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Beyond the View: The Amalfi Coast and Sorrento

Program Number: 18213RJ
Start and End Dates:
3/4/2013 - 3/17/2013; 3/22/2016 - 4/3/2016; 4/5/2016 - 4/17/2016; 4/19/2016 - 5/1/2016; 5/3/2016 - 5/15/2016; 5/17/2016 - 5/29/2016; 5/31/2016 - 6/12/2016; 9/6/2016 - 9/18/2016; 9/20/2016 - 10/2/2016; 10/4/2016 - 10/16/2016; 10/18/2016 - 10/30/2016; 11/1/2016 - 11/13/2016;
Duration: 13 nights
Location: Italy
Price starting at: $2,994.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 31; 12 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free; None; None    

The cliff-top road along the Amalfi Coast is one of the most beautiful stretches in the world, but this sun-kissed region has so much more to offer than just a scenic drive. Experience life in the artisan’s paradise of Sorrento and the tiny town of Minori, see the pride and skill that goes into intarsia woodworking and the making of the infused liqueur known as limoncello, and, yes, have your breath taken away as you drive and boat along the rugged coastline.


• On a boat excursion along the Amalfi Coast, appreciate the picture-postcard view of the houses and gardens clinging perilously to the cliffs.
• Investigate the lost cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, searching the sites for frozen-in-time structures and valued artifacts.
• Step inside the famous Villa Rufolo with its imposing Arab architecture and lovely gardens that inspired Wagner as he penned Parsifal.

Activity Particulars

Extended walking and standing during site visits; uneven terrain, especially at archaeological sites. Boarding small boats and ferries.

Date Specific Information

3-4-2013, 4-5-2016, 4-19-2016, 5-3-2016, 5-17-2016, 5-31-2016, 9-6-2016, 9-20-2016, 10-4-2016, 10-18-2016, 11-1-2016

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.


Over the Easter weekend, Sorrento is characterized by numerous celebrations open to visitors. Experience processions, music, and traditional food typical of the area.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Naples; coach to Sorrento, 8 nights; coach to Positano; boat to Amalfi; coach to Minori, 3 nights; coach to Naples for departure

Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Naples
Coach to Sorrento
8 nights

Learn about the contemporary issues facing Italy during an expert-led lecture. Discover firsthand two things Sorrento is famous for: making limoncello, a citrus infused liqueur, and crafting inlaid woodworking. Ferry to the chic island of Capri and take a chauffeured convertible ride to the hilltop villa of San Michele. Experience Sorrentine agriculture at an agriturismo, a working farm where you can sample fresh produce and olive oil.

Coach to Positano
Boat to Amalfi
Coach to Minori
3 nights
Coach to Naples for departure

Experience the stunning Amalfi Coast by land on the Amalfi Drive, winding beside the Tyrrhenian Sea, and by sea on boat excursions along the shore. Discover the ancient Greco-Roman city of Paestum and its painted Tomb of the Diver. Amalfi was renowned for the production cotton rag paper--visit the museum during your free time.


“Dolce far niente,” the “sweetness of doing nothing.” This ode to leisure is a distinctly Italian phrase, and yet the expression does not do justice to the hard-work ethos of the nation’s inhabitants. The monuments, art and civilization bequeathed to the people of modern Italy are a testament to the industry of their forebearers, and the legacy lives on in today’s Italians, who work hard to better enjoy the sweetness of repose.

Sorrento: Four-star hotel set in shaded garden in heart of the city. Amalifi/Minori: Four-star hotel with sea breezes and bougainvillea-draped walls.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Jan Gilbert

Jan Gilbert has been leading Road Scholar programs in Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast since 1990. A native English speaker, Jan has lived most of her adult life in the Sorrentine peninsula. She has the unique ability to present just enough facts of her beloved slice of Italy to Road Scholar explorers so they can make their own discoveries of the magnificent natural beauty and charm of people of the Amalfi Coast.
Candace Ellis

