On our way to Bologna the following day, we stopped in Parma. Parma is where Parma ham comes from, which is a particular type of prosciutto. We toured the factory where they make Parma ham, and we tasted the Parma ham (which was the best part). We then traveled to Bologna, which was the most modern town we visited on the trip. Bologna seemed to have a mix of both newer and older buildings. We even saw a McDonald’s, and visited the Apple store while we were there. That night, we had a great dinner. They had these fried ravioli shells that you put cheese inside, and it topped my list of favorite foods on the entire trip.
The next morning was our visit to a community pharmacy and also to meet with the students at the University of Bologna. We toured a community pharmacy that also had a pet supplies store attached to it. I thought that was really unique. This pharmacy had also preserved most of the materials used when it was an apothecary a long time ago, which I really enjoyed learning about. We then met with the pharmacy students at the University of Bologna, and did a similar style Patient-Based Learning case like we did in Perugia.
The next morning, we traveled to Modena, which is where the best balsamic vinegar is made. We tasted balsamic vinegar at Malpighi, which is one of the prominent vinegar makers in all of Italy. After buying way too much balsamic vinegar, we set off to explore Fatro, which is a veterinary pharmaceutical manufacturing company. Their manufacturing plant was so much larger than I was expecting, and we observed how they produced their various products.
We left Bologna the next morning for the last stop on our trip, Venice. We started off in the morning with a guided tour through the winding streets, and I immediately realized how easy it was to get lost here. On the guided tour, Kayla, Nicole and I saw these quarter-zips we really wanted so we were determined to find them once we had free time in Venice. We toured St. Mark’s Basilica, which had beautiful gold ceilings.
The building itself was huge and seemed to line one side of the piazza it overlooks. After the basilica tour, we decided to go on a gondola ride, because that is something you cannot miss while in Venice. Seeing the town via gondola was an experience unlike any other, and I am glad we had the opportunity to do it, even though it was raining the entire day. We then set out on a mission to find the quarter zips. We got lost quite a few times, but we ended up finding them, and of course had to take a picture of us all matching. We had our last gelato of the trip before departing back to the hotel for the farewell dinner.
That night, we stayed up all night to watch the Penguins play in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. The game started at 2 a.m. Italy time. We had to watch the game with Italian speaking broadcasters, so that was an interesting experience. Extremely exhausted the next day, we returned to Pittsburgh.
This trip was am amazing experience, and I highly recommend it to anyone who has the chance to go. It was a once in a lifetime experience, and I am looking forward to hopefully going to Italy again soon.