Dante Alighieri Poetry Competition

Over 80 Year 9 Italian students across all Padua Campuses participated in the annual Dante Alighieri Poetry Competition on Thursday 1 June 2017.

When we all heard from our Italian teachers that we had to attend the competition and MEMORISE an entire poem IN ITALIAN, I think we all laughed at our respective teachers. However, we soon found out our worst nightmare was in fact true.

It didn’t matter how encouraging our Italian teachers were, none of us thought we could possibly do it. Then, the moment of inspiration, we would be out for the day and have a chance to have lunch with our friends in Lygon Street, Carlton.

Well, in all honesty, we all had a terrific day. The morning bus ride to the city was filled with nerve racking anticipation of failing to speak the words we had all tried so very hard to recall. Teachers on the bus were going over poems with us, encouraging us to keep calm, that ‘it was no big deal’, that it was only two minutes out of our lives etc.

Our teachers ushered us into an enormous lecture theatre, filled with other students from a variety Victorian schools. The Dante Alighieri Society Volunteers and Committee Members were very welcoming as were the Italian teachers and lecturers who listened to our version of what was originally a very beautiful Italian Poem.

After that, the day was ours. Teachers walked us to the most famous Italian Café Brunetti, one student from Tyabb (Zorg) claimed it was like tearing out a page out of Italy and placing it in Carlton. Students were overwhelmed by the variety of cakes and savoury dishes and the smell of coffee! Then it was lunch time! We followed teachers who recommended a number of places and it looked like 80% of students ordered Pizza at Papa Gino’s Pizza restaurant.

On behalf of all Year 9 Padua students we would like to thank our Italian teachers who took great care of us on the day. From Rosebud Campus Miss Fusco, from Mornington Campus Miss McMillan, Mrs Hamilton and Mr Cussigh and from Tyabb Campus, thanks to Ms Inserra and Miss Balassone. It was also very comforting to know there are over 80 Year 9 Italian students across our 3 Campuses and it was a great opportunity to meet other Year 9 Italian students.

It was a great experience and one we needn’t have feared so much. Except next time remember to polish your shoes the night before, because there is a teacher who will polish your shoes on the bus if you don’t. Thanks a lot Zorg for providing the polish and rag.

Until next year, cheers from Padua Year 9 Italian students of 2017.


Hayley McMillan