Depart the U.S. for Naples, Italy. The particulars of your
arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.
Day 2 - Arrive in Naples
Arrive at the Capodichino Airport in Naples, Italy, where a
VBT representative meets you and helps you transfer (approximately 45 minutes)
to your Naples hotel. The rest of the day is free to discover and dine on your
own, using the VBT City Information included in your Final Travel Booklet as
Please note: If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be
available until 1:00 p.m., in which case you may store your luggage with the reception desk.
Please note: VBT transfer times and departure points are
finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you fly
in earlier than the scheduled program dates, transportation from the airport
will be at your own expense.
You have the rest of the day free to discover this
fascinating city on your own. Perhaps you'll explore one of its many museums,
or to stroll through the picturesque Borgo Marinaro neighborhood, located just
across from our hotel. Tonight, dine on your own in one of the cozy restaurants
Day 3 - Meet Trip Leaders / Walking visit of Pompeii / Welcome reception
VBT No-Air Package guests:
Meet your VBT Trip Leaders at 9:30 a.m. in the lobby of the Grand Hotel
Santa Lucia (Via Partenope 46; Tel: +39 0817640666); they will be wearing VBT
staff garments. Transfer to the hotel is on your own. Please come to the
meeting dressed in your walking gear and carrying your backpack. A taxi from the
railway station costs about 12-15 euros/$20 US. If your arrival at the hotel is
scheduled for later than 9:30 a.m., or if you are delayed, please contact the
hotel, and the hotel staff will pass your message along to our VBT Trip
Leaders. VBT highly recommends flying to Italy at least one day before the tour
begins; this allows you to rest and recover from jet lag before you begin
sightseeing and walking. If you are delayed past our 10:30 a.m. departure time,
please transfer directly to our Sorrento hotel. However, you will miss the
visit of Pompeii.
VBT Air Package and Pre-Extension guests: Meet your VBT Trip
Leaders at 9:30 a.m. in the main lobby; they will be wearing VBT staff garments.
Please come to the meeting dressed in your walking gear and carrying your
After an orientation and safety briefing led by our Trip
Leaders, we board a private motorcoach and transfer to Pompeii. Upon arrival,
we meet a local expert for a guided tour
of the site. At dawn on August 25, 79 AD, the violent eruption of Mount
Vesuvius caused the total destruction of Pompeii. In just a few moments, all
the residents of Pompeii perished doing whatever they could to survive.
Tremendous amounts of ash and cinder covered and preserved the scene exactly as
it was at that instant. That's why, today, we know exactly how Romans lived
2,000 years ago. Our guide will tell us, for example, that posters were used to
advertise elections and support party candidates, and that the word “candidate”
comes from candid, the name of a special tunic worn by those running for office
to prove they had no criminal record. Lunch is on your own in Pompeii.
Later in the afternoon, we shuttle to our hotel in Sorrento
and settle in. Tonight we enjoy a welcome cocktail before dinner at our hotel.
Day 4 - Sorrento Peninsula
Today, we drive to Sant'Agata dei Due Golfi to explore the
Sorrento Peninsula. We follow the red-and-white markings of the Alta via dei Monti
Lattari trail, a path that winds upwards into a beautiful chestnut forest. As
the woods open up, masses of multicolored, aromatic flowers are on display.
Right before the promontory of Malacoccola, the view of the entire Gulf of
Salerno opens before us. We continue to Torca where a short shuttle takes us to
our lunch stop, a family-owned organic farm where we'll also learn how to braid
mozzarella during a hands-on demonstration. Later choose to return to Sorrento
on foot or by shuttle, taking in more views of the Gulf from above. In
Sorrento, enjoy free time to shop, explore the town or relax at our hotel's
swimming pool and private pier.
Dinner is on your own tonight. Perhaps you'll try gnocchi
alla Sorrentina, made with a Bolognese sauce and fiordilatte (local
mozzarella), at a nearby restaurant.
