During half-term, 23 pupils and three members of staff departed very early for four busy days in Italy; taking in some of the most impressive sites that remain from the ancient world.
We started with a tour of Naples’ Archaeological Museum where students could inspect intricate mosaics and surviving finds from Pompeii and Herculaneum, before ascending Mount Vesuvius, which allowed pupils to gain an appreciation of its size and the layout of the Bay of Naples below.
On the second day, pupils explored a well-preserved villa of Emperor Nero, which amongst other luxuries boasted a huge swimming pool. In the afternoon, a guided tour of Herculaneum allowed pupils to see first-hand the layout of Ancient Roman houses and shops.
It was also a sobering reminder of the number of lives lost during the eruption as pupils saw replicas of skeletons where many had been found of people trying to shelter from the ash in boathouses. Forensic scientists are studying the originals, which are being stored away from the site. Mrs Amy Cowlin’s knowledge of pyroclastic flows made her an invaluable addition to the trip, answering various questions as we explored the site.
The evening saw some friendly competition at the bowling alley, where Mr Jack Wallace was able to show off skills acquired in a previous holiday job. The final day was the highlight of the trip; a guided tour of the ancient town of Pompeii and a chance for students to understand more fully the layout and public buildings of an ancient town, as well as see the famous casts made of people trapped by the Volcanic eruption.
As our tour ended, sirens sounded due to an incoming electric storm and students performed their own swift evacuation of the town. Safely back in the hotel, the students were very patient whilst we waited for the rather spectacular storm to pass over, eventually being able to head out for a final evening of shopping and pizza eating.
The students were a pleasure to take away and stretched our guide with some thoughtful questions throughout the trip.
Miss Jessica Saul, Head of Classics