While studying abroad it Italy, I took a long weekend to travel to the Amalfi Coast, a stretch of coastline along the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula. I have never seen a place more beautiful. Located off the coastline in Italy’s Bay of Naples, is the island of Capri, where I saw “the tunnel of love.” Legend says anyone who kisses underneath the tunnel will have good luck; it’s even featured in several TV commercials. In the Bay, I also saw several mega yachts. Having grown up around boats, I found these to be very interesting.

The next day I went to Positano, a cliffside village along Italy’s Amalfi Coast, where I had the opportunity to take a boat tour. As part of the tour, I along with the other passengers, went cliff jumping. Italy doesn’t seem to have the same safety regulations as the United States, so that made me a bit nervous. However, it was such a rush and turned out to be very safe. I can’t believe the people who live here get to go to the beach and experience those views whenever they want.

On the last day, I climbed to the top of Mount Vesuvius, an active volcano, and saw the ruins of Pompeii, a Roman city buried under ash and pumice following a devastating eruption in 79 A.D. Although the hike up Mount Vesuvius was quite strenuous, the views made every stabbing calf cramp worth it. Pompeii was a very educational experience; with the assistance of our tour guide, we were able to gain an incredible understanding of the history.

Seeing all of these beautiful places is something I’ll never forget. It is possible I never would have seen them had I not studied abroad. I am forever grateful Kent State gave me an opportunity like this.


Waterfalls in Krka National Park

Krka National Park

Beach in Split, Croatia

Split, Croatia

The ability to use our three-day weekends for side trips has been great. On our last weekend in Italy, we went to Croatia. We had a very eventful agenda planned, however, shortly after we arrived, a downpour decided to ruin most of our day. The following day we went on an island cruise and saw the many beautiful beaches on the different islands. The weather was perfect and the water was the clearest we’ve ever seen. On our final day, we went to the Krka National Park, in southern Croatia, to see its waterfalls. It was a breathtaking view!

Croatia was definitely a different experience from Italy, and it was interesting exploring a different country. This was our final weekend abroad and it was bittersweet. We’ve stepped far out of our comfort zones and have discovered so much about ourselves and the cultures around us. Studying abroad gave us this amazing opportunity that we may otherwise never have experienced.