2019 Henderson Italy Cultural Journey

IMPORTANT: PLEASE CHECK YOUR SPAM FOLDER FOR EMAILS FROM @WALKINGTREE.ORG AND BE SURE TO ADD US TO YOUR CONTACT LIST. PLEASE ENSURE YOUR PASSPORT IS VALID FOR SIX MONTHS BEYOND THE PROGRAM END DATE.
Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2019 Henderson Italy Cultural Journey! We have created two webpages dedicated to this once in a lifetime experience so that travelers are as informed as possible throughout the process. The first page, Pre-Enrollment, is meant to share exciting details, highlights, and pertinent info, that participants will want to know before enrolling. Once enrolled, the Post-Enrollment page is intended to prepare travelers for participation on the adventure ahead. Please be sure to review the information on the appropriate page thoroughly and get excited for Italy!
Travel Dates: June 19, 2019 - June 30, 2019
Group Organizer(s):
WTT/SSA Contact:
Program Tuition: $3,490 USD
Airfare not included in program tuition
Confirmed Airfare: $1,000

What to Expect

Please read through all of the information below. More details will be added as your departure draws closer.

Itinerary

We work hard to create safe, engaging, and immersive itineraries for our travelers, but given the unpredictable nature of international travel we must remain flexible in our planning. Changes to a schedule are uncommon but if inclement weather pushes us off course or an unexpected opportunity arises which travelers are excited about, we reserve the right to adjust programming in the best interest of the group. 

DateLocationActivityLodging
June 19 Philadelphia, PA - Milan, ItalyFly from Philadelphia to Milan, Italy.In Flight
June 20Milan - VeniceUpon arrival in the morning, we will board our bus to visit The Last Supper and the beautiful church that sits adjacent. Afterwards we will continue onward to Venice, arriving in time for our first Italian meal of the trip. After a long travel day, we will settle in to our hotel for some much needed rest.Venice Hotel
June 21VeniceWe will begin the day with a 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 22Venice - FlorenceThis morning we head to Murano Island, a series of islands linked by bridges dedicated to the manufacture of Venice's world renowned art of "blowing glass," which we will see live. After a delicious lunch, we'll enjoy the views on our way to Florence!Florence Hotel
June 23FlorenceAfter 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 24FlorenceThis 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 25SienaWe will spend the day in Siena. Our country director, originally from Denver, but a resident of Siena for more than 15 years will start us off with a lesson about Siena's historic Palio horse race. Then w'll tour the city and even get to see some behind the scenes areas where the city is working with students on a service project on a medieval wall. We'll end the day with a dinner at an organic farm located inside Siena's ancient walls.Siena Lodging
June 26Siena - RomeThis morning we'll take the train to Rome. Upon arrival we'll visit the autonomous exclave of the Vatican City, where we will explore the Sistine chapel and the Vatican Museum. We will walk by Hadrian's Tomb, eat some traditional pasta and go for an evening stroll in the Eternal City, in Rome's elegant Prati neighborhood. Rome Hotel
June 27RomeToday, 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, The Roman Forum, Trajan's Forum, the Trevi Fountain, the steps of Piazza di Spagna, The Pantheon, il Gesù and finish the day off with dinner as we enjoy a beautiful view of Rome. Rome Hotel
June 28PompeiiWe will spend the day in Pompeii today! We'll also see the remains of the Forum and the Teatro Grande. And maybe best of all, you'll eat pizza in the birthplace of pizza! We will head back to the capital after a busy but rewarding day and if we have time we'll visit the Coronaro Chapel. Rome Hotel
June 29RomeToday 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. We will then walk through Villa Borghese park, and up to the Catacombs of Priscilla where we'll explore Rome underground! Afterwards we can take one last stroll through Rome seeing Piazza Navona and the Campo de fiori before our last Italian dinner. Rome Hotel
June 30Rome - HomeToday we will take a bus transfer to Fiumicino Airport, then say arrivederci to Italy as we board our flight home to the USA! Addio!Your Own Bed!

Need to Raise Money? We have you covered.

