By Terry Rogers
Over spring break, 31 students and adults from Milford High School travelled to Italy and France, with stops in Pisa, Monaco, Tuscany and Lucca. The trip, arranged through EF Tours and coordinated by Nicole Carter, a teacher at the school, provided students with exposure to new cultures, foods and lifestyles.
The trip began in Rome, where students visited the Collesium, the Trevi Fountain, the Catecombs, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican. Some students reported seeing the Pope on good Friday on a TV monitor near St. Peter’s basilica. Students reported that the gelato was delicious, although dealing with Daylight Savings Time for the second time this year was not as pleasant. Daylight Savings Time began on April 1 in Italy.
The next stops on the tour were Siena, San Gimianano and Florence, where students toured the beautiful Italian towns and spent time in a local disco.
“Although we were the only people at the disco, we made the best of it,” said Mrs. Carter. In Florence, the travelers saw sculptures of David and many gothic works of architecture, along with Renaissance works of art on the street.
Photos courtesy of Alex Huey, Trevor Maloney, Ashley Bonnoni, Austin Holleger and Nicole Rogers.
While in Nice, the students visited a perfumerie, enjoyed lunch in Monaco and then spent time on the Mediterranean, where some students were able to put their feet in the Mediterranean sea. Students visited Pisa, and the small village of Lucca as well.
“It was really great to learn all about their culture because I am Italian,” said Ashley Bonnoni, a sophomore at Milford. Ashley was one of seven students who did not join others on the extension to Paris, returning to Milford a few days earlier. “It was neat to learn about my heritage and where my ancestors grew up. I would love to go back to Europe someday in the future to experience more, such as the people, the food and the culture.” Ashley’s mother, Joyce Bonnoni, was impressed with how well organized the trip was.
“Personally, I would like to thank all of the chaperones on the trip, especially Mrs. Carter. Mrs. Carter has been phenomenally organized throughout this process, both with keeping everyone informed and prepared well in advance, to the actual execution of the trip. Her updates throughout the trip were so appreciated, and the respect and care she extends towards all of the students could not be more appreciated,” Bonnoni said. “Thanks to her and this trip, my daughter has a much clearer picture of just how vast and wonderful the world is and will likely be a lifetime traveler as a result.
Students who chose to extend the trip to visit Paris took a fast train to France, which offered them beautiful views of the sea and mountains. The travelers visited Sacre Couer Cathedral near Montmartre. The weather was very cold in Paris and their first meal of warm crepes in the city was a treat.
While in Paris the group took a bus tour, visited the Palace of Versailles, the Tower of Montparnasse and the Eifel Tower. Students also visited the Louvre where they saw the famous Mona Lisa, Notre Dame and some students took an evening Seine River cruise.
“I so enjoyed this trip with each and every one of our students and adults and am so pleased to have shared Europe with them,” Mrs. Carter said. “I truly hope each person returns home with a solid sense of themselves and an appreciation and greater understanding of new experience, history, and culture.”
“I had one of the best adventures of my life on this trip. I learned a lot about myself being in a foreign country, living for almost two weeks without so many things I am used to,” said Ali VanVorst, a junior at Milford. “I went on this trip without a single close friend signed up, and now I have new friends and made memories on this trip with them.
The group included several chaperones who took on the responsibility of traveling to foreign lands with approximately 27 high school students.
“I have travelled abroad with many groups of students from Milford, and this was one of the finest,” said Erica Snyder, one of the teacher chaperones. “The students were eager to see and try new things. They made an effort to speak the languages of the countries we visited, to try the local foods and to see as many sights as possible. They were positive, cooperative, responsible, and adventurous. I had a wonderful time seeing Italy, Monaco and France with them. I have no doubt many of these students will continue to travel and to be open to experiencing new and exciting things.” Many of the students enjoyed learning first-hand about new cultures and how life in other countries is not the same as that here in America.
“It was a great experience to be able to see different cultures and to just see how different life is in different countries,” said Trevor Maloney, a senior at Milford High. “It was definitely the best experience of my life and I hope to go back again some day.”