VICENZA, Italy (June 18, 2021) – American newcomers got a taste of Bassano del Grappa during “Benvenuti,” an Army Community Service cultural integration class that recently started back up after months of virtual sessions due to COVID-19.
Americans learn about the Italian culture, customs and the area’s rich history, said Lance R. Johnson, USAG Italy ACS Relocation Readiness Program manager.
“Benvenuti is a program designed to welcome new arrivals to the wonderful host nation of Italy,” Johnson said. “Now that the (COVID-19) categories have changed and travel to the various regions has been restored, we can resume normal activities.
Benvenuti starts at ACS, building 108 on Caserma Ederle, on the third Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of every month, he said. The three-day course includes a morning in the classroom learning Italian, followed by a local supermarket visit, a tour of downtown Vicenza, insights on how public transportation works and a day trip to another city, often Padova or Verona.
On June 18, participants went to Bassano del Grappa and Nove. Dali Prado, one of the tour participants, was impressed.
“The trip was a good way to learn about Italy’s wonderful culture, history and sights,” Prado said.
Prado and classmate Arisa Ueshiro crossed Piazza Libertà, one of the main squares in Bassano, taking in the sights and get to know other newcomers.
“It is a great way to meet new people,” Ueshiro said. “The guides were very knowledgeable in history and I really enjoyed every minute of the class.”
Luz Medeiros, a Logistics Readiness Center employee arrived in Italy last December, when most of the country was locked down and travel restricted. Medeiros was glad to meet fellow community members.
“Visiting Bassano del Grappa was a unique experience and meeting new people was great,” she said.
Active duty Soldiers attend a session, which is a one-day orientation including a tour of downtown Vicenza. The program is open to spouses of active duty Soldiers; Department of Defense civilians and their spouses; contractors and their spouses and retirees.
To sign up, contact Army Community Service at 0444-71-5800 or visit https://italy.armymwr.com/programs/ederle-army-community-service-acs