La vita è bella

La vita e bélla translates as “Life is beautiful”

This month we learned all about Italy, we have learned about the food they eat, the language they speak, we learned about the Vatican in Rome and about the waterways of Venice, we watched a video of an Italian chef cooking up a delicious traditional Italian meal, we listened to some of the most inspiring opera music, we watched U2’s Bono singing with Pavarotti. We learned that some of us here in Airdnua have family members who live in Italy and what their experience is. We talked about films like “The Godfather” and what we know about the Italian mafia. We also explored the amazing artists and sculptors of Italy and learned a little about the Renaissance. We watched a ten minute video on the Sistine Chapel, we were all impressed with the amount of detail Michelangelo managed to include in this amazing project that he undertook. We

As always for our  “Leisure, Arts & Culture” month we ended with a day of celebration …..Italian style!!!!!!!!

We decorated the canteen with the, now obligatory flags, we attempted pay homage to Michelangelo by  creating our own Sistine Chapel by hanging some pictures on the ceiling, we would have drawn them  hand ourselves but unfortunately we didn’t have time 🙂 !!!!!!!!

We tried to use some of the Italian language that we had learned………ciao, grazie and prego!

For our tea break we were treated to Bruschetta

Mairead and Carmel hit the kitchen first thing this morning and toasted some delicious bread while mixing a bowl of freshly cut basil, cherry tomatoes finely chopped red onion, balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. This was then spooned on top of the toast and served.

We lit some candles and played some traditional Italian folk music and some instrumental music while we ate.



We often have lasagne and spaghetti Bolognese for lunch here in Airdnua but for this special day we wanted to try something new. We asked our Chef if he could whip up a Spaghetti Carbonara and it was really delicious. It was served with parmesan cheese and again we played our traditional Italian music.



It was a lovely day and we all really enjoyed ourselves.


Our French Celebration

The month of July in Airdnua was dedicated to France!!!!!!!!!


We started off the day with a delicious French themed tea break, we had French cheeses served with crackers and grapes.

A lot of us got the opportunity to try a type of cheese that we had never eaten before.


We followed with a French classic at lunchtime…….. Beef Bourguignon.

We learned that this is similar to  our own Beef Stew, it originated in Burgundy and it cooked using red wine and  garlic, onions and a bouquet garni.

Everyone really enjoyed it and we all showed our gratitude to our chef Barnardo by clearing our plates!!!!!!

The art group decorated the canteen with some French style pictures and flag and it made look very festive.

We also played some traditional French music such as

  • La Mer
  • La Vie En Rose
  • Sous Le Ciel De Paris
  • La Boheme
  • Le Sud

The music really added to the overall effect. We were able to imagine ourselves sitting in a French café on the River Seine 🙂