Greece and Italy
$4,395 + Airfare + $200 Intra Trip Flight
Jul 20 – Aug 1
|Who can go on this trip?||
Students from around the world!
|Places we visit:||
Athens, Delphi, Lefkada Town, Pompeii, Rome, Vatican City, Florence*
|Optional group flight there:||
New York (JFK) to Athens
|Optional group flight back:||
Rome to New York (JFK)
Discover the best of the Mediterranean and two countries deeply rooted in ancient history on our Greece and Italy program! Step back in time to the places where Western civilization began and explore the mesmerizing ruins from the Acropolis to the Roman Forum. See the Greek and Roman worlds collide, and understand how art, philosophy, politics, and government were formed there in antiquity.
Explore all the beauty and culture these two countries have to offer, from island cruises and snorkeling in crystal clear waters to lively piazzas and homemade Italian meals you’ll never forget. Take an authentic Greek cooking lesson, interact with the locals for a full cultural immersion and dig deep into ancient historical sites. Finish of your adventure by tossing a coin over your shoulder into the magnificent Trevi Fountain and wish for a return to the spectacular countries of Greece and Italy!
On this program you will:
- Experience Greek coffee culture at an exclusive coffee tasting workshop!
- Climb the Acropolis for a close-up look at the Parthenon, perhaps the most spectacular ancient ruin in the world
- Hike Mt. Lykavittos for incredible panoramic views of the city below
- Indulge in the best Greek specialities and learn how to make them yourself at a private cooking class
- Go off the beaten path and explore the charming Plaka district of Athens
- Explore ancient prophecies at the mystical Oracle of Delphi
- Snorkel, kayak, windsurf or go scuba diving* in the crystal clear Ionian Sea
- Spend the day cruising around the islands off the coast of Lefkada with frequent stops for a dip in the sea!
- Visit the ancient city of Pompeii and marvel at the ruins that were covered by ash during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD
- Take an optional day trip to Florence and explore the famous sites in this quaint city including the Duomo, Uffizi gallery and Michelangelo’s Masterpiece, David
- Imagine the Roman gladiator fights and performances that once take place as you tour the massively impressive structure that is the Colosseum
- Wander through the Roman Forum which was once the city center of Ancient Rome and enjoy a view of the city from the top of the Palatine Hill- the very place where it all began
- Guarantee your return visit to Rome with a wish and a coin toss at the Trevi Fountain
- Wander the vast interior of St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the world
- Stare in awe at Michelangelo’s masterpiece in the Sistine Chapel
- Experience true Roman lifestyle in the trendy neighborhood of Trastevere
*Scuba diving is optional
DAY 1: GROUP FLIGHT DEPARTS FROM NEW YORK (JFK)
DAYS 2-4: ATHENS
Go back in time almost 4,000 years where Western civilization was born and new ideas about philosophy, government, and democracy thrived. Standing atop the magnificent Acropolis, you can try to imagine ancient Greek life as you marvel at the immense architectural wonder of the Parthenon. Return to the modern city and wander among the lively markets full of fresh food and authentic handmade foods. Go off the beaten path to the charming Plaka district, beautifully lit up at night and lined with adorable cafes and restaurants. Hike to the top of Mt. Lykavittos for unparalleled views of the city at sunset. Learn to cook Greek specialities at the beautiful home of a renowned chef. Experience the ancient and modern charms of this European capital city!
DAYS 5-8: DELPHI > LEFKADA
Many other incredible Greek sites await us outside the city of Athens. Visit the mystical, mysterious Delphi, home to the Oracle that initiated the story of Oedipus and of the four sites to host the original Olympic crown games over 2,600 years ago. This mysterious and spiritual place will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on you. Then it’s onwards to Lefkada, a stunning Greek island surrounded by the electric blue water Ionian Sea. Spend three days on island time, experiencing the best Lefkada has to offer with windsurfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and cruising around the exclusive Ionian islands. Hike to incredible archeological sites and hidden waterfalls as you fall in love with this charming place, from the olive groves to the bright blue sea.
DAYS 9-12: POMPEII > ROME
Hop over the Adriatic sea to Italy, where we will end our program immersing ourselves in one of the most lovable cultures in the world. We’ll stop first to explore the remains of 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’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, where you can still feel the shadows cast by figures like Julius Caesar, Emperor Augustus, Marc Antony, and Cicero.. 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 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 to pizza “al taglio.” We’ll shop on the famous Via del Corso, toss a coin over our shoulders into the Trevi Fountain, and hangout on the Spanish Steps enjoying a classic Roman night of people watching, and simply relaxing in the summer air of a beautiful piazza.
We will also offer an optional day trip to Florence to experience the best of the Italian Renaissance. On this excursion you will climb the Duomo for incredible views, marvel at Michelangelo’s Masterpiece, David, visit the Uffizi Gallery, enjoy delicious Tuscan cuisine, and just stroll the quaint streets of this charming Italian city.
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 and 10th grade and approximately 14-16 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 Athens we stay at a great hotel only a five minute walk in the center of Athens near Syntagma. On Lefkada, we stay in the capital of Vasiliki in a hotel only minutes from the beach. In Rome we’ll be staying at an elegant hotel located a short walk from 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 two major European capitals that boast some of the richest history in the world. They also love the opportunity to visit smaller, charming parts of these two countries such as Lefkada and Pompeii. This program allows them to discover the similarities and differences of the unique cultures in Greece and Italy, while understanding how the ancient Roman and Greek worlds together formed the base for much of Western Civilization. The overall theme of antiquity on this program is fascinating and exciting, but we also give students a break from city life to soak up the sun on an island adventure!
What is unique about this program?
With scuba and snorkeling excursions, a hands-on learning experience at a Greek cooking class in Athens, and TFT’s expertise in leading programs through Rome, this program provides unique insider access to the best of Greece and Italy.
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?
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 specialities 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 Athens, Lefkada, Rome, and Florence* 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 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!
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