuver the narrow roads and cliffs. Let me tell you it was an impressive feat, we have no idea how he was able to navigate so safely! Once back in the Milan area, we ate our last multi-course Italian meal and said goodbye to Italy as we are off to Spain in the morning! Everyone is sad to leave but excited to see what Spain has to offer!

- Maddie McManus (Class of 2014)