On this comprehensive journey to Italy, immerse yourself in this beautiful Mediterranean country with ancient history, scenic landscapes, and up-close glimpses of daily Italian life. On this trip sponsored by Travel For Teens and The Gow School, fall in love with one of the world’s top destinations on a classic adventure through Italy this summer! Discover the best of Italy’s mouthwatering cuisine, awe-inspiring art, charming villas and vineyards, fascinating history and ruins, and renowned shopping. With vibrant cities, the Tuscan countryside, and picture perfect coastline, you’ll experience everything that makes Italy so incredible and diverse.
We begin this trip of a lifetime in Venice, every traveler’s dream destination, where we’ll explore the winding canals and ride vaporetto boats around the lagoon. From there we head to Parma for cooking classes and food tastings, an integral part of the Italian experience. Then we dive into the world of Renaissance in Florence and see Michelangelo’s masterpieces up close in person. Our trip will end in the Eternal City, where students will see firsthand the ancient structures that shaped the culture of the Roman Empire. Join us for the chance to immerse yourself in the best of Italy and leave with memories that last a lifetime!
Informational Meeting Details
A TFT representative will give a short presentation and answer your questions.
When: Friday, April 26th, 2019
Where: Gow School Auditorium
DAY 1: DEPART FROM BUFFALO (BUF)
Group flight departs for Venice!
DAYS 2-3: Venice
Our first stop is Venice – a dreamlike city of bridges and canals unlike any other in the world. You’ll be amazed at the splendor of the Grand Canal lined with crumbling, decadent palaces. We will wander the city’s tangled streets, marveling at the colors and reflections that only Venice can offer. Marvel at the iconic St. Mark’s Basilica in the central square. Visit the classic Venetian Gothic-style Palace of the Doges, which was the seat of the Doge, the supreme authority in the Republic of Venice. This striking structure set along the edge of St Mark’s Square and the Grand Canal is has been converted into a massive internationally renowned museum. Get an insider’s look at the last gondola shop to learn about this centuries-old craft. The Gondola master is one of only five remaining craftsman left producing the iconic Gondolas that thrill tourists daily in the canals.
Check out the Peggy Guggenheim Museum showcasing the eccentric Peggy’s private collection of unique modern art at the former villa where she spent many years amassing a huge array of art from legends like Pollock, Picasso and Dali. Venture to the island of Murano, the center of the ancient glassmaking industry and learn about first hand at an authentic Venetian workshop. Fall in love with the splendors of this Italian city in the lagoon that will surely leave its mark on you.
DAYS 4-5: Parma & Florence
Then we’re off to Florence, with first a stop in Parma to discover the secrets to Italian cuisine in the birthplace of balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese! Then it’s time to discover Firenze, the city most often referred to as an outdoor museum. Every turn in this beautiful city reveals a new statue, fountain or fresco. In the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, we’ll see Michelangelo’s famous “David,” climb to the top of the Duomo, and visit the Uffizi Museum, which houses the best collection of Italian Renaissance art in the world. Art and culture are not all that are in store for us in Florence, however. We’ll shop in the city’s famous markets and go to an exclusive event at one of the best leather shops in the city. We’ll enjoy the best pizzeria in the city and challenge ourselves to go all the way on TFT’s famous gelato tour!
DAYS 6-7: Rome
We’ll arrive in the Eternal City where a long and mighty history awaits us. As the city streets buzz with antiquity around every corner, you’ll be in awe as we transport ourselves thousands of years back in time while exploring the most important monuments and structures. From the Colosseum, where we’ll try to imagine the bloody spectacle of gladiator competition, to the Roman Forum, which once housed the ancient city’s bustling center and main marketplace. There’s no better way to learn about the Roman Empire than with a view of the city from atop the Palatine Hill–the very place where it all began.
We’ll then fast-forward to the Renaissance, crossing the Tiber to Vatican City and marvel at the massive basilica dedicated to St. Peter. We’ll lose ourselves in the Vatican’s extensive collection of artistic masterpieces from the ancient world to the present day, culminating with a look at Michelangelo’s elaborate ceiling frescos in the Sistine Chapel. We’ll stroll down the Tiber and venture slightly off the beaten path to Trastevere, one of Rome’s hippest neighborhoods, to see the local Romans in action and indulge in some of the best food in the city, including fresh homemade pastas and pizza “al taglio.” We’ll shop on the famous Via del Corso, toss a coin over our shoulders into the Trevi Fountain, and hang out on the Spanish Steps enjoying a classic Roman night of simply relaxing in the summer air of a beautiful piazza.
