Discover the cultural and natural treasures of Naples, the Isles of Capri and Ischia, and the Amalfi Coast in a celebration of beauty and bounty that goes beyond the expected with insider opportunities to experience life in southern Italy.
Featuring accommodations in the Leading Hotels of the World, this new all small group trip takes guests on a weeklong excursion that ensures an authentic look at la dolce vita sunrise to sunset. Enjoy sea view rooms at a historic hotel in Naples that Enrico Caruso once called home, embark on a day's excursion to Ischia via high-speed ferry, spend two nights indulging in Mediterranean island pleasures in a former villa on Capri, and stay in a cliffside hideaway in Amalfi with the splendors of one of the most beautiful coasts in the world right outside your door.
Tour Begins: 6:00 PM, Grand Hotel Vesuvio. A transfer is included upon arrival from Naples International Airport or Naples train station to the Grand Hotel Vesuvio, ideally located in Naple’s pedestrian area of Santa Lucia, overlooking the enchanting Bay of Naples, the island of Capri and Mount Vesuvius. Enjoy views of the sea during your three-night stay at this celebrated hotel, boasting a legacy of service and setting that made it a favorite for such famous guests as opera singer Enrico Caruso, who called it his “Neapolitan” home. Join us for a welcome reception and dinner.
Culturally rich with historic treasures that date back millennia to the days of the Greeks and Romans, Naples invites discovery at every turn. Begin the day with a guided visit to the Naples Archaeological Museum, whose exhibits include ancient mosaics found under the ashes of Mt. Vesuvius. Then a late-morning walking tour leads you through the “Spaccanapoli” – the narrow, "split" backstreets that cut Naples in two – where the character of the Old Town comes alive in alleyways lined with artisan workshops, cafés, squares, ancient churches, merchants’ shops and balconied apartments where neighbors greet passersby. Stop for lunch at a local restaurant renowned for its pizza – a dish which is said to have been invented in Naples. The rest of the day is free to explore as you wish, with many restaurants conveniently located steps from your hotel, for dinner as you please.
The island of Ischia
Board a high-speed ferry bound for the island of Ischia across the Gulf of Naples today, where a locally guided sightseeing tour includes a visit to the medieval Aragonese Castle. Dating back to 474 BC, the castle sits atop a rocky island peninsula and reigns over the sea in a mix of ancient watchtowers, churches and monasteries steeped in romance and regal lore. Next, enjoy a lovely coastal drive en route to a farmhouse lunch at a local agriturismo near Forio. Continue on to the picturesque fishing village of Sant’Angelo for some free time to explore as you wish. From Forio, head back via high-speed ferry to Naples; spend the remainder of the day and evening just as you please in Napoli.
Herculaneum & A Ferry to Capri
Visit the ash-covered city of Herculaneum today, learning firsthand about this ancient Roman town that was frozen in time when nearby Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. A city of some 4,000+ inhabitants, well-preserved Herculaneum was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for providing “an authentic picture of society and daily life at a specific moment in the past that is without parallel anywhere in the world.” See multi-storied homes, complete with doors, staircases and furnishings, vivid frescoes and mosaics, as you explore the archaeological site with an expert guide. Enjoy a panoramic tour as you drive back to Naples, viewing iconic piazzas and historic buildings representing the former Kingdom of Naples. Ride a high-speed ferry to the island of Capri. Private convertible cars will be waiting to chauffeur you to your historic villa hotel, your elegant home for the next two nights.
Charms of Capri and Anacapri
A private convertible car will drive you like a VIP today up to Anacapri for a guided walking tour of the town, highlighting the local specialties of the island, from perfume to colorful ceramics and sandals. Visit Villa San Michele, built by Swedish doctor Axel Munthe at the turn of the 20th century atop the ruins of Roman Emperor Tiberius’ ancient villa; the elegant villa itself, its beautiful gardens decorated with ancient artifacts, and its incredible views of Capri and its harbor are stunning – you'll also have an opportunity to enjoy them from the water on a cruise around the island. Spend the remainder of the day experiencing the charms of Capri at your leisure.
Via Sorrento to the Amalfi Coast
Ferry back to the mainland today en route to a two-night stay in Amalfi. After lunch at a restaurant in Sorrento, drive along the incomparable Amalfi Coast to the 19th-century cliffside Hotel Santa Caterina, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, built on a rock overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Spend the afternoon and evening luxuriating in the setting and views of your hotel; with a private beach club, heated saltwater pool and two seaside restaurants, it is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy a true taste of la dolce vita.
Breathtaking Sights of Amalfi & Ravello
Prepare to be awed today with scenic beauty that takes your breath away as you explore the lemon-scented towns of the Amalfi Coast. Enjoy time to soak in Amalfi, a maritime powerhouse in the 11th century, and the Piazza Duomo, taking the opportunity to ascend the 62-step stairway to the cathedral if you’re game. Drive along a narrow winding road, past olive and lemon trees, up to the glamorous 5th-century village of Ravello; founded as a sanctuary for barbarian invaders, today it is a haven of sophistication and style. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before strolling through the gardens at 13th-century Villa Rufolo, overlooking the sea, that inspired Richard Wagner’s dream garden in his opera, Parsifal. Return to Amalfi for a relaxing late afternoon, followed by a farewell reception and dinner at your hotel.
Tour ends: Naples. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from Hotel Santa Caterina in Amalfi to Naples International Airport or the Naples train station. Allow a minimum of three hours for flight check in at the airport.