Jen McCue’s 12-Day Walking Tour of Italy (In a Walking Boot)
Ever since her first day at Arthrex, Senior Learning Development Specialist Jen McCue knew she wanted to use her five-year Trip of a Lifetime to go to Italy.
She’d been to Venice and Florence before, and she was excited to go back.
While contemplating which hotels to book in which cities and faced with the daunting task of trying to acquire tickets for the various sites she wanted to see, Jen’s travel agent suggested purchasing a tour package.
“I also knew I did not want to drive in Italy,” Jen said.
So she selected a tour that included a scenic ride along the Amalfi Coast and walking tours of Venice, Florence, Montecatini Terme and Naples. The itinerary she selected was labeled with a warning about the amount of walking that would be involved throughout the trip, stressing the amount of time that would be spent traversing cobbled streets, uneven surfaces and stairs. (The need to be able to climb a significant number of stairs was mentioned twice.)
The tour was described in the travel literature as “fast-paced.”
“I figured the walking would negate all the gelato I planned to eat,” Jen said.
But then, a month before she was scheduled to leave for Italy, Jen broke her leg and was sentenced to six weeks in a walking boot.
“On the bright side,” she said, “I saved space in my luggage by only needing to pack one of each shoe.”
The tour had stops in Siena and Lucca, towns Jen described as quaint and full of history. She saw Michelangelo’s David, the Florence Cathedral and the pope’s summer palace in Castel Gandolfo. She also had dinner at a farm in Tuscany and ate fried pizza in Naples.
“I walked more than six miles a day,” she said, “and while the boot was inconvenient, I was so grateful to be able to be there and see everything. I was just in awe every day. It was hard to believe what you’re seeing right in front of you.”
Jen said that between the food and the culture and the gondola rides, Venice was her favorite stop during the tour. She also loved the scenic drive along the coastline.
And of course, Jen—being Jen—made friends with the approximately 30 other people in her tour group, many of whom she has stayed in contact with since coming home, exchanging pictures, stories and recipes as they try to recreate the food and drinks they enjoyed on their trip.
“What other company has a benefit like Trip of a Lifetime?!? I learned so much on my trip,” Jen said. “Life is better because of experiences like this.”
For every five years of employment with Arthrex, employees are eligible for a company-paid Trip of a Lifetime to recognize their dedication. Look for more Trip of a Lifetime highlights on the Arthrex Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn pages.