Nine Scotch boys went to Italy last December to sample many things Italian.
WORDS: SAM SHAW – YEAR 12
On 4 December last year, nine boys and two teachers headed to Italy on a Scotch culture tour. The trip was for boys studying Italian and/or art, and was one of the best experiences of my life.
While learning about Italian culture, history, food and cities was top of the agenda, we had plenty of laughs and more fun than you can poke a stick at, having all made mates by the end of the trip.
We left Australia in early summer to arrive in northern Italy during its welcoming winter. Stepping out of the airport was like a slap in the face as we all raced to our luggage for extra layers of clothes. Our first stop was the fashion capital, Milan. We spent three nights in the city of fashion, where we discovered how well one must dress in Italy to fit in. We were always no more than a stone’s throw away from a designer shop or a laundrette.
On the way from Milan to Venice we stopped off at the Ferrari museum, where we all had a drive in a Ferrari, before heading off to beautiful Venice. We stayed in this unique city for three nights, and were lucky enough to see ‘l’aqua alta’ and the neighbouring islands of Murano and Burano. We saw glassblowing, the Doge’s Palace, and many other weird, unique and wonderful sights.
After saying goodbye to the city of water we were off to Florence and the rolling landscape of Tuscany. Florence was by far the highlight of the art side of the trip. We saw the statue, David and the painting Birth of Venus among many other artworks in ‘l’Academia’ and ‘l’Uffizi’. We climbed the mammoth ‘duomo’, the church central to the city, from which we enjoyed views of the beautiful landscape of Tuscany.
Among the hundreds of Americans and other tourists we managed to enjoy the beauty of Florence; and before we knew it, we were off to the countryside of the neighbouring province of Umbria. Here we spent a week in the small town of Orvietto.
We spent our time here partaking in language and art classes at an international school. In the lead-up to this we had fretted a little about the droning thought of more school, but our fears were immediately put to rest by the flamboyant teacher, Allessandra, who burst through the door with such charisma and such a big smile that laughter filled every class.
With the ridiculous number of cats, the altitude putting the town above the clouds on some days and the negative temperatures, we truly had the real-deal Italian experience in Orvietto, and before we knew it we had to leave for the nation’s capital.
We spent three nights in bustling Rome, the Catholic centre of the world, with its traffic and fabulous food. We ventured into the Vatican not knowing what to expect, but we were blown away by its huge size and amazing views from the top. We managed to see the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the monument to Victor Emmanuel II.
We had an awesome time in Italy, and we all missed the country on arriving home with jetlag and heavier suitcases. The food was brilliant, the fashion was higher standard than we’re used to – and don’t get me started on the women: I’ll just say ‘wow!’ I highly recommend this trip for any future art or Italian students. It’s an experience of a lifetime with great blokes in a great country. GS
Scotch College: ABN 86 852 826 445 ACN 005 650 395 CRICOS 00624A (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students)