Our itineraries reflect 40 years of experience in crafting exceptional educational tours. That means we know exactly how to make the best of your time abroad—incredible destinations, immersive activities, centrally located hotels, and smart, well-traveled tour managers who ensure your educational goals are met. Here are some of the exceptional features of this tour.
We have high standards, which is why we take care to include these features in every tour.
After a busy day, comfort is key.
Save the commuting time, beat the morning crowds and keep right on exploring after dark when your hotel is in the heart of the city.
Delicious, authentic, multi-course dinners at local restaurants with meal times tailored to maximize your experience.
Part guide, part educator, part engineer, part mind-reader, part magician—ACIS Tour Managers are your travel partner.
Never wait hours at the airport to share a transfer with other later groups.
We're so sure you're going to love your tour, we guarantee it!
24/7 on the ground support whenever and wherever you need it.
Participants will have unlimited access to personal headsets so that local guides and ACIS Tour Managers can more easily communicate with the group along the way.
Our tours are designed to help you and your students be in the moment and experience everything the world has to offer.
Unlock the secrets of Italy's culinary arts with a cooking lesson and demonstration held in one of Florence's most historic buildings, just steps from the Palazzo Pitti. Begin with an introduction to Italian cuisine, specifically local Tuscan cooking, and an explanation of what local ingredients are used and why they were selected. The chef will then demonstrate and teach participants how to make the dishes on the day's menu, with the students' assistance at various stages of preparation. Chefs are professionally qualified and currently employed in some of Florence's best restaurants and luxury hotels. Finish off the lesson by sampling the treats you created! Possible dishes include things like Crepes Florentine, Potato Tortelli, Aretina Chicken, stuffed tomatoes, Chocolate cake and Tiramisù.
Creamy, mild, fresh mozzarella is synonymous with Italian cuisine and some of the finest mozzarella di bufala hails from Campania. There are multiple theories on how the water buffalo (sometimes called river buffalo) came to Italy, but references to the use of their milk in the region's notable cheeses appear as early as the 12th century. Enjoy the countryside and tour the barns as you experience a working mozzarella farm. An expert cheese maker will demonstrate how the soft cheese is produced, from ingredients to by-hand preparation methods, before a tasting session.
Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, St. Mark’s Square, St. Peter’s Basilica, Colosseum, Florence Duomo, Doge’s Palace, Sorrento, Mozzarella Farm Demonstration and Tasting, Pompeii, Mt. Vesuvius, Venice, Grand Canal, Accademia, Pizza Making Lesson and Dinner
This itinerary is the starting point for your tour, but it’s not set in stone. If there are days you would like to change, or specific places you’d like to go, we can work with you to create a personalized program that fits the needs of you and your students.
Depart from the USA.
Benvenuti in Italia! Upon arriving in Venice, the Queen of the Adriatic, you'll meet your ACIS Tour Manager and enjoy a fast and fun transfer by private motor launch to your hotel on the Lido. Then you're free to start exploring this magnificent city of canals and palaces with your 48-hour vaporetto transportation pass, which allows you to come and go throughout the city as you please.
Your day begins with a guided sightseeing tour of Venice's highlights. Visit St. Mark's Basilica, which speaks to the rich history of the Catholic church while also representing one of the finest examples of blended Byzantine, Romanesque and Gothic architectures. Entrances are included to both the Pala d'Oro (Golden Altarpiece), which contains the remains of St. Mark, and the Loggia dei Cavalli, which affords a beautiful view of St. Mark's Square. In the afternoon, you're free to explore the city at your own pace, perhaps enriching your faith perspectives with visits to the Santa Maria del Rosario, built to encourage devotion to the rosary, or Santa Maria della Salute, one of the so-called “plague churches,” erected as symbols of thanks for the city's deliverance from the devastating disease.
