Jourdan’s JCU Experience: Travels in Southern Italy

Mt. Vesuvius view from our apartment

View of Mount Vesuvius from our apartment

My first big trip after arriving to Rome was to Torre del Greco, Sorrento, and the island of Capri. Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of most or all of those because I hadn’t either. The only thing my group of friends wanted to know was, where do people go to get away from the sweltering 90+ degree temperatures in Rome? The beach! This trip was my first time on a train, and it was fantastic! I have decided that Texas could really benefit from public transit that allows you to look at beautiful scenery and sleep. We booked our AirBnB in Torre del Greco for both nights in an adorable apartment a few blocks from the water, one block from the train station, and near the base of Mount Vesuvius. Have you ever been to a black sand beach? We hadn’t either, but it was amazing. Turns out our science teachers were right about volcanoes making black sand, and it comes with crystal clear water!

Torre del Greco - First time on the Mediterranean

First time swimming in the Mediterranean at Torre del Greco

Black sand beach in Torre del Greco

Black sand in Torre del Greco

On Saturday morning we got up and caught a boat out to the beautiful island of Capri from Sorrento. Luckily, in the train station on the way to Sorrento we met a fellow American who gave us a great tip about a boat tour and it was the best decision we made the entire trip. He recommended the company Blue Whale for guided boat rentals and it was perfect. My group of six rented a private boat with a guide for about 40 euros per person. The guide was very knowledgeable and was a great help in pointing out cave art, local myths, great places to swim, and ancient ruins. However, the highlight of the day (if there could be just one) was cliff jumping! Yes, cliff jumping. Your friends will talk you into it, and it will be more than worth it.

Port of Sorrento

Port of Sorrento

Make sure to try the seafood in any of these three towns; it is extremely fresh and often mixed with local Italian cuisine! Sorrento has a cool New Orleans vibe with plenty of shops, restaurants, views of the water, and fruit trees lining the streets!

Cave swimming-Capri

Swimming around Capri’s caves

Southern Italy was amazing, and I couldn’t have asked for a better start to weekend travelling. So great in fact, that my friends and I signed up for JCU Student Services Campania weekend trip later in the semester!

A few things to keep in mind should you travel to this part of Italy:

Coast of Capri

The Coast of Capri

Regarding Capri and the boat tour, go ahead and bring cameras, phones, and wallets. We were able to keep everything safe and dry, just bring a bag to carry a towel and change of clothes. Make sure to get there early and check ferry times in advance to get the most out of the day. Tickets run about 35 euros, and cash is much faster, so plan accordingly.

Playing at the Torre del Greco beach

Goofing off at the Torre del Greco beach

Torre del Greco is great, but it’s also a sleepy beach town. If you are looking for more activities and less travel time, book accommodations directly in Sorrento.

The two things we would have added to our trip are the Blue Grotto, a very popular swimming cave, and Anacapri, the top of the island with beautiful views that can be reached by chairlift. Access to the Blue Grotto depends on the time and ocean conditions, while the lift to Anacapri is easily accessible for 10 euros. If you have enough time, these might be things to add to your list!

Capri boat rideJourdan Wilke
Study Abroad Fall 2015
Finance & Accounting Double Major
Texas Tech University

Learn more about studying abroad at John Cabot University.

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