Reflections from Italy

“This trip was my very first trip out of the country.  What really made me sign up was the fact that I would be traveling with classmates and my own professors, whom I feel safe and comfortable with; I believed that having this sense of comfort and security would allow me to stress less and have the opportunity to see so much more than I would be able to if I took this adventure on my own. This was the first time GCU used the CAPA Global Education network, and I believe if it was not for the kind, adventurous, dedicated, and caring representatives that helped us travel, eat, translate, and explore, this trip would not have been the same.  The entire trip, we knew we could depend on the women that traveled with us to get us to our destinations safely and promptly, in addition to finding the best places to eat for our price range, and choose the best museums, churches, and excursions.  Yes, I took over 2,000 photos on this 11-day excursion, but I took photos without even looking most of the time, so that I could take everything in in person, then look back fondly when I got home.  The things only my memory can hold include the richness of the food, like fresh cheese and seafood, the thrill of traveling on standing buses, the view from the highest buildings in the city, the view of the magnificent structures while looking from the ground up, the feeling of being somewhere so different and so awe-inspiring, a feeling I will never forget.”

Kassy Kasternakis ’18

The Eternal Search for Gelato Continues

One of the biggest rules that we have on this trip is that it is mandatory that we find at least one gelateria to stop at a day.  (Trust me it’s worth it)

That being the case, we started our next day in Italy by heading to the Vatican City!  We spent the morning exploring the Vatican, it’s museums and catacombs, and St. Peter’s Basilica.  After seeing works like the Sistene Chapel and Pieta, we headed back to the Colosseum to do an interior tour!

Being our last night in Rome, members of the group spent the night going back to the top of the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain to make their final wish, and found more gelato (for some of them that was their third gelato of the day… but when in Rome!)

The next day we packed off our stuff and headed to Florence!  See you there!


*more pictures to come!

Living the Dream!


We have made it to the eternal city!

We landed on Saturday afternoon after nearly 24 hours of travelling.  We met up with two of our tour guides from CAPA, Laura and Valentina, and they took us on a quick tour of the city. After a bus ride we arrived at a small trattoria where we had classic Italian antipasta and pasta!

Today we woke up early for a morning walking tour of Ancient and Historic Rome with our amazing tour guide Rita!  We visited the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, learned the history surrounding the Pantheon, Colosseum and the Forum.  After we ate lunch together near the Colosseum, we felt as if the best way to celebrate being in this amazing city and country was to find some Gelato! We have also made it our personal mission to have gelato as much as possible, and even twice a day if necessary.

After the guided tour with Rita, we were not ready to head back, so Valentina guided us on another tour.  We found and explored churches and the historic Jewish Ghettos.  We were reminded just how breathtaking and humbling some of the sites of Italy are; being in a country that has existed for thousands of years and has managed to maintain some of the most beautiful artworks and buildings known to man is beyond words.

With some free time in the afternoon, we spent it finding cafés to enjoy coffee and hot chocolate, exploring Piazza Navona, buying souvenirs, and finding places to have dinner… there may have been more gelato discovered,

Tomorrow we plan on heading to the Vatican early in the morning, followed by a tour of the Colosseum.

Until tomorrow, Buona Sera, Ciao!

T-Minus 3 Weeks!

We’re almost there!  In less than a month seven GCU students and two faculty members will be heading to Italy!  Here’s a look at our amazing schedule!

May 2: Depart the US

May 3: Arrive in Rome and tour the Pantheon!

May 4: Touring the Colosseum and Ancient Rome

May 5:  Vatican Museum and St. Peter’s Basilica

May 6: Traveling to Florence!  Site visit to the Duomo and beginning our research!

May 7: Tour of the Uffizi Gallery; guest lecturer on Italian immigration

May 8: Meeting with Italian students; Visit to Accademia

May 9: Travel day to Venice; Tour of St. Mark’s Basilica and Palazzo Ducale

May 10: Walking Tour of Venice

May 11: Heading home to the United States