The morning starts with a drive to Padua to visit the Basilica of St. Anthony, which houses the saint's tomb and is designated by the Holy See as an international shrine, deserving of high veneration. Then continue on to Florence, known as the Cradle of the Renaissance.
Guided sightseeing is the first order of the day as a local expert provides commentary via your personal headsets. Entrance is included inside Brunelleschi's splendid Duomo (formally, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore) and the Baptistry. You'll also see Ghiberti's famous bronze Baptistry Doors, depicting scenes of the Old Testament, and the bustling Piazza della Signoria—the political center of this vibrant Renaissance city. Then breeze by the crowds with your timed entrance to the Accademia, the famous art gallery that houses Michelangelo's masterful sculpture, David. In the afternoon enjoy a
Tuscan cooking lesson where an Italian chef will teach you how to prepare a three-course meal featuring local cuisine. Participants will aid the chef in the preparation and then everyone will enjoy a tasting.
Journey this morning to the hill town of Assisi, one of Italy's most important and popular pilgrimage spots. At the foot of the hill you'll visit the ornately decorated Porziuncola Chapel, where young Francis of Assisi started the Franciscan movement. The roughly 18- by 10-foot chapel is an architectural oddity in that it stands fully inside the nave of the Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli. Then you'll head up into the town of Assisi for another reverential experience: a visit to the Basilica of St. Francis. Built on the slope of Mt. Subasio, you'll see both the upper and lower basilicas as well as have time to reflect at the crypt containing the beloved saint's tomb. Then, on the other side of the town, visit the Basilica of Saint Clare, dedicated to one of his most devoted followers. In the afternoon head south for Sorrento, stopping first just outside the town for a deliciously cheesy activity—a visit to a working farm where a local expert cheese maker demonstrates how their mouth-watering
mozzarella is crafted and provides samples for everyone to taste.
The day begins with a trip to the ruins of Pompeii, a city tragically buried—and left amazingly well-preserved—under up to 20 feet of volcanic ash after Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. See the villas of ancient Roman holiday-makers and the chariot-grooved cobblestone streets. The afternoon takes a happier turn with a ride on the high-speed hydrofoil to jaw-dropping Capri. You'll see firsthand why it's called the Island of Dreams as you take a funicular, or inclined railway, past subtropical gardens and up to the town's charming main square with time for shopping in the artisan stores and sightseeing along its narrow lanes. Later, return to Sorrento.
Drive north to Rome, the Eternal City. In the afternoon our local expert accompanies you first through the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel, which is home to Michelangelo's awe-inspiring ceiling frescoes that primarily depict nine scenes from the Book of Genesis. Then continue into St. Peter's Basilica, considered one of the greatest works of Renaissance architecture as well as one of the holiest Catholic shrines. The best part is that these are timed entrances, meaning you'll breeze right by the long lines facing other tourists.
Your immersion in the Catholic faith and traditions continues this morning on an even deeper level with a private Mass at St. Peter's Basilica. A priest will talk about your school and address the homily, with translation, to the school. One student from your school will do the Gospel reading of the day at the altar. In the afternoon visit the iconic and historic Colosseum with a local guide (another line-avoiding timed reservation) and learn the many stories of this nearly 2,000-year-old Roman landmark that's considered one of the architectural wonders of the ancient world.
Depart for the USA.
Optional Extensions and Extra Nights:
Enhance your experience with an extra night in Rome, including the services of your ACIS Tour Manager and further discovery of sites important to the Catholic faith: the other three of the four major papal Basilicas—St. Mary Major, St. Paul Outside the Walls, and St. John Lateran—plus the ancient Catacombs and the site of St. Paul's martyrdom.
Most Enhanced health coverage, program interruption, baggage delay/loss and travel delay protection while on tour. Plus, enhanced medical/job loss cancellation refund policy
Rate $300Add to Tour
Enhanced health coverage, program interruption, baggage delay/loss and travel delay protection while on tour. Plus, enhanced medical/job loss cancellation refund policy
Rate $250Add to Tour