italy, Travel

Southern Italy

We just got back from our southern Italy trip! There, we went to Naples, Sorrento, Capri, Pompeii, & Paestum. I loved this trip. It combined a lot of history and learning with relaxation and exploration. Our first stop was in Pompeii. We were able to spend the majority of our day there touring the site. While it was our hottest day in Italy yet, I was really impressed with the area and wished I could have stayed longer. It was much larger than I imagined and almost haunting after learning about the final hours of the city. While most of the artwork and artifacts found at the site have been transported to the museum in Naples, some original details still remain. One of my favorites is a bar that was once on a very busy road in the middle of the city. The countertop has mixed marble and places to store hot and cold drinks and food in holes within the countertop, there are also still tables in the bar as well. While it’s just one little place in the city, it gave an idea of how luxiorous and advanced the city was when compared to what we might picture.

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After Pompeii, we stayed in Sorrento for two nights. Sorrento was beautiful – honestly how I imagined Italy would be. There was beautiful ceramic shops on every corner, a beach breeze, and some fresh seafood! One of the days we were in Sorrento, we took a ferry to the island of Capri. Capri was incredible (if you didn’t already know.) The water was a light blue-green, there were white villas with doors of every color, and bright flowers everywhere. We took a convertible taxi (highly recommend!) to Anacapri. Anacapri was definitely my favorite over the town of Capri. I liked how it wasn’t as touristy or hot. We went on a tour of the villa San Michele. It was built by the royal Swedish doctor, Axel Munthe at the turn of the 20th century. The house has a focus on natural light and the gardens were incredible. He also collected many priceless pieces of art which are on display as well.

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Our last stop on the trip was too days in Paestum. The first day, we toured the Paestum archeological site & wow! This site was special because we were allowed to explore the Greek and Roman ruins, as well as the temples. Just by looking at the temples, you can tell they’re large, but when you walk inside, you can grasp just how massive the structure is. When you factor into the buildings being made by hand, its truly incredible.

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The second day in Paestum was spent at the beach. The rip tide was very strong, so we weren’t able to go out far, but this lead to a lot of exploring (and of course lounging around)! A small walk down from our beach spot, we found a river that fed into the ocean. We had so much fun here because there were tons of little fish, and we even found a jelly fish that was at least a foot wide & had somehow washed up. We also took a trip to the best buffalo dairy farm in the area which is known for its mozzarella, so it is probably one of the best in the world. Here, we got to see the buffalo, which are a type of Italian water buffalo, and then try a few products! My favorite was the chocolate gelato. It was much creamier than normal gelato and is my favorite chocolate gelato so far. Overall, the Southern Italy trip was a favorite of mine and the rest of my group!

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