Greece and Italy: Island Service and Italian Adventure
$4,395 + $275 Intra Trip Flight + Airfare
Jul 8 – Jul 20
9, 10, 11, 12
|Who can go on this trip?||
Students from around the world!
|Places we visit:||
Corfu, Capri, Pompeii, Amalfi, Sorrento, Rome
|Optional group flight there:||
New York (JFK) to Corfu
|Optional group flight back:||
Rome to New York (JFK)
Spend a week on the Greek island paradise of Corfu, where we will spend our mornings working at a local farm and helping out the community and local orphanage. Projects vary and are based on need but you may find yourself working at a food bank or clothing donation store and helping out with the animals on the farm. In addition to your service work we will experience everything Corfu has to offer! Explore castles, try your hand at watersports, snorkel the bright blue sea, learn a thing or two about creating your own Greek feast, and hit the best boutiques for shopping!
Then it’s on to Italy to enjoy the seaside beauty of the Amalfi Coast and ancient history in Rome. Discover the ruins in Rome and Pompeii and the charming coastal towns of the Amalfi Coast to see the best of these popular destinations with insider access from your expert guides. From fresh pasta and decadent gelato to picturesque piazzas and winding alleyways, you’ll fall in love with all things Italian as we experience a lifestyle and culture unlike any other. Join us for a spectacular island service project and Italian adventure in Greece and Italy this summer!
On this program you will:
- Earn up to 20 hours of service working at the community support center for local foster children and working with local youth organizations in Corfu
- Explore castles, ancient ruins and Corfu city
- Snorkel, windsurf or scuba dive* in crystal clear blue waters
- Dine on picturesque terraces as you watch incredible sunsets over the Ionian Sea
- Enjoy an evening filled with Greek music, dancing, and incredible food
- Cruise along the incredible Amalfi coast to the beautiful towns of Positano and Amalfi
- Explore the charming coastal town of Sorrento and sample its famous lemon treats
- Visit Pompeii, a city frozen in time after being covered with ash from a volcanic eruption in 79 AD
- Transport yourself to ancient times as you explore the Roman Forum and the Colosseum
- Explore the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest cathedral in the world
- Learn how local artisans produce incredible wine and olive oil at a workshop
- Make a wish and throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain to ensure your future return to Rome!
- Savor the best pizza, pasta, gelato, gyros and baklava of your life!
*Scuba diving is optional
DAY 1: GROUP FLIGHT DEPARTS FROM NEW YORK (JFK)
Start your European adventure as you take off from the tarmac!
DAYS 2-8: CORFU
The tour starts on perhaps the most beautiful of the Ionian islands, Corfu with an enriching week spent volunteering with a local charity that provides a safe community for vulnerable children. You will be directly involved in the day to day runnings of the sanctuary and support center, where your actions will directly impact the lives of the children. Other projects might include helping out with the animals on their farm or light maintenance work. In the tropical afternoons take time to explore this beautiful island with day trips to Palaiokastritsa, small nearby islands, and the city of Corfu. Swim in the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean or even try scuba diving (optional). Get your taste buds tingling during a workshop to see how local artisans produce incredible wines and olive oils. No time in Greece would be complete without an authentic hands on cooking lesson. Learn to make some mouthwatering creations and then savor your hard work!
DAYS 9-10: POMPEII > SORRENTO
We’ll then fly across the Ionian Sea to Italy. Our first stop will be in Pompeii, a thriving ancient Roman port city that met an abrupt end in 79 AD when the volcano Mt. Vesuvius erupted, covering the town in a deep layer of volcanic ash that perfectly preserved its treasures for visitors today. There is no other archeological site in the world like Pompeii, where you can walk down actual Roman streets, read original 2,000 year old graffiti on the walls, and pop in and out of original ancient Roman houses, often still bearing their original paint jobs!
