Italy 2019

Amalfi Coast, Adriatic Coast, Tuscany and Rome

 

6th to 31st May 2019

26 days, 25 nights

 

Leaders: Norman Peterken and Carol Mantle

 

7 nights Maiori (Amalfi Coast), 2 nights Alberobello (Puglia), 2 nights Silvi Marina (Abruzzo), 3 nights Pesaro (Marche), 7 nights Montecatini Terme (Tuscany), 4 nights Rome

 

Monday 6th May

Bus transfer from Moraira to Alicante Airport

Vueling flight to Roma Fiumicino airport

Bus transfer to Residence Hotel Panoramic in Maiori for a 7 night stay. Our accommodation is in one bedroom apartments.

 

Tuesday 7th May

We will enjoy a full day excursion in the Sorrento Peninsula. Our first stop will be in Ravello, where entry to Villa Rufolo is included.

 

From Ravello, we continue on to Sorrento.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the afternoon, we will return to Maiori along the Amalfi Coast road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday 8th May

We will enjoy a full day visit to Naples. Included in the tour will be visits to the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, home to the Farnese collection and the best of the finds from the Roman sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and…

 

 

 

… the Duomo and…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

… Toledo Metro Station, winner of an award as the most beautiful metro station in Europe.

 

 

 

 

Thursday 9th May

Free day.  This provides you with the opportunity to take the ferry from Maiori to the island of Capri.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As well as taking the funicular up to the town and enjoying the tremendous views, you can take a boat trip to the Blue Grotto.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday 10th May

We will enjoy a full day excursion for guided tours of the two Roman towns destroyed by Vesuvius when it erupted in 79 AD.

Our first visit will be to the larger town of Pompeii. The eruption froze the way of life and has provided a vast amount of information about the ordinary lives of Roman citizens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the afternoon, we will visit Herculaneum. It is a much smaller site but better preserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday 11th May

 

We begin today’s excursion with a visit to Paestum, known as Poseidonia when it was founded by Greeks in the 6th century BC. There are three very well preserved Doric temples: the Temple of Neptune from about 450 BC, the Basilica of Hera from one century earlier and the Temple of Ceres that was used as a church for some time. Entry to the museum is included.

 

 

 

 

 

Paestum is located in the district that produces buffalo mozzarella cheese. We will visit a local farm to look at the care of the buffalo, the production process of the mozzarella cheese and some tasting.

If there is time on our way back to Maiori, we will also visit the medieval quarter of Salerno.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday 12th May

Free day.

You will be able to make use of either the ferry service or the local bus service to visit Amalfi …

 

 

 

…and/or Positano. In total, there are 13 villages along the Amalfi coast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You could choose to disembark in Minori, one village before Maiori, and follow the ‘Sentieri dei limoni’ back to Maiori. This area is the main centre of lemon production in Italy and, if you are lucky, you will encounter the donkeys that are still used to transport the lemons down to the villages.

 

 

 

 

 

Monday 13th May

Today, we leave the Amalfi coast and travel first to Matera for a guided tour and a lunch break.

Matera enjoys World Heritage status for its unique sassi, dwellings dug out of the ravine in tiers.   We will visit the Casa Grotta, a sasso that has been reconstructed to show what life was like for sassi-dwellers and how families and their livestock managed to live in these small holes in the rock.

 

 

 

 

In the afternoon, we will continue on to Alberobello for a 2 night stay at Hotel Ramapendula.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday 14th May

Alberobello is the best place to see trulli. They are cylindrical, whitewashed buildings with grey conical roofs.

The Tourist Office provides maps of the two districts where the trulli houses are concentrated. You will be able to stroll around the town at your own pace looking at the houses.

 

 

 

There are even trulli churches!

 

 

 

 

Wednesday 15th May

 

 

 

 

After leaving Alberobello, we will visit Lucera for a guided tour and a lunch break.

The medieval walled town is best appreciated by walking along the narrow streets of the old town.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The castle, the second largest in southern Italy, was built in the 13th century by Frederick II. From the castle, there are spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.

If we have time, we will also visit the Roman amphitheatre located on the edge of the town.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the afternoon, we will continue on to Silvi Marina for a two night stay at Hotel Abruzzo Marina.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We will enjoy an excursion to the nearby town of Atri. There are magnificent views from the town and the pretty historical centre is a great place for a relaxing break. The Duomo contains Abruzzo’s greatest frescoes.

Entry to the Duomo and its museum is included.

 

 

 

 

Friday 17th May

This morning, we will leave Silvi Marina and travel to the beautiful small town of Ascoli Piceno in Le Marche for a guided tour and lunch break.

The town stands at the confluence of the Tronto and Castellano rivers and still has a major Roman bridge.

The highlight is the Piazza del Popolo, paved with gleaming travertine.

 

There is a tourist train that you will be able to use to see more of this beautiful town.

 

 

 

In the afternoon, we will continue on to Pesaro for a three night stay at Hotel Clipper.

The road from Ascoli Piceno passes through some of Italy’s most beautiful countryside.

 

 

 

Saturday 18th May

 

We will enjoy a full day excursion to Urbino, the birthplace of Raphael. It is described by many as the most beautiful hill town in Italy but is less visited because access is from the Adriatic coast. The highlight of the visit will be the Palazzo Ducale, one of the finest buildings of the Renaissance.

 

 

 

 

 

The gardens of the Fortezza Albornoz provide great views of the town and the surrounding countryside.

Entry to the Palazzo Ducale and the Duomo Museum is included.

 

 

 

Sunday 19th May

 

We will enjoy a full day excursion to Gubbio, located in Umbria on the slopes of Mount Ingino. Strolling through the narrow streets of this beautiful medieval town brings us to the highlight, the Palazzo dei Consoli, home of the Museo Civico for which entry is included.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You will have the opportunity to take a ride on Gubbio’s unusual chairlift. At the top of the hill, you will find spectacular views, the Basilica of Sant’Ubaldo and a gelateria.

