It was time to leave Florence, our home away from home for the last month. Although we were sad to leave, we were beyond excited to make our way to the Amalfi Coast for some beach time!
We arrived in sunny Sorrento just in time to watch the sunset at one the lookout points. Later, we enjoyed a delicious dinner and some tasty gelato as we explored the town center. Sorrento definitely introduced us to a slower-paced environment and students took the next few days to relax after working hard in class.
We then traveled to Capri and students were completely blown away by its beauty. They were wowed by its crystal blue water and peculiar charm. Here, we explored the mainland and even had a celebrity sighting on the hilltops! The highlight was definitely the boat tour around Capri’s Grottos. As we sailed around the island, the group admired the views and took spectacular photos. Later, we were given the chance to swim in the grotto and experience the Mediterranean Sea for ourselves. It was a hot and sunny day and it felt amazing to cool off in the water. We stopped at three different locations to swim, and each one more beautiful than the last. The group made its way around the island before heading back to Sorrento for a fun family dinner.
Next, we visited Positano, a small beach town that is famed for its colorful buildings and excellent restaurants. We enjoyed a scenic ferry ride to the beach, explored the town, swam in the bay, and enjoyed some incredible lemon sorbet.
We ended our program in Rome where we experienced some of the marvels of Italian culture before it was time to head back home.
On our way to Rome, we stopped in the ancient city of Pompeii where our students explored the famous ruins and were enraptured by our tour guide’s tales of the splendor of the city before it was destroyed by Mount Vesuvius.
On our first night in Rome, we did a tour of the city’s most famous sites. After a nice dinner and of course, some gelato at the Piazza Navona, we wandered along the cobblestone streets to visit the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain. We took some incredible pictures and made wishes as we threw change over our shoulders into the fountain.
We visited the Vatican City, the world’s smallest country and one of the most religious and adored places in the world. Much to our students’ dismay, we didn’t get a meeting with the Pope but we were impressed by the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. The experience in the chapel was surreal and we even witnessed a brief mass and confessional hearing which was beautiful to watch. Our students were wowed by the architecture and artistry of the museums and the chapel itself which was painted over an 8 year period with a 3 mm brush – crazy, right?
After our tour of the Vatican, we visited Trastevere which is famed for its restaurants and cultural mix of traditional Italian and classic Americana. Having left the Vatican behind, we got ready for our next day in Rome and we toured the Colosseum and Roman Forum. We then headed to the gardens of Villa Borghese next to the Egyptian inspired Piazza del Popolo. We roamed the gardens and savored our last moments in Italy.
We finished off our day by the Spanish Steps before heading to a toga party at Papa Rex. We were serenaded by musicians and we had our last pasta dishes in Italy. After a bittersweet closing ceremony, students said their goodbyes.
We are so grateful for our time in Italy and the memories we’ve created will last a lifetime!
For the last time,
The Westcoast Blogger