JWU Student Blogs

Excursion to Modena

Modena is a city located on the south bank of the Po River, north of Italy, which is very close to Bologna. It is the traditional industrial, and agricultural center in Italy, and famous for Italy’s most scenic tourist attraction.


Over the course of this trimester abroad in Italy, we’ve been taking numerous day trips during the week to learn more about the culture and hospitality business in the region. These trips have brought us to wonderful places like the Amalfi Coast, the island of Ischia, and of course the city of Naples. However, we also had a grand five-day excursion planned for the group a bit later in the term. This brought us to the picturesque region of Emilia-Romagna, in the north of Italy. On our second full day into the excursion, we arrived in the city of Bologna.

Villa San Donnino


One of the stops of our excursion was Bologna, which is the capital city in Emilia Romagna region. Bologna has a very noticeable feature which you can see the color of majority buildings’ walls are red, it is a symbolic meaning of Italian’s favoring party, the Communist party. When we entered the Piazza Maggiore, it was full of people and people were celebrating the Labor’s day. In the center of plaza, there was a stage built up for the music concert.

The Basilica di San Pertronio has a very complicate story. As I was told, this church had never finished its construction, only half of the walls were covered in marble. Because the Pope was confronted by the people of his excessive power, the construction was forced to stop. However, inside the church, there was a one of the world’s largest remaining sundial which is still able to indicate the accurate time and date.

Later, we visited the first university in Europe, the University of Bologna. But the more famous part of this site was the first lecture on human anatomy was given by Leonardo Da Vinci here in Anatomical Theater.
We also visited one of the most important city libraries in Italy, the Archiginnasio Library, which currently holds approximately eight hundred thousand books and where you could even find the first published books of Galileo.

It was a remarkable experience in Bologna, because this city was more diversified than I anticipated to. Even though it may not be as well-known as other major cities like Rome, Venice, Milan or Florence, once you stay there, you would find this city has a lot to offer!

Last Day Trip - Ischia


On our last excursion of the International Hotel and Tourism Management Study Abroad to Italy we traveled to the beautiful island of Ischia. It was also our earliest departure, so we left for Naples a little after 7:30 in the morning on Wednesday, April 7th, to catch the ferry. We made it in perfect time to board the ferry and get comfortable. After a short ride, we arrived in Ischia and made our way to the five-star Terme Manzi Hotel and Spa. We took a tour of the magnificent hotel and were able to view a deluxe room, junior suite and a suite. Each room was beautifully decorated and was very spacious. Next we saw the spa which was even more luxurious than I could imagine. They had a huge list of treatment options and so many different rooms and equipment to provide the best service. The thermal pool was absolutely stunning and the outdoor pool was situated on the roof and looked so inviting.

Our Day in Ferrara


Our trip to Ferrara took place on the fourth day of our week long excursion. We were staying at Hotel Il Guercino in Bologna. I loved this hotel, they gave us an awesome breakfast and it was decorated in a really unique and cool way.


Last week we began our journey to the wonderful region of Emilia Romagna with all IHTM 2014 members. Our first full day in Parma was a long, busy day, but a really exciting one! We started off with a delicious breakfast at the hotel, and met our tour guide Melanie outside Hotel Button. Melanie took us on a walking tour around Parma where we saw many of the famous sights and monuments of this city.

Parma Day 1



Last week, on Wednesday, the class traveled to the island of Ischia, in the Bay of Naples, to tour another 5-star hotel and spa, called the Terme Manza Hotel and Spa. It was absolutely beautiful! The island of Ischia is an active volcano which has thermal springs all around it, so the spa is built on top of those thermal springs. This allows for the water to be naturally heated and used for not only typical spa treatments but also for medical treatments as well. We even got to meet the doctor on site who gives medical consultations to the spa’s clients. After touring the spa, we got to tour a couple of guest rooms with the Rooms Manager. They were huge, and absolutely stunning. Even the floor tiles were incredible, as each individual tile was hand-painted! It was an absolutely beautiful property.

Trip to Ischia by Edward Tucker

I had one of the best meals of my life during our trip to Ischia. Ischia is the largest island in southern Italy and requires a ferry to get there. We left the Vesuvian Institute very early, around 7:30am in order to catch our ferry from Naples. Once we arrived in Ischia, the hotel was just a short walk from the port. The island of Ischia is famous for its natural hot springs and the Terme Manzi Hotel & Spa is a five-star property that takes advantage of this natural resource. It is a beautiful property that includes antiquities, thermal pools, turkish baths, a huge and high tech spa, as well as a 2 Michelin star restaurant, II Mosaico.

