Guest post by Samantha Lee, Foster Undergraduate who participated in the Foster Rome Core Abroad Program during Summer A-Term. Samantha was a Global Business Center Study Abroad Scholarship recipient.
Throughout the duration of this program, I’ve visited the beautiful cities of Venice, Florence, Milan, the Amalfi Coast, Anzio, all five towns of Cinque Terre, Pisa, and the Tuscan countryside, but my most memorable weekend trip was the 24 hours that I spent, with 11 other amazing friends, at the small town of Bellano on the eastern shore of Lake Como.
Right after our early morning classes in our Milan hotel, we took a train to Bellano Tartavalle Terme Station from the Milano Centrale Station which took a little more than an hour.
Upon arrival, after finding out that there was no bus to our Airbnb, we started to hike up monstrous hills with our heavy luggage. Even though the Airbnb was less than a mile away, it took us over an hour to walk up to the house. Although this ended up being the most difficult hike I’ve ever experienced and we were all drenched in sweat, every time we took a break and looked back at the view, we knew it was worth it.
After setting down all our luggage and cooling off, we headed back down to the main area of the town. It was around 5:00 PM and all the shops were closed and remained closed for the rest of the night. Although it was a bummer, this made the town feel more ‘authentic’ than any other city that we had visited because it was not catered to tourists. We then walked along the lake and found one of the only restaurants opened in the city. We got a table right next to the water and ordered ice cold drinks along with our meal.
Afterward, as the sun was setting, we stopped by the water and dunked our feet. We spent the evening gazing at the beautiful blue scenery and enjoying each other’s company. We were laughing with the locals and admiring the dogs swimming in the lake. I couldn’t have asked for a better and more relaxing night.
What was so amazing about this trip was that we didn’t have the need to create a tight schedule like we had to do in the other big cities. It was a lovely change of pace being able to take our time and walk around in our own relaxing pace.
Although we were here for just one night, Lake Como was so calming that I felt rejuvenated and ready to continue my travels for the rest of the program. I am so thankful that I got to spend an incredible 24 hours in the small town of Bellano with wonderful friends that I have made on this program.