The following is an account of what the current second to sixth years did on the fantastic trip to Italy from October 31st to November 3rd 2017.
At 04 am on Tuesday 31st October 2017, tired students ranging from second to sixth year arrived at Dublin Airport along with six teachers. After a quick rollcall, we made our way through to departures making sure we had our passports in hand. We were given time in duty free and waited eagerly for our flight. Finally, at half six we took off, Rome bound! After what seemed like a quick flight we arrived tired but exited in Rome. We then took a bus ride into the city, it was amazing to just look out a window and behold thousands of year old buildings and sculptures, which the locals didn’t even seem to notice!
Free time was then given to us to get some lunch, before meeting with our tour guide who would show us around the historic city. The first thing which we did was go to the colosseum. It was massive as we walked around the ancient amphitheatre, we were told about its history and given lots of opportunities for photographs. I personally I found the colosseum amazing and it was one of my favourite things on the trip. Our walking tour then continued as we were shown the old forum, lots of statues and many historic buildings were pointed out to us such as the Altare della Patria and The Pantheon. Everyone’s feet were wrecked as we made our back to the bus, which took us to our hotel. Dinner was eaten and after a while we all went to bed.
On Wednesday 1st November we had to be up early. We had breakfast at around 07 am and then left on a bus to go to Pompeii. It was a very long drive to get there, but was worth it. We were met by our tour guide and headed to Pompeii’s amphitheatre and then around the whole city. It was very interesting but also quite eerie to be standing beneath Mt. Vesuvius which had covered the city in ash thousands of years ago. I was so surprised to see that so many buildings were still intact with all their details.
We saw many dwellings, the baths and their forum where Vesuvius looms behind. After the interesting tour we were given some free time to get some lunch and buy some souvenirs. We went back on the bus and then visited the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, which had lots of paintings, statues and artefacts. Another long bus ride back to the hotel was taken, where we had our dinner and retired for the night.
On Thursday 2nd November we had a later start to our day compared to the previous two. We had our breakfast and then took a bus to visit Hadrian’s Villa. It was huge, with big lakes, buildings, baths and it used to be even bigger. We then had lunch before travelling back into Rome where we saw the Circus Maximus, we continued walking through the city until we reached the Capitoline Museum. The museum was amazing containing giant statues, beautiful paintings and impressive architecture.
After leaving the museum we took a bus ride to the catacombs. The journey underground was very dark and eerie, we were told all about the history of the Catacombs and also how many people got lost in the underground trying to find their way out! The bus then took us to a shopping centre where we had some free time to look around and shop. I got a very tasty ice-cream while there. A long bus ride back to our hotel happened where we ate dinner and relaxed for the evening.
On Friday 3rd November we had an early start as we had to check out fi the hotel. We loaded our luggage on to the bus and headed to The Vatican City. We queued for a while outside the smallest country in the world before finally entering. We first went through the Vatican museums, paying close attention to every painting, mural and statue as we went by them, they all had such detail and were all amazing. We then entered the astonishing Sistine chapel, it was incredible to look at. Even though we weren’t allowed to take photos I think I’ll always remember how fantastic it is.
After a quick visit to the gift shop, we made our way to Saint Peters square, where hundreds of people stood taking it all in. As a nice surprise before we headed to the airport we were brought to a very nice restaurant where we made our own pizzas! It was fun to do and they tasted great too! We were then taken to the airport, where we were got checked in and had some free time to look around before taking our flight back to Dublin.
It was such a great trip away, with some really fun moments, and good memories, I enjoyed it so much and hopefully I’ll be able to go back again someday.
By: Charlie Garland O’Connor