Year 9 and 10 Geography Visit to Italy
During the half term Year 9 and 10 Students visited Italy, here is what happened on the trip.
Day 1 - An early rise for Sorrento
A 2.30am get up and we were on our way to Naples Airport, ready to start our action-packed trip exploring Italy’s geographical treasures. After landing, we met with our driver Marco and headed straight for our first natural wonder – Solfatara, a shallow volcanic crater in the town of Pozzuoli. Federica, our guide led us through the jets of steam with sulphurous fumes and mud pools explaining the geographical phenomena and the believed medicinal benefits of breathing in the air and bathing in the mud. Next stop was the Herculaneum; an ancient Roman town destroyed by Mount Vesuvius’ pyroclastic flows in 79AD, yet today many of the ruins remain intact, giving a sense for what life may have been like in the past. After a long day of travelling, we headed for the Hotel Giosue a Mare, a pretty little family run hotel overlooking the seafront.
Day 2 – Vesuvius and Pompeii
Today, brought the opportunity to visit the infamous Mount Vesuvius. As we climbed up the winding dirt tracks, up through the clouds, our volcanology expert guide, Silvana, explained the events of the previous eruptions and the present evacuation plans in place for the surrounding towns and cities. After having seen the geographical giant, it was time to see its true power – through the destruction of Pompeii in 79 A.D. Before entering, we grabbed a ‘panini’ in a typical family run Neapolitan bar. Roberta, our guide led us through the archaeological wonder. First to the Roman amphitheatre explaining the spectacle and logistics of the gladiator fights that took place long ago then along the main high street of Pompeii discovering the ‘domus’ (beautiful homes of the rich) street food style shops and a Roman spa. Then came what many of us had been waiting for – a taste of the famous Neapolitan pizza and ice cream! Once our stomachs were full, it was time to say goodbye to Naples and ‘buongiorno’ to Sicily!
Day 3 – Buongiorno Sicilia!
Watching the sun disappear over the Bay of Naples and awaken over the coastline of Catania, we were ready for our next Italian adventure. We met with our new driver Giatano and set off for Siracusa, an archaeological site with Greek and Roman examples, which was the birthplace to the famous Archimedes. Our guide Lucia led us to the Greek theatre and Roman amphitheatre explaining their differences; we then passed through the ‘gardens of paradise’ and a cave, which had been formed through the Roman’s quarrying. We then headed north to the Alcantara Gorge, that was formed because of the hot lava rapidly cooling over the river. Alessandra, the guide, led us through the botanical gardens with views down to the riverbed. We then took a lift down to the ground level where we paddled in the fresh volcanic water and took a closer look at the unique rock formations.
Day 4 – The sky is blue and so is the sea
Today the beauty of the Sicilian climate became apparent; with a cloudless sky allowing Mount Etna to be seen from a far. We started the day by heading to the volcanic giant first by coach, then by cable car and finally by 4×4 jeep, until we the summit of 2950m. Panoramic views of the coastline and towns that we would later visit were admired through the crisp air as we encircled the crater with our guide Nino. The afternoon was spent in the pretty walled town of Taormina, where the students had time to explore the local shops and grab a much deserved gelato (ice cream). The trip came to an end with a visit to the beaches of Giardini Naxos and a final goodbye was said to the beautiful island.
Thank you to Miss Dixon and her team who organised this fantastic opportunity