18213
Italy
Beyond the View: The Amalfi Coast and Sorrento
Explore the ruins of Pompeii, enjoy a cooking class in Sorrento, see the gardens that inspired Wagner’s Parsifal and revel in the sites as you take a deeper look at the Amalfi Coast.
Rating (4.93)
Program No. 18213RJ
Length
13 days
Starts at
3,197
Flights start at
875
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13 days
12 nights
27 meals
11 B 9 L 7 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrivals, Welcome Reception
Sorrento
L,D
Hotel Cesare Augusto

Activity note: Hotel check in 2:00 p.m.

Lunch: At the hotel a set menu with plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Meet in the lobby at 4:00 p.m. for a short walk in the neighborhood that points out banks, pharmacies and grocery stores. Circle back to the hotel for a Welcome to Sorrento reception where you will meet your group leader and fellow learners.

Dinner: At the hotel a set menu with plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy a stroll in the traffic free streets in the heart of Sorrento.

DAY
3
Orientation, Neighborhood Walk, Classical Art & Architecture
Sorrento
B,L,D
Hotel Cesare Augusto

Activity note: Leisure walk around town and to the port. Some steps through the hotel's garden cut short the walk from the hotel to the main square in Sorrento.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel. Each day you will find a selection of fresh fruit, cereals, yogurt, bread, sliced meats and cheeses, eggs, cakes and pastries, jams, juices, coffee, teas, water.

Morning: In the meeting room the Group Leader will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, emergency procedures including contact numbers for key staff, and answer any questions you may have. Please note that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration; there will be a separate session on that in the coming days.

Lunch: Buffet lunch at the hotel. Water is included. Wine, beer, and soft drinks are available for purchase.

Afternoon: Set out on foot to explore Sorrento including the characteristic old port where it's not uncommon to see fishermen bringing in the catch of the day or repairing their nets. Later in the afternoon an expert illuminates Classical Roman and Greek art and architecture.

Dinner: At a restaurant in Sorrento. Fixed menu consists of an antipasto assortment, a typical Sorrentine entrée, water and a glass of wine. Plated table service.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Explore Pompeii
Sorrento
B,L
Hotel Cesare Augusto

Activity note: It takes about an hour to travel by coach the 16 miles on back roads from Sorrento to Pompeii. The ruins of Pompeii reveal cobblestone streets, sidewalks and dirt paths. Pompeii was a city, so be aware of the size of the archaeological site. Its uneven terrain with inclines and steps makes walking a challenge. The stone pavement can be slippery when wet. Note that besides the few benches at the entrance and exit, there are no benches to sit and rest in the archaeological park.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at hotel

Morning: Coach to Pompeii. Guided visit of archaeological site. Explore 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. Notice the similarities between Pompeii where bars, restaurants, shops and bakeries line the streets, and that in any modern city in Italy.

Lunch: At a restaurant in the archaeological park. Fixed menu with an antipasto, salad and choice of pizza. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Coach back to Sorrento. Late afternoon classroom session at the hotel on Customs and Traditions of Sorrento.

Dinner: Dinner on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Marquetry Museum and Workshop, Music Traditions of Naples
Sorrento
B,L,D
Hotel Cesare Augusto

Activity note: One mile walk round trip from the hotel to the Marquetry Museum along cobblestoned streets of Sorrento.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Depart on foot to visit the Tarsia Museum in town 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: Buffet lunch at the hotel. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: In the hotel meeting room a musicologist expounds on the Neapolitan music tradition, complete with recordings. Selections include classical, opera, popular and pop music by Neapolitan composers.

Dinner: At a restaurant in the heart of Sorrento. A fixed menu with plated table service. Water and wine are included.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Herculaneum, Contemporary Life in Italy
Sorrento
B,L
Hotel Cesare Augusto

Activity note: Herculaneum is about 25 miles from Sorrento; the coach ride takes about an hour on the local road. Uneven pavement on streets and cobblestone sidewalks in the archaeological site make walking somewhat challenging. There is a short incline to visit some of the houses and sites in the archaeological site. Few places to sit and rest.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at hotel.

Morning: Coach to and guided visit of Herculaneum, an upscale resort town 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. Coach to Sorrento.

Lunch: Buffet lunch at the hotel. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: In the hotel's meeting room an opportunity to examine the issues facing Italy today in a lecture and discussion of the country's 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. Free time until dinner.

Dinner: On your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Full Day Excursion to the Isle of Capri
Sorrento
B,L
Hotel Cesare Augusto

Activity note: Short coach ride (less than a mile) from the hotel to the marina where you board the ferry to Capri. Ride the cable rail to the town of Capri and then private transportation to Anacapri, the town at the top of the island. Some walking to explore the traffic free town, gardens and sites of the island.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Van to Sorrento's marina to board a boat to the island of Capri. From the marina of Capri ride the funicolare, or cable railway up to the town of Capri. Indulge in a full day on the Mediterranean's most lush island while roaming the intricate cobblestoned lanes and the chic neighborhoods. Weather permitting enjoy the scenery from a convertible car with the top down on the ride to Anacapri, village at the summit of the island.

Lunch: At a restaurant in Capri, the wait staff serves an appetizer appropriate for the season, and an entrée in the Sorrentine culinary tradition, accompanied by a glass of locally produced wine. Water is included as well.

Afternoon: A local expert leads the visit of the Villa of San Michele, home to the Swedish physician Axel Munthe who visited Capri about 150 years ago and built his dream house "open to the sun, to the wind, and the voice of the sea, just like a Greek temple, and light everywhere". Some free time to climb the ruins of the villa of Tiberius or savor a gelato or beverage at a café. Car ride down to the marina. Boat returns to Sorrento by late afternoon. Short coach ride from Sorrento's marina to the hotel.

