Rome Day 3

Thursday was our third day in Rome, and the day of our last site visit: Hard Rock Cafe.

We left the hotel around 11 to take the metro to the Hard Rock Cafe. Around noon we started the visit with a meal– the best way to start a site visit!

After the meal, we walked to a conference room in the Hard Rock Cafe and were greeted by Fabio Villanis, an employee of the Hard Rock Cafe. Born in Italy, raised in Brazil, Fabio eventually returned to Italy to work as a host at the Hard Rock Cafe. Currently, he serves in a variety of roles, one of which involves managing some of Hard Rock’s various memorabilia.

Fabio and Hard Rock’s marketing manager, Illaria D’Alessio, spoke with us about how Hard Rock Cafe came to be, how their brand has evolved, and their core mission. In the end, Hard Rock Cafe was an interesting and quality end to our site visits.

That evening, the group went out to dinner together to celebrate the end of the trip. Friday is a free day to explore Rome, and Saturday morning we head back to Baltimore.

I would like to thank everyone who followed this blog throughout the trip– I hope you enjoyed it!

Rome Day 2

Wednesday morning we got on a bus to head to Academia Italiana, a design school in Rome.

Academia Italiana specializes in design eduction in the fields of fashion, interior, jewelry, graphic and product design, among other fields.

We first heard from Jamal Taslaq, a Fashion Designer who graduated from the school over 20 years ago, and currently teaches there.

Jamal had an interesting story about how he came to be a fashion designer. He was born in Palestine and made his way to Rome to follow his dream. He was both inspiring and informative. After his presentation, we watched a recording of one of his shows, and toured the building.

The afternoon is free to all to explore Rome.

Travel from Verona to Rome

On Tuesday, we travelled from Verona to Rome. Before we hit the open road, we stopped at Masi Agricola, an italian winery/vineyard.

The folks at Masi gave us a tour of their wine cellars and vineyard, followed by a marketing presentation by the president of the company. After the presentation concluded, we had a quick wine tasting.

After the wine tasting and quick shopping, we hopped on the bus for an 8 hour drive to Rome!

We arrived around 9pm and checked into the hotel. Most everyone went out to grab a late bite to eat.

We continue with more site visits tomorrow!

Verona Day 2

The second day of Verona, we went to “The Fab”– luckily only a brief walk from our hotel.

The Fab blended into the neighborhood’s residential area. Until being greeted by the staff, it was difficult to tell it was a workplace! Even inside, the office environment was just a big open/workshop-looking space: no cubicles or conference rooms here.

We were given a presentation about what The Fab does. In short, they work in a consultant-like role for many nearby Italian businesses. One example of their work is in taking an outdated/artisan craft, and helping to make it more feasible in today’s world. The Fab is comprised of lawyers, web-designers, artists, and just about anything else you can think of. Select roles collaborate on a project when necessary.

After The Fab, we had the afternoon free. Some rented bikes and toured the city, while others walked around the city. The Arena and a nearby castle were some nice sites to visit.

Extra Picture

Innsbruck Day 3 and Travel to Verona

The third day of Innsbruck was entirely free to do whatever we wanted– after all, it was the weekend.

Many of the students went whitewater rafting, and some visited Neuschwanstein castle. A few went to the top of the mountain via the lift and had a nice view of the city. There was also a rock climbing tournament going on downtown.

In the evening, there was a Bayern Munich versus Dortmund soccer game that many watched. Even later in the evening, rumor has it some WWE superstars were hanging out in the hotel, including John Cena.

Today, we were up early to catch the bus to Verona. We arrived in Verona around 12:30, checked into the hotel, and grabbed lunch.

Later this evening, we will be having a group dinner with all the Loyola students and 20 or so students from the University of Illinois. Tomorrow it is back to site visits!

Extra Picture

Innsbruck Day 2

The second day of Innsbruck was upon us and we ventured towards Swarovski, a famous crystal company in Austria. The folks at Swarovski gave us a nice tour of their office, and then conducted a marketing presentation. Following the presentation, we walked through a room of their products, including a chandelier from James Bond, and several other famous crystal creations.

After the activities in the Swarovski office, we went to Swarovski Crystal World (SCW). SCW is a museum/attraction built in 1995 to commemorate Swarovski’s 100th anniversary. At the end of the SWC adventure, we exited into the largest Swarovski shop in the world. After some more shopping, we went back to the hotel.

Later that evening, everyone bundled up and hopped on the bus for an evening Tyrolean lantern hike. It was about 35 degrees, and rainy.

