Friday Headlines

the weekly newsletter from Dr Ruth Weeks, Headmistress

A classic trip to Italy

03 November 2017

On Monday 16 October, the Classics department took a group of 27 girls to visit the Bay of Naples and to take in a variety of historic sites including Pompeii, Herculaneum, Vesuvius and Naples Archaeological Museum. The below is an extract of some of the highlights which will be described in full in the upcoming edition of the school magazine.

Monday 16 October

After an early start at school the girls arrived in Sorrento and enjoyed exploring the town's markets and stalls. Later girls visited Gelateria Davide for an eye opening ice cream demonstration. The enthusiastic owner delighted all with an entertaining, interactive explanation of how and what is needed to make a delicious sorbet. Girls were rewarded with a sheet of gelato recipes for their participation and free ice cream from a choice of more than 65 flavours!

Tuesday 17 October

The day started with a visit to Cumae, the supposed opening to the underworld with its ‘hundred mouths’ and the location of the Sybil. Girls then visited Villa Poppaea, the home of Emperor Nero’s wife, and were left speechless by its large structure and highly decorated walls. Girls were amazed to find an exquisite swimming pool in a massive garden and followed the path Poppaea herself must have taken as they wandered around the bath house system. Finally girls visited the remains of villas at Stabiae, gaining an in depth view into the life of wealthy Romans, their surroundings and the traditional art and the styles of the time.

Wednesday 18 October

This was the most exciting day for many of the girls as they walked in the footsteps of the notorious Caecilius! They practically re-lived their Cambridge Latin Course Book 1 experience, but this time in real life. The students truly felt as though they were living a day in the life of Caecilius when they arrived at the forum, where Caecilius would come to do business and ending the day with a visit to the house of Caecilius himself.

Thursday 19 October

Girls ascended the slopes of Mount Vesuvius in the morning as they learnt about the pyroclastic eruption of the volcano in AD 79. From up high girls were able to look over the glorious views of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Naples that stretched out into the distance. The groups subsequently travelled to Herculaneum and were amazed at the quality of the preservation of the many brightly coloured, beautiful mosaics and frescos. Girls explored the baths, shops and many residential houses of Herculaneum that had brilliant structures which dazzled in the sunset.

Friday 20 October

On their final day in Pompeii, girls travelled to Pozzuoli amphitheatre. The group was greeted by a tour guide who told girls all about the amphitheatre, taking them beneath the arena and illustrating how caged animals would be hoisted to the surface and released to fight with gladiators. The Herculaneum virtual reality museum provided pupils with an interactive insight into the final days in Pompeii and as they wandered the exhibits they gained a new perspective on Roman life. The girls’ final stop was to Naples Archaeological Museum which contains a huge collection of art from the classical world. Girls explored in groups and were amazed at their findings; brilliant mosaics, wall paintings and ceramics from Pompeii and Herculaneum - a lot that they were familiar with and had seen on the actual sites.

After a week filled with coach rides, many ice creams and all kinds of pasta and pizza, a brilliant trip came to an end but the girls made many unforgettable memories. All the girls would very much like to thank the teachers who organised the trip and made it so memorable.

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