RMC Travel & Friends of Montauk present:
Italy’s Amalfi Coast
Sorrento, Ischia, Ravello, Capri, Positano, Amalfi and Naples
October 20 - 29, 2010
Come with “Friends of Montauk” 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. 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.
Add the island of Ischia, the “Green Island,” famous for its splendid thermal springs and beautiful sea coast plus Capri, still considered one of the most enchanting places in Italy, and you have a holiday to some of Italy’s most beautiful regions.
A perfect combination of southern Italian beauty with the tranquility and the elegance of very special seaside villages.
•Round-trip Luxury Liner transportation to JFK
•Round-trip jet flights to Naples
•Round-trip transfers between airport and hotels
•Accommodations in outstanding hotels
•Airline & hotel taxes
•Service charges at the hotel
•Additional meals as indicated
•Sightseeing tour as per itinerary
•Sightseeing entrance fees
•Blue Grotto tour in Capri
•Cooking lesson in Ravello
•Experience the famed Amalfi Drive coastline
•Special “create and enjoy” Pizza Nite in Naples (the world’s best pizza is in Naples)•Optional tour to Pompeii
(B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Day 1, Wednesday, October 20: Depart for Naples
Depart this evening for Naples.
Day 2, Thursday, October 21: To Sorrento (D)
Early morning arrival in Naples and proceed south to Sorrento. After we check in at our hotel, we have time to rest and get accustomed to the time change before having our informal “Welcome to Italy” dinner at our hotel.
Day 3, Friday, October 22: In Sorrento – Excursion to Ischia (B/L)
This morning we take the jet boat to the island of Ischia. Ischia is the largest of the Neapolitan islands with volcanic origins, thermal spas, fantastic landscape and hospitality. Our tour will highlight the Botanical Park in the Mortella Gardens, located at Forio d’Ischia. It was originally the property of the English composer William Walton, who lived in the Villa next door with his wife. When the composer arrived on the island in 1946, he immediately called a botanical expert from England to lay out the garden, planting wonderful tropical and Mediterranean plants, some of which have now reached amazing proportions. Then it’s off to the Church of Soccorso. This tiny white-washed church is located in a truly spectacular position: in the square on the Punta del Soccorso in Forio, it looks out onto the crystal clear sea, a typically Mediterranean site of astounding beauty. Lastly, we visit the Sanctuary of Santa Restituita. The original structure of the church in Lacco Ameno dates back to the Paleo-Christian era (4th-5th century A.D.). The current basilica was built around the year 1000 on top of the remains of the first building. The wooden statues of Santa Restituita, dating back to 1500, that are kept in the church together with some of the saint’s remains, are worthy of note. Return to Sorrento for the afternoon and evening on our own.
Day 4, Saturday, October 23: In Sorrento – Free Day or Optional Tour to Pompeii (B)
A free day in Sorrento to explore on your own. Sorrento sits on a long cliff amid lemon and olive groves overlooking the sea. A ravine divides the town with 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.
OR take an optional tour 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 today 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. The eruption, which buried the town in ash actually captured 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 are the silver lining that can be seen when you visit the ruins at Pompeii. Return to Sorrento for a free evening.
Day 5, Sunday, October 24: To Capri (B) – City Excursion and visit to the Blue Grotto
This morning we travel by jet boat to the Isle of Capri. After disembarking, we will have a tour of Anacapri and the beautiful Villa San Michele, built in the 19th century atop the ruins of Capri’s splendid Roman palaces and villas. Time to relax, explore the town and have lunch on your own at the Piazza Umberto I, often called La Piazzetta, which 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 iridescent 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 6, Monday, October 25: In Capri. On to Positano (B)
Morning at leisure for independent activities. Then depart by jet boat for the colorful town of Positano, nestled on steep cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean. Positano 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. Because of its mild climate, Positano can be visited year round. Afternoon and evening on your own.
Day 7, Tuesday, October 26: In Positano – Excursion to Amalfi (B/L)
We’ll drive along the spectacular coastline with lush gardens and olive-green slopes, that hover over the clear sea below as we make our way to Amalfi, a charming, peaceful resort town on the scenic Amalfi Coast. It was once one of the four powerful Maritime Republics and today, we explore the narrow alleyways that wind through the town up the slopes between the sea and mountains. We will see excellent examples of medieval architecture with Moorish influence including its ninth century cathedral, Duomo di Sant' Andrea, and the Cloister of Paradise, Chiostro del Paradiso. Besides history and beauty, the town is noted for great food and we will experience this at lunch at one of the local restaurants. Return to Positano for dinner on your own at another one of the outstanding eateries.
Day 8, Wednesday, October 27: In Positano – Excursion to Ravello (B/L)
After breakfast, we travel 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. We start our tour with a truly unique experience, a cooking course at the Nonna Orsola School. To travel and visit new countries also means to know the tastes and flavors. Our mid-morning lesson will consist of traditional Neapolitan cuisine with an emphasis on Amalfi recipes. This is a "demonstration" cooking course where you will learn about the natural ingredients used, which are fresh picked the very same morning of each class. Enjoy wine with the lunch that we helped to prepare. After lunch, we will see some of Ravello’s principal 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. We will also visit its impressive cathedral, the venerable Duomo, dedicated to San Pantaleone. Return to Positano for dinner on our own.
Day 9, Thursday, October 28: To Naples via the Amalfi Drive (B/D)
After breakfast we travel up the Amalfi Coast. Those who have driven California's Highway 1 recall its beautiful ocean view in an almost religious breath, as something too magnificent for words. Well, imagine something equally inspiring, and you get the legendary Amalfi Drive. Perhaps such seductive beauty is not entirely coincidental, as the Amalfis are the mythological home of the sultry sirens that captivated Odysseus and his sailors with their bewitching melodies. Arrival in the afternoon in Naples where we have some free time to walk around before our farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 10, Friday, October 29: To JFK
Board our flight back to JFK and on to Montauk.
Sorrento: Grand Hotel Parco Dei Principi
The extraordinary Parco dei Principi, is practically suspended between sky and sea, in an idyllic and fairytale setting, from the elegant gardens with their tall palms and age-old trees, flowers and plants, to the sea and the private beach.
Capri: Grand Hotel Quisisana
Since 1845 the Grand Hotel Quisisana has been welcoming its guests with all the charm and professionalism of Europe’s finest traditional Grand Hotels, into an atmosphere of exclusive elegance. The Quisisana is a luxury hotel, the hospitality of which has proved to be a source of inspiration in Capri and throughout the world.
Positano: Hotel Covo dei Saraceni
The Hotel Covo dei Saraceni is a 5 star hotel blessed with a unique and unforgettable charm. Its 58 rooms are a perfect setting with its terrace restaurants, rooftop pool and excellent southern Italian service.
Naples: Hotel Majestic Napoli
This comfortable standard hotel is centrally located overlooking the gulf. A wonderful comfortable hotel for our last night’s accommodations.
Double Occupancy $2,995
Single Room supplement $889
PLUS (add to above costs):
U.S. airline facility, security, taxes and Fuel Surcharge $384
Prepaid Gratuities $125
Contribution to Friends of Montauk $100
Optional Tour to Pompeii $78 plus $18 entrance fee (based on a minimum of 6)
Extra seat for comfort (including taxes, etc) $799
Land Only (Own Air to/from Italy) $2,595
Note that accommodations on this trip are “run-of-the-house”. If you wish to guarantee water-view rooms, please add the following:
Positano (Jr suite): $96
Need assistance or have questions? Call Raymond at 668-5327
or e-mail at Rcortell@aol.com