On the 12th of April 2019, the transition year students of St Louis Secondary Monaghan as well as the eight teachers crazy enough to join them set off on a trip of a lifetime. Italy was the destination, but before anyone could take in this beautiful country, Dublin airport would be the first stop. The group made it to the airport with more than a few sleepy heads and took off for Milan Bergamo Airport at quarter past six that morning.
After a flight that consisted of most students sleeping, the plane landed and the girls stepped onto Italian soil. They were then greeted by their lovely tour guides Elena and Francesa who would soon help the group to navigate around the different cities and tourist areas.
The city of Milan was the first destination of the trip. When the girls made it to the second biggest city in Italy, they were then guided through the city by Elena who gave very interesting facts on the landmarks and history of the city. The girls then had free time to explore and soon met up again outside one of the most famous cathedrals in Italy. Another bus ride followed, before we reached Lake Garda and the hotel that the group stayed in. Bella Vista Ristorante Pizzeria provided then food that evening where it was discovered that Italian pizza is in a league of its own.
The next day started with breakfast at eight o’clock where there was great excitement as the weather had brightened up and the group were on their way to the Gardaland Theme Park. After a five minute shuttle bus, the fun began. From Peppa Pig Land, to magical trees and of course roller coaster rides that went extremely fast and extremely high, as well as ones that splashed through water, Gardaland provided something for all the students and teachers. The girls were also very impressed with the teachers who tried all the big roller coasters and were especially very proud of Mr. Brady and Mrs. Conlon who were brave enough to try one roller coaster.
Day three began by a bus ride to the beautiful city of Venice. On the way, Elena informed us that Venice can only be reached by boat and that there are no cars in the city. As a result, a twenty minute boat ride took the group into the city. We were led through the narrow streets of Venice on a walking tour. Following this, a meeting point was arranged at a well-known landmark and the girls were free to explore the amazing city. Boat rides on Gondolas and shopping in the markets followed before the group met back up again and headed back for the evening meal in the hotel.
The last day of the trip began with the girls packing their suitcases up and making sure they had everything squeezed in for going home. There were a few worried faces about the weight limit of the bags but luckily enough one of the girls had a luggage scales with them to save the day.
Following this, the group headed for the medieval town of Sirmione where they were able to explore the town on a peninsula, on Lake Garda. A thirty minute boat trip across the beautiful Lake Garda ensued where the group then got off at the town of Lazise. Elena then led the group through the town where the bus waited to collect them and head for the city of Verona. After getting off the bus, the group headed for the famous balcony of Romeo and Juliet before going off to explore the area. The last souvenir shopping and sightseeing was done and soon the bus was back to bring the group to the airport once more.
Finally, after the flight was delayed coming back to Dublin, the girls hit Irish soil after an amazing experience in Italy. The students and teachers alike had a great time however there was a little bit of excitement for an Irish mug of tea. As a Transition Year group we are indebted to our Year Head Ms. Mc Caffrey, Mr. Fitzgerald, Mrs. Conlon, Ms. Reilly, Ms. Clerkin, Ms. Mc Cooey Ms. Flanagan and Mr. Brady who gave of their time to make this trip a reality. It is definitely one of the highlights of Transition Year.
Written by Una Boylan.