Sunday, September 1

CAMOGLI, Liguria - We’ve grown accustomed to our tour guide Giosi telling us a location we are going will be beautiful. Everyday she tells us ‘this place will be one of the most beautiful you will see in all of Italy.’ So far she hasn’t lied.

Sunday may be hard to top, though. Giosi also may have undersold this place.

After a late-night arrival back in Como following Saturday’s game, the group made a quick turnaround for an early-morning departure for Rapallo. The two-hour bus ride seemed longer than most by the trip’s standards, given the heat inside from the rays beating down as we made our way through the countryside towards the Mediterranean.

Upon arrival, the group walked roughly four city blocks as the bus was not allowed any closer to the water. We maneuvered the streets lined with Vespas and other motorized bikes and Smart Cars.

With the sea stretched out in front of the group, the next step in one of the most amazing days so far was a private boat tour of the harbor and a trip around the point of Portofino to Camogli.

On our way, the boat’s captain guided us into an inlet where many boats were anchored as their passengers were snorkeling and scuba diving in the sky-blue waters. The furthest point into the inlet featured an amazing old monastery called San Fruttuoso. The old building now belongs to the state as a preserved landmark and sits just back of the water and behind a crowded beach of swimmers and sunbathers.

Once in Camogli, the group split to go their separate ways. Many of the parents and staff members went to get lunch in one of the numerous restaurants that lined the beautiful walkway overlooking the beaches. The players chose to eat quickly and make their way down to the beach for three hours of swimming in the Mediterranean Sea.

The town seemed to jut out of the water with multicolored buildings dotting the sides of the hills and creating a spectacular scene as the boat approached its docking point in the early afternoon. Below the homes stretched out several beaches littered with towels, umbrellas and tables for locals and tourists alike.

In the late afternoon, the group reconvened and climbed the streets and staircases between buildings to the bus that had met us in Camogli. Leaving behind the beauty of the sea, the five-hour trip to Bassano del Grappa in the heart of vineyard country was the next leg of the trip.

Arriving at roughly 10:30 p.m. at the Hotel Belvedere, located along the city’s ancient walls, the team retreated to their rooms to escape the rain and prepare for another day of sightseeing on Monday.

If there is one place that is advertised as being able to match the beauty of Camogli, it is Venice, the location of Monday’s trek.

Abbazia di San Fruttuoso located in a small inlet along the coastline.

Abbazia di San Fruttuoso located in a small inlet along the coastline.
Looking back on the water as we get ready to board the bus.