SMU-in-Italy: Archaeology, Summer 2015
Art History major and Archaeology and French minors
Graduating Spring 2017
“Sitting down to think about this makes me so nostalgic; this trip was in all my favorite moment of my life thus far and the best experience I had while studying at SMU. However, if I must narrow it down, I think that my favorite moment was while on the Island of Elba. To get to our camp site on Elba–this was the first and only camping trip I will ever take in my life–from Vicchio we needed to take 3 trains, a bus, a ferry and finally a taxi. Every single adult on the trip with us doubted that we would make all our trains, buses and other modes of transportation and everything was planned to the minute so if one was late we were done for. However, as we got on that ferry to the island from the mainland at 11 pm we realized that we had done it, even if there was no taxi to pick us up, we, our group of 10 misfits, made it to our weekend island paradise. This weekend on Elba was unreal and as much as I would love to be able to say that we spent the whole weekend hiking up the cliffs that overlook the beautiful sea, I am happy to say that we spent the whole weekend on the beach just lounging in the sun. Just being with the people I was with, on an island that I never thought I would visit, camping–something that I never thought I would do, was the magical part of this experience. This trip taught me that there is beauty in spontaneity and in pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. Lastly, this trip with these people was just the beginning of my experience and really the start of my life because from this moment on I felt like I really started to live.”
– Marisa Infante
Marisa is our 2016-17 Senior Peer adviser, and she spent Summer 2015 in Vicchio, Italy taking Archaeological Field School.
These are some of her favorite moments from her time abroad:
- Elba: “I studied abroad in a tiny little town and where we stayed was isolated from the main town because it was closer to the excavation site. However, while I was in Italy I visited a bunch of different towns, and I must say that the number one place that people absolutely must go to is Elba. It’s a tiny island off the coast of Italy and where Napoleon was exiled to. It is absolutely beautiful and although it was where I spent my first weekend of the program, it was the best weekend of my program and quite possibly of my life.”
- Train: “In my specific city, we did not really get to hang out at many different locations except for the Train “Restaurant” which we lovingly called “Train Bar”. This was my favorite spot because all of the older men of the city hung out here and we got to talk to them and learn all about their lives in the Italian Countryside, which is not too shabby of a place to grow old in.”
- Florence: “Also, if you are in Florence you have to check out the Archaeology Museum because that is where the artifact that we found will be housed. Look for the Stele di Mugello from Poggio Colla Archaeological Site. This stele is dedicated to the goddess Uni, and it is inscribed with one of the longest inscriptions of Etruscan Text ever found!!
- Rome: “My favorite place to visit is the Roman Forum. There is something so extremely magical about walking down the Sacer Via, the road that all triumphal processions ran down in order to go under the triumphal arches and be around the triumphs of the city. The Sacer Via starts at the Arch of Titus, my personal favorite, and continues all the way around the forum. There are many forums in Rome because the Emperors never wanted to feel left out, but the Roman Forum is the main one.”
During her free time, Marisa was also able to travel to Milan, Pisa, Naples, and Pompeii.
Marisa says that while you’re abroad you need to make sure to find a balance between studying and having fun, make sure you trust yourself, you are right where you are supposed to be and you are stronger than you realize, and dare to do it. Step outside your comfort zone and do something that makes your heart race just a little bit faster and gives you the good kind of butterflies!
Check out our website if you want to learn about SMU’s study abroad trips in Italy along with over 150 other options.