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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Picturesque Perugia! – Backpack Greece, The Islands & Italy

Yassos from Greece!

We’ve been busy since our last check-in with train rides, exploring Italy and even experiencing a jazz festival. Our adventure began with a trip member birthday-Ben. After we presented Ben with a Roman Gladiator outfit, we left the train station in Rome to head to Perugia. Julie, Daniel, Louise and Jess picked up a deck of unique Roman cards and created a new card game to help pass the time as our train whizzed past fields of sunflowers and the breathtaking Italian countryside.

Once we arrived in Perugia, we passed the main strip where small shops, cafes and vendors line the small Italian town. We discovered that the Umbria Jazz Festival was in town and scoped out the best stage to catch a bit of the performance. Our hotel, Hotel Fortuna, was on a street that dated back to the Medieval age. Our trip members spent the afternoon exploring the city. After taking in the skyline of Perugia from our hotel terrace, our group headed to Dal Mi’ Cocco and capped off Ben’s birthday with their own rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen.

Backpack Greece, The Islands & Italy in Perugia

Our first full day was sweet in more ways than one due to our chocolate factory tour at the Perugina Chocolate Factory. It was a tasty experience to say the least. We got to sample the classic Italian sweets that are the pride of Perugia. Trip members picked up chocolate bars in the small shop to satisfy their sweet tooth the rest of the trip. After our tour, we headed to Tavernelle Park for some pool time. Daniel, Josh, Ben, Jamie and Jason showed us their best dives while the group took turns sliding down the water slides at the park. After dinner that evening, we played a few rounds of the team game “Categories” where our trip members allowed their musical knowledge to shine.

BP Greece, The Islands & Italy in Cooking Class

Our last full day in Perugia started with an Italian cooking class. We all had a chance to help prepare lunch which included homemade pasta, tiramisu and two types of pizzas from scratch. Halle, Louise, Julia and Emily handled the pasta machines like real pros! After our home cooked meal, we all took a dip in the pool and cooled off. That afternoon, we challenged the trip members to a game of Trade-Up. Each group was given a pen, and encouraged to see if they could find items to trade it for. Josh’s group returned with a beautiful fan from Barcelona, Lauren’s group wound up with a very cool wooden bracelet and the winning group came up with a pair of sunglasses. They all had a blast trying to speak Italian and explain the game to the local vendors. Afterwards, we headed out for group dinner to enjoy our last Italian meal of pizzas, pastas and gelatos. We strolled to the center stage of the jazz festival and heard the Berkeley School of Music put on renditions of “Georgia” and other jazz style favorites. It was the perfect end to our time in Italy.

We woke up to head to Ancona the following morning to catch our overnight ferry to Greece. We are all looking forward to Greek cuisine, sandy beaches and beautiful sunsets. Yassos!

The Westcoast Blogger

Do you want to join us on this adventure? Check out our Greece trips for students that includes visiting the Acropolis, Santorini & more.