Italy, Summer ‘19

This summer Cada Casa will be organizing a trip for a group of four to six students to explore the rich history and culture of Italy. We will fly from Portland to London, then to Genoa. From there we will explore the five towns of Cinque Terre. We will take trains from Pisa to Florence, then to Rome. After a couple days in Rome we will rent a car and explore smaller towns en route to Venice. From Venice, we will head back to London and head home. This is a 18 day trip that is estimated to cost between $2750 - $3000.

Guiding Principals

  • Language Immersion: Participating students are required to practice at least 25 hours of Italian before the trip begins. During the trip there will be a minimum of 10 hours of language instruction, as well as the expectation that students order food, navigate, and converse with locals in Italian.

  • Student Projects: Each major destination will have a theme and student-researched presentation. These presentations should be at least 20 minutes in length, include relevant vocabulary, touch upon the historical significance, and include information of at least one specific destination. A post-visit reflection will detail what was learned about each student’s topic/location.

  • Traveling on a Budget: In addition to the projects, each student will be responsible for planning an element of the trip. This includes researching and creating reservations for accommodations, transportation, and activities - all while following the trip’s agreed upon budget. This will be done in two sessions in May: the first with the group to present brainstormed ideas and the second individually with Tymon to plan specifics.

Basic logistics

  • Leave Portland on July 28th and return on August 13th (18 days)

  • $2750-$3000 total price (including airfare)

    • $750 airfare deposit (due May 10th) - this can be waved with 60,000 AmericanAirlines (or British Airlines) miles

    • $1000 due June 15th

    • $1000 due July 15th

  • Destinations: London, Genoa, Cinque Terre, Pisa, Florence, Rome, Adriatic Sea, Venice, London, Mersea Islan

Brief Map of the Italian tour

Brief Map of the Italian tour


Cinque Terre: Coastal Community Culture

Cinque Terre is a string of centuries-old seaside villages on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. In each of the 5 towns, colorful houses and vineyards cling to steep terraces, harbors are filled with fishing boats and trattorias turn out seafood specialties along with the Liguria region’s famous sauce, pesto. The Sentiero Azzurro cliffside hiking trail links the villages and offers sweeping sea vistas.

Riomaggiore (part of the 5 towns)

Riomaggiore (part of the 5 towns)

  • Leave Portland (Day 1), arrive in London (Day 2), spend the night in London to acclimate, leave for Genoa the next morning (Day 3)

  • Days: 3-5

  • Student Project Presentation: the Ecological Impact on Food & Wine (Biology)

  • Fly into Genoa, spend the day in the city

  • Exploring the natural beauty of Italy’s coastline:

    • Travel by train and long hikes

    • Fishing, swimming, and beaches

    • Multiple wineries and local restaurants

Florence: Tuscany and the Renaissance

Tuscany is known for its fabulous landscapes, amazing artwork and architecture and its incredible charm. Yet there is only one place in Tuscany where all three of these elements combine effortlessly together and give life to a magical, romantic and absolutely one of a kind city: Florence. Famous for the immense political and economic power it wielded during the rule of the Medici Dynasty, Florence offered the world a stage for great artistic masters such as Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo. However, Florence has its roots long before, when it rose and fell several times in the hands of the Romans, the lombardic tribe and others. Each successive age brought new architecture, art and creativity which are still evident in the streets, the many museums, churches, monuments and even the everyday life of this marvelous city.

  • Days 6-8

  • Student Project Presentation: the Renaissance (Social Studies)

  • Key destinations:

    • Duomo, a cathedral with a terracotta-tiled dome engineered by Brunelleschi and a bell tower by Giotto.

    • The Galleria dell'Accademia (Michelangelo’s “David”)

    • The Uffizi Gallery (Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” and da Vinci’s “Annunciation.”)

  • Travel to Pisa for leaning Tower

Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

Rome: Capital

Rome, Italy’s capital, is a sprawling, cosmopolitan city with nearly 3,000 years of globally influential art, architecture and culture on display. Ancient ruins such as the Forum and the Colosseum evoke the power of the former Roman Empire. Vatican City, headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, has St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums, which house masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes.

Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy

  • Days 8-10

  • Student Project Presentation: Ancient Roman Empire and Architecture

  • Activities:

    • Colloseum Tour

    • Sistine Chapel

    • Pantheon

    • Trevi Fountain

Giro Auto: road trip

  • Days 10-13

  • We will rent a car in Rome and then travel through the country side, then up the coast, until we reach Venice.

  • We will be staying in small towns along the way, and stopping along the Adriatic Sea to explore and eat

Venice: Historical Primer and Architecture

Venice, the capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region, is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. It has no roads, just canals – including the Grand Canal thoroughfare – lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces.

The canals of Venice by Gandola

The canals of Venice by Gandola

  • Days 13-14

  • Student Project Presentation: Historical Architecture (Social Studies)

  • Gondola canal tour with various stops:

    • The central square,

    • Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Basilica & Campanile bell tower)

    • Railto Bridge

  • Beach of Lido di Venezia

  • Tuscan Cuisine Cooking Class

  • After Venice, we fly to London, spend the night, and leave 8/11 (arrive 8/12)

London & Mersea Island

Big Ben and a tour of a world’s city

Big Ben and a tour of a world’s city

  • Our final stop of the trip will be London and Mersea Island (Mieke’s hometown).

  • Days 15-17

  • Self-guided bike tour of London:

    • Big Ben, the British Museum, St. James Park, Parliament, Tower Bridge

    • Potential English Premier Soccer Game (tickets not included in price estimate)

  • Mersea Island:

    • Learn how to sail

    • Yacht Club & Island life

  • Leave London (Day 17) and arrive in Portland (Day 18)

Price Estimates: $3000 for 18 days

  • Total Travel: $1174

    • $833 flight from Portland <—> London

    • $54 flight from London to Genoa

    • $25 train from Genoa to Cinque Terre

    • $45 multi day Cinque Terre hike & train

    • $9train from Cinque Terre to Pisa

    • $13 train from Pisa to Florence

    • $12 train from Florence to Rome

    • $78 car rental from Rome to Venice

    • $54 flight from Venice to London

    • $25 round trip van from London to Mersea

  • Food: ~$700 ($50 per day)

    • This includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It does not include additional snacks, wine, smoothies, spuntini, etc.

    • This includes $20 of airport food for each major leg of the trip

  • Accommodations: $599

    • $513 for Hostels (most locations)

    • $83 for Air BnB (Mersea Island)

  • Activities & Entertainment: $500

    • Does not include an English Premier League game ticket if available

Information about the traveler (student)
Student Name *
Student Name
As it appears in the passport
Student Phone *
Student Phone
Student Birthday *
Student Birthday
Passport Expiration Date *
Passport Expiration Date
Parent / Guardian Info
Parent / Guardian #1 Name *
Parent / Guardian #1 Name
Parent / Guardian #1 Phone *
Parent / Guardian #1 Phone
Parent / Guardian #2 Name
Parent / Guardian #2 Name
Parent / Guardian #2 Phone
Parent / Guardian #2 Phone
The maximum estimate at this point will be $3000, but will probably be closer to $2750.