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• A hands-on cooking lesson with a local chef in Ravello
• A visit to a farm where local cheese is made
• Private guided tour of the UNESCO Site of Pompeii
• Charming accommodations: (2) nights in Naples (4-star hotel); (7) nights in a country house in Ravello
• All breakfasts (9); (2) wine-tasting lunches, (1) multi-course lunch and (1) light picnic lunch; 4 multi-course dinners, some with wine
• (2) private winery tours at small-production vineyards
• (1) hands-on cooking lesson at our country house in Ravello with a local chef
• Private boat tour along the Amalfi Coast with light picnic lunch and drinks
• Private guided tours of: Pompei, Ravello, Vietri Sul Mare & Amalfi
• Admissions to historic sites, tastings and other scheduled events as noted in the daily itinerary
• Gratuities for included meals
• Transportation during the tour, including ferries
• Transfers upon arrival and departure in Italy
• Full-time Buon Gusto Tours’ tour director
The Amalfi Coast has captured the hearts and imaginations of many over the millennia, from Caesar Augustus to Homer to Picasso to E.M. Forster…The list goes on and on, and for good reason. This region epitomizes romance: the azure-blue seas, the pastel-colored homes spilling down the mountainsides and the scent of lemon blossom and jasmine drifting through the air. It’s impossible not to fall in love here, at least not with the unimaginable beauty that surrounds you.
Buon Gusto Tours would like to introduce you to both the natural beauty of this area and to the heartfelt tradition of food and wine that is so intertwined with the Campanian way of life. Fresh locally-grown produce, seafood caught that morning off the shore, cheeses made right before your eyes and wine cultivated and produced at small family-run vineyards—these are all everyday experiences here and have been for centuries.
As travelers, we know that food and wine play a large role in our discovering the heart and soul of an area. On this special small-group Italy food and wine tour, we’re certain that you will discover and thoroughly enjoy what it means to be a Campanian, if only for 10 days…
Day 1 D
After arriving at the Naples Airport, we head straight for our 4-star hotel overlooking the Bay of Naples. After some free time to relax and get settled, we meet our local guide for a private walking tour of the historic center of this fascinating and often misrepresented city. While areas of Naples can be gritty like any large city, the people and the architecture are sure to win you over. Of course, this tour won’t be complete without a stop in a cafe serving what many believe to be the best espresso in the world! Our welcome dinner will be at a trattoria featuring Neapolitan specialties.
Day 2 B,L
We depart Naples this morning and head first to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pompei, a city lost in time. With our local expert guide, we will walk through this once-thriving port town, with its well-preserved houses, restaurants, shops and even brothels, and discover what life was like in 79 A.D., when the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius changed this area forever. Covered under a thick layer of hot ash and gas, the town of Pompei and its approximately 35,000 inhabitants were killed and buried. It wasn’t until the mid-1700s that the town was rediscovered and excavations began; believe it or not, only two-thirds of the original town has been excavated to this day. Our next stop is a small family-run vineyard on the slopes of the volcano for a lively and delicious wine-tasting lunch. The volcanic soil in this area, rich in minerals, imparts a unique flavor to the wine; this vineyard produces the famous Neapolitan Lacryma Christi wine, the nearest equivalent to the wine drunk by the Ancient Romans, according to archaeologists. We’ll enjoy antipasto, homemade spaghetti con pomodori and several types of the vineyard’s wine and even grappa! At the end of this wonderful day, we return to our hotel in Naples for a free evening.
Day 3 B,D
After breakfast, we’ll check out of our hotel and go to our home for the next 7 nights, a magical country house on the cliffs in Ravello! After checking in, we’ll have a private guided walking tour of town, including visits to two famous villas: Villa Rufolo, built for a wealthy Italian family between 1270 and 1280 and the inspiration for Richard Wagner’s opera Parsifal; and Villa Cimbrone, whose stunning gardens and grounds are, alone, worth a trip to Ravello. We’ll have plenty of free time to explore the quaint town on our own before reconvening at our villa in the evening for a dinner. Our hostess will treat us to a fabulous homemade meal of regional specialties within the comfort of the villa’s grounds… Free evening in Ravello.
