July 6 – 20, 2021 / $4290.00 (all-inclusive)
Bella Vita gives young women ages 14 – 18 the incredible opportunity to explore Italy. Although the focus is primarily on Rome and Florence, we also visit Siena, Assisi, Castel Gandolfo and the Mediterranean Sea at Santa Marinella.
On this program the girls will not only see Italy, but they will explore in-depth her most beautiful sites. They will also have cooking classes, stay in beautiful villas, and witness incredible works of ancient and sacred art. The daily program features three 30-minute seminars in Art History, Italian and Music, followed by a full day of touring through the most incredible art, monuments and churches of Roman and Christian civilization.
Fundamental to the program is faith formation and prayer. The girls will have the incredible opportunity to attend Mass three times per week (always in a basilica!) and venerate the relics of dozens of incredible saints and martyrs (Sts Peter, Paul, Cecilia, Anastasia, Agnes, Sebastian, Lawrence, Stephen, Catherine, Francis, Claire and so many more!).
The program is capped at thirty five participants, which includes five adult chaperones (female family members ages 21-45). We hope to see you in Italy!
$200.00 Discount for Mother of Divine Grace Students!
Special Features and Amenities
Bella Vita has been designed to be as comfortable as possible, so that you can enjoy the beautiful life in Italy. From private villas to our very own air-conditioned motor coach, you'll be getting a true taste of Italy on Bella Vita.
Private Villa in Rome
Just one mile from the Vatican, our private and gated Rome campus sits atop the beautiful Janiculum Hill, a ritzy neighborhood that overlooks the Eternal City.
Villa Overlooking Florence
The view from Pensione Bencista is second to none. Family-owned and operated, you will experience true Old-World Italian charm in the hills above Florence.
Authentic Italian Food
All of the meals are included in the price and you’ll have the opportunity to try a wide variety of local and regional cuisine. You’ll even have a pasta making class!
We’ll have our very own private motor coach to take us all over Italy. We will have to walk, however, as most Italian cities don’t have streets bug enough for buses!
Program Details & Itinerary
Rome, Assisi, Siena, Florence, Castel Gandolfo & the Mediterranean
July 7 - 14
Rome - The Eternal City
Rome is the Eternal City. There is no place more beautiful and more important in the history of the world than Rome. As Catholic Christians, Rome’s eternal purpose of civilizing and saving the world through the work of Christ’s Church.
Bella Vita features one full week in Rome. During this week we will explore the history and places of Rome’s incredible three-thousand year history, highlighting the artistic and architectural treasures along the way. The itinerary includes a Papal Audience, the Colosseum and Roman Forum, the Catacombs, the Four Major Basilicas, the Best Baroque Churches and Monuments of Rome, the Jesuit Churches, Rome’s Best Museums (the Vatican Museums, the Borghese Gallery and the Capitoline Museums) and so much more.
Our campus in Rome is the magnificent Villa Magnolia, a private villa that atop the Janiculum Hill, a ritzy area of the city just one mile from the Vatican. This quiet and safe retreat is the perfect place to relax after a long day touring.
The villa is composed of three levels and features a grand refectory, an audience hall and a kitchen, a number of dorm rooms (with private bathrooms), a laundry facility, and a beautiful and private yard and terraced garden. The surrounding buildings are Vatican residences and embassies, and a large wall separates us from our neighbors. The entrance is guarded by a an enourmous gate and features security cameras.
July 14 - 16
Assisi & Siena
Known as the Seraphic City for its angelic beauty, the Bella Vita girls will explore the timeless charm and beauty of Assisi for two days. We’ll go back in time to the 13th century, when St. Francis and St. Claire gave up their lives to follow Christ and proclaim the truth and beauty of the Faith. We’ll witness the Gothic masterpieces of Giotto and Cimabue, the great precursors of the Renaissance, and we’ll glimpse the actual beauty of a the medieval age which has so often been misrepresented as dark and unenlightened.
Following our time in Assisi we will depart for Siena, where we will explore the city of St. Catherine for an entire day. We will visit the most incredible Gothic museum in the world – the duomo (Cathedral of Siena), and we will venerate the relics and visit the home of St. Catherine.
