Italian adventures with the Geography department

28 Environmental Science, Geography and Geology students recently went on a field trip to the Bay of Naples and Sicily. Here is an amazing account of their visit!

28 Environmental Science, Geography and Geology students recently went on a field trip to the Bay of Naples and Sicily.

Here is an amazing account of their visit:

 ‘We went to the Campi Flegrei Area and saw Solfatara (sulphur and gas vents or fumeroles) on arrival in the Bay of Naples. The second day we visited the Pompeii Excavation in the morning and were amazed by the detail in which life had been frozen in time by the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79. Next we climbed to the crater of Vesuvius and were amazed that 3 million people live beneath the world’s most dangerous volcano (It has been called Europe’s time bomb) and 600,000 in a “red zone” closest to it, who have already been warned they are most at risk. People living this near face pyroclastic flows – 200mph waves of scalding gas, ash and rock that would rip down the sides of the volcano and burn and blast everything in their path.


Overnight we crossed to Sicily by ferry the sea was described as “fierce” which gave us plenty to text home about! Zafferana was the next stop to explore the lava field created by the 1992 eruption and discuss the steps taken which prevented the eruption from reaching the town, plus take photos of the submerged houses. Upwards to Etna Sud and Cable car and 4x4 truck rides to the snow-capped summit in beautiful sunshine.


The next day we went by hydrofoil from Milazzo to Vulcano and most students climbed to the crater of this stinky sulphurous volcano. Some students took the opportunity to bathe in the mud pools and others enjoyed the islands beaches harbour and amazing jellyfish.


On the final day we visited the amazing Alcantara Gorge an impressive area of basalt rock was created by the eruption of the volcano Monte Moio, Etna's most eccentric offshoot, around the year 2400 BC. The lava flow reached a thickness of 70 metres and is preserved as columnar jointed cliffs. Finally we went to the ancient city of Taormina and some students climbed up to the top of the Monte Tauro. Taormina dominates two grand, sweeping bays below and on the southern side, the top of Mount Etna, offering breathtaking, dramatic and memorable views over almost one hundred miles of Mediterranean sea.’

Pictured are students with their Geography teacher Sandra Wickens on Mount Etna whilst it was smoking away. I’m sure you’ll agree that a fantastic time was had by all!