Naples and Campania tour
Naples and Campania (the region that surrounds it) mark the beginning of the Italian south, the mezzogiorno ('the land of the midday sun'). The Romans called it Campania Felix or the ‘happy lands’. It is a stunningly beautiful area with endless surprises, beautiful scenery and the irrepressible exuberance and hospitality of southern Italy.
The tour starts with three nights in Naples, which, with its perfect setting between a sweeping gulf and a smoking volcano and a history unbroken since the ancient Greeks, Naples is a fabulous and fascinating city: crowded, loud and hectic, its vibrant streets burst with life and hold some of the finest art and museums in Italy.
From Naples we head east driving across the plains of Campania to the foothills of the Appenine mountains, near the border with Puglia. Here we’ll stay for four nights in a lovely country house within striking distance of the Monti Picentini National Park, where we'll walk, enjoy fine southern cuisine and some of the best wines in the region.
After the mountainous interior we’ll head south to the Tyrrhenian Coast, staying in a gorgeous village perched on a mountain overlooking the Policastro Gulf, where we stay three nights. Although less than two hours’ drive from Amalfi, the town’s pretty square, isolated beaches and mountain walking trails remain remarkably free from the crowds that are drawn to its more famous neighbour.
For the grand finale of the tour we drive north to the Amalfi Coast, staying in stunning Ravello for the last two nights, a fitting end to this fabulous tour.
The walks on this tour are varied and fascinating. We start with a climb up Mt Vesuvius. We then head east into the interior of Campania with walks in the beautiful Monti Picentini National Park and the rolling foothills of the Appenine Range. From here we head down to the Tyrrhenian Coast for spectacular coastal walks in two other National Parks (Pollino and Cilento). The tour finishes with a classic walk from Ravello down to Amalfi. The walks vary from 10 to 14 kilometres, mostly following unsealed country lanes.
The accommodation is one of the highlights of the tour. In Naples we stay in a 4-star hotel in the centre of the city. In the Apennines, our base is a lovely family-run country house, which is surrounded by gardens and has a swimming pool. On the coast, we spend three nights in a 4-star hotel in the heart of the old town, which also has lovely gardens and a swimming pool. We finish in Ravello staying in a 4-star hotel with views overlooking the Amalfi Coast.
Food and wine, of course, is one of the highlights of any tour to Italy but particularly on this one. Our first meal in a Michelin-starred restaurant, followed by lunch in a celebrated pizzeria in the heart of the old town. For the second leg of the tour, we stay in the district of Irpinia, which, with its altitude, cool climate and volcanic soils, is one of the premier wine and farming zones in southern Italy. Our stay here includes a visit to one the more important vineyards and a cooking lesson is our hosts' own kitchen. We finish tour with the excellent seafood of the Campanian coast.
The tour leader
The tour will lead by Simon Tancred. "I first went to Italy as a backpacker in 1980 and fell in love with the country. I returned in 1983, living and working in Milan until 1988. Afterwards I worked at the Institute of Languages, University of New South Wales (Sydney) taking guided tours to Italy annually. I spent two years with my family in Prato (Florence) in 2003 and 2004, working at the Monash University (Melbourne) Centre. Since then I have dedicated myself full-time to Hidden Italy. I love photography and writing and have had articles and photographs on Italy published in most major Australian newspapers and travel magazines. I speak fluent Italian, alas with a pronounced Australian accent. "Great Walks" magazine recently said I had the best job in the world.. there are other much more worthy jobs around but I am lucky my passion has become my profession - click here to read their interview."
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Naples and Campania: 13 days/12 nights
16 May to 28 May, 2021
2022 Tour dates - 15 May to 27 May 2022 - now available
Single supplement $900 (double room for single use)
• 12 nights accommodation (see the itinerary for details) in excellent boutique hotels
• All breakfast, and all lunches and dinners (wine included) listed in the itinerary
• All land and sea transfers during the tours
• All taxes and service charges at the hotels and restaurants
• All paid admissions during the tour
• 7 guided walks
• Services of a full-time professional tour guide
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