2021 New West Charter Italy Cultural Journey

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2021 New West Charter Italy Cultural Journey! We have created two webpages dedicated to this exciting program 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 meant to prepare travelers for participation on the adventure ahead. Please be sure to review the information on the appropriate page thoroughly and we can't wait to start our enriching adventure!
Travel Dates: June 14, 2021 - June 25, 2021
Group Organizer(s):
WTT Contact:
Program Tuition: $2,990 USD
Airfare not included in program tuition
Estimated Airfare: $1,100

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. 

DayLocationActivityLodging
2020-06-14 00:00:00USA - ItalyFly from USA to Rome, Italy.In Flight
2020-06-15 00:00:00Arrival MilanWe'll arrive in Milan and settle into our journey by walking through the city. We'll pass the Castello Sforzesco enter the Duomo and even climb onto the roof, where on a clear day, you can see the alps!Rome Hotel
2020-06-16 00:00:00MilanToday we'll visit one of the most historically important venues for music and Opera in Europe, Milan's famous La Scala Theater, where we'll also get a tour of the theater's museum as well. We'll break for lunch and explore more of Milan then keeping the theme on music, we'll enjoy a concert in the evening. Of course, we'll be tasting plenty of Italian delicacies and gelato as we go.Rome Hotel
2020-06-17 00:00:00MilanAfter our cappuccino and pastries for breakfast we'll visit a local dance studio for a day of collaboration and intercultural exchange through dance. Rome Hotel
2020-06-18 00:00:00Milan-VeniceIt's off to Venice today. Upon arrival we'll settle into our hotel and and then head straight to St. Mark's square where we'll experience the glory and splendor of the Doge's Palace. We'll also meander through the canals and streets of Venice and see the Bridge of Sighs and the Rialto bridge. Rome Hotel
2020-06-19 00:00:00VeniceItaly is simply so packed with art from so many important historic periods that it's often the case that more modern contributions are overlooked. Today we'll indulge in modern art, set against the background of Venice at the Peggy Guggenheim collection.Florence Hotel
2020-06-20 00:00:00Venice-FlorenceIt's off to the capital of the European Renaissance. We'll arrive in Florence and after a quick stop at our hotel, we'll head out to explore the famous Duomo di Firenze, an architectural marvel for the ages. Depending on scheduling, we'll also enjoy some music at one of Florence's theaters. Dinner, of course will be full of Tuscan delights. Florence Hotel
2020-06-21 00:00:00FlorenceToday we'll explore the Uffizi Galleries, home to some of the world's most important works of art. After a quick lunch, well have time to visit another dance studio, schedules, permitting. For dinner we'll explore the city's newly revamped Mercato Centrale. Siena Hotel
2020-06-22 00:00:00Florence-SienaWe're heading further back in time today! If Florence is the Renaissance capital, then Italy's Medieval capital is the city of 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 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.Rome Hotel
2020-06-23 00:00:00SienaCountry director Mike Manchester is also a founder of a local volunteer organization in Siena, that works to clean, restore, and promote areas of the city's ancient medieval walls. Together with other members of the association, we'll roll up our sleeves and contribute to restorative efforts for an actual UNESCO site. In the afternoon, we'll get a guided tour of the Chigiana music conservatory, one of the oldest and most prestigious in all of Italy.Siena Hotel
2020-06-24 00:00:00Siena-MilanWe'll make our way back up to Milan today, but on our way we'll stop in Modena for a short lesson on how Balsamic vinegar is made. You'll taste 12 and even 25-year old vinegar made in the traditional way that dates back to Roman times.Milan Hotel
2020-06-25 00:00:00Flight homeArrivederci Italia!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. 
Acienda Agricola La Verzure Murlo

Acienda Agricola La Verzure Murlo is an old farm estate with a variety of lodging options in the tuscan hills. This family-run establishment has transformed the surrounding fields into olive gardens and vineyards. Despite the modern accommodations and private swimming pool, this property still maintains a true “country feel.” Students will be grouped in their accommodations according to gender and 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.

Hotel Urbani Turin

A clean, modern accommodation with one of the friendliest staffs around combine to make this an ideal stay for our students. It’s central location also contributes to make this our preferred lodging in Turin. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.

Il Frutto Permesso Bibiana

This renovated farm house is equipped with animals, orchards, and lush gardens. Il Frutto Permesso provides a hands-on experience where students will participate in and learn about the cultivation of the area. Students will be grouped in double, triple, or quadruple 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.

Bed and Breakfast Le Terrazze di Neapolis

A small, quaint accommodation in the old town of Naples. The friendly service, delicious coffee and breakfast, and central location make this our preferred destination in Naples. Free Wi-Fi access 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.

Group Flight

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.

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.

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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