A resident of Capri and Siena, Candace Ellis loves sharing her knowledge of Naples’ rich history with visitors in her presentations on contemporary history. She holds a degree in political science from a prestigious Italian university and is currently a professor at the University of Maryland, European Division. “I am an enthusiastic believer in the spirit of Road Scholar programs,” Candace says, “I love to see the understanding dawning on the faces of participants.”
Linda O'Brien

Linda O'Brien pursued her undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, where she was awarded an advanced degree in art history and archaeology with honors from the Université Libre de Bruxelles. She completed post-graduate work in symbolic anthropology at Stanford University and is currently professor of art history for the European Division of the University of Maryland.
Michela Porcelli

Michela Porcelli was awarded an advanced degree in linguistic anthropology from the University of Naples. Fluent in English, Swedish, Spanish and French, Michela studied in the U.S. at the University of California Santa Barbara. Currently, she lives in Naples where she is involved in several research projects in linguistics at the university there.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Cesare Augusto
  Sorrento, Italy 9 nights
   Hotel Villa Romana
  Amalfi/Minori, Italy 3 nights
 Hotel Cesare Augusto
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Sorrento has been a mecca for illustrious visitors – writers, musicians, and royalty – since the 1700s. Exceptional for its cleanliness and safety in a region not often associated with these virtues, Sorrento is the ideal base for exploration of the bay’s resources, while offering a vibrant life of its own. Our programs reside at a comfortable four-star facility overlooking lemon and orange groves, and mere minutes on foot from the old town.
  Contact info: Viale degli Aranci, 108
Sorrento, NA 80067 Italy
phone: +39 081 8782700
  Room amenities: Each room has soundproof windows, small terrace, private bath, minibar, satellite TV, hair dryer, safe for valuables and individual temperature control (air conditioning in the summer; heat in the winter)
  Facility amenities: Relax in the spacious lounge in the lobby. Enjoy a drink made by a professional barista in the lobby lounge. A rooftop pool with lounge, snack and bar service is open May-Sept. Free Wi-Fi connection throughout the hotel.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: varies by season If you plan to book additional nights at the hotel, Lavinia Tour, Trinity College’s partnering agency in Rome: Another option is to book directly through the hotel’s online reservation system Indicate to the hotel or agency at the time of your booking that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Hotel Villa Romana
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: On the Amalfi Coast lies the seaside resort of Minori. Archaeological evidence based on the ruins of an imperial age villa uncovered nearby indicates the area was populated by Romans in the 1st century. Today the village continues to attract visitors to its tranquil shores and piazza-like atmosphere. Perfectly situated near Amalfi, Ravello, Maiori and the ceramic tile center of Vietri, Minori will serve as our base. From there we will coach to Paestum, a 5th century Greek settlement with magnificently preserved temples.
  Contact info: Corso Vittorio Emanuele
Minori (Amalfi),   Italy
phone: +39 089 877 237
  Room amenities: satellite television, mini-bar, safe box for valuables, hair dryer and individual climate control.
  Facility amenities: The hotel is a short walk from the beach and sea front promenade. Breakfast and dinner will be served in the hotel restaurant. Relax in the spacious lounge with full bar service. The outdoor pool is open May—September. There is an internet point in the lobby for your convenience; charges apply.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: varies by season To book additional nights at the hotel, email Lavinia Tour, Trinity College’s partnering agency in Rome, Another option is to book directly through the hotel’s online reservation system Indicate to the hotel or agency at the time of your booking that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Lunch provided for morning arrivals. Hotel check in 2:00 pm. Meet in lobby at 4:00 for neighborhood walk You will be staying at Hotel Cesare Augusto that night.
  End of Program:
After breakfast, transfers to airport. Hotel check out by 11:00 am You will be staying at Hotel Villa Romana the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Sorrento is connected to Naples by the Circumvesuviana, a minor commuter railway line. Naples is on the main railway line linking major cities in Italy.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Sorrento
  Nearest city or town:  Naples
  Nearest highway: Autostrata del Sole
  Nearest airport:  Capodichino
  Transportation to site: To reach the program site on your own, you have 2 options. The first is with public bus. Curreri Co. buses depart from the stop in front of the airport terminal. The ticket (10 euros pp) can be purchased on board the bus. The ride takes about 1.5 hours with various stops along the way. In Sorrento, get off at the Circumvesuviana train station. From there, take a taxi for the short ride to the hotel. Fare is about 10 euros. If you can manage your bags for a 7 min. walk to the hotel, turn left as you exit the station, walk to the end of the paved lot behind the station, climb the 20 steps that lead to Viale degli Aranci. Turn right, the hotel is 300 ft. ahead. The second option, a private transfer direct from the airport to the hotel in Sorrento can be arranged through a local agency. Contact Lavinia Tour tel. 011 39 06 3937 7453, fax 011 39 06 3937 6910, email: Fare is approx.170 euros for the service.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Amalfi/Minori
  Nearest city or town:  Minori
  Nearest highway: Amalfi Hwy, A1 hwy
  Nearest airport:  Capodichino
  Transportation from site: To reach the Naples airport on your own, there are no direct public ground transportation services from Minori. A private transfer direct from the hotel in Minori to the Naples airport can be arranged through a local agency, tel. 011 39 06 3937 7453, fax 011 39 06 3937 6910, email: Private car and driver will cost approx. 175 euros.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Departure from points in North America
(Monday, March 4)
 In Transit: Overnight flight over the Atlantic Ocean with arrivals the following day.

