Italy’s dramatic southern coastline has lured travelers and epicureans to its shores since Odysseus sailed the mythic Mediterranean.
A place of epic beauty, southern Italy is every bit as enticing today as it was 2,700 years ago when Greek poet Homer wrote about Odysseus’ journeys along the Tyrrhenian Sea’s rocky coastline. Set between glistening gulfs and impressive mountains, this region is the birthplace of the Mediterranean Diet, where people dine simply but sumptuously on plump San Marzano tomatoes, just-caught seafood, olive oil, homemade pasta, fresh lemons, cheeses made from mountain-grazed cows and sheep, and local wines.
Our journey is an in-depth discovery of the Campania region’s treasures: the Amalfi Coast (a UNESCO World Heritage region) and the Agerola (mountain villages and vineyards). As we walk the many paths leading from highlands to coast, we become part of the intimate dialogue between the ecosystems of the Sorrento and Amalfi peninsulas. By visiting with local farmers, cheese makers, and vintners, we’ll experience firsthand how people here create age-old flavors from sun, sea, and mountains.
DAY 1: Naples – Sorrento
We meet in Naples and transfer as a group to the town of Sorrento, where we’ll have lunch—our first taste of the region’s sunny, coastal cuisine. In the afternoon, we’ll take a walking tour of the town, settle into our hotel, and wander the historic center’s shop-lined streets. We’ll celebrate with an aperitivoand a first-evening feast.
Overnight in Sorrento
DAYS 2 & 3: Sorrento
Starting on the Sorrentine Peninsula and moving along the Amalfi Coast, we’ll explore villages, walking through lemon, olive and pine tree groves--with splendid views of the Bay of Naples, the islands and Mount Vesuvious.Later, we stroll through the family-owned lemon groves of a limoncello producer—and sample the sweet liqueur, made with IGP (Protected Geographical Indication) Sorrento lemons. Here, we’ll see IGP lemons grown in the shade of pagliarelle: straw mats supported on wood poles to protect them from the cold and wind. We’ll taste limoncello and other local products in the lemon grove and then continue to the production facility to see how limoncello is made.
Overnights in Sorrento
DAYS 4 & 5: Positano - Algerola
We’ll drive to iconic Positano this morning where we’ll have a bit of free time to roam boutiques, jewelry shops, cafés, and bougainvillea-lined streets of this gorgeous seaside village. From here, we’ll pick up the “Path of the Gods,” a scenic, centuries-old trail leading down from the mountains and along the coastal cliffs to the sea – until we reach our home for next several nights: Bomerano di Agerola. Agerola is in the cooler, more fertile Latteri Mountains Regional Park that rises above the Sorrento and Amalfi peninsulas. On the our 5th day, we start with a visit to one of Bomerano’s excellent taralli bakeries. We’ll learn all about the importance of this historical long-baked bread – frequently used in a variety of ways in the local Agerola dishes. From here, we’ll stroll over to the cheese farm to see Provolone del Monaco and Mozzarella cheese being freshly made. After a guided cheese tasting and visit with the Naclerio family, we continue our walk in the direction of San Lazzaro. Here, we’ll stop to visit Pasquale’s family vineyards and enjoy a thorough tasting of his unique “mountain” wines while feasting on an abundant lunch—made only with products grown on the farm.
Overnight in Algerola
DAYS 6 & 7: The Amalfi Coast
On day 6, our walk takes us through a variety of coastal villages cascading down in to the town of Amalfi. Famous for its handmade paper and medieval architecture, our guide will take us on an informative walk through town including visits to the colorful Duomo and the cloisters. We’ll also visit the Amalfi Paper Mill and Museum, where we have the chance to make our own paper the way it was done in medieval Amalfi. The next morning we board a local fisherman’s boat and learn the local lore and exploring neighboring villages. We’ll stop in Cetara to see how colatura di alici di Cetara – a unique recipe for a sauce made from fresh sardines, dating back to the Roman period – is made. On our return to Amalfi, we’ll embark on a gastronomic adventure in the exquisite pastry shops of Minori. Lunch aboard our fishing boat includes local specialties followed by free time in the afternoon to visit the gardens of Ravello. Dinner on own this evening to explore the numerous cafés and osterias lining the streets and alleyways of Amalfi.
Overnight in Amalfi
DAY 8: Tramonti to Naples Departure
We transfer you to Naples, with stops at the airport and train station for your return home or for continued travels in Italy.
At the end of our Amalfi Coast Odyssey trip, we offer a super-special Post Tour Extension: Naples-Pompeii-Herculaneum which offers guests the opportunity to experience a locally guided cultural-food experience in Naples as well as guided tours through the spectacular Roman ruins at both Pompei and Herculaneum. Price per person is $1295 (Includes: 2 night-accommodations in Naples at Chiaia Hotel, Naples city guided tour, visits to the ruins at Pompeii and Herculaneum, tastings and other food/wine or museum visits in Naples, 2 dinners and 2 lunches, all transfers from last day of main Amalfi trip through transfer to airport at end of (Extension) stay; driver, hotel and restaurant tipping fees.