Union Field Hockey travels to Italy – Daily Blog


The Union College field hockey team is starting their pre-season a little early with a team trip to Italy! Come back here every day as the team members give us a taste of the sights, sounds and foods of the country – while playing field hockey too! Also, head to the Union Field Hockey Instagram Account for more posts and stories from the team’s daily adventures!

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Photo gallery

Day 5 – August 15, 2022

Ciao! I am Grace Godardrising sophomore, and I am writing to you from our spacious hotel room in Milan.

Today we started our morning well with breakfast at the hotel where we stayed the night before in Florence. This breakfast was quick fuel for the long day of travel we had ahead of us. At 10am we took the bus and started our journey to Pisa. We stopped along the way at the Florence American Cemetery and Memorial for fallen soldiers who fought for the United States in WWII. This site was particularly beautiful, with all the white headstones pointing in the direction of the United States. We walked around the headstones thanking each soldier for their duty. After that we hopped on our bus and started heading towards Pisa.

Panoramic walkGetting off the bus, we took a brisk stroll through Pisa Square, where we could see the beautiful tower leaning aggressively to the right. After some iconic photos of standing next to the tower with our hands pretending to push it, we headed out for lunch on our own. I ended up eating at this local restaurant near the square and had pesto gnocchi. After lunch, we continued shopping for trinkets to bring home to our family, then we headed to the bus together and headed to the next destination: Milan.

After the long four-hour bus ride, we arrived at our hotel in Milan and immediately put our bags down for dinner at a local restaurant. We ended up having two very traditional Italian dishes, Capicola and fried Mediterranean fish. We ended our night with full stomachs and excited anticipation for tomorrow!

Day 4 – August 14, 2022

Lunch in ItalyHi UCFH friends and family! My name is Isabelle Lubin and I am a rising senior. Today was the fourth day of our eight day trip through Italy and we traveled to Florence from Rome.

We started our morning at 7:30am with a team heading out to a scenic park. Along the way we could see typical Italian apartments, locals walking their dogs and pretty open fields. Afterwards, we enjoyed a final breakfast and a round of cappuccinos at our hotel, then said goodbye to the hotel cat who we lovingly decided to name “TT”. We packed our bags, said “ciao” to Rome, and met our tour guide, Stefano, to begin the trip to Florence.

FlorenceAlong the way, we saw beautiful farmland with grazing animals, visited a rest area with unique Italian snacks, and planned where we wanted to visit Florence in our free time. Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia was our first stop once we arrived in Florence. Then we decided to do some jewelry shopping at Ponte Vecchio and “Gold Corner”, which is a collection of small gold workshops. For lunch we found a sandwich shop called “I Fratellini” which was established in 1875.

After lunch, we met for a walking tour of some of the most famous places in the historic center. We saw Il Duomo, St. Giovanni Basilica, St. Maria di Fiore and many other beautiful buildings in different architectural styles that once housed aristocratic families. These buildings have since been transformed into designer boutiques, including the very first Gucci store built in 1921!

We ended our tour of Florence with an ice cream from Venchi and hopped on the bus back to our hotel in Montecatini. For dinner we had delicious antipasti and pizzas at a restaurant near our hotel to end a great day!

Day 3 – August 13, 2022
Cacio and PepeHi guys! My name is Ella Brinkley and I’m a rising junior! Today was our last day in Rome and such a great way to end our visit!

We left our hotel at 11am and headed to downtown Rome, where we had a few hours of free time to explore the city on our own. We arrived in town and stopped at a cafe for a little pick-me-up for the day ahead! Afterwards, a group of 10 of us took a trip to a famous restaurant we found on Tik Tok called “Osteria Da Fortunata”. Sophie, Haley and I shared a burrata as an appetizer and I had cacio e pepe for my lunch and it was actually the best pasta I have ever had. The hospitality in the restaurant was great and there were 2 Italian women at the windows making pasta which was so cute. Highly recommend if you ever find yourself in Rome.

