On Saturday 1 April, 35 students and four teachers are set to embark on a 24-day trip to Italy. The educational objective of their school trip is giving the students an opportunity to get immersed in the Italian language and everyday life, and to first-hand experience the Italian culture. By spending 10 nights in host families and attending a local high school in Rome, students are being made aware of the cultural differences between Australia and Italy, and are familiarised with the Italian school system. Not only do the students get a chance to improve their Italian language skills, but they also return with a broader general knowledge and life-long friendships with students of the same age on the other side of the world. Whilst Italian language is the prime educational focus, St Patrick’s College’s International School Trip is linked to many other curriculum areas, including Ancient History, Art & Design, Geography and Religious Studies.
The boys will spend 10 nights with host families in Rome, before travelling through the country. Stops along the way include Sorrento, Florence, Milan, Como and Venice.
Rome offer our travellers the chance to explore a city steeped in 2000 years of history, culture, and religion. Besides the daily school visit and activities with the host families, St Patrick’s College students will undertake a full day tour of the Vatican. They will visit St Peter’s Basilica and meet a professional tour guide for a tour of the Sistine Chapel. Here, the boys will get to see the ceiling painted by Michelangelo amongst other frescoes by famous Renaissance artist. The group will also enter the Vatican Museums, a complex of different pontifical museums and galleries that began under the patronage of the popes Clement XIV (1769-1774) and Pius (1775-1799).
On the way to Sorrento, the students and teachers will stop in Pompeii for a guided visit of the Pompeii excavations. Sorrento is known as the gateway to the Amalfi Coast, and has many activities to offer. Here, the group will pay a visit to Positano, one of the most popular coastal towns of the Amalfi Coast. The fabled island of Capri has been a celebrated beauty spot and resort since the time of the Roman Republic and the students will enjoy a full day on the island, including a visit to the Blue Grotto caves.
Renowned as the Cradle of the Renaissance, the spectacular capital of the Tuscany region is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Here, the students will be able to explore the Galleria dell ’Accademia with the famous statue of David by Michelangelo and other works. Another highlight is the unbelievable Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore which is the third largest Christian church in the world and also the symbol of the city as it dominates Florence’s skyline.
With a group of 35 boys, it would be impossible to travel from Florence to Milan without stopping in Maranello for a visit to the famous Ferrari Museum. The Ferrari Museum in Maranello describes what Ferrari is today and what it will be tomorrow, rooting in the extraordinary myth of the “Prancing Horse”. While staying in Milan, there is another highlight of the tour awaiting the students – a day trip to Lake Como. The group will be taken to the town of Tremezzo, where they will board a boat trip on the lake, with a stop in Bellagio.
The last stop on St Patrick’s College international school trip will be Venice. Located in North-eastern Italy, this alluring sinking city is formed by 118 small islands which are connected by ornate bridges. Overflowing with cultural and architectural marvels, the students will discover the wonderful array of art treasures and visit world famous attractions such as St Mark’s Basilica, Rialto Bridge and the Piazza San Marco. The boys will also take a trip to Murano, ‘The Glass Island’. They will visit a glass factory to will see a glass blowing demonstration and to purchase locally made glass items.
On Saturday, the 22nd of April, it is time for the group to say ‘Arrivederci Italia’ and board the flight back home.
During their stay, we will do our best to keep you, parents and readers, posted with photos and stories. Make sure you follow our Facebook Page for updates.