2025 Belmont Italy Cultural Journey

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2025 Belmont 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: April 18, 2025 - April 26, 2025
Group Organizer(s):
WTT Contact:
Program Tuition: $2,990 USD
Airfare not included in program tuition
Estimated Airfare: $900

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 and given the unpredictable nature of international travel we must remain flexible in our planning. Changes to a schedule are uncommon but, we reserve the right to adjust programming in the best interest of the group. 

DayLocationDescriptionLodging
April 18USA - ItalyFly from USA to Rome, Italy.Airplane
April 19RomeWe arrive in the Eternal City in the evening. After dropping our bags at the hotel, we will have a guided walking tour of the city, hitting many of the great attractions that are in Rome, but keeping in mind that it's our first day! On our way to dinner, we’ll walk by the Trevi Fountain and to make a wish as we toss a coin in the fountain. Once we are back at our hotel, we will have our orientation meeting to prepare for the days ahead!Hotel Rome
April 20RomeThis morning we will visit another country! We will spend our morning marveling at the Vatican Museums masterpieces and of course admire the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Square. We will have a beautiful sit down lunch, then head to visit Saint Peter's Basilica from inside or visit "Castle St Angelo," also known as the Mausoleum of Hadrian, the fortress-castle of the Pope. After a very long day, we will have dinner at a local restaurant and have a Gelato before going to bed. Hotel Rome
April 21Rome-pompeiiToday we escape the big city and head to Pompeii. We will have an amazing lunch and have the original pizza, the world-famous Neapolitan pizza. After lunch, the group will tour the archeological site with a local guide. After a full day of exploring, we will stay in an "agriturismo" in the area of Mt Vesuvius, eat some local produce and appreciate a smaller town atmosphere. During our visit we will get a chance to taste many pastries for which the area is famous for.Hotel Vesuvius
April 22Vesuvius- Rome Have you ever seen a volcano? Well, now you have, and we are going to hike our way to the top! We will have an amazing view of the Gulf of Naples and see some of its unique landscape and nature. We will visit Ercolano, another archeological site at the footsteps of the Vesuvius. In the afternoon we will head back to Rome to be there in time for dinner and a beautiful nighttime stroll of the eternal city. Hotel Rome
April 23RomeToday we have a late start, so we can catch up on sleep and recharge for the rest of our stay. We will leave the hotel midmorning and head towards the "Musei Capitolini". After lunch, we will have a guided bike tour of the Via Appia, which is an ancient Roman road over 100 miles long. We will of course only visit a portion of it, but with the help of our bikes we will be able to see much more than on foot. We will head back to the city center and have an amazing dinner at a local restaurant.Hotel Rome
April 24RomeToday we will visit one of the most famous monuments of the world, the Colosseum, the largest amphitheater ever built. We will have a private guided tour of the Colosseum and the Forum. After our tour we will taste some delicious street food for lunch as we make our way towards "Campo dei Fiori". We will then head to the Pantheon and finish off our day with some free time and gelato! Hotel Rome
April 25RomeOn our last day we will walk toward "Villa Borghese," where we will admire some of Romes most famous statues. The museum of "Villa Borghese" is in one of Romes biggest parks and has some breathtaking views. We will then head to "piazza del Popolo" and admire some more Caravaggio in a small, unassuming church. We will then walk all of "Via del Corso" where we will be able to do some last minute shopping. Later, we will head towards the "Vittoriano", take a glass elevator and see one of the most breathtaking views in Rome. We will then head to our last dinner in Rome which we will surely be a feast of pasta and Pizza! We will also have our last Gelato before saying ciao to Rome. Hotel Rome
April 26Rome - USAArrivederci Italia!You own bed, eventually!

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Accommodations

In order to provide a safe and memorable experience, we follow strict guidelines when choosing program accommodations. Walking Tree partners with hotels and guest houses which are centrally located, clean and safe.  We vet and inspect the accommodations to ensure they uphold the ethos of our programs, are great values for our travelers and nice places to rest after enriching days of travel.  

Below are the accommodations we anticipate using on your trip, subject to availability. 
Rome Garden Hotel

The Rome Garden Hotel is the perfect accommodation that marries peace and relaxation, characteristic of a reserved and suggestive location, with the commodity of a central position, in the heart of the bustling metropolis of Rome. The hotel is located in the vicinity of Porta Pia on Via Nomentana, in the elegant area of the consular and diplomatic premises. It’s a Patrician villa of the XIX century, entirely modernized and surrounded by a private garden and only a few steps from the splendid frame of Villa Torlonia. It is also the perfect location for art lovers, with the nearby park of Villa Borghese and its prestigious gallery, which houses the famous sculptures of Bernini, being easily reachable on foot from the hotel.

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 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 Priscilla

Hotel Priscilla is in one of Rome’s most exclusive neighborhoods, close to the gardens of Villa Borghese and Via Veneto.  The hotel is just a short bus ride from Termini Station and a pleasant walk to the shopping area surrounding the Spanish Steps. It offers rooms with a flat screen TV and air conditioning, and you can stay connected during your stay as Priscilla Hotel Rome offers guests paid wifi. The hotel counts with a a breakfast area and 24 hour front desk. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender.

