When life hands you lemons you make…Lemoncello? At least in Sorrento, Italy you do! This is where I will be spending my fall semester, strolling underneath the orange and lemon trees and soaking in the sun by the gorgeous blue Mediterranean sea.
One of the first tasks of studying abroad is choosing the best location. For me, choosing Sorrento seemed like an easy choice. Being an Italian American whose family came from the Campania region of Italy, Sorrento seemed the perfect spot to embrace and explore my Italian culture. On top of that, who wouldn’t want to spend their semester by the coastal cliffs eating gelato and pasta?! Coming from Massachusetts, Sorrento was also the ideal location to trade in my winter jacket for a bathing
Although I will not be in Sorrento until August 26th, I have done a bit of research about the locations legends and can say it has quite an interesting story. Since Sorrento was originally populated by Greeks, it’s no surprise that one of Greece’s most famous creatures are included in the backstory of this beautiful city. Sorrento is known to be home of the mythical creatures, the enchanting sirens! While it is known today as Sorrento, legend states it was originally called Sirentum, named after a siren taken captive by pirates. The myth tells us that sailors would journey to Sorrento to view its beautiful coastline and unfortunately, would find themselves at the hands of the sirens who would lure them into the water. Although I don’t think I will be seeing any sirens while I am there, I am interested to see how they incorporate this legend into their city!
As always, what most people tend to stress about while preparing for studying abroad is packing. Luckily for me, summer clothing had hit the stores at the perfect time and I was able to buy everything I needed for my trip.However remember, you have to carry your luggage around the airport so the more you bring, the more work it’s going to be! I ended up with two large Eddie Bauer rolling duffels. I highly recommend this brand because I have used it before when I studied abroad in England and it was perfect. It fit all of my clothes and it was very easy to take through the airport. I also packed a large backpack (from the same brand) as my carry on. I also bought a pink cross over purse to carry with me! When shopping for one, I recommend a medium sized one. Small ones you find yourself shoving things into it and large ones just don’t seem necessary. Remember that you will be buying things when you get to your destination so don’t pack too much. My study abroad program kindly sent me over a packing list and I also used Pinterest to see what most people bring for a semester abroad!
From an illness point of view, we have a bit more to pack than others and this is our medication. I personally take refrigerated injections as well as prescription pills so I had to do a bit of calling and advocating with my airline to receive the best support! With refrigerated medicine, talk to your airline and your doctor about the best type of cooler to bring on the plane and what ice packs are the best to use! Always get a note from your doctor when you are bringing medications abroad no matter if its injections or pills just in case security asks! If you find that you have trouble walking long distance, do not be afraid to ask for transport assistance! You should make your travels as comfortable as you can for yourself!
As I sit here listening to Dean Martin singing “Come Back to Sorrento” I can’t help but get excited to see what Italy has in store for me! This first post was only a bit of pre-departure tips and advice. The adventure truly begins in a few short days!
Ciao for now,