It’s ciao to Tuscany as students from Heathfield Community College returned from a music concert tour.
On March 28 30 students and three staff left an overcast England on a 22-hour coach journey through the Alps and the Dolomites to Italy.
Arriving in Montecatini Terme, they set off to explore the architecture and atmosphere of the town built around thermal spas and famously visited by Guiseppe Verdi.
Their first concert was at the Istituto diIstruzione Superiore ‘Il Pontormo’ in Empoli where they were also treated to a performance of songs and traditional court dances by the school’s choir and dance group.
Cameras were out for a visit to Pisa in the afternoon. Florence and yet more culture was next on the itinerary with visits to the Galleria Palatina and Palazzo Pitti and a second concert where musicians, including soloists Rosie Page and Myles Hook, performed at the theatre at the Casa di Riposo.
A visit to Siena - site of the annual Palio race which opened Bond film Quantum of Solace - followed where students enjoyed frescoes and views from the Museo Civico. Pizza was on the menu. The final concert was held in the marbled concert hall of the Excelsior Spa in Montecatini.
Thursday was the last opportunity to enjoy the sights of the town with a funicular railway visit to the old town and round off an excellent week sitting in the sun looking over olive groves and eating more gelato.