WRITTEN BY HANNAH VUOZZO, SPRING 2017
Regardless of when you decide to, studying abroad will be a decision you will not come to regret. However, studying in Sorrento, Italy, during the fall semester can be a particularly attractive option.
Sorrento is a major vacation destination on the Amalfi Coast, located less than fifty kilometers from Naples. The summer months bring flocks of tourists. It is not until the end of September into October that Sorrento returns to being a relatively quiet Italian town while the temperatures remain mild. For this reason, the fall semester is an incredible time to study in Sorrento.
Throughout the year, the region offers a substantial selection of hiking trails. Students organize day-trips to local destinations such as Amalfi, Positano, the Isle of Capri, Pompeii, and Mount Vesuvius where the scenery is extraordinary. Even staying in Sorrento can be its own adventure. For instance, a forty-minute walk along Via Capo and Traversa Punta Capo will bring you to Bagni della Regina Giovanna and Villa di Pollio Felice, the site of ancient Roman ruins with remarkable views of the Bay of Naples.
There are other outdoor activities, typically marketed for tourism, like boating and local tours in which students can participate.
The fall brings other events, even the harvest season for certain fruits. In late September, the seaside village of Marina Grande is the setting for the annual Fish Festival. The local fishermen, their wives, and volunteers prepare delectable seafood dishes and products. In the hills of Sorrento, the village of Priora hosts the annual Grape Festival in the first week of October with live entertainment, tasting, and celebration. Held on the Caracciolo Promenade, the Napoli Pizza Village from September 1 to September 6 is part of Naples tradition and culture. All Saints’ Day on November 1, is the major Italian holiday, both religious and public, during the fall semester. Additionally, December 8 is a public holiday called L’Immacolata Concezione to celebrate the virginity of the Virgin Mary.
Essentially, the fall semester allows students to experience Sorrento transition from when it is buzzing with tourism to when it is a quiet close-knit Italian community. Being able to taste both the height of activity and the intimacy of Italian culture is a distinct experience not offered in cities such as Milan and Rome to the north.