WRITTEN BY LIZZIE STEPHENS
Ciao linci! Greetings from Pordenone, Italy! The team is currently on the Italia Rail traveling from Pordenone to Venice for the day. Yesterday, we spent time in Vera Giacomazzi's hometown, San Vendemiano. When we arrived, we were greeted by Vera's mom, dad, sister, aunt, and two cousins. Her cousin, Elena, showed us around town and taught us about its history, including the medieval castle, the cathedral and the town square. Our team is so grateful and happy we were able to experience Vera's hometown and spend time with her family.
The town and the views it offered were beautiful and left us all in awe. We climbed up a steep hill to reach the medieval castle which also featured a small restaurant. We sat and enjoyed a refreshing coke while looking out over the Italian landscapes. After spending time at the castle, we headed back down the hill to head to lunch, hosted by the Giacomazzi family. Lunch was at the Entoecaventa winery where we indulged in a fabulous Italian buffet followed by cappuccinos and macchiatos. Personally, this was one of my favorite meals and atmospheres we have had yet. Getting to share this experience with Vera and her family in a casual setting was great.
After lunch, we headed back to Vera's hometown to meet someone very important. The bus arrived at city hall and the mayor of San Vendemiano was outside waiting for us. Our team, staff, and family unloaded the bus and headed into city hall to listen to the mayor speak. At the podium stand, Vera joined the mayor, Deane Webb, a representative of region, and representative of local volleyball club. Vera sat in between the mayor and Coach Webb to serve as a translator.
After meeting with the mayor and other representatives, the group stepped outside to surprise Vera's family with a signed jersey. The entire Ohio Volleyball program being in Vera's hometown is something she could have never dreamed of. Her two worlds collided, her Italian family and her American family all in one place. Her family went to great measures to make sure the trip was special for us and we can't thank them enough. We wanted to leave them with a small piece of Ohio when we left.
When our time was done in San Vendemiano, we headed to our match against CDA Volley Talmassons. Before the match began, Coach Webb was presented with a city flag from their mayor. At the encounter at the net, both teams exchanged T-shirt's. We played a three-game set where the Bobcats defeated CDA Volley Talmassons 2-1. We then enjoyed pizza with friends and family of both teams. After a great day in San Vendemiano and a Bobcat win, we are headed to Venice for the day! Go Bobcats!