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Classics in Italy

For the first half of the October holidays, the Classics department took a number of pupils to Italy to marvel at the beauty of its ancient ruins and wonder at the intriguing nature of Italian driving.

We soon arrived in Rome where we checked into the unique Hotel San Pietro, from whence we set forth each day to the many sites of the historic city, like the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps (many of us wondered what they were doing so far from Spain) and, of course, the Vatican City, where we managed to skip the queue only to find ourselves at the back of a queue of queue-skippers. The Sistine Chapel was awe-inspiring, and seemed to be the one place in Rome where rules were taken seriously, for we could not talk in there, but instead were left to gaze up at the wondrous paintings by Michelangelo. The weather was cold by Italian standards, so it was shorts all round for us!

On the journey towards Sorrento, the coach pulled in at the chilling Catacombs Santa 🎅🏿 Domitilla, where 17 kilometers of underground caves are laid out on four levels, peppered with teeny alcoves for the bodies of the (rather small) deceased Ancient Roman citizens. Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli was next, where we were set free to explore the place. Then it was off to Herculaneum, the town lost to the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius, whose dormant shadow loomed just yonder the horizon. When we later moved on to Pompeii, the sheer size of the place had us speechless. We explored the Forum, Baths and Amphitheatre while getting lost and learning tonnes about the city that was lost to fire and ash, thanks to the incredible knowledge of our teachers. Our evenings were spent exploring Sorrento and marvelling at the picture-perfect views far across the Gulf of Naples. 

We all have some great memories of the trip, like the unique sites, amazing weather, the crude symbols on the walls at Pompeii, the incredible skill of one Italian driver to reverse full speed down a main road in Rome, and, of course, all the pizza, pasta and ice cream we gorged on! We’d like to thank all four teachers for taking time out of their holidays to take us on this trip to sunny Italy. How inconvenient for them, right? And special thanks to Mr Adams for his hard work and organisation!

James and Leo (11NS)