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On the 30th of July my adventure in Italy started as my flight from Helsinki, Finland took off. I arrived in Bari, Italy in the afternoon where I was greeted by my first host family. They were very lovely. On the car ride I spoke italian with them, which was bizarre to me since I had only studied it at school. In Matera my host sister Anna took me for a walk around the city. The old buildings called “i sassi” were unlike anything I had seen before. They had a really interesting history which I came to learn during my stay in Matera. In the evening we went for dinner and met the Lions and other campers.

For dinner we had different types of pizzas. In the following days our group bonded as we visited churches, the Sassi. My italian also improved thanks to my host family.
One of the most memorable things about Matera was a festival on the 2nd of July called Festa della Bruna. 
We woke up at 4 o’clock in the morning to see fireworks and followed masses of people to different locations where fireworks were lit. 
After that it was “pisolino” time. Pisolino is the italian word for a nap after lunch. They are very common in countries like Italy (especially in the south) and Spain because it is way too hot to go outside during that time of day. In the evening we met up and watched the parade from the rooftop of a restaurant. I couldn’t believe how many people participated in this event. After the parade the “carro” or carriage was torn apart. People also took pieces of the carriage proudly home. Next year another person will design a new carriage and it will be torn apart again.EllaWe were all very sad when we had to leave the friends we had made in Matera. Five days there was a much too short time. Our next stop was Lamezia Terme in Calabria where we would also spend five days. Lamezia was quite a small town, but it was near the beautiful Calabria sea. On our first day there we got a tour of the town. We saw churches and my host brother took me for ice-cream. Gelato was so amazing, and I never got tired of it. The best part of Lamezia Terme was the sea, it was a beautiful shade of light blue. Although it was really easy to get sunburned. 
The host families also took us on a boat tour which was really nice. I enjoyed this stop as well, but I think a little less time there would have been better.Ella1
Our third stop was Naples. There we only has two families, us girls slept in one and the boys in the other. Our host mother was really sweet, and delighted when she heard I speak Italian. The first day was the tour day, we saw the famous street Spacca Napoli. It was really nice to go out in a big city for a change. I loved the narrow streets that were full of small shops, cafes and gelaterias. Naples was so lively. We also visited a castle and some really beautiful churches.Ella2
From Naples we took a ferry to Capri. Capri was astonishing. Our short two-day stay in Capri started with a boat tour around the island. After our boat tour we had a relaxed day at the beach. I stayed with our Lions guide and Asya at a bed and breakfast. After the beach we decided to take a nap but we overslept and woke up just in time for dinner. I thought it was actually nice to take a long nap, because I was a bit sleep deprived during the experience. Since we had only a short time in each destination our host-families wanted to make the most of our stay and show us as much as possible which resulted in sleep deprivation. The second day in Capri started out with me and Maria (the Lions girl) and Asya eating homemade italian breakfast on the rooftop overlooking the beautiful Capri sea. I learned that Italian breakfast is really sweet. It was nice to eat it during holidays but I wouldn’t be able to eat cornettos every day. After breakfast we took a cable car to better see the nature and sea of Capri.Ella3
Our final destination was Cava. I had a really lovely host family there as well. Cava was just a bit outside from Naples. There we also had a lot of things to see and do. I am very interested in history so I really enjoyed our visit to an old greek city a bit outside of Cava, we were also able to get an english-speaking tour guide! But hands down the most amazing place we visited was Pompeii with Camp Vesuvio.Ella4
Overall, it was a great experience and I am very thankful to the Lions club. It was really heartbreaking to say our goodbyes on the last night.