Hello UK school teachers! If you’re planning a school trip to Italy, you’re in for a real treat. Italy is a beautiful country with a rich history, culture and cuisine. Here are some top tips and destinations to help you plan your trip. We’ve also quizzed our experienced Local Travel Advisors for their tips on school travel to Italy to help you when considering your next school trip:
1. Start Planning Early
It’s obvious, it’s general but it’s essential. We’ve booked a thousand school trips from last minute dashes to years in advance, so we’ve come to know our timings well. We suggest planning at least 6-9 months in advance of your departure date. This can help give people time to research, book and prepare the parents for the event. Researching into the activities can take time due to the process of ensuring the safety of the students and yourself which is why are Travel Advisors take on that responsibility for you and we explain the process of how to book and plan here.
2. Consider Locations
Italy has so many amazing cities and regions to explore, so try to consider a variety of destinations and how they fit into what you’re looking for. Consider visiting major cities like Rome, Florence, and Venice, as well as seaside towns like Naples or Venice. Take a peek for all our Italian Destinations we can help plan for you.
3. Embrace the Culture (and your Subject)
Italy has a rich cultural heritage, so make sure to plan for experiences that will give your students a taste of that culture. For example, you could arrange for a cooking class or a visit to a local market to learn about Italian cuisine. You could also plan visits to museums or historical sites to learn about Italy’s art and history. We would love to help you find how you can weave your subject/s into an amazing Italian experience and have some amazing Destinations by Subjects.
While it’s important to pack your itinerary with exciting activities, it’s also important to allow for some downtime. Italy has a relaxed, laid-back culture, so make sure to plan for some leisurely activities as well. For example, you could plan a day at the beach or a hike in the mountains, or simply allow some free time for students to explore on their own. We can add the flexibility into your Itinerary if you wish to have longer periods of explorations and relaxation for the students. We’ve added some amazing destinations below to help you explore some possible Italian trips
Cultural: Visit the colosseum and the Roman Forum to learn about the ancient Roman society and entertainment.
History: Explore the Vatican City, home to the Catholic Church and centuries of history.
Art: Visit the Borghese Gallery to see works by Bernini, Caravaggio, and other great artists.
Languages: Take an Italian language class to improve communication with locals.
Select Travel Advisor Tip: Our advisors can help arrange a visit to the Appian Way, an ancient road lined with tombs and ruins, and a bike tour to explore the city in a unique way.
“Of the excursions in Rome which sometimes gets overlooked is the Time Elevator – it uses a variety of technologies to take groups back in time to learn more about the history, science, art and nature of this historic city. My groups always speak highly of it!”
“As Rome is a busy capital, keep your bags and phones secure, especially in crowded areas. Only take out money wise what you require for the day. Then if the worse happens you have only lost one day’s money. Dress appropriately, you will not be allowed in churches with bare shoulders and legs. Long shorts are ok, hot pants are not. If you wear a strappy top, take a pashmina in your bag.”
“Students need to expect to do a lot of walking, especially in and around Rome, and a dress code is needed for the Vatican areas.”
“Spanish steps are a must see and the fountain at the base it is great for photo opportunities. City tours are a good idea as there’s so much to see. Right in the heart of the market stalls and shopping area you’ll find Fontana dei Trevi, where your wishes will be granted with a toss of a coin when facing away from it…(across your shoulder). I particularly loved the Colosseum at night, lit up and in all its imposing splendour.”
Cultural: Visit the Uffizi Gallery, one of the most famous art museums in the world, to see works by Michelangelo, Botticelli, and da Vinci.
History: Learn about the powerful Medici family, who ruled Florence for centuries, by visiting their former palace, now the Palazzo Pitti.
Art: See Michelangelo’s iconic sculpture of David at the Galleria dell’Accademia, or visit the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore to see its stunning frescoes and stained glass windows.
Food Technology: Take a gelato-making class to learn about the history and science of Italy’s beloved frozen treat, and taste some of the best gelato in the city at Gelateria dei Neri.
Select Travel Advisor Tip: Our advisors have loved their own times in Florence and the rich history but equally the high tech Enzo Ferrari Museum is great for the Design Technology School Trips looking for inspiration and history.
