June 6, 2010
Thursday - June 3 - departed coliseum at 7 a.m. for our 12:20 p.m. flight - spent the day in Atlanta and JFK airport.
Friday - June 4 - Seven-hour layover in Madrid. Speed walking competition, Games- Mafia, King of the Universe. Waited at the airport, but only six of our bags made it through the trip. Got to Rome hotel at 11:30 p.m. Hotel Villafranca - Best Western.
Saturday - June 5 - Rome - Had a wonderful Italian breakfast in the hotel to prepare us for the day. Next, we had a guided tour through the Vatican Museums (viewing the Sistine Chapel, St. Peters Catherdral, St. Peters Square). Lunch after that (of course we had to try the local pizza). Stopped by the airport to pick up 13 of our missed bags. The last four bags were still in route to the airport.
We traveled about an hour outside of the city for our match verses ASP Civitavecchia. We played against a young very determined Italian team. Auburn won the match in three sets, with a very close second set, 27-25. Afterwards, the teams exchanged jerseys and took group photos. I believe some of them will keep in touch via Facebook!
Once we got back to Rome we went to a delicious Italian dinner at Ristorante- Pizzeria. The service was great and we finished off the meal with a variety of their home-made desserts. That was the ideal way to conclude our evening!
Sunday - June 6 - Rome - Had another amazing breakfast in the hotel and then went site-seeing around Rome. Took a 30 minute walk to the Coliseum. Beautiful area with lots of ruins. Very picturesque! After that we walked to a church.
Next, we took the metro to the Spanish Steps and Fountain. The team definitely took advantage of the great shopping in this area. Two scarves for 10 Euros was the most popular purchase.
Traveled back to the hotel, via the Metro. Quick lunch. Departed for the match vs. Italian Junior National Team at 1 p.m. Warm-up and then a 3 p.m. match. Very talented and intimidating team. The Auburn Tigers rose to the occasion and played tough, winning set four! Scores 23-25, 17-25, 14-25, 25-23, 12-15.