Medfield High School Italy trip…days 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Here is a quick synopsis from the second half of our trip.  We were unable to access wifi in Rome and Sorrento so I’ve included the blog entires from those days…

Day 6 – Rome…Roma was fantastico! We were very excited to get up early (6:30am) and head into the ancient city.  Our first stop was the Colosseum.  Completed in 80 AD, this stadium was the center of the Roman Empire.  Despite the destruction over the years (mainly earthquakes and pollution), it didn’t take much to imagine what it looked liked 2,000 years ago.  We had a guided tour of the Colosseum starting in the upper level and eventually making our way down to the floor.




Next stop, the Forum, located across the street from the Colosseum.



From here, half of our students went on the Roman Catacombs excursion and the rest of us took a walking tour of Rome, eventually ending up at the Pantheon.  Built just years after the Colosseum, the Pantheon is an active church and an architectural masterpiece.  Our photo students had a blast shooting from inside the building.



Our night ended with dinner and an evening tour of Rome.

Day 7 – The Vatican…We were lucky to be part of the Papal Audience.  Standing 300 or so yards from Pope Francis, we were able to experience this service which takes place on Wednesdays in St. Peter’s Square. There were 10,000-15,000 people in attendance.


After the service, we stopped at the Vatican gift shop then it was on to lunch.  The afternoon tour included the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s basilica.  The Sistine Chapel is Michelangelo’s masterpiece and our AP Art History students have spent a great deal of time studying his work.  No photos allowed in the chapel so our students simply took it all in…pictures couldn’t do it justice anyhow.

Last stop before dinner was St. Peter’s basilica.  Known as the most famous of the four basilicas in Rome, this church is impressive in its size and design.  We enjoyed our guided tour.



Dinner on Wednesday night? Pizza!  Need I say more?

Day 8 – On the road to Pompeii – We left our hotel in Rome and headed south to the ancient city of Pompeii.  When Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, this once thriving city along the Amalfi Coast simply disappeared.  Now almost fully excavated, it provides an unbelievable setting for what Pompeii looked like 2,000 years ago.  With Mt. Vesuvius in the background, we walked the original stone streets and entered homes and other buildings…simply breathtaking!




After Pompeii, we made a quick stop in the little town of Sorrento before heading to our hotel located on the cliffs of the Mediterranean Sea.


Tomorrow, we’re off to the island of Capri then back to Rome…it will be our last full day in Italy.

Day 9 – Our last full day was spent on the island of Capri.  We took a 20 minute ferry to the island which provided the most beautiful views we had all week.  Once we reached the island, we boarded a smaller boat for a private tour.





Day 10 – Early morning wake-up call (5:45am), breakfast then it was off to the Da Vinci International Airport.  Our flight was on time and we landed at Logan Airport at 8:00pm.

What a great trip!  Our students were fantastic and enjoyed the many historical sites and works of art in Florence, Orvieto, Rome, Pompeii, Sorrento and Capri.  Add in the delicious food and it’s fair to say this trip was a resounding success and one we’ll likely offer again. Big thanks to our chaperones, Anna Lall, Meg Drew, Heather Gonzalez, Jessica Safer, Kate Jones and Chris Faust.  I appreciate their willingness to spend time away from their own families.

On a personal note, it was wonderful for me to experience this trip with my son, Nick. He loved every minute and it will be memory he’ll always have.  I want to sincerely thank our students and teachers for being so welcoming…you all truly made this a special trip for him. Grazie & ciao!!


Medfield High School Italy trip…day 5

After several days in Florence, we packed up and headed south for Rome.  First stop today was a visit to the town of Orvieto.  This town set high above the cliffs in southwestern Umbria, was once conquered by Julius Caesar and later fell under papal control.  The town is now home to approximately 20,000 residents.  We had the opportunity to have lunch in Orvieto and spend several hours exploring this beautiful hilltop city.




The Cathedral of Orvieto was an amazing structure built in the 1500’s.




Tomorrow, we’ll explore ancient Rome.

Medfield High School Italy trip, day 4

Our last day in Florence was fantastic.  We started our day at the world famous Galleria Uffizi home of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Michelangelo’s Holy Family among others.  The students enjoyed time in this three story collection of treasured art work.DSC00520.jpgDSC00519.jpg

After lunch, we walked across the bridge to the Pitti Palace, the former palace once owned by the Medici family.  The palace was also used at different times by Napoleon and King Victor Emmanuel III.  There is a beautiful garden on the grounds which provides an incredible view of Florence.DSC00545.jpgDSC00557.jpg

Dinner was once again unbelievable, pasta, beef, roasted potatoes and dessert.  The restaurant, Osteria dei Baroncelli was located right off of della Signoria Plaza.  After dinner, we had some time in the square where the kids played hackey sack (a regular occurrence for many of the boys) and of course, more dessert!DSC00580.jpgDSC00586.jpg

Tomorrow, we head south to Rome with a stop in the town of Orvieto.

Medfield High School Italy trip…day 3


We enjoyed our first full day in Florence.  Wake up call at 7am, breakfast at the hotel at 7:45, then off for a walking tour of historic Florence.  We saw il Duomo, the Baptistery of St. Giovanni then walked down to the Arno River.DSC00489 (1).jpg


DSC00495.jpgThe highlight of the morning was the visit to the leather and jewelry store.  We saw a demonstration of local craftsmanship and the students got to witness the details that go into this skill/craft/art.  The visit included a fashion show where yours truly had the opportunity to participate (pictured here with Allie Newlon).DSC00504.jpg

After lunch, we had the opportunity to visit the L’ Accademia Gallery, home to Michelangelo’s famous statue of David.

DSC00506.jpgThe day was capped off with another traditional Italian meal at Casa Toscana, located in the historic district.  Tomorrow brings another full day in Florence.


Medfield High School Italy trip…Days 1 & 2

Ciao from Florence, Italy!  I’m pleased to report that we’ve had two great days traveling from Medfield to Boston to Charlotte, NC, to Rome and finally to Florence.  I believe we’re all a bit jet lagged and sleepy as we check in for the night.  Our journey started on Thursday morning, 45 students and 7 chaperones (#52strong).  Here is a photo as we were departing  Charlotte:


Our 9 hour flight to Rome was delayed a few minutes, we landed at 9:50am, Italy time.  Some of us slept on the overnight flight, some didn’t, some read while others did school work.  After checking through customs in Rome, we met our tour guide Giuliana who has been fantastic!  At 11:30am, we started our journey three hours north to Florence.  We stopped for lunch along the way indulging in our first Italian meal.  We arrived in Florence, checked into the hotel then regrouped for dinner.  We had a great meal, pasta with meat sauce, pork, roasted potatoes, salad and topped it all off with desert.DSC00467.jpg

Before and after dinner, we walked around the beautiful city of Florence. DSC00457.jpg




Unbelievable architecture!  Curfew, 10pm tonight then tomorrow is a full day here in Florence.  Ciao!