Travel Operations Coordinator Beth P. returned from Italy & Greece enamored with the region’s deep history. Here, she shares her top 5 favorite moments from her trip.
1. Visiting Cape Sounion
We ventured outside of Athens to a special piece of land called Cape Sounion. We explored the grandeur of Poseidon’s temple, dedicated to the Grecian God of the Sea. According to legend, the Aegean Sea got its name when Aegeus, King of Athens, jumped from Cape Sounion into the clear blue water. I loved seeing this secluded area outside of the city, and it was especially fascinating that scientists are still actively excavating the Cape today!
2. Gazing at the ceiling in the Vatican
We slowly walked through the towering Gallery of Maps in the Vatican, surrounded by tapestries showing the landscapes of nearby cities. The ceiling stole the show, with remarkable frescoes illustrating the events that took place in the nearby cities.
3. Walking through the historic Colosseum
I stood inside the awe-inspiring Colosseum with my fellow travelers as our guide gave us a vivid look at what Rome looked like during ancient times. We tried to imagine what it was like to be in the audience of an intense gladiator battle, under the hot Italian sun, with tens of thousands of Romans cheering on the challengers.
Read about 5 fun facts about the Colosseum >
4. Seeing a city frozen in time
While exploring the ruins of Pompeii, our guide let us touch remnants of the volcanic ash, caked between bricks, from the enormous Mt. Vesuvius. After miles and miles of land were devastated by the volcano, the city stood still for thousands of years, with shops, homes and people, frozen in the ash and in time. It was upsetting to imagine the panic and chaos that occurred when the volcano so far in the distance quickly erupted and destroyed an entire city.
5. Eating fresh fruit from local markets
Fresh fruit is everywhere in Sorrento—on the trees and in the streets. This fruit stand doubles as a bike! A region so famous for making Limoncello did not disappoint with their lemons—some were the size of my head! We had lemon ice, lemon chocolate, lemon fish, lemon chicken and even plain lemons covered in sugar. We really couldn’t get enough—especially of the lemon perfume!
Where have you fallen in love with local history? View the itinerary here!