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Italy

31st March 17

Last Sunday 5th March the trip to Italy with my classmates came to an end. It has been a lovely experience full of emotions and memories that we will always have. All these adventures we have lived in cities filled with culture like Rome and Florence. We have been accompanied at all times by guides and our wonderful teachers Roberto Bullón and Miriam Barrero, whom with their love of art and history have managed to make us interested in things we did not know.

Day 1 (Jerez-Padua-Lido di Jesolo) morning we were already in Venice. A coach picked us up at Marco Polo airport t

The first day of the trip we started early, at 12 o´clock in the o take us to a city called Padua, well-known for its Palazzo de la Regione, the Basílica de San Antonio, and it´s good food! Afterwards we went to Lido di Jesolo where our hotel was located and fortunately only occupied by us. This gave us the opportunity to connect on a personal level with our teachers and forge relationships between students. Moments next to the carpeted stairs we will always remember.

Day 2 (Lido di Jesolo-Venice-Lido di Jesolo)

After an early start we went to Venice on the second day. First thing in the morning we caught a vaporetto which left us in the city centre. When the boat reached the port we could already see Saint Mark´s Cathedral with its amazing frescos adorned with gold leaf. For the first few hours we were accompanied by Francesca, our Venice born guide who explained the history of each one of the cities highlights. After the guided tour we had free time to do what we liked: going on a gondola, enjoying a good Italian ice cream, trying on masks.. After a full day we returned to our hotel to pack our suitcases and have a good time as the next day we would be various hours in the coach. Without doubt the most memorable was the intense heat we suffered at 6 o´clock in the evening at 5º and a wind from the arctic at least. Wasn´t it Enrique and Fernando?

Day 3 (Venice-Pisa-Lucca-Montecatini)

This day started off later than others which allowed us to rest. After leaving the hotel the coach left us in Pisa, a city full of monuments, artistic styles and souvenir sellers. Here we were met by a guide who introduced us to pisan art and the past of the land we trod. After a brief visit we had time to take photos and eat. The meal was short but intense since we had the unique opportunity to try curly chips in an Italian McDonalds. After lunch we went to Lucca, a small welcoming city which conserves some structures from other centuries, amongst which was the wall around the city. We reached Montecatini at around 9.00pm where our next guests were waiting for us – the company of a pleasant Canadian school and some defective pipes which made us laugh a lot.

Day 4 (Florence)

The day in Florence began when our guide came to collect us from the coach which left us close to the city centre. At once we set off on the visit which started at the Santa María de la Flor Cathedral and which had amazing lead carved doors. We continued on our adventure through the historical past of “Firenze” visiting emblematic places such as the Basterio or the Puente Vecchio. At around one thirty pm we went to ”The Academy” to see the impressive legacy left to us by Michelangelo, his David carved in marble. In the same place we had the opportunity to enjoy a statue gallery which is amazing for the characteristic expressions on the faces. After an exhausting visit, our teachers took us to a charming restaurant just in front of the Piazza della Croce. To end the day we returned to our hotel for dinner and our energetic teachers took us to a hotel where a private party was organized for us and another two schools and we enjoyed ourselves a lot and had a fantastic time.

Day 5 (Montecatini-Sienna-Asis-Roma)

We began the day with a long coach trip from Montecatini to the city of Sienna where we had a brief visit which included the Duomo Cathedral and the Plaza del Campo. Later we went on towards Asis to visit the spectacular Basílica de San Francisco de Asis which transmitted peace and calm, both very necessary for us after the hard weeks of exams. At around 7.00pm we arrived in Rome and after distributing rooms we had dinner. This day we went to bed early as our teachers warned us in advance that the following day would be very hard.

Day 6 (Vatican-Coliseum-Panorama of Rome)

This penultimate day was rather intense but not as hard as we expected. We started very early and after a good breakfast the coach driver left us at the Vatican, whose ceilings continue to amaze me. We began with the outside of the enclosure and included stops at the Sistine Chapel, Saint Peter´s Basilica and Saint Peter´s Square. After a brief rest to eat our guide took us to the Coliseum and told us some curious information about its history. To finish the afternoon we went on a panoramic visit of Rome when more than one of us fell asleep, but always enjoying the moment! On reaching the hotel we had the last dinner and met in my room to play games and talk to friends. Anything except sleeping, obviously.

Day 7 (Rome-Madrid-Jerez)

On the last day we left the hotel with reluctance and went to visit baroque Rome, where we were surprised by the dimensions of the Fontana di Trevi. We had about 20 minutes free time to take photos and buy the last few souvenirs for family and friends…We said goodbye to the eternal city and caught the plane to Madrid. Once in Spain we bought some things at the airport and at 9.30pm we caught the last flight to Jerez and concluded our trip.

After these days with my classmates and teachers I have realized several things, starting with time going by. The trip has gone very quickly, the same as the 9 years I have shared with all the people in my year group whom I can truthfully call friends. We have been looking forward to this trip to Italy since we were small and it seems incredible it has already finished. The union and strength of this year group is also worthy of note. It is amazing how there has been such a good relationship among a group of 50 people and the empathy and solidarity we show towards each other is admirable – visible in such simple acts as lending flip-flops to a friend in distress. Something else I have realized are the feelings our teachers have developed in us. It makes me happy to have teachers who worry about us and are disposed to act as parents at any moment if necessary. Phrases like “where I don´t sleep my pupils don´t sleep either” make these sentences facts.

I would like to send a message to all those who have been, are and will be not only my classmates but mates for life: thank you for making this a trip an experience I will never forget and will always remember with love and affection. I am proud to have formed part of this year group and shared magic moments with all the wonderful people you are. I don´t want to go off at a tangent but…I hope in six months time you are all in the cities, universities and careers you have chosen and that you are happy in this second stage of your lives(in which I want to form a part!). Now comes the most difficult part of the year, global exams and university entrance exams, but worry Spartans I know you will achieve all that you propose because you are hard working and ambitious which make you authentic machines. Thank you for each one of the minutes you have given me.

Another one for teachers:  a thank you which cannot express all you have done for me or for the affection I feel for you (this you already know). Each day brings leaving closer and it gets more and more difficult to assimilate. It is you who make School my home and have always got the most out of me. All my future achievements, which I hope will be many, I owe them to you and your effort for me to learn and understand the concepts. “Capito tutti?”