New teens in the Vicenza Military Community received a lesson in Vicenza history and Italian customs during the "Teenvenuti" class July 9. This is the second year this type of activity has been offered to teenagers.
"When families transition during the summer, I think it is important for all family members to learn about their new surroundings, and being overseas can be overwhelming for everyone," said Monica Cobbeldick, Army Community Service Relocation Readiness program manager.
The teens began their day at ACS listening to briefs about different activities on post including Club Beyond. An introduction was given by the selected peers from the community, who joined the group as local guides.
The group of 24 teens then walked to Viale Della Pace, where they learned about how to use city buses from Hanoria Baker, NAF support service manager. The buses took the group to centro or the downtown area, where they went to the train station and learned about navigating that system.
For the next few hours, the teens walked through the downtown area, stopping to discuss historical people and places in downtown Vicenza. The first stop was at the monument dedicated to Antonio Pigafetti, where the teen peer guides gave history about each person. The next stops included the history about Guiseppe Garabaldi and a stop at the Duomo. The next sites were dedicated to Andrea Palladio, demonstrating his designs in Piazza dei Signori.
Before leaving the piazza, the group chose to stop for gelato, which for some was a long decision process.
The last educational stop was at Teatro Olimpico and the group took a break near the civic center. Here the teens began a discussion on what they liked about Italy or were impressed with. The answers varied from architecture, culture and shopping, but most agreed the food was the best part of being in Italy. A few of the teens in the group had recently moved to Vicenza from Germany and had positive things to say.
"I love living in Europe and so far, I like Italy way more than Germany," said high school student Christopher Gay.
The group ate Marghertia pizzas for lunch and headed back to Caserma Ederle. Once they arrived back to post, the groups were split and the high school students went to tour the school and teen center. The middle school students went to Villaggio to tour the school.
The groups joined back together at ACS for a discussion from the Adolescence Substance Abuse Counseling Services on life in Italy and what can be expected attending the middle school and high school. Parents were involved in a morning session discussing similar topics.
"I think this is a great opportunity for families moving during summer and for kids to meet new friends," Cobbeldick said. "My son helped last year and I know on the first day of school there was at least one kid who already knew a familiar face."
Future Teenvenuti classes will be held July 30, Aug. 6 and Aug. 20. For more information or to sign up, call ACS at 0444-71-7500.