The 27th of April finally arrived – the day we had talked about, dreamed about and saved for since September. It was the day of the SCHOOL TOUR! We had our ‘hand-luggage only’ bags packed, amazed at how we managed to fit everything we needed into them, not to mention how we had made all that makeup fit into one small plastic bag. There we were, 1 am 42 sleepy girls and 5 patient teachers off from Tuam to catch the 6 am flight to Rome.
On arrival in Rome we had a guided tour of Ancient Rome – my favourite was the Pantheon. That night we stayed in a small hotel in a typical Italian village outside Rome. Over a lovely dinner of pasta and sauce, our teachers set down the rules about being in our rooms and not making noise. Each night we had great fun until curfew hour and room check (and perhaps a bit more fun after as well!)
During our time in the South of Italy we visited Mount Vesuvius (thank goodness it didn’t erupt), toured the incredibly beautiful Amalfi Coast on a very windy road, had a guided tour of Pompeii, went bowling, learned how to make mozzarella and pizza, ate lovely Italian food and, of course, did some shopping.
The highlight of the tour, was the trip to the Isle of Capri. Here we took a boat tour around the island, seeing the spectacular coastline before squeezing into small rowing boats which brought us into the Blue Grotto. The boatman serenaded us, setting the mood to go with the magical glow from the water. Once we were off the boats we were allowed to roam the streets of Capri and to do some shopping along the way.
We spent our last day in Italy in Rainbow MagicLand, a theme park outside Rome. We had great fun and were sad to return to the airport and head for home.
What did we learn? We all fell in love with Italy and Italians. We discovered that teachers wander the corridors all night whilst on the tour, that some teachers, e.g. Ms Mannion, hate theme parks but love shopping, that Ms McAteer is a brilliant organiser and that our teachers all have great patience!
Carrie O’Hara and Anna Leufer