Loving the Almafi Coast with Pre College Enrichment Florence!


We’ve had a great few days here in Italy! Florence is officially behind us, and we’ve spent the last few days on the beautiful Amalfi Coast.

On Saturday morning, we packed up and left our residence forever – farewell, Via Ricasoli! One notable stop was the city of Pompei in the afternoon: we got a comprehensive and very informative guided tour!

We then spent three nights at the lovely Hotel Michelangelo, which was just a short walk away from the water and the boats that would take us to our various local destinations. Many of us missed the familiarity of our Ricasoli residence, our home away from home, but Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast welcomed us warmly. We began a wonderful new adventure!

After settling in on Saturday night, we trekked out for our first Amalfi outing on Sunday morning: the island of Capri. We all agreed that this was one of the most beautiful sites of our program, and maybe of our lives! We had a guide to show us the island, and she pointed out the most beautiful views, fanciest hotels, and finest restaurants, and we all ate lunch (and most of us indulged in frozen lemonade, an Amalfi signature item) on the island before taking the boat out and swimming around the island and through a grotto. So refreshing! Almost everyone got in the water at least once and had a great time, but Marcus and Nicole C took it to the next level and did synchronized flips on their way in!PCE Florence

Then, on Monday, we spent most of the day on the beach in Positano, which felt a bit like a pleasant throwback to our day at Cinque Terre on the first weekend. Everyone got to relax and unwind: Alex R, Emily S, and others enjoyed the warm ocean water, while Alex P, Ally, Sophie, and Dylan opted for rafts and sunbathing. And one group had a special surprise at lunch: Jordan L, Griffin, Nicole G, Olivia L, Alexa M, Arielle, and others ended up eating lunch at the same restaurant as NBA star Chris Bosh! Carly S also saw him and was super starstruck! Needless to say, a good time was had by all.

We’ve also celebrated three birthdays in a row since our last post: Buon Compleanno to Griffin (Monday), Ben (Tuesday), and Max (Wednesday)! The festivities have made our final days in Italy that much more special.

On Tuesday morning, we left our Sorrento hotel and the beachy paradise of Amalfi for our final destination, Rome, where most of us originally arrived in nearly a month ago. Stay tuned for our final post when it all wraps up on Friday!


 The Westcoast Blogger

Questa è la bella vita (This is the Good Life)! – Backpack Europe

Greetings Backpack Europe Friends and Family,

Sorrento has been a very popular destination amongst our trip members because of its abundance of water based activities, fresh “all natural” cuisine and exciting night life. Upon arrival at the hotel, we immediately jumped into the hotel pool and cooled off.  Alec and Mike got the group playing some popular aquatic games like colors and Marco Polo. Next it was on to Fauno Restaurant, where we were treated to a four course traditional Italian meal, seated on a beautiful outdoor patio that featured views of Piazza Tasso.

The next morning, we met Ernesto, our tour guide for our day on the Island of Capri. After a short ferry and then train ride (called the Funicular), we were amidst Capri, a town that Remi noted was built right into the side of the cliffs. As we walked around the town, Alex tried a fresh wild strawberry tart from the local bakery, while most trip members opted for the Capri version of granita (the slushy lemon drink takes on different qualities depending on which region you are in). Once we had fully explored the town, we boarded our own private boat and set out to explore the limestone cliffs and grottos that Capri is famous for. Jenny and Shayna enjoyed singing along to the eclectic tunes that our boat driver played for us. On the ferry ride back to Sorrento, Jeremy brought out his electronic trivia game (Sporkle) and Bennet and Aidan enjoyed testing out their pop-culture knowledge. We parted ways with our Capri guide Ernesto back in Sorrento and he remarked that we were the best group he has led all year!!

For our last day in Sorrento, we ventured out to the beach town of Positano. Sunny had been here earlier this year with her family and was a huge advocate for jumping into the clear blue waters and exploring the local art galleries. Emma appreciated having some rest and relaxation time because with two days left, we have a lot of exciting touring and activity ahead of us. At the moment we are en route to Rome and we have just stopped to visit the historic town of Pompeii. Mara was excited to visit because she watched a cool National Geographic documentary on Pompeii and she had a lot of good questions to ask our guide Maryse. The tour was very informative and Sam remarked that she was pleasantly surprised by the sights and artifacts, more so than she had anticipated.

We have Rome and Vatican City left on our itinerary but sadly, our trip is almost over. The summer has flown by but we have certainly made the most of it. It’s been the summer of a lifetime and we can’t wait to share pictures and stories with you all back at home!

See you soon and thanks for reading about our travels!

The Westcoast Blogger