• Exciting Adventures with Friends New and Old

    by  • October 23, 2019 • Student Life, Uncategorized, Undergraduate Physical Theatre, Undergraduate Programs • 0 Comments

    Aliza and I on the “P.S. I Love You” bridge in Wicklow

    Aliza and I on the “P.S. I Love You” bridge in Wicklow

    Cate Esposito, Muhlenberg College

    Semester Physical Theatre Program

    Over fall break, I travelled with my friend Aliza Saper, who is here for the one year program at ADA. We spent the week in Dublin and Amsterdam! I already knew we were gonna have a great time in Dublin when we saw a rainbow as soon as we got to the bus station. Our Airbnb hosts were the sweetest people I’ve ever met, and the house we stayed in was so adorable! We stayed in Churchtown, which is a 15 minute tram ride to the center of Dublin. When we met our hosts, they gave us a double sided page of pubs to visit and a list of free things to do! Thanks to them, we got to go to the Irish Museum of Modern Art AND the Gallery of Photography…FOR FREE! We also went on the “Wild Wicklow Tour”, which wasn’t free, but they had a great student discount. This tour was also recommended by our hosts, and it was so worth it. It was a bus tour that started in the beach town of Sandycove, then we worked our way up to the mountains of Wicklow. We saw so many beautiful sights, including Guinness Lake, and the old Cathedral in Glendalough. We also drove past the fields where the movie “Braveheart” was filmed, and one of our stops was at the bridge where “P.S. I Love You” was filmed! All the views were absolutely breathtaking, it was so nice to see both the city and the countryside of Ireland.

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    Guinness Lake!

    Next stop, Amsterdam! We were welcomed by some local rain, but that didn’t stop me from walking around the city center with all my luggage! Later that day we checked into our Airbnb in Utrecht, which is about a 45 minute train ride from Amsterdam. The next day, Aliza and I went to Albert Cuypmarkt, which is a giant market that has all types of food stands and shops! I bought myself a freshly made Stroopwafel, which is a flat waffle with caramel in the middle and it was DELICIOUS. After walking around the beautiful canals we enjoyed more Dutch desserts. We had Poffertjes, which are Dutch mini pancakes, and are also DELICIOUS. Later that night, we went to the Anne Frank house. As expected, it was a very heavy and emotional experience, but I was very pleased with how the museum was structured. There were things I would not have learned if I had not visited this museum. For example, I was under the impression that it was only the Frank family that hid in the Annex. I had no idea that there were four other people with them. I also did not know that Otto Frank was the only one of the eight in hiding to survive, and that he was the one who discovered Anne’s diary and helped establish the museum. The Anne Frank house is such a valuable location that, especially in today’s society, everyone needs to visit.

    In a short film that played at the end of the museum, a quote that stuck out to me was; “her would-have’s are our opportunities”

    In a short film that played at the end of the museum, a quote that stuck out to me was; “her would-have’s are our opportunities”

    For our last day in Amsterdam, we visited the Van Gogh Museum, which was much bigger than I expected! There were three floors in the exhibit, and they weren’t just filled with Van Gogh’s work. It contained works of French artists that Van Gogh was inspired by, letters between Vincent and his brother Theo, works of artists that were inspired by Van Gogh, and information on Johanna Van Gogh-Bonger. If it weren’t for Jo, Vincent’s sister in law, we may not know Vincent Van Gogh’s name as well as we do now. It was her who published Vincent’s letters and organized exhibitions of his paintings after his death. If we didn’t have to rush to make our canal tour, I would have loved to look around the museum for a bit longer. I would have also visited the Moco Museum and the Rijiksmuseum, which were both in the museum district of Amsterdam.

    The canals of Amsterdam at sunset

    The canals of Amsterdam at sunset

    We had booked our canal tour through Airbnb experiences (tip: if you plan on traveling for a long period of time, download and make an account on Airbnb!), and I couldn’t have asked for a better tour. Not only did we have complimentary snacks and drinks, but our tour guide took us to the less touristy areas of the canals, so we got an authentic experience! We went past the house of the first female mayor of Amsterdam, the Old Church, and the bench where “The Fault in Our Stars” was filmed! There are so many tours going through the canals, so it was nice to be on quiet waters and take in all the sights.

    This houseboat is called “The Kim Kardashian”, not just for its shape, it’s on the market for $1.4 million!

    When I come home from traveling, my favorite thing to do is sleep in my own bed. Coming back to Arezzo and collapsing onto my bed after a week of traveling was the first time the villa truly felt like home. I’m so happy to be back in our beautiful villa with so many wonderful pictures and stories to share with my friends. Exploring these two beautiful places was just what I needed to relax before we start diving into the creative process of classes, which I’m very excited about! One last bit of advice for anyone who plans on traveling: it’s okay to not have an itinerary!

    Sarah Louise McInnis, Coastal Carolina University

    Semester Physical Theatre Program

    Over fall break I had the opportunity to visit my host family from my exchange year, 2016-2017, in Belgium. This week was very fulfilling emotionally and mentally for me. It was a week where I got to make Belgian waffles with my host mom, visit my favorite professors from my school in a small town called Huy, see old friends and family, speak French, go to a cover band concert (my host dad and I used to do this when I was an exchange student), and rest with people that are family to me. Being in Belgium for the week was a week away from English, away from tourists, and a week with people who taught me so much. It made my heart feel more full than it had felt in a while. I think that it gave me that little extra push to feel even more excited about my artistic growth here at the Accademia. Here is a picture from my first beer of the week with my Dad (Jean-Luc), Sister (Mathilde), and Brother (Martin). The picture may be a little blurry, but I hope you can feel the love through your screen.

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    Jala Bennett, Coastal Carolina University

    Semester Physical Theatre Program

    As we near the halfway point of the semester, I just want to take a second to talk about how crazy this has been. Coming in, I was terrified. I’d never been out of the country and I didn’t really know most of the people who were going to be in the program, but from the moment I stepped foot onto the villa steps, everything seemed to click in place. There was some unspoken connection and friendships came with ease. Now, don’t get me wrong, being here has also been a struggle, the culture shock is an uphill battle sometimes and the work we do in class is often intense and very eye opening. I know I feel like I’m meeting myself for the first time every day, but the memories I’ve created here with my cohort will be some I will never forget. And I have the pics to prove it happened!

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    Andre Thomas, Connecticut College

    Semester Physical Theatre Program

    Last week, I spent fall break with my family who came to explore Italy and learn more about my life here at ADA. It’s a sort of strange feeling having break here because I normally associate break with going home and spending time with family and friends. Instead, home came to me– and I still got to spend time with family and a friend from home who’s also studying abroad in Italy. 

    Also, since being at ADA, I’ve felt like I’ve been on break. This place has been a break from many things– my own school and the responsibilities I have there, American culture, food I’m used to, academic pressure and overthinking about what my post-grad plans are. So suffice it to say, fall break was amazing. It was somewhat restorative from the rigor of our program here but also even more of a luxury than breaks back home are. Coming back has been great and it makes me ready to finish up the last half of this semester!

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    My family and I in Vatican City

    A view from a small bridge in Siena



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