The Hotel only caters to adults, but does offer a babysitting service upon request. The property focuses on rest and relaxation which was easy to tell because every guest we saw was comfortably wrapped in a plush robe and slippers. We were given a comprehensive tour of the property which included 3 rooms, the spa, the thermal pools, the galley, and a special presentation from the on-site executive chef.

The spa was huge and takes up an entire floor. It is equipped with amazing devices that looked more like something you would see in a hospital. I could tell that the Hotel spares no expense when it comes to providing the very best technology to its guest. I realized just how important the details are when it comes to building a positive relationship with guest.

The tour concluded with an amazing 5 course meal at II Mosaic. Everything from the Mozzarella and cherry tomatoes to the dessert tree was simply delectable. Each item tasted better than the last. After lunch we changed into our bathing suits and relaxed on the beach for the rest of the afternoon. Such fun!

The city of Bologna

This past week was an extremely eventful one. Our 6-day excursion to the Emilia-Romagna region in central-northern Italy was quite the experience. We visited multiple cities, such as Parma, Ferrara, Modena, and Bologna. The capital (and largest city) of the Emilia-Romagna region is Bologna, and we actually stayed in that city for three nights of our entire trip.

Our Trip to Bologna

Last week, on our five day trip to the Emilia Romagna region, we made a stop in the beautiful “Brick City” of Bologna. Within minutes of arriving, we were right on our tour with Baldassare who introduced us to the history and spirit of Bologna. With the guidance of Baldassare we made our way through the Castle and on to the Piazza Maggiore. This castle has been destroyed five times as the people of Bologna want to feel free.

Parma, Emilia Romagna

Public announcement to all: If you think you’ve had real Parmesan cheese, you haven’t. Truth be told, only the third string parmesan makes it into the supermarkets. If you want a taste of authentic parmesan cheese you’ll need to head to the city of Parma located in Northern Italy. Our first night there we were treated to dinner at one of the oldest family run osteria’s in town. (See above picture for ensuing jealousy) As we sat in the lobby, still digesting last nights meal mind you, we were greeted by Melanie, our tour guide for the morning. Born in London, we were naturally inquisitive as to how she wound up in Italy. Her response? “I met an Italian man, and well, you can imagine how that story went.” We instantly envied her life and dubbed her our hero.

Journey to Parma

You can never really say you’ve been somewhere unless you have traveled. On the morning of April 29th, our IHTM group set out to travel for a five day trip towards the north of Italy, the Emilia Romania region. The first stop would be Parma the city of Parmesan cheese! We traveled for nine hours and finally arrived safely thanks to our amazing bus driver Liberato. As we settled into our new residence for the next two days, Hotel Button, we were quite amazed by how quaint this city was. All of the buildings were pastel colored with a multitude of yellow buildings. At 7:30pm we walked to a beautiful restaurant where the staff was waiting for our arrival to serve us an authentic northern Italian meal. The food was amazing, but the dessert… Oh how amazing Crème Caramel is.

Modena, Villa San Donnino By Edward Tucker



We took our trip to Ferrara on the forth excursion day and it continued raining. It was very sad that I skipped the trip yesterday since I was very sick and I felt much better after one-day break. Actually, I didn’t know Ferrara before I went to this city, but I started to realize that it is a famous tourism city (qualified by UNESCO as World Heritage Site) after I did some research about it.

Bologna by Rachel Henry

This past weekend our group was lucky enough to travel to the beautiful city of Bologna. It is located in Northern Italy in the region called Emilia Romagna. Upon arrival, we had no time to waste as our tour guide was waiting to show us around the this bustling area. In the small amount of ground we covered, our tour was filled with the wonderful history of such a large area. One landmark Bologna is known for are the two towers of Bologna. These two medieval towers stand as a symbol of this city. Both towers are leaning but the smaller one called Garisenda (the large called Torresotti) actually leans even more than the well known Leaning Tower of Pisa!


On April 30, the second day of IHTM Italy excursion. Our group visited the small city - Parma. It is located in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna famous for its prosciutto, cheese, and architecture.


Ferrara was the day trip planned for day number four of the IHTM Italy excursion. After breakfast, we departed from Bologna and drove to the little city Ferrara. We were met by our guide, Elisa, who immediately apologized for the rain, but promised it wouldn’t stop her from giving us a great tour around the city.