The women's basketball team returned Friday evening from their 10-day tour of Italy. Afterwards, Tammy Boclair, assistant director of Media Relations, gave VandyMania a synopsis of the trip, along with a sneak peak at her photos. Here's what Tammy told us:
We left Nashville on Wednesday, flew into Newark, had about a 3 hour layover and then flew into Rome. It was an 8 hour flight; we had movies and video games. The flight was good.
We met our tour guide named Mama Rita. She was with us the whole time. She would hire different tour guides in areas, which were their specialty. We got there are 7:30 in the morning, and our rooms weren't going to be ready so we just went straight to the Rome tour.
We learned about Rome and the different walls that kept the people out of Rome. It was gorgeous. We saw the Circus Maximus, and we went to the Colosseum. Cynthia was our tour guide at the Colosseum, and she took us all through the Colosseum and the Arch of Titus and the Arch of Constantine. Then we went to the hotel.
The second day we went to the Vatican and St. Peter's and visited the Sistine Chapel. Don Carlo was our tour guide at the Vatican, a very pompous, arrogant person. St. Joe's basketball was there, too. We went through the Pope's galleries, the art galleries and went into the Sistine Chapel and went into St. Peter's Square and to the St. Peter's Cathedral.
Then we went back, and then we went to practice. We only practiced one day because we had to drive an hour and 15 minutes to go to a gym. We practiced for about 2 1/2 hours and then came back.
The next day we went to Sorrento and stopped at Pompeii. Domininque was our tour guide there. Dominique took us through Pompeii, and then from Pompeii we went to Sorrento for two days -- that's kind of a resort town. It was beautiful. There was a saltwater pool so the girls got to play there.
We played our first game there. The other team's uniforms arrived midway through the first period, but some of them didn't have numbers. And there were no officials, so Garry Gibson had to be one of the officials. He wore Carla Williams' shoes, and his whistle didn't work so he'd have to go thweeeeeet.
But we played great, and they were all very impressed with Chantelle. They thought they could pick on Mac, but they couldn't -- she let them have it, so it was really very funny.
Then we went to Florence. In Florence our games were cancelled, but then we got them back later. Florence, that's where the girls did all their shopping. Mostly everybody got leather jackets. It was just beautiful.
At that point, the tours were optional so the girls chose to go on the tours or not, and Rita took a group to show them all over Florence, like the old bridge where the gold, jewelry and everything is -- It's breath-taking. And then the Uffizi Art Gallery, the Duomo, and then to Santa Croce where Michaelangelo, Dante and da Vinci are buried. It was just incredible.
After Florence, we went to Venice. The boat had to take our luggage separately, and we just went on speed boats.
Then, going to the game, the girls got into their uniforms and they were taken to the game in the three speed boats. It was a hoot! And then we got to the game and played great. The boats brought us back and we left the next day.
That was a change. We were supposed to be in Venice the rest of the time, but instead we went to Como, because it's closer to Milan so we didn't have to get up so early for the flight home. We played probably about 35 minutes out of Como. It was the same team as the night before but with a couple of different players and a different venue.
On Friday, we left early, with a 6:30 wakeup. The flight was at 9:30, and 8 hours to Newark. We only had an hour and forty-five minute layover, so we had to go through customs, get our bags, go through the checkpoint again, re-check our bags to get to our flight. It was really tight, we were running to get there, but we all made it and got back to Nashville and everybody was talking about what they wanted to eat when they got home, from t-bone steak to baked potatoes.
The complete set of photos will be posted on vucommodores.com early this week. Additional photos in this story were taken by Hillary Hager and Tia Battle.
Game 1: Vanderbilt 116, Bocreale 65. Leading scorers: Chantelle Anderson 28, Hillary Hager 27, Jenni Benningfield 15, Ashley McElhiney 11.
Game 2: Vanderbilt 103, Seiezone Lombarda 58. Leading scorers for Vandy: Chantelle Anderson 33, Jenni Benningfield 15, Hillary Hager 12, and Abi Ramsey 11.
Game 2: Vanderbilt 86, Seiezone Lombarda 25. Leading scorers for Vandy: Jenni Benningfield 20, Hillary Hager 17, Chantelle Anderson 14, Ashley McElhiney 10.
Women's Hoops: The team in Italy Part II
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