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“Under the Sicilian Sun”

“Under the Sicilian Sun”

With midterms on the horizon for the coming week, most Loyola students back in Chicago would be having a pretty calm weekend catching up on their work while pounding cups of Dunkin’. Although this weekend the meaning of the phrase “work hard play harder” took on a whole new meaning for me. Prioritizing your time is obviously one life skill that students must practice in college, although sometimes you also have to take time to “stop and smell the roses” to appreciate all of the worlds wonders that lie there waiting to be discovered.

The ancient ruins of Sicily, including Greek temples built 300-400 BC, reflect that no matter how fast and stressful your life seems you have to stop and recognize the big picture is that you play only a very small part in the history of the world.

Sicily is really like no other place I have ever been. Its unique terrain will enchant you as you continually view ancient rubble lying in untouched states. There is definitely a more vacation oriented vibe here with the mountains, sun, and blue waters it relaxes you. The food is also unique compared to the other parts of Italy and our group was able to enjoy local eats including fish, sweet tomatoes, and canoli!

There were in total 49 of us on the trip, including 3 of the best JFRC faculty I could have asked for. We flew into Palermo and worked our way across the island leaving out of Catania. All three days involved touring ancient sites to which our history professor could speak for tremendously. We saw the cathedral of the Pantocrator at Monreale, Greek temples, a Roman villa (with some sexy mosaics) and a Greek theater. I was awestruck by the history of the island and it was inspiring to see how the character of the island has been built from so many different influences over time.

I came with one of my close friends from the Rome center and enjoyed getting the chance to spend time with whole a whole new group of people to share the experience with. One of my favorite moments included sitting down for lunch with a table full of new friends on a terrazza over looking the cliffs and the water.

The weather this weekend was a gift and so were the people. Sicily exceeded my expectations. You must go there and succumb to the charm and culture of this island! It is going to be very difficult focusing back in on our school work, although you have to do what is most important in each moment you are abroad. If it’s sleep, then sleep. Eat? Eat! Party? Party! Becuase there is a time and a place for everything.

Ciao!

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