Day 2: Arrival / Welcome Reception
(Tuesday, March 5)

Note: Light day to adjust from jet lag.

 Arrive To: Arrivals at Naples Airport. Transfer by coach to Sorrento.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel served buffet style at 1:30 p.m.
 Afternoon: 4:30. Orientation walk of Sorrento. Welcome to Sorrento reception and introductions to meet your group leader and fellow learners.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Hotel Cesare Augusto
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Orientation session / Roman Art and Archaeology
(Wednesday, March 6)

Note: Leisure walk around town and to the port.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Staff introduces program schedule, lectures and excursions. A final schedule with times and names of all restaurants will be handed out. A walk in the neighborhood follows pointing out churches, restaurants, pharmacies and banking services. The walk continues down to the characteristic old port.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel served buffet style.
 Afternoon: An expert presents a lecture with slides on Classical Roman and Greek art and archaeology. A brief session goes over suggestions and details on what to do during free time and recommendations on local cafes and restaurants.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Hotel Cesare Augusto
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Explore Pompeii / Sorrentine Traditions
(Thursday, March 7)

Note: Pompeii is a vast open archaeological site with uneven terrain. Unlike an enclosed museum with benches for visitors, there are few places to rest in the open site. The ruins reveal cobblestone streets, sidewalks and dirt paths. There is a gradual incline, nothing steep.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at hotel
 Morning: Coach to Pompeii. A local expert guide leads the visit to the archaeological site of Pompeii. Wander the streets of the city frozen in time in August of 79 CE. Walk into the amphitheater, see where the gladiators trained, walk down Via Abbondanza, the main street, observe 1st century political grafitti.
 Lunch: Lunch at Ristorante Vesuvio in the modern town of Pompei.
 Afternoon: Coach to Sorrento for a classroom session on a personal look into customs and traditions of greater Naples with particular emphasis on Sorrento.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
Accommodations: Hotel Cesare Augusto
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Free Morning / Political History
(Friday, March 8)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Free Morning
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: A presentation on Italian Political History reveals the problems the republic has faced since its late entry into statehood (1861).
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Hotel Cesare Augusto
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Herculaneum / Neapolitan Music Tradition
(Saturday, March 9)

Note: Uneven streets and sidewalks make walking a little difficult over the cobblestones. There is a short incline to descend and ascend. As an open archaeological site, there are few places to sit and rest.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Coach to and guided visit of Herculaneum, a Roman resort destroyed by mud flows unlike Pompeii, which was buried by ash in 79 CE. The excavated Villa of the Papyri was the inspiration for the Getty Museum in Malibu, California.
 Lunch: Coach to Sorrento to enjoy a buffet lunch at the hotel.
 Afternoon: A musicologist expounds on the tradition from the 16th century conservatories in Naples to the popular music from the late 19th century which brought songs such as O Sole Mio and Funiculi, Funicula to the world stage.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Hotel Cesare Augusto
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Free Morning / Life in Italy Today
(Sunday, March 10)