Our travelers are provided with funding opportunities that are easy to implement and fun to take part in. Our flagship fundraiser involves selling fair trade, organic, carbon-neutral coffee from a women’s collective in Peru. There is no limit to the amount you can earn, so get started now by clicking the link below!

START FUNDRAISING  

WTT coffee

Accommodations

In order to provide a safe and memorable experience for travelers, we follow strict guidelines when choosing our accommodations. Walking Tree partners with locally-operated, three-star equivalent hotels which are centrally located, clean, safe and wifi-enabled. 

For rooming, travelers are grouped by gender, and will never share rooms with people who are not associated with their group.  Non-binary travelers are accommodated. Group Organizers and Program Leaders, along with any other traveling adult, are roomed separately from students.
Below are the hotels we anticipate using on your trip, subject to availability. 
Hotel Casa Valdese Roma

The Hotel Casa Valdese Roma is a historic hotel in the Prati district of Rome, near the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica, of which there is a beautiful view from a large terrace on the fifth floor.  Students will be split by gender between double or triple rooms based on availability. Wifi and air conditioning are standard, and students will enjoy breakfast each morning at the hotel.

Hotel Moderno a Siena

Hotel Moderno is a family run hotel located in the center of Siena. The hotel is located just steps away from the historic center of town and students will feel transported back to old-world Italy. Students will be grouped by gender in double or triple rooms based on availability. Each room has Wifi and air conditioning. Breakfast will be provided at the hotel each morning.

Hotel Al Piave

Located in the heart of Venice, Hotel Al Piave is just steps away from St. Mark’s Square. This three star hotel has a truly Italian feel and offers a comfortable place to relax after a long day. Students will be divided by gender between double or triple rooms based on availability. There is free Wi-Fi and breakfast is included each morning.

B&B Hotel Firenze City Center

This quaint bed and breakfast is located in the heart of Florence, allowing the group to easily access the main sites of the city on foot. The B&B comes equipped with Wifi and air conditioning. Breakfast will be served each morning at the hotel.  Students will be roomed in double or triple rooms and split between gender.

Group Flight

Type Carrier Name Carrier Code Flight Number Departure City Departure Date and Time  Arrival City Arrival Date and Time 
Outbound
LH
427
PHL – Philadelphia International Airport, Philadelphia, USA
June 19, 2019 at 5:40PM
FRA – Frankfurt Airport, Frankfurt, Germany
June 20, 2019 at 7:10AM
Outbound
LH
248
FRA – Frankfurt Airport, Frankfurt, Germany
June 20, 2019 at 9:10AM
MXP – Milan Malpensa Airport, Ferno, Italy
June 20, 2019 at 10:20AM
Inbound
LH
231
FCO – Leonardo da Vinci International Airport, Rome, Italy
June 30, 2019 at 10:10AM
FRA – Frankfurt Airport, Frankfurt, Germany
June 30, 2019 at 12:05PM
Inbound
LH
426
FRA – Frankfurt Airport, Frankfurt, Germany
June 30, 2019 at 1:10PM
PHL – Philadelphia International Airport, Philadelphia, USA
June 30, 2019 at 3:35PM

We will provide additional details on your Group’s Flight and travel day details here.

We will provide a group manifest – complete with reservation codes and ticket numbers – to the group organizer before departure. Nevertheless, travelers will need to check in at the airport and we recommend arriving no later than three hours prior to the scheduled departure. For details on exactly where and when to meet on the day of departure, please contact your Group Organizer.

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 Walking Tree Travel (WTT) is not financially responsible for unexpected costs incurred by travelers. Our programs officially begin and end in our host countries. That being said, our travelers’ well-being and safety is our number one priority, so please know that should flight delays/cancellations occur we will do everything we can to get travelers home in a timely manner and will do our best to keep family members updated on developments.

WTT is not responsible for fees associated with checked baggage. Please visit the airline’s baggage webpage to find out about baggage fees and options. It is also important to make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the final day in country.

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 if this is required on your flight.

Host Community and Project Details

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.

