During the first week of Spring Break, 15 Hopkins students traveled to France and Italy with Hopkins teachers Dr. du Plessis, Dr. Picarazzi, and Mr. DeNaples. In both Paris and Rome, students practiced their language skills, ate delicious local food in typical bistros and trattorie, learned how to navigate the subway system, and explored the cities with the group and on their own.
In France, students began with a visit to the Latin Quarter, exploring the nearby Cathedral of Notre Dame. Later, students toured Montmartre, known as an area for artists and the location of the Sacre Coeur church. During a daytime excursion to the Loire Valley, students experienced the renaissance at its best by exploring the castles and grounds of both Chambord and Chenonceau. For the final day in France, students walked and shopped along the infamous Avenue Champs-Elysée, viewed the Arc de Triomphe and visited the Orsay museum, which contains one of the finest collections of art dating from 1848 to 1914.
The group then flew to Rome, where they visited the Isola Sacra Necropolis, founded in the first century A.D., and then had an exciting afternoon training as gladiators at Gladiator School. On the following day, students had a tour of the Colosseum, and viewed the Roman Forum. They also experienced Rome by night, strolling through some famous piazzas, including Piazza della Rotonda where they saw the Pantheon and the Piazza di Spagna where they saw the Spanish Steps. On another day, they viewed some of the wonders of the Vatican, including Michelangelo’s masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel. While in Rome, the group also took a day trip to visit Pompeii, where they explored the ruins and learned about life in 79 A.D.. Finally, en route to the airport, students were treated to a sunny day in Ostia Antica, the harbor city of Ancient Rome.