Twin-centre comfortable hotels each with a swimming pool.
Group flights are direct non-stop to Naples with British Airways.
2012 Standard Itinerary
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7 nights Comfortable Hotel
Swimming: both hotels have a pool - see Trip Notes for details.
Approx 18 -
Minimum Age: 6
Explore Tour Leader plus driver and local guides.
Italy Family Adventure Tour
Details may vary depending on departure date. Please choose
This charming corner of Italy is renowned for its superb scenery, mouth-watering cuisine and fine weather. Along the dramatic coastline we visit the Roman city of Pompeii and the majestic Greek temples of Paestum. We walk on the summit of Vesuvius where we can look down into its vast volcanic crater. Join us making classic Italian pizzas, or simply enjoy the sunshine by the hotel pool.
Sorrento Peninsula - Stunning scenery and a spectacular coastline overlooking the Gulf of Naples
Pompeii - An entire intact city that has taught us more about the Roman way of life than any other site
Vesuvius - Drive and walk to the summit
Capri - ‘The most beautiful island in the Mediterranean’
Amalfi Coast - Coastal villages and the picturesque gem of Amalfi town
Italian Food - Sample delicious pizza, ice-cream and local produce
Join tour Naples Airport; Transfer to Sorrento Peninsula
Our adventure begins on the lovely Sorrento Peninsula, where we will be spending the first few days exploring the glorious beauty and historic remains along this stretch of coast of Sorrento.
Overnight Comfortable Hotel
Train to Pompeii; visit site and then drive to Vesuvius
This morning sees us boarding the Circumvesuviana train to Pompeii. On arrival we will enjoy a guided walk around this remarkably well-preserved example of a provincial Roman city. The town once housed 15,000 people and was an important commercial centre, as well as a favourite residence of wealthy Roman patricians, until one fateful day some 2,000 years ago, when the powerful eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius (1277m) buried the city, preserving forever in layers of ash and pumice, the town and its unfortunate citizens. You can still see the extensive colonnaded forum with its Temple of Jupiter and the magnificently decorated villas such as that of the Vetii, whilst the human casts that have been made of some of the unfortunate victims trapped by the eruption afford a unique snapshot of an event that happened over two millennia ago. Following our visit we will take a chartered bus on to Vesuvius itself and walk to the rim of the volcanic crater, from where there are remarkable views of Naples, the coastal plain and the glistening bay. (Please note it may not be possible to walk around the whole rim of the volcano.) Vesuvius is the only active volcano on the European mainland and dominates the skyline between Naples and Pompeii, rising up from the flat, fertile landscape around it. Since the mighty eruption of AD79, which destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum, it has had another 18 violent eruptions, the last one, in 1944, surprising the Allied forces and destroying an entire squadron of 88 B-25 bombers belonging to the American Air Force! Don’t worry though - Vesuvius is amongst the most studied and closely monitored volcanoes in the world, so we should get plenty of warning if it does blow again. From here we return back to Sorrento.
AM tour of the Sorrento Town; PM visit agriturismo
After breakfast this morning we depart the hotel by local train for the centre of Sorrento where we start our walking tour of this popular town. The city is originally presumed to have been of Greek origin, going on to become a favoured summer retreat of the Romans. Rediscovered as a holiday haven in the 18th century, it went on to attract the likes of Casanova, Byron, Wagner and Alexander Dumas to its tranquil shores, so as you can see, we are in good company. On this tour we will see and experience some of the highlights of Sorrento such as the Cathedral, the public gardens and most importantly, a classic of Italian culture - the Gelato Italiano (Italian Ice Cream)! Our afternoon tour takes us through a beautiful landscape blanketed in orange and olive groves, terraced farmland and vineyards, to a local Agriturismo (working farm) in the hills above the Gulf to see how the local produce is cultivated and made. Surrounded by apple orchards, olive groves and vineyards, the farm produces an array of products, from olive oil to jams and honey and there will be time to perhaps sample and purchase some of the products before we return to Sorrento and our hotel.
