Ciao Italy: For Younger Teens
$3,595 + Airfare
Jul 11 – Jul 20
|Who can go on this trip?||
Students from around the world!
|Places we visit:||
Rome, Vatican City, Montalcino, Florence, Venice, Cinque Terre
|Optional group flight there:||
New York (JFK) to Rome
|Optional group flight back:||
Florence to New York (JFK)
For those younger teens looking for their first trip abroad without their parents, check out this taste of Italian culture to experience the best of Italy! Visit the charming city of Florence while tasting some of the best gelato and pizza, climbing the Duomo for incredible views, and catching a postcard perfect sunset over the city. Spend a day wandering the charming canals of Venice and swim in the crystal clear mediterranean in the Cinque Terre. Head to the Eternal City and step back in time to the days of ancient Rome while marveling at the Colosseum and exploring Vatican City. After ten days you will have truly experienced living “la bella vita”!
This program is perfectly paced for a younger age group. We have slowed down the itinerary to allow for a more relaxed experience to help younger teens adjust to the culture shock of being abroad. We only stay overnight in two cities (Rome and Florence) to minimize the amount of time we pack up and go. The other cities we visit on this program will all be day trips to allow these teens to experience everything Italy has to offer without the stress!
On this program you will:
- Learn about ancient history firsthand while going inside the Colosseum
- Explore the local neighborhoods of Rome in search of the best artisan pizza
- Visit the world’s most famous church, St. Peter’s Basilica
- Conquer our famous gelato tour – how many flavors can you handle?!
- Toss a coin over your shoulder into the Trevi Fountain to guarantee your return to Rome
- Watch the sunset over the incredible horizon of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo
- Walk in the footsteps of da Vinci and Michelangelo
- Try your hand at making Italian chocolates
- Climb the Duomo for incredible views of Florence
- Ride a gondola along the canals of Venice
- Hike the famous trails of the Cinque Terre
- Splash through the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea
- Picnic along the Cinque Terre coast in some of the world’s most beautiful villages
DAY 1: GROUP FLIGHT DEPARTS JFK
DAYS 2-5: Rome
Our program begins in the eternal city where we will explore some of the most famous sites in Italy. We will go inside the mighty Colosseum and get a vivid picture of what it was like when gladiators fought here. We will visit the Vatican Museums, stare in awe at the Sistine Chapel, and go inside St. Peter’s Basilica. We’ll hang out at the Spanish steps and see the Trevi Fountain lit up at night and toss a coin in for good luck and to wish for a quick return to this gorgeous city!
DAYS 5-9: FLORENCE, THE CINQUE TERRE AND VENICE
We’ll say “ciao” to Rome and head towards Florence, but first we will stop in the town of Montalcino. We’ll stroll the quaint cobblestoned streets of the hill town of Montalcino.
For those who choose, there will be an optional excursion to a private vineyard just outside the town of Montalcino to experience the stunning Tuscan countryside in real Italian fashion. This day is a TFT favorite! We have an exclusive invitation to a family’s private Tuscan Estate. We will receive a hands-on tasty Italian cooking lesson using freshly harvested vegetables straight from their garden! Enjoy a special tour of the winery where they produce award-winning wine and receive an introduction to this important part of Italian culture.
Then we’re off to Florence, the city most often referred to as an outdoor museum. Every turn in this beautiful city reveals a new statue, fountain or frescoe. 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. However, art and culture are not all that are in store for us in Florence.
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 challenging ourselves to go all the way on TFT’s famous Gelato Tour! During our time in Florence we will take day trips out to both Venice and the Cinque Terre. In Venice we will have the chance to ride a gondola, wander the canals, and enjoy the overall relaxed atmosphere of this quaint city. In the Cinque Terre we will catch some sun at the beach, swim in the mediterranean and hike the trails that connect the tiny fishing villages dotting the cliffside of this region.
DAY 10: GROUP FLIGHT BACK TO THE USA
What kind of teen typically participates in this program? What are the requirements to join?
We have teens join this program from all over the world! They are typically culturally curious teens who are excited about making new friends, stepping out of their comfort zone, expanding their horizons, and trying something new.
This program is only for students who are currently finishing 7th and 8th grade and approximately 12-14 years old. Students living outside of the USA are welcome to join!
WHERE DO WE STAY?
Our hotels are specifically chosen to be in safe areas and well-suited to facilitating group supervision. We stay in centrally located accommodations, usually within walking distance of the main attractions. This means we do not use large, impersonal chain hotels on the outskirts of cities. We prefer to select smaller, family run hotels where we establish personal relationships with the owners.
In Rome we’ll be staying at an elegant two star hotel near the central Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore, close to both the Coliseum and the main train station. In Florence we stay in a three star hotel only minutes away from the Duomo.
For safety reasons, we do not publish the names of the accommodations we use. We do not feel it is safe to publish the name of a hotel where a group of teenagers is staying abroad. After registering, participants and parents are given access to our secure parent website where you will be able to see the names of all of the accommodations for a program.
DO MOST TRAVELERS GO BY THEMSELVES?
Yes, in fact, over 75% of students who travel with us choose to come independently. This encourages teens to step further outside their comfort zone and make new friends. We believe that one of the most rewarding and exciting elements of travel is the new friendships that are formed along the way. If you travel by yourself, you are bound to make new friends from all over the country and even the world. The best part is, you can travel again with your new BFFs on another TFT program the next summer!
