• A Spring Break to Remember

    Over April break, a group of Whitesboro students taking French, along with a couple of Spanish students, embarked on an unforgettable trip to Italy and France. The trip was 10 days long.

    We would like to thank Dr. Bellair, Mr. Russo, Mr. Kuhn and the Board of Education for their support and for the additional travel day. These students and chaperones completed a whirlwind tour packed with history, art, culture, cuisine, language and memories.

    A student shares her experiences and photos about the trip and what it meant to her below.

    European Trip Recap by Kate Gaffney

    We, the Whitesboro High School upper level French students, had the opportunity to travel across the pond to various European cities, such as Rome, Sorrento, Capri, Paris, Lyon and Giverny. We started by driving a few short hours to Newark International Airport where we departed on our voyage. 

    We arrived in Rome, Italy the next day and we were immediately met with stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and rural Italy. Once we arrived at our hotel, we toured the Piazza Navona, which included Sant’Agnese in Agone. Following this, we took a bus to the Trevi Fountain and another one to the Vatican City. All of us were in awe once when we entered the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican itself. Personally, this was one of my favorite places we went to, merely because there is nothing like it in the world today. The next day, our group toured the Roman Forum, the Colosseum and the Pantheon. It was really interesting to see all of the things we have been learning in Social Studies for many years. We then went to the famous Spanish Steps and called it a day, after a long afternoon of touring the city. Rome was definitely a city to remember because of all of the architecture and historic sites we were able to visit. The gelato was certainly unforgettable too!

    The following day, we took a train to Naples, Italy, and from there, traveled to Pompeii to visit the ruins. Our tour guide was able to provide so much information about the ruins that isn’t necessarily taught in U.S. Social Studies classes. Something that no one talks about when visiting Pompeii are the views it provides of the Italian countryside, especially on a clear and sunny day. After visiting the ruins, we took a bus to Sorrento, Italy, which is on the Amalfi Coast. Some of the best views of Mount Vesuvius can be seen from this coastal town, along with extraordinary views of the turquoise Mediterranean water. We took a boat to the island of Capri, the next day. We took a tour of the island with another tour guide who knew everything there was to know about the island. From the caves inside the rocks, to the luxurious villas and mansions owned by celebrities, Capri truly had everything packed into it, for being such a miniature island. We were able to have a lot of time to explore the island by ourselves, which was a great way to experience all of what the island had to offer. We ended that day by traveling back to Sorrento and taking a pizza making class taught by one of our favorite people we met on the trip, Luigi. Luigi taught the group how to create, knead, and bake the dough for our individual pizzas. He was definitely one of the highlights of the trip!

    The next morning, at a whopping 3 a.m. we left for the Napolian Airport to travel to the next country: France! We landed in Paris and immediately met our tour guide, Summer, who would be showing us around the city. We found the best spot to take pictures of the Eiffel Tower and L’Arc de Triomphe. To end our first day in the city of love, we toured Le Musée d’Orsay and trekked up to the tallest building in Paris to get another jaw dropping view of the Eiffel Tower. The following day, we took a high speed train to Lyon, France, to take in some other French architecture and culture. Lyon definitely had a much calmer setting, whilst still being in an urban setting. Some memorable experiences in Lyon were the secret passageways that were sprinkled throughout the city that showed what it was like to hide in secret during WWII. We took a tour of a silk making store, where we learned about how silk was made, and how to use it to make beautiful drapes, scarves, and other luxury goods.

    After a long day, we took the high speed train back to Paris. After many days of lots of activities planned, we took a tour of the Palace of Versailles, which the French King Louis XIV built. It was hard to fathom that all of the exquisite architecture and over the top amenities were common for nobles back in the 1600’s. Claude Monét’s house was next on the itinerary, where we got to stand on the famous bridge he painted in Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies, while also learning about so much of his personal life and walking through his unconventional house. Our last day of the trip approached quickly, but we had a big day ahead of us. We toured the Louvre Museum, where the most famous pieces of art are located, including the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, Liberty Leading the People, and The Coronation of Napoleon. Then, after taking a metro to Montmartre, a more suburban part of the city, we were able to see the Sacre Coeur, a church that is famous for the views of Paris it provides. We had the opportunity to eat at Le Grand Colbert, which was featured in multiple American movies, followed by traveling to the top of the Eiffel Tower. This definitely was one of the highlights of the trip because of the astonishing views of Paris we were able to experience. No one that was able to go on the trip will ever forget that night, in particular.

    As we flew home from Paris the next morning, I reflected on how grateful I was to experience such amazing memories with all of my friends. Thank you to Mrs. Kostolecki, Mrs. Cidzik, Mrs. Matt, and Mr. and Mrs. Powers for organizing, planning and making this trip an unforgettable experience!