Sorrento: The Charm of the Amalfi Coast

Sorrento: 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 cliff-side Sorrento, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Stroll flower-filled alleyways in the vertical village of Positano, and enjoy a nautical perspective during a cruise to the lovely town of Amalfi. Witness life as it was in A.D. 79 on a tour of Herculaneum and Pompeii, frozen in time by the ash and mudflows of Mount Vesuvius. See Paestum’s fascinating Greek ruins and explore the medieval streets of Old Naples, including majestic churches, panoramic views, and the National Archaeological Museum. Relish the region’s culinary heritage with an authentic Neapolitan pizza lunch, and visit a family-owned farm to taste local olive oils and cheeses. Enjoy first-class accommodations, expert-led discussions, and an extensive meal plan featuring wine with dinner on this small-group adventure.

Trip Itinerary:

November 4 Depart Gateway City

AHI FlexAir passengers depart for Santiago’s International Airport. Please check your luggage from your gateway city to your arrival city. Your claim checks should have the following airport code: SCL.

Meals – Appropriate in-flight meal service

November 5 Naples, Italy | Sorrento

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 Hotel Plaza Sorrento. Please note, if you arrive before check-in time, your room may not be immediately available.

Discovery: Welcome to Sorrento!
Activity level: Mild
Begin your one-week stay with an introductory guided walk around 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 during a brief orientation tour of the town.

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

Accommodations – Hotel Plaza Sorrento
Meals – Dinner

November 6 Positano | Amalfi

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: Mild
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 with a walking tour of pretty Positano where gardens climb hillsides and dramatic terraces are draped with 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.”

See more of the celebrated Amalfi coastline during a cruise in a private boat to the town of Amalfi. During your boat ride, notice the charming villages and pastel-colored villas clinging to the cliffs — a true sight to behold. Arrive in Amalfi and take a short orientation tour to see the lively piazza and Cattedrale di Sant’ Andrea.

Join friends for lunch at leisure in Amalfi.

Enjoy a delectable dinner at a restaurant in Sorrento. The cuisine here 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 Plaza Sorrento
Meals – Breakfast and dinner

November 7 Naples

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.

Enrichment: Meet the People. 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 Plaza Sorrento
Meals – Breakfast and lunch

November 8 Naples

Discovery: TNaples 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!

Return to Sorrento and enjoy dinner at leisure this evening.

Accommodations – Hotel Plaza Sorrento
Meals – Breakfast and lunch

November 9 Sorrento

Free Time:Join the Elective Activity to the Isle of Capri or choose to stay in Sorrento for leisure time today. You may wish to visit Sorrento’s Town Hall, the beautiful 13th-century baroque Church of Saint Francis, or the Correale di Terranova Museum, which is housed in an 18th-century palace.

Elective Activity: The Isle of Capri.
Activity level: Moderate. (Available at additional cost.)
Travel by hydrofoil to the enchanting Isle of Capri, a celebrated resort since the time of the Roman Republic. Sail along the Capri coast, spying hidden swimming coves, caves and grottos, and see why the island is described as “a piece of paradise fallen from the skies.” 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.

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.

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

Accommodations – Hotel Plaza Sorrento
Meals – Breakfast and dinner

November 10 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.

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.

Accommodations – Hotel Plaza Sorrento
Meals – Breakfast and lunch

November 11 Sorrento

Discovery: The Green Side of Sorrento.
Activity level: Mild
Head inland to the rolling hills and visit a traditional rural farm. Enjoy an intimate connection with the region where agriculturists have a true passion for the land. Tour groves of olive trees and see how olive oil is produced to create its perfect balance of flavors. See the production of Fior di Latte, a soft cheese that is similar in texture to mozzarella, and delight in a tasting of locally made products.

Free Time: Spend your final afternoon at leisure in Sorrento. Perhaps purchase a few lemon-scented souvenirs from the city’s many boutiques and shops. Sorrentine lemons — often nicknamed “Sorrento Oval” and “Young Lady” – are flavorful and their unique aroma creates wonderful soaps, lotions, sweets and more.

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

Accommodations – Hotel Plaza Sorrento
Meals – Breakfast and dinner

November 12 Depart for U.S.

After breakfast, bid farewell to Sorrento’s 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

NOTE: Itinerary may change due to local conditions.


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