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Pompeii and Chocolate Pasta: A Trip to Italy

They picnicked in the rolling countryside, saw ancient frescoes in Pompeii, and swam in the Mediterranean. But perhaps the quintessential moment of the Latin program trip to Italy came when the eight students and three adults visited del Cioccolato Antica Norba.

At the small family-run chocolate factory and museum, the group learned about how cocoa is processed and sampled fresh, warm chocolate, said language teacher Emily Vezina, one of the trip leaders.

“Many students bought souvenirs here,” she wrote in an email about the trip. “Chocolate pasta, best served with ricotta cheese and pine nuts, was a popular purchase.”

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Over the course of their weeklong stay, from June 7 to 14, the students also explored Pompeii—visiting ancient fast food restaurants, homes, temples, mosaics, and frescoes—under the tutelage of Alessandro, a “dramatic and expressive guide.”

In the town of Sorrento, the group stayed in a hotel perched on the cliffs overlooking Mediterranean Sea. In the evening, they walked down the switchbacks of a narrow cobblestone road and went for a swim.

“Some students swam out to a nearby cave in the rock promontory that framed the bay,” Vezina wrote.

In the medieval city of Norma, in the Lepini Mountains, the students strolled along ancient Roman roads, saw a bath complex that was being excavated, and had a picnic in the countryside.

“Meanwhile all around us paragliders floated through the sky,” Vezina wrote, “some landing in the ruins, others sailing to the countryside below.”