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Italy: Culture and Cuisine

Italy: Culture and Cuisine

Italy: Culture and Cuisine

Program Type:Smithsonian Open Enrollment iconOpen Enrollment Learn More

Dates: June 23 - July 4, 2018  |  Tuition: $2690 Tuition Details

Service Hours: 20 Leadership hours

SSA Contact: 

Morrison Mast, Morrison@SmithsonianSA.com, 202-792-8953

Deadlines: TBD

Enroll Now Make a Payment

Dear Families – Welcome to the homepage for the 2018 Italy: Culture and Cuisine Program! If this is your first time on this page, please read through the categories under Pre-Enrollment to learn more about this unique travel opportunity, or peruse the other categories as you like. Once you have enrolled, please check out the Post-Enrollment information. Around one month before departure, we will post the remaining information under Program Prep to review on a call with the entire group. We hope you will join us on the adventure of a lifetime in Italy!

Program Highlights

  • Explore Milan, Turin, Bibiana, Murlo, Siena, Florence and Rome
  • Take a bicycle tour through the Roman hillsides
  • Get to know regional Italian delicacies bite by bite
View Full Itinerary

Smithsonian Student Adventures was created through a collaboration of the Smithsonian Institution and Walking Tree Travel. Although this video is branded as Walking Tree Travel, it encapsulates the mission and spirit that is present in all SSA programming.

Important Program Details

Click on the sections above to learn more

Program Itinerary

DayLocationActivityLodging
June 23USA - Milan, ItalyFly from USA to Milan, Italy.In Flight
June 24MilanWe'll arrive in the morning and transfer to our hotel before striking out on a guided tour of the city center where we'll walk to the top of the Duomo, and see amazing views of the Alps and the rest of the city. We'll eat some great street food for lunch and visit the rest of the city sites like the Scala Theater and the Via Monte Napoleone (the street of Italian fashion). We will enjoy our first gelato of our trip before retreating to our hotel to rest after our busy day.Milano Hotel
June 25Milan - VeronaToday we will visit The Last Supper in the morning and the beautiful church that sits adjacent. Then we'll head to Verona, home of Romeo and Juliet. We will visit Juliet's house and the very famous Roman Area which is still used for concerts, then we’ll see the rest of the city including the many beautiful Piazze (squares) and the Castelvecchio, a 14th century castle turned into a museum. Verona Hotel
June 26Verona - VeniceWe will arrive in Venice early today and check into our hotel before we start our walking tour of this unique city. We'll visit Piazza San Marco, have a ferry boat ride in Canal Grande, visit the Palazzo Ducale, and get a feel of the city.Venice Hotel
June 27Venice - FlorenceThis morning we head to Murano Island, dedicated to the manufacture of Venice's world renowned art of "blowing glass" which we will see live. After lunch, we'll head to Florence!Florence Hotel
June 28FlorenceAfter the beautiful train ride through the Tuscan alps we'll arrive in Florence and start our day with a guided walking tour, visiting the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio and many other piazze and monuments. Then we will head to the Uffizi Gallery, one of the oldest and most important art museums in Europe and the world. We'll also make time for the Galleria dell' Accademia, which hosts the original David.Florence Hotel
June 29FlorenceThis morning we will have breakfast at the hotel and continue our exploration of the capital of the Rinascimento (Renaissance). We will enter the monuments like Cupola del Brunelleschi, which is the tallest building in Florence and was designed by Giotto and Brunelleschi. We will then visit the famous market, eat some delicious street food, then head to La Basilica di Santa Croce, where people like Niccola Machiavelli, Galileo Galilei, and Michelangelo are buried. Not only will we see the tombs of these Italian greats, but also will view paintings by Giotto. Finally, we will head to see the copy of the David of Donatello, which is situated in front of one of the most beautiful public offices in the world, Palazzo Vecchio, which is actually the city hall of Florence.Florence Hotel
June 30Murlo/SienaToday we'll have a tour and learn about the agritourism industry which produces organic wine and olive oil. We will also have time to bathe in what used to be an ancient Roman Bath on the river.Le Verzure
July 1Siena - RomeThis morning we'll take the train to Rome. Upon arrival we'll visit Vatican City, the Sistine chapel and the Vatican Museum. We will eat some traditional pasta and go for a night stroll in the Eternal City, in the Trastevere area near the river.Rome Hotel
July 2RomeToday, we will wake up early and enjoy a full day experience of Rome. We will start with a walking tour of the city before lunch. After lunch, we can either visit a museum or continue our walking tour and see more of the ancient ruins of the city. We will certainly see the Coliseum, Hadrian's Tomb, the Trevi Fountain, the steps of Piazza di Spagna, and finish the day off with dinner as we enjoy a beautiful view of Rome.Rome Hotel
July 3RomeToday we'll have a discussion about our program and reflect on everything we have seen and learned. We'll start our day by seeing Piazza del Popolo and Piazza Venezia e Vittoriano which are the piazza of the people and the piazza of the once king of Italy, respectively. We'll then head to the Foro Roman which was the ancient center square of Rome and is surrounded by several important ancient government buildings. We will then walk to the Bocca della verit which is a round, mask-like structure. You can put your hand in its mouth and legend has it that if you tell a lie while your hand is in its mouth, you would find your fingers bitten off! To finish the day, we will head to the Terme di Caracalla, the ancient thermal baths of Rome. We will end the evening with desert before heading back to the hotel.Rome Hotel
July 4Rome - USAToday we will take a bus transfer to Fiumicino Airport, then say arrivederci to Italy as we board our flight home to the USA!Your Own Bed

