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As we touched down at Malpensa airport San Anton school seemed to be on another planet. For the forty one students and four teachers, the first day of the Easter holidays promised not only days away from the classroom but a week packed with adventures around the Alps.

Arriving quite late we spent the first night in Milan, waking up to an early breakfast before touring the centre of this magnificent city, enjoying the sights and the first tastes of Italian ice-cream.

Verona and Montova followed, with a glimpse of the balcony where Romeo and Juliet declared their love; The boat rides in Sirmione where we touched the warm water of the thermal baths and a day trip to Venice; Venice the floating city of Piazza San Marco, pigeons, photos and more photos, pizza, pasta chased down by ice-cream of all flavours. Gliding down canals and buying Venetian masks are all etched in our memories. Old friends bonded more as we shared hotel rooms; new friendships were forged as we travelled on the coach and shared meals, jokes and laughter.



A touch of Switzerland – enjoying the Swiss miniature in Lugano and a boat rip to enjoy Boromeo Islands, eating pasta with tomato sauce on Isola Bella. Photos clicked away but many more memories were ingrained in our minds, memories of beautiful sights or something someone had said or done in one particular place or another.

Gardaland day promised to be exciting as we all ran towards the entry gates and vanished inside this fun park. Roller coasters, breath–stopping water chutes, safari excursions were the order of the day. We were the first group to arrive and the last group to leave as security guards ushered us through the exit doors. Sleep was not a struggle, especially after this fun–packed day as bedroom lights went off as if by magic.

The highlight of the holiday was the day in the mountains. As we edged our way from Moena to Gardena we caught a glimpse of the snow on the sides of the road. The temperature started to decrease from 15 degrees until we started the countdown to minus 3 degrees – and when Oliviero, our coach driver, stopped, all hell broke lose as all of us, including our four teachers became children once again. Snowballs started flying, filling every hood and pocket. Shrieks and screams, but no short breaths stopped the snowball attacks on the teachers. As we returned to the coach the driver had to hose us down with jets of air as we looked more like walking snowmen than students from San Anton.

Back to Varese, and some last minute shopping, before flying back to Malta International Airport. Hugs, kisses and a touch of tears ended our exceptional experience. Students and teachers bonded in such a way that traveling back home, happy memories mingled with a tinge of sorrow for having to let go of our friends – until we meet again on the school benches.

Club members may access the club room during break time, but the main event occurs each week on a Friday after school. Students between thirteen and fifteen years of age have joined and get along together, even though during school they might frequent different groups.

The chess club has been revived with students playing avidly during breaks. The educational benefits of chess have been well documented, with students developing their spatial ability, memory, and strategic skills. The chess club intends holding a school tournament and other events this year.


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