2025 DCIS Italy Cultural Journey

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2025 DCIS 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: March 20, 2025 - March 30, 2025
Group Organizer(s):
WTT Contact:
Program Tuition: $3,390 USD
Airfare not included in program tuition
Confirmed Airfare: $1,350

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
1USA - Florence, ItalyFly from USA to Rome, Italy.Airplane
2FlorenceWe'll arrive to Florence today. After dropping out bags at the hotel, we will start our day with a guided walking tour, visiting the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio and the rest of the piazze and monuments. We will then head to a wonderful Tuscan dinner before going back to our hotel.Florence Hotel
3FlorenceToday we will visit the Uffizi Gallery, one of the oldest and most famous art museums in Europe and the world. The whole museum is in chronological order, we will see the history of art reveal itself while we walk through this unbelievable museum. We will have lunch at the market where we will be able to try many different street food from all of Italy and the world.Florence Hotel
4Florence - FiesoleAfter breakfast we will take a bus to Fiesole, a small but beautiful town outside of Florence. There we will visit the archaeological area which contains an Etrusco-Roman temple, the Roman Theatre and Roman Thermal Baths. After this exciting morning, we will head to an olive oil farm where we will have a farm-cooked meal and then get to visit the animals and the particular biosphere of the region. On our way back to Florence we will stop at piazza Michelangelo and experience one of the best views of Florence!Florence Hotel
5RomeThis morning we will leave Florence and take a train to our next destination, the Eternal City of Rome. After dropping our bags at the hotel. We will walk around and explore the city. On our way to dinner we’ll walk by the Trevi Fountain.Rome Hotel
6RomeToday we head off to explore the Colosseum, the massive stone amphitheater and an iconic symbol of the Roman Empire! We will also visit the Roman Forum and the other Imperial Fora. Next, we’ll head over to the Testaccio Market for lunch to savor homemade ravioli, gelato, meats and cheese, fried risotto and all kinds of pasta! In the afternoon, we’ll explore Rome’s Jewish Ghetto stopping by the Campo de’ Fiori, translated literally from Italian the “Field of Flowers Square.” We'll also visit the Pantheon and Piazza Navona; crowned by the Fountain of the Four Rivers by Bernini, as well as by an Egyptian obelisk and two other fountains.Rome Hotel
7Rome - NaplesWe will catch the first high speed train to Naples and see what is one of Italy's most unique cities. We will have a quick walk around the city and have an amazing lunch by the seaside. We will then have an underground tour of Naples where we will see the city from beneath to help us understand what is above it! We'll finish the day with some relaxing time by the sea side before heading to have an original pizza!Naples Hotel
8Naples - RomeToday we escape the big city and head to Pompeii. The group will tour the archeological site with a local guide, and then dine on world-famous Napoletan pizza for lunch. After a full day of exploring we head back to Rome on the ultra fast train in time for dinner and rest.Rome Hotel
9RomeThis morning we will visit another country! We will spend our morning marveling at the Vatican's Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Square, St. Peter's Basilica, and the Vatican Museums. We’ll break for lunch and then head over to the Spanish steps and continue into the Villa Borghese park to get a view from Rome from the terraces that overlook the city. Tonight we will have our final dinner in rome before heading back to our hotel to prepare for our international departure tomorrow.Rome Hotel
10Rome - USABus transfer to Fiumicino Airport, then say arrivederci to Italy as we board our flight home to the US!Your Own Bed.

Fundraising

Need to Raise Money? We Have You Covered.

Walking Tree Travel is proud to team up with Equal Exchange, a worker-owned cooperative that distributes organic coffee, tea, sugar, bananas, avocados, cocoa, chocolate bars, and more.  There is no limit to the amount you can earn, so the sooner you can start, the better!

Learn more here.

WTT coffee

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. 
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.

Ostello Bello Roma Colosseo

Located in traditional building above cobble stone streets and near the Colosseum and Termini station, Ostello Bello Roma is a great place for travelers to rest after packed day of exploring Rome. Spread over five floors with a variety of rooms types and communal areas, the hotel includes a beautiful patio, terrace and quiet corners to support guest. The breakfast is top notch and the friendly staff are always available to support travelers.   

Ostello Bello Firenze

Ostello Bello Firenze is ideally located in San Lorenzo neighborhood, in the heart of the Florence. From the hotel, you can easily access the entire city and enjoy the local area. This accommodation has air-conditioned standard rooms and private, in-suite dorms. In addition, the hotel has a beautiful terraces, a shared kitchen and a lounge area. A beautiful Italian breakfast is served to fuel a wonderful day of exploration.

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.

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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