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Italy Adventure 18Our tour took us to Rome, Sorrento and Capri. We were able to see the highlighted history of ancient Rome in the ruins of the city. Our students were also able to see Rome as it is today, as a major world city in art, finance and culture. We then went to the Amalfi Coast and saw a more upscale version of Italy. The island of Capri is breathtaking in it's beauty. My students found this to be the highlight of the trip. The quiet we found in our seaside hotel along the Amalfi coast was amazing and a steep contrast to the city. The experiences my students took away from this trip are ones that they will cherish for a lifetime. Many of them had traveled extensively before, however not with other students. The process of traveling as a group lends itself to making new bonds and friendships, shared experiences that only a trip like this can give. I hope all students can take at least one trip like this somewhere once in their lifetime. It is was a wonderful experience for the kids.
History, Art, Religion, and BeautyThis was an excellent tour! Perfect balance of history (from Ancient Rome to the Renaissance to World War II), art (ancient, baroque, and modern), religion, and beauty. Plenty to do and see. So many new experiences. A nice look at Italian culture and city/seaside life without a lot of time spent traveling. Offers something for everyone. Students and parents alike enjoyed the adventure.
Amazing!The trip was awesome. We saw the touristy sites in Rome and Pompeii. We had free time in Sorrento, which is a great place to walk around. Capri was beautiful. The meals were filling and very tasty. The hotel rooms were clean but small. We walked about 6 miles a day! Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and caring. She was awesome! We felt very safe the entire trip.
Ciao Italia!There is something new to learn every minute! So many interesting things to both see and do - a total experience of both ancient and modern Italian culture and everything in between.
The highlights for me and my students were making our own pasta then enjoying it, the Vatican, Pompeii, Ostia Antica, the Colosseum, the boat trip around Capri, and climbing Vesuvius. All the guides were informative -- some more engaging than others.
Amazing Experience!This tour was amazing! From start to finish, my students had a great time! We were lucky to have the same tour director from my previous trip. She gets along with middle school students. You know you have a great trip when you don't realize where the time has gone. That was our experience.
When people ask me what the best thing about the trip was, I tell them its when all the students saw the ancient buildings for the first time and their jaw dropped. Seeing the children experience something brand new for the first time was the best thing about the trip.... that or the food...
If you do a tour to Italy, I highly recommend upgrading your meals. With that upgrade, we had 3-4 course meals every night at an Italian restaurant, not a hotel.
An opportunity to growTaking this trip allowed both me and my students to grow in ways I was not expecting. Each of the students gained a sense of maturity and personal responsibility. I gained a better sense of trust in not only my students but in the world around me. This trip greatly impacted the way I will be teaching in the future.
Not a Great ExperienceThe tour guide did not stick to the itenary
I paid for Rome by night that did not happen, will we get a refund??
Dinner was included but the guide took us to resturaunts that were either not on the list or he worked out a deal for kick backs, and I had to pay for my dinners. Will EF tours refund monies paid in advance for dinner???
Pompei - no time to visit
Too many churches
Rooms small and cramped
Great Trip - Some Challenges...OVERALL:
The days were jammed packed with interesting tours, good food and lots of walking. The day we did the Colosseum and the Forum we covered almost 10 miles and did over 20,000 steps. I was very glad to have packed 4 different shoe/sandal options...
Be prepared for at least 5 miles a day, every day.
In all fairness, the 95+ degree weather for 11 straight days definatly put an unanticipated damper on everyone's experience making constant hydration a must.
We anticipated not eating at 5 Star restaurants; we had 3 straight dinner meals at 3 different hotels of the same pork and potatoes dish as the night before. It was uncanny how much they were alike, it was like eating the same dish at the same fast food franchise every night!
Skip any sack lunches and find a Cafe on your own if at all possible - you'll be paying for lunch either way. These places were more expensive but had fantastic food and made up for the mediocre dinner and continental breakfast fare at the hotel.
Overall the guides were excellent and knowledgable, the optional walking tours are not to be missed. Having venue reservations made all the difference with not having to stand in the very long lines walk up travelers experienced.
We did have two local guides that were difficult to understand that blew through the Vatican and Pompeii. There was a disconnect in communication between our group leader, our tour guide and EF Tours - I'm sure the overall experience varies significantly from guide to guide so your trip experience may vary.
Towards the end of our trip we had a day that had nothing planned... Our trip leader had to insist we visit Siena on our way to Florence; that side trip was on our itinerary but was going to be skipped by our guide as they had not planned anything there.
Expect 3 Star Hotels that are not located even close to the venues you'll be visiting. We typically drove between an hour and an hour and a half to reach our first tour of the day. This made for unnecessary very long days and extra time on the bus.
Each hotel had very firm beds, super small showers and sketchy WiFi that was sometimes only available in the lobby. Forget about streaming any online content, e-mail and social media were about it on a good day.
It was a great trip that I would certainly do again, the classic phrase "you get what you pay for" certainly applies here. We didn't even get frequent flyer miles on our flights booked by EF Tours.
Read all the pre-trip literature, expect some language and cultural barriers even if they speak fluent english then go with appropriate expectations. Good Luck!
Roma ruinsLoved seeing Pompeii and the Roman colosseum. The catacombs were really neat too. Work was beautiful and relaxing. I enjoyed swimming in the sea
Amazing experienceGoing to Rome was an amazing experience. Experiencing the art, culture and the history of this beautiful country is something that I will never forget and believe everyone should go and live it.