Sixteen York Prep students, accompanied by teachers Michele Lodespoto and Amin Linder, embarked on a memorable, enriching seven-day adventure through Italy during March Spring Break. Students visited renowned cities and awe-inspiring historic landmarks while indulging in one of the world’s most delectable cuisines and catching the latest fashion trends.
Landing in Venice, the group walked the winding streets, visited the remarkable Piazza and Basilica di San Marco, and journeyed through picturesque canals in gondolas while experiencing the charm of the gondoliers. A tenth grader summed up his Venetian experience by saying, “This has changed my life. I can go home now.”
The busy itinerary required leaving Venice after two days, but Florence was waiting! The bus ride to Florence allowed the travelers to luxuriate in the dreamlike landscapes of Tuscany, all while being educated and serenaded by the knowledgeable and talented tour guide, Patrizia.
In Florence, students crossed the Ponte Vecchio and viewed the architectural masterpieces that birthed the Renaissance. The next destination was Siena, one of Italy’s most charming and beautiful cities, recognized for its art and sienna-colored architecture as well as for the Palio, Italy’s famous annual horse race run since medieval times.
Leaving Tuscany, the tour stopped at Assisi, where a monk from Pennsylvania led the way through the ancient Basilica, including views of Giotto’s famed frescoes which attract visitors from all over the world.
One cannot know Italy without exploring the fascinating city of Rome. The Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Colosseum, the Forum, Piazza Navona, Vatican City, and the Sistine Chapel are just some of the amazing sights the trip members enjoyed.
The stay in Rome also served as the gateway to Pompeii, where hundreds of thousands died upon the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. After inspecting the excavated ruins, the group returned to Rome and hired a mini-bus for a night tour of the illuminated Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, and St. Peter’s Basilica.
“It is an understatement to say that Italy has left a lasting impression on all of us,” said Mrs. Lodespoto. “Boarding the plane for New York, students shed tears of joy and sadness—joy in having this unforgettable experience and sadness in having it come to an end. Friendships were formed, Italian was spoken, and everlasting memories were created.”
When asked for a synopsis of the trip, most students found it difficult to fully describe such an extraordinary and diverse journey. The words cappuccino, art, gelato, history, architecture, and beauty just begin to capture Italy, a country that is beloved by so many travelers around the world.