Joe Palumbo Soccer Academy is at it again here in Italia! This time the home base for the tour is in beautiful Sestri Levante at the Grande Albergo Hotel. It took some time to get here but we made it!
The journey started at JFK airport in New York with 26 people meeting and checking in to board a 6:23PM Flight Direct to Malpensa Airport in Milan. I have to say this was one of the best flights I have been on (Smooth take off, calm fly, and easy landing). Thank you Delta and the great pilot of Delta 418. We arrived earlier than expected, met our Italian Trainer Paolo Parodi for the week and attacked the long day ahead of us. It was a slow start departing from the airport but we eventually got on the road and headed straight to Milano to tour, sightsee and shop on our first day in Italy. A Bite to eat at the Autogrill outside Milano and the players and supporters were ready to see Milano.
The highlights of Milan would be Il Duomo, the AC Milan Megastore and one of the fathers almost buying a $16,000 Louis Vuitton coin holder! It is clear to some of the people on the trip that the Italians do not mess around when it comes to Food, Fashion and Football (Calcio or soccer). The timing in Milan was perfect considering the traveling schedule we have been through the past 24 hours. So we headed towards our destination of Sestri Levante. The 2 hour bus ride was a good chance to catch up on some sleep or see the amazing view of the mountains.
The arrival at the Hotel found 2 more JPSA Families that extended our group total to 44 people. They were filling us in on the Super Cup game between Juventus and Lazio that we missed last night due to traveling and how great of a game it was for them to watch. For me, with a selfish perspective it could not have been that great of a game as Juventus unfortunately was on the losing end but I believe this will be good for them as they are going into a very challenging year. Anyway, the players have been checked in to their rooms, they know their coach for the week, they ate a nice meal in the town of Sestri Levante for dinner and they are ready to begin the Soccer or Calcio part of the trip.
The players will be waking early for breakfast and heading to their first training session in Sestri Levante. I am happy to see that the players in the academy have such a great opportunity ahead of them this week to experience the game in another country and hopefully take many things away from it. If the players read this blog in the morning before training I would reiterate what I told them before the trip began which is to enjoy this week to the fullest.