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San Andrea Grade 9 students in Siracusa & Noto

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Last 16th May 2014, a group of 54 students, together with their teachers went on an educational day trip to Sicily.  The adventure began at 5.30 am at the Virtu Ferries terminal, when the students, together with their somewhat anxious parents arrived at the meeting point.  The ferry left on time and by 8 o’clock, we arrived in Pozzallo following what was a rather choppy ride.  We were greeted by Natale, our guide for the day and boarded the coach for Syracuse.  The students were very excited, chattering and singing songs all the way.

Our first visit was to the archaeological park.  We first went to the famous Ear of Dionysius where echoes are amplified. The students tried singing ‘Coming Home’, the latest song entry for the Eurovision. Not having much success with that, they reverted to singing ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ and ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’, much to the amusement of the other tourists who were there.

We explored the rest of the park, visiting the Greek amphitheatre, which was being set up for a set of operas, and the Roman amphitheatre where we learnt that the Gladiators did not fight to kill each other.

A quick lunch break followed, and then we walked to the Paolo Orsi Museum.  The students were captivated by the pottery and other artefacts found in this museum.   They were amazed to find some pottery exhibits found near the Tarxien temples in Malta, and were fascinated by the intricate jewellery and coin collection that is found in this Museum.

It was then time for lunch, 20 minutes away by coach at a lovely agriturismo in Limoneto.  The students ate to their hearts’ content. It did rain while we were eating; giving rise to fears that the rest of the day might be spoilt. However, luckily it stopped raining just as we were finishing our meal, allowing us to board the coach for Noto with a happy heart.

In Noto, we arrived just in time to see the commencement of the festivities that were being held there that weekend, due to the annual Infiorata that takes place every third weekend of May.  The students saw the peat being laid out on the chalked designs in via Nicolaci.  There were young sbandieratori displaying their talents in the streets, together with people dressed up in period costumes. All in all there was a festive atmosphere.  The students had time to explore Noto, going around in small groups accompanied by their teachers. Needless to say, the students managed to discover the best ice-cream parlour in town. Some students also went up the church tower to get a bird’s eye view of Noto.

It was with regret that we departed from Noto, as the town seemed to continue to come to life as the evening wore on.  Soon we were back on the ferry, ready for the trip home.  Needless to say, whilst some students were tired out by the day’s events, others still had enough energy to chat all the way to Malta.  On arrival, all the parents were there, waiting for their tired but happy children. It was a successful trip and a great bonding experience for both teachers and students.

Tania Bezzina – Grade 9 Tutor

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