Naples and Sorrento Visit – April 2014
On Monday, 7th April, 39 pupils and 5 staff gathered at the Academy in excited anticipation of our visit to the Bay of Napoli. The coach was quickly loaded and we were on our way to Gatwick. The flight left early and the views of the Alps from the plane impressed everyone. On landing, we boarded the coach and drove along the picturesque coast towards our hotel in the resort of Sorrento.
After a filling breakfast, we made our way to our first activity – Mozzarella making! We were shown the difficult task of heating and moulding the cheese and, to our surprise, the farm laid on a lunch for us, using the cheese we had seen being made. The second visit of the day took us to the volcano of Vesuvius – Europe’s tallest active mainland volcano. The journey up the hill was scary, as the road got windier and thinner, until we reached the pathway towards the volcano. It took us 20 minutes to reach the crater which had steam pouring out of it, although thankfully it didn’t erupt! There was time for a quick photo opportunity, before heading down the path (which seemed to be quicker coming down) and back on the coach to return to the hotel for dinner.
Wednesday took us to the city of Napoli. Our first visit was to the underground city, where the Neapolitans took refuge during the Second World War. We had to squeeze through some really narrow tunnels using only candlelight, and saw how the bombs could penetrate even the deepest caves. After this, it was shopping time in the centre of Napoli, before we visited Solfatara – a huge volcanic crater to the west of Napoli. On the way we saw the impressive San Paulo stadium, home of Napoli FC. Solfatara gave off a pungent smell of sulphur (or was it Mr Hawker’s after shave?) and we poured water on the open geysers, which quickly turned to steam. We then returned to the hotel for dinner, where the manager kindly provided a cake to celebrate Uma’s 15 th birthday.
Thursday was a really early start as we walked to Sorrento harbour to board the ferry to the island of Capri. On arrival, we boarded another boat, which took us on a hair raising tour of the island, going through caves and arches, and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. We saw the mansions of Silvio Berlusconi and Roberto Baggio, and the mountain goats that clung precariously to the cliff edge. On return, we had time to go shopping in the designer shops – Prada, Gucci, Swarovski, to name but a few.
Friday was the last day, and we went to the ruined city of Pompeii, once covered in lava from the eruption of Vesuvius. A huge gladiatorial arena greeted us at the entrance, and the massive site included shops, surgeries, inns, bathing pools and bodies mummified from the eruption. For dinner, we spent a lovely two hours at a restaurant on Sorrento beach, where we celebrated Louise’s 16 th birthday with yet another fantastic cake. After shopping for last minute souvenirs, we begrudgingly boarded the coach back to the airport after a rewarding and memory-packed visit. The flight was smooth (we wont mention Jamie’s passport) and most of us slept until we arrived back at the Academy, in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Mr Hawker, Mrs Flack, Mrs Thoseby, Mrs Bareham and Miss Pavitt would like to thank all the students for making the visit so memorable, you are a credit to your parents, your school and your country.