Small groups 2 to 12 max!!
$2,095 per person
Itinerary 8 days, 7 nights
Day 1 – (Saturday)
Arrive at Rome Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport (FCO) and board your private motor coach for the journey south to the Cilento and the Villa La Ginestra in Castel San Lorenzo. Along the way, spend the day at the 18th century Royal Palace of the King of Naples in Caserta. Here you’ll tour the largest palace and gardens erected in the eighteenth century, once owned by one of the most powerful families in Europe, before check-in at the villa. The remainder of the day is yours to relax or check out the local artisans and their goods before rejoining your party for a Welcome Dinner. (D)
Day 2 – (Sunday)
Step back in time and visit how southern Italy REALLY lived. The day’s first stop is the Medieval castle of Roccadaspide. Over 800 years old, the castle is one of the best in the region and the castle’s owner will personally take you on a tour. As it is Sunday, you’ll enjoy a traditional six-course family dinner. The afternoon offers an opportunity to walk off your lunch at Roscigno Vecchia, an abandoned nineteenth village that is now an open air museum. Afterward, return to the villa to rest and enjoy cocktails and snacks before dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 3 – (Monday)
After breakfast, journey north to the ancient city of Pompeii. Frozen in time by the nearby Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii is one of the few sites where an ancient city has been preserved in exact detail - everything from jars and tables to paintings and people were frozen in time over nineteen hundred years ago. Enjoy a guided tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site including lunch in the city ruins before returning to the villa. (B, L, D)
Day 4 – (Tuesday)
Spend the day at the Monastery of Padula, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is a blend of Italy’s religious and crusader past. Off the beaten path, this sixteenth century monastery is prized for its architectural splendor and rich collection of artistic treasures. After a tour and free time, you’ll return to the villa for dinner, surrounded by Italy’s natural beauty. (B, D)
Day 5 – (Wednesday)
For Breakfast stopping at the best Buffalo mozzarella factory for a cheese and yogurt tasting. We’ll head west to the Cilento Coast to the sea towns that hug the cliffs, spectacular views free time to shop and get a bite to eat before heading north to Paestum where you’ll tour what is described as one of the best-preserved collections of Greek temples in the world. From there returning to your villa for dinner and an evening of live local music. (B,D)
Day 6 – (Thursday)
Enjoy a relaxing morning in the mountain village of Castelcivita. After lunch in a local restaurant, enjoy an afternoon of Italian flavors. Start with a demonstration of how the locals have made liquor from the region’s wild berries for centuries. From there make a stop at a local vineyard to sample some of the region’s wines, oil, and honey before ending the day at an Italian torrone-candy factory. (B, L, D)
Day 7 – (Friday)
Bid arrivederci to Cilento and journey north to Rome. Along the way, spend the day at Vetri Sul Mare a small fishing town where we will have a ceramic demo in one of the most important factory on the Amalfi coast. After lunch we continue north to our hotel in Rome where you will have free time for the remainder of the day. (B, L)
Day 8 – (Saturday)
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to airport (about 20 min.)
For those who chose the 2 day add-on Saturday and Sunday, your transfer to the airport will be on Monday.
Places of Interest
Naples – Historic Centre
From the Neapolis founded by Greek settlers in 470 B.C. to the city of today, Naples has retained the imprint of the successive cultures that emerged in Europe and the Mediterranean basin. This makes it a unique site, with a wealth of outstanding monuments such as the Church of Santa Chiara and the Castel Nuovo.
Pompei, Herculanum, Torre Annunziata
– Archaeological Areas
When Vesuvius erupted on 24 August A.D. 79, it engulfed the two flourishing Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum, as well as the many wealthy villas in the area. These have been progressively excavated and made accessible to the public since the mid-18th century. The vast expanse of the commercial town of Pompeii contrasts with the smaller but better-preserved remains of the holiday resort of Herculaneum, while the superb wall paintings of the Villa Oplontis at Torre Annunziata give a vivid impression of the opulent lifestyle enjoyed by the wealthier citizens of the Early Roman Empire.
The Amalfi coast is an area of great physical beauty and natural diversity. It has been intensively settled by human communities since the early Middle Ages. There are a number of towns such as Amalfi and Ravello with architectural and artistic works of great significance. The rural areas show the versatility of the inhabitants in adapting their use of the land to the diverse nature of the terrain, which ranges from terraced vineyards and orchards on the lower slopes to wide upland pastures.
– 18th-Century Royal Palace with the Park, the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli and the San Leucio Complex
The monumental complex at Caserta, created by the Bourbon king Charles III in the mid-18th century to rival Versailles and the Royal Palace in Madrid, is exceptional for the way in which it brings together a magnificent palace with its park and gardens, as well as natural woodland, hunting lodges and a silk factory. It is an eloquent expression of the Enlightenment in material form, integrated into, rather than imposed on, its natural setting.
Cilento and Vallo di Diano
– National Park with the Archeological sites of Paestum and Velia, and the Certosa di Padula
The Cilento is an outstanding cultural landscape. The dramatic groups of sanctuaries and settlements along its three east-west mountain ridges vividly portray the area's historical evolution: it was a major route not only for trade, but also for cultural and political interaction during the prehistoric and medieval periods. The Cilento was also the boundary between the Greek colonies of Magna Graecia and the indigenous Etruscan and Lucanian peoples. The remains of two major cities from classical times, Paestum and Velia, are found there.