Italy 2014

During the 5th-9th April, 40 Latin students from years 9-12 went to Italy and visited some of its most famous sites.

After a 3am start, we arrived in the afternoon at the Naples Archaeological Museum. Here we were able to see mosaics from Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae such as the ‘House of the Faun.’ The museum also contained many statues of both mythical and historical people and many of us managed to get ‘selfies’ with the likes of Hercules and Zeus! As this had been a long day, we checked in at our hotel in Piano di Sorrento (by having to walk up 5 sets of stairs), unpacked, had dinner and went straight to bed.

The next morning, it was very sunny so we visited the old town of Herculaneum. As we got to walk around the town, I could imagine what it would have been like to be a Roman citizen going on their everyday routine visiting places such as the wine shops and the baths. I also found out that the Romans were quite short as I managed to hit my head on the doorframe at the entrance to the baths!

We spent the afternoon at the Solfatara Volcano. Although it smelled of rotten eggs, it was one of the most interesting sites of the trip as we were walking in the crater! The guide was very informative and did a series of experiments. My favourite was when she dropped a boulder onto the crater and the noise it made showed that it was partially hollow! The evening was spent on the beach and some of us decided to go for a late night paddle.

We had an early start the next morning as we were going to Mount Vesuvius which was about 2 hours away from the hotel. The tour guide at Solfatara had told us it was going to be 25 degrees but when we reached Vesuvius, we soon discovered she was very wrong! The majority of us were wearing shorts and a t-shirt so were huddled in little groups like penguins! When we reached the summit of Vesuvius, we could see right into the crater and the views out to Pompeii were breath taking.

The temperature when we reached Capri, (a small island near Sorrento) was much more like what the guide had said. We caught a train to take us to the top of the island where we were greeted by a beautiful gelato parlour. I bought pistachio first and then decided it was so good resulting in me returning at the end for another!

This was a shopping day as in the evening we went to the town of Sorrento near our Hotel. Here there were alleyways full of small shops selling souvenirs, clothes and at least 5 gelato shops to my delight! I could not resist it so I was walking through the town with a white chocolate ice cream.

Luckily, the next morning we had a later start and headed off to Pompeii. We have studied Pompeii in our Latin lessons and again, I could imagine what it would have been like in Roman times, definitely much busier! We had a guide for the morning who showed us all the places which we have studied such as ‘The Forum’ and plaster casts of the dead bodies. In the afternoon, we were allowed to go around the town and see places which the guide had not shown us. 

In the evening we returned to the beach where we paddled and chatted. Sadly, that was our last day so when we got back to the hotel, we packed and went to bed. The next day we got to the airport and came home. It was sad to be leaving Italy as I had so much fun there and learnt a lot but I will definitely be returning! 

Alisha Gupta 10M