RMC Travel and the Easthampton Trails Preservation Society present:
The Rugged Adriatic Mountains & the Amalfi Coast
Featuring Abruzzo, Amalfi, Ravello, Positano & Capri
May 9 - 20, 2011
What an incredible combination…the two coasts of Italy.
We start in the rugged mountains of Abruzzo. And while many foreign travelers prefer the "picture postcard" beauty of the north, visiting Abruzzo is to witness an age-old Italian lifestyle that has not changed for centuries. Here you'll find ancient beechwood forests, century-old pathways still used by colorfully-attired shepherds and their flocks, ominous castles which now guard nothing but desolate stretches of wilderness where the only sign of life might be a soaring royal eagle or a lone family of mountain goats.
Though Italians traditionally think of Abruzzo as a remote, mountainous region, its eastern border is marked by vast sandy beaches stretching along the Adriatic north and south of Pescara. Venture west from here and you will indeed soon enter the hills, which rise quickly to become the infamous Abruzzo mountains, dotted with some of the least visited hill towns in Italy. This is what Italian grandmothers called God's Country.
Then we board our coach and head west to Italy’s Amalfi Coast. Steeped in history and legend, the Amalfi Coast boasts a wealth of Roman antiquities as well as influences of the Saracens from the East. And excellent trails for walking.
Located just south of Naples the famous coastal towns of Amalfi, Positano and Ravello have more than their share of natural gifts; lush flora, superb cuisine, wine and spectacular scenery. Here you can find distinctive ceramics, limoncello (the local lemon liqueur) and the prized mozzarella di bufala … not to mention some of the most scenic walks in Europe.
We end our journey with a stay in Capri, still considered one of the most enchanting places in Italy, and we have relaxing time in one of Italy’s most beautiful resorts before heading home.
A perfect combination of rugged Italian beauty with the tranquility and elegance of very special seaside villages.
YOUR TOUR INCLUDES:
Round-trip air transportation
Round-trip transportation to JFK
Round-trip transfers between airport and hotels
Accommodations in outstanding hotels and Inns
Airline and hotel taxes
Service charges at the hotel
Additional lunches and dinners as indicated
Sightseeing tour as per itinerary
Sightseeing entrance fees
Wonderful walks and easy hikes
Escorted by a special guide while hiking
Visit the Museum of Traditions and Transhumance in Abruzzo
Visit to a local cheese farm with a tasting
Visit the Rocca Calascio in Santo Stefano
Sightseeing in Ravello
Optional tour to Pompeii
Tour of Capri’s Blue Grotto
(B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Day 1 - Monday, May 9: Depart for Rome, Italy
Depart from Montauk or Easthampton to JFK for our flight to Europe.
Day 2 - Tuesday, May 10: To Rome and on to Santo Stefano (D)
Arrival in Rome where our coach and escort will meet and transfer us to the mountains of Abruzzo and our accommodations in the charming town of Santo Stefano. Our hotel warrants special mention as the Hotel Sextantio Albergo Diffuso offers unique accommodations in the fortified medieval village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio, deep in the Abruzzo hillside. This spectacular hilltop village in the Gran Sasso National Park has been perfectly preserved. Rooms and junior suites are scattered in the original, period buildings. You will find beautiful simple décor, locally woven linens, 17th-century wooden ceilings, and ancient fireplaces. All this is combined with modern technology, including under-floor heating and remote-controlled lighting. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 3 - Wednesday, May 11: In Santo Stefano (B/D)
After a leisurely breakfast, we do our first walk today. In the morning, walk Monte Tremoggia or Monte Camicia at about 5,000 feet. Highlight will be the local flora including the famed Edelweiss and mountain flowers that our guide will identify. In the afternoon, we visit the Museum of Traditions and Transhumance as well as the Castel del Monte. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Today’s walk is approximately 3 to 4 ˝ hours.
Day 4 – Thursday, May 12: In Santo Stefano (B/D)
In the morning we visit a local sheep farm, and taste the typical cheeses of the area. Later, walk among sheep pastures from Castel del Monte to Rocca Calascio highlighted by a visit to the castle. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Today’s walk is approximately 3 hours.
Day 5 - Friday, May 13: To Amalfi (B/L)
Pack your luggage and leave onboard as we head west for the Amalfi coast. Our destination is the town of Amalfi, a charming, peaceful resort on the scenic Amalfi Coast. It was once one of the four powerful Maritime Republics. Lunch enroute. Dinner on your own tonight.
Day 6 - Saturday, May 14: In Amalfi – Ravello to Amalfi Walk (B)
We start the day with a
transfer to Ravello, perched high on the cliffs above Amalfi. Ravello is
famous for its views and its gardens. The town was once part
of the Republic of Amalfi; now it is a peaceful historic village
popular with tourists. At Ravello, we will see some of the principal Ravello
attractions including the two famous gardens, Villa Cimbrone
and Villa Rufolo, where we can wander through the tropical plants
and enjoy fabulous views of the coastline. After lunch we return to
foot, via the pretty little port of Atrani. Dinner is on our own.
