Study Tour to Italy

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Reflections on the Study Tour to Italy 2017

Approximately 18 hours of traveling finally ended when we landed in Rome on 2 January. Our true cultural experience then began when we saw some of the amazing sights that the ancient city has to offer. We were also lucky enough to have been a part of the Papal Audience, a weekly address held by Pope Francis at Vatican City.

We then drove through Italy's snow covered country side and reached Vasto, the city where we would stay with a host family. We were quickly welcomed into our new families with the utmost hospitality and warmth. Due to the copious amounts of snow it was often difficult to select days which were safest to engage in activities that involved the use of vehicles. However, miraculously the snow cleared up one Thursday and we made the three-hour drive to the nearby city of Naples where we saw the ancient ruins of Pompeii.

Staying with our host families gave us the opportunity to engage with another culture, become confident with our Italian communication skills and form new friendships.

After Vasto we travelled to Assisi. In Assisi we were able to see the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi. We then arrived in Perugia where we stayed for one night and visited one of Italy's famous chocolate factories.  After indulging in chocolate making (and eating!) we set out to see the city of Siena. In this beautiful city in Italy's Tuscany region, we saw the Piazza Del Campo, one of the world's most famous public spaces, internationally recognized for its beauty and medieval architecture.

After a short drive we arrived in Florence. Here we saw the most iconic sights of the city which included Duomo Di Firenze, The Arno River, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza Della Signoria, Michelangelo's David and The Uffizi Gallery where we saw famous paintings such as Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus" and "La Primavera".

We left Florence and made a short trip to Pisa where we climbed the Leaning Tower.

We then made the trip to Venice and arrived at our hotel by water taxi. The picturesque city famously exhibits St Mark's Square. Venice was as beautiful as it was interesting. We were lucky to visit The Bridge of Sighs and Doge's Palace. These are two landmarks that hold much significance in Italy's history. Venice also gave us the amazing opportunity to experience a gondola ride, see Venetian glass being made and visit the islands of Murano and Burano.

Before departing for Milan via the city of Verona. This city is most famous for being the setting for Shakespeare's tragedy Romeo and Juliet. Here we saw "La Casa Di Giulietta" , the home of Juliet.

We then arrived in our last stop, the city of Milan located in the North of Italy. In this city most commonly associated with fashion, we again saw some of the worlds most famous landmarks which included the Duomo Di Milano and the Galleria Vittorio Emmanuelle II.

Our stay in Milan gave us the opportunity to see Lake Como and visit Sotto Il Monte the birthplace of John XXIII. 

Our travels concluded with our return on 25 January.

Bella Spiro-Harrison