A Sunset - Trips to Israel
SUMMER EXPERIENCES

Italy Discovery

Spend two glorious weeks discovering the history and culture in beautiful Italy — and embrace your adventurous spirit in the lush highlands of Slovenia.

  • At a Glance

    14 DAYS | GRADES: 9th - 12th

    Community Service: N/A
    Location: Italy & Slovenia

  • 2018 Dates & Costs

    • Call for Availability
    • Available

    LAND COST: $3,950


    SUPERVISED FLIGHT: ~$1,100

  • Included:

    • Accommodations (hotels)
    • All meals 
    • All programming 
    • Deluxe motorcoach
    • Medical insurance
    • Gratuity for program staff
  • Learn More:

Italy Discovery is a well-balanced combination of must-see touring, eye-opening Jewish experiences, and a unique opportunity to forge friendships with fellow Jewish teens in one of the world's most beautiful regions.

Journey back in time and explore the origins of our Western Civilization in the Italian cities of Rome, Florence, Venice, Pisa, Milan, Bologna, and Verona. And then for a change of pace (and climate), travel deep into the mountainous reaches of Slovenia where you'll canoe on a glacial lake, raft down a roaring river, explore a massive network of underground caves and enjoy the crisp alpine air hiking in the Slovenian highlands.

As a Jewish travel experience, Italy Discovery is also about retracing the 2,000+ year history of continuous Jewish life in Italy. You'll find out what it meant to be Jewish during the Roman Empire, you'll contemplate the enduring mystery embodied in the Arch of Titus, and you'll explore the world's original ghetto in Venice. 
 

Program Highlights

For a more detailed view of the program, check out the Program Itinerary

 

Navigate the canals and waterways of old Venice by gondola
Marvel at the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Explore the Tuscan countryside and the beauty of the Italian Alps
Take in the high art of Florence, home to Michelangelo, Da Vinci & Dante
Explore the treasures of the Vatican and the Jewish Quarter in Rome
Pay homage to the Roman Empire, visiting the Colosseum, Pantheon and Forum Romanum
Raft the Soca River, trek in Postojna Cave and enjoy Slovenia's glacial Lake Bled
Test your problem solving skills as you decipher codes in the Escape Room
Channel your inner warrior while taking part in a gladiator-for-a-day class
Learn how traditional Italian pastas, gelato and glass are made
Scale Mt. Vesuvius, and visit the lost city of Pompeii
Connect with Italy's fascinating Jewish history and enduring Jewish communities

Itinerary Snapshot

A complete sample itinerary is available for an even fuller sense of the experience.

WEEK #1 | Milan, Verona & Venice

Arrive to Italy, and the journey begins in stylish Milan. Explore Verona, home of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, before arriving to Venice where you'll learn how traditional Venetian glass is made, luxuriate on the beaches of the Adriatic, experience the novelty of traveling by gondola and spend a special Shabbat in the historic Jewish Ghetto district.

WEEK #2 | Slovenia, Florence, Pisa & Rome

Our second week begins in the alpine mountains of Slovenia where you'll raft, canoe, hike and go caving in the European back country. Head back into Italy and travel through the Tuscan countryside and onto Florence and Pisa. We conclude our experience in Rome, a city that is both ancient and stunningly modern, with visits to the Coliseum, the Pantheon, the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican and a day trip to Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius – Europe's only active volcano.

We have provided the following sample itinerary to give you a better feel for this experience, including the types of accommodations we use. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary is distributed 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the program.

DAY #1 | Tuesday | Take Off!

  • Depart from New York City on a supervised group flight (optional)
  • Spend the night in the sky en route to Europe

DAY #2 | Wednesday | Lake Maggiore

  • Arrive to Italy’s Milan Airport in the morning
  • Meet our local staff and travel to Lake Maggiore
  • Explore this picturesque region at the base of the Italian Alps
  • Overnight: Lake Maggiore, Italy

DAY #3 | Thursday | Venice’s Ghetto Origins

  • Wake up and smell the fresh alpine air before departing for Venice
  • Stop to swoon under the balcony of “Juliet’s House” in Verona
  • Say goodbye to our bus and enter the water-filled streets of the Venice old city
  • Learn about the Venetian history of the word “ghetto” at the Jewish Museum
  • Wander through the historic Jewish Quarter and navigate Venice via traditional gondolas
  • Overnight: Kosher House Giardino dei Melograni – Venice, Italy

DAY #4 | Friday | The Waterways of Venice

  • Set sail for the islands of Murano and Burano
  • Experience a traditional Venetian glass-making factory
  • Travel to Lido Island and enjoy beach time and swimming in the Adriatic Sea
  • Return to the main island of Venice and prepare for Shabbat
  • Attend Kabbalat Shabbat services at the Spanish Synagogue in the Venice Ghetto
  • Learn about the contemporary Jewish community of Venice over a traditional Shabbat dinner
  • Overnight: Kosher House Giardino dei Melograni – Venice, Italy

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat in Venice

  • Shabbat morning program and lunch with the Jewish community
  • Venice on foot! – Explore Piazza San Marco, including the Basilica and Ducale Palace
  • Evening: Group night out on the town in Venice
  • Overnight: Kosher House Giardino dei Melograni – Venice, Italy

