The University of Arkansas men’s basketball team begins its preseason tour of Italy on Friday, August 10, when it departs from Fayetteville for Milan, Italy. The 10-day excursion includes four games, sightseeing tours, and bus rides across the country and will proved Razorback student-athletes, coaches and staff an educational experience as well as an opportunity to play some games prior to their 2012-13 season.
The Razorbacks begin their tour in Milan, arriving on Saturday, Aug. 11. A walking tour of the city follows before the team boards their bus and travels 30 miles north to Como, a city located in the Italian Alps. Como is also the home of The Duomo, a cathedral completed in 1813 and build by Napoleon which can hold as many as 40,000 people.
The sightseeing continues on Sunday as the team takes a boat tour of Lake Como, the most famous lake in Italy. The Razorbacks will also see the Bellagio, a resort in the area. Arkansas will also play its first game of the tour on Sunday night when they take on Amici del Campetto at 8 p.m. local.
Monday’s activities include a 219-mile bus ride from Como to Florence. Upon arrival, the Razorbacks will have to get their game faces on as they will play their second game in as many day’s that evening against Atletas Kaunas, a team from Lithuania.
Another day of sightseeing is scheduled for Tuesday as the team is set to tour Florence with a stop at Accademia Gallery where Michelangelo’s David is kept. Other stops on the tour include Uffizi Gallery where one of Italy’s most important art galleries is kept; Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in the city which was built in 1345; and the Florence Cathedral, which includes Filippo Brunelleschi’s dome, a work which dominates the Florence skyline. Tuesday night calls for Arkansas’ third game in three days when it plays Mentenegro Selezione.
Wednesday, August 15, is the Assumption Holiday in Italy, a day that is celebrated in several predominantly Roman Catholic nations. Arkansas’ activities for the holiday include a 51 mile day trip to Pisa where the Razorbacks will tour the city, visit the famous Leaning Tower and also see the field of miracles, the Duomo, the Baptistry and the Camposanto.
The Razorbacks will spend part of Thursday traveling as they make their way from Florence to Rome, a 170-mile drive. The Italian capital has numerous places to visit with some of the stops including the Spanish steps, the piazza Navonna and the Pantheon where the famous artist Rafael is buried.
Arkansas will play its final game of the trip on Friday, August 17, when it takes on All Star Italy at 7:30 p.m. local time. Prior to the game however, another whirlwind tour of sites for the Razorbacks as they spend part of the day at the Colosseum. Following that tour, the Razorbacks will visit the Roman Forum, Campidoglio, Via Del Corso and the Trevi Fountain.
The final day of Arkansas’ Italian tour takes the team to Vatican City where the squad will go on tours of the Vatican museum, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistene Chapel.