I have been in Sorrento for one and a half weeks and I am overwhelmed every single day by the amount of beauty that this place has to offer. Sorrento is on the golden coast of Italy and it sure reflects that title. There are an amazing amount of places to explore and its location at the tip of the Amalfi coast line offers us students endless possibilities to see new places, hike, swim, and explore. Sorrento is often considered a tourist town, however, this is the tourist off-season so we have a chance to really learn about Italian culture and to meet locals. Here are a few of the lessons I have learned so far:
1. If you are trying to cross the street, you just have to go for it. You don’t even have to run, you just have to pick a moment and go. Cars here are small and fast and there are mopeds everywhere however it seems as if pedestrians have the unwritten right of way. Conventional cross walks are nonexistent. It took me a lot longer to walk to school the first couple of days because I would wait for there to be no cars coming. Now I just go and pray that the driver slows down!
2. Don’t fear weight gain in the country of carbs because walking up and down the hills of Sorrento constantly every day will keep you from getting fat!
3. If you have an Italian host mother, she will likely treat you like her own child and spoil you constantly. Despite my roommate and I’s best efforts to be helpful, our Mama Italiana insists on doing everything for us.
4. Time is irrelevant and most businesses close around the hours from 1-4 for a siesta during the day. It is a fantastic time to take a nap!
My first impressions of this place couldn’t be matched anywhere else. Not only is Sorrento beautiful and full of culture, the Sant’ Anna Institute is awesome. I may not be able to focus on my studies there if I sit too close to a window because the views are breathtaking. Not only that, in three of my classes, there is only one other student. And in my other class there are only 4 other students! I am practically going to be privately tutored while I am here.
I know that this semester is going to be the most amazing experience of my life and Sorrento is practically heaven!
Tristan is a spring 2017 SAI Sorrento student from Point Loma Nazarene University.