cost includes: room and board, transportation costs in Italy and Portugal, all costs associate with cultural trips and outdoor activities as well as all tournament fees. The fee does not include air fare to Italy and Portugal.
Play the Italian and Portuguese Junior Opens. Visit famous art museums. Eat amazing food. Go to the beach. Improve your game!
Milan may be one of the world’s financial and fashion capitols, but it’s also the place to set the stage for two weeks of squash competition and cultural immersion in Southern Europe. We arrive June 12 and begin training immediately at the well-appointed [name of squash club] under the direction of Sonia Pasteris, the Italian National Junior Coach. Between sessions, we’ll walk through 500 years of history at the Duomo and find the Raphaels and Caravaggios at the Pinocoteca di Brera. We’ll sample cuisine from Italy and around the world at one of Milan’s open-air markets and shop at the historic and spectacular Milano Galleria Victor Emmanuelle.
On the 15th, we depart for the east Italian coast city of Riccione and the Italian Junior Open. The tournament, held at Federazione Italiana Giuoco Squash– the Italian national training center– draws over 160 players each year from every continent, offering us some of the best competition in the world. Although Riccione is one of Italy’s most popular resort towns, the tournament takes place at the beginning of the season, ensuring that the activity on the restaurant-lined streets and beautiful beaches will be vibrant but not crowded.
After the tournament, we have a down day in Rome, giving us time to get our bearings, perhaps a little rest, and a sense of what we want to see each day after light training sessions at the [famous Roman squash club]. Will we stand among the columns of the Pantheon? Marvel at Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling? The attractions of Rome are too numerous to list, much less visit over the course of three days, but while we’re there we’ll see up close much that appears in the art history textbooks– and perhaps as many things of equal beauty known only to those who wander the city on foot.
In Florence, we have two objectives: ramping up our training at the [famous Florentine squash club] for our next tournament and seeing Botticelli’s “Venus,”as well as a few other paintings at The Uffizi. To be sure, we’ll also continue our exploration of Italian food– the Florentine lampradotto is said to be without parallel– and we cannot leave the city without gazing at Michelangelo’s “David” at the Gallerie dell’Academia. If we aren’t sure by the time we leave Italy that Florence is, as some claim, the most beautiful city in the world, we’ll know it’s at least the most beautiful one with squash courts.
The Portuguese Junior Open in Porto is one of the smaller international tournaments on the European schedule, but it still draws players from all over the world. Played at the Complexo Desportivo Monte Aventino, adjacent to the FC Porto soccer stadium, the smaller draws will offer both intense competition and time to explore this city on Portugal’s sun-washed west coast. While Porto certainly has its own celebrated architecture and museums, it is best known for its food. We’ll begin at least one morning with a cimbalino at the opulent Cafe Majestic and some evening, after our last match, we’ll split giant francesinhas at the no-frills Cafe Santiaga. After the tournament, we’ll spend some of our last day on one of Porto’s beaches before flying back to New York.
Italian Junior open: June 15-17
Stunning scenery, great art, glorious monuments, delicious food, vibrant culture: when it comes to reasons to visit a country, it’s impossible to think of a nation that offers more than Italy.Our tour will begin in Turin (Torino), capital of the Piedmont region and home to the world’s first Slow Food supermarket (housed in an old Fiat factory). Next the group will spend 2 days in Florence, one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Next, the group will travel to Riccione, on Italy’s northeast coast.Here the group will participate in the Italian Junior Open, a four-day tournament that takes place at the Italian National Squash Center. When not competing on the courts, we’ll relax on Riccione’s beautiful beach. Following the tournament, the group will fly to Portugal and spend a week in the city of Porto.
Portuguese Junior Open June 22-24
The Portuguese city of Porto is best known for two things: its river, the Douro, an evermore popular choice for river cruises, and its port. But the historic hillside city itself should not be overlooked. One of the oldest cities in Europe, its maze of steep and narrow cobbled streets is home to beautiful plazas, churches and houses with colourfully tiled façades. Outside the historic heart, the city has witnessed a renaissance, its seaside suburbs increasingly home to world-class contemporary architecture and cuisine.