The GoGlobal Blog

The play ground of the rich and famous & time travel

The play ground of the rich and famous & time travel

This past week and half have been (wait for it) legendary! I am officially in love with Italy and studying abroad. I have been in the same places at the same time as Beyoncé and the Pope and have been able to time travel back to 79 AD. Although I have not yet reached my euro chic fashion status, the adventures I have on my bucket list are already getting smaller and I have only been here for a month!


I think I visited heaven last weekend, as I spent three days in the Amalfi Coast. There is no doubt in my mind that God spent a little extra time creating this part of the world because it is absolutely the most beautiful place I have ever been to and seen! Also Beyonce was there the same time I was and I didn’t even know it. So that’s pretty cool? Thursday night my roommate Adrian and I headed for the train station to meet our travel group for the weekend. Obviously, we over packed and received vicious glares as we had our roller bags instead of travel backpacks. I guess learning how to not over pack just comes with time. (No promises that I will master this skill while I am here though) We took a two and a half hour bus ride and arrived in the town of Sorrento. The next morning we woke up bright and early to catch our ferry to Capri. Upon arriving into the port of Capri I was overwhelmed, it looked just like all the pictures and movies!

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I was on the playground of the rich and the famous. We then took a little boat ride around the island. Every few minutes our guide pointed something out to us. I learned that Capri comes from the Latin word-meaning goat and it is common to see mountain goats hanging out around the island. During our boat ride we visited the three famous Grottos (caves) of the island. Unfortunately, the tide was too high to take a row boat into the Blue Gratto, so we only got to see the White and Green Grotto, which were both still amazing.


We returned back to island and walked up to Capri Town. The walk was more of a hike and once we reached the top I was straight up dripping in sweat. Immediately, I forgot of the pain in my calves  when I saw the breath taking view. Not only are the houses and bulidings nestled perfectly in the mountain, but also the water is a shade of blue that is so vibrant you can’t help but feel a sense of tranquility arise over you. The white columns bordering the balconies are full of life as everyone eagerly peaks of the edge to attempt to capture the island’s beauty. (Of course no pictures do any justice) We walked around Capri town then got in a miniature bus and made our way up to Anacapri.

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First things first Adrian and I went to buy limocello for our families. I learned that this region of Italy is known for citrus so it only seemed fitting to bring some back for everyone! We then took a chair lift to the highest point of the island, where the views were once again breath taking! We tooled around the island for a bit longer and ended our evening back in the town of Sorrento.12032141_10205269777410515_1993804980723382628_nIMG_0615_2



Saturday morning we woke up and took a bus to Positano to spend the day at the beach. Upon arriving I fell in love. The village of Positano is perfectly placed in the side of the mountain and looks like colorful legos stacked up on top of each other. 11998857_10207690449684332_1593404274538199777_nThe highlight of the day (and arguably of the trip thus far) was when we rented a boat for the afternoon. A crew of us girls purchased prosciutto, cheese, and prosecco and spent the afternoon on the water. Our driver Maximo pointed out all the important sites along the water and took us to his favorite local places.


We visited several caves that we got to swim through and climb on. The reflection from the light on the water in the caves was unbelievable and glowed like nothing I have ever seen. One of the caves we swam in holds the legend for being the home of the mermaids. (No, unfortunately I didn’t get to see any) Of course sitting on the rocks in the cave I had flashbacks to the Disney Chanel Original Movie The 13th Year. Maximo then docked his boat outside the famous African Nightclub and took us on a tour of Onassis’ favorite hangout. (I was very excited about this) The weather that day was absolutely perfect and I couldn’t help but feel like a princess being in such a beautiful place. After spending several hours on the water we headed back for the main beach in Positano, where we relaxed and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon.


Sunday was a bit less glamorous and significantly more historical as we spent the day in the ancient city of Pompeii. Before visiting the site I was unaware of the historical significance of the town and how amazing it is that the public has the opportunity to actually time travel back to 79 AD. A quick and very simplified summary of the story of Pompeii is that a Mt. Vesuvius erupted and covered the whole town in her ashes, killing everyone and destroying everything. Around the year 1748 farmers discovered that the ash from the volcano actually preserved the ancient city and began bringing Pompeii back to life. Flash forward to 2015 and Pompeii is one of the world’s largest archeological sites spreading over 160 acres. Visitors can walk through the town and see where the shops and homes of the people of Pompeii. The fact that the town is so perfectly preserved makes this history lesson far from boring!


