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SEAing Life’s Truest Meaning, Thanks to Amalfi!

SEAing Life’s Truest Meaning, Thanks to Amalfi!

There is so much beauty in doing things you’ve never done before, but there’s even more beauty when you realize you didn’t force it, it’s simply how you’re living. It may only be the start of my time abroad in Rome, but within this two-week period I’ve already learned that this experience has enabled me to leave my comfort zone and explore. It’s forced me to dive into the world and see it unlike ever before, in a rare and exciting form. This new sense of exploration has been placed in the palm of my hand by professors who have assigned curriculum that has never even crossed my mind and has been experienced through the places my feet have lead me. Whether it be sitting in the comfort of my dorm room with my wonderful best friend and roommate Allison or along the Amalfi Coast, all is the same, it takes me to places I’ve never been before and leads me to doing things far better than my dreams.

A large part in my exploration has allowed me to spend my time learning about Italy through more than just every day experience. By attending the John Felice Rome Center, I’ve been given the opportunity to actually study the wonderful country I’m beginning to call home. I have enrolled in classes specializing in the fields of Italian language, art, philosophy, and literature, all of which have allowed me to take the curriculum I am absorbing and applying it to the new life I live. Due to the Italian emphasis within each field, a drive to educate myself within these departments has been established. Through this education I have been given the opportunity to learn about Italy within the pages of the book of my wonderful life, as well as, books published by historians far beyond my time. It’s now more than just a place I’m living, it’s a huge part of who I am becoming.

The more I explore this beautiful country of Italia, the more I find myself falling in love with it. Each location has something beautiful to offer the world, whether it be the small towns along the winding roads of the mountain side or the cities along the coast mistaken for paradise. I’ve seen both and can tell you, there truly is no greater site. This past weekend I was given the opportunity to visit one of the most famous vacation spots in the world and can finally relate to everyone’s hype about it! If you’re human you simply can’t help, but fall in love with the region known as the Amalfi Coast. It’s colors, its clear sea, and its city pride of Italian culture leaves you teary eyed and speechless.


What many don’t realize is its views can’t compare to its history. Along my three hour journey south of Roma a pit stop was made to explore the linkage between the Greeks and Italians with guided tours provided of Paestum temples and museums before arriving to the beautiful cliff side, Lloyd’s Baia Hotel, where we would be staying (and taking over) for the weekend!

After a night of much needed bonding and celebration, a day spent at farms and small villages followed. Saturday began by focusing on the food and wine of southern Italy, teaching us the process behind what we have been enjoying at our dining room tables every day. We had a day filled with some of the world’s best cheese and wine at Vini Marino Vineyard and Caseificio Vannulo Mozzarella di Bufala. The Italian belief is that if you treat something well, it will reward you with something even better in return. Due to this mentality, we got to experience the high life of not only the Italian people, but that of their buffaloes who were massaged multiple times a day and had songs of Mozart as backgrounds to their lives. People may think it’s crazy, but after tasting their life changing gelato and mozzarella I firmly believe it worked!


As if the farms didn’t fill us up enough, lunch followed with the classic pasta dish with a form of meat and potatoes, and an alcoholic dessert. I can beat you anything that no matter where you go in Italy, a meal similar to this will be served! Following this was an afternoon filled with guided tours of Castello and Agropoli, where we later enjoyed a community mass at Santa Maria delle Grazie Church by the wonderful Padre duo known as, Father Al and Father Bohr. As if mass wasn’t beautiful enough, Italians from the community joined us in prayer showing me that no matter where you are in the world people can come together to praise God. After stepping foot outside of the church, I automatically asked to join the young Italian school boys in the streets for a game of Calcio where I got to let loose with my director and be reminded of how simple it is for strangers to connect.

It was a perfect day that just kept getting better. Later that night, I learned the greatest lesson of all, why I’m here. It took a surprise of Italian folk dancers and hours of making a complete fool out of myself in attempts to learn to Italian dance to realize I’m studying abroad not to escape life, but for life not to escape me. It was the first experience in my life where I was so happy my cheeks hurt from smiling so much the entire next day and where not a care in the world crossed my mind. It was me, my amazing friends in my program, and an Italian band that took me to truly live life. In that moment, I was the happiest girl in the world, there was no doubt about it. Memories like these are only found while studying abroad, where moments turn into reasons for living.


Before returning to Roma on Sunday, we took a last stop at Montecassino where we visited the Abbey of St. Benedict. It was jaw dropping to see such beauty and inspired me to be an example for others, just like he is. Overall, if the weeks coming up are anything like the one’s I’ve already experienced, I couldn’t be more excited to see where they take me. My trip to Amalfi has taught me that the greatest gifts in life are given to you when you explore, that you really must eliminate the idea of a comfort zone and just go for it, and that life should be spent doing things that make you convinced you’ve hit the highest level of happiness. One weekend, two weeks in, is all it took for me to find my reason for life directing me to Italy. Due to this, Amalfi will always be with me and there’s no doubt I’ll be returning again. Until then, I’ll be practicing my Italian dancing for the next time I’m at Mediterrean Sea of Southern Italy.


Ciao for now, I’m off to continue enjoying the wonderful life I’m living.

Gabriella Lunich

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