Dinner: Dinner on your own.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy a stroll and perhaps a beverage or gelato at one of the many cafés in town.

DAY
8
Political History, Cooking Demo in the Countryside
Sorrento
B,D
Hotel Cesare Augusto

Activity note: Short coach ride (3 miles) from the hotel to the agriturismo. Non strenuous walk from coach drop off point to the farm restaurant.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: In the classroom a session on the political history of Italy from the 1860s, when the country was unified, through the years of Fascism and WW II, to Berlusconi and the latest government coalition.

Lunch: Lunch on your own.

Afternoon: Panoramic drive through the Sorrento countryside. At a farm restaurant assist in a demonstration of mozzarella cheese forming from a bowl of fresh milk and rennet. Tie up the apron lent to you by the cook and assist in the preparation of regional dishes.

Dinner: A sampler of appetizers and an aperitivo start off the enjoyment of the 3 course dinner, prepared with your assistance. Water, wine and limoncello are included with this group meal.

Evening: Coach to Sorrento after dinner at the agriturismo.

DAY
9
Pasta Factory, Archaeological Museum in Naples
Sorrento
B,L
Hotel Cesare Augusto

Activity note: Coach ride (14 miles) from Sorrento to Gragnano takes about 45 minutes. The ride to the museum in Naples ((22 miles) takes about 50 minutes. A few flights of stairs at the museum in Naples. Extended standing while the guide describes the highlights of the collection. Note there are few benches in the gallery rooms.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Coach to Gragnano for a guided tour of a pasta factory.

Lunch: At a restaurant in the town of Gragnano, a sampler of artisan pasta. Water and a glass of wine accompany the regional dishes served at the table.

Afternoon: Coach continues to Naples for an expert-led 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. You will have some free time to explore another part of the vast collection of artifacts or browse the gift shop. Coach back to Sorrento.

Dinner: Dinner on your own.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy a stroll and perhaps a beverage or gelato at one of the many cafés in town.

DAY
10
Explore Positano, Transfer to Amalfi Coast hotel
Amalfi/Minori
B,L,D
Hotel Villa Romana

Activity note: Sorrento to Positano is not a long drive - about 12 miles - but takes 45 minutes along the scenic road. Boat ride from Positano to Amalfi takes about 30 minutes. In case bad weather prevents the boat from leaving, the group walks up the hill along the town's sidewalks to reach the bus parking lot.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Check out of the hotel. You bags will be loaded onto the coach and delivered to the hotel in Minori. Your adventure begins on the Amalfi Coast Drive: the scenic narrow winding road cut into the steep cliffs above the Mediterranean Sea. On route, the coach stops at the elegant seaside town of Positano with its characteristic white and pastel colored houses that cling in tiers to the rock face. The coach continues the paved road route and you will connect again in Amalfi. In Positano board a boat bound for Amalfi from where you can fully appreciate the cascading houses and luscious gardens on the mountain face.

Lunch: At a restaurant in Amalfi, the set menu consists of an appetizer and traditional Sorrentine dish and is presented with plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: In Amalfi, visit the cathedral of St. Andrew and a small museum that illustrates the techniques of milling paper, an industry that flourished in Amalfi in the 12th century. Board the coach for the transfer to Minori and check into the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel a fixed menu with plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase. Sample limoncello, the liquor made from lemons from nearby groves.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy a stroll and perhaps a beverage or gelato at a café in town.

DAY
11
Paestum
Amalfi/Minori
B,L,D
Hotel Villa Romana

Activity note: Coach ride from Minori to Paestum takes about 1.5 hours (40 miles). In Paestum uneven dirt paths lead to the famous Greek temples, the terrain is level. Leisurely walk to the adjacent museum. Few benches to rest during the visit to the archaeological site.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: A coach ride 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: At a local restaurant overlooking the temples. A set menu with locally produced seasonal ingredients. Plated table service, water and a glass of wine are included.

Afternoon: Field trip visits Paestum continues. Coach back to Minori.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel. Set menu, plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Ravello, Free Afternoon
Amalfi/Minori
B,D
Hotel Villa Romana

Activity note: As a hill town, visiting Ravello requires managing inclines on foot from the bus drop off point to and around the town. Villa Rufolo's gardens are terraced with paved steps. During the free afternoon you may opt to skip the coach ride and walk the scenic path from Ravello to Minori, a mix of dirt path and many stone steps that wind through olive groves. The walk down takes about 40 minutes (about a mile and a half) but you will want to make frequent stops to take in the spectacular views,

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Coach to Ravello, a medieval hill town above Amalfi with spectacular views of the Amalfi Coast. After exploring the small town with a local expert, ride the coach back to the hotel in Minori where during the free afternoon you can visit the ruins of a Roman villa right near the hotel, or just relax.

Lunch: Lunch on your own.

Afternoon: If you choose to spend the free afternoon in Ravello the Group Leader will have suggestions for site visits in the charming town and give details on how to return to Minori on your own with public transportation. Suggested activities are visiting the world renowned Villa Rufolo (gardens), inspiration to Wagner and other artists, or walking down the (many) stone stairs that connect Ravello to Minori for spectacular views at every turn.

Dinner: Recap your adventures and share your favorite memories with your fellow participants at the farewell dinner at the hotel. Fixed menu, plated table service. Water and wine are included.

Evening: At leisure. You may want to take a walk along the beachfront of Minori to bid arrivederci to the Amalfi Coast.

DAY
13
Program concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Hotel check out 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel; continental style for participants with early morning departure. This concludes the program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!