12032215_10207690455364474_2141430600209688678_nWalking through the stone streets and using my imagination to try to actually be in the past was an experience I will never forget. Visiting Pompeii reminded me that there is so much history all throughout Italy (and Europe)  that I can learn about while I am studying abroad. Once we completed our tour of Pompeii we headed back for our home base, Roma.


Back in the eternal city I had a busy and fabulous week. Tuesday before class, I spent the afternoon exploring Piazza del Popolo and the Villa Borghese Gardens with my friend Eliza. Hanging around Piazza del Popolo made me feel like I was right out of the Lizzie McGuire Movie and I loved it.(Still searching for my Paolo though) After dipping my feet in the fountain and observing the beauty of the ancient architecture Eliza and I headed over for the gardens. Fun fact Villa Borghese is the third largest park in Rome and is in the shape of a heart. After exploring for a little we enjoyed a lovely lunch at a delicious café in the middle of the garden, and completed our afternoon by renting a little rowboat on a pond. I failed miserably at rowing us around but had fun trying.






Wednesday classes at the JFRC were cancelled so the students in our program could attend the Papal Audience in Saint Peter’s Square. The Papal Audience is held every Wednesday that the Pope is in Rome. We all woke up bright and early and headed to Vatican City at 6 am to get in line to get seats. People by the thousands lined up to get a blessing and hear words of wisdom from Pope Francis. As the time grew closer for the gates to be opened the crowds got larger and the pushing and line cutting escalated.


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Looking around I saw a variety of people from nuns to young couples in their wedding attire seeking to receive a blessing from the Pope himself. Once the gates opened the crowds flooded into the square to pass the security check point and race to get a seat. We were seated nearly 20 rows back and had a perfect view of everything. Looking around the square I was in awe at how beautiful the Vatican is and how perfectly detailed every section is. It is amazing to think of the how all the monuments were built so long ago and are so beautiful. The Pope focused his talk on sustainability and engaged the audience by welcoming everyone in nearly a dozen languages. This once in a lifetime experience was truly amazing.




The rest of the afternoon I spent exploring and walking around Rome. I finally got to see the Pantheon and the Church of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits.



That evening was the kick off to Calcio, Loyola’s version of intramural soccer. All the students got overly amped and engaged in some friendly competition. My team won by 2 goals, which was obviously very exciting. After the games everyone went and enjoyed beer and pizza which hit the spot.

Thursday afternoon I got a little more in touch with my “local” side and visited the Trionfale Market. The market was full of everything you could imagine from fresh fruit to meats and cheeses. I had a blast tasting all the different foods and trying to speak the little Italian I know. (It’s not much but it is getting there) The vendors were all very nice however, I tired ordering a slice of cheese and some how ended up purchasing a 5 euro block of cheese. Oh well, at least it was tasty!


Friday even though we usually don’t have class we had make up classes since we didn’t have class on Wednesday. I had my first on site class for Modern Art. We visited the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art. The museum was delightful, I had a great time exploring, and observing the variety of artwork.


Saturday things got a little more touristy as my friend Max and I spent the day in Pisa. Contrary to popular belief there is more to do in Pisa than just see the leaning tower. We took a train ride up north and explored the town. Immediately after arriving we found a quaint street market where Max and I ate amazing fresh Porchetta sandwiches and homemade cannolis. (My love for cannolis grows stronger every day)



We then wandered down the vintage streets, crossed the river, and found Piazza dei Miracoli. Piazza dei Miracoli is home to the famous leaning tower, the town’s amazing Cathedral, the Baptistery of Saint John, the Campostanto Monumentale, and a museum. All of the attractions are full of tourist and one can’t help but giggle as they look around and see everyone posing for the classic leaning or jumping picture. The church was absolutely breathtaking and I learned so much from visiting the historical sites. After seeing the tourist spots of the town we wandered back and visited the street market again. Max and I got Italian craft beer that surprisingly tasted like Tank 7 (I was so excited) and people watched. Observing everyone that walked our way I have a new found respect for boys who can rock jorts and random phrased graphic t-shirts written in English. Our train ride home was easy and the day overall was a success.




Sunday we ventured to the Olympic stadium to see A.S. Roma vs. Sassuolo. Upon arriving it was evident that soccer is more than just a sport as the die-hard fans cheered loudly outside the stadium and waved their flags. Sitting in the stands was so fun as everyone around cheered and screamed throughout the game. Although the game ended in a tie the experience made me feel like I was embracing the Italian culture and I have now decided that I am a HUGE A.S. Roma fan.


12011150_10207735816698479_172551640932855160_nStay tuned for the rest of my adventures, tomorrow I am going to the original Eataly for a wine tasting, and traveling to Germany this weekend for Oktober Fest! Thanks for reading and miss you all bunches!



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