Report by Mrs Fitzpatrick
In September we welcomed a group of 20 Italian students, accompanied by their teacher, to OLHS. The Italians love coming to Scotland and are always eager to return the great hospitality that they receive from us.
A group of senior pupils accompanied by Mrs Fitzpatrick have just returned from a fabulous week in Provincia of Pistoia in the beautiful region of Tuscany. We took part in a lot of activities which gave us a great insight into the Italian way of life!
Our diary was jampacked! We visited our twin school – Instituto Forti – and took part in a variety of lessons including, language, music and theatre. We became seasoned tourists, visiting the beautiful cities of Pisa and Florence. We climbed up the leaning tower and improved our haggling skills in the typical markets.
We were really lucky to be in Italy during Carnavale and got to experience two very different carnivals. On Sunday we spent the day in the coastal town of Viarregio and were awestruck by the fabulous floats. These include gigantic papier mache, moving puppets which depict a very satirical view of Italian and international politics. Everything here is good humoured with music and dancing and lots of people in fancy dress. On Monday we visited Venice and were able to get a glance of one of the oldest carnivals in the world. This is an altogether more elegant affair than Viareggio. Lots of people, including actors, local people and tourists stroll around the city dressed in costumes and masks that would be worn to a masked ball. We discovered that some of these costumes are generations old! We also had the chance to be serenaded by gondoliers.
On the last night we were treated to a feast of pizza and dancing. Of course, the real highlight of this kind of trip is the fabulous friendships that are forged and deepened with our Italian ‘twins’.
Thanks to Jack Divers for the photographs.