During my time at SLU, I was able to study abroad in London in the London FYP and
this solidified my desire to go abroad for a second time during my St. Lawrence career. I decided
to apply for Copenhagen where I was able to travel to Italy during a break thanks to the Gregg
and Campy Asplundh Award for International Studies.
I was able to travel to Naples for four days where I had the most amazing time. As a
Communications major, during my time in Naples I knew that I wanted to study culture and art. I
had heard going in the Southern Italy has a much different reputation than Northern Italy. I went
in with an open mind and wanted to explore how art and culture appears in different cultural
aspects of Naples.
Upon arriving with the sun coming up, I was immediately met with the hustle and bustle
of people-filled narrow streets and mopeds. I had a fear of getting hit every time I walked on the
street, but that fear could not keep me from wandering and exploring. I was able to visit both the
Museo Cappella Sansevero and the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina. These two
museums were vastly different and felt like I had stepped into two very different worlds that told
a story. Inside the Museo Cappella, I was greeted with traditional 15th century painting and
sculptural styles. In the Contemporary Art Museum, I was greeted with art that felt very modern
and pieces that felt like they were done for a shock factor. I also visited the Archaeological
museum which displayed lots of traditional Italian sculptures which further threw me into the
past. It felt like there was an attempt to fuse modern and Renaissance art in Naples, but after walking around a lot of the city, I can conclude that the city had a classical feel in terms of art
On the cultural side of food, there was an array of traditional Italian restaurants nestled
into corners and buildings that you almost had to fight to find. I was able to book a food tour that
took me to an array of restaurants that served pizza, pasta, seafood and pastries. I had an
especially wonderful encounter at a pastry and snack bar on this tour where I found myself in
love with cannolis; a dish that I had previously only tried in the U.S. and disliked.
I was also able to interact with locals while shopping in local markets and with my
Airbnb host and his family. I was treated with so much kindness and hospitality during these
instances that were truly the reason that I had such a spectacular time in Naples.
Overall, I am extremely thankful for this grant as it gave me a chance to go experience a
culture I never would have gotten the chance to go to otherwise. I had some hiccups in the trip
here and there, but being able to experience Southern Italy first hand and on my own allowed me
to take in some valuable lessons that I plan on carrying with me into my future career and my
day to day.