Location: Florence, Siena and Rome, Italy
Target Year Groups: Y10 to Y13
Maximum number of students: 36
Approximate cost: HK$16,700 
Please find below the sample itinerary for 2017.
Please note that lunches are not included in the package so students must have spending money to purchase lunch on a daily basis. Recommended amount to cater for this is 15 Euros per day.
 
Trip Leader: Ms. Beth Hall
 
Please note that parents are responsible for the arrangement of visas if required. Please ensure that your child’s passport is valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of departure from their destination.
 
INTRODUCTION
Throwing a coin into the Trevi fountain means that you will one day return to Rome. You don’t need to be there long to understand why people are queuing up to toss their coin in. 
 
In Rome you can taste the centuries of history beneath your feet every corner you turn. It is impossible to step into the Colosseum without feeling the excitement and adrenaline of the games, and you will be just as gripped as you watch young Italians on scooters weaving in and out of the traffic with centimetres to spare, whilst never losing their fashionably ‘cool’ look!
Let all you have heard about Italy’s famous historical figures – her Emperors, her artists and her lovers – come alive as you walk the streets they once walked, visit the buildings and sculptures they created, and immerse yourself in the city that inspired them.
Italy - Ariel view FlorenceItaly - Ariel view Rome
 
 DAY 1 – Arrive in Rome, and transfer to Florence
  • Arriving in Rome, we transfer from the airport to Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance (around 3 hrs by bus).
  • The hotel check-in is followed by an INDAGO staff introduction, program discussion, look at the local currency, maps, etc., ending with a detailed safety briefing and a general Q & A.
  • The afternoon / evening activities program will depend on arrival times.
 
DAY 2 – Florence
  • This morning we visit the spectacular Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, better know as the Duomo. It is the world’s 4th largest cathedral and is certainly the most dominant feature on Florentine skyline. We also take a moment to look at the Baptristry, one of the oldest buildings in Florence and learn about the competition that led to the design of the three great doors, showing the story of humanity and redemption. Doors so extraordinary that years later the great Michelangelo declared them to be fit to be the Gate of Paradise!

Rome - DuomoRome - Duomo insideRome - BaptristryRome - Baptristry inside

  • A climb to the top of the Campanile gives us some spectacular views over Florence, as well as a healthy workout!
  • After lunch we visit the Galleria dell’Accadema to see The David (yes, the great giant-slayer in person), and some other “must see” artistic highlights including The Slaves series of sculptures by Michelango while keeping this fun & student friendly.
  • After the Accedema we learn about the other great Renaissance man, Leonardo Da Vinci. He was a brilliant scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, painter, sculptor, architect, botanist, musician and writer; considered one of the most diversely talented people to have ever lived and without a doubt a true ‘Renaissance Man’. The Leonardo Da Vinci Museum is full of fascinating information on his life, andjammed full of interactive displays and models built directly from his drawings and designs.
  • We then take a fascinating ‘secret itineraries’ tour the Palazzo Vecchio, the traditional seat of the Florentine government that ends on the roof of the palace as the sun sets over the Tuscan hills. Other options this afternoon:
    1) A visit to the Uffizi, one of the world’s great art galleries. Here we can run a guided INDAGO highlights tour, or a more specific tour designed together with the visiting school’s teaching staff prior to arrival.
    2) A visit the spectacular Basilica di Santa Croce, the final resting place of amongst others, Michelango, Machiavelli and Galileo Galilei! And then continue into the Scuola del Cuoio (School of Leather) to see apprentices working away, and shop for a gift or souvenir.

Italy - CampanileItaly - Campanile viewItaly - Campanile view 1Italy - Galleria dell’Accadema

  • Before dinner, if time permits, we take a little R&R in one of the beautiful piazzas or on one of the stunning bridges to soak up a little Florentine atmosphere. The students can work on their workbooks / diary, or if appropriate we can work in a little shopping time to allow everyone to hunt for a souvenir from Florence.
  • Dinner in Florence, before returning to the hotel.

 

DAY 3 – Florence to Rome

  • This morning we head south towards Rome via Siena, one of Italy’s most beautiful cities, located in the very heart of Tuscany.
  • Before lunch we learn the story of St Catherine and visit the Chiesa di San Domenico where some of her remains are kept as holy relics, including her head and finger! We then walk through the famous medieval ‘old town’ for lunch in the beautiful Piazza del Campo, sight of one of the wildest annual horse races imaginable!

Italy - SienaItaly - San-DomenicoItaly - Piazza del Campo re-size

  • After lunch we will either:
    1) Continue towards Rome.
    2) From Florence we head south towards Rome via Assisi, where St Francis renounced his father’s wealth for a life of poverty and chastity and founded Order of the Franciscan Monks.
    3) After lunch, and a visit to the Basilica di San Francesco, we continue towards Rome.
  • Arriving in Rome, we check-in to the hotel, unpack, and head straight into the heart of the city once know as the “caput mundi” (center of the world), with a little time to explore before dinner.

