Meetings and visits to Italian Organizations and Companies
Further of the learning outcomes, in the dimension of entertainment, their program included various excursions at the wonderful island of Sicily. The group had the opportunity to visit historical cities such as Palermo, Catania, Messina, Siracusa, Taormina, Milazzo, Noto, Cefalù, etc., including ancient villages and Greek/Roman areas. High importance visiting was also the excursion to the mountain of Etna – the biggest active volcano in Europe, where its precious solid gave a lot of interesting geological information to the students. In addition, there were many cultural activities such as Happy Hours, Pizza time, cooking courses, excursions.
The first visit took place in Cambria Vini (wine production company, website: cambriavini.com) at the city of Furnari. The participants had an opportunity to learn about the methods which are used for wine production in the Sicily. This visit allowed them to get to know about the hole process and the stages for wine production.
The second visit took place in Canditfrucht SPA witch is a fruit production company (website: www.canditfrucht.com) in Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto. During the visit, the participants introduced to the production process of the fruits, like lemons, oranges, cirtuses, mandarines, as well as to the technological equipment is used.
For the third visit the participants went to Parco Museo JALARI witch is a great park of several hectares where is possible to count more than 2000 scultures, and it is located at the countryside of Barcellona P.G. (website: http://www.parcojalari.com/). The group spent two days at that park; except for the visiting they had the opportunity to take part to a Sicilian cooking course.
For fourth visit the group went to the Vivaio la Palmara, witch is a nursery located between the towns of Terme Vigliatore and Furnari (website: vivaiolapalmara.com). Palmara has one of the richest collections on the market. Part of the nursery offers historical Italian varieties, including hybrids, with varieties from all over the world and some exclusive hybrids.
The fifth visit in the frame of this project took place at the Oleificio da Campo, witch is an olive oil production plant and it is located in the city of Rodi. At this place, the participants had the opportunity to consolidate the method and the stages of olive oil production.
The sixth visit of the group was at Agribio Pietrini, a company witch is dealing with organic production of citrous fruits and it is located at the town of Giammoro. The participants visited this place for two days, the first day was about the introduction of the company, so the owner explained everything about the operating modes of the company. During the second day the group had the pleasure to join the company through having a practical experience, during which they picked up oranges firm the trees.
The seventh visit took place at the Fratelli Branca orange factory, located in the city of Terme Vigliatore (website: www.brancaspa.com/). This family company operates as manufacturer of citrate and lemon essential oil. The participants informed about the production, which is obtained manually with the traditional “sponge” extraction method. The company’s activity includes orange and mandarin processing for the production of juice concentrates, diced peels and the corresponding essential oils
The eighth visit was at the Caseificio Cappello, a cheese factory witch is located at the city of Basicò. The group had the opportunity to learn about the traditional way of cheese production.
The final visit (the ninth one) of the group was at the Agricultural college of Barcellona P. G. This experience let the participants to have the chance to exchange pedagogical methods as well as to expand their communicative perspectives with other children and teachers.
Evaluation of the project
The evaluation of the project is excellent. Staff of the “A Rocca” Association and persons involved in this project hope it was an enriched and useful experience for all the participants. The monitoring team did its best in order to satisfy the expectations of each participant and to ensure the communication with the sending organization at each stage of the project. They had chance to see the rural view of Sicily. Certainly, they had the opportunity to get to know a lot of useful information about the functioning of Sicilian agricultural systems. They also could compare all the similarities and differences of these system among Sicilian and Macedonian systems. Regarding their Program in details, in the weekdays they were visiting companies which had strong relationship with the agricultural sector, like wine production companies, garden houses, olive oil production plants, orange companies, cheese factories, etc. Thus, it is understandable that students had a unique opportunity to become acquainted with plenty of sections that belonged to their field of study, where it is possible for the students to deal with those type of companies in the future as professionals. Moreover, their visit to the agricultural college of Barcellona P. G. let them to have the chance to exchange pedagogical methods as well as to expand their communicative perspectives with other children and teachers. Further of the learning outcomes, in the dimension of entertainment, their program included various excursions at the wonderful island of Sicily. The group had the opportunity to visit historical cities such as Palermo, Catania, Messina, Siracusa, Taormina, Milazzo, Noto, Cefalù, etc., including ancient villages and Greek/Roman areas. High importance visiting was also the excursion to the mountain of Etna – the biggest active volcano in Europe, where its precious solid gave a lot of interesting geological information to the students. In addition, there were many cultural activities such as Happy Hours, Pizza time, cooking courses, excursions.
The participants seemed to be satisfied with this project. According to their opinion, it was an interesting and useful experience. During the last day of evaluation, the participants received certificates after presenting their school, their country and their cultures to the staff of the A Rocca Organization. They also prepared a nice surprise, showing a video with the most important pictures of their sunny and constructive days in Sicily.