Classics Trip to Rome and Pompeii
30 intrepid Latin and History students from Years 9-12 set off for Italy at half term to explore ancient Rome and the pervading influence of its language and culture on our own. There were so many highlights and some lovely photographs: look out for these on the display screens at school. The students loved appearing with the All Saints banner! We were blessed with sunshine, were almost close enough to touch Papa Francesco, walked miles and enjoyed many fantastic sites - and gelati! I particularly relished the irony of being thrown out of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome by an over-officious security guard who accused the students of praying too loudly. The students were excellent company for the week: they were polite, engaging and fun to be with, and did themselves, their families and the school proud.
Benjamin in 9Cl kept a fantastic diary during the trip: here are a few extracts for you to enjoy, with extra comments added by the Year 10 Latin class. gratias vobis omnibus ago!
Extracts from Benjamin’s (9Cl) trip diary:
What to talk about first? There was so much to see in Italy, from ancient ruins, to museums, to spectacular architecture around every corner, with tantalising aromas wafting from small shops.
We had a very early start on Sunday morning, leaving York by 2 am. Having arrived at Rome Ciampino, we dived straight into the abandoned port of Ostia Antica. This was the base of the Roman navy. After taking it all in (with great acting in the theatre and a fantastically preserved set of latrines) we gathered back together and went to our hotel, which had an almost labyrinthine lay out of corridors and steps.
On Monday we saw the Colosseum, which needs no introduction, and the Forum, the political and religious centre of ancient Rome. We visited the Catacombs of San Sebastiano (under the church there are 7 miles of tunnels with the lowest being 12 metres down: originally pagan tombs from the 3rd century, but subsequently Christian burial chambers with lots of early Christian imagery such as the fish and the Chi-Rho symbol). The day finished with a visit to Gelateria Fassi, who are the oldest ice-cream makers in Rome: delicious! Tuesday we spent at the Vatican and its huge museums, which contain paintings, maps, statues and a lot more besides. We had a very informative guide who led us through the swathes of tourists to the bits of particular interest, finishing with the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. We also saw Castel Sant’Angelo, the Pantheon and, of course, the Trevi Fountain. On Wednesday morning, we went to the Papal Audience in the St Peter’s Square. There were at least six different languages spoken, so we could practise our French, German and Spanish too.
The hotel in Sorrento was brilliant, and you could look out over the sea and the sunset. We went on a walk each evening, which was nice. With a bit less to pack in each day, we could get up later in Sorrento, which was appreciated by many! We spent a beautiful, sunny day in Pompeii, climbed Mount Vesuvius and visited Herculaneum.
The food was fabulous wherever we went, and the sun was always shining. I recommend this trip to anyone who loves ancient history.