My name is Jennifer Noyola and I spent this past summer at Sant’Anna Institute taking classes and learning what it means to live like an Italian! Sorrento is a small town overlooking the ocean, and since I live in Florida you can trust me when I say you won’t ever find more beautiful beaches! To get to Sant’Anna I would have to walk past an amazing view of the Bay of Naples and Vesuvius. If we weren’t in class, you could bet I and the other students were at I Bagni della Regina Giovanna (which we appropriately called “Paradise Pool”) enjoying the sun and crystal clear water.
More important than the sights, however, was the welcoming atmosphere of Sorrento. Serena’s willingness to help with every little detail of my stay made my summer in Sorrento not only possible, but also unforgettable. The natives were always friendly and even strangers would readily help us out with whatever amount of English they knew (which was usually a lot!). But of course, they really appreciated it when I would test out my Italian too. I came to Italy to immerse myself in the culture I had been studying for so long back home; to learn a language and its culture well, there really is nothing like living in the country.
At Sant’Anna I took classes on Modern Italian Literature and Archaeology. Modern Literature was one of the best classes I have ever taken, and we studied the great names in Italian literature such as Foscolo, Leopardi, and Manzoni. Domenico was such a great teacher who really gets you interested in what you read! It was taught entirely in Italian, so I even got some great practice speaking, reading, and writing in the language. My archaeology class was taught in English and covered the history behind the eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD. It was truly fascinating learning about Pompeii and the other areas destroyed by the eruption, then taking field trips to see the ruins of what we had studied; our teacher Ilaria knew everything about the places we visited and was a better guide than any tour guide you could ask for. I learned so much in both my classes, and it only made me want to continue studying Italian language and culture for the next time I return!
me with my Italian literature professor and another student
This summer I saw beautiful sights, made life-long friends, and of course ate (and learned to make!) amazing food. It was truly an unforgettable experience, and it was all thanks to the incredible people I met during my stay. Grazie mille a tutti! Mi mancate, e canterò “Torna a Surriento” fino a quando posso davvero tornare!