Falling in Love with Italy

Guest post by Vanessa Peterson, a Foster senior studying Accounting. She studied abroad on the Business Italy Early Fall Start program in 2017. Vanessa received a GBC Study Abroad Scholarship.

It’s hard to think of just one story to encompass my time in Italy. I might have only been there for three weeks, but I definitely fit as much as possible into that time. Right off the bat, one of the best and fullest experiences during my time abroad, was my first weekend. A group
of us decided to venture down to Naples and Pompeii, and those two days away from Rome were filled with everything we expected to come across in Italy, both good and bad. We, of course, planned this trip last minute, so we really didn’t have all the details figured out. For example, we only bought train tickets to Naples and figured it’d be easy to find our way to
Pompeii once we got to the Naples station. Once in Naples, we ended up on the wrong train to Pompeii, and one of the guys in the group almost got pick pocketed! Major props to the other guy in our group who was vigilant enough to have noticed it happening and called the thief out.

Once we eventually got to Pompeii though, it was amazing. I’ve always wanted to see the ruins, so getting to just roam through the remains of the city for hours was just so cool. And our Airbnb hosts were amazing. On the way to the ruins, they told us about the history of Pompeii, where the ancient city was situated in relation to the landscape, and how the landscape had changed after Vesuvius erupted. For example, I had no idea that modern day Pompeii is built where the sea once was, and that the eruption covered all that water to expand the landscape. We wrapped up the night with a cooking lesson from our hosts, and I can proudly say I think my Carbonara and Garlic Aioli pasta is better than most restaurants.
Getting back to Rome, through Naples, was another adventure in itself. We experienced weird bus schedules, overcrowded buses that you could only envision in your nightmares, and a picturesque coast that almost made it worth it. So, after an hour waiting for this sketchy bus to show up, we rode down to the coast, had some of the best pizza ever, and actually ran into a
family from England that we met the other day when we got on the wrong train to Pompeii.

Small world!

This trip to Naples and Pompeii alone was about as much adventure as I thought I would get while abroad. So, for the rest of my time in Italy, I had to try to top it. I saw all the sights, climbed the dome at Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Tower of Pisa, and the Duomo in Florence. I fell in love with Florence and went not once but twice. I gained the confidence to travel alone, and
even started feeling like Rome and even Florence were my cities. I saw Rome, Pompeii, Naples, various cities along the Amalfi Coast, Pisa, and Florence. I had the time of my life, made amazing friends, and my Instagram got a well needed content upgrade. I’m so grateful I had the
opportunity to go, and I can’t wait for my next international adventure!