I attended the Viticulture and Enology Maymester program in Cortona, Italy and it was and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Let me walk you through my first 24 hours of the trip. After a long flight and a 2 1/2 hour drive from Rome up to Cortona we finally saw the town on the side of the mountain. All of the online brochures were beautiful but nothing could compare to seeing this place in real time. It was slightly terrifying with a massive tour bus weaving between the tiny cobble stone Italian roads, but more than anything else it was breathtaking. We were dropped off at the very top of Cortona at Santa Margarita‘s Basilica that overlooked a gorgeous valley & the town of Camucia. Everyone was exhausted from traveling but we were all so excited knowing we had finally made it there. After orientation, we are assigned rooms. Little did I know that I would spend the next three weeks getting very close to my four other roommates. I feel so lucky to have met so many new people during this trip that would otherwise still be strangers. I will admit I was very nervous before arriving about being in a new place with completely new people but every time I looked out over the valley I knew I had made the right decision. Later that evening we all headed down for group dinner walking through Piazza‘s for the first time. All the locals were staring at us. At the point I wasn’t sure if we were doing something wrong or if they were just excited. I was still in awe over the fact that I was really there and I had to keep pinching myself the whole night. I remember thinking about myself as a freshman when I found the program online. Well two years and a pandemic later I finally got live out my dream in Cortona!