The resplendent Lake Garda region was the destination of choice this year for 48 students and staff from Finn Valley College, Stranorlar.
During the five-day trip the students enjoyed a huge range of attractions, sights and activities of this wonderfully varied part of Italy. Day One brought a visit to the gorgeous city of Verona.
With its beautiful piazzas adorned with ancient frescos, the awesome red brick Ponte Vecchio spanning the river Adige and of course, Juliet’s balcony, the students witnessed at first hand why Verona attracts millions of tourists year after year.
There was still time to make their way towards Onepio winery for an early evening tour of the vineyard and an interesting talk on the winemaking process before checking into home for the week, the Hotel Azzurra in Sirmione.
Day Two saw another gloriously sunny day with the students enjoying a scenic drive along the lake before stopping in the picturesque medieval walled town of Lazise with its local artisan markets and the customary gelato!
Later came a visit to the El Bacan farm and restaurant where everyone sampled the large variety of locally produced products before engaging in a spot of pizza making. Friendly hosts Luciano and his family then led a tour of their farm, which is known for producing peaches, apricots, kiwis, apples, pears and grapes.
The traditional students and teacher bowling competitions then took place in a local bowling alley before another jam packed day was brought to a close with a lively sing-along bus journey back to the hotel followed by a table quiz including music and Italy themed rounds before bed in anticipation of a trip to Venice in the morning!
On the way to Venice the students were able to take in the cultural scenery that surrounds the rolling fields of Italy while listening to the many DJ’s aboard who had taken on the role.
With a scenic boat trip over to the Adriatic surrounded city the students made their way to the famous St. Mark’s square, where they met tour guide for the day, Gulia.
After taking in all the sights of the truly unique island including the Rialto Bridge and Grand Canal, the students made a trip to visit the Vecchia Murano glass-making factory. The students then finished off their day with a relaxing gondola ride around the watery streets of Venice.
Day four started with a cable car ride up into the dizzy heights of Monte Baldo, a stunning snow capped mountain surrounded by the beautiful panoramic scenery of the Alps.
Returning from the snow and back down into the sunshine, the group travelled to the picturesque town of Garda to enjoy a short walk around and explore the town which the Lake was named after. Students and staff then made their way to the
Jungle Adventure Park and took to the heights again to test their strength and agility in a series of challenging obstacle courses.
After these high wire exploits, the tired students and some amazingly refreshed looking staff boarded the bus again for our lovely driver Marco to take us to yet another picture postcard town on the shores of Lake Garda- Bardolino. The contented group walked along the tranquil waters of the lake to sample yet another version of the most delicious gelato and some photos.
The final day on tour took the group into Sirmione, a jewel of a town, which juts out into the lake and is famous for its medieval castle and natural spas. After some free time the students were treated to a very informative guided boat ride around the narrow peninsula with views of the town and its Roman ruins dating back to 200BC.
There was just time for one final trip back into Bella Verona for some shopping en route to the airport. The journey was shortened somewhat and the mood of the departing students lifted with the presentation of the annual school tour awards.
The final word on tour was left to tour leader, Ms Boland who thanked all the students for their excellent behaviour on what was a truly excellent tour that had everything. Ciao and Grazie Lago di Garda. Viva Italia. La Dolce Vita indeed.
Students on tour: Maddison White, Molly Browne, Lauren O Donnell, Thomas Gallen, Ivija Kuske, Julia Koperska, Grainne Mc Elchar, Savannah Molyneux, Paul Doherty, Aaron Mc Inulty, Brian Mc Bride, Emma Irwin, Dillon Murphy, Dina Patton, Meghan Walden, Tisha Merritt, Eoin O Donnell, Marie Donaghey, Anne Mc Laughlin, Chloe Harris, Cameron Potts, Patricia O Brien, Aivis Maslovskis, Jade Logue, Truda Mc Daid, Aine Foy-Hayton, Reece Mc Gahern, Anthony Anderson, Dylon Mc Clean, Aaron Duffy, Cathal Moss, Kelsey Mc Clintock, Rosita Birbalaite, Tara Boyle, Leah Mc Brearty, Declan Lynch, Stephen Carlin, Carla Mc Gee, Oaran Mc Gurk, Calvin O Brien and Conor Scanlon.
Report by Dina Patton, Aine Foy-Hayton and Rory White.Tags: