The Charm of the Amalfi Coast

The Charm of the Amalfi Coast

Italy’s Amalfi Coast has been luring travelers, artists and romantics for centuries. Treat yourself to the region’s scenic splendor during a seven-night adventure based in Vietri sul Mare. We’ll encounter the magnificent coastline with its colorful villages and towering cliffs as we visit Ravello and Amalfi. Then enjoy a nautical perspective of the region during a cruise to lovely Salerno. Discover the Isle of Capri, a celebrated resort since the time of the Roman Republic, and take a fascinating historical tour of Herculaneum and Pompeii, frozen in time by the mudflows of Mount Vesuvius. Relax amid lemon-scented breezes in beautiful, cliffside Sorrento, see Paestum’s fascinating Greek ruins and explore the medieval streets and wonders of Old Naples, including the National Archaeological Museum. Plus, indulge in the region’s culinary heritage during an authentic pizza lunch. Along the way, delight in first-class accommodations, expert-led discussions, and an extensive meal plan featuring wine with dinner on this small-group adventure.

Trip Itinerary:

April 14 Depart Gateway City

AHI FlexAir passengers depart for Naples, Italy. Please check your luggage from your gateway city to your arrival city. Your claim checks should have the following airport code: NAP.

Meals – Appropriate in-flight meal service

April 15 Naples, Italy | Vietri sul Mare

Arrive at Naples Capodichino International Airport. Proceed through immigration to the baggage claim area and retrieve your luggage. After completing customs, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for the group arrival transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer should exit the baggage claim area and proceed to the Arrivals Hall, where an AHI Travel representative will meet you.

Transfer to the Hotel Raito. Please note, if you arrive before check-in time, your room may not be immediately available.

Gather this evening to get acquainted with your fellow travelers and Travel Director at a Welcome Reception and Dinner.

Accommodations – Hotel Raito
Meals – Dinner

April 16 Ravello | Amalfi | Salerno

Start each day with a delicious breakfast served at your hotel.

Enrichment: The History and Beauty of the Province of Campania.
Join a discussion about the history and significance of the cities of Naples, Salerno, Paestum and Sorrento within the Magna Graecia, the coastal areas of southern Italy that were colonized by ancient Greeks.

Discovery: The Charming Amalfi Coast.
Activity level: Moderate
Experience the serpentine Amalfi Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Not only does the Amalfi Coast boast some of Italy’s most spectacular scenery, but it is also considered by many to be the most magnificent stretch of coastline in all of Europe. The Italians nicknamed this shoreline, “The Divine Coast,” because of its scenic grandeur, amazing vertical landscape and varied architecture. Begin in Ravello, perched high on a rocky spur overlooking Amalfi and the Mediterranean Sea. Because of its rich artistic heritage, captivating natural beauty, exceptional landscapes and breathtaking gardens, Ravello has intrigued and inspired writers, actors, artists, musicians and composers alike. Visit the 13th-century Villa Rufolo, featuring a square courtyard, two Arab-Norman style towers, marvelous Oriental arcades and magnificent gardens. When German composer Richard Wagner visited in 1880, he declared that he had found his magical garden of Klingsor, which was immortalized in his operatic masterpiece, “Parsifal.”

Travel to the sweet, coastal town of Amalfi, and take a short orientation tour to see the lively piazza and Cattedrale di Sant’ Andrea. After time at leisure to explore on your own, board a ferry to Salerno. During your boat ride, notice the charming villages and pastel-colored villas clinging to the cliffs — a true sight to behold.

Enjoy a delectable dinner at a local restaurant. The regional cuisine has been influenced by the many populations who passed through this fertile land over the centuries. There are three dominant elements to the region's cooking: olive oil; the many vegetable gardens arising from this fertile ground; and durum wheat, the base ingredient for bread and many types of pasta.

Accommodations – Hotel Raito
Meals – Breakfast and Dinner

April 17 Paestum

Discovery: Paestum.
Activity level: Moderate
Visit the old city of Paestum, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Founded in the seventh century B.C. but abandoned in the ninth century A.D., this Greco-Roman city was overgrown by vegetation and forgotten for 1,000 years. The spectacular site features ancient defensive walls, the standing remains of three major Doric-style temples and a variety of impressive ruins.

Discovery: Meet the People.
Activity level: Moderate
Dine on regional cuisine during a group lunch. Meet a few of the employees or owners of the restaurant and learn about their lifestyles and experiences.

Enrichment: The Wonders of Naples’ National Museum.
Prepare for tomorrow’s visit to this renowned museum by learning about its collections of art and artifacts.

Dinner is at leisure this evening. Perhaps you’ll try pasta prepared ai frutti di mare and a glass of refreshing limoncello, the favorite flavors of this coastal region!

