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
Print All
Map details are not available for this location.
View Map
Expand All
13 days
12 nights
27 meals
11 B 9 L 7 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
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. The group leader will greet everyone and lead introductions.

Dinner: At the hotel choose from a select menu; plated table service. Wine and water are included; beer, soft drinks, coffee and tea are 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: Some steps through the hotel's garden cut short the walk to Piazza Tasso, the main square in Sorrento.The walk to Marina Grande is about 1 mile with stone steps and incline.

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

Morning: In the hotel meeting room just off the lobby the group leader will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Unless otherwise indicated lunches and dinners will be plated (each dish served to guests by restaurant waitstaff) from a set menu. Water is included with all meals; other beverages such as wine, tea and coffee will be available for purchase; some dinners will include wine. Unless indicated differently, transportation will primarily be provided by motor coach. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. 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. Evenings at leisure offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable through personal independent exploration, attending performances or other events, or simply relaxing and making new friends among fellow participants. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. After a short break, set out on foot with the group leader to explore Sorrento including the Marina Grande, the characteristic old port where it's not uncommon to see fishermen bringing in the catch of the day or repairing their nets. The walk circles back to the hotel.

Lunch: Buffet at the hotel.

Afternoon: In the hotel meeting room an expert illuminates Classical Roman and Greek art and architecture.

Dinner: At a restaurant in Sorrento. Wine is included in this evening's dinner.

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 the road 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 at the 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.

Lunch: At a restaurant near the archaeological park. Fixed menu with an antipasto, salad and pizza.

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

Dinner: On your own. The group leader will have suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

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

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

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: We set out on foot for 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 at the hotel. A selection of hot and cold dishes from which to choose.

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: On your own.

Evening: At leisure.

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

Activity note: Herculaneum is 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 at the hotel.

Morning: We board our coach and set out for the archaeological site of Herculaneum, which was an upscale Roman resort town centuries ago. The local expert will point evidence that the destruction of Herculaneum in 79 CE when Mt Vesuvius erupted was from mud flows unlike Pompeii which was buried by ash. The excavated Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum was the inspiration for the Getty Museum in Malibu, California. Coach back to Sorrento.

Lunch: Buffet at the hotel.

Afternoon: In the hotel's meeting room a local expert presents issues facing Italy today in a lecture and discussion of the country's health care system, education, religion, and the role of families. Discover the ways in which Italy continues to undergo rapid economic and societal change. Question and answer period follows. Free time until dinner.

Dinner: A scenic ride through olive groves leads us to a restaurant with views of the Bay of Naples. Enjoy the catch of the day in the seafood inspired menu. Water and wine are included.

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 we board the ferry to Capri. On board you can choose a seat inside or in the open deck. On the island we ride the cable rail to the town of Capri and then private transportation to Anacapri, the town at the summit of the island. Some walking to explore the traffic-free town, gardens and sites of the island.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: From the hotel we board a van for the short ride to Sorrento's marina where we board the large tourist boat to Capri. From the marina of Capri we 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 we can 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 waitstaff serves an appetizer appropriate for the season, and an entrée in the Sorrentine culinary tradition, accompanied by a glass of locally produced wine.

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 stroll the scenic Via Tragara to the Belvedere for breathtaking views of the Faglioni rock formations, or savor a gelato or beverage at a café. Car ride down to the marina. Boat returns to Sorrento by late afternoon. Short coach or van ride from Sorrento's marina to the hotel.

Dinner: On your own.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy a stroll in town.

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

Activity note: The coach follows a winding road along a scenic drive out to the agriturismo. Ride takes about 1 hour. Non strenuous walk from the coach drop off point to the farm restaurant. On the return the coach takes the direct route and reaches the hotel in 10 minutes.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: In the meeting room an historian leads 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: On your own.

Afternoon: We board our coach for a panoramic drive through the Sorrento countryside. At a farm restaurant we participate 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 dinner we have assisted to prepare. 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 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: Our 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: On your own.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for the next day's departure.

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 - 12 miles - but takes 45 minutes along the scenic road. Boat ride from Positano to Amalfi takes 45 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. If you choose to enter the Duomo in Amalfi during your free time, there are 62 steps to climb.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Check out of the hotel. Bags will be loaded onto the coach and delivered to the hotel in Minori. Our 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. With the local expert we explore Positano while the coach continues the paved road route. We will connect again with the coach in Amalfi. In Positano we board a boat bound for Amalfi. Along the way we can take in the view of luscious gardens and stucco terraced houses that dot the mountain face.

Lunch: At a restaurant in Amalfi.

Afternoon: In Amalfi, a local expert leads our visit of Amalfi including Piazza del Duomo, the main square, and the small museum that illustrates the techniques of milling paper, an industry that flourished in Amalfi in the 12th century. Some free time to explore Amalfi or visit the interior of the 13th century cathedral of Sant'Andrew. We meet up with the coach for the transfer to Minori and check into the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel. Choose from a select menu. After dinner we can 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 along the scenic Amalfi Coast 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 at the hotel. Each day you will find a selection of fresh fruit, cereals, yogurt, bread, sliced meats and cheeses, an egg dish, cakes and pastries, jams, juices, coffee, teas, water.

Morning: A coach ride south along the Amalfi Coast takes us to the Greek settlement of Paestum, dedicated to Poseidon. A local expert leads the excursion. 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 to Paestum continues with our local expert. Coach back to Minori.

Dinner: At the hotel. Choose from a select menu.

Evening: At leisure.

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

Activity note: In Ravello Villa Rufolo's gardens are terraced with paved steps. During the free afternoon you may opt to skip the coach ride back to the hotel 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 a good hour. The distance is a mile and a half but you will want to make frequent stops to take in the spectacular views,

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Coach to Ravello, a medieval hill town above Amalfi with spectacular views of the Amalfi Coast. A local expert leads the visit of the world renowned gardens of Villa Rufolo, inspiration to Wagner and other artists. 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: 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. The group leader will give indications for the foot path that connects Ravello to Minori. The walk is downhill but affords 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. Choose from a seclect menu, plated table service. Wine is included to bid arrivederci to the Amalfi Coast.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for the next day's departure.

DAY
13
Program concludes
In Flight
B

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

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel; continental style (without hot dishes) 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!