We are a group of 12 Canadian students from Algonquin College here in Naples working with local NGOs (non-governmental organization) supporting socially responsible and innovative community projects.
Italy is a country overflowing in history.
While staying in Naples we have had the chance to visit different towns, local attractions, museums, monuments, and churches. Though the outside of the buildings may not reflect the beauty that hides behind the closed doors, we have noticed the carvings, cornices, and little balconies that lace the city adding to its charm. The Napoli people are very proud of their history which is displayed throughout the city easily leaving you with feelings of being back in time. The churches we visited have all been breathtaking: the artwork and craftsmanship showed a great deal of skill and attention to detail. Naples is a “must-see” city if you want to experience Italian history and culture.
Naples is the perfect central location for travel to many beautiful destinations in Italy.
Travel is made easy by bus, boat, or train for a relatively low cost. Most types of transportation provide frequent times of departure and arrival, making it easy to find a time slot that works for you and your travel plans. Water taxies are roomy and comfortable, making it easy for travellers to board with large suitcases or small children. The trains are quite cozy and many of them travel at a speed as high as 300 km/h, making travel time quick and convenient. In some cities there is a “hop on and hop off” bus, this mode of transportation takes you around the city to all of the famous landmarks and gives you a chance to sightsee on your own.
If you like pizza, spaghetti and wine, Italy is the perfect place to visit. In Naples there is a great variety of authentic tasting dishes prepared with fresh ingredients, making for a memorable experience. Be sure to leave room for dessert as the pastries and creamy gelato are a favourite (which are consumed for breakfast, lunch and dinner).
There are many different types of coffee that are offered in the cafés such as espresso, Americano, nocciola, and cappuccino, just to name a few. If you like to prepare your own food, the open markets serve fresh, organic local produce; you need only buy what you need for the day.
While we found most of our experience in Naples to be positive, there were some challenges that we encountered. The most prominent challenge was with the volume of traffic and how the road is shared by cars, scooters, and pedestrians. Crossing the street proved to be one of our greatest challenges here in Naples, but it got easier over time. Watching the scooters maneuver through traffic was like observing a well-choreographed dance.
Then there was the metro system–it was initially intimidating due to the volume of individuals crowded together, anxious to reach their final destination; however, it was easy to find a friendly person willing to help us on our way
Although the traffic creates a large amount of noise, the volume of communication was also something that we had to adjust to. We noticed that some of the graffiti was quite colorful and artistic, while others took away from the beauty of Naples’ monuments and buildings. Another thing that was very different for us was the amount of walking, stairs and hills that we needed to do each day—after two weeks of walking the streets in Naples, we are all in better shape than when we arrived in Italy. We have also noticed a big difference in the waste collection and recycling systems—Naples seems to have more receptacles for pre-sorting their waste showing their commitment to improving their waste disposal challenges.
Overall, we have found the challenges easy enough to overcome and adjust to, leaving us with an appreciation for the unique cultural experience that Naples has to offer.
Thank you Italy for your hospitality, your welcoming culture and the experience of a lifetime!