AM hydrofoil to Capri; PM free to visit Blue Grotto
This morning we take a hydrofoil across the Gulf of Naples to the beautiful island of Capri, where, weather permitting, we will hope to enjoy a boat trip around its stunning coastline. There may be an option to visit the delightful Villa San Michele, owned by the Swedish scientist, doctor and author Axel Munthe until his death in 1949. Built on the site of the ruins of the villa once owned by the emperor Tiberius, this elegant property contains an interesting museum boasting a wealth of artefacts that date back through to antiquity, and the gardens present some breathtaking views of the island, the Sorrento Peninsula and Mount Vesuvius. If sea conditions allow there may be time to visit the celebrated Blue Grotto (optional), where refracted sunlight through the translucent waters produces iridescent effects of light and colour. Alternatively you can walk to the Villa Jovis, the ruins of Tiberius’ cliff top palace from where the views over the island and the Bay of Naples are nothing short of spectacular. Be warned the climb takes about 45 minutes and is fairly strenuous. Capri was the favourite residence of the emperors Augustus and Tiberius and the latter lived here almost continuously for the last decade of his life, reputedly diverting himself by hurling his former favourites off a 1,000-foot precipice into the waters below! More fantastic views are afforded from the top of Mount Solare, which can be accessed by chairlift (optional)at Anacapri town. Later this afternoon we will return to the mainland.
Today we leave the Sorrento Peninsula behind and head for the Amalfi coast and Scala, a little town that sits in the hills overlooking the beautiful Amalfi coastline. The drive itself is a pleasure and highlight with wonderful views. Over the next few days you will have the opportunity to either relax and enjoy the tranquil surroundings of Scala, a town that is next door to the famous Ravello and a short walk or taxi ride from the even more famous town of Amalfi. This afternoon there is the chance to indulge in some pizza or pasta making, with the bonus (or not, depending upon your culinary skills) of eating what you have made later in the day.
This morning we drive to a local Buffalo Farm, to see for ourselves how the water buffalos produce a range of products from cheese to yoghurt. This area is famed for its Mozzarella cheese and we get a chance today to try some fresh buffalo Mozarella, on the hoof as it were! After a guided tour of the farm, seeing how the cheese is made and processed and visiting the museum, we depart for an afternoon visit to the ancient site of Paestum (unguided). Founded by the Greeks in the 6th century BC and then colonized by the Romans, this once important city on the open plains to the south of the River Sele lay undisturbed amongst verdant forest until its rediscovery in the 18th century. Dedicated to the goddess Hera the site contains some of the best-preserved Doric temples in Europe and the impressive remains of the Temple of Neptune and the Basilica of Hera present us with a quite spectacular setting.
This morning we take a trip to the nearby town of Amalfi for a visit to without doubt one of the highlights of this coastal region. A great maritime power since the times of the Byzantine era, Amalfi went on to reach its pinnacle during the Middle Ages, when it was an independent trading republic rivalling even those of Venice, Pisa and Genoa. The beautiful 11th Century Cathedral of St. Andrea dominates the town, a magnificent combination of Romanesque and Saracen design, with an impressive set of bronze doors that hailed from Constantinople. At the far end of the town lies the ‘Valley of the Millsî, a once important centre of Amalfi’s paper industry, that today echoes with the ghosts of its past glories. This afternoon there are a number of possible options available, depending on the interests and abilities of the group. One alternative is a visit to Ravello, a tranquil spot located high on a rocky promontory overlooking the azure waters of the coast. A glorious mix of Moorish flair and aristocratic excess, the town’s captivating charms have attracted artists and writers to its enchanting streets for generations. Another option is a walk along the stunning coastline perhaps, with a visit to one of the paper mills and museums to learn a little something of the areas historical importance.
Please note that from time to time our itineraries may be amended, either for operational reasons or in response to feedback from customers. Please ensure you have read the latest Tour Notes before booking or travelling on your tour.
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