An idea came to Sue Kearney, ’64, when she toured Meredith’s Palazzo Alberti in Sansepolcro on an alumnae trip in the summer of 2012. Perhaps she and her classmates could celebrate their 50th reunion in Italy while simultaneously supporting the College and its international programs.
What resulted was the trip of a lifetime for participants from the Class of 1964 and their guests. The trip was planned by Kearney and Professor Emerita Becky Bailey.
The Italy: A Cultural Sampler program truly lived up to its name. From April 13 to April 23, 2015, the group explored all aspects of Italian culture including art, cuisine, history, and religion. The trip began in Florence where the travelers enjoyed guided tours of two museums and a rooftop dinner with panoramic views of the sunset over the city.
From there, the group traveled to Sansepolcro and checked into Meredith’s Palazzo Alberti where they had the chance to relive their days residing in the residence halls on campus. Hands-on mini workshops were held at the palazzo on topics such as Renaissance art and printmaking. The itinerary included excursions to Siena, Perugia, Arezzo, Deruta, and Anghiari; special requests from the travelers were also accommodated including a visit to Busatti Linen Factory and Dievole Winery.
Another highlight of the trip was a visit with Jed Smith, son of alumna Elizabeth Smith-Cox, ’46. Smith, who resides near Citta di Castello, works as an artist and photographer in Italy and provided the group with a tour of his home and viewing of his artwork.
Overall, the trip was an incredible experience for everyone involved. The group began to plan a reunion before they ever left Italy.
Kearney hopes that other classes will consider traveling together through Meredith’s Alumnae Travel Program – whether it is joining a trip coordinated through the Alumnae Office or planning custom tour like the Class of 1964’s. Trip participant Joy Lucas, ’64, says it best; “the fact that our group of seventy plus-year-olds could see and do as much as we did on our trip to Italy is amazing to me. All the walking that we did, the fabulous food we ate, the incredible art education that we received is a testimony that we are Meredith Strong.”
If you would like more information on Meredith’s Alumnae Travel Program, please visit meredith.edu/alumnae/travel or contact Denise Parker, ’83, at email@example.com.
By Alexis Trell, ’15, Assistant Director of Alumnae Relations