Italy: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 and 2

Travel from Boone to Milan, Italy - All travel costs including international airfare included in program price.

Day 3

In the morning, an opportunity to sleep late and recover from the flight.

Program meeting. Lunch
1pm: Rendezvous with the Tamarillo Active Travel guides for the drive to Parma (2 hours 15).

4pm: Program briefing, and an introduction to Italian language and culture. This session will conclude with the group participating in the customary ‘passeggiata’, the evening stroll around the piazza.

8pm: ‘Welcome to Italy’ dinner at Parma institution Trattoria Corrieri (est. 1801).

Accommodation: Hotel Button, Parma.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 4
9am: A relaxed group bike-ride through Parma’s streets, piazza's and public gardens, with short visits to these quirky cultural gems along the way:

1. ‘la Camera di San Paolo’, a small chapel, elaborately painted by Correggio in the 16th century;
2. ‘l’Antica Spezieria’, an apothecary established by Benedictine monks more than 1000 years ago;
3. ‘il Castello dei Burattini’, a museum of puppetry, an Italian and international tradition dating back to antiquity.

The group will then stop by the Friday morning farmers’ market to purchase local products for a picnic lunch in the park. Continuation of Italian language and culture lessons.

In the afternoon: ‘The Amazingly Interesting Race’. In small teams the students will navigate their way around the old part of town in search of answers to a series of questions on Parma and Italy. Admission tickets will be provided for the Cathedral and Baptistry, and the Galleria Nazionale (National art gallery), home to works by Leonardo da Vinci and other important figures in the history of art. The race’s ultimate objective is to find the location for the group’s evening meal.

Accommodation: 2nd night in Hotel Button, Parma.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 5

Drive to Portovenere (2 hours). Walk from Portovenere to the village of Riomaggiore through a remote and spectacular section of Cinque Terre National Park (4-5 hours). Train to Corniglia (10 minutes). A dinner of typical Cinque Terre dishes at the local restaurant Cecio.

Accommodation: Ostello di Corniglia (hostel),
Cinque Terre National Park.
Meals included: Breakfast and dinner.

Day 6
All day free to explore the trails and villages of Cinque Terre National Park. Discussion of tourism sustainability issues affecting the region.
Accommodation: 2nd night in Ostello di Corniglia.
Meals included: Breakfast.

Day 7

Drive to the Alpi Apuane mountains (1 hour 30). Start of 5-day mountain walk, following alpine trails, staying overnight in rifugi, mountain inns with specialist Italian guide Silvia Malquori, environmental educator and local historian. (Silvia will be with us for the entire time on the trail in the Alpi Apuane, her home mountain range.)

Accommodation: Rifugio #1, the Alpi Apuane mountains.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 8
Second day of the Alpi Apuane mountain walk. Continuation of Italian language and culture lessons; also some background on the historical walking/trade routes of the Alpi Apuane range.

Accommodation: Rifugio #2, the Alpi Apuane mountains.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 9

Third day of the Alpi Apuane mountain walk. Examination of geology of the Alpi Apuane, Carrara marble and it’s place in the history and economy of the region. Environmental impacts to the Alpi Apuane.

Accommodation: Rifugio #3, Alpi Apuane mountains.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 10

Fourth day of the Alpi Apuane walk, finishing in the tiny village of Pruno, and a meal of hearty mountain food at the village’s only restaurant, Il Poveromo.

Accommodation: Ostello la Pania (hostel), Pruno.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 11
Fifth day of the Alpi Apuane mountain walk, from Pruno to lunch in a still-operational 200 year-old chestnut mill.

2pm: Drive to Volterra (2 hours), a hill-top town in the centre of Tuscany.
4.30pm: A 2-hour guided walk with historian Annie Adair, highlighting Volterra’s 3000 years of continuous human habitation. Free evening.

Accommodation: Volterra Youth Hostel (the ancient convent of San Girolamo), Tuscany.
Meals included: Breakfast and lunch.

Day 12

Optional walks within the walled town of Volterra and the surrounding countryside. Opportunity to visit Volterra’s museums and art galleries. Time to catch up on journals, emails, laundry, etc. Dinner at the small, family-run Trattoria da Badó, serving regional, seasonal Volterran cuisine.