 

 

 

 

Monday 20th May

 

We leave Pesaro and travel to Ravenna for a guided tour and time for a lunch break. It became capital of the Western Roman Empire in 402 AD but enjoyed its greatest period as the centre of the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna. The mosaics are the greatest achievements of Byzantine art still in existence. Entry to San Vitale is included.

 

 

 

 

In the afternoon, we continue to Montecatini Terme in Tuscany for a 7 night stay at Hotel La Pia.

 

 

 

 

Tuesday 21st May

 

 

In the morning, for those who have not visited the town before, there will be a guided walking tour of the spa town of Montecatini Terme, including entry and a drink in the Tettuccio spa building.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rest of the day is free, providing an opportunity to take the funicular railway to the medieval village of Montecatini Alto for lunch and sightseeing.

For those who have visited Montecatini Terme previously, the whole day is free to provide the opportunity to take the train to Florence for independent sightseeing.

 

 

 

Wednesday 22nd May

 

We depart for Florence by bus. Our first stop is at Piazzale Michelangelo and the San Miniato, the finest Romanesque church in Tuscany.

 

 

 

For those who have not visited Florence before, this will be followed by a guided tour of the Basilica of Santa Croce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After lunch, there will be a walking tour of the city centre.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For those who have visited Florence previously, there will be a short bus journey to the outskirts of Florence for guided tours of two of the Medici Villas and their gardens. We will first visit Villa La Petraia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second visit will be to Villa di Castello.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday 23rd May

 

We will depart for La Spezia by bus. From La Spezia, we will enjoy a journey by boat to visit two or three of the Cinque Terre villages, such as Vernazza and Manarola.

 

 

 

 

We will return by train to La Spezia and then by bus to Montecatini Terme.

 

 

 

Friday 24th May

 

There will be an early departure to Siena with our courier for a guided tour of the city with a local guide.

 

 

 

 

After the lunch break, we will take the short journey to San Gimignano. There will be time to walk around the historic centre of this unique medieval village.

 

 

 

Saturday 25th May

We will take the short journey to Lucca for a guided tour of this walled city, the most graceful of the provincial capitals in Tuscany.

 

 

 

 

Those who have visited Lucca on previous trips will stay on the bus and travel to Carrara for a guided tour of the marble quarries by jeep. The tour will take place in groups of 8.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After lunch, we will depart for Pisa by bus for a guided tour of the Piazza dei Miracoli, including visits to the Duomo and Baptistry.

 

 

 

 

Sunday 26th May

Free day

Montecatini Terme railway station is 200 metres from our hotel.

The station is on the line between Florence and Pisa so it will be easy to visit Florence, Pistoia or Lucca for independent sightseeing.

 

Monday 27th May

 

We will leave Montecatini Terme and travel  to Arezzo for a guided tour of its charming old quarter.

 

 

 

The highlight will be the cycle of frescoes painted by Piero della Francesca in the Basilica di San Francesco.

 

 

 

 

 

After lunch, we will continue to Rome for a 4 night stay at the centrally-located DNB House Hotel.

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday 28th May to Thursday 30th May

 

You will have three days in which to explore Rome independently.

Our hotel is located round the corner from the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. The interior is of more interest than the exterior.

Conveniently, the basilica is one of the stops on the tourist bus route.

 

 

 

Our hotel is only 900 metres from the Colosseum and the Forum. Other major tourist locations like Piazza Navona, the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps are all within walking distance.

 

 

On the Tuesday, if there is sufficient demand from the tour group, we will organise a guided tour of the Vatican Museum (including the Sistine Chapel) and…

 

 

 

 

…St. Peter’s Basilica.

 

 

 

 

On the Wednesday, you will be welcome to join us as we repeat 2103’s visit to Tivoli using public transport (metro and bus).

We will visit Hadrian’s Villa and…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…….the gardens of Villa D’Este.

 

 

 

 

 

Friday 31st May

Bus transfer to Roma Fiumicino Airport.

Vueling flight from Rome to Alicante.

Bus transfer from Alicante airport to Moraira.

 

 

 

The cost of the trip will be approximately €2050

The single room supplement will be approximately €525.

The price includes:

  • Pick-ups and transfers, as specified, by private vehicle with an experienced, safe driver
  • Sightseeing with experienced local English-speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts

Lunch in Arezzo and two evening meals at Hotel La Pia

  • Entrance fees according to the itinerary
  • VAT and all taxes

 

The price excludes:

  • Personal travel and health insurance
  • Drinks during meals
  • Tips

 

 

There are two reasons why this is an approximate price:

  • Some quoted prices were the 2018 prices because 2019 prices will not be available until later this year. There is likely to be a small increase to the 2018 prices.
  • The approximate cost of the flights was calculated using prices quoted for flights in 2018. We will not know the exact price until we book the flights for 2019 at the end of June.

 

To secure a place on this trip, please pay a deposit of €250 at the Travel Desk at the next general meeting.

 

Amalfi Coast accommodation

The accommodation at Residence Hotel Panoramic is in one bedroom apartments.

They have a sofa bed in the living area and can accommodate up to 4 people.

If 4 people choose to share an apartment, the cost of the trip will reduce by €120 per person.

If 2 solo travellers choose to share an apartment, the cost of the trip will reduce by €240 per person.

An upgrade to a sea view apartment is available for €35 per person (€70 for single occupancy).

There are fixed numbers of each type of apartment available so we will need to know your room requirements when you book.

 

We will also need a photocopy of your passport. This information is needed to book your flights and, at a later date, when passport information has to be sent to the hotels at which we will be staying.