Foreign language students tour France and Italy

GHS students gather for a group photo in Rome

Celestino Basile

GHS students gather for a group photo in Rome


Over April vacation a group of forty students and seven chaperones had the experience to travel to France and Italy.

The group flew into Paris, and spent two days exploring the city. They spent time in the Louvre, walked around the city, and went on a river boat cruise on the Seine. Students also had the opportunity to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower, thanks to Mr. Basile.

“It was so exciting,” said senior Josette Thompson. “Seeing all of Paris lit up at night was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.”

After Paris, the students and chaperones took the world’s fastest train, the TGV, to Nice, a coastal city in the south of France.

“My favorite place was Southern France,” said language teacher Ms. Finacey. “It was wonderful to observe students who were interested in the culture and practicing the language.”

From Nice, the group traveled to Monaco for the day. “I liked Monaco the best”, said sophomore Sammy Orlando. “ It was really pretty. We walked around the gardens and the little shops”.

On the way back from Monaco the group stopped in the town of Eze, where they toured a perfumery and had the chance to explore the village.

From Nice, the students and chaperones took a bus to Italy.  The group’s first stop in Italy was the city of Pisa. They had the opportunity to see the leaning tower and walk around the city. From there, the group traveled to Florence.

In Florence, the group took a walking tour around the city, and got to see the Duomo and  the Ponte Vecchio, among other historical places. After they took a tour of a leather factory, and had free time to shop in the Mercato del Porcellino and explore the city. Later in the day the group visited the town of Siena.

After a day in Florence the students and chaperones traveled by bus to Rome, following a brief stop in Assisi where they had lunch and toured the Cathedral. In Rome, the group had the opportunity to see the famous catacombs. This was not part of the original tour, but the group was able to see it thanks to the money raised by the fundraiser hosted by Lillian LoGrasso.

“I thought they were very interesting,” said senior Nina LoGrande. “I liked being able to walk where other people had walked”.

The group spent their final day in Rome. The group visited Vatican City in the morning. They saw the paintings on the ceiling by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel and visited St. Peter’s Basilica. “The Vatican was beautiful,” said Pentucket senior Sabrina Basile. “It was really special to me that my aunt and I could get communion at the mass going on.”

In the afternoon the group got to see the famous Roman Colosseum. “The history of the Colosseum was amazing,” said senior Sabrina Marnoto. “It was a lot of fun going to the Colosseum and see what it would have been like to be in ancient Rome.”

After the group toured the Ancient Roman Forum. “I felt like I was in ancient Rome,” said senior Alex MacDonald.

The following day it was time for the group head back to Gloucester. They took a flight from Rome to Paris, and then a flight from Paris to Boston.

Overall, the trip was a great success.

“I’m so glad I went on this trip,” said senior Josette Thompson. “ It was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“The students were exceptional,” said foreign language program leader Celestino Basile. “Their interest during the different tours was exemplary.  I received many comments from our tour guide, the hotel staff, and local guides regarding our students. The chaperones and I are very proud of the group. Even though there were forty students, and they were the best so far.”