Every year children from Rome's elementary and junior secondary schools are taken on school trips between October and May.
In the past four years the number of children participating has risen from 4,000 in 2000 to 18,000 in 2004, and this year itineraries for children aged six and seven have been included for the first time.
The general theme of the school camps this year is the sea. Trips are on offer to the Venetian lagoon, Gallipoli in Puglia, Sibari in Calabria and the Pontine island of Ventotene. Romes children will be encouraged to learn about the history, the environment and the culture of the Italian coastline from the north of the country to the south. The Rome city council offers the schools a grant towards the cost of these trips, children from low-income families are offered free trips and the city council provides assistance for disabled children.