Aug. 12, 2005
The Cal men's basketball team departs for a 12-day tour of northern Italy this afternoon where the Golden Bears will both tour some of the country's historic sites and play five games against international competition.
Each day during their visit, a different member of the team will submit a diary entry for CalBears.com, offering their insights and impressions of their experience overseas. Today, head coach Ben Braun begins the series as the Bears prepare to leave town.
Ciao Cal Bear Fans,
On behalf of Athletic Director Sandy Barbour, I'd like to begin our trip to Italy with a loud round of applause to the following donors. Without their generous gifts, our team would not have this great opportunity to experience the wonderful culture, food and competition in Europe.
We have just completed 10 days of practice in preparation for our visit, and I know I speak for everyone on the team that we are all looking forward to this experience very much. Not only will we be staying in the cities of Florence, Venice and Como, but we have scheduled side trips to Pisa, Lucca, Verona and Milan.
Today, we're boarding a Lufthansa flight for Frankfurt, and once we arrive in Germany Saturday morning, we'll take a short flight to Florence, where we'll stay until Tuesday (a change from our original schedule). We'll be staying just a couple of blocks from the Duomo and have planned to have Saturday afternoon, most of Sunday and Monday morning free to tour the city - when I'm sure I'll find a few restaurants to sample! Then we'll play our first game vs. Cavriago Wednesday night.
I hope you enjoy reading the observations from our players about our trip on CalBears.com.