Ciao a tutti!
Elise Walsh checking in again at the Sant’Anna Institute in Sorrento, Italy. So far, I’ve been in Italy for just over two weeks and I’ve learned a lot about the ins and outs of my host city. Today, I’m going to focus on a unique experience that I’ve had abroad.
Since Sorrento has a hotter climate than my hometown, I want to spend a lot more time outdoors than I normally would. I love going to the beach and swimming, searching for sea glass, or just reading a good book. However, Sorrento is a big tourist hotspot and the beaches get really crowded really fast. Some fellow classmates of mine have been to Sorrento before and took a group of us to a place called I Bagni della Regina Giovanna, or the Baths of Queen Giovanna. The walk there was not for the faint of heart, but totally worth the journey. Of course, there’s a bus as well, but I’ll get to that later.
Going to Regina Giovanna is by far the most breathtaking experience I’ve had since I arrived in Sorrento. We first hiked down to the bath itself and went swimming. There were only a few locals and a Russian family there, which was so much more relaxing than the crowds at Marina Piccola or Marina Grande. The water was the perfect temperature and the most incredible shades of blue and green that I’ve ever seen. Through a small cave you can swim out into the Mediterranean, which is an adventure in and of itself, especially when a boat goes by.
For lunch, we climbed up to the ruins of what is believed to have been the home of Pollio Felice, a Roman historian. We sat on the roof and enjoyed our sandwiches and fruit while looking out at the Mediterranean. Afterwards, we trekked down to the front of the villa to explore. It was fascinating to look at what still remained of the building and imagine what went on there. However, it was disheartening to see how much graffiti and litter there was everywhere. I’ll never understand how you could deface something so beautiful.
When we returned to the main path, we were pretty tired and decided to head back to our respective apartments. We took the bus back, which was so unlike any bus experience I’ve ever had before: there were no specified stops, you had to press the driver alert button to get the driver to stop. Therefore, you have to be on the lookout at all times to make sure you get dropped off at the right place. Once we were close to our apartment, my roommate and I got off and went out for pasta and gelato. It was the perfect end to the perfect day.
Arrivederci for now!
– Elise is a summer 2017 SAI Sorrento student from Rochester Institute of Technology.