Italy Day 8
FLORENCE, Italy – The University of New Mexico women’s basketball team’s tour of Italy hit the mainstream, with time spent in two of the country’s major cities, Florence and Rome.
The Lobos ventured into Florence’s city center on Monday, taking a tour of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore in the morning. The team’s tour guide for the day, Paolo, explained the history of the city.
He mentioned three staples of the city center’s history: architecture, paining and sculpting that are prevalent in most of the buildings comprising the area.
The tour of Florence brought out the most questions and photo opportunities of the entire trip. After the 90-minute tour, the team members again were able to disperse for shopping for about an hour each, before and after lunch.
It was a lot of walking for a team getting ready to play game three of its Italy exhibition basketball tour on Tuesday. But the walking was offset by a 3 ½-hour bus ride to the final city on the tour, Rome. The Lobos passed the time by watching “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” starring Matt Damon on the bus ride.
All the problems that occurred on Sunday with the DVDs (wrong region to play, scratched DVDs, wrong movies) disappeared Monday. But a new issue emerged – that of Matt’s Damon’s main character being so creepy.
It was also a sad day in a sense in that the team’s bus driver through the first eight days of the tour, Emiliano, said “arrivederci” to the Lobos as the tour reached Rome. Emiliano received a round of applause for his services, and head coach Yvonne Sanchez gave him a Lobo T-Shirt.
As the team entered the city, it went straight to dinner with an opening course of – what else? – pasta. And of course, it wasn’t just one pasta dish, but rather three different past dishes, followed by meat and potatoes.
For dessert, the team did as Romans do (for dessert) and all went out and got gelato (Italian ice cream).
The Lobos got a glimpse of its tour on Friday by walking past the Pantheon after dinner. The team’s tour director, Richard, also pointed out where Julius Caesar was murdered.
UNM’s opponent on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Netherlands National Team, reportedly will be the toughest them the Lobos will face on the tour.
Sanchez’s team won its first two games of the Italy tour. She looks to stay undefeated on Tuesday night.
The Lobos are scheduled to take a tour of the Colosseum and Roman Forum in the morning and then have free time until their 6:30 p.m. tip-off in Rome (10:30 a.m., Mountain Time).