Sicily Field TripPosted on: May 22nd 2019
The Amery Hill GCSE field trip has seen a change in destination with Year 10 students recently returning from Sicily. The itinerary included some incredible opportunities to explore and learn about the rich geological history of Sicily, including a visit to the Cyclops Riviera, Mount Etna and the Alcantara Gorge, a thrilling experience for many students who fearlessly embraced river trekking. The Cyclops Riviera allowed students the chance to see the marine reserve which boasts a rich biodiversity and many traditional fishing villages. While visiting the seaside villages of Aci Castello and Aci Trezza, stunning views of the clifftop Norman castle could be seen, as well as the famous faraglioni, huge lava stacks which pre-date Etna and inspired the legend of Odysseus and the cyclops Polyphemus.
The highlight of the trip for many though was a visit to Western Europe’s highest and most active volcano, Mount Etna. Students travelled part way up by cable car before boarding 4x4 vehicles to reach the summit, an altitude of approximately 3000m, zig-zagging up the ash and tephra that covers large areas of the Etna volcanic complex.
Students learned how Etna’s four active crater zones and the surrounding area are monitored by over 100 seismographs and they learned how data is gathered and used during a visit to Museo dell’Etna.
Students visited Taormina with its twin bays and stunning views of Mount Etna, noting how tourism and living in the shadow of the volcano has impacted upon the local community. A visit to Sicily’s second largest ancient theatre was a highlight. Originally built in the Hellenistic era, it was completely reconstructed by the Romans and used for gladiatorial shows.
The final full day of the trip was spent visiting a nearby island off the coast of Sicily called Vulcano. Students Lorna Plumridge and Emily Neil spoke about the excursion "We made an early start to take the ferry over to the island, ready to climb the volcano. Similarly to Mount Etna, we were led by an expert tour guide, who was very friendly and explained the geography behind the island, although this time we didn’t have cable cars to rely on! By lunchtime we had reached the crater, and although the smell of sulphur was particularly strong, it couldn’t ruin the amazing view."