Philosophy Of Travel

Our mission is to inspire the next generation to become global leaders by taking an active interest in the world around them. With a dedication to learning, along with an enduring passion for exploring the world, Smithsonian Student Adventures designs transformative and meaningful travel programs that uncover the authentic culture of each destination and inspire students to take action in their local and global community.

Smithsonian Student Adventures stands for a more open, curious, and compassionate approach to travel. We partner with select schools around the world to provide memorable small-group experiences, and invest in cultivating and maintaining longterm relationships with our partner communities. If you are interested in our organization and philosophy of travel, click here to learn more about us.

Accommodations

In order to provide a safe and memorable experience for our participants, teachers, and staff ; Program Leaders and Country Directors follow strict guidelines when deciding on lodging, working with partner vendors,  making reservations, and assigning program participants to rooms.

Student participants will always be grouped in rooms and/or sleeping areas by gender, and will never share rooms with people who are not associated with SmithsonianSA. Group Organizers and Program Leaders will be roomed separately from each other and from student participants. SSA partners with locally-operated, three star or equivalent hotels that are centrally located, clean, safe and wifi-enabled.

Below are a few examples of our partner hotels. Although these are our preferred providers, they are subject to change based on availability. Your final itinerary will provide complete information on your accommodations in the cities you will be visiting.

Venice: Recidence La Vida or similar 

Rome: http://oasiverdeasanpietro.it/en/

Florence: http://www.bbfirenzegigliorosso.com/

Naples: www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g187785-d2422087-Reviews-Bed_and_Breakfast_Le_Terrazze_di_Neapolis-Naples_Province_of_Naples_Campania.html

Turin: www.fruttopermesso.com/

Bibiana: www.fruttopermesso.com/?lang=en

Milan: www.booking.com/hotel/it/palazzo-delle-stelline.nl.html

Murlo: http://leverzure.weebly.com/

Standards of Behavior

SSA provides fun, safe, and meaningful programs for our travelers. In order to achieve this goal, it is important that we create an environment of trust, security and respect. All individuals participating in our programs are required to take responsibility for their actions and adhere to a high standard of behavioral conduct. Any of the following are grounds for early dismissal or in-country consequences at our discretion.

ABSOLUTE DISMISSAL

  1. Possessing, consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs
  2. Associating with participants while they are in possession of or are consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs
  3. Behaving in a way that consistently damages the group dynamic or jeopardizes personal or group safety. This includes consistently displaying a negative attitude, intimidating or excluding other participants, sneaking out, disobeying group leaders, and any other behavior that is not conducive to an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect.

GROUNDS FOR DISMISSAL OR IN-COUNTRY CONSEQUENCE

  1. Getting a piercing or tattoo
  2. Stealing, or deliberately damaging or defacing any personal property, buildings or materials
  3. Threatening with or using weapons such as firearms, knives, explosives, etc.
  4. Riding mopeds, motorcycles, or any other type of unauthorized vehicle
  5. Being out of designated area or accommodations after curfew
  6. Breaking group rules

These standards of behavior are essential for the successful completion of a travel program. Please take the time to review these rules as a family and make sure everyone understands and agrees to them before choosing to travel with SSA.

Tuition & Fundraising

Tuition Includes:
all accommodations, basic travel insurance, 3 meals per day, drinking water, ground transportation, group activity and entry fees, full time leadership team and taxes and tips.

Tuition Excludes:
 International airfare, baggage fees, airline minor fees, personal shopping, passport or visa fees, and activities not listed on the itinerary.

