Forget the charter bus — 20 Bensonhurst high schoolers hopped aboard a plane on Feb. 14 for a week-long field trip to Italy!
The voyage abroad was the brainchild of Brooklyn Studio Secondary School Italian language instructor Adriana Caruso, who wanted to give the kids a chance to see the world after her class hosted 11 young adults from the boot last spring.
“I thought, if other students are getting to travel, why not us?” said Caruso.
But such a big trip seemed unlikely for a school as small as the one on 21st Avenue between 83rd and 84th streets, with many naysayers doubting the kids would be interested — or be able to pay the $2,500 tour fee.
“I was told it was never going to happen, I was told the students weren’t going to sign up, that students couldn’t afford it,” recalled Caruso. “It was a really big thing for our school that it got approved.”
The trip filled up in two days once students were able to sign up, and they got to spend their winter break visiting Verona, Venice, Bologna, Pisa, Florence, San Gimignano, Assisi and Rome. Besides visiting the landmarks they had learned about in school, Caruso said the students were able to watch the papal resignation and Italian elections up close.
“We went at the perfect time,” said Caruso.
Caruso said she’s already planning next year’s trip, which she hopes to pay for entirely through fund-raisers and grant more pupils a chance to go. There’s also talk of a visit to Spain for students on a different language track. The important thing for Caruso is that Brooklyn Studio kids — many with no Italian ancestry, and who had never left the country before — got to broaden their horizons.
“We had students of all different ethnic backgrounds, religious backgrounds who got to appreciate this other country, and that’s really incredible to me,” said Caruso.