$4,395 + Airfare
Jul 8 – Jul 20
9, 10, 11, 12
|Who can go on this trip?||
Students from around the world!
|Places we visit:||
Venice, Cinque Terre, Pisa, Tuscany, Montalcino, Florence, Rome, Vatican City
|Optional group flight there:||
New York (JFK) to Venice
|Optional group flight back:||
Rome to New York (JFK)
Fall in love with one of the world’s top destinations on our classic adventure through Italy! 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, Tuscan countryside, and picture perfect coastline, you’ll experience everything that makes Italy so incredible and diverse. On this program we will fully immerse ourselves in the Italian culture with cooking classes, gelato tours, gondola workshops, coastal hikes, and more.
On this program you will:
- See the real Venice that is hidden from most visitors of the city at the oldest Gondola workshop in Murano where a local family has been making gondolas by hand for generations
- Make a wish and throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain to ensure your future return to Rome!
- Hike along the idyllic Italian coast while marveling at the pastel-painted fishing towns nestled along the cliffs in the Cinque Terre
- Relax on a pristine beach in the Italian Riviera and swim in the Mediterranean
- Get that iconic photo with the Leaning Tower of Pisa!
- Taste heaven on our gelato tour to sample the best that Florence has to offer
- Enjoy a private invitation to a famous local leather shop for snacks and an introduction to the Italian leather market
- Wander the tiny streets of Venice and discover the hidden gems of this quaint city
- Visit an authentic glassmaking shop on the island of Murano and watch in amazement as Venetian glassblowers create their masterpieces
- Visit the culinary capital of Italy and indulge in the finest balsamic vinegar, prosciutto, and local cheeses
- Stay at an exclusive Tuscan estate with a private pool and explore the beautiful surrounding countryside
- Use fresh ingredients from the vegetable garden at our accommodation and learn how to prepare authentic Tuscan specialties with our private chef
- Explore the classic Tuscan medieval hill town of Montalcino that has remained almost unchanged with the passing of the centuries
- Stroll across the famous Ponte Vecchio and experience Florence lit up at night
- Wander the golden halls of the Vatican and stare in awe at Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling
- Discover the ancient ruins and marvel at the Colosseum in Rome
- Experience true Roman lifestyle in the trendy neighborhood of Trastevere
- Spend an evening at the iconic Spanish Steps
DAY 1: GROUP FLIGHT DEPARTS FROM NEW YORK (JFK)
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 4-6: CINQUE TERRE
Welcome to the Cinque Terre, which is one of Italy’s hidden gems! Often referred to as the Italian Riviera, this region is home to five idyllic fishing villages with pastel colored houses perched on dramatic cliffs that plunge into the crystal-blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. We stay right in the center of one of the villages (Monterosso) just steps from the beach! We do not stay outside the towns in La Spezia (technically not part of the Cinque Terre). Instead, we are right in the middle of everything and able to walk just a few steps to the beach or charming shops. In Monterosso we have established strong relationships with the locals from some of the service projects we have done there in the past, and you will see you are treated like family during your stay here!
The Cinque Terre is known for its spectacular hiking trails that connect the towns and we will have the opportunity to hike them for ourselves! On the hike we will enjoy spectacular views of the sea and the vineyards that line the cliffs and be inspired by the natural beauty in this region. During our time here we will also sample local specialties like pesto and focaccia. We’ll dine on fresh seafood and relax on the beach in our seaside paradise.
DAYS 7-8: PISA > FLORENCE
Stop in Pisa to get that iconic photo of the Leaning Tower before continuing on our travels to Firenze! Florence is the city 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 9-10: TUSCANY and MONTALCINO
No trip to Italy is complete without visiting the rolling Tuscan hills. Tuscany, where we will spend our time at a gorgeous 500-year-old estate in the legendary Tuscan countryside. Bike or walk along the grounds, which are still used as a working cattle farm, and take a dip in the pool before enjoying a sunset you’ll never forget. Here too we’ll get a hands-on cooking lesson from expert Italian chefs, and we’ll also take a day trip to Montalcino, one of Italy’s loveliest cities. We’ll stroll the quaint cobblestoned streets of the hill town of Montalcino. Visit its beautiful medieval church and cathedral and check out the grand fortress before heading to the nearby town of San Quirico d’Orcia for some breathtaking views of this famous region.
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.
DAYS 11-12: 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 13: GROUP FLIGHT BACK TO THE USA
What kind of teen typically participates in this program?
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.
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 Venice we stay at a hotel located on a beautiful piazza only a short walk from the train station. In the Cinque Terre we will be staying in a lovely family-run hotel located only steps from the best beach in town. In Florence we stay in a beautiful hotel a short distance from the Duomo. When in Tuscany we have the pleasure of staying at a beautiful estate in the rolling hills of the countryside. In Rome we’ll be staying at an elegant hotel near the central Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore, close to both the Colosseum and the main train station.
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 that they are able to explore the best of Italy, from the major cities and small towns to the coast and the countryside. This program allows them to discover Italy in all its unique glory, and unearth one of the most lovable cultures in the world.
What is unique about this program?
From exclusive accommodation at a Tuscan villa in the countryside, to a hands-on learning experience at a gondola workshop in Venice and TFT’s expertise in leading programs through Italy for over a decade, this program provides unparalleled insider access to this beautiful country.
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 Europe 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!
Italian food is all about fresh, simple ingredients. We’ll sample the best of the “three Ps”- pizza, pasta, and panini! Indulging in these Italian specialties for the first time is a life-changing experience, and we will be there to document every minute of it as you fall in love with the fresh mozzarella, warm Italian bread, mouth-watering prosciutto, and homemade pasta. Don’t forget about gelato! After your trip to Italy, no dessert will ever be the same.
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.
How much free time do we get?
Our counselors are with the group almost always. Every day 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. On this program, the group will have some free time to explore some of the safe pedestrian areas of Venice, the Cinque Terre, Pisa, Florence, Montalcino, and Rome. A counselor will always be nearby when participants have free time in each city.
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?
Any US citizen that enters Europe is automatically granted a free 90-day tourist visa. 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!