Hey y’all! I’m back and ready to tell all about what my first week here in Salerno looked like as a first time study abroad student! A little disclaimer before I get going: I originally intended to have more posts about this week and have them up as they occurred, but after the craziness of some minor jet lag, jam packed days, and many technical difficulties it’s an understatement to say that things didn’t go quite as planned. Bear with me as this may be a bit of a longer post as it covers more time than I originally hoped for, but I cannot wait to share with y’all all of my upcoming events and excursions in real time!
This post couldn’t start without spilling all the details about my approximately 30 hour traveling time from my home in Austin, Texas, all the way to Rome, and eventually Salerno. My day started at 4am when my alarm went off to head out to the airport for what would be my longest flight ever AND first time out of North America! Half as a joke and half seriously I brought along my 2005 Nikon camera that has sat in the top shelf of my closet since who knows when, fully expecting to be able to document all my travels here. Unfortunately I failed to realize that I have no way to download the pics I took from the camera to my phone, so sadly those are going to have to wait until later to make their debut on here! Austin to Atlanta, 8 hour layover. Atlanta to Rome, 8.5 hour flight. 30 minute train ride to the Rome station followed by a 3 hour ride to Salerno. Finally after meeting my host family and making it all the way to the flat, my roommate and I were happily greeted by 5 staircases up to the apartment. I can tell you firsthand that getting a 50 pound suitcase, large duffel bag, and backpack up 4 stories is no easy feat. Moral of the story is that it was a long day and a half, but all so incredibly worth it!
First day of classes! Here in Salerno our school schedule begins at 9am and goes until 11am, when when we get a 30 minute break to relax and enjoy a cornetto (croissant) and caffè (coffee) at the bar. We’ve practically become regulars at Bar Rosa located just across the street from our school. After that we go back to class until 12:50pm and the rest of the day is either filled with fun excursions or free time to do whatever we so choose! There was no way I wasn’t going to try my first authentic Italian pizza at the first chance I got, and thus the first pizzette of many was purchased at Bar Rosa.
Did you know that southern Italy is home to the largest royal palace in the world? (Yeah you read that right- LARGEST as in spanning over 2,000,000 cubic meters!) On Thursday we got to visit Reggia di Caserta, more simply known as just “Caserta”. It’s hard to believe that places like this actually exist and even more unbelievable that I have the opportunity to experience them firsthand!!! My 5 year old dream of becoming a princess actually felt like it got to come true when I stepped foot into the palace. See for yourself the breathtaking interior and gardens of this magical place.
That’s all for part 1 of this post! Stay tuned for part 2 where the gelato meets the Amalfi Coast!
Ciao a tutti!