 

DAY 4 – Rome

  • Following a brief history of Rome & Italy we head to the Time Elevator for a “4 dimensional” audio visual tour through the history of Rome!
  • We then head off to see the sights, passing the Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II and Trajan’s Column & Market as we walk down towards the Coliseum.
  • Following lunch near the Coliseum we visit this most famous ancient Roman sight. In this giant amphitheatre that could hold up to 50,000 spectators, blood thirsty Roman’s where kept entertained watching gladiators flight each other, exotic animals, slaves and the odd prisoner sentenced to death, tossed in at lunch time!

Italy - Monumento Vittorio re-sizeItaly - Trajan’s Column & MarketItaly - coliseum

  • Passing by the Arch of Constantine we head to Palantine Hill where Rome was founded and the mythical she-wolf nursed Romulus and Remus. We then visit the Roman Forum where all the key figures of the Republic made their mark, and head up to the Piazza del Campidoglio. Here we discover from where we got the English words ‘money’ and ‘capital’, and learn how a flock of geese once saved the city of Rome!
  • We then walk through the back streets to Campo de Fiori and discover what Caravaggio did hear that forced him to flee Rome! And who is that Darth Vader like statue of in the centre of the piazza, and why was he burnt here at the stake in 1600?
  • Dinner near Campo de Fiori before returning to the hotel.

Italy - arch of constantineItaly - The-Palatine-HillItaly - Roman ForumItaly Piazza CampidoglioItaly - Campo de Fiori

DAY 5 – Rome

  • This morning we head to the world’s smallest sovereign state, Vatican City, and the world’s largest church, St Peter’s Basilica where we briefly join the Wednesday “Papal Audience” (depending on the Popes schedule and ticket availability).
    N.B. we like to join the Papal Audience not because we are on a pilgrimage to Rome, but because we think it is interesting for our student groups to see the Pope. We generally only stay about an hour before heading around the corner to the Vatican Museums, where the lines are usually much smaller during the Wednesday Audience which is important as unlike elsewhere in Rome, within the Vatican groups are unable to book in advance and therefore we are not able to avoid the usual long wait to get in.

Italy - Vatican CityItaly - St Peter's

  • We then head to the Vatican Museum’s. Following lunch, we take our student friendly highlights tour, following the crowds on the one way circuit, through to the Sistine Chapel containing some of the most famous works of art in the world, Michelangelo’s wonderful frescoes on the ceiling and walls.
  • To avoid another long line-up to get into St Peter’s, from the Sistine Chapel we take the ‘guides’ exit that takes us straight into St Peter’s, and avoids the security control, where we head up to the top of the dome for a spectacular view over the city.

Italy - Sistine_ChapelItaly - SaintPetersDomeCeiling

  • After a break for a drink and a snack on the way down from the dome, we look at some of the highlights of St Peter’s Basilica including Pietà by Michelangelo.
  • This evening we head back to the hotel for dinner. With weary legs at this stage of the week, an early return to the hotel is appreciated by all.
  • Following dinner we organise an evening activity to keep the student occupied at the hotel; or the school may prefer that the students have free time, journal time, etc.

 

DAY 6 – Rome

  • On our privately chartered bus, we head out for a guided visit to the Christian Catacombs of Saint Callixtus, which are the largest and most visited of the public catacombs in Rome with over 50 martyrs and 16 of the first popes buried here!

Italy - Catacombs of Saint Callixtus 1Italy - Catacombs of Saint Callixtus 3Italy - Catacombs of Saint Callixtus

  • We also take a walk along the Via Appia Antica (Appian Way), known to ancient Romans as the Queen of Roads, and learn where the saying comes from, “All roads lead to Rome”.
  • Returning to Rome from the Catacombs, we pass by the Therme di Caracalla, the giant thermal baths so popular with the ancient Romans; the Circo Massimo which was ancient Rome’s largest stadium that could hold up to 200,000 spectators to watch chariot races and recreated battles; and the Bocca della Verita where ancient Roman’s placed their hands inside the “mouth of truth”, if they dared?

Italy - AppianItaly Via Appia AnticaItaly - Therme diItaly - Circo MassimoItaly - Bocca della Verita

  • The group will then either:
    1) Students are then split into smaller groups accompanied by an adult member of staff for the Intellectual Scavenger Hunt, to find answers to questions about Rome forcing students into churches (including the Church of Santa Maria della Concezione (Crypt of the Capuchin Monks), the Church of Santa Maria della Scala (Calling of St Mathew, Caravaggio), and the Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria (Ectasy of Santa Theresa, Bernini), and other historical sites, Dan Brown style, with great prizes for the best team!
    OR
    2) A visit to the Galleria Borghese, and the surrounding park. The museum and gallery are widely accepted as the “queen of all private collections” where Cardinal Borghese stopped at nothing to acquire works of art from Caracci, Caravaggio, Bernini, and others.
  • We then head to the famous Spanish Steps before wandering towards dinner along arguably the world’s most beautiful urban stroll via the Trevi Fountain (where we toss in a coin or two!), the Pantheon and Piazza Navona.

Italy - Spanish StepsItaly - TreviItaly - Piazza Navona

DAY 7 – Depart Rome

  • The program today will depend on departure times.