Day 8: RETURN FLIGHT TO THE USA
• Within 3 Days of Registration: Deposit of $250
• Deadline to register: October 15, 2019
• $750 second payment due November 1, 2019
• Airfare is due November 15, 2019.
•Remaining balance due December 1, 2019
*Deposit is fully refundable until October 15, 2019
Frequently Asked Question
Who can go on this trip?
All Gow Students, their families, and Gow Alums are invited to attend. There are a limited number of spaces available on a first come, first served basis.
How much is tuition & what does tuition include?
Tuition for the trip is $2985, which INCLUDES all breakfasts, lunches, and dinners per the itinerary, accommodations, transportation, entrance to museums/events, taxes and tips. Tuition does NOT INCLUDE airfare, snacks/sodas/bottled water, souvenirs, or phone calls home.
How much is airfare? How do the flights work?
Travel For Teens will reserve a group contract for all participants traveling roundtrip from Buffalo Airport (BUF) to Venice and home from Rome. The cost of this flight will be determined in the fall of 2019 by the chaperones. The group flight is estimated to be under $1000.
If a Gow School family or alumni would like to book their own independent flights to meet us in Venice and depart independently from Rome, they may do so.
If Gow Families would like us to book their independent flights for them, we are happy to do so for a $50 per ticket booking fee.
If I cannot afford the payment schedule listed above, does Travel For Teens provide flexible payment plans?
Yes, Travel For Teens is willing to customize a payment plan for any participant who needs a little flexibility in the payment schedule. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details on payment plans.
How much is trip cancellation insurance?
Trip cancellation insurance will be mandatory for all participants and is not included in your deposit payment. We feel that this gives everyone more peace of mind in case of unforeseen events. The trip cancellation insurance, if purchased directly from Travel For Teens, is estimated to be $170 based on the trip cost plus estimate airfare cost for the standard plan. You may also choose to purchase a more comprehensive cancel-for-any-reason insurance. All paying participants (i.e. students/parents) will need to provide proof of an independently-purchased policy if not purchasing the plan offered by Travel For Teens.
After I register, what happens next?
Once your deposit of $250 is paid, you will receive an email that contains your USERNAME and PASSWORD to MyTFT. All forms to be completed by parents and physician as well as packing lists, travel tips, travel insurance information, and other important information can be found on the MyTFT portal (hard copies of the essential legal/medical forms can be mailed to participants upon request). Our contract and release must be signed by all custodial parents (or guardians) and the participant. We will host a second meeting at the school via webinar in January 2020 in advance of your departure to go over all last minute questions and details.
Where do we stay? How many people per room?
We will be staying in three-star hotels in Venice, Florence, and Rome. The names of the accommodations are available to all families once they have signed up.
Students traveling with a family member may request to be in a twin room.
Students traveling without their parents will be split between twin, triple and quad rooms all with their own bed and ensuite bathrooms.
Parents traveling as a couple can request a double bed instead of a twin room.
Single rooms can be requested and will cost $250 additional per person per single. Note, Singles must be requested at the time of registration to be guaranteed.
What are the safety qualifications for our staff?
Our staff members undergo a rigorous hiring process. They receive the same background check as school educators, an extensive training process to go over all safety precautions and protocols, and are required to be certified in CPR and First Aid. We exclusively hire responsible, multi-talented individuals who are safety-minded and are as passionate about teen travel as we are.
What is the food like on a TFT program? Can you accommodate dietary restrictions?
In a word – delicious! At TFT, we believe food should be an integral part of the travel experience and always make an effort to eat at authentic establishments when we can. What better way to immerse yourself in the culture of a place than by sampling the local delicacies, and we encourage students to do so whenever possible! Just as we stay away from Americanized hotel chains, we try to avoid restaurants with menus that cater only to tourists because every good traveler knows the best food is found wherever the locals are eating!
We also love to have picnics al fresco and do this whenever possible, which is a great way to taste some local food while sitting out in the fresh air taking in the sights and sounds of our surroundings.
As always, we are willing and able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten allergies, and other dietary restrictions.
Do I need to speak the language?
No, our skilled staff members will help you get around and even teach you a few fun phrases!
Are participants allowed to have their cell phones on the program?
We do allow participants to bring their phones, but we ask that they use it solely as a camera when we are out and about during the day. We want everyone to focus on living in the moment and fully experience each new destination we are visiting without being absorbed in their phones. We ask that participants look at their journey with us as a way to disconnect. When we have downtime at our hotels in the evenings it is okay for participants to use their devices to connect with friends and family back home.