We believe that cost should not prevent enthusiastic students from having the opportunity to join an SSA program. We are pleased to offer opportunities for fundraising and payment plans to help make this goal a reality. Please visit our Tuition and Funding page to find out more about tuition, fundraising, payment options, referral discounts, and more.

Passport & Visa Check

US CITIZENS

Passport must be valid for six months after the final day of your travel program, including one open visa page.
No Visa Requirements for US Citizens traveling to Italy.

NON US CITIZENS OR THOSE TRAVELING FROM A COUNTRY OTHER THAN THE USA
Non US citizens should check with their country’s embassy abroad to verify vaccination and visa requirements.
US citizens traveling from a country other than the United States should check the State Department website (www.travel.state.gov) for more information regarding additional visa or vaccine requirements.

Please contact SSA for further information regarding vaccination and visa requirements.

Health and Safety

We strongly recommend visiting the CDC Italy website to get the most updated information on health and vaccination considerations in your destination country. In addition, we encourage you to consult with your personal family physician so you can be as informed as possible when making important decisions about vaccinations and other necessary health-related preparations before travel.

Our in-country staff prepare meticulously for all programs. SSA will register our programs and travelers with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in case of emergency. In country staff also verify the safety records of our partner organizations, vendors, and transportation providers, thoroughly vet homestay families via in depth interviews and home visits, and keep up on important current events in the region.

Program Leaders are seasoned travelers who are CPR and First Aid certified, undergo thorough training in crisis management, and participate in a multi-day leadership training retreat. We do our best to prepare for any eventuality and have detailed emergency protocols for our leaders, in-country staff and U.S.-based staff.

We receive medical disclosures from all participants to ensure we are able to meet every students’ needs during the program. Please inform us immediately of any additional health issues that you did not list during your initial registration process. Program Leaders will also hold an online information session before your departure, as well as an arrival orientation in-country, in order to give participants important instructions on food safety, hygiene and preventing injury and illness. Leaders and in-country staff always respond immediately to any mental, physical or emotional health issues and follow comprehensive emergency protocols.

 

Travel Insurance

Our experience has taught us that international travel can sometimes be unpredictable. As such, SSA will purchase basic secondary travel and medical insurance for all SSA travelers via Travel Insured International. This service provides the following coverage at no additional cost to our participants:

PLAN COVERAGES

$500 Return Airfare for Trip Interruption
$750 ($150 per day) Trip Delay of six hours or more
$500 (Three or more hours) Missed Connection
$1500 ($250 per article) Baggage/Personal Effects
$300 Baggage Delay – 24 hours
$25,000 Accident & Sickness Medical Expense
$100,000 Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation
Emergency Assistance Non-insurance Worldwide Emergency Assistance Services Included

Once you have been accepted onto your program, SSA will be in touch regarding this insurance and other additional options (see below).

ADDITIONAL OPTIONAL COVERAGES

The following additional optional coverage upgrades are available upon request for an additional premium charge to the traveler. For further information on the premiums associated with these optional coverage enhancements, please email your inquiry to our travel insurance program administrator, Hayashi Insurance Solutions: travelinsurance@jshinsurance.com

– Trip Cancellation Coverage – Reimburses the traveler up to the trip cost insured up to a maximum of $10,000 per person if the trip must be cancelled for unforeseeable life events including but not limited to; medical/health reasons, bereavement, etc.

– Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) – Reimburses the traveler for 75% of the non-refundable trip cost. Cancellation must be made 48 hours or more prior to scheduled departure. Must be purchased at the same time as initial plan purchase and prior to final trip payment. *This benefit is not available to residents of New York State.

The Plan is administered by Hayashi Insurance Solutions (CA DOI 0F61680) a licensed Insurance Agency authorized to transact this insurance under the express authority of Travel Insured International, Inc. and its representatives, and on behalf of Walking Tree Travel, Inc. The Plan contains insurance benefits underwritten by the United States Fire Insurance Company. Fairmont Specialty and Crum & Forster are registered trademarks of United States Fire Insurance Company. The Crum & Forster group of companies is rated A (Excellent) by AM Best Company 2015. The Plan also contains non insurance Travel Assistance Services that are provided by an independent organization, OnCall International, and not by United States Fire Insurance Company or Travel Insured International. Review the Plan Document for complete terms, including benefits, conditions, limitations and exclusions that apply. Coverages may vary and not all coverage is available in all jurisdictions.

