- Enjoy the best views on the Amalfi coast in Ravello
- Step off the beaten track to experience the seaside charm of Basilica
- Visit the bustling city of Naples and the historic village of Aieta with passionate locals to guide you
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FLY TO NAPLES AND DRIVE TO RAVELLO
Your journey begins with a flight from the UK to Naples, which takes just under three hours. When you arrive, pick up your rental car and head straight to Ravello, around a one-hour-and-fifteen-minute drive away. This is one of the most stunning spots on the Amalfi Coast, and you’ll spend two nights here in an atmospheric mansion in the historic sector. When you arrive, soak up views of the sea, city and lemon orchards, and enjoy a spa treatment or a dip in the pool before sampling some iconic Italian cuisine at the restaurant.
EXPLORE RAVELLO WITH A PRIVATE GUIDE
Today is your chance to explore Ravello. With a private guide at your service, you’ll benefit from expertise and explanations about this breathtaking town that lies suspended above the Tyrrhenian Sea. As you walk around, take in its Arab-Byzantine cathedral and Villas Cimbrone and Rufolo, both of which boast beautiful architecture and grand gardens that provide respite from the sun on scorching summer days. The belvedere at Villa Cimbrone is particularly special, offering an arresting panorama over the Gulf of Salerno that’s arguably the best on the Amalfi Coast.
DRIVE FROM RAVELLO TO MARATEA
It’s time to leave Ravello behind in favour of Maratea, a commune in Basilicata that’s a two-and-a-half-hour drive away. On the way, you have the option of stopping to explore the ancient city of Paestum with a private guide. Maratea stretches along the Tyrrhenian Coast and is dotted with oaks and olive trees, beaches and bays. Spend three nights here enjoying its distinct tranquillity, whether that means sipping coffee in the charming main square or taking a stroll to some of its many churches. In the evenings, enjoy a drink on your hotel patio before sitting down to a gourmet meal at the restaurant.
RELAX IN MARATEA
Today you’ll get to know the area through the eyes of a local. Your guide works in collaboration with Baticòs, an NGO whose objective is to support environmental projects in the region of Calabria such as organic agriculture, local crafts and eco-tourism. She is particularly proud of her culture, which you’ll learn all about as she gives you a tour of her village, Aieta.
You have the rest of your time in Maratea to spend at your leisure. Though small, Maratea is full of places to discover, so you’ll have no problem filling your two full days here. Hike to the top of the statue of Christ the Redeemer for dizzying views, visit the small surrounding hamlets, and explore Maratea’s enchanting sea caves which lie in the midst of the sparkling turquoise sea. Leave some time for relaxing in the Piazza Buraglia and strolling down the town’s narrow streets lined with colourful buildings.
VISIT POMPEII WITH A PRIVATE GUIDE
This morning you’ll head towards Naples, but not before a stop at the once-thriving Roman city of Pompeii. The eruption of Vesuvius saw the destruction and burial of Pompeii along with Herculaneum and many houses in the surrounding area. Today, these remarkably well-preserved archaeological sites are accessible to the public. In the capable hands of a private guide, you’ll wander along Pompeii’s ancient streets and between vestiges as you get to know what life was like at the beginning of the Roman Empire. When you’ve finished exploring, head straight to your accommodation in the historic heart of Naples where you can enjoy splendid views and equally splendid Neapolitan architecture.
EXPLORE NAPLES WITH A LOCAL
On your last day in Italy, explore the thriving city of Naples with a born and bred local. From historic palaces to the workshops of craftsmen, painters and sculptors, the very best of Naples is yours to discover today. Your guide knows all the top spots, so if you’re interested in a little retail therapy, just let them know, and they’ll introduce you to the city’s best antique dealers or fashion boutiques that rival those of Rome and Milan. When you get hungry, sample some of Naples’ world-famous street food, such as a slice of pizza fritta (fried and filled pizza) or a gooey crocchè di patate (fried potato filled with cheese).
HEAD BACK TO THE UK
The time has come to say goodbye to southern Italy, so jump in your rental car and return it to the airport in Naples before boarding your flight home.
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The Archaeological Site of Paestum
Enveloped by cypresses and oleanders, Paestum offers all the romantic charm of other ancient cities. Unlike Pompeii, however, Paestum wasn’t hit by natural disaster; malaria forced its inhabitants to abandon the city, leaving behind three of the best-preserved ancient Greek temples in the world: the Temple of Athena and the two temples of Hera. If you choose to visit Paestum, you’ll also stop at its museum, where objects and artifacts found on the site will help to bring this ancient Greek city to life.
With A Few More Days: Matera
If you have a few more days to spend in Basilicata, we can arrange for a visit to Matera, home to a series of cave dwellings covered in Byzantine polychromy. These limestone caves have existed since ancient times but were evacuated in the early 1950s due to poor living conditions. After some much needed rehabilitation, the Sassi caves are now listed as part of a UNESCO World Heritage site and have also been used in films such as Pier Paolo Pasolini’s The Gospel According to St. Matthew. A trip to Matera is a chance to visit some of these caves and admire their churches decorated with beautiful frescoes. All around, enjoy the stunning sight of olive groves and orchards undulating across the mountainside.
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