Diary: Our Journey to Italy

Iris Eder & Vanessa Pesendorfer


Sunday, Oct. 18th 2015
At 2.30 p.m. our adventure „Erasmus +“ began. When we arrived at the airport in Vienna, we checked in our luggage and travelled via Rome to Bari. We were greeted cheerfully with welcome-posters by our host families in the arrival hall. After a short drive by car we reached our temporary home in Rutigliano in the region Apulia, where we collapsed into bed tiredly!

Monday, Oct. 19th 2015
In the morning our host parents took us to school, where we were surprised by a great, jovial welcome feast in the gym! Afterwards we visited the school museum. After we had had lunch with our host families, we met again at school and did some sightseeing in the historic centre of Rutigliano. We spent the evening with our host families.

Tuesday, Oct. 20th 2015
Again, our host parents took us to school this morning. Together with the other kids and the teachers we went to Bari by coach and visited the St. Nicholas Cathedral as well as the castle and walked through the beautiful old town. Afterwards we went back to Rutigliano, on our way home we dropped off the teachers at the hotel. Again, we spent the evening with our host families.

Wednesday, Oct. 21st 2015
As usual we met at school, where we had a music lesson this day. We made musical instruments out of plastic bottles, beans and tissue paper. Afterwards the coach took us to the caves of Castellana, which are really worth visiting! For lunch we were served a 12-course-meal (!!!) in a restaurant – „The Mediterranean Diet“! Afterwards we took a walk through Alberobello, where we visited the famous „Trulli“-houses with their pointed stone roofs. In the evening we went back to our host families.

Thursday, Oct. 22nd 2015
Today the coach took us to „Castel del Monte“, an octagonal castle which belonged to the emperor Friedrich II. After the 10-course-meal for lunch (uff) we visited the cathedral and the castle of Trani. An interesting fact about the cathedral is that there was just a very small church in the beginning, then they attached a second, a little bit bigger church to the first one and finally a very large cathedral was built upon the other two churches, on the first floor! The castle had been a prison during World War II. The prison wards rang the bell in the clock tower every quarter of an hour in order to torture the prisoners by showing them how slowly time was passing.

Friday, Oct. 23rd 2015
Again, our meeting point today was at school, where we presented endangered landscapes of Austria – glaciers, riparian forests and moors. We spent the afternoon with our host families.

Saturday, Oct. 24th 2015
After breakfast our host parents took us to the airport in Bari. After saying goodbye jovially and tearfully, we started our homeward journey. It was exhausting but also funny! At 9.30 p.m. we arrived at Gmunden, where our parents where already waiting for us. Finally we went to McDonalds together!

We really enjoyed this journey! We learnt a lot of interesting facts about Rutigliano and Apulia, visited a lot of beautiful places and sights and found new friends, who we will never forget!