DAY #6 | Sunday | Rafting in Slovenia

  • Depart Venice in the morning and set off for the Slovenian backcountry
  • White water rafting down the Soca – One of Europe’s most beautiful rivers!
  • Travel through the Slovenian mountains to Lake Bled deep in the Slovenian mountains
  • Overnight: Hotel Ribno – Bled, Slovenia

DAY #7 | Monday | Adventures in the Backcountry

  • Take a boat ride to tiny Bled Island in the middle of the crystal blue lake
  • Make a wish! Ring the island’s legendary wishing bell
  • Visit Ljubljana – Slovenia’s capital – Take in the views from a castle towering over the city
  • Test out your problem solving skills as you decipher codes in the Escape Room
  • Overnight: Hotel Ribno – Bled, Slovenia

DAY #8 | Tuesday | The Italian Countryside

  • Cool off navigating underground through the Postojna cave system
  • Cross back into Italy and travel towards Florence via the Tuscan countryside
  • Stop in Bologna – Explore the city and visit the Gelato Museum for a tour and tasting!
  • Arrive to the Florence region and check-in to our accommodations
  • Overnight: Grand Hotel Nizza et Suisse – Montecatini, Italy

DAY #9 | Wednesday | Florence, Italy

  • Discover the art of making fresh Italian pasta at Pastificio Fabbri
  • Explore Florence – the Duomo, Piazza San Lorenzo and the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge)
  • Climb to the top of the Campanile Tower for a stunning panoramic view of Florence
  • The Art of Florence – View Michelangelo’s David Statue at the Galleria dell'Accademia
  • Tour the Great Synagogue – One of the world’s most beautiful synagogues
  • Depart to Montecatini
  • Overnight: Grand Hotel Nizza et Suisse – Montecatini, Italy

DAY #10 | Thursday | Pisa, Italy

  • Travel to Pisa – Climb the leaning Tower of Pisa and explore the Square of Miracles
  • Travel south along the coast towards Rome
  • Get oriented to the seven hills of Rome from Palatine Hill
  • Recount the legend of Romulus and Remus –the founding story of Rome
  • Channel your inner warrior taking part in a “Gladiator for a Day” training
  • Check-in to our central Rome accommodations
  • Overnight: Hotel Nord Nuova – Rome, Italy

DAY #11 | Friday | The Ancient Empire of Rome!

  • Walk in the footsteps of the Roman Empire at the Coliseum and the Forum Romanum
  • Explore Vatican City in the heart of Rome – St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Sistine Chapel
  • Stand beside the massive Arch of Titus and view a depiction of the Temple Menorah that is believed to have been carried off to Rome from the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE
  • Evening: Kabbalat Shabbat services and dinner at the Oratorio di Castro Synagogue
  • Overnight: Hotel Nord Nuova – Rome, Italy

DAY #12 | Saturday | Shabbat in Rome

  • Shabbat programming and lunch
  • Walking tour of Rome’s Jewish Quarter – The oldest continually settled Jewish community outside Israel
  • Continue exploring Rome on foot – stop at the Pantheon Temple and Fontana di Trevi
  • Overnight: Hotel Nord Nuova – Rome, Italy

DAY #13 | Sunday | Pompeii & Mt. Vesuvius

  • Guided tour of Pompeii – The preserved ancient Roman city
  • Drive up to Mount Vesuvius and peer into the volcano’s crater
  • Return to Rome in the evening for a final dinner party and group session
  • Overnight: Ostia Antica Park Hotel – Rome, Italy

DAY #14 | Monday | Ciao Italy!

  • Depart from Rome on a supervised group flight in the morning (optional)
  • Arrive back to New York City in the afternoon

 

You have questions? We've got answers! Our most frequently asked questions for this program are answered below. Additional program-wide FAQs are also available. Contact us to learn more.

How will my teen travel to the program?
An optional group flight is offered – typically from New York City. In some cases a group flight may also depart from Newark, Atlanta, Boston, or Miami. You are responsible for your transportation to the group flight departure city. Flight arrangements will be released in the spring. Families are also able to book their own tickets that mimic the group flight itinerary or book separate flight itineraries entirely and make arrangements to meet our staff in Europe. Learn more about our group flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
We stay in a variety of 3-star hotels, and each teen will have their own sleeping accommodations.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors), a local European tour leader, and a bus driver. Staff names are posted approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure, and you can expect a staff welcome call in the lead up to summer. Learn more about our staff team.

What's the summer weather like?
The weather throughout Italy and Slovenia is a typical Mediterranean climate – dry heat, cool evenings, and little to no rain. Temperatures will typically be in the 80s and 90s. Because of the dry nature of the heat in the Mediterranean, the sun is deceptively strong, and you should plan to bring plenty of sunscreen and a good hat for outdoor touring.

How do you approach security?
The safety of the teens under our care is our guiding consideration. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety & security.

What's the typical group size?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in Europe is 30 teens.

What's the food like?
Meals will be either kosher or vegetarian. Some meals will be provided according to the “pizur” system – an allowance for purchasing your own meal at a local eatery. Participants can buy whatever food they wish with pizur funds. Europe draws travelers from all over the world, so there is a wide range of cuisine available.

Will I need a visa?
If you travel with an American, Canadian, or EU passport – good news! – you don’t need a visa to enter any of the European countries we visit. 

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

BBYO makes it easy to combine two experiences for an extended summer of adventure, learning and self-discovery. 

Supervised Connections

Connecting travel arrangements are available between programs, and staff supervision is provided during the connection. Learn more about how connections work here
 

Italy Discovery is a well-balanced combination of must-see touring, eye-opening Jewish experiences, and a unique opportunity to forge friendships with fellow Jewish teens in one of the world's most beautiful regions.

Journey back in time and explore the origins of our Western Civilization in the Italian cities of Rome, Florence, Venice, Pisa, Milan, Bologna, and Verona. And then for a change of pace (and climate), travel deep into the mountainous reaches of Slovenia where you'll canoe on a glacial lake, raft down a roaring river, explore a massive network of underground caves and enjoy the crisp alpine air hiking in the Slovenian highlands.

As a Jewish travel experience, Italy Discovery is also about retracing the 2,000+ year history of continuous Jewish life in Italy. You'll find out what it meant to be Jewish during the Roman Empire, you'll contemplate the enduring mystery embodied in the Arch of Titus, and you'll explore the world's original ghetto in Venice. 
 

Program Highlights

For a more detailed view of the program, check out the Program Itinerary

 

Navigate the canals and waterways of old Venice by gondola
Marvel at the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Explore the Tuscan countryside and the beauty of the Italian Alps
Take in the high art of Florence, home to Michelangelo, Da Vinci & Dante
Explore the treasures of the Vatican and the Jewish Quarter in Rome
Pay homage to the Roman Empire, visiting the Colosseum, Pantheon and Forum Romanum
Raft the Soca River, trek in Postojna Cave and enjoy Slovenia's glacial Lake Bled
Test your problem solving skills as you decipher codes in the Escape Room
Channel your inner warrior while taking part in a gladiator-for-a-day class
Learn how traditional Italian pastas, gelato and glass are made
Scale Mt. Vesuvius, and visit the lost city of Pompeii
Connect with Italy's fascinating Jewish history and enduring Jewish communities

Itinerary Snapshot

A complete sample itinerary is available for an even fuller sense of the experience.

WEEK #1 | Milan, Verona & Venice

Arrive to Italy, and the journey begins in stylish Milan. Explore Verona, home of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, before arriving to Venice where you'll learn how traditional Venetian glass is made, luxuriate on the beaches of the Adriatic, experience the novelty of traveling by gondola and spend a special Shabbat in the historic Jewish Ghetto district.

WEEK #2 | Slovenia, Florence, Pisa & Rome

Our second week begins in the alpine mountains of Slovenia where you'll raft, canoe, hike and go caving in the European back country. Head back into Italy and travel through the Tuscan countryside and onto Florence and Pisa. We conclude our experience in Rome, a city that is both ancient and stunningly modern, with visits to the Coliseum, the Pantheon, the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican and a day trip to Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius – Europe's only active volcano.

We have provided the following sample itinerary to give you a better feel for this experience, including the types of accommodations we use. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary is distributed 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the program.

DAY #1 | Tuesday | Take Off!

  • Depart from New York City on a supervised group flight (optional)
  • Spend the night in the sky en route to Europe

DAY #2 | Wednesday | Lake Maggiore

  • Arrive to Italy’s Milan Airport in the morning
  • Meet our local staff and travel to Lake Maggiore
  • Explore this picturesque region at the base of the Italian Alps
  • Overnight: Lake Maggiore, Italy

DAY #3 | Thursday | Venice’s Ghetto Origins

  • Wake up and smell the fresh alpine air before departing for Venice
  • Stop to swoon under the balcony of “Juliet’s House” in Verona
  • Say goodbye to our bus and enter the water-filled streets of the Venice old city
  • Learn about the Venetian history of the word “ghetto” at the Jewish Museum
  • Wander through the historic Jewish Quarter and navigate Venice via traditional gondolas
  • Overnight: Kosher House Giardino dei Melograni – Venice, Italy

DAY #4 | Friday | The Waterways of Venice

  • Set sail for the islands of Murano and Burano
  • Experience a traditional Venetian glass-making factory
  • Travel to Lido Island and enjoy beach time and swimming in the Adriatic Sea
  • Return to the main island of Venice and prepare for Shabbat
  • Attend Kabbalat Shabbat services at the Spanish Synagogue in the Venice Ghetto
  • Learn about the contemporary Jewish community of Venice over a traditional Shabbat dinner
  • Overnight: Kosher House Giardino dei Melograni – Venice, Italy

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat in Venice

  • Shabbat morning program and lunch with the Jewish community
  • Venice on foot! – Explore Piazza San Marco, including the Basilica and Ducale Palace
  • Evening: Group night out on the town in Venice
  • Overnight: Kosher House Giardino dei Melograni – Venice, Italy

DAY #6 | Sunday | Rafting in Slovenia

  • Depart Venice in the morning and set off for the Slovenian backcountry
  • White water rafting down the Soca – One of Europe’s most beautiful rivers!
  • Travel through the Slovenian mountains to Lake Bled deep in the Slovenian mountains
  • Overnight: Hotel Ribno – Bled, Slovenia

