Simon Pringle-Wallace (Theatre) describes his experience and appreciation for spring break at the Accademia dell’Arte.
“After many weeks of intensive training Spring Semester ADA students, with tired bodies and hearts full of wanderlust, set off on their 10-day-long break to conquer the continent of Europe and beyond. Far and wide students traveled to destinations ranging from Turkey to Ireland, Portugal to Pompeii, Austria to Athens and everywhere in between. Over the 10 day period our physical training was fortified with knowledge of how to survive difficult travel situations such as: how to forge ticket validation numbers, survive plague by sleeping in internet cafes and how to say “one of those please,” in seven languages. Each of the students returned, none the worse for ware and filled with stories and the excitement that only comes from adventure, from stepping into the unknown and coming out the other side knowing just a little bit more about a people and culture than when we began.
For those of you reading from afar who have not yet had the good fortune to experience the ADA, you must understand that we live on a hill. This small fact may seem insignificant and it is indeed so easy to overlook in our daily lives. Although in Italy and inescapably in the midst of the splendor of Tuscany, we are like our own country all speaking the same language. One could spend nearly all of their time at the ADA without speaking to an citizen of Arezzo (Monica Capacci excepted). As we dedicate ourselves to our training and use what free time we have to imbed ourselves in the culture around us, we also have the good fortune to have more than a week to visit other places and fully immerse ourselves with people who speak other languages and come from drastically different cultures. As we enter this second and final stage of our training and time here in Arezzo, we do so with a wider world view and an emboldened sense of our abilities as young adults and students getting ready to step off into our own lives. The gentle nudge of a break always manages to remind us that there is a greater world beyond the one that we set for ourselves, and that world is waiting for us to explore it. This is something that we can now do with a little less trepidation; after all, we survived Ryanair, didn’t we?”