Monday, 13 May 2013

A thousand memoirs on a school trip to Italy!

Are you a Food Enthusiast? Because you seriously need to peep into the culinary calendar of a nation before deciding on a trip. And not just food, other considerations say weather, budget, cultural events, seasonal atmosphere and ambiance prove to be of utmost importance.

Italy has strived to be amongst those nations hugely contributing to the cultural and historic heritage to the whole of Europe and of course to the World! A nation indulged in offering world class food, music, heritage or art, Italy hosts events and festivals of international significance carrying forward a vibrant and lush style of its own. The country’s vibrant style has only come out of its glorious and celebrated history.

Winters were on it’s way to arrive. It was ‘special’. Absolutely! As this time our School authorities have planned to take its high school students on a trip to Italy. That irresistible feeling and all my crazy friends - We were ready to boast!! Witty poses, random clicks, capturing the famous attractions and worldwide popularity - all for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. (You never know, Life’s too unpredictable!)

Adding some percentage to the world of 46.1 million tourists a year, we ‘banged on’ to the fifth highest tourist earning nation. The symbolic hills, the sacred Vatican city, imperial Roman landmarks accompanied by the best of cuisine and fresh fashion; Italy was more than successful in gathering and luring tourists across the globe. We were pretty excited to explore Italian, a romance language, related to other Latin languages: Spanish, French, Portuguese and Romanian. However, the official Italian language spoken today originated from the Tuscan dialect (of Latin). Tuscany a.k.a “Birthplace of Renaissance” was a flourishing state in Italy having seen the birth of noted men - Galileo Galilei, Leonardo da Vinci, Petrarch, Dante and many others.

On our way to Florence - The birthplace of Renaissance, we got introduced to a dazzling app -RouteIt, none other by a native of Florence. This amazing app takes you on a virtual tour on both Android and iOS devices. We covered some of the most  famous and historical Italian place such as Florence Cathedral, Piazza della Repubblica, Orsanmichele, Piazza della Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio, Uffizi, Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Pitti, Basilica of Santa Croce, National Central Library.

Rome stands the "Eternal city" and also "Caput Mundi" (Capital in Latin), to the 25th most-developed country where Milan was home to fashion and finance. The one amongst the richest countries in the field of art and culture house a state that locked it’s own gates at night - Vatican City. We all were simply bowled by the uniqueness of the festivals and operatic seasons offered by Milan’s La Scala and the Verona Arena. Opera came out in the 17th century by Italian music composer Claudio Monteverdi in theaters "Teatro alla Scala" in Milan or ancient "Arena" in Verona.The compositions in19th and early 20th centuries on the birthplace of Opera are reckoned as the most famous operas ever performed.

Dating the country’s architectural achievements from the late 14th to 16th century, Italian art have had three phases - Early Christian, Romanesque, and Gothic (Now that we were school students we penned down some facts). The homeland of Palladianism and Neoclassical architecture got lit up by the museum works of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, and many more. Following the construction of arches and domes, Italian architecture was flooded with masterpieces from Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome (world's largest church) to The Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral in Florence, (world’s biggest brick dome).
Therefore, the art cities of Italy are counted amongst the most travelled and explored destinations in international cultural tourism.

The Nation with maximum number of World Heritage Sites showered the guests from Canada (Us) with the relaxed culture of Italian food. (Today you see numerous restaurants operating from different corners of the world having Italian cuisines and flavors. In large cities, you would see increasing number of Italian population spreading their love and culture). Though initially it was challenging for us to grasp the stubborn Italian words. But all was sorted when a Native introduced us to LingoDiction.  
LingoDiction is an offline app for iOS users making easy for wanderers like us get an idea of common words of other foreign languages along with their audio pronunciation. Do you know the English speaking population in Italy accounts for 34% from the eligible population of 20,300,000!

P.S. - We were so much moved by this breathtaking app that in turn inspired us to try our hand on the national anthem of Italy “Inno de Memeli”.


  1. I empathize with you Caira Bond. Your cover-story is triggering enough. Would love to spill the beans and come out with some interesting facts on Italy. Catch u soon!!

  2. My Hangout with Italy!

    Caira Bond’s “A thousand memoirs on a school trip to Italy” was presented so beautifully that I couldn’t resist to share some of mine.

    Throughout the centuries, Italy gave birth to some notable scientific minds (whom I ‘personally’ call) - “The super-likes of Italy” - Leonardo da Vinci who made several contributions to a variety of fields including art, biology, and technology and Galileo Galilei, a physicist, mathematician, and astronomer who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution.
    Da Vinci, one of greatest Italian Renaissance artists, was ‘The Man’ behind Mona Lisa - World’s most famous and iconic painting, now at the Louvre Museum in Paris.

    Then there was the story of two brothers - Romulus and Remus, being raised by a she-wolf in Palatine Hill. Exactly! This was the story behind the ‘Creators of Rome’. St Peter's Basilica - largest Christian church in the world, took 120 long years for its construction (1506-1626 ). Trust me! I couldn't take my eyes off the splendor looks of this beauty in Vatican City. Florence Cathedral, Piazza della Repubblica, Orsanmichele, Uffizi were others that caught our attention.

    Meanwhile I was reading this fashion magazine “Vogue Italia”, world’s most important and prestigious pick, and realized (before it’s too late) I should rather fill my backpacks with the finest fashion houses in the world. After all, who would want to give it a miss when there is Gucci, Prada, Versace, Valentino, Armani,Dolce & Gabbana, Missoni, Fendi, Moschino, Max Mara and Ferragamo all nearby your side. I was all ready to show ‘that’ trendy side of mine!

    In the midst of drooling over to the shopping extravaganza, what was noteworthy and totally impressive was the number of famous artists born in Italy. From Donatello, to Correggio, to Sassoferrato, to Gandolfi, Italy has been inspiring artists for centuries and has undoubtedly served as a paradise for the lovers of art.

    Italy’s art, history, fashion, culture, cuisine, natural landscapes, and of course the magic that the nation spills into you - this was my capture to the land of diversity. I hope you would also like and appreciate my portion of Edutainment.