DAY #7 | Monday | Adventures in the Backcountry

  • Take a boat ride to tiny Bled Island in the middle of the crystal blue lake
  • Make a wish! Ring the island’s legendary wishing bell
  • Visit Ljubljana – Slovenia’s capital – Take in the views from a castle towering over the city
  • Test out your problem solving skills as you decipher codes in the Escape Room
  • Overnight: Hotel Ribno – Bled, Slovenia

DAY #8 | Tuesday | The Italian Countryside

  • Cool off navigating underground through the Postojna cave system
  • Cross back into Italy and travel towards Florence via the Tuscan countryside
  • Stop in Bologna – Explore the city and visit the Gelato Museum for a tour and tasting!
  • Arrive to the Florence region and check-in to our accommodations
  • Overnight: Grand Hotel Nizza et Suisse – Montecatini, Italy

DAY #9 | Wednesday | Florence, Italy

  • Discover the art of making fresh Italian pasta at Pastificio Fabbri
  • Explore Florence – the Duomo, Piazza San Lorenzo and the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge)
  • Climb to the top of the Campanile Tower for a stunning panoramic view of Florence
  • The Art of Florence – View Michelangelo’s David Statue at the Galleria dell'Accademia
  • Tour the Great Synagogue – One of the world’s most beautiful synagogues
  • Depart to Montecatini
  • Overnight: Grand Hotel Nizza et Suisse – Montecatini, Italy

DAY #10 | Thursday | Pisa, Italy

  • Travel to Pisa – Climb the leaning Tower of Pisa and explore the Square of Miracles
  • Travel south along the coast towards Rome
  • Get oriented to the seven hills of Rome from Palatine Hill
  • Recount the legend of Romulus and Remus –the founding story of Rome
  • Channel your inner warrior taking part in a “Gladiator for a Day” training
  • Check-in to our central Rome accommodations
  • Overnight: Hotel Nord Nuova – Rome, Italy

DAY #11 | Friday | The Ancient Empire of Rome!

  • Walk in the footsteps of the Roman Empire at the Coliseum and the Forum Romanum
  • Explore Vatican City in the heart of Rome – St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Sistine Chapel
  • Stand beside the massive Arch of Titus and view a depiction of the Temple Menorah that is believed to have been carried off to Rome from the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE
  • Evening: Kabbalat Shabbat services and dinner at the Oratorio di Castro Synagogue
  • Overnight: Hotel Nord Nuova – Rome, Italy

DAY #12 | Saturday | Shabbat in Rome

  • Shabbat programming and lunch
  • Walking tour of Rome’s Jewish Quarter – The oldest continually settled Jewish community outside Israel
  • Continue exploring Rome on foot – stop at the Pantheon Temple and Fontana di Trevi
  • Overnight: Hotel Nord Nuova – Rome, Italy

DAY #13 | Sunday | Pompeii & Mt. Vesuvius

  • Guided tour of Pompeii – The preserved ancient Roman city
  • Drive up to Mount Vesuvius and peer into the volcano’s crater
  • Return to Rome in the evening for a final dinner party and group session
  • Overnight: Ostia Antica Park Hotel – Rome, Italy

DAY #14 | Monday | Ciao Italy!

  • Depart from Rome on a supervised group flight in the morning (optional)
  • Arrive back to New York City in the afternoon

 

You have questions? We've got answers! Our most frequently asked questions for this program are answered below. Additional program-wide FAQs are also available. Contact us to learn more.

How will my teen travel to the program?
An optional group flight is offered – typically from New York City. In some cases a group flight may also depart from Newark, Atlanta, Boston, or Miami. You are responsible for your transportation to the group flight departure city. Flight arrangements will be released in the spring. Families are also able to book their own tickets that mimic the group flight itinerary or book separate flight itineraries entirely and make arrangements to meet our staff in Europe. Learn more about our group flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
We stay in a variety of 3-star hotels, and each teen will have their own sleeping accommodations.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors), a local European tour leader, and a bus driver. Staff names are posted approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure, and you can expect a staff welcome call in the lead up to summer. Learn more about our staff team.

What's the summer weather like?
The weather throughout Italy and Slovenia is a typical Mediterranean climate – dry heat, cool evenings, and little to no rain. Temperatures will typically be in the 80s and 90s. Because of the dry nature of the heat in the Mediterranean, the sun is deceptively strong, and you should plan to bring plenty of sunscreen and a good hat for outdoor touring.

How do you approach security?
The safety of the teens under our care is our guiding consideration. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety & security.

What's the typical group size?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in Europe is 30 teens.

What's the food like?
Meals will be either kosher or vegetarian. Some meals will be provided according to the “pizur” system – an allowance for purchasing your own meal at a local eatery. Participants can buy whatever food they wish with pizur funds. Europe draws travelers from all over the world, so there is a wide range of cuisine available.

Will I need a visa?
If you travel with an American, Canadian, or EU passport – good news! – you don’t need a visa to enter any of the European countries we visit. 

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

BBYO makes it easy to combine two experiences for an extended summer of adventure, learning and self-discovery. 

Supervised Connections

Connecting travel arrangements are available between programs, and staff supervision is provided during the connection. Learn more about how connections work here
 

Italy Discovery

Spend two glorious weeks discovering the history and culture in beautiful Italy — and embrace your adventurous spirit in the lush highlands of Slovenia.

