But as ILG was telling the world that there were apparently some intemperate, rude, name calling pseudo-dignatories in this part of Somerset, the Bridgwater College students, off to Italy on a study programme, made exactly the opposite impression. No less than 3 different people mentioned how polite, well behaved and cheerful the students were. First the bus driver, Augusto, was nervous when the singing at the back of his bus started, and had to be reassured that 'the wheels on the bus' didn't refer to a diversionary tactic to nick his hubcaps, then said he had never had such good natured students on board. Then it was Genny the manager of the aptly named San Francesco 'Charming' Hotel, the delightful wedding themed lagoon side accommodation where the students were staying. "It was lovely to have them, they were polite, tidy and looked after the rooms and each other".
|New Mayor of Priverno Angelo Delogu|
|Priverno town hall under occupation|
While at the school the students watched a film made by a local Italian student about the dangers of Fascism. And what better place to investigate this subject than the province of Latina where Mussolini (the well known Italian fascist) had embarked upon his fascist dreamplan by draining the local swamps and building several 1930's style 'Fascist New Towns', resettling party members from around the country there in their own individualistic villas and relocating sections of the working class from out of their urban communities and into more divided and isolated small towns. Well, it didn't stop them from eventually stringing him up feet first from a petrol station at the end of world war two, so ultimately not the best advert for the subject.
|Luigi and Egidio at Lazio TV|
|Polish war cemetery at Monte Cassino|
|Italian students from Teodosio Rossie|
Rome in a day is not easy. But we tried. Starting on the steps of the Campidoglio, designed by Michaelangelo (some time back now) we wandered around the ancient Roman Forum to the currently scaffolding clad Roman Colloseum (building works can take some time in Italy apparently...).
|Mino De Francesca in his element|
Then it was 'hunt the missing students' . Only 2 this time. Taken in no doubt by the breathtaking beauty of their surroundings. Or possibly in a pub. Suitably rounded up we headed back to the coast.
|Italian students identify themselves, sometimes as continents|
On the final day the group returned to Rome for their key visit which was to the Cinecitta film studios. Being Media students, this was a must. And being media students, they probably filmed everything. But we've yet to see the evidence.