Sorrento: A Small Town Filled With Lots of Culture

When you first think of Sorrento there are a few things that may come immediately to mind. These would probably be some combination of: lemons, limoncello, beaches, beautiful vistas, Vesuvius and sfogliatella. You wouldn’t be wrong either. These are all staples of Sorrento cultural life, but there is much more in Sorrento than you might think. A part of my experience that I’ve loved, that I didn’t know about Sorrento before I came, has been the wonderful museums and art exhibits in the area.

After class one day while wandering around with my friend, Bianca, we happened upon a contemporary art museum that had an exhibit called See Feel, which had pieces from the 19th century to the present that represented the variety of feelings and ideas that can be seen through two centuries of art.



Another day, I saw a sign for a photo exhibit on the way to work and decided to pop in. The exhibit was called “Memories in the Wind” and it was all photos of Sorrento and the surrounding area. It was incredible. It really captured life in Sorrento. My favorite part was out on the terrace of the exhibit were clothing lines with pictures printed on fabric mixed with clothing and scraps of paper with quotes. It all moved in the wind and was one of the more beautiful things I’d seen.



On the train home from Pompeii the week before I’d seen an advertisement for something called the Social World Film Festival a few towns over from Sorrento and decided to check it out. My friend Karen and I took the train to Vico Equense and walked to the main Piazza to see a film. It was all outdoors and it was beautiful. The film was an older one and was all in black in white. It was a challenge to understand the movie, but it was still fun!

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These are just a few of the cool cultural things I did last week. There are lots more festivals, galleries and museums. Sorrento is filled with cultural opportunities!

-Rebecca L. Fisher

Gelato-Making in Sorrento

Money Can’t Buy Happiness… But it Can Buy Gelato!

Gelato1Our ISA Sant’Anna group was fortunate to have a gelato making course during the first week of our program at Bougainvillea, which was a great success! After the instructional lecture from the experienced gelataio (gelato maker), we transitioned into a hands-on learning experience that included the making of two very different kinds of the popular Italian treat.

We started out with the shaving & juicing of the lemons, which we later mixed into a batch of water and sugar. Then, we poured the mixture into the gelato machine, which produced fresh lemon sorbet that we were excited to try. We then went through the same process to make a hazelnut gelato that required milk rather than water, which we all also tried and adored.

After our lesson, we all got to pick two flavors to take with us from the wide range of 78 types. I picked out a mango sorbet and a pineapple sorbet, which were buonissimi! Grazie to Bougainvillea for this great experience.

– The above blog post was contributed by Cali Hall, who is currently studying abroad in Sorrento, Italy with ISA High School. Students on the three week-long program take courses at the Sant’Anna Institute, participate on fun cultural activities (such as Gelato-making), and travel on the weekends. Photos contributed by Angelica Bonanno and Elise Castelli.



My Birthday in Italy

Turning another year older is a special thing within itself as is. Having your birthday on the other side of the world is even more special.

The day started with a surprise balloon and tiara gifted to me by the other students on the trip. Sant’Anna Institute then threw a surprise party for me, with a cake, our teachers, our local Italian friends, and a happy birthday song in Italian. Later, dressed in my birthday bling, my host family and I went out to a restaurant where we had bruschetta. The dinner was delicious, and the day a memorable one.

Fernando CakeAlong with many birthday wishes from my family and friends, and random people on the streets who saw me and my birthday tiara, I would consider this birthday one that I will remember for a long time.

– The above post was contributed by Fernando Young, who recently celebrated his birthday while abroad with ISA High School studying Italian in Sorrento, Italy. 

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Adjusting to Italy

Sorrento 1We were apprehensive about coming to Sorrento for the first time because it is a small town. Coming from a big city like Houston, we were worried there wouldn’t be much to do. However, though it is a small city, it is full of life and adventure! Our meeting place, Tasso Square, is constantly filled with people wanting to see the beautiful view of the sea and dining at one of the many restaurants. After class is dismissed we spend our time either at the beach, playing games in the water, or strolling around town, visiting the many local shops.

We have even made friends with Sorrento natives who are studying English at Sant’Anna Institute. It is fun to hang out with people who not only know their way around but also speak another language. We can practice our Italian with them and vice versa. Even though we have only been here a short amount of time, we can tell that we won’t get bored.

One of our biggest concerns coming here was our living situation. Since we are living with a stranger for three weeks, we feared that there would be a difficult language barrier between us and our host family.Group First NightHowever, our host mother is able to communicate with us well and has made us feel right at home.

Being that we had never practiced Italian before, it was nerve-wracking to start class. Once the teacher began class she only spoke to us in Italian. However, she did a good job of making sure we caught on to what she what saying. After only three days of class we are already comfortable enough to speak Italian in small phrases every day!

All-in-all, after a few days, all of our fears of beginning this journey have been diminished. Sorrento, Italy has exceeded all expectations!

– The above post was contributed by Morgan Rogers and Erin Neville, who are currently studying abroad with ISA High School in Sorrento, Italy

A Day In Pompeii

This past week was the group field trip to Pompeii. We got up bright and early on a beautiful Wednesday morning and all met up at the Sorrento train station to take a train to Pompeii. The train station was sleepy and quiet at that time in the morning, but our group was buzzing with excitement to get to Pompeii and see the famous ruins.


Once we were there, we met with the Sant’Anna archeology professor who would be our guide around the ruins. We toured the incredible ancient city and learned all about Pompeii. We learned all about the daily life of the Pompeians, the role Vesuvius had played in preserving the city and even a little about the excavation and archeology.


It was a hot day, but the ruins were amazing. We learned so much about this ancient city and their lifestyle and how it was different from our own, but also how it had a lasting impact on our world and on how things are still done today. For example, the width of carriages was standardized so that speed bumps could be installed with spaces where the wheels of a carriage could go through. That width is still the width today of trains and train tracks!


Pompeii is left just as it was on the day of the eruption. A moment in history is truly captured. You can imagine the Pompeiians going through their daily routine even now walking through the city. It can be eerie at times, especially the part of the city where the plaster bodies are shown in the positions that the people died in, but the history is still incredible and awe inspiring.


The day was filled with seeing spectacular sights, learning of amazing history and spending time with friends. Sant’Anna, WHERE ELSE?


Here is a group picture of us in front of the amphitheater!

-Rebecca Laureanna Fisher


There is so much to love in Sorrento, but I think it’s the small things I will miss the most: the vibrantly painted harbor homes, the countless Gelateria, the alleyways that are far too narrow for cars to use but somehow manage, the olive/lemon/orange trees, the espresso and cornetto breakfasts…. Sorrento is a small town with so much to love.
Over the course of four months I have made this place my second home. I will see you again in 2018. Arrivederci Sorrento!


My experience of a lifetime is almost to the end

I have learned so many things that I do not even know where to begin. I was an intern in Italy, which is an opportunity most students do not gain when they study abroad. My school offered me an internship in the town of Sorrento, but I happened to become an intern at the school. There, I got to work closely with the faculty, speak with the president of the school, and really feel al part of the family that my school obtains. Being an intern in Italy allowed me to compare and contrast my experiences working in American with my experiences and an intern in Italy.

I would highly recommend anyone who is interested in expanding their resume and learning to work in a different country. This is a once and a lifetime experience and it is preparing me for years of my professional and interning life ahead.

Living in Sorrento, I learned how to time manage and work in a small space with a lot of people in a different environment. I learned how to recycle Italian style and cook without an oven,

I learned manage my spending more closely, and it was 100% worthwhile!

I just wish I could go back in time and live it all again!