A journey to Italy – with 8th graders!

My son’s 8th grade class at St. Francis School is continuing a tradition of a spring break trip to Italy, and luckily my son, Andrew, didn’t mind that I tagged along. We’ll be traveling across Italy for the next week, including stops in Venice, Florence, Assisi and Rome.

We took a bus from Austin to Houston, then traveled to Venice via Paris.  There are 30 kids on the trip, 4 teacher chaperones and 5 parents.  It is a great group to travel with, the kids are very well behaved and so far they have done a good job of listening and following instructions. Many of the kids slept on the plane, but it was still a very tiring and long first day in Italy.

On the bus to Houston
Sorting out our bags at the Venice Airport
Sorting out our bags at the Venice Airport
Waiting to board the Vaporetto (water bus) -there are no cars in Venice!
Heading to our hotel on the water bus.
View of the Piazza San Marco on the water bus

We were lucky that we had nice weather today, it was warm in the sun and I’m sure that will help with the jet lag. We arrived at our hotel around 1:00 and took some time to settle in a bit before going to get some lunch and gelato. We walked to Piazza San Marco, stopping to learn some facts about Venice along the way, including the way that the city was built on marshes by putting long pine trunks into the sandy ground and topping them with marble and bricks until they got above the water level. We spent about an hour checking out the Plaza, then walked over to the Rialto Bridge, the oldest bridge in Venice, dating back to the 1500s.

In the Piazza San Marco
Hanging out in Piazza San Marco

More pictures to come!

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Soccer Mom, Professor, Athlete, Entrepreneur, Activist

5 thoughts on “A journey to Italy – with 8th graders!”

  1. Nice! I’ve done seven such trips with college students, usually about 35-40 students and four faculty. It’s great that eighth graders get that chance! This year we’re doing a trip in May, but replacing Venice with Sorrento. That gets us near Pompeii. A tip: in Florence don’t miss the gelato at Gelateria dei Neri, on Via dei Neri, 9/11R, near Santa Croce. Best gelato in Italy. And while Florence is full of great restaurants (my favorite is Trattoria Guelfa on via Guelfa), the cafeteria “Leondardo” not far from the Duomo on Via de’ Pecori 11 might be great for a crowd of eighth graders. It’s self-serve, but good quality. The guys working behind the glass joke around (in Italian mostly) with the guests – an economical way to have good Italian food. And picky eaters can choose what they want. It can handle a crowd too! I hope you enjoy great weather and lots of fun!

  2. Terri,
    Thanks for posting the photos and commentary. It’s great to be able to follow along on the adventure from this end.
    If I could make a small request: Please ask Alex Conway to smile in subsequent photos (you can tell him we didn’t spend all that money to see an unhappy face). And his grandparents are watching : )
    If you couldn’t guess he’s the one in the middle of your waterbus photo frowning at the camera.
    Thanks again for the play-by-play. Have a great trip.
    Mark & Julie Conway

  3. Terri,
    Your blog is so great. i was there last year with my son, Cole. You guys have a great time!
    take care, Susan Ross

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