Italy Discovery

Spend two glorious weeks discovering the history and culture in beautiful Italy — and embrace your adventurous spirit in the lush highlands of Slovenia.

  • At a Glance

    14 DAYS | GRADES: 9th - 12th

    Community Service: N/A
    Location: Italy & Slovenia

  • 2018 Dates & Costs

    • Call for Availability
    • Available

    LAND COST: $3,950


    SUPERVISED FLIGHT: ~$1,100

  • Included:

    • Accommodations (hotels)
    • All meals 
    • All programming 
    • Deluxe motorcoach
    • Medical insurance
    • Gratuity for program staff
  • Learn More:

Italy Discovery is a well-balanced combination of must-see touring, eye-opening Jewish experiences, and a unique opportunity to forge friendships with fellow Jewish teens in one of the world's most beautiful regions.

Journey back in time and explore the origins of our Western Civilization in the Italian cities of Rome, Florence, Venice, Pisa, Milan, Bologna, and Verona. And then for a change of pace (and climate), travel deep into the mountainous reaches of Slovenia where you'll canoe on a glacial lake, raft down a roaring river, explore a massive network of underground caves and enjoy the crisp alpine air hiking in the Slovenian highlands.

As a Jewish travel experience, Italy Discovery is also about retracing the 2,000+ year history of continuous Jewish life in Italy. You'll find out what it meant to be Jewish during the Roman Empire, you'll contemplate the enduring mystery embodied in the Arch of Titus, and you'll explore the world's original ghetto in Venice. 
 

Program Highlights

For a more detailed view of the program, check out the Program Itinerary

 

Navigate the canals and waterways of old Venice by gondola
Marvel at the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Explore the Tuscan countryside and the beauty of the Italian Alps
Take in the high art of Florence, home to Michelangelo, Da Vinci & Dante
Explore the treasures of the Vatican and the Jewish Quarter in Rome
Pay homage to the Roman Empire, visiting the Colosseum, Pantheon and Forum Romanum
Raft the Soca River, trek in Postojna Cave and enjoy Slovenia's glacial Lake Bled
Test your problem solving skills as you decipher codes in the Escape Room
Channel your inner warrior while taking part in a gladiator-for-a-day class
Learn how traditional Italian pastas, gelato and glass are made
Scale Mt. Vesuvius, and visit the lost city of Pompeii
Connect with Italy's fascinating Jewish history and enduring Jewish communities

Itinerary Snapshot

A complete sample itinerary is available for an even fuller sense of the experience.

WEEK #1 | Milan, Verona & Venice

Arrive to Italy, and the journey begins in stylish Milan. Explore Verona, home of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, before arriving to Venice where you'll learn how traditional Venetian glass is made, luxuriate on the beaches of the Adriatic, experience the novelty of traveling by gondola and spend a special Shabbat in the historic Jewish Ghetto district.

WEEK #2 | Slovenia, Florence, Pisa & Rome

Our second week begins in the alpine mountains of Slovenia where you'll raft, canoe, hike and go caving in the European back country. Head back into Italy and travel through the Tuscan countryside and onto Florence and Pisa. We conclude our experience in Rome, a city that is both ancient and stunningly modern, with visits to the Coliseum, the Pantheon, the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican and a day trip to Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius – Europe's only active volcano.

We have provided the following sample itinerary to give you a better feel for this experience, including the types of accommodations we use. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary is distributed 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the program.

DAY #1 | Tuesday | Take Off!

  • Depart from New York City on a supervised group flight (optional)
  • Spend the night in the sky en route to Europe

DAY #2 | Wednesday | Lake Maggiore

  • Arrive to Italy’s Milan Airport in the morning
  • Meet our local staff and travel to Lake Maggiore
  • Explore this picturesque region at the base of the Italian Alps
  • Overnight: Lake Maggiore, Italy

DAY #3 | Thursday | Venice’s Ghetto Origins

  • Wake up and smell the fresh alpine air before departing for Venice
  • Stop to swoon under the balcony of “Juliet’s House” in Verona
  • Say goodbye to our bus and enter the water-filled streets of the Venice old city
  • Learn about the Venetian history of the word “ghetto” at the Jewish Museum
  • Wander through the historic Jewish Quarter and navigate Venice via traditional gondolas
  • Overnight: Kosher House Giardino dei Melograni – Venice, Italy

DAY #4 | Friday | The Waterways of Venice

  • Set sail for the islands of Murano and Burano
  • Experience a traditional Venetian glass-making factory
  • Travel to Lido Island and enjoy beach time and swimming in the Adriatic Sea
  • Return to the main island of Venice and prepare for Shabbat
  • Attend Kabbalat Shabbat services at the Spanish Synagogue in the Venice Ghetto
  • Learn about the contemporary Jewish community of Venice over a traditional Shabbat dinner
  • Overnight: Kosher House Giardino dei Melograni – Venice, Italy

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat in Venice

  • Shabbat morning program and lunch with the Jewish community
  • Venice on foot! – Explore Piazza San Marco, including the Basilica and Ducale Palace
  • Evening: Group night out on the town in Venice
  • Overnight: Kosher House Giardino dei Melograni – Venice, Italy