Saint Peter's basilicaAfter that, we headed to Vatican City. First, we visited St. Peter’s Basilica, which left us all speechless; the detail of the architecture was absolutely stunning. Then we had our Vatican Museums tour, which ended with the Sistine Chapel. The Sistine Chapel was so interesting to check out and in one of the paintings on the ceiling there was a person wearing a white robe with a red U on it which we thought was funny. We ended our day with dinner at Taverna da Lino with our whole group!

We had a great time in Rome and are excited to travel to Florence tomorrow!

Day 2 – August 12, 2022

Union FH at the ColiseumHey Union field hockey fans! My name is Grace Krebs, a junior rising in the team. Today was a busy day in Rome.

We started the day by waking up at 8:00 am for breakfast at the Urban Garden Hotel. I think I speak for everyone on the team when I say the jet lag happened around that time! But we enjoyed the authentic pastries and morning coffee nonetheless. After breakfast, we drove to downtown Rome. There we met Rosanna, our tour guide for the afternoon. Our first stop was the Colosseum. As we walked through the remains of the stadium, Rosanna explained the rich history hidden within the walls of the old building. We stood at the exact spot where the gladiators entered the arena to fight. Although entertainment has changed dramatically in modern times, there are many similarities between the ride and fitness of a modern day gladiator and athlete. After the Colosseum, we explored the Roman Forum, filled with ancient Roman architecture and baths. Rosanna shared that during the reign of the Roman Empire, the Emperor lived in an estate that was twice the size of Vatican City!

BurrataOnce we said goodbye to Rosanna, we went to lunch downtown where we were served fresh burrata, veal topped with prosciutto and a moist chocolate cake for dessert.

After finishing lunch, we had about two and a half hours to walk around Rome and really get a taste of the city. We went to the Pantheon, a current Catholic church where many important Italian personalities are buried. Additionally, we saw the Piazza di Spagna, or in English, the Spanish Steps. At the foot of this three-story staircase is the Barcaccia, a fountain that sprays drinking water – and in 90 degree weather, we took advantage of it! Finally, before our last meeting, we stopped at the Trevi Fountain, where we participated in a popular tradition of the city by throwing coins into the fountain to wish us back to Rome.

Union FH Post-matchOnce it was time to leave the city center we took our bus and headed to the Tevere Eur Hockey Club stadium. We took our game day traditions overseas and, of course, we had our pre-game party in the locker room. Once we were ready for the opening whistle, it was game time. It was an amazing opportunity to play against the Italian players. Luckily for me, I studied Italian for six years and am quite fluent in the language. So I was able to establish a special connection with the locals and put into practice what I have learned over the years. This trip is also very sentimental for me as my family is very passionate about our Italian heritage and Italy is a place I have hoped to travel to all my life. Finally this dream is coming true!

Day 1 – August 11, 2022

Union field hockey at the airportCiao from Italy! Coach’s Assistant Alicia Aragosa here ready to tell you all about our first day of travel, our field hockey clinic, and to prepare you for what awaits you. As I write this, we are returning to the hotel after our field hockey clinic, getting ready for our first Italian dinner!

The girls arrived in Newark on August 10 for our day trip. We had smooth journeys through Lisbon and caught our connecting flight to Rome. Our tour guide Stefano greeted us on arrival where our coach and bus driver Evan was waiting for us. We headed to our hotel, just outside the heart of Rome, to rest and recuperate before our first field hockey clinic. We visited a local pizzeria and market to stock up on food and the girls rested to play. While the girls rested, the coaches took a walk to a nearby park to see what the area had to offer.

We were then transferred to the field hockey club – Tevere Eur Hockey Club – the place where local Italian field hockey players train and compete. On arrival we were greeted by the president of the field hockey club, Madelon and our coach for the evening, Luca. The clinic was fast and fun. Thank you Tevere Eur Hockey Club!

Union Field Hockey ClinicTonight we will enjoy our first of many Italian dinners and look forward to what lies ahead. On this trip we will travel from Rome to Florence, from Pisa to Milan and end our journey at Lake Como and Bellagio. Tomorrow we will take a walking tour of the ancient ruins in downtown Rome and participate in our field hockey game against local players from the Italian hockey club Tevere Eur.

Follow tomorrow as players will take over from here! Ciao for now!

Gallery: (8-11-2022) Field Hockey Union in Italy

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