7 July 2023
Writing: Thanujen Niranchan (Year 10)
Photography: Thanujen Niranchan (Year 10)
Editing: Shaylin Patel (Year 12)
After an early start at London Luton Airport at 03:00 we boarded the plane to Sicily, in the hope of an action-packed four days. On our very first day, we ventured to the picturesque town of Taormina, a gem nestled along the Sicilian coastline, lined with cobblestone streets and soft-hued buildings. There we met Paul, our wonderful tour guide, who assisted us throughout the visit and taught us the historical and geographic significance of Sicily.
We walked through the streets of Taormina admiring the beautiful town as it shimmered in the heat of the midday sun. Soon later, we stopped for lunch with the obvious preference being pizza and gelato for dessert. Most of us had an exorbitant amount of gelato across the four days! Amidst the town’s scenic atmosphere, lay the magnificent Roman amphitheatre where we next stopped off. As we took our seats along the top of the amphitheatre, we couldn’t help but imagine the echoes from gladiator contests and theatrical performances to the countless number of people that could be seated; this, coupled with its striking position just ahead of the Mediterranean Sea, made the visit a whole lot more interesting. After a long day of travelling and meandering in the sun, we headed to our hotel to get some rest and prepare for the next day.
Our second day started with a continental breakfast, served at the hotel, before we embarked on our second adventure, hiking up Mount Etna. Although the hike up Mount Etna was mostly through cable car and coaches, the view and experience was second to none. Mount Etna is one of the tallest active volcanoes in Europe and has the tallest peak in Italy - getting to experience such a huge feat was truly the highlight of the visit for most of us and was certainly mine. We then went back to the hotel where we freshened up, and spent some time in our rooms before strolling through town and heading back to our hotels to prepare ourselves for an early start the next day. Our third and final day of activities kicked off very early in the morning after another continental breakfast at our hotel. We then made our way to the Milazzo Harbour to board a mini-cruise to the Aeolian islands where we visited Lipari and Vulcano. There, we went to the Cathedral of St. Bartholomew before returning to the harbour and our hotel. Shortly after we arrived at the hotel we visited the beach nearby and relaxed before returning to the hotel where we participated in a quiz night hosted by Paul - our tour guide - with prizes for the winners! The next day, we bid adieu to the incredible hotel staff and made our way to Catania–Fontanarossa Airport to depart back home.
The Sicily residential was ultimately a phenomenal experience and I cannot thank the geography department enough for putting together such a successful visit.