DAY #6 | Sunday | Rafting in Slovenia

  • Depart Venice in the morning and set off for the Slovenian backcountry
  • White water rafting down the Soca – One of Europe’s most beautiful rivers!
  • Travel through the Slovenian mountains to Lake Bled deep in the Slovenian mountains
  • Overnight: Hotel Ribno – Bled, Slovenia

DAY #7 | Monday | Adventures in the Backcountry

  • Take a boat ride to tiny Bled Island in the middle of the crystal blue lake
  • Make a wish! Ring the island’s legendary wishing bell
  • Visit Ljubljana – Slovenia’s capital – Take in the views from a castle towering over the city
  • Test out your problem solving skills as you decipher codes in the Escape Room
  • Overnight: Hotel Ribno – Bled, Slovenia

DAY #8 | Tuesday | The Italian Countryside

  • Cool off navigating underground through the Postojna cave system
  • Cross back into Italy and travel towards Florence via the Tuscan countryside
  • Stop in Bologna – Explore the city and visit the Gelato Museum for a tour and tasting!
  • Arrive to the Florence region and check-in to our accommodations
  • Overnight: Grand Hotel Nizza et Suisse – Montecatini, Italy

DAY #9 | Wednesday | Florence, Italy

  • Discover the art of making fresh Italian pasta at Pastificio Fabbri
  • Explore Florence – the Duomo, Piazza San Lorenzo and the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge)
  • Climb to the top of the Campanile Tower for a stunning panoramic view of Florence
  • The Art of Florence – View Michelangelo’s David Statue at the Galleria dell'Accademia
  • Tour the Great Synagogue – One of the world’s most beautiful synagogues
  • Depart to Montecatini
  • Overnight: Grand Hotel Nizza et Suisse – Montecatini, Italy

DAY #10 | Thursday | Pisa, Italy

  • Travel to Pisa – Climb the leaning Tower of Pisa and explore the Square of Miracles
  • Travel south along the coast towards Rome
  • Get oriented to the seven hills of Rome from Palatine Hill
  • Recount the legend of Romulus and Remus –the founding story of Rome
  • Channel your inner warrior taking part in a “Gladiator for a Day” training
  • Check-in to our central Rome accommodations
  • Overnight: Hotel Nord Nuova – Rome, Italy

DAY #11 | Friday | The Ancient Empire of Rome!

  • Walk in the footsteps of the Roman Empire at the Coliseum and the Forum Romanum
  • Explore Vatican City in the heart of Rome – St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Sistine Chapel
  • Stand beside the massive Arch of Titus and view a depiction of the Temple Menorah that is believed to have been carried off to Rome from the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE
  • Evening: Kabbalat Shabbat services and dinner at the Oratorio di Castro Synagogue
  • Overnight: Hotel Nord Nuova – Rome, Italy

DAY #12 | Saturday | Shabbat in Rome

  • Shabbat programming and lunch
  • Walking tour of Rome’s Jewish Quarter – The oldest continually settled Jewish community outside Israel
  • Continue exploring Rome on foot – stop at the Pantheon Temple and Fontana di Trevi
  • Overnight: Hotel Nord Nuova – Rome, Italy

DAY #13 | Sunday | Pompeii & Mt. Vesuvius

  • Guided tour of Pompeii – The preserved ancient Roman city
  • Drive up to Mount Vesuvius and peer into the volcano’s crater
  • Return to Rome in the evening for a final dinner party and group session
  • Overnight: Ostia Antica Park Hotel – Rome, Italy

DAY #14 | Monday | Ciao Italy!

  • Depart from Rome on a supervised group flight in the morning (optional)
  • Arrive back to New York City in the afternoon

 

You have questions? We've got answers! Our most frequently asked questions for this program are answered below. Additional program-wide FAQs are also available. Contact us to learn more.

How will my teen travel to the program?
An optional group flight is offered – typically from New York City. In some cases a group flight may also depart from Newark, Atlanta, Boston, or Miami. You are responsible for your transportation to the group flight departure city. Flight arrangements will be released in the spring. Families are also able to book their own tickets that mimic the group flight itinerary or book separate flight itineraries entirely and make arrangements to meet our staff in Europe. Learn more about our group flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
We stay in a variety of 3-star hotels, and each teen will have their own sleeping accommodations.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors), a local European tour leader, and a bus driver. Staff names are posted approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure, and you can expect a staff welcome call in the lead up to summer. Learn more about our staff team.

What's the summer weather like?
The weather throughout Italy and Slovenia is a typical Mediterranean climate – dry heat, cool evenings, and little to no rain. Temperatures will typically be in the 80s and 90s. Because of the dry nature of the heat in the Mediterranean, the sun is deceptively strong, and you should plan to bring plenty of sunscreen and a good hat for outdoor touring.

How do you approach security?
The safety of the teens under our care is our guiding consideration. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety & security.

What's the typical group size?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in Europe is 30 teens.

What's the food like?
Meals will be either kosher or vegetarian. Some meals will be provided according to the “pizur” system – an allowance for purchasing your own meal at a local eatery. Participants can buy whatever food they wish with pizur funds. Europe draws travelers from all over the world, so there is a wide range of cuisine available.

