Dramatically beautiful, wild, daring and romantic, the Amalfi Coast defines an Italian luxury escape. Its amphitheatres of rocks, water and flowers harmoniously blend colors and proportions and its pastel color houses hugging the improbable heights delight even the most sophisticated travelers. Often called the Coast of the Sirens - this is where Odysseus fell prey to beautiful sirens - the peninsula has some of the world's most bewitching coastal beauty, and is a lemon and pine scented oasis of tranquility set among unique seascapes. Punctuated with Byzantine and medieval architecture, with the backdrop of steep cliffs, lush green terraces and fragrant gardens suspended over the sparkling sea, the Amalfi Coast is beautiful beyond imagination. In addition to its natural diversity, the wealth of art and architecture, balmy weather, the limoncello liqueur and delicious food, it also has fascinating history going back to the times of Magna Grecia and Pompeii.
During the Amalfi Coast tour, we will experience the Sorrento Peninsula, Naples, Capri and Pompeii. We'll discover the coastal towns of Amalfi, Ravello and Positano, visit the Greek temples in Paestum, spend a full day on the island of Capri, and claim secluded beaches, coves and grottoes during a private boat trip around the Amalfi Coast. • While in Naples, we will tour the National Archeological Museum, then enjoy a welcome dinner featuring Neapolitan culinary specialties. We will spend the next day exploring the doomed city of Pompeii with an archeologist guide;
• While in Amalfi, you will visit Positano and Ravello, you will participate in acooking class and limoncello tasting, and take a private boat excursionaround the Sorrento Peninsula;
• We will spend a full day on the island of Capri, visiting the towns of Capri and Anacapri, the Gardens of Augustus, Villa San Michele and circumnavigating the island by boat;
• A full day will be spent in the Magnum Grecia town of Paestum, exploring beautifully preserved Greek temples and a Roman city which grew around them. We'll also visit a buffalo mozzarella farm and taste the only organic mozzarella in Italy;
• Throughout the tour, we will dine a la carte, in carefully selected gourmet restaurants, getting to know the Neapolitan cuisine, especially its seafood, pizza, pasta, desserts and fresh regional produce.
You will be met by a chauffeur on your arrival at the Naples airport for a private transfer to our boutique hotel in the center of Naples. Upon arrival, there will be time to relax, before joining the rest of the group for a guided tour of the National Archeological Museum which features the world's best collection of Roman antiquities, frescoes and mosaics from Pompeii and Herculaneum. In the evening, we'll enjoy a welcome dinner featuring Naples signature dishes of pizza and sfogliatelle and baba desserts.
After a delightful Neapolitan breakfast, we'll leave Naples and head into the shadow of Mount Vesuvius and the ancient Pompeii. The ruins of this Roman resort town, tragically destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in A.D. 79, continue to fascinate as when they were first rediscovered in the 18th century. We'll spend the morning with an archeologist, exploring the town of Pompeii and getting in-depth insights into the rich culture of the ill-fated Roman city, with its restored villas, mosaics, statues, gardens and fountains. In the afternoon, we'll continue around the Bay of Naples and along the Sorrento Peninsula to our elegant, beachfront hotel in the town of Amalfi, overlooking some of the world's most celebrated views. After settling in, we'll dine on a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean and we'll enjoy local culinary specialties and a special regional drink: limoncello.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
In the morning, we'll tour the town of Amalfi, once a maritime empire rivaling Pisa and Genoa, as we visit the ornate Duomo and the medieval quarters. In the early afternoon, we'll set off to explore the Amalfi Coast from the sea. Our private boat tour will allow us to visit otherwise unaccessible coves, beaches and fishing villages. We'll travel along the Secret Coast, past the Emerald Grotto, the Furore Fjord and the beautiful town of Atrani, with tiny houses clutching the rugged hillsides, then along the Mormorata Cascade and Bellvaia Grotto for a swim, then we'll continue along the shore, dotted with ravines, secret beaches, grottoes, Norman watch towers, forgotten inlets, breath-taking gorges and pristine areas of stalactites. This is a perfect day to relax, appreciate the solitude and the wonders of nature.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Today, we'll travel to Paestum. Gleaming white marble columns of Greek temples, set against the silver mountains and deep blue sea, offer an unforgettable experience, especially when seen at sunset. The town was founded around 650 BC by Dorians expelled from the Greek city of Sybaris, a luxurious resort on the Ionian Sea. The colony was named Poseidonia, after the most important Greek god, and it flourished as one of Magna Grecia's great towns until in 390 BC it fell to a tribe of local barbarians. After touring Paestum, we'll visit an organic buffalo mozzarella farm for a tour and tasting of buffalo milk cheese and ice cream.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
In the morning, we'll sail to the most uniquely beautiful Mediterranean island: Capri. Our tour of the island will start with circumnavigating it in a small boat, passing through the famous Faraglioni Rocks formation and by the island's fascinating terrain dotted with many grottoes: Green, White and Blue. Afterwards, we'll take the funicular to the picturesque Piazzetta from where you can explore the town's narrow lanes, leading to spectacular vistas like Gardens of Augustus or to hidden gems like Charterhouse of St. Giacomo and its cloisters and gardens with flowers and spices from which the monks extracted essences to make perfumes. We'll also venture out to Anacapri where you can visit the magnificent Villa San Michele or take the chair lift up Monte Solaro for the most breathtaking view of the island. In the late afternoon, we'll take the ferry back to Amalfi and dine at an atmospheric local taverna.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
After breakfast, we'll head out to explore the delightful town of Ravello, which many consider the most beautiful town in Italy. Sitting on its own balcony, Ravello has long been a haven for artists such as Richard Wagner, Greta Garbo, D. H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf. We'll enjoy the beautiful architecture and gardens of Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo, visit a tiny shop producing limoncello, and for a full Amalfian experience, we'll attend a cooking lesson. Food and wine are an integral part of the way of life on the Amalfi Coast. Influenced by ancient Phoenicians, Greeks and Arabs, enriched by crusaders returning from Palestine with citrus trees and by French and Spanish invaders, the local cuisine is known for its fresh produce, prepared simply and quickly to preserve the flavors of fresh ingredients. The produce is grown in the rich volcanic soil, in the ideal climate that give it a unique, incomparable flavor. During the cooking class, we'll learn new ways to prepare the Italian specialties like pizza, pasta and Italian cakes, using local vegetables, fruit, walnuts and herbs.
Today, we'll visit the town of Positano, impossibly suspended over the Mediterranean. Considered the most picturesque of all Amalfi towns, Positano is known for the brightly colored houses, clinging to cliffs as if they're about to tumble into the turquoise water, for its beautiful sandy and pebbly beaches, expensive fashion shops, famous visitors and the number of steps you need to climb to get anywhere. We'll tour the town with a local guide, sample local products in small, family operated shops and finish the day with a romantic dinner at a restaurant overlooking the stunning Coast of the Sirens.
Today, we say good-bye to the Amalfi Coast and take with us the memories to last a lifetime. The transfer to Naples Capodichino Airport will be at 8 AM, and we plan to get to the airport right before 10AM, so please schedule your departure flight no earlier than 12 noon. Otherwise, we'll be glad to help you arrange for a private airport transfer.
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