CAN I BRING A FRIEND?
Absolutely! We just ask that if you come with a friend, you and your friend(s) are still open to meeting new people and sharing this special experience with the entire group.
WHAT DO STUDENTS LIKE MOST ABOUT THIS PROGRAM?
Students love the insight they gain from experiencing the “real Hawaii” off the tourist track. Having the opportunity to learn more about the marine life and participate in a meaningful project to protect an endangered species, as well as spend time with the local children, are just some of the highlights of this program.
WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT THIS PROGRAM?
It is nesting season during our time with the sea turtles, so there is a very good chance of having the unique opportunity to witness a sea turtle nesting her eggs on the beach at night, or even watching a nest hatch and helping the babies make their way safely to the ocean. Both are unforgettable experiences!
WHAT IS INCLUDED?
Ground transportation, accommodations, all breakfasts and dinners, chaperones and guides, program related activities, program related activity admissions, taxes and tips.
Not Included (not intended to be an exhaustive list): Airfare, visas and visa application fees, beverages other than filtered water at meals, activities and admissions not referenced in the itinerary or deemed not program related, such as movies, expenses incurred by the participant that are outside the program description, such as excess baggage fees and damage to hotels, expenses related to unforeseen circumstances, such as transportation strikes and natural disasters, as well as personal and medical expenses.
HOW DO THE OPTIONAL GROUP FLIGHTS WORK?
Upon registration, you will be contacted by our International Logistics Team to discuss this program’s flight details. You are not required to take the group flight, although there are several advantages to doing so. The group flight is chaperoned by TFT staff, it offers an opportunity for the students to get to know each other before the program starts, and we get preferred group flight prices on programs that have group contracts (ask for details). Parents are responsible for arranging for participants to get to the group flight airport. Travel For Teens staff are at the airport, greet arriving participants, and help them get to where the rest of the group has assembled. For more information about Flights, visit our Flights page.
WHO LEADS THE PROGRAM?
The Trip Director for every program is a seasoned teen travel professional with extensive TFT experience. Trip Directors often live or have lived and worked in the destination country. Extensive knowledge of the language and culture of the destination is crucial. Our Senior Counselors are experienced, responsible and fun-loving individuals who our participants can share experiences with and look to for guidance and support. At Travel for Teens we pride ourselves on our rigorous staff application process and the professionalism of our full time and summer staff.
It is the job of the counselors to keep the program fun and exciting, the learning and the laughter in good balance, and to oversee the safety of the participants. Minimum ratios are on average one staff member to every seven participants. Programs may also include one or two Junior Counselors, who are college students with a history of TFT travel, and one or more Counselors in Training (CIT’s) with limited responsibility. CIT’s are not counted in staff-participant ratios.
WHAT ARE THE SAFETY QUALIFICATIONS FOR OUR STAFF?
All of our staff members attend a week-long training session prepare for the upcoming summer and go over safety precautions and protocols. Likewise, every counselor is CPR/First Aid certified and Trip Directors are Lifeguard certified. All staff undergo a rigorous interview process and thorough background check.
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE GROUP SIZE?
Group size is important! A smaller group size provides unique opportunities that a large group cannot accommodate. Think of your favorite local restaurant; could it easily accommodate a group of 50 teens? Probably not! Our group sizes average between 14 to 21 students, which means that we are able to comfortably use local transport, enjoy local restaurants, and have a more authentic experience overall! A smaller group size also eliminates the likelihood of cliques, meaning that our groups all tend to bond as a cohesive unit. We guarantee that you’ll have enough people to meet some new best friends, but not so many that you feel like “just a number” or lost in a crowd.
HOW DOES THIS PROGRAM CONNECT TO OTHER PROGRAMS?
Most of our programs are designed specifically so that participants can combine them with other programs. If you are connecting to another program, your counselor will escort you to the airport on the last day of the program and help you get to your next destination where you will meet up with your new counselors and group.
WHAT IS THE FOOD LIKE ON THIS PROGRAM?
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!
In Italy we will enjoy fresh, simple ingredients, homemade pasta, a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and of course, pizza! We always eat at authentic and local restaurants. Food is an important part of the culture so we prefer to allow our students to order off the menu so every meal is exactly what you want!
As always, we are willing and able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten allergies, and other dietary restrictions.
HOW MUCH FREE TIME DO WE GET?
Our counselors are with the group almost always. Everyday we will break up into smaller groups to give our participants some choices and flexibility in their itinerary. We do offer some free time to do some shopping, for example, in defined areas that we are very familiar with. If participants are ever shopping by themselves within these defined areas, they go in groups and for no more than an hour. A lifeguard certified counselor will be supervising the students any time they are involved in water activities.
Do I need any vaccinations for this program?
We recommend that you check with your family doctor regarding vaccinations and medical advice for the areas you will be visiting. For more information, please check out the World Health Organization’s website www.who.int/en/. After you register, we will provide you with a list of vaccinations you should consider discussing with your child’s family doctor.
WHAT KIND OF VISA DO YOU NEED FOR THIS PROGRAM?
If you are coming from somewhere outside the US, please be sure to check your country specific visa requirements.
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!