Hi dear fellows EUROAVIAns,
we ended up a cultural exchange with the guys from EA Valencia at the end of April. In these few lines I would like to give you a sneak peek of the amazing experiences we had. 18 people, 9 guys from Naples and 9 ones from Valencia, took part in the exchange that was divided in two parts. During both of them, the participants were hosted in the apartments of the local guys.
The first phase took place between February 25th and March 1st. During that time, Valencian guys came to Naples. After breaking the ice immediately, we had a good feeling each other. We planned both cultural and technical visits. As regards the first day, we took them for a climb to the top of Vesuvius, the famous volcano which destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Ercolaneum during the eruption of 79 A.D. Despite of the bad weather, we were able to enjoy an astonishing view over the crater of Naples bay and the surrounding cities and islands. Then, we visited the archaeological excavations of Hercolaneum, the historic city centre with a tour of Napoli Sotteranea, kilometers of tunnels digged thousands years ago underneath the city. Moreover, we were at some laboratories in the University of Naples and CIRA (The Italian Aerospace Research Centre), situated 50 km away from Naples. There, we had a tour through some great facilities like Scirocco which is an hypersonic wind tunnel, the icing wind tunnel and a transonic one. Of course, we didn’t forget to party and to let them taste some of the best Neapolitan food like sfogliatelle, baba, hundred types of pasta and obviously pizza!
Finally, we made it to Valencia between April 23rd – 27th and they welcomed us with a great Spanish dinner full of tapas such as tortillas, awesome cold cuts and salads washed down with a really good glass of tinto de verano. In the following days, they guided us around the city. We visited the beautiful St. Mary’s cathedral and the bell tower from the topo of which we admired a great view of the city, then La plaza de toros where bullfights still take place nowadays and two of the original twelve entrance doors of the city. Moreover, we went for a trip to the beautiful Albufeira’s lake, to the beach of Malvarrosa and we saw the amazing architecture and beauty of the City of Arts and Sciences and the Oceanographic, the largest acquarium in Europe. They were both designed by the Valencian architect Calatrava situated in the former Turia river-bed and surrounded by wonderful gardens and parks. Altough we partied even harder than in Napoli, we didn’t skip educational visits, first at their university’s campus (where we eat an awesome paella!) and its laboratories where a technicians showed us the functioning of a wind tunnel and many other instruments. Also, we visited
Air Nostrum, an airline franchising company that deals with maintenance and checkup of many aircrafts like CRJ-200 and ATR72-600. Unfortunately, this exchange came to end too soon, but we came back home with a great human and cultural experience but mostly the certainty that awesome friendships are born and this is just one of the greatest attribute of EUROAVIA. See you soon around Europe guys!
Stefano Orefice, AS Napoli ICM