RICHMOND, Va. – The VCU basketball program will start their history lessons a little earlier than usual this year. Those lessons will come during a 10-day, five-city and four-game tour of Italy that will begin on Aug. 5.

"We're all really excited about this opportunity to go to places we've never been before," senior Darius Theus said. "Beyond the basketball, it's going to be a great chance to bond even closer together."

Milan, the main industrial and commercial center of Italy, will be the first stop for the Rams. Home to over five million people, Milan is the largest city in Italy and will provide plenty of sightseeing and shopping opportunities for the Black & Gold.

A quick ascent up the Alps will take VCU to Lake Como, the most famous lake in all of Italy. More sightseeing will take place before the first of four exhibition games for the Rams.

Next up will be Florence, one of the most historic cities in all of Europe. The city is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, serving as the center of European trade and finance at the time.

During their time in Florence, the Rams will play two more exhibition games, as well as take a day trip to Pisa to visit the world famous Leaning Tower and surrounding sights.

The final stop of the tour will be the capital city of Rome. Trips to the Coliseum, Vatican and countless other historic destinations are on the agenda in addition to Rams' final exhibition contest of the trip.

"It's going to be really fun," junior Rob Brandenberg said. "A lot of us have never been overseas, so we're all anxious to see things we've only seen in movies and TV. The basketball is an added bonus that allows us to get more time on the court together."

VCU will return to Richmond on August 15 with just over a week before classes for the fall semester get underway.

Stay tuned to VCU Athletics next week for blogs, player journals and game recaps live from Italy.

November 7, 2012 JOIN THE RAMS ON THE ROAD