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A Taste of Italy

James Sardella ‘15, Staff Writer

The Pellegrinaggio trip is a short-term study abroad program, led by Father Jim, offered through Merrimack after the Spring Semester. It is a ten-day trip that consists of about thirty members which consists of students, staff, and faculty. To find out more about the trip, Resident Advisor and fellow student Michael Britton was asked about his experiences from when he went on the trip last year.

When asked about if there were any pre-requisites to be able to go on the trip Michael mentioned that there are meetings once a month on Sundays and they tend to last about two and a half to three hours. The meetings begin in September and end in March and the group leaves for Italy during Spring Break. The program also satisfies the second institutional requirement in religious and theological studies and counts as a credited course for the semester.

After being asked what the key purpose of the program was, Michael replied, “The purpose is to follow Saint Augustine’s footsteps through Italy. We started in Cassago Brianza and stayed for 2 days, then took a trip to Milan, went to Palm Sunday in Pavia, stayed in San Gimignano for 3 days and finished with spending 5 days in Rome.”

Michael was asked about what some of the most memorable sights were during the trip. His response was, “We saw the place of Saint Augustine’s baptism. It was in a basement underneath Il Duomo. We also got to take a tour of the old ruins under Saint Peter’s Basilica.”

To finish up the conversation, Michael was asked what benefit(s) did he receive from being a part of this trip. Michael said, “The basis of this trip is that it is a reflection trip. One of the things Father Jim asked us to do was to think about ourselves and reflect on our own lives while we were traveling to all these different places. Following in Saint Augustine’s footsteps and hearing Father Jim tell all these different stories was an absolute eye opening experience. The whole experience gave me a better understanding of where the morals of our school come from and I learned a lot about what we as a community have to offer and how that relates to Merrimack.”

If you are interested in receiving more information about the Pellegrinaggio trip then feel free to stop by the Office of International Programs and speak to one of the two study abroad advisors, Kathy Vaillancourt and Jessica Walsh.

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