This was my first AEGEE event away from Malta, therefore I had no idea what to expect besides from a fun experience! I chose the SU of Napoli as I hadn’t visited that side of Italy and also because I heard that the organisers were quite entertaining! Every SU has a theme, mine was to fight the prejudices of Napoli and their people.
In the first few days we were given the welcome pack and programme, these were given to us in a very unusual manner as they were given to us in an empty pizza box, couldn’t have been more appropriate! Amongst these things we were also given a Neapolitan lucky charm.
We were also treated to some ice breakers in order to get to know the participants that we were going to spend the following 14 days. The programme was jam packed with site seeing and activities to keep ourselves busy. The organisers were crazy enough to entertain us on the long bus rides throughout the trip by dancing and singing away. Amongst the activities, we had a day trip to Caserta to visit the Royal Palace and also visits to many beautiful beaches such as Gaiola. We also visited the Grotta di Seiano and the archaeological remains of the Pausilypon were there was a breath taking view. We also visited Castell del’Uvo which is found on the famous lungomare of Naples.
We were guided through the narrow streets and the many churches and cathedrals found the centre of Naples. The tours were held by our fellow organisers who explained a few of the legends were passed on from the past. A photo contest was also held on these streets for us to familiarise ourselves further more. Along with the photo contest we had to interview Neapolitan people and ask them some basic questions.
On another day we had an esoteric tour were we visited the Cimiterio delle Fontanelle were thousands of skulls are found. Once again, the tour guide explained a few stories and legends which were to this location. On the same day we had a game in Capo Di Monte, a grand, beautiful forest.
Several workshops were held on several days were we were taught about the Italian culture, language and their famous gestures. We also had a workshop about the Camorra held by the organisation Libera, which explained what takes place when they gain any form of property from the Camorra.
Like any other AEGEE event there is an optional fee, where one can either choose to attend that certain activity or not. In this case, the optional fee was for Pompeii, I decided to go to Capri instead with a friend of mine. Capri is beyond beautiful, white painted houses, narrow streets filled with luxury shops and hotels which then lead to the most breath taking views ever!
The last two days of our trip were spend in Salerno, were we meet another group who were at the SU of AEGEE Salerno. During these days we resided at Vietri sul Mare and we visited Amalfi and its Coast. We also had a private boat trip around the coast and were also allowed to swim around this gorgeous scenery.
We also had a European night which was held on two days due to the large variety of countries the participants came from.
An article about a trip to Napoli would be without a mention of the food! I lost count of how many pizzas I ate in the span of 14 days. We visited the most famous pizzerias in Naples, such as Sorbillo and Pizzeria Oliva – da Concettina ai Tre Santi. We were also lucky enough to have a booked place at the world known pizzeria – Da Michele, which was featured in the book ‘Eat, Pray and Love’. This pizzeria always has a queue of people waiting outside, and we were lucky enough to by-pass them. The organisers did their best to take us out every night to different clubs and bars found in the region of Naples, and made sure that we enter free!
I can conclude by saying that attending an AEGEE Summer University should be on everyone’s bucket list as it is an amazing experience where one can integrate with people from all over Europe, but only few of us could be as lucky as me to find crazy organisers like those found in Naples!