The End of Italian School

Ray's class presents a gift to one of the teachers

Ray’s class presents a gift to one of the teachers

The end of the school year is another cause for celebration.

Italian students and families commemorate with a big get-together centering (of course) around food.

Tuesday night was the sixth grade party.  We heard that it went so late that only two kids showed up for school on Wednesday.  However, we weren’t there; Tom didn’t want to go.  He said he would rather go to Rome for the day where he can buy glow-in-the-dark sling shot rockets from the unlicensed street vendors.  Since we all wanted to go to Rome, we took advantage of his request for a final visit.  Tom got his rockets but also got a talking-to by the police. He’s getting use to it.


Ray’s party was yesterday.  This group of families is especially close since many elementary schools in Italy assign teachers in first grade who stick with the same kids for five years.  Even though Ray joined the class in its last year, he fit in well.  In the end, he made good friends.


Alessia, Valentina, Gaia, Ray and Marie Elena

Alessia, Valentina, Gaia, Ray and Maria Elena

The festa was held at Il Pioppo, an agriturismo  outside Perugia where the ingredients are sourced right there on the farm.  And this was no light summer lunch.  Our plates were filled to capacity. We started with a black truffle pasta tossed with the chef’s homemade tagliatelle followed by a second pasta course with tomato and sausage. Then we had a plate of roast pork and sauted greens and finally jam crostatas. Pitchers of wine and sparkling water were abundant.  The kids’ menu was equally huge but styled to suit their tastes.  However, with a pool and grassy field, they chose not to linger at the table.


Ray's teacher playing some type of volleyball game with the kids.

Maestra Rita playing volleyball with the kids.

While the kids played, some of the parents told us about a new thing that schools are doing in Italy.  It’s called “American graduation” and it entails a celebration after eighth grade and another one after high school.  Previously, a graduation ceremony was held only after someone finished college, but several schools are importing our excuse to pomp and circumstance more often.  We told them that American kids even get to wear graduation caps when they finish preschool and fifth grade.  That made everyone laugh.

Saying goodbye to Daniele.  After we left the party, Ray said he would like to stay in Italy for another year.

Saying goodbye to Daniele. After we left the party, Ray said he would like to stay in Italy for another year.

Saying goodbye to Maestra Milva.

Saying goodbye to Maestra Milva.


6 thoughts on “The End of Italian School

  1. We have stockpiled a few helicopters too Tom. You might become like the vendors who sell them, with one eye on the look out for the police, ready to run the other way. TK had a good time bargaining with them.

    Ray, glad if you would stay in Italy, but we want you back pronto!

  2. I bet you were holding your breath, thinking of those newly glued-together teeth as Ray ran around with the other children!

    When I first came to the United States, it took me a while to get used to the idea of high school children in caps and gowns. That doesn’t happen in England — or used not to anyway. Like the Italians, I find the idea of junior high, elementary, and kindergarten graduation ceremonies laughable. And I wonder how special is it to graduate from college if you’ve been parading around in a cap and gown at intervals since you were four years old?

  3. The school year is wrapping up no matter one lives! Great pictures! I would open up the conversation that pomp and circumstance occurs too early and often in America. But, that might be the mind of a tired high school teacher! None the less, what a year for you all where just much learning occurred outside as inside the borders if school. I look forward to seeing you over the summer!

  4. Dear Deasys,
    The end of the school year is a marker for this teacher…. the end of one great adventure and the harbinger of another adventure next year. Tom and Ray, I am certain that you will look back at this year as the Great Adventure. So many gifts: a new culture, new friends, better understanding of how life can be very different… neither bad nor good.

    As I read all of the blogs, it seemed like one of the greatest gifts was the bond that grew between Matt, Jill, Tom, and Ray. That is a priceless gift.

    Much love to all of you… see you in July. Anita

  5. What a sweet boy! I’ve enjoyed living vicariously through you Jill…..thank you! Love to your boys.

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