Adrian College Hockey Team Wins the Swiss Challenge Cup Series and Tours Italy
This past August, the Adrian Bulldogs Hockey Team embarked on this summers much anticipated European trip. Our first stop on the trip took us to Como, Italy as the team was able to take in the sights of this lakefront town. The team set up camp in Como for what would be the next three days as they geared up for back to back games against GDC Bellinzona (Swiss League). After a brief tour of downtown Como and nearby Cernobbio, the Bulldogs were ready for action and everything Italy and Switzerland had to offer.
An early morning boat ride on Lake Como took the team as they stood in awe at all the lakeside villas. Our boat excursion took us to Bellagio, Italy where the team was able to unwind a little and go for a pre-game swim. The scenery was breathtaking and the water was even better! After a few hour visit, the team boarded back up across the Northern Italian border to Switzerland for the first of two challenge cup games in Bellinzona, Switzerland. Even with no practice time as a team, the Bulldogs were able to come away with a 6-2 win to take an early four goal lead in the series.
On the third day, the team was given the morning to tour Como and its outlying neighbors before embarking for Lugano, Switzerland. The Swiss town set on Lake Lugano offered a more American style center for the team as guys were able to grab some Burger King before heading out on a paddleboat ride. Following the stop in Lugano, the team headed back to Bellinzona for the second game of the challenge cup. The Bulldogs would pick up right where they left off, coming away with a 4-2 win for an overall 10-4 advantage and the Challenge Cup Trophy.
The team would depart Como for a day of touring the province of Genoa. The majority of the day was spent on the Ligurian Sea, which is an arm of the Mediterranean Sea. We caught our boat in Rapallo, Italy and after a brief stop in Portofino we moved on to a private beach on San Fruttosuoso. This was home to a convent currently which at one time was armed to protect the coast from extreme weather and pirates. After a chance to cool off from the 90 degree weather, we embarked for Camogli – a small Italian fishing community. Lined with beaches and a small port, the seafood was as fresh as it could come. Following dinner, the team headed to Bassano Del Grappa.
After some extensive traveling, the team was rewarded with a well-deserved off day to enjoy the small town of Bassano Del Grappa. The home to Italian moonshine Grappa, this town offered everything from shopping to made to order crepes. The Brenta River that runs through Bassano gave the team a way to cool off as most were able to go for a swim. As the sun set on this town, the town came alive with many small eateries offering live entertainment and great place to spend the evening.
Following breakfast, the team would spend a day in Venice. One of the perks to the tour of Venice was the entrance by cigar boat rather than bus. Thousands of people packed the streets of Venice this day and the guys were able to one stop shop for all their friends, families and girlfriends back home as players walked away from Venice with all sorts of gifts. San Marco Piazza stole the show from a sights point of view with the massive St Mark’s Basilica. While some toured the Basilica, others took to the Gondola’s or eateries along the Grand Canal for the day.
With the morning to rehydrate, the Bulldogs sought after new climates as the team took to the Alps and the town of Asiago. An amazing bus ride up the mountain had you holding onto your seat and wondering what was coming around each bend. The town of roughly 6,500 people is also home to an Italian Pro Team with an astonishing rink in the town center. The town is also where Asiago cheese originated as many came home with a tasting.
On the final day of the excursion, the team headed to the second largest city in Italy – Milan. The fashion capital included the oldest shopping mall in the world, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. The intricate design of the Milan Cathedral and the history behind the Sforza Castle which dates back to the 15th century was astonishing and something words can’t describe. After drive by of San Siro stadium, home to A.C. Milan and Internazionale Milano, two professional soccer teams, the Bulldogs wrapped up the final day of their European trip with a tasty pizza! Hail to "La Dolce Vita!!!" (The Sweet Life)