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2021 Ceiba Prep Italy Program

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2021 Ceiba Preparatory Italy Program!  To learn the basics of this once in a lifetime opportunity, you'll begin by using the Pre-Enrollment page, the purpose of which is to share exciting highlights and important info that participants will want to know before signing up. If you enroll, you'll begin using the Post-Enrollment webpage, which offers a much greater level of detail.  Please be sure to review the information thoroughly and get excited for Italy!! 
Travel Dates: March 5, 2021 - March 15, 2021
Dates are tentative
Group Organizer(s):
WTT Contact:
Program Tuition: $3,190 USD
Airfare not included in program tuition
Estimated Airfare: $1,200
Deadline(s): Enrollment deadline forthcoming

What to Expect

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

Itinerary

We do everything possible to run safe, engaging, and immersive programs 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. 

DayLocationActivityLodging
March 5USA - MilanFly from the US directly to Milan, Italy.Airplane
March 6MilanArrive in Milan, settle into hotel to drop off luggage and have a day visit of Milan walking up the steps of the Duomo and have some amazing street food in the center of Milan. We will see the fashion district, la scala and la Galleria and soak up the Milan atmosphere.Milan Hotel
March 7VeniceWe'll have a guided tour of Venice in the morning, and a ferry and visit to the Murano in the afternoon where we will observe the world renowned traditional glass blowing artisans at work. We of course will visit the Ponte dei Sospiri and Piazza San Marco.Venice Hotel
March 8Venice - FlorenceWe will rise early to visit the Doge's place in Venice and be in Florence in time for lunch at the market. We will be traveling on the Freccia Rossa, trains which can travel up to 220 miles per hour. Once in Florence we will have a guided tour and visit the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, the Baptistry and Giotto's Bell Tower. We'l stroll around the Mercato Nuovo and Piazza della Signoria before dinner.Florence Hotel
March 9FlorenceWe will visit either Michaelangelo's David, at the Galleria dell'Accademia delle Belle Arti, or Visit the Uffizi and see numerous masterpieces of the Medici Family. We will then continue the walking tour of Florence and visit Donatello's David in the Palazzo del Bargello, walk over Ponte Vecchio and to Piazzale Michelangelo for breathtaking views of Florence.Florence Hotel
March 10SienaAfter breakfast we'll take a train to Siena, the city of the world-famous Palio horse race. For more than 700 years, rival neighborhoods of Siena have been participating in a horse race. We’ll have a short lesson on to explain the Palio and get the unique opportunity to tour the city and witness the preparations. Our country director for Italy, originally from Denver, has been a resident in Siena for 16 years and he’ll be able to guide us with a local perspective.Siena Hotel
March 11RomeWe will wake up early in Siena and then head to straight to Rome. After arrival, we’ll have some lunch and then head to St. Peter's Square and Cathedral and tour the Vatican museums, home to the Sistine Chapel!Rome Hotel
March 12RomeToday we’ll take a stroll through Piazza Venezia and the monument to Vittorio Emanuele. Then, we'll see the incredible site of the Colosseum! We'll have a guided visit through the Roman Forum, the beating heart of the Roman Empire. Next we'll walk to the Jewish Ghetto neighborhood and visit the Mouth of Truth, walk back through the Campo de Fiori, Piazza Navona and visit the Pantheon before we have dinner after a long day!Rome Hotel
March 14RomeWe will walk to the Capitoline Hill, the Trevi Fountain, and the Spanish Steps, then visit Bernini's masterpieces in the Galleria Borghese. After lunch we'll head over to Piazza del Popolo, then travel along the Tevere river passing St. Angel's Castle before our final dinner together!Rome Hotel
March 15Rome - USABus transfer to Fiumicino Airport, then say arrivederci to Italy as we board our flight home to the US!Your own bed, eventually!

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, we follow strict guidelines when choosing program accommodations. Walking Tree partners with locally-operated, three-star equivalent hotels and guest houses which are centrally located, clean and safe. 

Below are the accommodations we anticipate using on your trip, subject to availability. 
Hotel Palazzo Delle Stelline Milan

Hotel Palazzo Delle Stelline is set in a former convent in the historic center of one of the best neighborhoods of Milan, next to the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie where the famous Leonardo da Vinci fresco, The Last Supper, resides. The rooms offer modern amenities, such as free Wi-Fi and overlook the quiet courtyard. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.

Il Giglio Rosso

Colorful, spacious, and dedicated to the preservation and appreciation of local art, this bed and breakfast in the heart of Florence provides unique accommodations for our students. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.

Oasi Verde

As the name suggests, this bed and breakfast’s verdant surroundings give the place the sensation that one has escaped from the city for a more natural, relaxing accommodation. In reality, it is conveniently located near several of Rome’s historic sites and is a great base from which to explore this incredible city. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.

Hotel Ca ‘ Due Leoni

Located in the heart of Venice, Hotel Ca ‘ Due Leoni is a renovated 18th century building which combines a uniquely Venetian style with modern comforts. The hotel has free Wi-Fi and is located within walking distance of many attractions in Venice. Students will be separated by gender and split between double and triple rooms based on availability.

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.

Group Flight

Once your flight has been secured the itinerary will appear here.

Remember that Walking Tree is not responsible for checked baggage fees. Please visit the airline’s baggage webpage to learn if you should expect to pay anything.

We will provide a group manifest – complete with reservation codes and ticket numbers – to the Group Organizer/s before departure but travelers will need to check in at the airport in order to receive their boarding pass. We recommend arriving no later than three hours prior to the scheduled departure but for specific details on exactly where and when to meet on the day of departure, please contact your Group Organizer/s.

FLIGHT INTERRUPTION DELAY OR CANCELLATION 
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.

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 a minimum, one experienced Program Leader will travel on every trip. 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. Below you’ll find a list of the team members involved in the planning, organizing, and leadership of your program.

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.

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

Below is a list of the travelers enrolled on the program.

Blog and Communication

During travel we will 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, after which we recommend you check in regularly via the black “Program Blog” button at the top of this page.

Beyond this proactive approach to communication during the trip, most destinations are wired enough to allow participants semi-regular access to WiFi so you can also expect to communicate with your traveler directly. Ask your Walking Tree representative about the degree of connectivity on your program.

 

GLC Curriculum

Walking Tree has developed a curriculum of activities meant to help travelers get the most out of their trip before departure, during travel and after they return home. These simple and engaging activities 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

In order to run a safe and successful program, 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
  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 on program, experience has taught us that travel can come with risk. For this reason, we recommend that all travelers consider protecting their trip and travel investment by purchasing a travel protection plan with a Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) provision.

To make this process as easy as possible, we have partnered with Travel Insured International, one of the most respected providers in the industry.  Begin by taking a few minutes to get a quote here.

IMPORTANT NOTE: in order to secure coverage with CFAR included, you must purchase the plan within 21 days of the date your initial payment or your deposit for your trip is received. You must also insure 100% of the prepaid, non-refundable trip costs that are subject to cancellation penalties or restrictions and cancel 48 hours or more before your scheduled trip departure date. Please note that CFAR is not available to residents of New York.

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