Italy & Greece High School Expedition

More than 2,000 years ago, the ancient Greeks laid the foundations for Western civilization, including democracy, philosophy, science, and medicine. Close on their heels, the Romans established the ancient world’s greatest empire. Experience the living legacy of the Greek and Roman Empires against a backdrop of magnificent temples, rich mythology, and stunning seascapes.

June 11 – June 27, 2019
June 25 – July 11, 2019
We have arranged group flights from New York to Naples, Naples to Athens, and return from Athens.

Trip Highlights

  • Capture the sunset over Rome’s iconic Colosseum with guidance from a National Geographic photographer, and then explore the amphitheater at night.
  • Wander archaeological sites featured in the National Geographic miniseries The Greeks, and craft fictional narratives on life in these ancient cities.
  • Gaze up at Michelangelo’s masterful Sistine Chapel and the Acropolis in Athens, and ponder the storytelling power of centuries-old art and architecture.
  • Document your friends hiking across Hydra, exploring Pompeii, or swimming off the coast of Capri through photography or writing.

Itinerary | 17 days

Days 1-5

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Head to Pompeii and Herculaneum, cities that were blanketed by thick layers of scorching ash and volcanic mud when Mount Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79. Set out with your On Assignment team, stepping into the past in palaces still adorned with original frescoes, and see the haunting figures of townspeople frozen in time. From our base in the small city of Salerno, travel by hydrofoil to Capri. Explore the island's Roman palaces and extraordinary scenery, and take a refreshing swim from the rocky shoreline.

Days 6-8

Explore the streets and alleyways of this vibrant city with your team, finding hidden parks and ruins. Peer into the gaping Bocca della Verità, a sculpted mouth reputed to bite off the hand of anyone who doesn't tell the truth. Interact with street performers and local shopkeepers, sample delicious gelato near the Spanish Steps, and take in the contemporary music scene in one of Rome's many historic piazzas.

Days 9-10

Fly to Athens, Greece, and continue to Delphi, perched on the shoulder of Mount Parnassus. Settle into this tiny, picturesque village, just a short walk from the Temple of Apollo. Wander through the well-preserved ruins of theatres, treasuries, altars, and stadiums while taking in amazing views of the mountains and the turquoise sea. Through photography or writing, tell the stories of the stone statues that immortalize the history and mythos of ancient athletes.

Days 11-12

Return to Athens and spend two days exploring the Acropolis and Parthenon, the ancient Agora, and the National Archaeological Museum. Visit iconic works of art at the National Gallery and learn the stories of their excavation. Experience the modern city's bustling street life, markets, and cuisine. Capture the intersection of ancient and modern life with your pen and camera.

Days 13-17

Náfplio, our base for the next five days, is set on the eastern coast of the Peloponnese in the shadow of a cliff-top castle. The town's pedestrian streets wind down the hillside to a tiny beach. During our time here, get to know the locals, join in a pickup game of soccer, attend a street fair, or stroll down to the beach for a swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Argos. On day trips, discover the legendary home of Agamemnon at Mycenae; view one of the world's best-preserved Greek theaters at Epidaurus; and hike the slopes of Hydra, a starkly beautiful island where cars are forbidden. In Náfplio's idyllic setting, we present our On Assignment projects to the group. Return to Athens for our flight home.

Pull Quote
Italy and Greece are visually stunning places, the people are spirited, and the food is amazing. Photographically, there are almost too many choices of subject!
Our high school expeditions are for students in grades 9-12, and offer opportunities to get out into the field and discover fascinating destinations across the globe through the lens of an On Assignment project. Each expedition offers a choice of two or three areas of focus, such as photography, geology, or wildlife conservation. Students travel alongside a team of highly-qualified trip leaders—college graduates with extensive experience in the field, who love working with students. A National Geographic expert joins for a portion of the trip (four to eight days) to share their insights, and inspire students with their passion for the work they do and the places they will discover. The group size ranges between 14 and 28 participants, and the student-to-trip-leader ratio is usually between six and eight to one and never more than nine to one.
Throughout Italy and Greece, we stay in small family-run hotels.

Dave Yoder, Photojournalist

Meet Our Experts

Based in in Europe, Dave Yoder is a contributing photographer to National Geographic magazine and National Geographic Traveler. His assignments have included a cover story on Pope Francis and the Vatican; photographing a lost city in the Mosquitia jungle of Honduras; the high-tech search for a lost Leonardo da Vinci painting; and documenting the largest ground-based telescope (ALMA) in Chile's Atacama Desert. Dave focuses on human interest projects, and his work has appeared in worldwide publications including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, and Forbes. Dave will join both departures of the Italy and Greece expedition.

On Assignment Projects

Document your adventure on photography assignments in the field. Evoke the classical past by shooting the ruins of the Roman Forum or Delphi. Take to the street to capture the flavors of contemporary life. There is a supplemental fee of $150 for this On Assignment project.
Study legends of ancient deities, and explore temples built in their honor. Sketch the Parthenon or the Colosseum as they might have appeared thousands of years ago, and delve into the fascinating history of Pompeii.
Develop your storytelling through a series of field-based writing workshops. Craft a biographical portrait of a local character, pen a narrative about exploring Capri, or write a story on the excavation of Pompeii.