On November 21st, our „S.M.A.R.T.“ project continued in Catania (Italy) where we were all well hosted. A private bus picked us up in front of the hotel along with the other groups from Croatia, Spain, France and Turkey. At the entrance to the school, Italian students and professors greeted us with an exciting smile. In order to relax a bit in the new environment, we played bingo. The goal of the game was to write as many participants‘ names as possible to the questions that fit them. After the game, we received a welcome speech by Silvana Raccuia, our Erasmus coordinator and the headmistress Guiseppa Montella. We were also presented on how to make an interactive map, which we all did in the end in international groups about monuments and natural wonders in each country. After a few hours of work, we had lunch in a restaurant on the coast. In addition to eating a nice typical Italian lunch, homemade trofie with pistachios, pumpkin risotto and different delicious pastries, we spent some time on the beach and played volleyball. (Nika, 7e)
Thursday: the day started with a delicious breakfast and continued on with meeting with the other groups. We all were excited to go to Mount Etna and see the Silvestri Craters. Sadly, because of the weather was too cold and windy there, we weren’t able to stay there long and carried on to our next stop which was the Esagonal Restaurant, where we had lunch. After a long bus drive, we reached Taormina, where we saw the ancient Greek theatre and also had free time to explore the lovely city with its typical Italian shops and a Piazza with an amazing sea view. Lastly the bus drove us back to our hotel and the day ended with a heartwarming goodbye. (Beytullah, 7e)
On Wednesday we went to school by bus, where we continued to work with the google maps for sites and natural wonders in each participating country. After that we had a workshop on Sicilian folk dance named „Tarantella“ conducted by the folkloristic group „Città di Agrigento”. After lunch with traditional Italian food (pasta, pollo and sorbetto) we had the second workshop of the day held by Ms Teresa Di Blasi and Gabriella Catalano. Our first stop was the Castle Ursino, which used to be surrounded by the sea but now, because of the eruption from the volcano Etna, it is around one kilometer away from the sea. Then we went to the cathedral Sant’Agata, the elephant fountain, the amphitheater of Catania and the last stop was the park “Villa Bellini”. Between the stations we had an exercise, which was to find similar sites seen in our cities/countries. We ended our day with a nice walk through the centre of Catania. (Ionela, 7e)
Thursday: the day started earlier than usual, and we headed out to Syracuse, a historic city which is notable for its rich Greek and Roman history and as the birthplace of the mathematician and engineer Archimedes. Our first stop was the Greek amphitheater (Teatro Greco), a UNESCO world heritage site in Syracuse. Then we visited other parts of the Archeological Park Naepolis, which was really interesting. Later that day, our next stop was Ortygia, a small island, which is the historic centre of the city of Syracuse where the view was heavenly. Two bridges connect the island to mainland Sicily. Furthermore, we visited the fountain of Arethusa (a natural fountain) and cathedral of Syracuse before we got back to Catania. (Amal, 7e)
Friday: today was sadly our last day in Catania. Back in school we presented the results of our interactive maps done in international groups during the week. Ms. Valentina Barbagallo from the international mobility office of the University of Catania informed us about the possibility of mobilities for students across Europe. After that we had the opportunity to tour the school. In the chemistry lab we had a presentation on soap production by Italian students. Our last common activity was a kahoot about Italian phrases and words. Afterwards we got our certificates of attendance. In the end we had lunch in a nice Italian restaurant with typical Italian food (arancinis, pasta and cannoli) and that’s where our trip ended. (Amal, 7e)
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