Year 12 trip to Rome

When in Rome …

On the 6th February, 37 year 12 students had the fantastic opportunity to live like a Roman. After a 3-hour flight, there was no chance to relax before we were exploring the city. This started with a night tour of Rome. Our amazing tour guide Marnie made sure we didn’t miss out on anything. This included the Spanish steps, Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon. It was a unique experience to see these buildings late in the evening, and gave it a certain magic. After this we familiarized ourselves with the local pizzerias (and McDonalds) which we lived out of for the next four days. The authentic Italian cuisineconsisting of pizzas, pastas and other delicacies, was a highlight of the trip and enhanced our Roman experience greatly. In short, the food was the best bit!

The next day was also jam-packed with opportunities, as during a very long walking tour we explored the infamous Colosseum (along with its rich history) and the remnants of a chariot racing stadium. The Colosseum itself can hold 87,000 people and was a key part of entertainment in the Roman era. This was followed by a visit to the Roman Forums which are the ruins of ancient structures, such as temples and government buildings. The view was awe inspiring and, to an extent, humbling. It was the perfect occasion to appreciate the history and culture of the city of Rome.

On Wednesday, we visited the Gallery Borghese, which was comprised of 20 rooms ornately decorated with all kinds of art from sculptures and mosaics to Caravaggio’s famous paintings. This was surrounded by gardens, barns and vineyards, allowing many of the people who were not as interested to explore. The building itself was a summerhouse designed especially for the pope by a trusted architect. Over time paintings accumulated there stemming from a single collection. Now it is known as one of the most famous art galleries in Rome! This was the highlight for many of the art students within our group.

The Vatican City was the last tourist destination (followed by a delicious group lunch), but yet again showed us the impact Catholicism has had on Rome in terms of architecture. During this tour we walked up 5,051 steps to reach the top of St. Peters. A brief service was available to religious members of our group. By the end of our visit, even the most scientific minds had come to realize how important religion was and, for better or worse, how it has shaped Italy as a country. Needless to say, it was still overwhelmingly beautiful!

Despite all the planned activities, we were not short on free time at all! In the early evening, we were granted freedom to discover Rome for ourselves. This included lots of eating, shopping and visiting other tourist spots Marnie had recommended to us. Central Rome was easy to navigate, and this allowed us to wander freely. Many of us, taking advantage of cheaper prices, bought roman food and souvenirs to bring home for our family. By the end of the week we were confidently on and off the metro, and finding our way through Rome with ease. We genuinely felt like roman citizens! We returned to Britain on a cold, snowy afternoon, wishing we were still there. Thank you to Mr. Capon, Mr. Crawford and Ms. Roberts for accompanying us on a life changing experience. We also encourage the years below not let this incredible opportunity pass them by.

Alicia Harris & Maame Jehu-Appiah

Posted on 29th March 2017