A Weekend in Napoli

Sadie H. is currently a junior at SYA Italy and a blogger for the Campus Reporter program. She comes to SYA from Chatham Hall in Virginia.

This past weekend, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Naples and Pompeii with my host family and our neighbors. Our neighbors also host an SYA student, Lillian. Lillian and I have become very good friends, and we walk to and from school together every day. We were so excited to be able to go to Naples with our families, and had been talking about how much fun we were going to have on our morning walks weeks before.

The adventure started early Saturday morning, where we loaded up our cars and started the 3.5 hour journey to Naples. The car ride along the way was fun as well; my family and I sang together in the car and I also took some really good naps. We took a pizza bianca break at a highway stop, and I asked Lillian how her car ride had been going. She had slept for the whole time, so needless to say we were full of energy for the day ahead of us. 

Once in Naples, we checked into our hotel and immediately went out to explore the city. Naples is beautiful; walking through the city and looking at the sea with a beautiful view of Mount Vesuvius was breathtaking. We ate the best pizza I have ever had for lunch, and I tried a typical dessert of Naples, called babà. This was something I never expected to eat; it’s a small yeast cake soaked in a syrup made with rum. It was delicious, and even better with Nutella on top! After a break in the afternoon, we headed out again for dinner. We sat upstairs in a small restaurant that at first had many empty tables, but came alive as the night went on. Soon enough the restaurant was packed, and filled with families and dialects from all over Italy. After a delicious meal (and another babà) we headed back to the hotel to rest for the following day at Pompeii.

Although I had learned about Pompeii many times in my previous years of studying Latin, seeing the ancient city with my own eyes instead of in a picture was amazing. Walking through the narrow streets and houses was extremely interesting, and I learned a lot just from being there for a few hours. However, soon enough it started to rain and we had to leave earlier than planned. The traffic added three extra hours to our trip on the way back, but I still had so much fun, even in the car! My family and I played a game where someone would go through the alphabet and the other person would have to say a word starting with that letter as fast as possible. Of course it was difficult for me to come up with Italian words on the spot and I needed a lot of help from my host mom on difficult letters, but the “brava, Sadie!” and high fives afterwards were testament to how far my Italian skills had come in the past two months! 

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