VICENZA, Italy – Members of Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) Vicenza took a trip Feb. 25, 2023, to the “Poli Grappa Distillery and Museum,” one of Northern Italy’s oldest family-run distilleries in Schiavon, about 20 kilometers Northeast of Vicenza.
The event, which is part of U.S. Army Garrison Italy BOSS programming offered participants the chance to meet new people including an experience with the local culture.
“We have done this trip every year for the last three years,” said Sgt. Kyle Toto, BOSS Vicenza president.
“It has typically been one of our more popular day trips. I enjoy getting to see the new ways in which the Poli family continues to grow its business,” he explained.
Toto said that even though he has visited the place before he always likes seeing the history of the family and how the distillery came to be.
Other tour participants enjoyed learning about what grappa was, since some were unfamiliar with the drink.
“They enjoyed learning about how the various flavors were made,” Toto said. He is an Italian-American who grew up in an Italian household with many family members still living here. “It is always special for me to get to see other Americans learn a little about Italian culture.”
In addition to experiencing tours like this, BOSS also offers volunteer opportunities, and possibilities to learn new life skills.
“I research the new upcoming trends in the community and conduct monthly meetings with BOSS unit representatives,” said Cathy Garcia, MWR Special Events and BOSS advisor.
“The purpose is to obtain input for the BOSS program and how to better serve the community,” she added.
Toto and Garcia who are passionate about making a difference in the Vicenza military community have several upcoming events.
“For BOSS future events, we have our monthly pool tournament again March 23, a trip planned to the Benelli Arms factory later in March, and are working on a three-day hike through Sardinia later in the spring,” said Toto.
He added BOSS also has plenty of weekly volunteer opportunities available for those looking to boost their community service hours.
If Soldiers wish to join BOSS, they can attend one of their monthly meetings or reach out via Instagram: Boss.Vicenza; Facebook: BossVicenza or call DSN: 646-4474.