In the middle of April, I went on an IES Abroad sponsored trip to the Amalfi coast. During this trip, we spent two days traveling and throughout the Campania region. This trip was definitely one of my favorite trips of the semester. It was also a great experience because I signed up for the trip before knowing anyone in IES Abroad, so I was able to hang out with people from my program who I hadn’t really talked to a whole lot.
On the first day of the trip, we went to a buffalo mozzarella factory, Paestum, and then went to our hotel in Vietri Sul Mare. The buffalo mozzarella factory was pretty incredible. We learned about the process of how buffalo mozzarella is made and had SO much fresh and amazing tasting cheese. At the factory we were treated to lunch which was filled with different cheeses, meats, breads, and even more cheeses. After the factory, we went to the archaeological site of Paestum. This was a pretty incredible site and was definitely something that I never would have seen if it wasn't for the trip. Paestum was a Greek city filled with temples, basilicas, and other ruins. We received a guided tour of the area and museum and it was very interesting to learn about the history of the area. After Paestum, we arrived in Vietri sul Mare, an absolutely gorgeous coastal town and we were fortunate to be staying in a hotel that overlooked the sea and was just a short walk from the beach. That night all of us just hung out in our apartments overlooking the sea and then relaxed on the beach for a couple hours.
The next day we took a guided trip through the towns of Salerno, Amalfi, and Ravello. These were easily some of the most beautiful towns I have seen and the views of the coast were pretty incredible. Additionally, we had an amazing tour guide named Francesco, or as he liked to be called “Franky baby.” Franky was one of the funniest people I’ve met and he had us constantly laughing. He was obviously trying to play up the Italian stereotypes, but he was very successful in making us laugh more. He even sang for us at the end of the trip to give us one last farewell from the Amalfi Coast. I think one of my favorite things about the trip was the boat ride between Salerno and Amalfi. We were on a ferry with the sun at our back and a nice breeze coming off of the sea with an incredible view of the towns along the coast. The Amalfi Coast was absolutely beautiful and I really hope that I’m able to go back there someday.
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<p>My name is Josh Marrs and I am a junior from Rice University in Houston, Texas! I'm majoring in Sociology with a major interest in social inequality. My passions are playing tennis, basketball, ping pong, and any other sport I can get my hands on. Visiting Rome has been one of the biggest dreams of my life thus far and I will be fulfilling that dream by studying in Rome during the Spring of 2016. This will be my first time experiencing another country and I can't wait to share my experiences and reflections.</p>