Accommodations – Hotel Raito
Meals – Breakfast and Lunch

April 18 Naples

Discovery: Naples and the Museo Archeologico Nazionale.
Activity level: Moderate
Naples, the capital city of Campania, welcomes visitors with its vivacious spirit. Founded in 750 B.C., Naples is big, energetic and noisy, but also very friendly, a city where Neapolitans enjoy life and possess a singular charm. Travel back in time with a visit to the Museo Archeologico Nazionale. With its collection of art and objects from Herculaneum and Pompeii, it is one of the most important archaeological museums in the world. Even the building itself is impressive, built in the late 16th century as the home of the royal cavalry. Then embark on a panoramic tour of Naples. Admire impressive views of the city and the entire Bay of Naples from atop Posillipo Hill, and enjoy the sights of Castel Nuovo, San Francesco di Paola, Teatro di San Carlo and Piazza del Plebiscito.

Sample the local specialty, Neapolitan pizza, for lunch. Pizza was born in Naples — genuine Neapolitan pizza is unbeatable!

Enrichment: Contemporary Italy.
Get engaged in a discussion about Italian society, life in Campania, the current political and economic situation in Italy and the country’s future challenges.

Return to Vietri sul Mare and enjoy dinner at leisure this evening.

Accommodations – Hotel Raito
Meals – Breakfast and Lunch

April 19 Vietri sul Mare

Free Time: Join the Elective Activity to Positano or choose to stay in Vietri sul Mare for leisure time today. Vietri sul Mare is known for its local ceramic production. You may wish to purchase the wares at the factory shops or linger at the Raito Ceramics Museum.

Elective Activity: Positano.
Activity level: Mild
See the celebrated Amalfi coastline from the sea as you cruise to pretty Positano, Italy’s most vertical town. Take a walking tour of Positano where gardens climb the hillsides and dramatic terraces are draped in pink bougainvillea. This celebrated seaside resort has inspired many artists and writers over the years. Writer John Steinbeck, once a resident, described Positano as “A dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone. Its houses climb a hill so steep it would become a cliff except that stairs are cut in it … I believe that whereas most house foundations are vertical, in Positano they are horizontal.” Available at an additional cost.

While in Positano, enjoy lunch on your own before departing via a boat.

Enrichment: The Horror and Splendor of Mount Vesuvius.
This compelling lecture will provide context for tomorrow’s visit to Herculaneum and Pompeii. Learn about the tragic effects of the first-century eruption of Mount Vesuvius and its impact on these ancient cities.

Gather with new friends and find a special establishment for dinner at leisure tonight.

Accommodations – Hotel Raito
Meals – Breakfast

April 20 Sorrento | Isle of Capri

Discovery: Sorrento.
Activity level: Moderate
Join a brief orientation of Sorrento, one of southern Italy's most beloved towns. The delightful city set the scene for the legendary Ulysses, who resisted the tempting song of the sirens by binding himself to the mast of his ship. See whether you can resist the seduction of this peaceful village's glorious gardens, tempting cafés, timeworn streets and lively squares.

Free Time: Grab lunch and shop along Sorrento’s lemon-scented streets. Visit the Town Hall, with its magnificent view of the beautiful Gulf of Sorrento, the beautiful 13th-century baroque Church of Saint Francis or the Correale di Terranova Museum, which is housed in an 18th-century palace.

Discovery: The Isle of Capri.
Activity level: Moderate
Travel by hydrofoil to the enchanting Isle of Capri, a celebrated resort since the time of the Roman Republic. Back on land, stroll through Capri’s scenic lanes or browse elegant boutiques on Via Vittorio Emanuele and Via Camerelle, Capri’s main streets. There are many shops selling souvenirs, bottles of limoncello and colorful ceramics. Pay a visit to the Augustus Gardens, incredible terraced gardens full of bougainvillea vines, marbled statues and lily ponds. The gardens offer a spectacular sea-side spot for viewing the famous Faraglioni, a trio of iconic rocks rising from the sea.

This evening, gather at a local restaurant and enjoy dinner with your group while sharing experiences of the day.

Accommodations – Hotel Raito
Meals – Breakfast and Dinner

April 21 Herculaneum | Pompeii

Discovery: Herculaneum and Pompeii.
Activity level: Moderate
Spend a full day exploring the ancient Roman cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii, which were destroyed when Mount Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79. The small seaside town of Herculaneum was preserved by mudflows while Pompeii, the larger of the two cities, was covered by ash. The resulting preservation of these two cities is unlike anything else in the world. Today, they are famous as an excavation site and outdoor museum that reveal how the people of this ancient Roman settlement lived 2,000 years ago. See everything from mosaics to furniture and frescoes as you tour the Forum, baths and houses, and unearth a history lesson like no other.

Relax over lunch at a Pompeii restaurant during your excursion.

This evening, join your fellow travelers for a Farewell Reception and Dinner.

Accommodations – Hotel Raito
Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

April 22 Depart for gateway city

After breakfast, bid farewell to the charming Amalfi coast. AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for a group transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer depart for Naples Capodichino International Airport for your return flights home. Your Travel Director will provide the details.

Meals – Breakfast and appropriate in-flight meal service

Map:


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