A DREAM holiday to northern Italy's ski slopes turned into a nightmare for dozens of Largs Academy pupils.

A number of youngsters were struck down by a severe sickness bug while staying at the Union Hotel in Folgarida di Dimonara last week.

The teenagers and a string of other guests were hit by nausea and sickness, resulting in the hotel going into lockdown.

A group of 42 pupils of the 64-strong travelling party were struck down just a day after arriving at the resort.

Three of the six teachers on the trip were also taken ill.

Anxious parents told the News that their children had phoned home and reported 'scary scenes' as doctors entered the Union Hotel in Folgarida di Dimonara in surgical masks.

All affected pupils and staff were quarantined in a separate wing of the hotel to stop the outbreak spreading any further while receiving medical treatment.

The decision was then taken to shift the part to a hotel in Milan before flying them home early. They were checked over by doctors before being given the all clear to fly.

A number of mums and dads headed to Edinburgh Airport on Saturday to pick up their children following their ordeal after the decision was taken to cut the holiday short.

The News also understands that the council is currently investigating claims circulated by the Italian press that the hotel had previously been struck by a similar sickness bug prior to the school's visit.

One parent echoed the views of many when she told the News: "We were all pretty worried and it was hard to find out exactly what was going on with the language barrier.

"Just days before the children had been enjoying a superb trip with photos of pupils on the slopes filling the Academy's Twitter page and then we heard about this.

"I just couldn't wait to get my son home to check he was fine."

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said “During their ski trip to Folgarida in Italy, a number of pupils from Largs Academy took ill with a bacterial bug which caused vomiting.

“We are clearly frustrated for the pupils who have had to endure a miserable time when they should have been skiing on the slopes.

“We took the decision to take all the pupils to a hotel in Milan on Friday to be nearer the airport for travelling home on Saturday."