Arriving in Naples after a very early start we emerged from the airport into glorious sunshine. Our first stop was the Naples Archaeological Museum where we visited a range of exhibits and experienced National Geographic’s ‘Understanding Climate Change’ immersive exhibition which used visual storytelling and sensory experiences to convey the effects of global warming on our planet. Our lunch stop was O’Munaciello for our first Italian pizza.
On our second day in Naples we travelled to Mount Vesuvius and began an exhilarating walk. The sun was shining brightly and the air was hot but our guide got us up the mountain in no time. Halfway up we had the view of Herculaneum which was beautiful. The crater at the top was much bigger than expected, and we were all surprised by the steam ascending from the rocks. For most of us, it was our first visit to a volcano, which was very exciting. The hike ended with a beautiful view of Vesuvius from the bottom and a perfect spot for our lunch.
Then we went to a mozzarella farm and were taken to the kitchen of a big restaurant where Maria demonstrated how she made mozzarella cheese. Back in the dining room we had a chance to enjoy their very special, very fresh mozzarella, along with bread, tomato and salami. The next taster was lemon, and spiced oil with bread, followed by homemade jam on pieces of delicate cake. Lots of people then bought some of their goods and we all left disappointed we couldn’t eat more!
Day three began with a trip to Pompeii, where we toured the amazingly-well-preserved ruins; a shadow of what once was a thriving and cultured city, and part of one of the biggest empires to ever exist. Next was the catacombs of Naples, a huge system of tunnels that lead to multiple rooms, almost seeming to be infinite as they branch out. Originally built for wells and water systems, the tunnels were later used as bomb shelters during World War II. At the end of the day we were treated to a demonstration of ice cream making. We made a traditional limon gelato and got to eat it at the end, and it was delicious!
The last day of the trip came quickly, and none of us wanted to leave. Our first stop was Positano, a cliff-side town just south of Amalfi. We walked a short distance down narrow, steep streets until we came across The Church of Santa Maria Assunta. Part of the group went to see a recently discovered Roman villa, while the other half went down to the beach. Back in the bus, we drove to Amalfi along a beautiful cliff-side route, followed by a boat ride out to sea for stunning views of the Amalfi coast. Back in Amalfi we had time for some shopping before our journey back to the airport. None of us wanted the tour to end, as we all enjoyed it so much.
Froggy Stanley-Evans (By)
Noah Taylor (Sco)
Johann Firoozmand (Sco)