At A Glance:
  • Upcoming departures:
    November 14 - 21, 2021

    Sojourn begins:
    Naples, Italy

    Sojourn concludes:
    Naples, Italy

    Price from:
    $4,295/person (DO)
    $4,845person (SO)

    Combines with:

    La Splendida Tavola

  • There is actually no such thing as Italian cuisine. Rather, there are distinct regional cuisines found across Italy which reflect the history and culture of their regions. Perhaps no-where is this more apparent than in the region of Campania and its vibrant capital, the historic city of Naples. The area stretches over a wonderfully diverse area of the Italian Peninsula—with miles of coastline, soaring mountains and verdant, fertile valleys—and is blessed with a bounty that fuels a robust and distinct culinary heritage.

    On top of its geographical good fortune, the region also benefits from an unapparelled cultural diversity. The Greeks first established a colony here in about 2,000 BC, making it one of the oldest cities in Europe. Over the millennia, it has been controlled by multiple empires—Romans, Byzantines, Normans, Spanish, and others—with each weaving a new thread into the city’s colorful cultural tapestry, including a culinary tradition that has been enriched by each.

    The gifts bestowed upon Naples by nature and history, however, have been offset by grim lessons which remind its in-habitants that life can also be harsh. They have witnessed centuries of conflict as one empire after another vied for control the city. In addition, mother nature has also dealt the area serious blows. Deadly earthquakes are common here and Vesuvius—mainland Europe’s largest active volcano—casts an ominous shadow across the city from just five miles away. Everyone here is keenly aware of how the thriving city of Pompeii was wiped out in an instant by the eruption of 79AD. Indeed, Neapolitans are surrounded by constant re-minders that life is truly capricious and fleeting.

    The contrast between blessings and difficulties is also revealed in their agriculture: lava-enriched soil produces sensational fruits, vegetables and wines, but these delights come wrapped in the threat of potential doom. This understanding also helps to explain the temperament of Neapolitans. Like the volcano that towers over them, they are mercurial, extreme: passionate. This passion is duly reflected in their food and the way they go about enjoying it. It is the Neapolitan way of life: a people so passionate about everything–including food–that their cuisine is inspired, inspiring, and life enhancing. They inherently understand that life is meant to be felt deeply and food for Neapolitans is like epic poetry when it sings of life’s great highs. It reminds us all we are here for such a short time that each and every moment must be savored. In that sense, food in Naples comes directly from the heart—it is love in its purest form—a big, warm embrace of life. To discover the cuisine of Naples is to be transformed by it. Once you are, there is no going back and you will never look at food or the enjoyment of it in the same way again.

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