Saturday, July 11, 2009
SAS Students' Memories of Italy
From Rome to Venice to Civitavecchia to Naples to Capri, Semester at Sea students had a wonderful experience in Italy. Scroll down to read all their stories and see some of their photos.
SARA PECORARO, SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY
Visited: Rome, Sorrento, Capri and Anacapri
I was really looking forward to Italy because both of my parents have strong Italian backgrounds in their families. My paternal grandfather and my maternal great grandmother were from Sicily. I grew up with a lot of Italian mannerisms and ways and the food. So I was looking forward to seeing if everything I experienced as a child in my family is really what Italy is like. I wanted to see if people really speak and interact as passionately with one another as I imagined and saw in my grandfather. I was also looking forward to seeing St. Peter’s Basilica and square because I’m Catholic. It was quite overwhelming. There I was in the Basilica looking down at the Square and I could just imagine this whole square full of people for the Pope’s mass.
I visited Rome for my first three days in Italy. I didn’t expect to turn every corner and see history everywhere I looked. Coming from a place that’s so new, like the U.S., and to see all that information was very interesting.
The most unforgettable part of my trip was visiting Capri and Anacapri which where amazing. That’s what I expected Italy to be: a small town with narrow streets that had beautiful, colorful flowers everywhere and the most beautiful water. The water was blue and green with restaurants everywhere and chairs and tables for people to sit out. It was the most beautiful, unforgettable thing about Italy.
TIA DAWKINS-HENDRICKS, UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
Visited: Rome, Pompeii, Naples, Capri and Anacapri
I want to go to Italy again in the near future because I just thought it was amazing. Seeing the Coliseum was everything I dreamed of and more. Learning about it in my art history class was just the beginning, but going to explore it was just so special for me. It was just amazing to me to see the ring where these people fought and died and all the seats where people sat around to watch. I tried to imagine sitting there watching these battles. To know that we could learn about all of this in school and then to come and touch the columns and touch the wood was really just amazing to me.
It’s just crazy to see that all of these different places of the world are beautiful in their own unique way, and you get to explore them on this wonderful journey. It’s just a blessing.
GRACE OBANDO, TEMPLE UNIVERSITY
Visited Rome, Pompeii, Naples, Capri and Anacapri
Italy is a place where you need more than four or five days explore. You need at least two to three months to even touch the surface of what Italy has to offer. I was fortunate enough to visit Rome, Pompeii and Capri.
I had been looking forward to visiting Pompeii since I was in fifth grade and learned about it and Mt. Vesuvius. I’ve always been fascinated by this city that’s been frozen in time. It was amazing that I found myself walking there, touching the walls, looking at the remains of these houses that were once part of a vibrant city so many thousands of years ago. It was an experience that I will never, ever forget. To hear more about Grace’s visit to Pompeii and to see photos of the city covered by Mt. Vesuvius, click on the the photo at right.
AERIALE COOKSEY-KRAMER, PENN STATE UNIVERSITY
I ventured off to Venice on my trip to Italy to experience authentic Italian life on my own. It seems as if the world has romanticized Venice in such a way that would almost be impossible to live up to. I’ve certainly romanticized about riding in a gondola and falling in love under the moonlit sky, accordion music in the background and all.
But Venice lived up to every one of my expectations in more ways than I could have ever imagined. The people were incredibly helpful and friendly. The cobblestone streets led to beautiful alleyways that were filled with brightly colored clothes hanging out to dry. Fruit and fish markets were crammed with Venetians. And I sat by a canal watching boats motor past.
I rode in a gondola (the driver even sang and whistled a bit) and sat outside on the balcony of my hostel watching the moon reflect off the water. I walked over the Grand Canal and let pigeons claw into my arms for bread in the middle of the famous San Marco Piazza. Venice was peaceful, serene, magical, and so much more. I fell in love with the city and the atmosphere. There is no doubt in my mind that I will be back one day to enjoy an almost indescribable experience.
BROOKE WOJDYNSKI, SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY
Visited Rome, Naples, Capri and Anacapri
On day two of our visit to Naples, I headed off to the lovely island of Capri, which was definitely a highlight of this voyage. Capri is absolutely stunning. From the sparkling green blue waters to the peak of Anacapri 900 meters above sea level, this island was blessed with beauty.
We took a hydrofoil over to the island from Naples. When we arrived we took small buses to Anacapri, the highest point of the island. When we got as far as we could by coach, we took a chairlift to the top of the mountain. The view from the top of the mountain was unreal. It’s so difficult to describe. I felt like we were in the heavens. The clouds were at the same altitude as us, and sometimes they would pass by and everything would get really foggy. When you looked off the side of the mountain you saw cliffs all the way down to the seashore. Flocks of white birds were soaring below us over the tops of luscious green trees. The water still looked stunning with its green blue tint. I wished so badly to have some of the people I love there with me, and then I realized I was one of the few who actually did have someone I loved with me. Sharing the moments with my sister were precious and I was thankful.
We took the chairlift back down and went all the way down to the seaside where we got in a speedboat. We figured we had already seen the island from above. We might as well see it up close and personal. The boat was awesome. My professor, Alex Nalbach, and his partner were on the same boat and we had such fun hanging out with them. We got to see some amazing caves, cliffs, and stalactites. Once we made it to the other side of the island, where all of the mega-yachts were, we swam around. Now I can say I have swam in the Tyrrhenian Sea! We went back to the beach and then got back on the hydrofoil to Naples where we got back on the ship. Capri was absolutely fantastic and one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.
All I keep saying to myself is how fortunate I am. So few people have been able to have this experience, and even fewer get to share all of it with their sister! I am so happy to be a part of this program. I wish so badly for other people from other countries to be able to have this experience. If everyone traveled I really do believe we would have a greater understanding of each other. Regardless of our customs, despite our governmental structures, even though we hold different roles and come from different regions, we are all people. We all laugh and smile. We all love and kiss. We all dance.
If there is one thing I am learning it is that we are not as divided as we may sometimes seem. I am no more valuable than another being. If we all love and are loved we are equal in my eyes.