The Perse School

Students soak up the culture in Rome

28 Apr 2014

The Perse’s GCSE Italian class enjoyed a wonderful trip to Rome just before Easter.

Pupils visited the Vatican museums and St Peter’s Basilica, learning many facts about the Sistine Chapel and the amazing work by Michelangelo on the chapel’s ceiling which took four-and-a-half years.

Pupils also explored the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, finding out how the Colosseum was built and what it was used for originally and through the centuries, where the gladiators lived, how ancient Romans celebrated their military triumphs and where and how the Vestal Virgins lived.

Students also enjoyed climbing up the Capitol Hill and to the monument to Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of Italy.

Trevi Fountain was a big attraction, particularly the ice cream shop on the Trevi piazza where students tasted their first (and certainly not last!) ice cream of the trip.

Exploring the area around Piazza di Spagna (the famous Spanish Steps) and the most glamorous Rome streets with their prestigious boutiques was another big hit, especially for the girls, even if in terms of shopping the street vendors seemed to be more appreciated and popular.

The group also visited the Borghese Gallery with a collection of paintings, sculptures and antiquities begun by Cardinal Scipione Borghese where students admired and enjoyed in particular the Bernini sculptures. Playing football in Villa Borghese was another popular event enjoyed by all students joined for the occasion by Perse Italian teacher – Olga Joy’s – nephew, aged 6.

Walking around Piazza Navona, one of the most outstanding squares of the baroque period in Rome, with its wonderful atmosphere and many artists selling their works, gave students a real idea of “Roman life” at its best.

Trastevere, one of the areas of Rome on the west bank of the Tiber was another opportunity to appreciate street artists and a traditional Roman restaurant in Piazza of S Maria in Trastevere, one of the oldest churches in Rome.

On the Last day of the trip students visited Castel sant’Angelo, an impressive building, originally commissioned by the Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and later used by the Popes as a fortress and a castle.

Walking into the Lindt chocolate shop just a few days before Easter was one of the best opportunities to stock up on small presents to take back home: not very Italian perhaps, but highly recommended!

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