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The Senior School History Tour 2017 has departed for Europe. Stay up to date on their adventures here.
After a really long flight, we awoke rested in the lovely (and very picturesque!) Vico Equense at the foot of Mount Vesuvius in the Bay of Naples, 2 hours south of Rome.
We started our day with an amazing drive down the very beautiful Amalfi Coast - the sun came out for us and the girls were super excited to start their Instagram feeds!
We drove through the towns of Positano and had some free time for pizza and gelato in Amalfi, where the girls practiced their Italian phrases!
After lunch, we travelled further south to the archaeological site of Paestrum - where we saw the oldest Greek temples and ruins in Italy - mainly from the 5th century BC.
We also had a tour through the local museum and returned home to Vico for metre long pizza and desserts before heading back to Hotel Aequa! Perfect!
Today was Mrs Peterie’s birthday! After breakfast at the
Hotel Aequa, we jumped on our bus to Ercolano - the modern city on top of the
ancient archeological site of Herculaneum, the city that was buried by the
volcanic eruption of Mt Vesuvius in AD 79. The girls had a lovely time
wandering the sunny streets of the ancient city with Antonella, our local
guide. The girls walked through ancient Roman houses, bathhouses, exercising
arenas and food and wine shops! We had lunch in Ercolano, before moving to Oplontis,
and visiting a large archaeological site - the villa of Poppea (the wife of the
Emperor Nero) - looking at how the rich and famous lived in antiquity!! We also
visited the local archaeological museum at Boscoreale, seeing objects that have
been excavated by archaeologists in the site - including pottery, food and
frescos. In the late afternoon the girls had the opportunity to wander through
the lovely town of Vico Equense - where the girls had the opportunity to buy an
Italian hot chocolate, waffle or even some Christmas decorations from the local
Today was spent in the ancient city of Pompeii! Despite the constant rain (which was all day!) we had an amazing time exploring the city with our local guide Ester. We started our tour at the amphitheatre and palaestra (gladiator training ground) and then made our down the main street, exploring the shops, fulleries (a laundry) and private houses. The girls had an amazing time learning about life in AD 79. We had time to do some Christmas shopping in beautiful Sorrento and had a delicious traditional Italian meal in a lovely restaurant in Sorrento. Bellissimo! Off to Rome tomorrow!
Naples to Rome! This morning we spent the morning visiting the National Archaeological Museum in Naples. Here we saw many of the original frescos from Pompeii and Herculaneum, along with many famous statues of Roman emperors, deities and Gods! Ester was our local guide again - and we explored the museum all morning! Then we boarded our bus to Rome, stopping for some pasta for lunch along the way! We arrived in Rome in the late afternoon, went for a walk through the centre of town and had a quick chance to do some shopping before dinner at a local restaurant. Our hotel is a converted convent - and we are in the very centre of town! Only a short walk to the Colosseum and Roman Forum!
Today we are in Roma!!! After a delicious breakfast in the hotel (soooo many pastries!), we made our way out early to walk the streets of Rome! Despite some really intense rain, we managed to explore the Colosseum with our local guide Sandra, who told us all about Imperial Rome and the function of the Colosseum. We were all fairly impressed by this huge structure - which surprisingly only took 8 years (and 35,000 slaves) to build! We also walked around the ruins of the Roman Forum and walked up the House of Livia - some of the oldest ruins in Rome. We then had time to have some lunch and warm up a little in the local cafes before time in the Capotoline Museum where the girls had a challenge to find 15 famous works of art! Congratulations to Caitlin, Tash and Zoe C who won our race around the works of art!
Day 7 started with breakfast in the hotel and short bus trip to the Emperor’s Augustus’ ‘Ara Pacis’ (Alter of Peace) where we learnt about the propaganda of Augustus and his regime in the 1st century AD with our local guide Sandra. This amazing restored alter is located on the ancient Campus Martius (or Field of Mars) and was restored after its destruction after the fall of Rome. We explored the temple before a short walk (with no rain!) to the Pantheon (meaning ‘temple of every god’) which was so incredible, especially as we looked out through its domed roof. Now a church, it is visited by 6 million tourists yearly! We also visited the famous Trevi Fountain, before some lunch and some shopping around the very busy city centre where the girls had a great time! Other activities included a tour of the Emperor Nero’s house, the Spanish Steps and a very spooky visit to the Capuchin Crypt, a space comprising of tiny chapels located beneath a church which contains the human remains of almost 4,000 bodies believed to be Capuchin monks!!! A great day had by all!!
Today was the most beautiful day in Rome! We started our day by travelling by bus to the Christian Catacombs Di San Callisto, about 20 minutes away from our hotel. Here we had a tour through the ancient underground burial complexes which began in the 2nd century. The cemetery spanned several levels with thousands of graves and mausoleums. We were so amazed. After the catacombs, we travelled to the town of Tivoli in the outskirts of Rome were we had lunch in the tiny streets of the town. Our local guide Sandra met us and took us on a tour of a stunning 16th century Renaissance villa, called Villa d'Este. We explored the gardens - which had over 500 fountains overlooking the entire city of Rome! We also explored an Ancient Roman villa in Tivoli, called Hadrian’s Villa, which was equally as impressive. This archaeological site dates back to 2nd century AD and would have been a retreat for the Emperor Hadrian. After our tour, we drove back into Rome and had dinner at a local restaurant and walked (despite the cold) to get gelato!
We were very lucky again to have the most spectacular weather today for our last full day in Rome! We left early to travel to the Vatican City. Here we looked through the gorgeous St. Peters Basilica and climbed (all 550 stairs!! #legday) to the top of the Cupola - where we had 360 degree views of Rome. The Sistine Chapel was just spectacular along with the Vatican Museums, featuring some of the world's most famous paintings and sculptures (including our fav Augustus) were so impressive! We had a late lunch, before a chance to get some final Christmas shopping done in Rome. Dinner was at a local restaurant close to our hotel. Off to Venice tomorrow via Bologna.
Today was a travel day via bus from Rome to Venice. We enjoyed a few stops along the way - including some free time for pasta and pizza in Bologna! We arrived by boat to our hotel in Venice - it is just across from one of the thousands of bridges that connect the islands of Venice! Off to explore Venice more tomorrow, including the islands of Murano and Burano. Caio!
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