Culture: Explore the Piazzetta, a lively square filled with restaurants, cafes, and boutique shops.
History: Visit the ruins of Villa Jovis, built by Emperor Tiberius in the 1st century AD, and learn about the island’s ancient past.
Food Technology: Sample the island’s specialty dish, ravioli Capresi, made with local ingredients such as Parmesan cheese and marjoram.
Art: Visit the Axel Munthe House, a museum showcasing the Swedish physician’s art collection and artifacts from his travels.
Languages: Take an Italian language class to communicate effectively with locals and learn more about the island’s culture.
Select Travel Advisor Tip:
“The Island of Capri is magical, pure and simple! The Vatican believe so too, as its property there is of course, in the best position on the island. If you get a chance to walk around the island there is a restaurant right down, hidden in the rocks and is where local fisherman will park up their little boats and hand over their catch of the day. Literally from sea to plate in a matter of minutes.”
“There are churches and small alleys to explore, a small centre and stalls will be tempting with local foods and tourist gifts. The trip over to Capri on the hydrofoil is becoming popular for some of my schools who rarely see the sea!”
8. The Bay of Naples
History: Explore the ancient Roman city of Baiae, once a popular resort town for wealthy Romans.
Cultural: Visit the Royal Palace of Caserta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and former residence of the Bourbon kings of Naples.
Art: Visit the National Archaeological Museum of Naples to see artifacts from Pompeii and Herculaneum, including mosaics and frescoes.
Food Technology: Take a pizza-making class to learn about the history and tradition of Neapolitan pizza.
Select Travel Advisor Tip: Our advisors highly recommend this for a great trip for culture and art.
“The Castle ruins on the old port of Naples holds a wealth of historical importance for this old trading city. It also homes one of the best Pizzeria’s in the world! In the city of Naples be aware of possessions as pickpocketing can be an issue. A city of great naval importance in Italian history (like many big coastal cities, Genoa etc) it has left its mark in the rich architecture. There are underground Naples tours which are fascinating and really worth consideration.”
Cultural: Take a gondola ride and learn about the city’s unique transportation system.
History: Visit the Doge’s Palace, once the centre of Venetian political power.
Art: Explore the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, featuring modern and contemporary art.
Languages: Take an Italian language class to improve communication with locals.
Select Travel Advisor Tip: Our advisors can help arrange a visit to Galleria Dell’Academia, known for its world renound art.
“Escape the crowds when visiting Venice, why not stay in Lido di Jesolo which is best for trips on a tight budget. Take a lovely ride with spectacular views on the Vaporetto from Punta Sabbioni into Venice for your day excursions.”
“One of the most surreal and unique places I’ve ever visited and I’ve seen quite a bit! If not only for its endless beauty, within the architecture and maze of tiny streets, hidden between the grandeur of rich merchant homes of days gone by. The city is truly a must see destination. For it will not be with us long. (It is sinking, so now is your chance.) This is an incredible destination for art, art history, architecture, and history students.”
Cultural: Visit the Valley of the Temples to see some of the best-preserved ancient Greek ruins in the world History: Learn about the island’s rich history, including its Phoenician, Greek, Roman, and Arab influences.
Art: Explore the Cathedral of Monreale, famous for its stunning mosaics.
Food Technology: Take a cooking class to learn about Sicilian cuisine, which combines Italian and Mediterranean flavours.
Select School Travel Advisor Tip: Our Travel Advisors can help personalise your trip based on your subject preference.
11. General Advisors Tips (because we’re so nice ????)
“My highlights are to visit Vesuvius and Capri. Groups often find paying extra for a boat trip around the island of Capri is a worthwhile and truly memorable experience. For evening activities pizza making is great fun!”
“The idea of twin centres is always popular and worth considering Rome and Bay of Naples or Sorrento and Bay of Naples. Pompeii, Herculaneum and Vesuvius all work well for a variety of subjects including history, geography and food technology.”
“Students tend to love the recognisable food menus of Italy and there is always something for everyone. Sunscreen and caps are important to take in the summer months and they need to made aware of possible pick pocketing in the popular regions.”
We hope you’ve found the tips useful. If you are interested in talking to your local travel advisor, you can find their contact details here, or you can view our example itineraries and further details on trips to Italy here.