Global Leadership Curriculum

Walking Tree Travel has developed a curriculum that helps SSA travelers mature as global leaders before, during, and after their travel program. These simple, engaging tools are meant to spark discussion, frame the experience, and prepare participants to travel ethically and effectively both on our programs and in the future.

For more information about student learning objectives and format of the curriculum, click on the ‘learn more’ button below.

Learn More About the GLC

To view and complete the Pre-Program Activities, visit Walking Tree’s online portal at the button below.

Pre-Program Activity Portal

Language Resources

DUOLINGO

Want to learn a new language and be better prepared for your travel program? Duolingo is the easiest, most entertaining way to start learning and using a new language right away! The more you practice, the more you’ll be able to communicate with locals in your host country and help your fellow travelers navigate a foreign environment.

Tap the Duolingo owl to get started, or download the app to your mobile phone.

duolingo owl logo

Group Flight Information

In an effort to make the flight booking process as smooth as possible, we have partnered with STA Travel. This partnership provides our participants with discounted fares through STA’s contracts with the top airlines to help our travelers get the best possible rates. To learn more about STA as an organization, please check out their website at www.statravel.com.

STA Travel will help our families and travelers book their round trip travel between their home city and our host countries. We are excited to offer this premium service to our participants so that we can focus on what we do best – providing meaningful adventures around the world.

Open Enrollment participants are responsible for booking and paying for their own international flights. You have two options for making your flight arrangements:

1. (Preferred) Book a seat on the chaperoned international group flight.

Each Open Enrollment program has a suggested, chaperoned, group flight that will depart from a designated departure city in the United States and arrive to the destination country. Participants on these flights will have the support of our on-scene Airport Liaison as well as an accompanying Program Leader, on-flight. The Airport Liaison will help gather, coordinate and direct the arrival and departure of our participants in the airport and the Program Leader will accompany the group to and from the host country while on the flight. The vast majority of our travelers choose this option. 

The following information is for the chaperoned group flights for this program:

DEPARTURE FROM USA
Airline: 
United
Flight: 019
Date: June 23, 2018
Departs: Newark, New Jersey (EWR) at 6:45pm
Arrives: Milan, Italy (MXP) at 8:40am on June 24, 2018

RETURN TO USA
Airline: 
Lufthansa
Flight: 5389
Date: July 4, 2018
Departs: Milan, Italy (MXP) at 8:35am
Arrives: Düsseldorf, Germany (DUS) at 10:10am

Airline: Lufthansa
Flight: 408
Date: July 4, 2018
Departs: Düsseldorf, Germany (DUS) at 11:25am
Arrives: Newark, New Jersey (EWR) at 1:55pm

Here’s how to proceed:

Call our dedicated representative at STA Travel at 800-781-4040 to learn about your booking options.

  • Tell the agent you are a Smithsonian Student Adventures participant, the full name of the program you are traveling on and your program travel dates. They will walk you through the details of your flight options.
  • Once you know your flight options, you can book directly with STA or on your own to travel to the host country.
    • IMPORTANT NOTE: Should you elect not to travel on the suggested, chaperoned, group flight please email your complete flight reservation to flights@SmithsonianSA.com

Program participants should meet the airpot liaison at the below airline check-in counter three hours before the international flight. If you are traveling on a connecting flight from your home destination, you will meet your flight chaperone at the boarding gate for your international flight. If you have trouble locating the group, please contact Smithsonian Student Adventures at our 24/7 emergency hotline: 303-997-0310.

2. Book your own flight to the host country.

For this option we require travelers to arrive at the same time, or earlier (no more than 3 hours), than the suggested group flight’s planned arrival. We ask participants not to arrive later than the suggested group flight’s time of arrival. If travelers arrive on their own prior to the rest of the group, we will arrange for either a Program Leader or the Country Director meet them when they land in the host country. If a participant arrives more than three hours before the group chaperoned flight, we will have in-country staff pick them up, but a $100 fee will apply.

With either option, we strongly encourage you to book your flights through STA, but it is not required.

STA operates a full 24/7 emergency line and can support you with issues from date changes, cancellations, or general crisis management support wherever you are in the world. To contact them, please call 800-781-4040.

A NOTE ON FLIGHTS
Air travel is unpredictable. Although we can ensure that our groups arrive to the airport with ample time and follow all airline instructions, there may still be instances when a flight is delayed or cancelled due to weather, mechanical problems, labor strikes, etc. Please note that in such an event SSA is not financially responsible for unexpected costs incurred by travelers. Our programs officially begin and end in our host countries.  Notwithstanding, our travelers’ well-being and safety is always our number one priority in all facets of our operations and programming, so please know that in case flight delays or cancellations occur we will do everything we can to get travelers home in a timely manner and will keep family members updated on developments as we are able.

