The concept of the school trip is becoming ever more popular in many educational facilities throughout the country. The benefits of taking students out of their comfort zone and exposing them to new, exciting and unfamiliar environments are endless. Travel undocumented gains social development and broadens the minds of everyone embracing it, particularly the young and those wanting to learn.
Situated at the crossroads of three major continents, Sicily is an eclectic fusion of the culture and history of Asia, Europe and Africa. A school trip to this small Mediterranean island is an exciting adventure for students studying a whole variety of subjects. From the archaeological treasures to the incredible geology of the island there is so much to discover.
The Archaeological Wonders of Sicily
There is no disputing the archaeological richness of Sicily. The different occupiers throughout the ages have all left their legacies in different shapes and forms in some incredible sites on the island. Syracuse is one of the most famous of the Greek cities and is a fascinating place for students on a school trip to explore. With links to some famous minds, such as Archimedes, Pindar and Demosthenes, it is little wonder this site is so interesting, archaeologically speaking. The Roman amphitheater still stands in all its glory and the Greek theater is a stunning structure built into the hill.
Traveling inland, Piazza Armerina is worth a visit. The mosaics at Villa Casale, built over 2000 years ago, have been lovingly restored and preserved and depict different aspects of daily life in Roman times. Students on a school trip would certainly benefit from a visit here, where discussions about Roman life and society will be provoked.
Probably Sicily's most famous archeological feature is the Valley of The Temples in Agrogento. The titles of Hercules, Concord and Zeus all display superb examples of Doric architecture and students are encouraged to consider the immense engineering feat required to construct these incredible structures.
Segesta and Selinunte are also excellent excursions; Segesta, with its magnificent amphitheater and Selinunte, only recently discovered, with its Greek temples and wonderful acropolis.
Mount Etna and Sicily's Volcanoes
No school trip would be complete without a trip up one of the most famous volcanoes in the world, Mount Etna. Still, very much alive, there is the opportunity to take a 4-wheel drive up to the crater and get close to the immense heat outpiring from the rocks, and the slow steady breathing that seems to exude from every crevasse. Mount much of the world's fascinating phenomena.
The Aeolian Islands are a group of volcanoes just off the coast, full of much more energy than Etna and only accessible by boat. From the boat you can witness the wonderful firework displays of Stromboli as it spits and gurgles the lava from its crater, and get a real feeling of the force of nature that continuously shapes our world.
Sicily has the key to so many questions about the empires in power in Europe over the ages. The ideas, motives and aspirations of every occupier are clear to see. The tumultuous history, the incredible geography and the modern culture all make Sicily the special place it is today.