Thirteen students and adults from our North Georgia community recently returned from a ten day educational tour of Italy and France. The group departed the Atlanta airport on June 18th and returned on the 27th. The participants were Carli Goins, Madison Upshaw, Kaytlyn Mealer, Sally Ann Jones, Caleb Jenkins, Karen Phillips, Megan Little, Susan and Bill Little, Gina Werrick, Susan Greene, Christine and Brian Tesoriero.
After landing in Milan, Italy the Fannin group met up with other groups of similar size from California, and Chicago to form one large group of thirty-nine students and adults. The European tour director that led the group through Italy and France was Eva Troncon, a native of the Veneto region of Italy. Locally, the tour was organized by FCHS Spanish and Italian teacher Brian Tesoriero.
This year’s group explored the canals of Venice, Italy where they witnessed a glass blowing demonstration on one of the 118 islands that make up the city of Venice. While in Venice they visited Saint Mark’s Plaza along with the Doge’s Palace. A highlight of their time in Venice was a gondola ride through the beautiful back canals of Venice as well as the Grand Canal, Venice’s “Main Street”.
After departing Venice, the group lodged in the beautiful little town of Montecatini Terme to explore the renaissance city of Florence, Italy for two days. While in Florence everyone visited the famed Duomo of Florence as well as the Ponte Vecchio and the entire historical city center. Many of the travelers braved the ancient four hundred step climb to the top of the Duomo to take in a bird’s eye view of this historical city. While in the Florence area the group visited the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Pisa, Italy and discovered the baptistery and cathedral of Pisa.
In addition to Italy the group also explored the second smallest country in the world, Monaco. While in the area of Monaco, they visited a French perfume factory in Eze, France along with spending time in Nice, France where they had the opportunity to swim in the Mediterranean Sea as well as shop in the many shops of this beautiful and relaxing town.
From southern France the group said good bye to their Italian bus driver Paolo and took a high speed train to Paris. At times the train traveled up to 200 kilometers per hour. In Paris the group visited the Eiffel Tower, the Palace of Versailles, the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Latin Quarter of Paris.
As the group headed to Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport to prepare for their nine hour return flight to the USA, they said good bye to their new friends from Chicago and California. They headed home with a new found awareness of Europe and many fond memories.