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Dates Jul 20 - Aug 1
Duration 13 days
Grades 7 - 12
Tuition $4,085 + Airfare
Cities Cinque Terre, Rome, Sorrento, Pisa, Montalcino, Naples, Positano, Capri
Start Newark to Pisa
End Naples to Newark
Join Travel for Teens on a service trip to the Cinque Terre (Italian for “Five Lands”), Rome, Sorrento, Capri and the Amalfi Coast. Over the course of our travels, you’ll enjoy having a flexible itinerary where you can make choices with the help of our expert guides. Their knowledge – the result of years spent living and studying in the country – allows you to enjoy a safe trip filled with abundant options.
As the group flight takes off, the trip officially begins!
After settling into our home for the week in this dreamy seaside village, we’ll tour the town, admiring its colorful shops and rich, authentic feel. You’ll be amazed at the rush of the waves breaking across the beautiful beaches, and will be hardly prepared for the delicious meals consisting of fresh pasta with pesto (a local specialty) and delicacies from the sea. Despite the beauty and the relative success of this region, the Cinque Terre are also faced with a series of daunting environmental and economic challenges. Generations of hard-working inhabitants have braved the harsh conditions of this rugged landscape, living, as is often said, “with their backs to the sea” and tending the grapevines and orchards that grow on the series of stone terraces that centuries of unimaginable labor have built up along the dizzying heights of the cliffs.
These vineyards are and always have been the region’s lifeblood, and great efforts are being made by local authorities to allow tourism and agriculture to coexist, as they attempt to attract visitors with the promise of spectacular hiking and beachside living as well as to assist local farmers by repairing and even improving the terraces that support the vineyards. Our efforts will be concentrated toward these same ends, as we work to beautify and maintain the network of hiking trails that traverse the Park. We’ll be working with the office of the National Park of the Cinque Terre, performing safe and supervised work that is nonetheless involved and valuable to the inhabitants of this region as well as the larger global community.
We’ll spend an entire day trekking along the beautiful but arduous trail that connects these five villages, where you’ll experience views and vistas the likes of which you’ve never encountered! Over the course of this day, we’ll get to know the distinct layout and character of each of the towns, sampling local pizza, foccaccia, and other amazing treats as we go. End the day with a dip in the clear blue waters of the Mediterranean – a wonderful reward for a day of effort!
Then our service work will begin. We will be working directly with the town hall to maximize our efforts where they are needed most. In the past, activities have involved daylong efforts to beautify the trails by clearing brush and picking up trash, replacing the stones that compose the footpaths, and helping to rebuild walls to provide support to the all-important terraces. Each night, we’ll return to Monterosso to enjoy games on the beach, a quick swim before sunset, and some of the most amazing food in Italy.
Rome, the Eternal City, capital of the most expansive empire in the history of Western civilization. Walking through the ancient ruins that line the Roman Forum, you can still feel the shadows cast by figures like Julius Caesar, Emperor Augustus, Marc Antony, and Cicero. From the Forum we head across the Tiber River to the Vatican, seat of the Roman Catholic Church and home to one of the most spectacular collections of art in the world. Touring its endless hallways and galleries, you can see marvels from ancient and modern times, and as well stand in awe of masterpieces from the Renaissance like Michelangelo’s gorgeous frescoes in the Sistine Chapel and Raphael’s “School of Athens”. You will also have the chance to climb the dome of St. Peter’s for an incredible bird’s eye view of the city.
But Rome isn’t just ancient art and culture. It’s also a city of glamorous shopping, amazing cuisine, and all the energy and buzz of a modern cosmopolitan city. By night we will be taking nighttime photography lessons, interacting with street performers in Piazza Navona, and tossing coins into the Trevi Fountain to ensure a speedy return. Arrivederci, Roma – it’s on to the Amalfi Coast.
The last part of our journey takes us to sunny Sorrento, a dreamy seaside town on the Bay of Naples. Sorrento is a relaxing resort town that will be our base as we explore this rich region. Capri is just off the coast, and we’ll spend a day there wandering its charming lanes. The choices on Capri abound – you can go shopping in the ultra-chic boutiques, go inside the amazing Blue Grotto, walk up to Emperor Tiberius’ cliff-top villa (where he threw his enemies off the cliff), or take a hike around the craggy coast of the island.
We’ll visit Pompeii, a thriving ancient Roman port town that was frozen in time when it was buried under a deep layer of ash and pumice during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. Nearby in Naples is the National Archeological Museum, the richest collection of archeological artifacts in Italy, including the best mosaics and artifacts from the ruins at Pompeii. This area also happens to be home to the best pizza in the world (it was invented here), served steaming hot straight out of a wood-fired oven.
The Amalfi Coast itself extends down the coastline to the south of Sorrento and is widely considered to be the most beautiful coastline in all of Europe. It is dotted with towns like Amalfi, Ravello and Positano, each full of pastel colored houses built from the sea all the way up steep mountainsides. We’ll take a private cruise from Sorrento down the coast to Positano, nestled in a dramatic ravine right on the water and overflowing with flowers.