Good evening from Assisi! Unfortunately we have limited access to internet so I will update the blog when I can. Between the access and just pure exhaustion last night, I will catch you up now on the past 72 hours.
We left KHS at 4:30 am Saturday morning to begin this amazing adventure and it has been just that.
Arriving at the KC airport at 7:30, we got checked in, baggage checked and through security with ease. Had a bite to eat, loaded the airplane, and had a very quiet and comfortable ride to Atlanta before loading again at 3:20 for a very LONG but uneventful flight landing us in Rome at 7:40 am Sunday morning (12:40 am Springfield time). Most of us took some short naps on the plane to prepare for the days ahead.
By the time we got through passport checkpoints and baggage claim, we met our tour guide Luca and boarded the bus, off for a day of Italian adventures.
Our first stop was a small town called Orvieto. Many towns in Italy are built at the top of large hills and rocks which made it hard to attack and Orvieto is just one of these examples. To access the town, we had to leave the bus, take a 2 minute tram ride up the mountain before boarding a shuttle bus to take us to the top. We spent a couple of hours exploring this ancient city and giving an impromptu concert at the Duomo di Orvieto (Duomo - cathedral, di - of, Orvieto).
After boarding the bus again, we headed for the hotel, freshened up and headed out for dinner at Stalla di Assisi. Here in Italy they traditionally serve 3 course dinners, the first being a pasta dish, the second is your meat or fish and vegetable, followed by dessert or fruit. Last night we started with a large piece of lasagna, followed by salad, chicken, and panini sandwiches, then a dish of rich chocolate pudding for dessert. We were full. We were happy. We were exhausted!
Day one wrapped up with time at the hotel, many enjoying a beautiful panoramic view of Assisi from the hotel decks then off to bed for a good night sleep.
Day 2 started with a buffet breakfast at the hotel and back on the bus at 9. Today we have discovered the city of Siena enjoying a guided tour including the ancient Siena Cathedral which included a room of original musical manuscripts of Gregorian Chants. The architecture and paintings these cathedrals are amazing!
We spent free time in Siena for lunch, shopping, and exploring the beautiful city full of ancient architecture and stories.
Tonight concluded with dinner at the hotel where we joined 3 other choirs here for the festival including Dr. Cameron LaBarr and Missouri State as well as Ivo Antognini who is the composer of several of the pieces the choir will be performing this week. Some of the kids headed to the swimming pool after dinner while others play games or just sit and socialize.
It has been an extremely exhausting day but filled with so many stories and memories made. For those of you who have never been to Italy, it is exactly how you picture it. The ancient buildings, the narrow streets, it is all exactly like you see in pictures and movies. It is absolutely beautiful!
Tomorrow is another fun filled day and I look forward to updating the blog as soon as I can. Until then, know that all the kids (and adults) are having a wonderful time and are exhausted by day’s end. Another great group of kids to travel with from KHS!
Day 2 pictures still need to be loaded. You can catch us live on Facebook when we perform as we are able to record. Watch The Kickapoo Choir on Facebook!
Buona Notte (Good night),