Exploring Sicily’s ancient sites

IMG_1070It seems like an age ago – probably because everyone is now immersed in the work of revision – but just four weeks back, 19 sixth-formers and three teachers visited the gloriously beautiful island of Sicily, and surely if they close their eyes they can recall it all: temples, theatres, cafes, guides, beaches, bars, basalt (there is a lot of that; Sicily is made of basalt. We were told so many times…).

Highlights of the trip included the balconies in every room. Margaret Rice (Head Girl) particularly enjoyed the use of hers, stating “It was just a super chill place to hang out with friends and enjoy the sea breeze.” Lydia Nethercott-Garbage enjoyed herself greatly especially the “evening strolls along the beach” at Giardini Naxos, where we explored the coast and got lost at least once.

IMG_1108  Taormina (3)

On the more cultural side, we visited a range of sites, including some which UNESCO deigned to be World Heritage Sites. From temples (be it standing, or destroyed by the Carthaginians) to theatres set in the picturesque mountains of Selinunte and Taormina. At Selinunte, the ‘valley of the temples’ presented us with example after example of extraordinary precision and refinement in building. Piazza Armerina proved as amazing as the guides said it would be, with room upon room of the most colourful and exotic mosaics. Social life apart, the six days spent in Sicily were packed with visits to a wide range of Greek and Roman sites of extraordinary richness, and most of the party filled their iPhones with pictures! Even the weather was kind, starting dull but ending with a taste of summer (by British standards anyway).

IMG_1082  IMG_1124

Practically, the lower sixth Class Civ students have now seen many of the temples and other pieces of classical architecture which they will meet again in class. Everyone had the chance to enjoy all aspects of Sicily ancient and modern – art, colossal feats of building, ice-cream, and local delicacies such as cannoli and arancini.

View photos

By Christopher Grocock, Head of Classics


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

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