Welcome to Canadian College Italy’s 2015 Summer Academy.
Our students arrived safely last Friday and have since been busy with orientation, classes, and visits to San Vito, Ortona, and an agriturismo.
Lanciano is over 3000 years old – older than Rome – and our school is located in the heart of the historic centre. Below you will see the entrance to our school: a charming door within a door.
We held classes on Sunday afternoon after giving the students and teachers much needed time to rest.
After classes, we then headed to an agriturismo. Agriturismi can be found all throughout Italy. They are small working farms, usually family-run, that have been restored to offer services similar to a B&B. To be recognized as an agriturismo, the majority of the farm’s income must come from agriculture and the food served must either from the farm, or grown locally. We visited one such agriturismo after school on Wednesday: La Massaria di Sarchiappone.
Upon arrival we were met by Nico who gave us a tour of the property. He explained how his family has been operating the farm for generations. We could tell that he is very proud of the land and the business.
We came to a crest were Nico pointed to a road marking the WWII Gustav Line. The Germans heavily defended the north side of the line, where the farm is located, during the war and Nico’s grandparents hid the family in a nearby cave as the area was bombarded.
We then sat for a tasting. We were served delicious fresh bread with olive oil, cured meats, and percorino cheese.
Tuesday was more solemn as we visited the nearby town of Ortona. This was the site of one of the bloodiest battles of WWII. In December of 1943 Canadian troops fought their way through rain, mud, and artillery fire, to make their way into the town. There, they fought from one house to the next, claiming one street at a time, and eventually liberated Ortona from the Nazis.
Our first stop was the War Museum where students then had time to explore the museum and examine its many artefacts from the war.
Later, we were led to the centre of the museum that holds a model of the town, showing us what Ortona had looked like during the battle. Our dear friend Tommaso, who was 10 years old during the battle, shared his experiences of the war with our group.
We then walked through town, down the corso to the Price of Peace Monument.
We finished the day with a tour of the nearby Moro River Canadian War Cemetery. Here are the resting places of over 1300 fallen soldiers. For many of our students, it was an emotional experience to read the names, and the ages, on the tombstones of the soldiers that died during that horrific battle.