Day 5 - Ferry to Capri
Early this morning, we walk to the Sorrento harbor, taking a
moment to drink in panoramic views of the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. We
then board a hydrofoil to ferry across the Sorrento Peninsula to the celebrated
island of Capri.
As we arrive at the famous piazzetta, the hub of the island,
we start along an easy walking path leading to Villa Jovis. As we stroll, our
senses will be enchanted by the aroma of jasmine and the views of manicured
gardens full of flowers. We'll explore Villa Iovis, built by Emperor Tiberius
in the third century as a strategic point where he could dominate and control
the opposite coast. We enjoy incredible views from here. The Jump of Tiberius—a
sheer cliff soaring more than 1,100 feet—is the infamous site from which
Tiberius had his enemies thrown into the sea.
We continue walking through a thick Mediterranean park where
strawberry trees, myrtle, clematis, honeysuckle, laurel, wild asparagus and
cyclamen thrive. After exploring the elegant Villa Lysis, built by an eccentric
French count in 1905, you can choose to explore Capri's inviting shops and
cafés, or continue to Arco Naturale and Grotta di Matermania, a natural cove
used to honor Cybele, the Magna Mater, or Great Mother, of the gods. It is
located down a long flight of stairs and in a thick forest. This is also an
ideal time to stop for lunch on your own in one of the island cozy restaurants
or to picnic in the shade of a garden overlooking the azure sea.
After regrouping, our walk continues to the eastern rim of
the island, we see the amazing and famous Faraglioni cliffs: three rocky
colossi protruding from the sea. Then, we continue to the Augustus Gardens,
where the views of the cliffs and the curled Via Krupp are gorgeous. Our trail
ends Capri's shopping district. From here, we loop back to the piazzetta, where
we began our walk.
You'll have some time to discover the fascinating area
around the piazzetta before we return via hydrofoil to the mainland—and our
next destination, the town of Amalfi. En route, we take in the panoramic vistas
of the Amalfi Coast from the sea. In Amalfi, a short shuttle brings us to our
hotel in Ravello, where we settle in and dine in the on-site restaurant,
savoring scenic views of the surrounding area along with our meal.
Day 6 - Ravello / Valley of the Mills / Amalfi
After breakfast, we roam the terraces of Ravello with our
Trip Leaders, beginning in the peaceful pedestrian-only center. Admire the white-faced
Duomo in Piazza Vescovado and the Arabic-Norman towers of Villa Rufolo, where
German composer Richard Wagner was inspired to create music for the scene in
Klingsor's magic garden in his opera, Parsifal.
Later continue exploring Ravello on your own. Perhaps you'll
visit Villa Cimbrone and its beautiful gardens. Or join our Trip Leaders for a
walk to Scala and Pontone. For lunch, we savor traditional Neapolitan
dishes—including pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven—and breathtaking views at a
. Then, we trace vineyard-laden terraces to the Valley of
the Ferriere, a magnificent nature reserve in the Valley of the Mills.
As we proceed along a trail covered in moss and ferns, our
trip leaders show us calcara
, large pits where lime was made by burning huge
blocks of limestone for days. We'll also see the spandituri
, or paper-hangers,
buildings now in ruins but once used to dry paper. As we reach Amalfi, we stop
at the Museo della Carta, a unique museum housed in an ancient paper mill, where
we learn how paper was made from rags. During the 15th century, Amalfi's paper
was so prized that many foreign authors demanded to be published in Naples just
so they could use the coveted material. You can buy some of this exquisite
handmade paper in the museum's gift shop, if you like.
In Amalfi, enjoy time at leisure to visit the beautiful
Duomo and stroll along the charming side streets. You might also sit down at
sidewalk café to enjoy a delizia al limone—a confection made from
limencello-soaked sponge cake and lemon custard—or a slice of pastiera, a cake
made with ricotta cheese and ground wheat that's been soaked for several days
in running water.
Back in Ravello, you have time to relax by the scenic
swimming pool of our elegant hotel. Dinner is on your own tonight.
Please note: Ravello is well-known for its classical music
festivals. For assistance with booking tickets, contact the reception desk.
