On May 15th, after many hours of traveling, we finally arrived in Naples. Our group did an extensive amount of planning and researching prior to the trip, however, everything was extremely new for us once we got off the airplane. We got our luggage and went through the process of currency exchange, which for some of us was the first time seeing Euros. Though this was a smaller experience, anything can be overwhelming when in new surroundings. 

As we waited for the taxi to take us to the hotel, the atmosphere matched that of New York City. There were people and cars everywhere, and if one has ever experienced driving in NYC, the chaos of the Naples airport traffic was considerably worse— but it provided us with quality entertainment for a while. The ways of driving in Italy became more apparent once we got in our taxis as every driver is constantly distracted by their phones or anything else near them. In our driver’s case, it was a few (sealed) bottles of wine. All of us in the taxi were concerned at first, but we soon realized that it is a normal part of their culture and everyone in the taxi shared a few laughs over it before we reached our destination.

As we arrived to the hotel, the weather was especially wet and gloomy, but the place itself was beautiful. There was a pool, farm animals, and a great restaurant. The hotel restaurant is where we had our first dinner, and they served us the best homemade gnocchi and a different assortment of meats. We sat as a group around the table enjoying the delicious meal provided to us and reflected on our experience so far as our busy day of traveling came to an end. Soon after, we went off to bed anticipating all of the great experiences we had ahead of us for the first part of the trip. – Madison Perseo