Monday, 01 October 2018 15:51


Five giffoners discovering Istanbul: Anna Giulia D’Arienzo, Sara Maglio, Martina Perrone, Chiara Senatore e Gaia Zuccaro - with chaperone Giovanni Brancaccio of the Giffoni Experience - had the opportunity to partake in the sixth edition of the Universal Kids Film Festival, held in Tuzla, near Istanbul from 20 to 26 September. Not only workshops, but guided visists to the Mosque and Gran Bazaar, to fully discover the atmosphere of the town.

Please find their report full of emotion and adventure below:

20 September 2018
6 strangers in an airport in front of a board, each one with their suitcases full of stuff, and filled with dreams, ready to start their journey. The first flight for some, a new one for others, but all with a shared desire to have fun. The flght was good, and here we were in Istanbul, a town full of history, beauty and also of traffic. After a two hour drive we got to Tuzla where we found our house. Once we had unpacked we met the organizer of the UKFF, Rowena, who was very nice and helpful.

21 September
Second day in Tuzla. We were woken up by a beautiful sun and a devastating heat. The program for the day was the folowing: workshop in a shcool in the town with Thomas Kutschera (senior 3D Generalist at Pixomondo and an Emmy Award winner) who explained to us everything about the creation of visual effects and about the creation of the dragons for the show “Games of Thrones”. At the end of the workshop we made friends with a lot of students in the school. We played volley ball, played the guitar, chanted in Turkish, in Italian and in English (well, in many languages). It was one of the greatest days because we met some fantastic people whom we will surely miss a lot. After having had lunch in a typical restaurant, where we ate a lot and didn't pay much, we went back home to get ready for the opening ceremony of the Universal Kids Film Festival. It was a beautiful and touching moment where we had the opportunity to learn about new cultures and languages. In the evening we went out with the guys we had met in the morning and took a stroll near the Marina.

22 September
Visit in Istanbul. After a lovely breakfast, we hopped on a bus to go to Istanbul where we arrived after two hours being stuck in the traffic. First we visited the Blue Mosque and then Santa Sofia, which are both beautiful. It was fun also having to wear the veil:-) After that we went to the Gran Bazaar where we were met by a world full of colours, people, things to buy and vendors who tried to sell us anything and bargain for the price (Gaia was the only one who didn't get a good deal). Before going back home we went to the best Bakery in town, OSMANLIZADELER, where we tried some delicious cakes.

23 September
Program of the day: excursion to the Bosphorus. After a huge breakfast at the Eva Hotel, we went to Istanbul where we took a ferry with which we crossed the Bosphorus passing under the three bridges connecting the European and Asian parts of the city. After two hours of ferry, we stopped in a small town where we visited the castle and had lunch. We visited the local shops, we got back on the ferry and returned home. Just enough time to leave our backpacks and immediately we dived into the pool. After having dinner we packed our bags and moved to the hotel in Tuzla

24 September
Visit of Tuzla and the Marina which also houses a beautiful shopping center. After walking around the shops and a lot of shopping, in the afternoon we met with the students met in the high school and spent the afternoon with them. We went to a bar / restaurant where we tried various smoothies and the typical Turkish coffee. They taught us different words in Turkish and also some steps of their typical dances. Back at the hotel, we prepared a surprise for Anna Giulia as it was her birthday.

25 September
After breakfast, we went to Istanbul where we settled in another hotel. We spent the whole day in Sultanahmet and visited the Grand Bazaar again for the last souvenir purchases. To return to the neighborhood of our hotel, Beyoğlu, we took the famous Tunel that connects the lower part to the high one of this area. In the evening we went to eat sushi all together in a Japanese restaurant to celebrate Anna Giulia's birthday.

26 September 
Last day in Istanbul. After packing, we took a ride on the main street of Beyoğlu, Istiklal Caddesi, full of characteristic and particular shops. At 14.00 the shuttle was ready at the hotel to take us to the airport where at 16.55 we took the plane. As we Waited for the flight we went to Starbucks where we drank yet another chocolate frappuccino. Once in Naples we said goodbye with tears and hugs, happy for the fantastic experience we had just lived together.