It was a unique occasion that the Province of FMA Kolkata, planned to organize the over sea Educational Tour for higher secondary students and teachers. From Auxilium School Dum Dum 5 Students, 3 past pupils and Sr. Esther the Principal of Auxilium School Dum Dum and 4 teachers and 9 students from Auxilium School – New Delhi were the privileged ones. We started our 10 days tour to Italy via New Delhi and reached Rome on 9th Aug 2015. This entire unimaginable journey was undertaken in order to participate in the CELEBRATION OF BI-CENTENARY OF OUR FATHER AND FRIEND OF THE YOUNG, DON BOSCO’S Birth day on 16th August 2015 at Turin.
10th August 2015: Visit to Rome
It was an exciting site to experience the ancient Rome with the modern Rome. Ancient pyramid built by Octavian Augustus and the palatine-believed to be the birth place of Rome’s 1st emperor Augutus Maximus-a place of entertainment: mainly used for chariot racing and the 1st ancient largest stadium this could accommodate 150,000 spectators.
Capitoline Hill-The Capitoline contains few ancient ground-level ruins, as they are almost entirely covered up by Medieval and Renaissance palaces (now housing the Capitoline Museums) that surround a piazza, a significant urban plan designed by Michelangelo. Piazza del Campidoglio- built by the famous artist Michel Angelo-the place is also nick named as the wedding cake.
Visit to St. Peters Basilica – Here we prayed for our Parents, Teachers and Students.
We visited Vatican Museum where the display works from immense collection built up by the Popes throughout the centuries including some of the most renowned classical sculptors and most important masterpieces of the Renaissance art in the world.
Sistine Chapel , the Apostolic Palace, also the official residence of Pope in the Vatican city. It is a place for both religious and functionary papal activity. The place is a papal conclave, the process by which a new Pope is elected. The fame of the Sistine Chapel lies mainly in the frescos that decorate the interior and most likely the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and The Last Judgement Day.
Wonder Raphael’s room was originally built as a suite to apartments of Pope Julius II.
St Peter’s Basilica, a famous place of pilgrimage and is the largest church of the world. It is the most prominent building in the Vatican city and the holiest shrines of Christianity. It is traditionally the burial site of its titular St Peter, who was the head of the twelve Apostles of Jesus and the first Pope.
Piazza Novana, the pedestrian paradise, filled with café, street performers, milling tourists, kids playing football and splashing fountains.
12th August 2015: Florence
Leaning tower of Pisa, built in white marble, is slightly tilted and is one of the tallest monuments of Pisa. It has 294 steps and astonishingly most of us were successfully able to climb the 294 steps at one go. It was a spectacular view to see the entire Pisa from the top.
Tuscan countryside is known for its landscapes, traditions, history, artistic legacy and its influence on high culture.
Piazza dei Miracoli is an important center of European medieval art and one of the finest architectural complexes in the world. Considered a sacred area by its owner, the Catholic Church, the square is dominated by four great religious edifices: the Pisa Cathedral, the Pisa Baptistry, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Camposanto Monumentale (Monumental Cemetery).
Venice is a city in north eastern Italy sited on a group of 118 small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges. It is located in the marshy Venetian Lagoon which stretches along the shoreline, between the mouths of the Po and the Piave Rivers. Venice is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture, and its artwork. The city is entirety listed as a World Heritage Site, along with its lagoon.
Gondola Ride– People travel from one part of the city to another by boats and tourists enjoy the city ride on well decorated gondolas. We all were divided into groups of 4 each, for the gondola ride. It was indeed a splendid sight to view the city on the gondola.
14th August 2015: Venice
St. Mark’s Basilica is the most famous of the many churches of Venice and one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture in the world. Located just off the Grand Canal, the gleaming basilica overlooks the Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square) and adjoins the Doge’s Palace. San Marco is a cathedral, but has not always been so: it was the Doge’s chapel until it became the seat of the Archbishop of Venice in 1807.He is the patron saint of Venice.
Realto Bridge-The Rialto Bridge is the most famous of the bridges that cross the Grand Canal (the other two are the Accademia Bridge and the Scalzi). It was the city’s first bridge over the Grand Canal connecting the highest points on the lagoon islands settlement.
Piazza San Marco often known in English as St Mark’s Square, is the principal public square of Venice, Italy, where it is generally known just as “the Piazza” (la Piazza). All other urban spaces in the city (except the Piazzetta and the Piazzale Roma) are called “campi” (fields). The Piazzetta (the ‘little Piazza’) is an extension of the Piazza towards the lagoon in its south east corner (see plan). The two spaces together form the social, religious and political centre of Venice and are commonly considered together.
Doge’s Palace is a palace built in Venetian Gothic style, and one of the main landmarks of the city of Venice in northern Italy.
Turin is the capital of Piedmont. In the year 2006 the winter Olympics was hosted in this part of the world. It is the first city from the Alps mountain. Turin is located between Italy and Florence much closer to France .It is also considered the capital of industries.
In short it is also called FIAT (Fabrica Italiana Automobile Turin) hence it is an important economic centre. Po is the longest river of Italy which flows through Turin. Our beloved saint Don Bosco started his work here. He lived during the restoration of monarchy during the Savoy period. While working in Turin, where the population suffered many of the effects of industrialization and urbanization, he dedicated his life to the betterment and education of street children, juvenile delinquents, and other disadvantaged youth. He developed teaching methods based on love rather than punishment, a method that became known as the Salesian Preventive System.
A follower of the spirituality and philosophy of Saint Francis de Sales, Don Bosco dedicated his works to him when he founded the Salesians of Don Bosco, based in Turin.
Together with Maria Domenica Mazzarello, he founded the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, a religious congregation of Our Sisters dedicated to the care and education of poor girls.
Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians, Turin, built by St. John Bosco was started with only 12 cents.
16th August 2015: Becchi (Colle Don Bosco)
Participation in the Bicentenary celebration of Don Bosco’s at his birth place Becchi
17th August 2015: Filled with beautiful memories and experience returning home
It was a lifetime achievent and and sheer joy of experience that all of us are going to cherish throughout our lives. Both Don Bosco and Mary Mazzarello steered our life since the 1st day we were acquainted with the salesian family.So, getting an opportunity to see their place of origin itself is a privilege for all of us. A dream that most of us might have dreamt of since childhood.
I take this as a pride to thank the Almighty for paving us the path to turn this visit into a reality, the entire group is very grateful to our ex Provincial Sr.Maria Pettayil who daringly permitted and set apath to actualise this plan. We also want to thank our dear Superior Teresa Adampakallel who spend lot of her time to organize this entire trip. Grateful thoughts to our dear Sr.Esther who designed the trip, accompanied us and brought all of us back safely.
By Chumki Sengupta – Past Pupil.