Meeting in Milan, by Portuguese students

It all started on November 5th at 6:30 am, when we (students) and teachers gathered at school in Abação. It rained a lot, but our enthusiasm was enormous. The flight departed delayed at 9:30 from Sá Carneiro airport and we were impatient to get to Milan. In Milan we landed at around 12:00, where we had our first lunch on Italian soil. We ate a Panino. Already on the bus, we left the airport to meet the teacher Alfredo Boccasile, who would lead us to our host families. We, Cátia Cunha and José Lopes of class C of the 8th grade were accommodated in Frederica and Giulia Soccio and Davide Bonariva’ homes, respectively, and José Pedro Machado of class D of the 9th grade was accommodated in Matteo Marinoni’s home. The meeting was very positive. We were delighted: Cátia adored her host family; José’s host family was very friendly, in a word, spectacular; José Pedro loved staying at Matteo’s home.

On the first day, at the Italian school we (the) and the students from other countries (Poland, Estonia, Spain and Lithuania) presented their school and their country. Then, we attended a History class. The History teacher spoke in Italian but we understood some words. There was so much to do! We had lunch altogether. After that, we started the activities planned for the afternoon: robot programming.

On the second day, we learnt a little bit of the city of Milan. Around 8:15 am we got together with teacher Alfredo in the subway. Our adventure was beginning… We entered the subway and we went to Milan, where we were going to meet the other teachers to visit Santa Maria delle Grazie Church. This church is famous for the “Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci. Later, we visited the Castello Sforzesco and learnt a little bit of the Milanese culture. Then, we went to the Piazza del Duomo. There, we saw the spectacular Milan Cathedral. As we were already hungry we went to a restaurant and tasted the famous Italian food. After lunch, we went to the National Museum of Technology “Leonardo da Vinci”, where we experienced some models reconstructed from Leonardo’s machines. In this museum, we also saw an exhibition of manuscripts, sketches and drawings of this famous Italian artist.

On the third day, we woke up very early because we knew that the day would have a journey of 34 km by bike along the river Adda. During this memorable day of cycling, we observed the channel planned by Leonardo da Vinci to connect the city of Milan to the town of Lecco. We also saw one of the oldest power plants in the world and we realized how water can be used to produce electricity. Then, we crossed the river Adda, using a boat that worked only with the power of the water, to have lunch. Fabulous! We returned to Milan cycling, our bodies hurt but we fast recovered.

On the fourth and final day, we returned to the Italian school, where we attended some classes and programmed robots. We wanted to stay longer and be with so many new friends. But, it was time to return to Portugal.

Cátia Cunha and José Lopes, 8º C