FAIRBANKS — Ancient architecture, exotic restaurants, gondola rides and liters of gelato — the Tok School World Classroom Club experienced it all on a recent trip to Italy.
The trip was the second overseas adventure in two years for some Tok students and teacher Tracie Weisz. Last year, a group of seven traveled to France for a class trip after studying the French language in school.
This year, there were no language courses available at Tok School due to funding, but some students were intent on traveling anyway. A school year’s worth of fundraising — selling concessions at basketball games and holding bake sales and car washes — paved the way for another group of seven students to travel to this year’s destination.
The group left July 18 and returned July 27. They traveled to Milan, Venice, Florence, Assisi and Rome.
“I had some seasoned travelers in the group,” Weisz said. “That was good for the rest of the kids.”
With three veteran students, the others were not at as shocked by the foreign country’s peculiarities. For instance, Americans expect elevators in hotels; in Europe, often there is none. The Tok students who had previously visited France had already come to expect some stair climbing.
The group saw “all the stuff that people say they want to see when they go to Italy,” Weisz said. “It was just the best of the best.”
Cole Johnson, a 15-year-old student, agreed.
“Out of the whole trip, I had no favorite part,” he wrote in an email. “Every city was unique in its own way, and I loved every second of it.”
While Weisz and the kids enjoyed every aspect — even maneuvering through airports with a group of eight wasn’t too bad — she said it was fun when they could escape the scripted tour to explore on their own. The group would get to choose restaurants and were able to split up and walk around Florence on their own.
“The gondola ride wasn’t on the agenda, but we happened to finagle one,” Weisz said of their stay in Venice.
“It was fast, fast, and it was cram-packed,” she said. “It always just leaves the kids wanting more. Maybe it could turn into a yearly thing.”
Contact staff writer Reba Lean at 459-7523.