Today’s walk (village walk plus descent to Amalfi) is approximately 3 hours)
Day 7 – Sunday, May 15: To Positano (B/D)
After a hearty breakfast,
we will transfer to the village of Bomerano. Here we start our walk
of the legendary “Sentiero degli Dei”, the “Pathway of the Gods”,
which passes along mule tracks beneath towering cliffs. Then follow a
trail high above the coast to the little village of Nocelle, where we
will be transferred to nearby Positano for dinner and overnight.
Today’s walk is approximately 4 hours
Day 8 – Monday May 16: In Positano. Optional tour to Pompeii (B)
A day at leisure for independent activities. Positano, nestled on steep cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean, is one of Italy's most romantic vacation spots. Built vertically on the face of a cliff, Positano started out as a fishing village and became popular with writers and artists in the 1950's. Today it's a fashionable resort yet still retains its charm. Positano is a pedestrian town (with many stairs) and its pretty pastel colored houses and flowers make it very picturesque. A perfect day for exploring. Or you may want to take an optional excursion to the ruins of Pompeii, part of an ancient Roman city destroyed and buried by the eruption of the volcano Vesuvius in 79 A.D. The remainder of the uncovered city is buried under the new Pompeii rebuilt many years subsequent to the eruption. Although this tragic event ended the lives of 20,000 Pompeian residents, the ash that buried the town served as a sort of mummification for the entire city, actually capturing a moment in time. Under the ash, everything remained as it was at the time of the eruption. Artwork was preserved. Buildings were preserved. Several important clues were left behind. These clues give us a little glimpse into the past. These clues are the silver lining that can be seen when you visit the ruins at Pompeii. Return to Positano for a free evening.
Day 9 – Tuesday, May 17: To Sorrento (B/D)
Depart for Sorrento. Sorrento sits on a long cliff amid lemon and olive groves overlooking the sea. A ravine divides the town; the pretty old town on one side and the suburban area with hotels on the other. The old town, still retaining its Roman grid of narrow streets, was an important trading post in the middle ages. Overnight and dinner at our hotel.
Day 10 – Wednesday, May 18: In Sorrento (B)
After breakfast, we
transfer to Termini, the last village on the Sorrento peninsula.
Walk up to the small chapel of San Costanzo and then take a
beautiful path running along the impressive cliffs of the ‘Finis
Terrae’ ('Land's End') of the Amalfi peninsula at Punta Campanella.
Return to Termini and transfer by coach back to Sorrento. Dinner
on your own at one of the great local restaurants.
Today’s walk is approximately 3 hours
Day 11- Thursday, May 19: To Capri (B)This morning we travel by jet boat to the Isle of Capri. After disembarking, we will have a tour of Anacapri and the beautiful 19th century Villa San Michele. Time to relax, explore the town and have lunch on your own at the Piazza Umberto I, often called La Piazzetta, and is the central square that houses cafes and the cathedral of Santo Stefano. The piazza is filled with people both day and night. In the afternoon, we depart (weather permitting) for the famous Blue Grotto. The Blue Grotto, Grotta Azzurra, is the most fascinating of the island's many caves. Refraction of sunlight into the cave makes an unusual blue light in the water. To enter the cave one takes a small rowboat from near the cave entrance. Once inside you're met with the spectacular sight of the blue water. Evening and dinner on your own.
Day 12- Friday, May 20, In Capri (B/D)
A full day at leisure to explore Capri or relax by the pool. A visit to Capri nourishes both the mind and the spirit. Beauty's power to both inspire and heal is well-known and on this tiny Italian island, just off the coast of Naples, beauty is abundant. Whether it’s a leisurely stroll through the historic center of Capri, a tour of the ruins of Emperor Tiberius' imposing Villa Jovis, a journey by chairlift up to the summit of Mount Solaro or a walk along the lanes of Anacapri as far as the Migliera viewpoint, the island of Capri's incredibly varied and breathtaking town, sea and landscapes never fail to astound the visitor.This evening we will have a special Farewell to Italy Dinner.
Day 13: Saturday, May 21 – To USA (B)
Transfer to the airport in Naples for our flights back to JFK and back to the East End.
NOTE: This itinerary is subject to change due to conditions beyond our control.
Our Hotels (or similar)
In Santo Stefano: Hotel Sextantio 5
In Amalfi: Hotel Residence
In Positano: Hotel Pasitea
In Sorrento: Palazzo Guardati
In Capri: Excelsior Parco
For a complete brochure and registration form,
please click here.
Need assistance or have questions? Call Raymond at (631) 668-5327
or e-mail at Rcortell@aol.com