The classroom and the community both offer valuable experiences, and the DSC encourages all students to explore the landscape, sites, and history of Corfu. Less formal field classes include walking tours of the city, which focus on its colonial architecture and cultural sites. Local museums are rich in materials, ranging from Corfiot antiquities, Byzantine artworks, and Indian and Asian artifacts.

Major field classes to Lia (mainland Greece) and Butrint, Albania, also form a valuable part of the programme. In 2002, Nicholas Gage led an all-day trip to his home village, Lia, on the Greek mainland. Likewise, David Bellamy took the school on an exploration of Corfiot ecology, including olive groves, the chessboard-patterned marsh fields Gerald Durrell wrote of, and other sites.

The stunning Butrint archaeological site in Albania near Saranda - a World Heritage site that has Greek, Roman, Venetian and Ottoman remains - has also been the focus of an all-day excursions.

Other local field classes include sites on Corfu, such as the White House in Kalami, where Lawrence Durrell lived during his residence on the island, and the nearby Shrine of Saint Arsenius. Old Perithea is a major excursion in 2003 and 2004. A deserted village high in the mountains of Northeastern Corfu, Old Perithea was originally built as a refuge from coastal invasions and pirates. Today this UNESCO site is being restored. The excursion includes a lunch featuring a traditional village menu prepared in accord with historical Corfiot cooking methods.


The Theatre of Asclepius at Butrint

Dating to the 8th Century BC, Butrint is a unique archaeological site and the field class also offers DSC students a direct experience of modern Albania. Variously under Corfiot, Byzantine, Roman, and Venetian Rule (much like Corfu), Butrint is one of the great Classical sites in the Mediterranean.

Baptistery at Butrint

The 6th century AD Baptistery shows the richness of cultural influences during Butrint's history, as does the basilica from the same period.

Nicholas Gage discusses the history of his home village, Lia, during WWII and the Greek civil war. A New York Times investigative reporter, Gage tells the story of his mother's death and his search for answers in his book Eleni. Gage is the author of numerous books on Greece and has been translated into 26 languages, motivating his participation in the DSC translation seminar.

Students interacted with Gage and learned about his effort to rebuild his family's homes in Lia, while hearing his stories of the Greek civil war and his mother's sacrifice for her children. His book Eleni recounts his return to Greece and Lia to find his mother's murderers.

Professor David Bellamy, one of Britain's best-known environmental campaigners, leads an ecology field class through olive groves and the 'chessboard fields,' ending at the Silva Estate's breeding project for Skyros Ponies, an endangered species. A supporter of the Green Renaissance, Bellamy has fought on ecological matters ranging from Burns Bog in Canada, the British Uplands, and Australian dryland agriculture.

The trip by caique (traditional fishing craft) to the White House in Kalami and the Shrine of Saint Arsenius traces the locations in Lawrence Durrell's Prospero's Cell, and to which he imaginatively returns throughout his works. Durrell described the Shrine of Saint Arsenius (right) as his second birthplace, his place of predilection.

The White House, from which the Albanian coast can be seen, was also the location where Durrell wrote The Black Book, a work greatly praised by T.S. Eliot and Henry Miller.

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