Today was a very exciting day as we immersed ourselves in Italian culture and became pizza chefs for the first half of the day. We arrived at an Italian restaurant around 9:30AM after waking up early and getting some fitness in. We were greeted by one of the chefs at the restaurant who first showed us how the dough for pizza was made – flour, water, lots of olive oil, salt, and yeast. After letting the dough mix in the special pizza mixer, we went in groups and rolled our dough into balls that needed to sit before we spread them out to make the crust. Once the dough was ready we went by grade (seniors went first with our first use of the “seniority card” of the year) behind the counter and spread the dough out and proceeded to add the red sauce, cheese, and many other ingredients of our choice including pepperoni, onions, peppers, zucchini, eggplant, anchovies, mushrooms, and many others. We put the pizzas in the brick oven and surprisingly only had to wait a minute or two before our very own pizzas were finished. We then spent about an hour hanging out and eating our delicious pizzas until it was time to thank the chef, get on the bus, and head to Lake Como.
We spent the day roaming around the town and some of us even took a cable car trip up to a little town overlooking the lake called Brunate and were able to see amazing views. Some other groups explored the area directly around the lake and others explored the shops and outdoor market. Stopping for gelato was an absolute must and when my group went to get some we obviously ran into another group doing the exact same thing. Lake Como was absolutely beautiful and everyone had a great and relaxing afternoon.
After a few hours in Como, we got on the bus to head back to our hotel for a quick dinner before we left for our second and last friendly game of the trip. We exchanged gifts with Real Meda before the game and were underway by 7:10PM. We only had a center ref for the game so our very own Kristin Hasselgren ’15 and Lexi Williams ’16 acted as sideline refs and did a great job (although Kristin did call offsides on her own team but I guess we will forgive her). With about ten minutes before the end of the first half, a great ball played by Dom Caggiano ’15 reached the foot of Larisa Antonisse ’15 for the first and only goal of the match. Larisa has been battling with an ankle injury so it was great to see her not only back out on the field for us but to also see her get one in the back of the net.
The timing and execution that we were missing in the first game definitely showed up in this one. We were able to string together great passing sequences and did a better job of making the runs we needed to make. Due to lingering injuries we only had 11 active players for about 75% of the game, but everyone really stepped up and played well the whole 80 minutes (40 minute halves). We’re still not quite exactly where we want to be but we are certainly on our way.
Tomorrow is our last full day in Italy – crazy! We’ll be spending the day white-water rafting in Aosta and will spend our last dinner together at a restaurant overlooking Lake Como. Everyone is very excited although sad the trip is almost over. I will update everyone about our day tomorrow!