martedì 26 luglio 2011

Study Abroad, ISTITUTO EUROPEO; ACA SUMMER 2011 Algerho Sardinia.

If you’re looking for Paradise look no further than Alghero Sardinia this is a great spot for a romantic getaway, relaxation or to live the Jimmy Buffet Dream. My fiancé and I spent two days here, this was not nearly enough time you need at least 5 to 7 days. Although with in those two days were toured the whole town of Alghero and went to three amazing beaches. The people in Algerho are extremely friendly and act as if you’re a part of their family, a women in her 80’s struck up a conversation with us. She was very interested in who we were and very willing to tell us her whole life story. In addition, she explained to us a little about Sardinia what she liked about and didn’t like. My fiancé and I very thrilled to talk to her due to the fact that this is the best information one can get about a place they are visiting. You will not find this in America; people are too busy to stop and talk to you and give you advice on what to do during your stay. She explained that most Sardinian food is fish based, and that they serve the best grilled fish. She also told us that Sardinia has some of the best beaches, and that two days here is not long enough. The views in Sardinia are beyond breath taking, if you asked me to describe a utopia it would be Sardinia. One of the best beaches to go to in Algerho is Le bombarde, it is a meeting place for all locals and is very laid back area with some of the best water and sand. It takes about 15 minutes by bus to get there but is well worth it.

There are many restaurants in Algerho one of the best places we ate was at Mirador, at little restaurant outside overlooking the sea. This is a very popular restaurant, and most of the time you have to wait at least 15 minutes. However during your wait they give you white wine to enjoy while staring at the beautiful water. The second place to eat is at Movida, where it is tucked into a wall which resembles a wine cellar. The food is unbelievable and reasonable priced. Lastly, enjoy the seafood, it is some of the best I have had in all of Italy, everything is freshly made with great natural seasonings.

martedì 19 luglio 2011

Study Abroad, ISTITUTO EUROPEO; ACA SUMMER 2011 Quick Tips and suggestions for anyone going to the Amalfi Coast!

First off, bring hiking shoes I have seen too many people wear flip-flops for a 25 minute hike through the unlevel coast. Second, bring sunscreen and a hat; these are two of the most valuable things to have due to the vastly hot temperature and lack of shade. Not to mention, it feels cooler by the water even though it’s well over 100◦ F. Lastly, don’t forget to Drink plenty of water and bring socks to wear to walk on the sand; the sand becomes too hot to walk on and all public bathrooms cost around .50 cents, bring correct change.

Places to see:
Capri: Take the boat tour around the isle of Capri, they will show you all of the grottos. However, entrance to the Blue Grotto depends on the weather; the slightest condition can make entering the grotto dangerous. After the boat tour, go up to Capri town, it’s small but full of life and they have some of the best seafood. There are plenty of restaurants in Capri, one of the best suggested is Capri’s Restaurant, it is reasonably priced. After seeing the town, make your way down to one of the most beautiful beaches with crystal clear water. Lastly, you must try the Lemoncello, Capri is known for it.

Positano: Is my favorite place in all of Italy. It is has a great relaxing atmosphere and is one of the prettiest towns throughout the Amalfi Coast. Positano is known for their handmade leather sandals. The town has many shops and plenty of great views from those areas. Positano has public and private beaches, if you’re looking for a less crowded area with some comfort, you can go to L’ incanto ( The cost for an umbrella and one lounge chair is about 14 Euros for the day. L’incanto ( also has is a very good restaurant serving some of Positanos best pizza. If you’re looking just for a quick snack or panini, I suggest you go to Vini e panini. Everything there is freshly made right in front of you, you can get a large panino with anything on it for around 4 Euros, also they sell fresh fruit that they wash and cut for you. This was my personal favorite spot to eat due to the amount of food you receive for an in expensive amount.

Pompeii: Walking through Pompeii is like walking back in time; it’s very beautiful and has so much history. I suggest getting a tour guide due to the fact that everything looks the same therefore it makes it hard to distinguish what areas were used for and their context. There are many places to eat outside of Pompeii; we choose to eat at the Hotel across the way they offered a two course meal for 12 Euros. One can choose from pizza or pasta (try both, they’re very good!) with a salad or French fries and any soft drink followed by gelato. After, take the bus ride to the top of Mt. Vesuvius be sure to wear comfortable shoes, you will be walking up hill for 25 minutes on lose gravel not flat ground. Once to the top you have an amazing view of the coast and the Volcano.

lunedì 4 luglio 2011

ISTITUTO EUROPEO; Study abroad independent study, a student’s experience at Siena di Palio.

Palio di Siena one of the most amazing events held in Italy. What makes this dangerous but exhilarating event so significant is the long standing tradition that is deeply rooted into the Senese culture. The people of Siena live for there Contrada, this is not something that is done for tourists this is for the people and their Contrada. I knew there would be many diehard fans, what I didn’t expect was a mosh pit of people trying to race to the edges of the Piazza del Campo to get the best view. To get from San Francesco to the Campo took 1 hour, due to the procession of Contrada’s and their followers
singing and chanting.
After entering the Campo I was overwhelmed to see the thousands of people packed into one small area. In total this race take around 75 seconds, the most EXCITING 75 seconds of your life. Words cannot describe how it is to be in the center of this race, although you find yourself and the crown in sync spinning around trying to watch each jockey. At the first turn one jockey slams into the wall one the second lap another falls off at the harsh turn. lastly, we have a winner the Oca (goose) the crown went wild and became so loud you couldn’t even hear yourself. This was like nothing I have experienced before in my life, you can see the passion and emotion on each person. Americans has nothing like this, the Super-Bowl does not even come close to this, when you see someone crying over a football game you tend to think to yourself, stop crying it is only a game. Whereas the Palio has centuries of tradition and passion that is passed down from father to father when people cry it has significant meaning. This type of passion and tradition is something I want to share with my children and their children. The Palio di Siena is something that everyone must experience once in their lives, it really shapes your understanding of the meaning of tradition and culture which we I believe we lack in America.
By: Nick Palozzi