CLOTHES:
Underwear
Socks
T-shirts, tank tops or work shirts
Long sleeve shirts
Sweatshirt/jacket
Shorts
Jeans/pants
Swimsuit
Rain jacket
Sturdy shoes (appropriate for lots of walking/athletic activity)
Sports sandals ie Chacos/Tevas etc. (optional)
Flip flops (optional)
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

Support Team

At minimum, one experienced Program Leader will travel on every program. In addition to this full time leadership presence, Walking Tree has additional support staff in all destinations and 24/7 support from our headquarters in Denver, Colorado where we remain available to the group for additional help whenever necessary. Below you’ll find a list of the team members involved in the planning, organizing, and leadership of your program. Meet your support team!

Michael Manchester
Michael Manchester
Italy Country Director


Lewis and Clark College – B.A. in Communications

Born in Denver, Colorado Mike earned a B.A. in Communications from Lewis and Clark College. After college Mike moved to Siena, Italy where he had studied abroad. In 2004 he co-founded the study abroad program Siena Italian Studies where he is a program coordinator and Service-Learning coordinator. He also founded an English language program for the Siena public elementary schools and kindergartens and is on the board of directors for the city’s “Le Mura” organization that protects, maintains, and promotes Siena’s medieval walls. He is an experienced translator having worked with the AC Siena professional soccer team and a local culinary school. Mike has traveled extensively throughout Italy and Europe. He is fluent in Italian and can converse in Spanish and French. When not working with students you can probably find Mike in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes or somewhere outside enjoying fresh air.

Devin Toletti
Devin Toletti
Germany Country Director, Italy Program Leader


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 water ski 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.

Cristina Reid
Cristina Reid
Program Leader


Syracuse University- B.A. in Art History, Minor in Italian Language and Literature
Born in NYC with a Spanish mother and Scottish father, Cristina was raised on the Jersey Shore. She has been traveling between the US and Europe since early childhood, acquiring both english and Spanish language skills and a passion for travel. After spending her first semester of freshman year at Syracuse University in Florence, she fell in love with art, art history and Italian language. She went on to spend a second semester in Florence furthering her art studies and interning at the world renowned Uffizi Galleries. After graduation, she moved to Spain where she currently lives and teaches English and Art at a bilingual primary school.
Gabriel Duncan
Gabriel Duncan
Co-Founder of Walking Tree Travel and Business Lead - Denver, CO


Colby College – B.A. International Relations and Government

While at Colby, Gabriel spent a semester in Spain at the University of Salamanca studying contemporary Spanish politics and Spanish language. He also lettered for four-years on Colby’s lacrosse team and earned All-American honors. After graduating, Gabriel hit the road. He fished commercially in Alaska, taught in Chile and China, led programs for students in Spain and Costa Rica, and traveled to over 50 countries and all 50 states in the USA. Regardless of where Gabriel is located, he is constantly haunted by his naive faith and unconditional love for Denver sports teams.

Group Roster

See below for a list of travelers enrolled on the program.

  • 1 Adara Morganstein
  • 2 Alexa Matthias
  • 3 Amanda Quinn
  • 4 Amber Porter
  • 5 Anna Stribrny
  • 6 Charlotte Reeve
  • 7 Cristina Morton
  • 8 Emma Crowell
  • 9 Emma Misko
  • 10 Emma Teneza
  • 11 Fiona O'Rourke
  • 12 Gabrielle Quintana
  • 13 Hannah Mackey
  • 14 Isabelle Perez
  • 15 Isha Trasi
  • 16 Jennifer Gildner
  • 17 Jonathan Stipe
  • 18 Julia Li
  • 19 Lauren Hendler
  • 20 Lauren Jackson
  • 21 Lidia Vitoc
  • 22 Malia Ladd
  • 23 Marissa Cantor
  • 24 Megan McAfee
  • 25 Nicole Hartman - Group Organizer
  • 26 Nicole Snider - Group Organizer
  • 27 Sierra Krapf
  • 28 Sopheap Sok - Group Organizer
  • 29 Sophia Kontos
29 Travelers

Blog and Communication

We work hard to keep families updated as frequently as possible with blogs and photos, giving you peace of mind that your traveler is safe and thriving on their program.  Students regularly contribute to these posts, giving parents a great way to vicariously track the progress of the trip. You will receive an email notification when the first blog is posted, and can check back any time via the black “Program Blog” button at the top of this page or the link included in the email.