Important note: Please make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the final day in country.

BAGGAGE POLICY
SSA is not responsible for fees associated with checked baggage 
or for lost or stolen luggage. We strongly encourage all travelers to pack a carry-on bag if possible, or to at least put all valuables and a change of clothes or two in a carry-on along with all important medications and basic toiletries such as a toothbrush, deodorant, glasses, contacts etc.

UN-ACCOMPANIED MINORS
Please confirm with your air travel provider as some airlines may require that travelers under a certain age have completed an unaccompanied minor parental consent form. Please consult the airline website to confirm whether this is required on your flight.

Leader Profile

SSA will send a minimum of one experienced Program Leader on every program. In addition to this Program Leader, we also have a support staff in our host countries and 24/7 support from our headquarters in Denver, Colorado that are available to the group for additional help when necessary. Below you’ll find a list of the Smithsonian Student Adventures staff involved in the planning, organizing, and leadership of your program.

  • Devin Toletti
    Devin Toletti Germany Operations

    Bologna University – B.A. Political Science and International Relations

    Born to an Italian father and a Canadian-Austrian mother, Devin grew
    up in Varese which is in Northern Italy between Milan and Switzerland.
    He grew up with a love for winter sports, dividing his winters between
    hockey and skiing. In summer he would enjoy mountain biking around the
    Alps and try to waterski as much as possible. After finishing
    school, in the English section of the European School, he went to
    Bologna University and achieved a B.A in Political Science and
    International Relations. In Bologna he also discovered his passion for
    food and teaching. Devin is now living in the exciting capital of
    Germany, Berlin, where he is a bike tour guide, part time cook, and
    English teacher.

    Group Roster

    Please have all travelers check below to ensure their name is spelled exactly how it appears on your passport. For edits, email lacey@SmithsonianSA.com.

    1. Charles Lowe
    2. Cloe Moreno
    3. Kaitlyn Mancini
    4. Wyatt Parker-Chappelle

     

    Community & Project Details

    This is where your host community information will appear, along with your community project, if applicable to your program.

    Communication & Blog

    The easiest way for students to keep in touch with family and friends at home while traveling will be using Wifi (available at most hotels and some restaurants) via Viber, Whatsapp, Skype, and Wechat for free.

    SSA tries to keep families and friends updated as frequently as possible with text and photo blogs. If parents would like updates regarding the group beyond these blog posts and email updates, they should direct all general inquiries to info@SmithsonianSA.com. We are always checking this email inbox and will respond promptly to inquiries. You can also reach us by dialing 303-242-8541 from the U.S.

    Here is the link to your blog: -Coming Soon-

    Packing List

    What follows is a sample packing list, which will be updated for each program. We recommend you bring a larger piece of luggage like a roller, duffel bag, or backpack, as well as a smaller backpack that you can bring on hikes, weekend excursions and shorter activities.

    Most importantly, be sure to remember your PASSPORT and STUDENT ID.

    Italy Packing List

    CLOTHES:

    7-9 pairs of underwear
    6-8 pairs of socks
    6-7 t-shirts, tank tops or work shirts
    2-3 long sleeve shirts
    1-2 sweatshirt/jacket
    2-3 pairs of shorts
    2-3 pairs of jeans/pants
    1 swimsuit
    1 rain jacket
    1 pair of sturdy shoes (appropriate for lots of walking/athletic activity)
    1 pair of sports sandals ie Chacos/Tevas etc. (optional)
    1 pair flip flops (optional)
    1 hat

    TOILETRIES: BRING THE BASIC TOILETRIES YOU NEED PLUS:

    Bring the BASIC toiletries you need plus:
    Sunscreen
    Band aids and Neosporin and other basic first aid supplies
    Hand Sanitizer

    MISCELLANEOUS:

    Sunglasses
    Journal and pen
    Quick dry towel
    Book/s
    Alarm Clock and watch
    Visa/MasterCard debit card or US dollars (we recommend students bring between $100-$200, depending on amount of desired souvenirs, extra items etc.)
    Durable water bottle
    Flashlight/headlamp
    Batteries

    Tuition Details

    Tuition Includes:
    all accommodations, basic travel insurance, 3 meals per day, drinking water, ground transportation, group activity and entry fees, full time leadership team and taxes and tips.

    Tuition Excludes:
     International airfare, baggage fees, airline minor fees, personal shopping, passport or visa fees, and activities not listed on the itinerary.

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