Aug. 23, 2008
Welcome to "Buon Giorno!" a daily diary of the Loyola women's basketball team's trip to Italy. Check back to loyolagreyhounds.com for daily photo galleries and updates on the trip.
Day Three - Photo Gallery
Day Two - Photo Gallery
Day Two Update
Day One Update
Day One - Photo Gallery
VENICE, Italy - The third day of the Loyola women's basketball team's stay in Italy dawned, and it was time to leave Erba and the Como region. The team ate breakfast at the hotel and took a 2-1/2 hour bus ride to Verona.
A bustling city in northern Italy, Verona is best known for its coliseum, second only in size to the more famous arena in Rome, and for being the home to Romeo and Juliet.
Entering the city from the Italian version of an interstate took the team through very modern sections of the area. However, after getting off the bus and walking a block, the Greyhounds entered into a world of high culture and history.
Through the gates of the city sit a pedestrian mecca where few cars and buses are allowed, giving people virtual freedom to roam the streets and sidewalks. Cafes line the area near the entrance, and the coliseum is within steps of the ancient gate.
Once home to the famed gladiator fights and other civic events, the coliseum now hosts opera events and plays for the Verona crowd.
Past the coliseum area, the street opens into a marble-lined shopping area that offers only the finest in stores. It may seem somewhat strange to the team, staff an families on the tour, but Prada, Louis Vuitton and the like are normal in Italian cities. The street, on which no cars are allowed, is made of pure marble that was installed centuries ago.
When this line of shops dead ends, members of the tour were able to turn right onto Via Cappuleto, home of Juliet. Throngs of people the flock to the home of Juliet where they can take pictures of the famed balcony where she proclaimed, "Romeo, oh, Romeo. Where for art thy Romeo?"
With plenty of free time in the city, the group enjoyed walking around the shops and picturesque rows of streets.
Some players and families ate at street-side cafes, and others found stands with panini sandwiches. Better than anything you can buy in America, the sandwiches were made with fresh foccacia bread, vegetables, mozzarella and meat.
The Greyhounds had extra time to walk around after lunch, to see more sights or to spoon up some gelato.
After leaving Verona, the team boarded its tour bus and drove to Padova and checked into its hotel, the Hotel Plaza. With more great European accommodations, the team got some rest before getting back on the bus at 4:30 p.m., local time to head to its second game of the trip.
A 45-minute drive took them to the ferry terminal outside Venice. A 20-minute boat ride then dropped them off outside St. Mark's Square on the "Floating City."
Although the team only had to walk a few blocks to the gymnasium, it was evident that tomorrow's tour of Venice will be a highlight.
On the court, the team faced Pool Venzia, a local club team. The Greyhounds rebounded from a tough first game last night against the Swiss National Team, defeating Venzia, 88-57.
Devon Carey and Siobhan Prior led Loyola with 15 points each. Both players connected on three 3-pointers, Prior hitting them on successive possessions in the third quarter, and Carey hitting two on back-to-back possessions in the fourth.
Meredith Tolley had eight points and a team-leading nine rebounds, while Melissa Bangay scored nine and had seven boards. Prior led the team with four assists, and Candice Walker and Grant each had six steals.
"The two games have been a great experience so far," Head Coach Joe Logan said. "After playing a national team last night, we had a better game this evening and it was a good opportunity."
Tomorrow brings a return trip to Venice, then the team continues on to San Marino.
Be sure to check back for more details of the tour. Ciao!