Beyond our proactive approach to communication during the trip, most destinations are wired enough to allow participants semi-regular access to WiFi. Ask your Walking Tree representative about the degree of connectivity on your program.

For any general inquiries during travel, please email your Walking Tree Representative (see top of page) or info@walkingtree.org. You can also reach us by dialing 303-242-8541 from the United States.

 

GLC Curriculum

We have developed a curriculum of activities designed to help each of our travelers mature as global leaders before, during, and after their travel program. These simple and engaging tools are meant to spark discussion, frame experiences, and prepare participants to travel ethically and effectively both on this trip and on future adventures.

For more information about student learning objectives and the 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 our online portal at the button below.

Pre-Program Activity Portal

Standards of Behavior

Walking Tree 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 us.

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. Walking Tree 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.

Insurance

While we work hard to ensure the safest experience possible for our travelers while on program, experience has taught us that travel is never without risk. For this reason, we suggest you consider purchasing Premier travel insurance which would cover you in the event your student needs to withdraw before travel due to a covered reason or loses baggage in route or encounters an emergency while traveling, among other unforeseen circumstances. While most travelers have opted in for us to purchase basic travel insurance on their behalf during the enrollment process, this plan does not cover trip interruption or trip cancellation. Please see a summary of a plan below and follow the link for a more detailed explanation or to purchase the plan for your traveler.

-Recommended Travel Insurance-

Premier*
Trip Cancellation Up to 100% of Trip Cost
Reimburses your prepaid, non-refundable expenses if you must cancel your trip due to a covered reason.
Maximum coverage: $100,000.

Trip Interruption Up to 150% of Trip Cost
Reimburses for the unused, non-refundable portion of your trip and for the increased transportation costs it takes for you to return home or to continue your trip due to a covered reason. Maximum coverage: $150,000.

Missed Connection $1,600
Reimburses for covered expenses resulting from a covered delay that causes you to miss your scheduled flight or cruise.

Travel Delay $1,600
Receive up to $200 per day per person to cover additional accommodation/travel expenses and lost prepaid expenses due to a departure delay of six or more hours.

Medical Protection: 
Emergency Medical and Dental $50,000
-This primary coverage provides reimbursement for expenses incurred during your trip due to covered medical and dental emergencies. No deductible.
-$750 maximum for emergency dental care.

Baggage Protection
Baggage Loss/Damage $2,000
Covers loss, damage or theft of baggage and personal effects.

Baggage Delay $600
Covers the reasonable additional purchase of essential items during your trip if your baggage is delayed or misdirected by a common carrier for 24 hours or more. Receipts for emergency purchases are required.

Assistance Services
Emergency Medical Transportation $1,000,000
Provides medically necessary transportation to the nearest appropriate facility following a covered injury or illness. Also covers the cost of your transportation back home following a covered injury or illness.

24-Hour Hotline Help Included
Help is just a phone call away with Allianz Global Assistance. Our staff of multilingual problem solvers is available to help you with a medical, legal or travel-related emergency.

*Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply. Insurance benefits underwritten by BCS Insurance Company (OH, Administrative Office: Oakbrook Terrace, IL), rated “A­” (Excellent) by A.M. Best Co., under BCS Form No. 52.201 series or 52.401 series, or Jefferson Insurance Company (NY, Administrative Office: Richmond, VA), rated “A+” (Superior) by A.M. Best Co., under Jefferson Form No. 101­C series or 101­P series, depending on your state of residence. Plan(s) may not be available in all jurisdictions. Allianz Global Assistance and Allianz Travel Insurance are marks of AGA Service Company or its affiliates. AGA Service Company is the licensed producer and administrator of this plan and an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company. The insured shall not receive any special benefit or advantage due to the affiliation between AGA Service Company and Jefferson InsuranceCompany. Non­ Insurance benefits/products are provided and serviced by AGA Service Company. Consumer may be responsible for charges incurred from outside vendors for assistance or concierge services. Contact AGA Service Company at 800­-284­-8300 or 9950 Mayland Drive, Richmond, VA 23233 or customerservice@allianzassistance.com.

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