Note: Not a strenuous day for group activity

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Free time in the morning.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own
 Afternoon: Examine the issues facing Italy today in a lecture and discussion of the country's contemporary health care system, education, religion, and women's issues, and discover the ways in which Italy continues to undergo rapid economic and societal change. Question and answer period follows.
 Dinner: Dinner at Ristorante Taverna Allegra in Sorrento.
Accommodations: Hotel Cesare Augusto
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: Full Day Excursion to the Isle of Capri
(Monday, March 11)

Note: Board the ferry via the gangplank. Transportation is provided on the island, but Capri is mountainous and has some inclines in the town of Anacapri and at the villa and gardens we visit.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Board a boat to Capri. Indulge in a full day on the Mediterranean's most lush island while roaming the intricate cobbled laneways and the chic neighborhoods. Guided visit to the villa of Axel Munthe. Weather permitting enjoy the scenery from the convertible car with the top down.
 Lunch: Lunch at Ristorante La Giara in Capri.
 Afternoon: Capri visit continues. Visit Villa San Michele. Some free time to climb the ruins of the villa of Tiberius or savor a gelato at a waterfront cafe. Boat returns to Sorrento by late afternoon.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own
Accommodations: Hotel Cesare Augusto
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9: Marquetry Workshop / Cooking Demo in the Countryside
(Tuesday, March 12)

Note: Panoramic drive to Piano di Sorrento. Non strenuous walk to a working farm.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Visit the Tarsia Museum that displays the materials, tools and traditional motifs used by master craftsmen of marquetry, or inlaid wood design. To ensure continuity for the decorative art tradition the museum is also a workshop to teach the craft to local youth.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.
 Afternoon: Coach to the Sorrento countryside for a cooking demonstration and sampling of local produce, including olive oil.
 Dinner: Enjoy the dinner you have prepared.
 Evening: Coach to Sorrento after dinner at the agriturismo.
Accommodations: Hotel Cesare Augusto
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Pasta Factory Visit / Archaeological Museum in Naples
(Wednesday, March 13)

Note: The museum in Naples has long marble staircases as well as elevator access to the upper floors. A leisurely walk around the ex-Royal palace.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Visit a factory in Gragnano that has been producing special cuts of pasta since 1868.
 Lunch: Lunch at Ristorante Maccheroneria.
 Afternoon: Coach to Naples. Guided visit of the Archaeological Museum which houses treasures and artifacts found in Pompeii and Herculaneum, including the famed Alexander Mosaic, Flora and Fauna, and the Farnese Bull.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Hotel Cesare Augusto
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Positano/Transfer to Amalfi Coast hotel
(Thursday, March 14)

Note: Coach to Positano, boat ride from Positano to Amalfi. In case of bad weather prevents boat from leaving, ability to walk up the hill along the sidewalk to reach the bus parking lot.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Amalfi Coast Drive, the scenic narrow winding road cut into the steep cliffs above the Mediterranean Sea. On route, visit the elegant seaside town of Positano with its characteristic white houses that cling in tiers to the rock face.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant in Amalfi.
 Afternoon: Board a vessel bound for Amalfi from where you can fully appreciate the cascading houses and luscious gardens on the mountain face. In Amalfi, visit the cathedral of St. Andrew and an interesting museum that illustrates the techniques of milling paper, an industry that flourished in Amalfi in the 12th century. Transfer to Minori and check into the hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Hotel Villa Romana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Paestum / Limoncello Tasting
(Friday, March 15)

Note: Uneven dirt paths lead to the famous Greek temples, the terrain is level. Leisure walk to the adjacent museum.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: An hour long drive south takes us to the Greek settlement of Paestum, dedicated to Poseidon. The highlights include doric style temples dating from the 6th and 5th centuries BCE dedicated to Hera. The adjacent museum contains the famed painted tomb of the diver.
 Lunch: Lunch at a countryside trattoria.
 Afternoon: The adjacent museum contains the famed painted tomb of the diver. Later, back in Minori, enjoy a sampling of limoncello, the spirit made from Sorrento lemons.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Hotel Villa Romana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Ravello and Amalfi
(Saturday, March 16)

