Hello, friends. I am in currently in Dubrovnik, Croatia… here is an update of my last port!
Italy was amazing! I visited Rome for a couple of days and saw parts of the city that are more residential and historic in a different way than the massive city center. It was really lovely and I found some gems of places along the way.
The next day I went to Orvieto which is a small city with an amazing network of man-made caves under almost every home. They were used for business, wether it was wine storage or olive oil production of all of the above. There also was a large cathedral that was being renovated.
On the fourth day I took a tour to Bomarzo and Villa Lante. Our first stop was in the Bomarzo “Park of Monsters”, which is this amazing forest where there’s giant rock sculptures that seemingly come out of the ground. Villa Lante is a picturesque town where the Duke built a huge system of waterfalls and fountains and outdoor living spaces- even a self-cooling outdoor dining table. It was gorgeous and a great look into the majestic way that the nobility of small towns of Italy lived. I loved doing these two tours to smaller places because in Italy, aside from Rome and Milan and a little bit Naples, most people live in small cities where life is slower and built on community. They live in places where shops still close at midday and shopkeepers can walk home for a meal. In Orvieto I saw little kids walking to school… some very young. And you just can’t imagine that in a big city like Rome.
In Naples I had a field lab with my Gender Literature class, and we went to the Naples Archeological Museum, where they house all the frescoes and mosaics and artifacts from Pompeii. It was quite amazing! And then we went to the Borbon tunnels, which started as an aquifer and then became a bomb shelter during WWII, because Naples was the hardest-hit city in all of Italy. I love that Semester at Sea has these class-oriented trips. This is really the way that a global education happens and I am so happy about it!
I had a terrific experience and hope that the rest of the ports are as lovely.