We huffed up the mountain for about 30 minutes until we arrived at our destination: a restaurant atop the mountain. After we sat down for dinner, our entertainment arrived: some Austrian/German musicians. We yodeled, danced, sang and ate.

When the festivities concluded, we lit the lanterns and started back down the mountain—at this point it was pitch black outside. We got back down the mountain with only the lanterns (and Heinz) to guide us. 30 minutes or so later we were back at the bus, and on our way back to the hotel.

The following two pictures were too large for this blog, but here are some imgur links:

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Innsbruck Day 1

After Munich, we travelled to our next city: Innsbruck, Austria. On our way, we stopped at Riedel Glassworks in Kufstein.

Riedel is a glass company that hand-makes/blows its own glass. A single Riedel glass product is created via multiple master craftsmen who have been trained for 10+ years. The precision in making a single drinking glass is astonishing.

The other notable point of the glass making process is the heat. We walked through a room around 100 degrees to view the glassmakers in action. Their furnaces are over 3200 degrees to melt the glass materials, so it is hard to imagine how hot the glassmakers must have felt being much closer.

After some quick shopping at Riedel, the group hopped back on the bus and made its way again towards Innsbruck. We arrived at the hotel about an hour later, unpacked, and grabbed a quick lunch.

Around 3pm, we met with the Innsbruck Tourist Board (ITB). The ITB are a government-funded company with the goal in mind of attracting visitors to Innsbruck. They market their city worldwide in order to attract customers from all around the world.

When the ITB finished presenting its marketing portion, some scruffy looking gentlemen entered the room to inform the students of the options for their free day on Saturday. The students were disappointed to hear that Canoyoning was cancelled (water near freezing temperature, as is the air temperature); however, new opportunities arise. Most of the students decided to either go whitewater rafting, or tour Neuschwanstein Castle.

Munich Day 3

Today we were out the door at 9:15, a welcomed late start to the day. Our destination was Adobe.

We arrived at Adobe around 10, and were greeted by two familiar Adobe interns from last year. Most of Adobe’s staff was out at a conference in London this week, but the staff that stuck behind did a phenomenal job of hosting us. Their presentation was relevant, engaged, and informative.

After Adobe finished its presentation, they took us on a brief tour of their office, including their wonderful rooftop view. We gathered for a group picture, and then were ushered to an Adobe-provided lunch.

We took the bus back to the hotel, and arrived around 1. The afternoon was free to do whatever you like. Some students went with Rick to the train station to shop for some soccer memorabilia. Some took naps (#Fred). Some went to the Olympic stadium. Some went to the English Gardens.

Overall Munich was great to us again! The weather surprisingly held up most of our stay, even though it was projected to be rainy the entire stay.

Tomorrow we head out to Innsbruck, with a site visit on the way and another once we arrive.

Munich Day 2

Today we were up bright and early to depart for the Dingolfing BMW Factory, our first site visit.

We arrived in Dingolfing by bus around 8:30, and started our tour just after. Unfortunately, pictures weren’t allowed on the tour, so there are only a handful of pictures of today’s events.

Either way, the tour was fantastic! We were able to see an entire BMW built from raw metal to driving off the lot. We learned a great deal about the logistics of BMW, as well as the manufacturing process of their cars. The machines used in the factory were particularly fascinating– completely automated and perfectly precise, all while lifting hundreds of pounds of material.

After the tour, we dined in BMW’s cafeteria, and shortly after were on our was to Dachau, the first of the Nazi concentration camps. Dachau is an eye opening experience which cannot be described. Truly devastating.

After a short bus ride back from Dachau, we departed to our hotel for a free evening. Tomorrow, we head to Adobe.

Travel from Baltimore to Philly to Munich

Everyone met at the BWI Airport today for our flight to Munich, just after a short layover in Philly.

Well, the first part of the commute went great! We made it to Philly easily, and calmly transferred to our connecting flight to Munich.

The flight to Munich took off, and was going great for about 90 minutes… until somebody on the flight ordered champagne.

A flight attendant on US716 did not know how to properly open a bottle of champagne. Due to this lack of champagne-opening-aptitude, they hit themselves in the eye with the cork. Long story short, we made an emergency landing back in Philly.

After sitting at the gate for 90 minutes, and then on the runway for another 60, we took off and got to Munich safely.

Once we arrived in Munich, we checked into the hotel and then did a brief walking tour of the city. Afterwards, we had a group lunch at the Paulaner.

At this point, we are all exhausted and heading straight to bed! BMW Factory tour tomorrow—bright and early!