Will I need a visa?
If you travel with an American, Canadian, or EU passport – good news! – you don’t need a visa to enter any of the European countries we visit. 

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

BBYO makes it easy to combine two experiences for an extended summer of adventure, learning and self-discovery. 

Supervised Connections

Connecting travel arrangements are available between programs, and staff supervision is provided during the connection. Learn more about how connections work here
 

Italy Discovery is a well-balanced combination of must-see touring, eye-opening Jewish experiences, and a unique opportunity to forge friendships with fellow Jewish teens in one of the world's most beautiful regions.

Journey back in time and explore the origins of our Western Civilization in the Italian cities of Rome, Florence, Venice, Pisa, Milan, Bologna, and Verona. And then for a change of pace (and climate), travel deep into the mountainous reaches of Slovenia where you'll canoe on a glacial lake, raft down a roaring river, explore a massive network of underground caves and enjoy the crisp alpine air hiking in the Slovenian highlands.

As a Jewish travel experience, Italy Discovery is also about retracing the 2,000+ year history of continuous Jewish life in Italy. You'll find out what it meant to be Jewish during the Roman Empire, you'll contemplate the enduring mystery embodied in the Arch of Titus, and you'll explore the world's original ghetto in Venice. 
 

Program Highlights

For a more detailed view of the program, check out the Program Itinerary

 

Navigate the canals and waterways of old Venice by gondola
Marvel at the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Explore the Tuscan countryside and the beauty of the Italian Alps
Take in the high art of Florence, home to Michelangelo, Da Vinci & Dante
Explore the treasures of the Vatican and the Jewish Quarter in Rome
Pay homage to the Roman Empire, visiting the Colosseum, Pantheon and Forum Romanum
Raft the Soca River, trek in Postojna Cave and enjoy Slovenia's glacial Lake Bled
Test your problem solving skills as you decipher codes in the Escape Room
Channel your inner warrior while taking part in a gladiator-for-a-day class
Learn how traditional Italian pastas, gelato and glass are made
Scale Mt. Vesuvius, and visit the lost city of Pompeii
Connect with Italy's fascinating Jewish history and enduring Jewish communities

Itinerary Snapshot

A complete sample itinerary is available for an even fuller sense of the experience.

WEEK #1 | Milan, Verona & Venice

Arrive to Italy, and the journey begins in stylish Milan. Explore Verona, home of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, before arriving to Venice where you'll learn how traditional Venetian glass is made, luxuriate on the beaches of the Adriatic, experience the novelty of traveling by gondola and spend a special Shabbat in the historic Jewish Ghetto district.

WEEK #2 | Slovenia, Florence, Pisa & Rome

Our second week begins in the alpine mountains of Slovenia where you'll raft, canoe, hike and go caving in the European back country. Head back into Italy and travel through the Tuscan countryside and onto Florence and Pisa. We conclude our experience in Rome, a city that is both ancient and stunningly modern, with visits to the Coliseum, the Pantheon, the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican and a day trip to Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius – Europe's only active volcano.

We have provided the following sample itinerary to give you a better feel for this experience, including the types of accommodations we use. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary is distributed 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the program.

DAY #1 | Tuesday | Take Off!

  • Depart from New York City on a supervised group flight (optional)
  • Spend the night in the sky en route to Europe

DAY #2 | Wednesday | Lake Maggiore

  • Arrive to Italy’s Milan Airport in the morning
  • Meet our local staff and travel to Lake Maggiore
  • Explore this picturesque region at the base of the Italian Alps
  • Overnight: Lake Maggiore, Italy

DAY #3 | Thursday | Venice’s Ghetto Origins

  • Wake up and smell the fresh alpine air before departing for Venice
  • Stop to swoon under the balcony of “Juliet’s House” in Verona
  • Say goodbye to our bus and enter the water-filled streets of the Venice old city
  • Learn about the Venetian history of the word “ghetto” at the Jewish Museum
  • Wander through the historic Jewish Quarter and navigate Venice via traditional gondolas
  • Overnight: Kosher House Giardino dei Melograni – Venice, Italy

DAY #4 | Friday | The Waterways of Venice

  • Set sail for the islands of Murano and Burano
  • Experience a traditional Venetian glass-making factory
  • Travel to Lido Island and enjoy beach time and swimming in the Adriatic Sea
  • Return to the main island of Venice and prepare for Shabbat
  • Attend Kabbalat Shabbat services at the Spanish Synagogue in the Venice Ghetto
  • Learn about the contemporary Jewish community of Venice over a traditional Shabbat dinner
  • Overnight: Kosher House Giardino dei Melograni – Venice, Italy

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat in Venice

  • Shabbat morning program and lunch with the Jewish community
  • Venice on foot! – Explore Piazza San Marco, including the Basilica and Ducale Palace
  • Evening: Group night out on the town in Venice
  • Overnight: Kosher House Giardino dei Melograni – Venice, Italy

DAY #6 | Sunday | Rafting in Slovenia

  • Depart Venice in the morning and set off for the Slovenian backcountry
  • White water rafting down the Soca – One of Europe’s most beautiful rivers!
  • Travel through the Slovenian mountains to Lake Bled deep in the Slovenian mountains
  • Overnight: Hotel Ribno – Bled, Slovenia