Day 7 - Agerola and the "Path of the Gods"
Today we shuttle to Agerola, Italy's dairy capital, where we
gradually descend on foot along a scenic stretch between Biscotto Caves and
Nocella known as the “Path of the Gods” for its heavenly views. The path is
well-marked and offers views of Capri and the islets of Li Galli, or Sirenuse,
where the mythical Sirens attracted seafarers with their melodious songs. At
Colle Serra, we cross the pass and continue down to Nocella where, after lunch
on your own, our paths divide: You can shuttle by van or continue walking to
Montepertuso. In Montepertuso, according to legend, the Madonna was challenged
by the devil to punch a hole in a towering mountain (pertuso means “hole” in
Neapolitan dialect). The views from here are simply amazing.
From Montepertuso, we shuttle to our next destination,
Positano, built as a nativity scene set on the side of a mountain. Our
beautiful and historic hotel is right in the center of the quiet pedestrian
area. Its manicured garden—the pride and passion of owner Marilù Attanasio—is
one of the most beautiful in the Amalfi Coast. From the balcony of our rooms,
we'll breathe in the heady aromas of the garden's vibrant flowers and gaze at
the colorful, majolica-tiled cupola of nearby Santa Maria Assunta Church.
Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure. Relax by the
hotel swimming pool, or at the sandy beach just a few steps from our hotel. You
might also stroll through the town's narrow streets, filled with art galleries
and boutiques. The clothing industry in Positano was so popular and influential
in the 1970s that the style they created became popularly known as “Positano
Style.” In addition to clothing, you can find handmade ceramics, jewelry,
leather footwear and paintings by the many artists who have been inspired by
the beauty of the region.
After an orientation walk with our Trip Leaders through
Positano's labyrinthine hillside streets, choose from among many fine local
restaurants for dinner on your own tonight.
Day 8 - Santa Maria del Castello
This morning, we shuttle up 2,000 feet to the town of Santa
Maria del Castello, where many hillside trails converge from the surrounding
Lattari Mountains. We'll walk through a chestnut forest before stopping for
lunch on your own at the only bar in the village, then continue our descent to
Positano, delighting in spectacular views of the turquoise waters and the
rugged, serpentine coast. This is one of our shortest walks, so take your time
… linger at the overlooks and savor the aromas of rosemary and valerian growing
wild on the hillsides.
After returning to Positano, enjoy time at leisure to browse
its art studios, rest your legs with a beachside nap, or join our Trip Leaders
for a short jaunt. Tonight we feast on gourmet specialties—courtesy of Signora
Attanasio—during a festive farewell dinner.
Day 9 - Visit Gragnano pasta factory / Transfer to Rome
After breakfast, we transfer to Gragnano for a visit a local
pasta factory, where we learn how this staple of Italian cuisine is produced.
Made with the highest quality durum wheat, pasta here is trafilata al
bronzo—that is, made using old-fashioned bronze dies, which create a coarser
texture that will hold more savory sauce. The pasta is then dried slowly in the
open air. After a tasting and light lunch prepared by the factory owners, we
continue our transfer to Rome.
VBT No-Air Package guests: Your trip concludes at our Rome
hotel at approximately 4:30 p.m.
VBT Air Package guests: You arrive at our Rome hotel at
approximately 4:30 p.m. and have the rest of the day at leisure. Upon arrival, our
VBT representative will answer your questions and offer an optional evening
city walk that will help you make the most of the city. VBT provides City
Information in your Final Travel Booklet containing recommendations about what
to see and do during your stay.
If you have chosen the independent Post-Trip Extension to
Rome, you'll remain at this hotel for a total of three nights.
Day 10 - Depart for U.S.
After breakfast * this morning, transfer to the Rome airport
(approximately 40 to 60 minutes, depending on traffic) for your departing
flight. Please ensure you are ready in the hotel reception area at the
*Please note: For guests with early-morning departures,
breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the reception desk to verify the times when breakfast is served.
**VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your
“Transfer Reminder.” VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in
advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay
beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will
be at your own expense.