First and second-year students of the Masters programme in Intercultural Business Communication (IBC), the Euro-Mediterranean University´s (EMUNI) flagship degree, spent an adventurous two days on a field trip in the region of Veneto in Italy during May.

Students were present at the University for their second face-to-face teaching period of the blended learning programme, when they were accompanied by the Student Affairs Coordinator, Alenka Breznik, Professor of Italian Language and Culture at EMUNI, Prof. Dr. Nives Zudič Antonič, and EMUNI Intern, Antonio Montiel, to explore two great cities in northeast Italy, Padova and Venice.

Departing from Trieste on 18 May, the group headed for the historical university city of Padova. Professor Elisabetta Pavan, who also teaches Italian Language and Culture at EMUNI, welcomed the students at her home institution, the University of Padova, before the group was introduced to the Rector of the University. Students from the host University gave a presentation of the Goliardia tradition (below), a type of Italian university student association, similar to the fraternities and sororities of the USA. Later, a student arrived in the University canteen, dressed in the traditional costume of Goliardia (below).

The EMUNI group were given a tour of the University of Padova, where they first saw the old courtyard (below) and its impressive architecture, surrounded by columns on two floors with many decorative elements. The students also had the opportunity to wander into the Great Hall where Galileo Galilei taught, with its impressive ceiling fresco and ornate walls. The tour continued with a visit to the breathtaking anatomical theatre, made of wood (below left), and the Hall of Medicine before seeing the statue of Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia (1646–1684) below right, who was the first woman in the world to receive a university degree.

After, the IBC guests took to the streets of Padova to explore and discover the city, its sights and sounds, the architecture, the locals and of course, historic points of interest, including the famous Caffe Pedrocchi (below right), founded in the 18th Century and a reference point for Padovans.

As well as strolling through Piazza delle Erbe (above left) and Piazza dei Signori in the historic centre of the city, the students had the opportunity to visit the 10th Century Basilica Church of Santa Giustina, martyred in Padova in the year 304 (below left). First-year student Ioannis: “We admired the architectural edifice, the interior domes and the chapels. The space seemed so empty yet so full at the same time…” The students then moved onto the 12th Century Basilica of St. Anthony of Padova, or the famous “il Santo” for the locals (below). An impressive building, Ioannis recounted the interior of the temple as being very rich, filled with works of art, frescoes and sculptures. The IBC guests rounded off their day by going to the Botanical Garden, which belongs to the University of Padua and is the oldest academic botanical garden in the world, marked by its biodiversity (below right).

And of course, in the evening there is always time to eat pizza!

On 20 May, the EMUNI group started their return journey to Piran, but not before stopping to spend the day in ´La Serenissima´, otherwise knows as Venice.  Prof. Zudič Antonič led the party through the alleys of Venice, pointing out the traditional way of life of Venetians, the traditional cafes, restaurants and patisseries, as well as their habits. After viewing the 12th Century Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, the group walked by the canals of Venice with its infamous gondolas, crossing picturesque bridges before arriving at the University of Ca´ Foscari. The tour continues with stops at a face mask workshop, the local markets and the Leonardo da Vinci museum. The group crossed the well known Rialto Bridge before arriving at Piazza San Marco, where they admired the Bell Tower, the Palazzo Ducale and the Ponte dei Sospiri or ´Bridge of Sighs.´

By the end of Saturday 20 May, the students were back in Piran. First-year student Elza: “Thank you EMUNI for three wonderful days in the good company of students, professors and sunny Alenka. And special respect to Professor Zudič Antonič for the Italian ´aftertaste´ in Piran. The tiramisu was the best I have ever had!”