Saint Aidan's News

An Incredible trip to Italy
27/11/2017

Whilst most people were sleeping silently in their beds, on Monday 30th October the day had already begun at the early hour of 1.45am for 32 students at Saint Aidan’s, including me. When we had all first decided to go on the school trip to Rome, the thought of being in such a beautiful country had seemed so far away, but when we were on the coach and actually travelling to the airport, it felt as though it had come so quickly. We were all bubbling with excitement. The flight to Rome appeared to last forever as we were all itching to drop off our bags at the hotel and explore the city.  

When we arrived at The Hotel Archimede we wasted no time dumping our suitcases and heading right to the Metropolitan Train Station. There we were given chance to buy some lunch and have a chat with some friends. It was quite a challenge trying to understand what all of the different sandwiches were though, and I know I started to regret not learning a touch of Italian before going! During the rest of the day, we went on a guided tour around The Colosseum, and although we were all extremely tired our spirits were still high and we learnt a lot. Afterwards the teachers even let us go and buy some gelato, which I know everyone was overjoyed about. By the time we had gotten back to the hotel after tea, we were all exhausted and so settled down for an early night, excited for the day that lay ahead.   

On the first full day, we all arose from slumber at around 7am and went downstairs for a buffet breakfast at 8am. The hotel offered a vast selection of sweet pastries, fruit, hams, cheeses, and lots of toast and bread. Anticipating another adventure packed day, we all filled up and began to make our way down to the metro station. It was extremely busy at the train station and so we all had to stand huddled together with our bags on our fronts, and it was definitely a struggle getting everyone onto the trains! Although it was hectic it was a real learning experience and I personally think that it gave us all some more confidence as we had stepped out of our comfort zones. Upon arriving at the Vatican City we split up into two groups and were given an interesting guided tour. We learned all about Michelangelo and Raphael, and all about the style and messages of their paintings. Every wall and every ceiling was beautifully decorated and I was in absolute awe at the pure detail of the paintings and the vibrant colours all around me. It was definitely a place where you could take a picture of anything, from any angle, and it would still take your breath away. We then visited the Sistine Chapel before eating our lunch at St Peter’s Square. For the rest of the day, we visited some other famous landmarks such as the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps. We also took some time with our friends to look around some shops to buy souvenirs, and some of us went and bought more gelato. In Rome there were gelato shops on every street! At the end of the day whilst we were finishing off our tea, the teachers gave us a quiz on what we had learnt that day, and it definitely tested our knowledge. It was yet again a long but wonderful day in Rome, but a lot of us were desperately eager to go and see Pompeii the next day - I know I was. 

We spent our last full day in Rome exploring the ruins of Pompeii, which was personally one of my favourite parts of the whole trip. It was just so fascinating learning all about the ruins, the volcanic eruption and how the Romans used to live. We took some gorgeous pictures of the Amphitheatre and the Drama Theatre, and even got to walk around the foundations of an old house. It definitely ended the trip with a bang, and by the time it was the end of the day we were packing to go home. Even though we were sad to leave, we were so grateful for what we had experienced and we were looking forward to getting home and sharing it with our families. 

Travelling to Rome with such lovely students and teachers was something that I will never forget, and I am so glad that I decided to go, as the thought of my first trip abroad alone was quite nerve wracking! I got to make new friends and I also learned just how loving and fun the staff at Saint Aidan’s really are. It wasn’t like we were there as a group of students and teachers, but were there as friends and family, and it is something that I’m positive everyone who went on the trip will treasure for the rest of their lives.