DURHAM, N.C. – For the first time in program history, the Duke volleyball team will travel abroad as the Blue Devils are set for a nine-day trip to Europe. Duke departs from Durham Sunday, May 5 and will tour Austria, Slovenia and Italy before returning to the United States Tuesday, May 14.
The Blue Devils hit the ground running after landing in Vienna Monday morning, spending their first day in Europe touring the Austrian capital. A city known for its history and beauty, Vienna also boasts numerous museums, fine art collections and world-renowned works of art.
A short bus trip takes the Blue Devils across the Slovenian border to Maribor, the country's second-largest city and capital of the Stajerska region. Home to the oldest vine in the world, Maribor is located near the Austrian border alongside the Drava River and the Pohorje Mountains.
The Blue Devils are also set for a pair of matches during their two-day stint in Maribor, taking on the Slovenian Junior National Team Tuesday, May 7 before facing Nova KBM Branik Wednesday, May 8.
Day four of the Blue Devils' excursion will be spent in Bled, a popular destination in Slovenia due to its romantic scenery featuring Lake Bled and Bled Castle perched high above in the Julian Alps.
Duke then crosses over into the Pordenone region of Italy and tours Trieste, a seaport heavily influenced by its location as a crossroads of Germanic, Latin and Slavic cultures, before playing its third match, this time against the B1 Club Friday, May 10.
The entirety of Saturday, May 11 will be spent touring one of Italy's top travel cities - Venice. Comprised of 117 bodies of land connected by more than 400 bridges spanning 150 canals, Venice also features magnificent churches and palaces as well as shops.
Following a stop in the historic city of Verona, most famous as the setting for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Duke will find its way to the final destination on its itinerary, the thriving cosmopolitan business capital of Milan. In addition to its reputation as the marketplace for Italian fashion, Milan also features the Duomo, one of the grandest Gothic cathedrals in the world, La Scala, a world-renowned opera house, and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, a glamorous arcaded shopping gallery.
Duke's fourth and final match will take place in Milan Sunday, May 12 as the Blue Devils face Club Italia before returning home Tuesday.