Over spring break, upper school girls explored historical sites and cities in Italy while traveling with a group of Memphis University School boys.
From Rome to Naples, students on the Hutchison and MUS trip to Italy saw amazing sites during spring break while learning all about Roman and Latin history and culture. They visited a variety of ancient Roman, Greek, early Christian, and Renaissance sites and studied their art as well. The husband-wife duo of Lorraine Gagliano, who teaches Latin at Hutchison, and David Gagliano, who teaches Latin at MUS, led the trip.
Students climbed an active volcano, descended into ancient catacombs, translated Latin inscriptions, and even learned how fresh mozzarella di bufala is made. In Rome, the group got to see a reenactment of Mark Antony’s speech at Julius Caesar’s funeral on the Ides of March, the day that marks Caesar’s death. They also ate a lot of delicious pizza, pasta, and gelato along the way.
“It was amazing to see buildings and cities that have been standing for as long as they have. I learned about culture, religion, and customs of Roman people, and it was surreal to be in buildings they once stood in,” Lauren Coleman ’24 said.
Katie Clark '26 said that their days were busy, but she liked getting to see so much in such a short time. One place students visited was the Vatican, particularly St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Sistine Chapel. Kaylan French ’24 said she loved seeing the rich history. Caroline Kim ’24 said she was struck by how enormous the Sistine Chapel is.
“It was incredible to see the paintings of the Last Judgment and consider the analytical aspects of what each painting meant,” Caroline said.
Hutchison and MUS students posed for a photo in Vatican City.
Kaylan said her favorite activity on the trip was climbing Mt. Vesuvius, the volcano known for an eruption in 79 AD that buried the Ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. “It was a challenging but rewarding experience,” she said. While making lifelong memories, students also formed new friendships.
“I got to bond and become closer with the other Hutchison girls, and I made new friendships with the MUS boys. It felt like we were a family, like they were all my brothers and sisters,” Caroline said.
For some students, it was their first time traveling to Europe, and they enjoyed seeing the differences between the United States and Italy.
“The point of travel is to learn that the world is much bigger and different than our small part of the globe, which makes us appreciate home even more,” Lorraine Gagliano said. “I hope that the students will look back at this spring break with fond memories.”