Note: Ravello is a hill town; requires walking up hill from bus parking and around town. Villa Rufolo's gardens are terraced with paved steps. Easy pace.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Coach to Ravello, a medieval hill town above Amalfi for a visit to the world renowned Villa Rufolo, inspiration to Richard Wagner and other artists.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Excursion on the Amalfi Coast continues. Some free time late afternoon in Minori.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Hotel Villa Romana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 14: Departure
(Sunday, March 17)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel; continental style for participants with early morning departure.
 Morning: Coach to and Depart from Naples airport.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Sorrento Museo Correale
Neapolitan Paintings: 17th, 18th, 19th centuries. European, Oriental porcelain, clocks, inlaid woodwork, archaeological finds. Closed on Tuesdays. For additional information, visit
Archeological site close to Pompeii with several historical Roman villas. For additional information, visit NA
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Blue Guide Southern Italy

Author: Paul Blanchard

Description: A comprehensive guide to Southern Italy and especially its archaeology, history and culture. With maps and site plans.

Campania Basilicata Map

Author: Touring Club Italiano

Description: A colorful, durable map of Campania, including Naples and the Amalfi Coast.

Eyewitness Guide Naples & Amalfi Coast

Author: Eyewitness Guides

Description: This superb guide features color photography, dozens of excellent neighborhood maps and a district-by-district synopsis of the region's attractions.

Greene on Capri, A Memoir

Author: Shirley Hazzard

Description: This book is ultimately a memoir about the author's friendship with Graham Greene, but there's plenty of commentary of Capri’s history and culture for those seeking a flavor of the place.

Herculaneum: Italy's Buried Treasure

Author: Joseph Jay Deiss

Description: An artful and wonderfully written description of daily life of the Romans at the time of the destruction of Herculaneum.

La Bella Figura, A Field Guide to the Italian Mind

Author: Beppe Severgnini

Description: Italians themselves love this guide to the Italian character, which addresses the apparently never-ending passion for beauty, disorder and high emotion. Severgnini opens the book with a snapshot of the hubbub at Malpensa Airport, then moves on to Tuscany, Rome, Naples and Sardinia.

Lonely Planet Italian Phrasebook

Author: Lonely Planet

Description: A handy palm-size phrasebook for the traveler.

Pompeii, Public and Private Life

Author: Paul Zanker, Deborah Schneider (Translator)

Description: A comprehensive guide to the architecture, people and culture of Pompeii, focusing on both grand public spaces and private villas. With 21 color illustrations and 55 halftones, including site plans, models, mosaics and sculpture.

Pompeii, The Day a City Died

Author: Robert Etienne

Description: This indispensable pocket guide illustrates daily life in the city as told by its evocative frescoes, mosaics and treasures.

Pompeii, The Living City

Author: Alex Butterworth, Ray Laurence

Description: A meticulous historical and archaeological reconstruction of the city of Pompeii, its people, culture and daily rituals both before and after 79 AD, the year of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.

The Ancient Shore

Author: Shirley Hazzard

Description: Hazzard's lyrical collection of essays on the history, beauty, complexities and contradictions of Naples. Includes a celebrated New Yorker essay by husband Francis Steegmuller.

The Fires of Vesuvius, Pompeii Lost and Found

Author: Mary Beard

Description: With the panache of a gifted classicist, Mary Beard (Wonders of the World) conjures daily life in celebrated Pompeii, not only demolishing with particular relish the many myths that have grown up around the place but also emphasizing the limits of our knowledge. Some things we simply shall never know for certain.


Author: Gillian Darley

Description: Gillian Darley unveils the human responses to Vesuvius, both feared and celebrated, from a cast of characters as far-flung as Pliny the Younger and David Hockney in this entry in Harvard University Press's excellent Wonders of the World series, a perfect introduction for travelers to Pompeii and Herculaneum.

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