In much of Italy, art and architecture are one and the same. Roman architecture never gets old, considering that the Pantheon has inspired architects throughout history. At the Field of Miracles in Pisa, see the cathedral and the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which were both designed to showcase the city’s prestige and power through ornate architecture and impressive sculptures. Originally constructed as an entrance to Florence’s Baptistery of San Giovanni, The Gates of Paradise are a world-renowned masterpiece by Lorenzo Ghiberti to this day. While floating on the Grand Canal in Venice, there are so many moments to marvel at artful architecture, including the Rialto Bridge which is a single piece of stone that arches across the canal.
Artistic masterpieces known around the world are within the walls of Italy’s museums. Vatican City is decorated lavishly with frescoes and sculptures depicting scenes from the Bible. The Sistine Chapel is covered from ceiling to altar wall in the masterpieces of Michelangelo, including his “Last Judgement” fresco. On over to Florence, visit the Accademia Gallery, where Michelangelo’s David proudly stands as a testament to this artist’s true depth of skill. Stopping in Ravenna, the Mausoleum Galla Placidia and Basilica of San Vitale are encrusted floor to ceiling in colorful mosaics. While touring the Doge’s Palace in Venice, take in the world’s largest oil painting, Il Paradiso by Tintoretto.
All throughout this journey are opportunities to understand the cultural heritage of Italy. As the centerpiece of the Piazza Navona, the Fountain of the Four Rivers contains sculptured figures that represent the four continents recognized by Rome at the time and the obelisk in the middle is a Roman depiction of the Egyptian symbol of power. Just outside of Rome learn gladiator combat, a battle where honor could be restored through death or victory. Likewise, the Colosseum is symbolic of Rome’s culture of entertainment, as this was the largest of Rome’s amphitheaters. For an example of Venetian culture, Doge’s Palace expresses Venice’s land and sea prowess as well as the unique beauty of two merged architectural styles.
Travel overnight by plane from home to Rome.
Upon arrival, meet up with the Tour Director and check in to accommodations. Visit the Pantheon to see why it still inspires architects today. Walk over to the Piazza Navona, full of spectacular fountains, among them the Fountain of the Four Rivers. Tonight's dinner is at a local restaurant.
Go to gladiator school just outside of Rome to practice Roman combat disciplines. On a guided tour with a local specialist, see the symbol of Rome’s eternity, the Colosseum, where gladiator combat took place. Continuing with the guide, explore the ruins of the Roman Forum, which was once the heart of the Roman Empire. View the Arch of Constantine, Forum of Trajan and the Monument to Victor Emanuel II on this tour before dinner.
Journey through the Vatican City on a guided tour of the Vatican Museums, devoted to collections of art curated by the popes since the 15th century. At the Sistine Chapel, view Michelangelo’s Old Testament painting that covers the entire ceiling and his “Last Judgement” fresco on the altar wall. Visit the Catholic pilgrimage site, St. Peter’s Basilica and take in Michelangelo’s heart-wrenching sculpture, The Pietà, of Jesus being held by his mother Mary after the crucifiction. After dinner, walk to the Spanish Steps and stop at the Trevi Fountain to toss in a coin to ensure a return to the Eternal City.
Begin traveling to Florence and stop in Pisa at the Campo dei Miracoli, a World Heritage Site and home to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Stop in Lucca for a guided bike tour of the beautifully preserved Tuscan town. End the day in the Florence area and check in to accommodations.
Wake up in Florence, known as the Cradle of the Renaissance, for a guided tour of the vibrant art at the Accademia Gallery to see Michelangelo’s David sculpture and more at the Piazza del Duomo. See the bronze doors by Ghiberti that were named the Gates of Paradise by Michelangelo. Visit the Duomo and then end the tour at the famous Piazza della Signoria. Stroll along the bridge, Ponte Vecchio, before free time to sightsee or shop. Prepare, cook and eat a Tuscan dinner in a group cooking class.
En route to Venice, stop in Ravenna to view the colorful mosaics at the Mausoleum Galla Placidia and Basilica of San Vitale. Arrive in the Venice area in the evening and stay overnight.
Go on a scenic boat ride along the Grand Canal, viewing the Rialto Bridge that spans the canal on the way to St. Mark’s Square. Take in the gold mosaics and bronze horses on a guided tour of St. Mark’s Basilica. Tour Doge’s Palace, the residence of rulers and walk across the famous Bridge of Sighs to the prison where Casanova was held. While here, see the world’s largest oil painting, “Il Paradiso” by Tintoretto. Explore and shop in Venice for the rest of the day, perhaps taking a gondola ride in the evening.
Return home with life-changing experiences to share.
In this Rome, Tuscany and Venice educational program, students are immersed in cultural experiences as they tour museums full of artistic masterpieces. At each of these major destinations throughout Italy, students are encouraged to take note of ancient to present-day architecture. There are many opportunities to learn more about religious history in context and identify geographical landmarks. In the process of navigating multiple cities and cultures, adapting to differing currencies and practicing language skills, students gain a greater understanding and appreciation of their global citizenship. With a curated curriculum for educators to apply with the program, students are empowered to put their learning into practice before, during and after the trip.
Quality, safe hotels with twin or triple occupancy corresponding to the destination.
All transportation is provided throughout the program.
Airfare covers round-trip flights from major airports.
Two meals are provided daily, breakfast and dinner, featuring local cuisine.
Interactive learning experiences designed to expand educational and career goals.
Scheduled activities, experiences and guided tours are all included.
Customized experiences developed by travel experts to promote learning and engagement.
Full-time Tour Directors are on site for the duration of the trip, for an all-inclusive experience.
Tips for bus drivers, guides, Tour Directors and meals.
International travel insurance is provided for protection in case of accidents, illness, flight interruptions or baggage loss.
Advanced student security software that integrates geofencing, logistics, communication and more optimized safety features.
Dedicated 24/7 staff availability, supporting students every step of the way.
Experience understands there is a growing concern over the COVID-19 outbreak and travel. We are attentively monitoring the situation and following updates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Department of State.
Public health authorities are focusing on prevention efforts and actively testing anyone whose symptoms are compatible with COVID-19. It is important to note that for travel and community settings, the CDC reports a low risk of exposure for those who are in the same environment for a prolonged period of time and without close contact as someone with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. Learn more about the CDC Exposure Risk Categories.
To alleviate any uncertainty, Experience is implementing an Upcoming and Future Travel Policy for 2020. This policy allows our programs to adjust their travel dates and plans to provide more flexibility for travelers and relieve any immediate concerns. As the situation evolves, we will remain in contact with group leaders to keep them informed and adjust any travel plans as needed. We want to assure all group leaders, parents and travelers that we will not send programs to destinations that are deemed unsafe by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) or the U.S. Department of State. The health and safety of our travelers is of the utmost importance and always a main concern on our educational tours. We will continue to stay informed and safely navigate the situation.