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The Cardinal spent Thursday at the Stanford campus in Florence.
A Tour of Florence
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 08/29/2015

Throughout the men’s basketball program’s tour of Italy, GoStanford.com will chronicle the experience with several posts during their 14-day journey to Rome, Florence, Pesaro, Venice, and Lake Como.

The Cardinal is a little more than a week into its tour, which has already included stops in Washington, D.C., Rome and Florence. With nine days, three cities and two games in the rear-view mirror, it is on to Pesaro. While en route to Pesaro on Friday, GoStanford.com took a look back at the last couple of days in Florence.

The Cardinal has played two of its six exhibition games already. Stanford opened its slate with a 75-26 victory over Stella Azzurra, a club team outside of Rome, on Tuesday. Thursday evening, in a wild, see-saw battle with one of Italy’s top professional teams in Seria A, Virtus Bologna, the Cardinal dropped a 75-63 decision. That game was played in Bologna, about two hours outside of Florence and included a change-of-venue in the middle of the contest when the backboard shattered on one of the rims at the first venue during the second quarter of play.

Both games provided great learning experiences for the team. The contest against Virtus Bologna saw a balanced scoring attack with four players in double-figures, led by sophomore Reid Travis’ 19 points and 14 rebounds.

Outside of the games, the entire travel party had the opportunity to explore another one of Italy’s historic cities, Florence. The highlight for many was the chance to visit Stanford University’s campus in Florence. There, the players enjoyed some time meeting several of the institution’s officials and took a tour of the classrooms, while enjoying lunch on the campus with members of the staff. Each year, around 40 students from Stanford’s main campus in California spend a quarter studying at the campus in Florence.

It was there the team also learned how Stanford University was founded and its ties to the city of Florence. Leland Stanford, Sr. and his wife Jane were visiting Florence with their son Leland Stanford, Jr. in 1884. Leland Stanford, Jr. tragically passed away during the trip, at the Grand Hotel (right across the street from where the team is staying on this trip). It was then that Leland Stanford, Sr. and his wife Jane declared “the children of California shall be our children” and founded Stanford University in honor of their son.  Outside that hotel in Florence, is a plaque in memory of Stanford University’s namesake.

During their stay in Florence, the team also had an opportunity to explore some of the city’s famous landmarks. Shortly after arriving in Florence, the team visited the National Museum of Bargello where they saw Donatello’s version of the famous sculpture “David” on the second floor of the museum. On the Cardinal’s final day in Florence, it went to Accademia Gallery to see the world-famous sculpture of “David” by Michelangelo.

The team also got a chance to explore the city on their own and enjoy the Italian cuisine the Tuscany region has to offer.

Friday afternoon it was off to the coast with a three-night stay in Pesaro that also includes two exhibition games. 


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