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Touring NSA Naples: Italian Students Visit Capodichino

13 February 2023

From Aaliyah Essex

NAPLES, Italy -- Within Italy and across the world, it is common for people to tour important landmarks and areas to learn about the history and lifestyle in an area. In service of this, Community Relations Specialist, Teresa Merola, is bringing the tour experience back to U.S. Naval Support Activity (NSA) Naples for Italian students. “Like much of the Italian community, the students may see U.S. Navy members in their local communities. However, it is not typical for them to see how Sailors operate on base. The base tour gives students a glimpse of U.S. military life here in Naples,” said Merola.
“Like much of the Italian community, the students may see U.S. Navy members in their local communities. However, it is not typical for them to see how Sailors operate on base. The base tour gives students a glimpse of U.S. military life here in Naples,” said Merola.

Seventeen middle school students were welcomed onboard the Capodichino base Friday, Feb. 10, 2023 to see NSA Naples’ facilities and operations.

The tour began at the base chapel. Students were able to sit in the pews while learning about the services base personnel are offered at the chapel.

After viewing the chapel, Merola along with other tour guides escorted the students to the library and gym to view recreational opportunities available to those stationed onboard Capodichino. Merola took the students to see the base’s air terminal and a firetruck, temporarily housed outside of the fire station.

Towards the end of the tour the students were surprised with a brief rehearsal performance by members of the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Band. Finally, they visited the USO offices back at the air terminal where the tour concluded.

The students, visiting from Istituto Comprensivo 1 Ariosto in Arzano, Italy, are the first student tour since 2019. Prior to the pause on tours due to COVID-19, students from the school toured the base routinely.

“We've been coming here for 20 years and every time is a wonderful experience,” said Sveva Ricciardi," said Sveva Ricciardi, the class teacher from Istituto Comprensivo 1 Ariosto.

With COVID-19 measures and regulations lifting, Merola plans to safely conduct tours throughout the Italian school year.

“Hosting Italian students on base has always been very exciting for everyone involved—from the students and teachers to the base personnel they come in contact with. Both the students and teachers are always very impressed with the base facilities,” said Merola.

Commanding Officer of NSA Naples Capt. James Stewart expressed his support of the continuation of base tours for Italian students.

"The relaunch of our Italian student base tours allows us to further connect with our local community,” said Stewart. “Through these experiences, we are able to show younger generations some of the ways we support our bilateral cooperation here at NSA Naples.”

NSA Naples is an operational ashore base that enables U.S., allied, and partner nation forces to be where they are needed, when they are needed to ensure security and stability in the European, African, and Central Command areas of responsibility.

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