Year Ten pupils enjoyed four fantastic days in Rome for the annual cultural visit. It was a very early start last Thursday morning with the flight from Leeds to Rome Fuimicino airport, but we were lucky to arrive in the city with a sunny afternoon to go out and explore. Year 10 proceeded to walk their socks off and navigated Rome like Marco Polo setting out into the busy streets, our first stop was the impressive Trevi fountain, and then on to the Pantheon with its breathtaking dome and monuments.
We then headed to the busy Piazza Navona with many shops and street artists. On our way back to our hostel we stopped to admire the Giesu church and the Victor Emmanuel II monument, also known as ‘the wedding cake’. In the evening we settled into our hostel and enjoyed pizza together.
On Friday we were blessed with another sunny day as we headed out on foot again. We visited the Basilicas of Santa Maria Maggiore, and San Giovanni in Laterano, and the Scala Sancta (Sacred steps). We then headed to the San Clemente church under which lies thousands of years of Roman architecture, descending down to the excavations of a Mithraic temple and ancient city streets and dwellings.
After lunch we visited the Colosseum which was a highlight for many pupils as they witnessed the vast arena which entertained Roman citizens. From there we went on to explore the splendour of the Roman Forum, and its collection of ruins, each with its own story to tell. Mrs. Pugh and Mr. Jepson provided a running commentary of the places we visited and explained their significance. To round off our day we returned to the ‘wedding cake’, this time to ascend to its rooftop for fantastic views across the city.
On Saturday we took the metro to cross the river Tiber, and went to take a look at St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican City. We then walked on to visit the Castel de Sant’Angelo, a huge castle which was originally built as a mausoleum to the Emperor Hadrian, and later used as a Papal Palace. We climbed up high on to the castle walls and enjoyed a drink overlooking the city before exploring the rooms beneath.
After lunch we walked through the Piazza del Poppolo and along through gardens to descend the famous Spanish Steps into the Piazza di Spagna where pupils enjoyed exploring the many designer shops. Our final visit of the day was the most unusual as we visited the Capuchin Crypts which feature displays made from the bones of 3700 deceased friars! We enjoyed more pizza and pasta together in the evening.
On our final day we headed to the palace and Roman Baths of the Emporor Diocletian before taking the Metro again to visit the Circus Maximus, the vast arena used for chariot racing. Here we enjoyed our own pupil chariot race, with some enjoying a sprint around the arena. We then said arrivederci to Roma and took our return flight back to Leeds.
Year 10 were changed as a group and as individuals. The experience of venturing to the centre of the Ancient world as a class brought out the best in each one of them. They were supportive and positive and they embraced the opportunities of each day. Well done Year 10- you were brilliant. Thanks of course to the staff team for giving up their time and providing the opportunity. Carpe diem.