Hardly any city in Southern Europe has such an old and rich history as Naples. “Unfortunately it suffers from prejudices”, says Giovanni Cerullo, President of AEGEE-Napoli. “With our SU we want to change it and present our participants how magnificent Naples and the surrounding area are.” The event, titled “Napocalypse Now”, will take place from 25th July till 8th August.  Giovanni told the Golden Times more about the Summer University, supported by Antonio Della Ventura and Nicola Guida.

SU Napoli Maradona
Maradona with the SU poster

Golden Times: Giovanni, why will the SU of AEGEE-Napoli be one of the best Summer Universities this year?
Giovanni Cerullo: AEGEE-Napoli hasn’t been organizing an SU in the last five years. We want to come back in this project in the best way! Joining our event, the participants will get the chance to visit one of the most important cities, both for its history and its beauty, of the south of Europe. We will show them the gulf of Napoli’s breathtaking landscapes, from Posillipo to Sorrento. We’ll go to Amalfi and we’ll swim in Positano’s sea. They’ll visit the royal palace of Caserta so that they can imagine how a King of Naples used to spend time in summer, and they’ll also travel through centuries visiting Pompei, the largest and best preserved roman city in the world. There’ll be time to visit our islands too. As you can imagine, it’s a unique program for this summer. I forgot to say an important thing: our participants will spend their time with AEGEE-Napoli, the craziest antenna of our network!

Golden Times: The title sounds a bit odd – “Napocalypse Now”. Why do you refer to Coppola’s War movie?
Giovanni: It’s not the first time we take inspiration from a movie – we are movies addicted here in Naples. We’ve chosen this Coppola’s movie for two main reasons. The first one is that the name of the movie fits very well with the name of our city! The second one is that a war movie fits very well with the aim of our SU: Make a hypothetical war against prejudices and stereotypes. It’s so common for us to meet people all around Europe and to hear from them, as soon as you say that you’re from Napoli: “Oh Napoli! Pasta, Pizza and Mafia!” The truth is that our city is not like that; our wonderful city has history, breathtaking landscapes and amazing islands nearby. Our city has warm people, smiling faces, hands that help you when you fell – and even when you are drunk. During our SU, the participants will win their personal war against prejudices, but don’t worry, no one will be killed or hurt, they’ll win this war smiling.


Golden Times: The topic of the SU is history. I have been to an SU of AEGEE-Napoli and know that your history is huge…
Giovanni: Napoli gives people a quite unique opportunity to learn about the history of our city: it was founded more than 2000 years ago by Greek colonisers and during the centuries it has been several times a capital, being ruled by French, Spanish, Austrian and so on. So through our city tours the participants will get to know our history by watching its direct effect on castles, churches and monuments. You have been to Napoli so you know that our city is built upon other previous cities, each time expanding vertically, and this is something really particular, for example we have a really big underground area, so huge that it is a labyrinth. This is not easy to find in any other part of the world.

Giovanni Cerullo
Giovanni Cerullo

Golden Times: You mentioned culture, landscapes and tasty Italian food of your region already. What can the participants look forward to?
Giovanni: Well, first of all to the only and original pizza, invented in our city by a cook as a present for the queen Margherita, that takes its incredible taste by the excellent ingredients growing under the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. Than all the other dishes of the extremely good South Italian cuisine, Limoncello and of course coffee! About landscapes, just check pictures on our website or Facebook page and you will understand you have to go to Napoli! Last but not least culture is everywhere in our city, every stone, every building is full of history and even more of tradition. The participants will be able to see ancient Greek and roman columns as well as a little temple dedicated to Maradona, the most important hero for Napolitans. Also they will be warmed up by the hospitality of our fellow citizens in every place we will go, even being entertained by waiters singing and dancing in really typical restaurant.

SU Napoli Positano
Positano – just around the corner

Golden Times: You also offer a lot of activities and workshops. Please pick two or three that the participants should look most forward to.
Giovanni: For sure really interesting workshops will be the ones about culture, gestures and food, so that we’ll make participants think, speak and act as real Napolitans! Don’t be afraid of this, living always smiling, laughing and making a loud mess all the time is definitely enjoyable, once you get used to it!

Golden Times: You must be busy organizing the event already. How is the atmosphere in your organizing team?
Giovanni: As you can see from our videos we have a really good team and organising events is one of the good points of our board, elected some months ago. Every person is fit for its role and collaboration is our key word. And the result: we are on the roll!!!

Naples was built in layers

Golden Times: How much is the participation fee?
Giovanni: Something less than ten euros per day, 140!

Golden Times: What else should potential participants know about the event?
Giovanni: They have to know they are going to have a golden Time here in Napoli! They will visit unforgettable places, share incredible experiences and discover a land that looks to the new millenium, but also still keeps its customs, archeological and architectural heritage, its ancient history and is always ready to welcome with open arms people who want to get a taste of our city. But don’t be afraid of being overwhelmed by the vortex of sounds, beauty and chaos that only Napoli can give. An ancient proverb says: “Foreigners who come to the South for the first time will cry twice: firstly when they arrive and then when they have to leave!”

SU Napoli Napoli4
The sunset of the Naples area

Golden Times: Well, at the SU that I attended in Napoli some participants really cried when they left…
Giovanni: Well, the crying at arrival is one of the prejudices we want to break down. We want to make our participants cry only when it will be the moment to leave!

More info about this event

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NapocalypseNow?ref=ts&fref=ts
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/523239357727337/