 

Hotel Alinari

Located just across the square from Florence train station, this hotel offers easy access to the airports and other places in Italy. The sights of the historic center, such as the Accademia Gallery, Uffizi Galleries and the Ponte Vecchio, are all easily reached by foot in less than 15 minutes. All the rooms have private bathroom, air-conditioning, colour tv. Free Wi-Fi keeps guests feeling connected at all times. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender.

Park Hotel

The Park Hotel is just on the outskirts of Florence yet still feels like the Tuscan Countryside.  A large hotel with plenty of common areas, pool and beautiful grounds, the hotel is perfect for groups.

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.

Group Flight

Once your flight has been confirmed, the itinerary will appear here.

Walking Tree will secure a seat on the group flight for each participant unless otherwise instructed.

Travelers are 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, and travelers will need to check in at the airport in order to receive their boarding pass and have documents verified. We recommend arriving no later than three hours prior to the scheduled departure, but contact your Group Organizer for specific details on exactly where and when to meet on the day of departure.

FLIGHT INTERRUPTION, DELAY OR CANCELLATION 
Air travel can be unpredictable.  Regardless of proper planning, there may still be instances when a flight is delayed or cancelled due to staffing shortages, weather, mechanical problems, etc.  Please note that in such an event, Walking Tree Travel (WTT) is not financially responsible for unanticipated costs incurred by travelers en route.  Our programs officially begin and end in the destination country, and because our staff doesn’t fly with the group, Group Organizers (the traveling faculty member/s) become the front-line advocate for the group in the event of a delay. In most cases of cancellations or delays, the airline will be the one who re-books travel or possibly arranges a hotel and food the night.  Our primary role will be to  keep families updated and provide support to the Group Organizer to reach a  quick and effective resolution.

Host Community and Project Details

Packing List

What follows is a sample packing list but you know yourself better than we do so please adjust accordingly. 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 daily outings, weekend excursions and shorter activities.

“Less is more” is a packing tip we encourage for all our travelers. The list below should cover everything you would need, but know yourself and what you are comfortable traveling with.  We suggest bringing only as much as you would be able to carry on your own.

Finally, we recommend consulting a weather forecast for your destination. 

Most importantly, be sure to remember your PASSPORT!

CLOTHES (quantities depend on your trip length) :

  • Underwear
  • Socks (a mixture of good active socks and casual socks)
  • T-shirts (some quick dry)
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Sweaters or sweatshirts
  • Underwear
  • Shorts
  • Rain jacket
  • Travel/athletic shorts that are breathable and light
  • Comfortable, everyday pants
  • Nice shirt/top to be worn to more formal dinners (girls might want a skirt or something a little nicer for such occasions)
  • Durable athletic/walking shoes
  • Sandals (optional)
  • Hat

TOILETRIES: BRING THE BASIC TOILETRIES YOU NEED PLUS:

  • Sunscreen (you will use a lot)
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Band Aids and Neosporin
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Medication in properly marked original container

MISCELLANEOUS:

  • Sunglasses
  • Journal and pen
  • Book
  • Camera (digital, disposable, waterproof)
  • Power Converter
  • Alarm Clock and watch
  • Debit card/US Dollars (we recommend about $50-$150, depending on amount of desired souvenirs, extra items etc.)
  • Durable water bottle
  • 1 quick-dry towel
  • Flashlight/headlamp
  • Batteries
  • Deck of cards or other portable games
  • STUDENT ID

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.

Devin Toletti
Devin Toletti
Italy Country Director; Germany Country Director


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.

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.

  • 1 Adam Rashi Gross
  • 2 Aidan Chen
  • 3 Aiden Yang
  • 4 Amy Brown
  • 5 Andrew Aloisio
  • 6 Anna Huang
  • 7 Benjamin Leger
  • 8 Brenton Lussier
  • 9 Brian Brown
  • 10 Brianna Yueh
  • 11 Dante Cavalier
  • 12 Greta Sievers Perkins
  • 13 Hazel Donner
  • 14 Jonah Litman
  • 15 Jonathan Tarja
  • 16 Jordan Macarty
  • 17 Leah Madden
  • 18 Leo Hansen
  • 19 Lisa Hurtubise
  • 20 Luka Rozgic
  • 21 MaryBeth Manca
  • 22 Matthew Lubarsky
  • 23 Mihika Kumar
  • 24 Owen McKinley
  • 25 Perry Cai
  • 26 Samantha Ryann Wilson
  • 27 Seamus Murphy
  • 28 Shama Gongal
  • 29 Sophia Sun
  • 30 Thien Lohavichan
  • 31 William Lin
  • 32 William Lockwood
  • 33 William Vidaver
  • 34 Xirui Zhang
34 Travelers

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.

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.
  4. 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 physical or emotional harm, or brandishing a weapon.
  4. Possessing, consuming, or distributing tobacco or nicotine, including vape pens.
  5. Riding mopeds, motorcycles, or any other type of unauthorized vehicle.
  6. Being out of designated area or accommodations after curfew.
  7. Breaking group rules.

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

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 teaches that travel is never without risk. For this reason, we recommend that all travelers consider a travel insurance policy with  two additional provisions: Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) and Bed Rest. Detailed explanations of both provisions can be found on the link below.

To provide families with a quality option, Walking Tree has partnered with Travel Insured International, one of the most respected providers in the industry.  Begin by getting a quote here.

IMPORTANT NOTE: in order to secure coverage with CFAR included, you must purchase the plan within 21 days of your deposit/first payment. You must also insure 100% of your trip cost, so program tuition + flight.

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