Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Political Science in Naples, Italy: Castle Nuovo


Castle Nuovo
The next few days, after my initial arrival in Naples Italy, allowed me to become much more confidant and adjusted to Italian life. I was able to pick up enough Italian to walk the streets, say basic greetings, and order food. “Dov’e il bagno” proved to be very helpful, and is always one of the first phrases that I learn  when visiting a new country. It means “where is the bathroom,” an important phrase  for anyone traveling abroad.

After walking around the city a little more, I could start to see the typical European influences throughout Naples, such as fountains, columns, and plaza squares with beautiful statues in the center. However,  the chaotic street traffic filled with cars and motor bikes, highly dense population, extreme heat, and all the warnings about crime also remind me of a city one would expect to find somewhere in South America.

Despite the chaos, the city does have very nice areas to shop and sightsee! In the neighborhood where we are staying there is a metro station, a lot of shops, pizzerias, gelato shops, and a real medieval castle! It is not every day that an American can walk around his local neighborhood and run into something from the medieval ages, much less an actual castle. Castle Nuovo is a great sight, and it came as a surprise to me, walking around and exploring my immediate area for shops and restaurants!

I was able to experience more of the busy city by making my way through the crazy traffic, ordering very good food — especially the pizza. We walk everywhere over cobble stone streets in mid-July in a very humid and hot city in southern Europe! The new experience of another culture for me is worth all the hardships. While there are some hardships in Naples, there is  also a unique and wonderful culture!

Tomorrow, I  I will begin my volunteer work with the refugees, and I have not the slightest idea what to expect. That is part of the fun of being a volunteer I suppose.

- Joseph Crossno

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