Accommodation: 2nd night in the Volterra Youth Hostel, Tuscany.
Meals included: Breakfast and dinner.

Day 13

Breakfast in Volterra, then a drive to the coast (1 hour 30) and ferry ride (1 hour) to the island of Elba. Guest lecture from a representative of the National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago, which encompasses Elba Island, followed by a short hike and a swim in the sea. Dinner at La Vecchia Marina pizzeria.

Accommodation: Hotel Gabbiano Azzurro, Marciana Marina, Elba Island.
Meals included: Breakfast and dinner.

Day 14
A full-day of sea-kayaking, with a beach-picnic and time to swim in the sea.

Accommodation: 2nd night at Hotel Gabbiano Azzurro, Marciana Marina.
Meals included: Breakfast and lunch.

Day 15
A challenging coast-to-coast hike following an historic trail across the most mountainous part of the island. 5pm: Ferry (1 hour) to the Italian mainland, followed by the drive (2 hours) to Florence.

Accommodation: Sanctuary B&B Firenze (guest-house), Florence.
Meals included: Breakfast and lunch.

Day 16

A day in Firenze (Florence), including a visit to either the Palazzo Pitti, a vast and ornate 15th-century palace, or the Uffizi Gallery, one of the most famous museums of paintings and sculpture in the world, home to works by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Caravaggio and many others. (The students will be able to decide which of these options they prefer).
 

5pm: Drive (2 hours) to a working farm with guest accommodation in the Casentino valley. A Tuscan bbq dinner at the farm.


Accommodation: Casale Camalda (organic farm), Casentino Valley.
Meals included: Breakfast and dinner.

Day 17

Guest lecture (topic: the environmental and human history of the Casentino region) from a representative of the National Park of the Casentinese Forests, Monte Falterona & Campigna, followed by a hike and service-learning project under the direction of specialist guide Ennio Dallari.

Wood-fired pizza for dinner at the accommodation, prepared by the students.

Accommodation: 2nd night at Casale Camalda, Casentino Valley.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 18

A full day-hike with specialist guide Ennio Dallari into the Nature Reserve of Sasso Fratino, a highly restricted part of the National Park and one of the rare ‘total’ wilderness areas in Europe, allowed to remain almost completely unchanged since the glaciers retreated. No public access is allowed into this remote valley except for groups going for study purposes.

On the way back to the accommodation, dinner at Ristorante Camaldoli.

Accommodation: 3rd night at Casale Camalda, Casentino Valley.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 19

8.30am: Drive from Casentino Valley to Ravenna (2 hours), the centre of the Roman Empire in the 5th century and home to a unique collection of mosaics and monuments. Admission tickets will be provided for two of the most important sites of that period, the Basilica of San Vitale and the mausoleum of Galla Placida.

3pm: Drive from Ravenna to Venice (2 hours 15). Walk (20 minutes) to the accommodation).

Accommodation: Foresteria Valdese (guest-house), Venice.
Meals included: Breakfast.

Day 20

A day in Venice, with a special focus on Venetian lifestyles and culture, inside and outside the tourism industry. Participants will be provided with a one-day travel card allowing unlimited travel on Venice’s ferry network. Guest lecture from lifelong Venice resident Alberto Belli on contemporary issues affecting Venice and Venetians.

The day will end with a special ‘Arrivederci Italia’ meal in the historic Trattoria da Romano on Burano Island in the Venetian lagoon. 

Accommodation: 2nd night in Foresteria Valdese, Venice.
Meals included: Breakfast, dinner.

Day 21

4.45am: Walk (20 minutes) and drive (20 minutes) to Venice International Airport (VCE) to farewell the Tamarillo Active Travel guides and check-in for the flight back to the USA. 7.30am: International flight departure.

Accommodation: in-flight.
Meals included: None.

 

Contact OP

         

Physical Address:
Student Recreation Center
150 Bodenheimer Drive
Boone, North Carolina 28608

Phone: (828) 262-4077
Fax: (828) 262-3033

A department of UREC in the division of Student Affairs.