Our home in Assisi is the beautiful Hotel Dei Priori, a historic fifteenth century palace originally belonging to the illustrious Cilleni family of Assisi. The original architecture is intact and hotel guests can even admire a Roman well dating back to the second century AD on their way to the breakfast room!
The hotel is located in the heart of medieval Assisi, just two minutes from the church of St. Claire, one minute from the main square, and ten minutes from the basilica of St. Francis!
July 16 - 19
There is no doubt that Florence’s natural and man-made beauty inspired artists like Botticelli, Fra Angelico and later Michelangelo to create some of the finest art ever made. There is no better or more beautiful place to end our trip than Florence.
The girls will first learn the history behind the great cultural rebirth that took place here, and will then discover the art itself in Florence’s incredible museums (Academia, Uffizi, Boboli Gardens and Museums). They’ll experience the true and perennial beauty of the Italian countryside at our campus in the hills above Florence, where they can wander the beautiful grounds and olive groves.
Our campus in Florence is an incredible 14th century villa in the hills overlooking the city, Pensione Bencista! Few places in the world compare in beauty. Family operated, everything from the meals to the sauna below are serviced by one and the same team: a Tuscan family.
The artwork that fills Bencista’s halls takes us back in time. Pensione Bencista is isolated among vineyards and olive groves, a few kilometers above the busy Tuscan capital of Florence. A massive wall and wrought-iron gate protects it from the windy streets outside.
Day Trips from Rome
Castel Gandolfo & The Mediterranean Sea
A summer trip to Rome would be incomplete without a trip to the water. Rome is sizzling hot during the summers, so we’ll take two days and do what the Italians do – escape to the lake and the ocean.
Our first day-trip from Rome is Castel Gandolfo, an incredible little town outside of Rome that sits nearly five hundred feet above the crater-lake Albano. Since ancient times emperors have come here to escape the Roman summer, and since the 16th century the popes continued to do the same. Her we will explore the town of Castel Gandolfo and then head down to the lake below, where the girls will have the chance to swim, relax, kayak or play volleyball.
Our second day trip from Rome is always a favorite – Santa Marinella. This beautiful little beach town features private beaches and crystal clear water. At Santa Marinella we will rent private beach chairs and enjoy a picnic on the beach. And for those who like to swim, the afternoon is yours! There will be an optional shuttle back to Rome for anyone who would prefer to tour a castle.
Pricing & Registration
Outbound Flight Details - July 6
July 6 - Tap Portugal flight 202 departs Newark at 5:55 PM and arrives at Lisbon at 5:45 AM (next day). Tap Portugal flight 832 departs Lisbon at 9:00 AM and arrives in Rome at 1:00 PM.
Inbound Flight Details - July 19
July 19 - Tap Portugal flight 839 departs Rome at 1:50 PM and arrives at Lisbon at 4:00 PM. Tap Portugal flight 207 departs Lisbon at 7:30 PM and arrives in Newark at 10:30 PM.
Hotel at Newark Airport (EWR) on July 19
Due to our late arrival in Newark on July 19 (10:30 PM), we've booked the entire group at the Marriott (attached to the terminal at Newark). This is included in the price. Program staff and chaperones will be present.
Arrange Flights to/from Newark (EWR)
Contact us today to arrange flights to/from Newark (EWR). You should arrive at EWR on on July 6 NO LATER than 2:30 PM. On July 20 departure from EWR can be at ANY TIME.
Get Your Passports Ready
Apply as soon as possible. NB - Passports that expire within six months of the travel dates are NOT VALID to enter Europe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our program patron is Catherine of Siena – saint, doctor of the Church and patron of Italy. This incredible woman, born in the 14th century during the Black Death, would become one of the most influential women of all time, solely because of faith in God that was rooted in her experience of true beauty. She knew that God loved her and pursued a beautiful life because of it. On Bella Vita we will visit her home, venerate her relics, and relive her stories.
“If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world ablaze.”
From Our Girls' Perspective
Here are a few words from past Bella Vita girls. If you're interested we'd be happy to put you in touch with past students!