VICENZA, Italy (June 18, 2021) – American newcomers got a taste of Bassano del Grappa during ‘Benvenuti,’ an Army community service cultural integration course that recently resumed after months of virtual sessions due to COVID-19.
Americans are learning about Italian culture, customs and the region’s rich history, said Lance R. Johnson, USAG Italy ACS Relocation Readiness Program Manager.
“Benvenuti is a program designed to welcome newcomers to the wonderful host country of Italy,” said Johnson. “Now that the categories (COVID-19) have changed and that travel in the different regions has been restored, we can resume our normal activities.
Benvenuti starts at ACS building 108 on Caserma Ederle on the third Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of each month, he said. The three-day course includes a morning in the classroom to learn Italian, followed by a visit to the local supermarket, a tour of downtown Vicenza, an overview of how public transport works and a day trip to another city, often Padua or Verona.
On June 18, the participants traveled to Bassano del Grappa and Nove. Dali Prado, one of the tour participants, was impressed.
“The trip was a good way to experience the wonderful culture, history and sights of Italy,” Prado said.
Prado and his classmate Arisa Ueshiro walked through Piazza Libertà, one of Bassano’s main squares, to take in the views and get to know other newcomers.
“It’s a great way to meet new people,” Ueshiro said. “The guides were very knowledgeable about the history and I really enjoyed every minute of the course.”
Luz Medeiros, an employee of the logistics preparedness center, arrived in Italy last December, when most of the country was closed and movement was restricted. Medeiros was happy to meet other members of the community.
“Visiting Bassano del Grappa was a unique experience and meeting new people was great,” she said.
Active-duty soldiers attend a full-day orientation session that includes a tour of downtown Vicenza. The program is open to spouses of active duty soldiers; civilians from the Ministry of Defense and their spouses; entrepreneurs and their spouses and retirees.
To register, contact Army Community Service at 0444-71-5800 or visit https://italy.armymwr.com/programs/ederle-army-community-service-acs