DAY #7 | Monday | Adventures in the Backcountry

  • Take a boat ride to tiny Bled Island in the middle of the crystal blue lake
  • Make a wish! Ring the island’s legendary wishing bell
  • Visit Ljubljana – Slovenia’s capital – Take in the views from a castle towering over the city
  • Test out your problem solving skills as you decipher codes in the Escape Room
  • Overnight: Hotel Ribno – Bled, Slovenia

DAY #8 | Tuesday | The Italian Countryside

  • Cool off navigating underground through the Postojna cave system
  • Cross back into Italy and travel towards Florence via the Tuscan countryside
  • Stop in Bologna – Explore the city and visit the Gelato Museum for a tour and tasting!
  • Arrive to the Florence region and check-in to our accommodations
  • Overnight: Grand Hotel Nizza et Suisse – Montecatini, Italy

DAY #9 | Wednesday | Florence, Italy

  • Discover the art of making fresh Italian pasta at Pastificio Fabbri
  • Explore Florence – the Duomo, Piazza San Lorenzo and the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge)
  • Climb to the top of the Campanile Tower for a stunning panoramic view of Florence
  • The Art of Florence – View Michelangelo’s David Statue at the Galleria dell'Accademia
  • Tour the Great Synagogue – One of the world’s most beautiful synagogues
  • Depart to Montecatini
  • Overnight: Grand Hotel Nizza et Suisse – Montecatini, Italy

DAY #10 | Thursday | Pisa, Italy

  • Travel to Pisa – Climb the leaning Tower of Pisa and explore the Square of Miracles
  • Travel south along the coast towards Rome
  • Get oriented to the seven hills of Rome from Palatine Hill
  • Recount the legend of Romulus and Remus –the founding story of Rome
  • Channel your inner warrior taking part in a “Gladiator for a Day” training
  • Check-in to our central Rome accommodations
  • Overnight: Hotel Nord Nuova – Rome, Italy

DAY #11 | Friday | The Ancient Empire of Rome!

  • Walk in the footsteps of the Roman Empire at the Coliseum and the Forum Romanum
  • Explore Vatican City in the heart of Rome – St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Sistine Chapel
  • Stand beside the massive Arch of Titus and view a depiction of the Temple Menorah that is believed to have been carried off to Rome from the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE
  • Evening: Kabbalat Shabbat services and dinner at the Oratorio di Castro Synagogue
  • Overnight: Hotel Nord Nuova – Rome, Italy

DAY #12 | Saturday | Shabbat in Rome

  • Shabbat programming and lunch
  • Walking tour of Rome’s Jewish Quarter – The oldest continually settled Jewish community outside Israel
  • Continue exploring Rome on foot – stop at the Pantheon Temple and Fontana di Trevi
  • Overnight: Hotel Nord Nuova – Rome, Italy

DAY #13 | Sunday | Pompeii & Mt. Vesuvius

  • Guided tour of Pompeii – The preserved ancient Roman city
  • Drive up to Mount Vesuvius and peer into the volcano’s crater
  • Return to Rome in the evening for a final dinner party and group session
  • Overnight: Ostia Antica Park Hotel – Rome, Italy

DAY #14 | Monday | Ciao Italy!

  • Depart from Rome on a supervised group flight in the morning (optional)
  • Arrive back to New York City in the afternoon

 

You have questions? We've got answers! Our most frequently asked questions for this program are answered below. Additional program-wide FAQs are also available. Contact us to learn more.

How will my teen travel to the program?
An optional group flight is offered – typically from New York City. In some cases a group flight may also depart from Newark, Atlanta, Boston, or Miami. You are responsible for your transportation to the group flight departure city. Flight arrangements will be released in the spring. Families are also able to book their own tickets that mimic the group flight itinerary or book separate flight itineraries entirely and make arrangements to meet our staff in Europe. Learn more about our group flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
We stay in a variety of 3-star hotels, and each teen will have their own sleeping accommodations.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors), a local European tour leader, and a bus driver. Staff names are posted approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure, and you can expect a staff welcome call in the lead up to summer. Learn more about our staff team.

What's the summer weather like?
The weather throughout Italy and Slovenia is a typical Mediterranean climate – dry heat, cool evenings, and little to no rain. Temperatures will typically be in the 80s and 90s. Because of the dry nature of the heat in the Mediterranean, the sun is deceptively strong, and you should plan to bring plenty of sunscreen and a good hat for outdoor touring.

How do you approach security?
The safety of the teens under our care is our guiding consideration. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety & security.

What's the typical group size?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in Europe is 30 teens.

What's the food like?
Meals will be either kosher or vegetarian. Some meals will be provided according to the “pizur” system – an allowance for purchasing your own meal at a local eatery. Participants can buy whatever food they wish with pizur funds. Europe draws travelers from all over the world, so there is a wide range of cuisine available.

Will I need a visa?
If you travel with an American, Canadian, or EU passport – good news! – you don’t need a visa to enter any of the European countries we visit. 

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

BBYO makes it easy to combine two experiences for an extended summer of adventure, learning and self-discovery. 

Supervised Connections

Connecting travel arrangements are available between programs, and staff supervision is provided during the connection. Learn more about how connections work here