I have been all around the world, but one of the most important places I have ever traveled to was Naples, Italy. I Moved there from Norfolk, Virginia when I was 10 years old. I attended Naples Elementary for three years until my father got stationed back to Norfolk, Virginia. While living in Naples, Italy I learned about the Italian culture, and about the land that which the Italian homes were build upon. The homes that which we lived on, and the Italians lived on where homes of millions of Mount Vesuvius
victims on August 24th A.D. 79. We all lived in the base of the volcano which had not erupted for centuries. Many nights the people all thru out Naples, Italy could fill the vibration’s that which the volcano gave off, not only the vibration but as well as the smell that which the volcano gave off called sulfur While living there hundreds of our filed trips consisted of Pompeii, where we could view the ashes of children and elderly people that die that horrible day. Not only Pompeii, but as well as Venice, and Ischia where we could swim in the beautiful clear water. Our school years were just like an American school, only that elementary went up to 6th grade . High school was from 7th to 12th grade. Italians, and Americans were able to attended the two schools. We had both teachers who could speak English, and Italian so that’s why Italians could attend the American school. I only reached the 6th grade while I was in Italy. Our curriculum consisted of math, science, social studies, gym, foreign language (which was Italian), and reading.
Our school offered thousands of sports for use to play, from basketball, football, softball, and even tennis. If you did not want to play a sport for the school you could play for MWR. They had the same sports, just you played with friends, and families. I loved to play softball, and basketball especially since my basketball team won the MWR championship. MWR was very important, because they promoted get out, and play day. They help the children to not be, or become obese.
For every season we had a sport to play. MWR and the school worked together to keep the children active, but our school lunch didn’t. Our school lunches were amazing, because they consisted of both American and Italian food, only thing that was different then in American schools was that we paid for our lunch with lunch tickets. They were little slips of paper that was bought from venders in downtown Naples, Italy. You were able to bring 2 or three lunch tickets to school and you were able to get 2 or 3 servings of what ever they were serving that day. After lunch both schools had recess. We were able to play basketball, jump rope, and play on the jungle gym. This was another way that our school got involved with the get out and play day.
The Italian culture was amazing to me. The men treated women as if they were royalty, just like you see in a Cinderella story. They held doors open, and even pulled out chairs. They showed respect by kissing a persons right and left check, as well as an abrasive huge. Italians believed in big families, so one family may consist of 8 children and two parents. I guess the big family came in handy when it was time for the Italians to site for dinner. Italian dinner time started very early in the afternoon, maybe around 2 or 3 o’clock, because there meals consisted of 12 portions of food. They started with soup, bread, then a small portion of meat, then a little protein, wine, and much more in between. The last course of the meal is dessert While they intake there courses of food they exchange stories about their day. There table lay out is two forks, a soup spoon, a regular spoon, and a wine glass for each person who sites at the table. There food taste so good. From there desserts to there actual main courses.
One of Naples, Italy’s most famous dessert is there ice cream. They had thousands of flavors from Carmel, to chocolate covered mint. Not only the ice cream, but as well as the donuts they had sugar coated donuts that were very appetizing. There fruits were also good. They were ten times bigger then the fruits that are produced in America. There water was also famous, but not to me. They had fizzed water. The water had carbonation in it, and a very strong smell as well as the taste. I was not a fan for the carbonated water. You were able to purchase all these types of food from the venders downtown Naples, Italy. Shopping in Italy is not like shopping in America. There are no malls, only tables seat out downtown were people came to purchase clothes, shoes, jewelry, food and much more.
Naples, Italy did not have fast food restaurants like McDonalds, Burger King, and Wendy’s. Their dinners were home cooked meals. So they went to the venders downtown to purchase all types of food to cook. The clothes that which they sold were clothes that were sold in America just they cost less. Maybe jeans that everyone in America wants may cost 300 dollars, but those same jeans in Italy would run you 20 dollars. So all the things that I was not able to get in America I was able to receive in Italy, which made me very happy. The currency was very different then America‘s currency. There money was worth less then the American money. One American dollar could get you 5 euro in Naples, Italy. There bills were similar to the American bills just that they had two dollar bills, one dollar coins that are used on a regular bases. There currency was not only used to purchase items, you could also purchase items with lunch tickets, and even gas tickets.
Gas tickets are just like lunch tickets that you buy from downtown venders. You did not pay for gas with money, but you pay with gas tickets, so the tickets where just as valuable as money. The money was very unique to me. It consisted of a single gold strip on the right side of the money, and either one of its famous statues. To make sure that no one could copy the money the gold strip was on the left side. Their euro had pictures of famous status that were in Italy, just like the leaning Tower of Pisa. As the amount increase so does the size of the money. Many people from around the world came to live in Naples, Italy. They had to learn the language and the currency. It was very amazing how not only Italians lived there, but as well as Africans, Irish, and even Asians. Living over there reminded me of America. Italy was just like a melting pot in my eyes. Different people from different cultures coming together to live and make their world a better place.
I learned about all the cultures while living there. I also learned about the rules of the Italian roads. There roads where no way similar to American roads. There were no speed limits, and there cars where small like compact cars, also there stirring wheels were on the right side of the car. Most of the people driving on the roads were driving mopeds. They are like motorcycles, but with less power. They were actually easier for transportation. They could move faster then cars, and they were able to weave in and out of traffic. Many Italian teenagers owned their own mopeds. While learning the culture I was able to see all the beautiful monuments that were in Naples, Italy.
The most beautiful monument that I saw was the Leaning Tower of Pisa. There were millions of tourist that came to see this beautiful monument. I loved the view , and would never forget it. Millions of people were playing as if they were pushing the statue back up right which made me and my family laugh, and we tried the same thing. While in Venice we were able to see the caves that were felled with marble. We where able to hammer a piece of marble off the wall, and keep it as a souvenir. We also got to see people build tables and chairs out of the marble. While in Pompeii we received sulfur rocks, that came with the smell and a small memory of all the people that died during the volcanic eruption. While in Ischia we went to one of it’s most famous water parks. The experience was amazing, and I would give anything to go back. I loved all the things that I learned, and I shall carry it with me for the rest of my adult hood life. I always say how many people can say they have visited Naples, Italy I can.
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