Classics Trip to Sunny Sicily
For six sunny days at the end of the Easter holidays, thirty-seven students ranging from Year 8 up to the Lower Sixth joined five members of staff on the Classics Department’s first ever trip to Sicily.
Pupils learned that Sicily was settled by several different ancient civilisations. The Greeks left many remains behind them, and the group saw the impressive temples at Segesta and Agrigento, and were even able to climb over the remains of the temples at Selinunte. Greek theatres were well-represented on the trip too, with the small theatre at Palazzolo Acreide proving a particular highlight as it played host to several short performances of Greek tragedies by the Lower Sixth Classical Civilisation class. Roman remains also impressed the group; the mosaics of the villa at Piazza Armerina dazzled everyone, and the amphitheatres in Siracusa and Catania gave an insight into gladiatorial combat.
The tour also ascended Mount Etna where students were able to walk around the Silvester Crater, inspect lava flows from past eruptions, and gaze up at the snowy but steaming summit of Europe’s highest active volcano. Other volcanic features, including Sicily’s very own “Giant’s Causeway”, were seen by the shore at Aci Trezza. On the final morning of the trip, the group enjoyed a breathtaking view of Etna and the coastline from the vantage point of the Greco-Roman theatre in Taormina.
Those who went on the trip learned a lot about a beautiful island rich in historical and geographical interest, and began to understand some of the difficulties inherent in modern Italian life and politics. They also enjoyed some of the benefits of Mediterranean living, including delicious fish, pasta and ice cream! The Classics Department thanks those who came on the trip for their interest in what they saw and for being such entertaining travel companions, and looks forward to welcoming them and others on our April 2014 trip to the Bay of Naples, which will include visits to Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius.