Sunhats in hand and sunscreen applied, 35 Umbra students and three staff members boarded a bus Friday morning, ready for the Optional Trip to the South of Italy.
“I just had so much fun,” said Umbra student Leah Saraceni. “The trip couldn’t have been better!”
The first stop was a guided tour of the ruins of Pompei. Led by experts Giorgio and Enzo, students walked through excavated villas and shivered at the bodies of the ancient Pompeiians, forever encased in lava from Mt. Vesuvius’s great eruption in 79 A.D.
One windy but scenic bus ride along the Amalfi Coast later, the group checked into rooms at Hotel Michelangelo in Sorrento and were free to relax or explore the small, vibrant city before a multi-course dinner at the hotel.
Saturday morning, the group trooped to the port to catch a ferry to Capri. Students took full advantage of their free day: They took boat rides around the island, swam in the Tyrrhenian Sea, took the funicular up Anacapri, enjoyed the area’s typical seafood, and sipped Capri’s famous lemonade. After a (slightly more sunburned) dinner at the hotel, another full day was over.
Sunday was dedicated to Naples. Two vivacious Neopolitan guides led the group on a bus and walking tour of the city, neatly wrapping up thousands of years of history, pointing out places for the most authentic margarita pizza, and warning students to watch their wallets all at once.
By Sunday evening, the group was sleepily riding the bus through the hills of Campania, Lazio, and Umbria, happy to be headed home to Perugia.