This past Friday, we headed to Boston for an Italian-themed day filled with interactive, informative fun….and a lot of pizza. And pasta. And gelato.
Italian students from all four levels started the day at the Boston Museum of Science, exploring the special exhibit called Da Vinci: The Genius. The exhibit explored the many facets of Da Vinci’s expertise: from his advances in science and engineering, to his world famous works of art, and his discoveries about human anatomy. Students were able to explore replicas of inventions that were centuries ahead of their time: from bicycles to helicopters and even tanks! Some of the replica inventions were hands-on, allowing students to explore the mechanisms first hand. In addition to his inventions, the exhibit offered a fascinating look at some of his most famous pieces of art, including the notable Mona Lisa. There are numerous “secrets” about the painting that have been discovered thanks to advances in infrared technology. The exhibit offered students the opportunity to see replicas of what art restoration experts found under the many layers of paint. Students were able to learn more about the history of the “real” Mona Lisa and discover how historians have pieced together the mystery over the years. Each student used Twitter to share an interesting fact about the exhibit. Here are a few examples:
After the museum, we headed to the Prudential Center for lunch at Eataly, a new addition to the Copley Mall. Eataly is a chain of large, open food marketplaces that actually originated in Italy to showcase authentic fresh foods from across the country’s many different regions. There are Eataly locations in New York and Chicago, and now in Boston too! Perhaps the best part about Eataly for the students was the incredible variety of foods it offered. Visitors can sit and eat at one of several restaurants focused on different cuisines: fish, pizza, pasta and more. There are counters for cheese, meat and fresh fish, a gelateria, a cafe, a fresh produce stand and a pastry shop! There is also a large grocery area with hundreds of imported Italian products: from dried pasta, olive oils, cookies and sauces. It was wonderful to watch as the students sampled authentic foods from Italy’s many regions. It really made the cultural lessons we cover in class come alive! And, best of all, students were able to purchase some treats to bring home and share with families and friends.
Students headed back to Nipmuc at the end of the day with lots of new cultural information about Leonardo Da Vinci and plenty of snacks for the weekend. While they were pretty full, they did have enough energy to sing some Italian tunes on the bus!