2018 Italy and Spain Trip
Last November, ten Darwin High School language students and two teachers spent three weeks travelling through Italy and Spain as part of a cultural language tour.
This beyond the classroom learning experience allowed students to use their language skills and experience first-hand the unique cultures of Italy and Spain.
The group was able to visit many important cultural sites, including the Vatican City, the Colosseum, the Venice Canals, and the famous Boqueria markets in Barcelona. The tour was an incredible adventure, some of the student highlights are captured below.
Darwin High School offers a large range of educational opportunities to its students, out of the many I had the pleasure of experiencing, the 2018 Italy and Spain tour was my favourite. Over eighteen-days, this trip allowed both myself and the nine other students to immerse ourselves within two unique cultures and visit famous sites such as the Roman Colosseum, Park Güell and Burano. Multiple tours within museums and churches offered an insight into not only the brilliance of artistry from an abundance of people including Michelangelo but also the importance of religion in the shaping of society within these countries. From simply trying new foods to climbing the Leaning Tower of Pisa, each experience was educational and enjoyable for all who came.
Going to Italy and Spain was an amazing experience, after two years of studying either Italian or Spanish, to hear and read the language outside of a classroom was both refreshing and exhilarating. And, for me, the immersion helped to emphasise the importance of what we had been learning. We were able to see, feel and taste the culture of both countries. In Italy, we actually made some of the most famous cultural staples: pizza and gelato – and then we got to eat them! I loved making new friends and seeing in person the things that I have studied so extensively.
Doing Italian for two years was gruelling and once I had completed my exams, I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Leading up to the trip, I was excited and full of energy and even though Europe threw continuous obstacles at us, the highs remain to be unforgettable moments. My favourite location was Florence, which we got to explore through a bike tour. During this experience I learnt the mysteries of Michelangelo, the story of how the iconic food: gelato was introduced to Italy and got to taste the original flavour of gelato called “Buon talenti” after its creator Bernardo Buontalenti.
During our time away in Italy and Spain, I saw many highlights of the cities. Out of all of the day trips to adventure and educate myself on the local surroundings, my favourite was by far Toledo. We had a tour guide tell us the history about the town while showing the beautiful landscape and buildings. Overall, my experience away was unforgettable and I learnt a lot of things that I never knew thanks to Ms Tomassi and Ms Casey taking us.
Italy and Spain were amazing, the things I was able to see and the places I was able to visit were just incredible. Many people dream of seeing some of the beautiful monuments that I had the opportunity to see like The Leaning Tower of Pisa, The Colosseum, Vatican City, The Spanish steps, Sagrada Familia and many more wonderful places. Although there were many highlights throughout the trip, for me one of my favourite places that we visited was the island Burano in Italy. It was the island of colourful houses, pretty shops and yummy food! While travelling around Europe it also gave me the opportunity to interact with new people, cultures, situations and experiences. It was a trip of a lifetime and I am very grateful for it.
I went on the 2018 Italy and Spain trip and I really enjoyed it. We went to Venice first which I really enjoyed. I loved the gondola ride, Murano, and Burano. In Venice, the streets were still flooded so we all had to get plastic boot bag things to put over our shoes, so they didn’t get wet. We then went to Florence, which had beautiful architecture and pretty designs on the buildings. We went on a bike tour around Florence and we also had a cooking class where we made pizza and gelato. We then went to Rome where we spent most of our time walking around and seeing all of the tourist attractions. We had a mystery night tour in Rome, which was really interesting. After Rome, we flew over to Madrid. We had time to go shopping on the first night and we had paella for dinner. The next day we went to Toledo, which was amazing. After Madrid, we went to Barcelona, which I really enjoyed. I loved the coloured buildings. On our way home, our flight from Barcelona to Switzerland was delayed, meaning we had to run to our Switzerland to Singapore flight as the stopover was very short. Luckily, we made it to the plane in time and we then flew back to Darwin. My favourite cities were Venice and Barcelona. When we were in Italy, I tried to speak Italian as much as possible and it was really cool being able to understand what people were saying.