Day 4 B,L
Today we’ll head to the beautiful seaside town of Amalfi—via ancient footpath! From our villa, we’ll make the hour-long descent down to the town of Atrani and then to Amalfi. The small hamlet of Amalfi was actually the first maritime republic in Italy. In 839, Amalfi gained its independence and remained a flourishing city-state for two centuries. From the Middle Ages well into the Renaissance, paper production was one of Amalfi’s key industries, supplying even the Vatican with paper. With our local guide and friend, we will meander through narrow alleyways, learning about how the locals live, eventually making our way to the Duomo of St. Andrew, a gorgeous example of Arab-Norman architecture, built in the 12th Century. We’ll also get to see how limoncello is made – and, of course, sample the sweet digestivo. A gourmet luncheon then awaits us at a restaurant overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, after which we’ll have plenty of free time to explore Amalfi on our own before heading back to Ravello for a free evening.
Day 5 B,L
After a leisurely breakfast, we head east toward Salerno to visit the town of Vietri Sul Mare, world renown for the production of lively polychrome ceramic handicrafts, dating back to the 15th century. After a quick walkabout with our guide, we’ll then head to a gorgeous family-run vineyard for a private tour. Set high above the sea, the vineyard is terraced along the mountainside; we’ll learn from the owner how the grapes thrive in this unique environment, perched literally between the sky and sea. It’s difficult to talk about wine without sampling it, of course, so we’ll enjoy a wine-tasting lunch of local specialties at the vineyard in a setting unlike any other. Fortified by food and wine, we then travel the the small town of Minori, close to Ravello, to sample the famous Minori lemon cake and to have an espresso. We return to our villa in Ravello for a free evening.
Day 6 B,D
After a leisurely morning, we’ll convene in the early afternoon at the villa for a cooking lesson with a local chef. We’ll pick vegetables and herbs from the villa’s garden, and we’ll learn how to make several traditional dishes, including the chef’s choice of pasta. If we’re lucky, the chef will also teach us how to make fresh limoncello from the lemons growing right above our heads! After several hours of cooking, eating and drinking, the remainder of the evening will be ours to do whatever we want- including relaxing in the hot tub or thermal bath at the villa!
Day 7 B,L
Pack your bathing suit and towel, because today we’re boarding a private boat for a day-long cruise along the Amalfi Coast! Our “capitano” will pick us up at the marina in Amalfi, and we’ll head west toward Positano, Nerano and the Li Galli islands. We’ll see stunning villas and ancient Saracen towers as well as hidden coves. A light picnic lunch with refreshments will be served on board, and we’ll have a stop in Positano for some free time. The cascade of pastel-colored houses, tiny alleyways and the small-but-beautiful beach in Positano are what have captured the hearts and imaginations of so many celebrities, artists and “regular Joes” over the centuries. At the end of the afternoon, we’ll return to our villa for a free evening.
Day 8 B
Our adventure continues as we head via ferry to the charming island of Capri! Perhaps the first tourist to visit Capri, Caesar Augustus went there in 29 BC and fell in love with the small but captivating island; his successor, Tiberius, built several villas there, and the remains of his Villa Jovis dominate one of the mountaintops. You can take the day to explore the island on your own, in your own way. Want to shop? Capri’s streets are lined with stores housing designer labels. Want to go to the famed “blue grotto”? Your tour director can help you find a boat to get you there. Want to sit at a cafe and watch the world go by? Feel free. We’ll return via ferry in the late afternoon to enjoy a free evening back in Ravello.
Day 9 B,D
For our last full day in bella Italia, we head to a small artisinal caseificio to learn about the production of several types of local cheeses. After sampling some of the delicious cheese, we’ll continue on to a nearby vineyard for a leisurely wine-tasting accompanied by some light snacks. We’ll return to Ravello for free time before reconvening in the evening for a grand farewell dinner.
Day 10 B
Today, sadly, we say arrivaderci to our beautiful Italy! Transfer to Naples Capodichino Airport after breakfast.