The week we got back from spring break, some students from Arcadia University were at MCAS for a study abroad preview. I guess Arcadia University allows freshmen and transfer students to travel to one of their abroad schools for spring break for roughly $600 (a steal considering airfare, hotel, and food is all included). About 24 decided to preview Sicily. Most of the week was devoted to making them comfortable/enjoy their trip. One evening we made “poor pasta” which is essentially flour and water. However poor it may be, it was rather delicious tasting! Another main event with the previewers was a wine tasting trip. During this trip, we also explored the southern most part of Europe. The real purpose of this trip, of course, was the wine tasting. We sampled four different flavors of wine: a white wine, a red wine (rosso), and two dark red wines (Nero d’Avola and Syrah).
The previewers left early Saturday morning. I used my free time to look for the crashed cargo ship off of Syracusa. Lo and behold, I found it!
On Sunday, a few of us (Nate, Evan, a local named Emaneule, and I) went to a few beaches in Noto. While driving to the beach, we were able to see an ash plume from Etna. We also went into the town and explored the area for a bit finding a pizzeria for lunch and enjoying the architecture of some churches.
Ash Plume from Etna
The rest of the week was devoted mainly to classes and getting ready for my weekend in Florence! On Monday, my Mediterranean Ecosystems course and Volcanology course had a field trip to Vendicari. Here, we walked along the nature reserve and talked about the landscape of the location. The funniest thing happened when 4 dogs followed us the whole way.