descartes
At A Glance:
  • Dates:
    Sept 8 - 23, 2018

    Tour begins:
    Rome, Italy

    Tour concludes:
    Rome, Italy

    Price:
    $7,495/person (DO)
    $8,795/person (SO)

    Optional Air Package:
    $1,395/person

     


























  • Our 16-day sojourn through Southern Italy begins as we head south from Rome to the region of Campania—a territory rich in art and history, with beautiful coastlines, and a tremendous love of food. Here, we visit the historic city of Naples—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—and learn to cook the city’s most famous culinary specialty—pizza—with a professional pizzaiolo. Continuing south we walk in the footsteps of the ancient Romans who perished in the shadows of Mount Vesuvius as we venture into the astounding ruins of the city of Pompeii. Then it is on to one of the most coveted seaside destinations in all of Europe—the stunning Sorrentine Peninsula—where we spend three beautiful days combining relaxation in the sunshine with discovering the unique culinary heritage of this area and exploring the gorgeous Amalfi coast.

    Leaving Campania behind, the next leg of our journey takes us to the region of Sicily—crossroads of the ancient world—where we uncover Moorish and Norman influences juxtaposed with Greek and Roman ruins standing guard over the evocative landscape. We also see the spectacular volcano, Mt. Etna, and explore fascinating Erice—a city in the sky. We cross the Tyrrhenian Sea for a stay in the geologically-fascinating Aeolian Islands where we have time to relax on volcanic beaches. As well, the ancient cities of Syracuse and Trapani reveal their secrets to us and provide for unforgettable culinary experiences.

    The final leg of our journey takes us through the untouristed Puglia and Basilicata regions—areas rich in art and architecture with a unique culinary heritage—together one of the most undiscovered corners of the Italian Peninsula. Here we explore the fascinating town of Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its ancient cave dwellings—the Sassi—where people have dwelt for some 9,000 years. We also visit the delightful town of Alberobello, famous for its unusual cone-shaped homes called trulli. Finally, we arrive in the stunning, Baroque city of Lecce, and discover why it is very appropriately dubbed the “Florence of the south”.

    Throughout our sojourn we take time to relax, soak up the bright sunshine, breath the rejuvenating sea breezes, and marvel at the stunning natural beauty. We gasp in wonder at awe-inspiring historic monuments and we pay homage to their builders who tamed this land many centuries before our visit. Most significantly, we find joy in simple pleasures as we savor the spectacular foods and wines of these regions during visits to vineyards, cooking classes, and long, satisfying meals together. In the end, we return home not only with a newfound understanding of all of these things, but also with something far more elusive. We return all the richer for having experienced, if only for a fleeting moment, what Italians would call la dolce vita (the sweet life).

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