We will then settle into our gorgeous hotel in Sorrento, explore this charming coastal town, and enjoy our first dinner at one of Italy’s top summer destinations. The next day we will hop on a private boat and discover the enchanting Amalfi Coast from the sea. It’ll be love at first sight with the sun shining above, sapphire blue sea below, and unbelievable views in front of us as we sail down the Mediterranean marveling at the pastel-painted towns nestled along the coastline. With stops along the way, you’ll have a chance to jump into the crystal clear water, swim among cascading waterfalls and in several secluded bays. When we arrive in Positano, you’ll think you’ve been transported into a postcard as you gaze at the quaint hillside town perched up above. Hop off the boat to explore this picturesque coastal gem and wander the narrow streets surrounded by multicolored buildings, blooming flowers, and sweet-smelling lemons. Visit the iconic church of Santa Maria Assunta with its ornate dome covered entirely in tiles. Enjoy the best shopping in the chic stores that line the streets, from handmade shoes and clothes to an abundance of lemon-themed products.
DAYS 11-12: ROME
Round out this incredible tour with some time in Rome where we’ll immerse ourselves in one of the most beloved cultures in the world. The city streets of the Eternal City 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. Rome never ceases to amaze with its talent for fusing ancient buildings and streets into an incredibly modern and pulsing city. From the Colosseum, where we’ll envision the bloody spectacle of gladiator competition, to the Roman Forum, which once housed the ancient city’s bustling center and main marketplace, our expert guides will bring Rome’s history to life.
We’ll then fast-forward to the Renaissance, crossing the Tiber to Vatican City and marveling at the massive basilica dedicated to St. Peter. This is the largest church building in the world, and definitely the most impressive. St. Peter himself is entombed beneath its massive altar, and you can see Michelangelo’s breathtaking “Pietà” before staring up at the world’s most famous ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. We’ll stroll down the Tiber and venture slightly off the beaten bath 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 or pizza “al taglio.” Marvel at the Pantheon, shop on the famous Via del Corso, toss a coin over your shoulder into the Trevi Fountain, and hang out on the Spanish Steps, enjoying a classic Roman night of people-watching in a beautiful piazza. Finish your time in Italy with a spectacular Roman banquet on the Appian Way, the original road in and out of Rome, to celebrate the adventure of a lifetime!
DAY 13: 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 in 9th through 12th grade and approximately 14 to 18 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.
We stay in a tiny, peaceful and authentic Greek village town in Northwestern Corfu in villa-style accommodations right near the beach. In Sorrento, we stay at a beautifully appointed, highly rated hotel with a rooftop terrace just a short walk from the beach and the main square. In Rome, we stay at a great hotel near the Colosseum which is well set up for student groups, safe and in the heart of the action.
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 combination of city and beach time they get on this program, exploring the seaside Mediterranean paradise of Sorrento and Corfu, the fascinating cities of Rome and Corfu and stepping back in time Roman days with a tour of Pompeii.
What is unique about this program?
Performing meaningful community service in a location outside your comfort zone can be one of the most rewarding experiences of our lives. With this TFT program the volunteer work performed during your time on Corfu will leave you with the memories of a lifetime and inspire you to try out even more service projects in the future!
What is included?
Ground transportation, accommodations, all breakfasts and dinners, chaperones and guides, program-related activities and admissions, taxes and tips.
Not Included (not intended to be an exhaustive list): Airfare, visas and visa application fees, lunches, 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 to 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?
This program can be connected to programs in Europe and North America. At the end of the program, your counselor will escort you to the airport 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!
Greek and Italian food is all about fresh, simple ingredients. In Greece we will enjoy classic Greek cuisine, including the original Greek salad with mouth-watering tomatoes and locally made feta, famous grilled meats and fresh seafood, and world-renowned baklava. After one meal, you’ll understand why the Mediterranean diet is one of the best in the world.
In Italy 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 you will fall in love with the fresh mozzarella, warm Italian bread, mouth-watering prosciutto, and homemade pasta. And don’t forget about gelato! After your time in 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. At our accommodations, students will have a good amount of free time to enjoy the facilities but will not be able to leave the grounds without one of our staff members. Our time in Corfu, Sorrento, and Rome will be fairly regimented to maximize the activities we can enjoy during our time, however, there will be some free time to go shopping in certain areas of the cities and safe pedestrian areas. Additionally, a lifeguard certified counselor will be supervising the students any time that they are involved in water activities.
DO I NEED TO BRING ANYTHING SPECIAL FOR THE COMMUNITY SERVICE PORTION OF THE PROGRAM?
Summer in Greece is known for its sunshine, which makes beach days beautiful, but working a bit more tiring. Please be sure to bring a water bottle and hat for our service days, as well as clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.
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!