InterNations Founder and Co-CEO Malte Zeeck recounts his visit to the InterNations Naples Community.
Arriving in the Ancient City
At the end of April I took the short 90-minute flight from Munich to Naples to attend my yearly reunion with other alumni from the University of St. Gallen, as well as the InterNations Naples April Event. The city welcomed me with lovely weather: 30°C was much preferable to 10°C in Munich.
I was lucky enough to be staying right in the historic center of town at the Foria House Bed and Breakfast. It even came with its own private garden to sit in before heading to the event. In the evening, I joined the official event at the Palazzo Petrucci restaurant in Piazza San Domenico Maggiore, just a 15-minute walk from my hotel.
The venue is a really cozy pizzeria, and we were lucky enough to be holding the event on their terrace with a wonderful view over the piazza as the warm spring evening passed by. The square itself is a pretty, and quite busy, public space in the center of Naples, and as the evening progressed, we had a good vantage point on the terrace above to watch the comings and goings below.
A Global Mind
When I arrived, I was welcomed by Lomè, the Ambassador for the InterNations Naples Community. Born in Naples, Lomè has lived in many cities around the world — London, Berlin, and Sharm El-Sheikh, to name but a few. She is a good example of the numerous global minds in the InterNations Community, speaking half a dozen languages and having visited various countries, especially in Europe. She also likes to use the influence of the many places she has lived as inspiration for her personal passions, cooking and clothing.
After returning to her hometown, Lomè now works as a tour guide, spreading her love for Naples and the surrounding area. In her free time, alongside cooking and reading, she enjoys being our Naples Ambassador, welcoming people to her beautiful city with a friendly smile and brilliant events. She says she chose to do this because she wanted people to have the welcome in their new city that she was missing when she moved abroad herself. Thank you, Lomè!
A Brilliant Event
Naples is one of our smaller communities in Italy with around 2,200 members, about 50 of whom signed up for this event. The event began at 20:00 and carried on until late at night. We were also lucky to have good weather for the whole evening; what started off as a cloudy evening turned into perfect weather to relax outdoors. There was a buffet and drinks provided by the restaurant, which we grazed on throughout the night.
I had many interesting conversations with members from a variety of places around the world: Germany, the USA, Malaysia, Austria, and Venezuela are just a few of the countries that were represented. Quite a few of the people at the event turned out to work for the local NATO base, while others introduced themselves as university staff.
During the evening, conversation turned to life in Naples. Many of the expats I spoke to hold mixed opinions about living here. They enjoy living in a city with such brilliant weather and the incredible landscape created by the Amalfi Coast, including Pompeii, Capri, and Mount Vesuvius. They also enjoy the standard of the local food, of course. But many of the people I spoke with also mentioned issues like the presence of organized crime, the dirt, and the crazy traffic.
A Big Thank You
I really enjoyed my time at the event in Naples, especially the very relaxed and familial atmosphere. I also had an interesting interview with a TV crew about my visit to Naples, arranged by Francesca.
I then gave a speech thanking Lomè for all the energy she puts into the InterNations Community, welcoming so many people with a warm and smiley greeting — we even had quite a few new faces being welcomed at this event. I also asked members of the Naples Community to get active in our Groups and to share their hobbies with other expats and global minds. Thank you to everyone who came for making it such an enjoyable evening!
Exploring Naples and the Amalfi Coast
Many of the guests I talked to over the course of the evening gave me valuable tips for how I should spend the rest of my time in the region. Over the next few days I was able to go to most of the places they had recommended, as well as some other sightseeing trips organized by my alumni reunion.
We, of course, made a point of going to Pompeii, which was at the very top of the list for most of us. Another highlight of my trip to Naples was our visit to Ischia. This island is somewhat less popular than Capri, but it is the largest one in the bay and well worth a visit. We rented scooters and explored the island, stopping at the thermal gardens with their private beach.
You can read more about what I did during my time in Campania in my Insider Tips blog post. I can whole-heartedly recommend this amazing region to anyone!
(Image credit: Malte Zeeck/InterNations)