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Orientation Weekend in Campania

Orientation Weekend in Campania

Ciao tutti!

Last Friday at 7am, I went with the JFRC to Campania, the province adjacent to Lazio, the province that Rome is in. We drove for about 4 hours until we reached a cliffside restaurant near the town of Agropoli where we had lunch. For lunch, we had lasagna, followed by pork and potatoes. Although the lasagna was good, it was not my favorite, as I still prefer lasagna alla Bolognese. Unlike the ladder, this particular lasagna was more based on a tomato sauce instead of a meat sauce, and had a slightly sweet aftertaste. The pork and potatoes were cooked well, and the pork had a slightly peppery taste to it, which I really enjoyed.

After lunch, we departed for an archeological site in a nearby town.  There, we examined numerous ruins left by the Roman empire that were constructed in a Greco-Roman fashion.  In the middle of the site, there were numerous structures that appeared to look similar to the Parthenon.  Although I enjoyed the tour, it was raining that day, so we had to go under an open air shelter for a bit until the rain subsided.  After, we went to the museum adjacent to the site, where we examined paintings, mosaics, and other works of art excavated from the site that were on display for preservation purposes.

Once we finished at the site, we departed for our hotel in Vietri, a small town along the Amalfi Coast.  After checking in, we had a welcome celebration led by the student life team, followed by dinner.  For dinner, we had a pasta that contained both pork and a mushroom sauce.  Although it was very good, it was not my personal favorite, as I am not the largest fan of mushrooms.  Objectively, though, it was cooked well.  Following the pasta was the second course, which consisted of turkey and potatoes.  Similar to lunch, both were cooked nicely, and the turkey has a slight peppery taste to it.  Throughout the meal, we were served ample wine.  The wine we received was a medium-bodied red, and although it was not as robust as a Cabernet or a Sangiovese, there was still ample flavor.

The next morning, we were woken up very early by staff, after which, we had breakfast and then went to both a bufala mozzarella farm and a winery.  We toured both facilities, followed by a tasting from each.  The bufala mozzarella was served in a water bath, so that when you bit into it, you could taste the freshness and richness of the mozzarella cheese.  Unlike other types of cheese, this particular cheese contained 9 percent milk fat, which meant that it was incredibly flavorful.  After the farm, we went to the wine tasting, where we sampled both a white and a red.  As you can tell from my blog, I prefer red wine outright to white; this particular white, however, was very full-bodied and was not too harsh.  To me, it tasted like a more refined, smoother pinot grigio.  Additionally, the red tasted very good as well; however, unlike the wine tasting in Umbria, it was not nearly as robust in its strength.  However, there was still flavor, and although fruity, it was not overwhelming.

After the wine tasting and lunch, we went to the town of Agropoli, where we climbed to a fort at the highest point in town.  From there, we saw spectacular views of the Southern Amalfi Coast.  We got a couple of hours to freely explore the town, have coffee, and shop.  Although I chose not to participate in the community mass, many people did, and those that attended it got to go inside a church situated on a cliff.  Once it came time to go, we boarded the busses and went back to the hotel for dinner.

Once dinner was almost over, a musical group from near Vesuvius came out of nowhere.  All of a sudden, the room went from moderately loud chatter to a room filled with excitement, music, and dancing.  Almost immediately, I found myself being yanked up from my seat onto the dance floor, where I danced with a member of the band.  I was a bit intimidated at first, seeing as I am not the best dancer; however, I got into the rhythm of the music, and after a while felt much more relaxed.  After the dancing, we enjoyed the rest of the night with new friends looking out over the water.

Although very tired the next day, we were, yet again, woken up very early to eat breakfast, check out, and board the buses.  Our last sight that we visited was a monastery situated on top of a very large hill just north of Naples.  We toured the compound, which included a museum, and were able to spend time taking pictures, talking with friends, and reflecting on our experiences up to this point.  It was a very peaceful environment, as for the first time in almost two weeks, I was able to find a place where I could be in complete silence and think about the many thoughts and experiences I have.

We then left the monastery, went to lunch, and departed back to Rome.

I know this blog was longer than usual, but I felt that there was a lot to highlight from this experience.  Unfortunately, the wifi is very bad in Italy, so I do not have the pictures right now for this blog.  In the future, once I find a solution, I will make sure to add pictures to the site!

Grazie per leggere, e a presto!



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