CUSTOM WINE TOUR

A wine tour in the Amalfi & Cilento Coasts

  • Visit Greco-Roman archaeological sites of Pompeii, Paestum, and Villa Jovis on Capri
  • Drive up Mt. Vesuvius
  • Meet the winemakers at Marisa Cuomo, Luigi Maffini, and De Conciliis wineries
  • See happy creatures at an organic buffalo mozzarella farm
  • Walk on the Path of the Gods to see the Amalfi Coast from on high
  • Stroll in the English gardens of Villa Cimbrone, Greta Garbo’s hideaway
  • Indulge in nightly wine dinners, featuring the best of Campania wine and cuisine.

 

ITINERARY

DAY 1 – POMPEII & VESUVIUS
Welcome to our Amalfi Coast wine tour! Our meeting point is the Caserta train station. (This is an easy arrival point from Rome or Naples; train details will be provided.) It’s a 45-minute drive to our first destination: Vesuvius, the volcano that buried Pompeii. We can drive close to the top and play it by ear—either pausing at the lookout or hiking to the top of the cone (about 1 hour).

After lunch, we go to Pompeii. When Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, Pompeii was a thriving city full of wealthy epicures. Ancient wine bars lined the streets leading to the coliseum, and bar owners planted small vineyards next to their establishments. We'll have a guided tour of Pompeii and peek at the recently excavated Roman vineyards.

Then we continue to the coastal town of Sorrento on the Bay of Naples and settle into our first hotel. Dinner will spotlight Campania’s seafood-based cuisine, which includes such dishes as pasta with shellfish and cherry tomatoes, and grilled Mediterranean sea bass with herbed potatoes.
D • Hotel Palazzo Guardati in Sorrento

DAY 2 – THE ISLE OF CAPRI
Rising out of the Bay of Naples is the island of Capri. Here is where the Emperor Tiberius lived in sumptuous, decadent exile and where famous writers and movie stars had their getaways. We'll take the ferry from Sorrento to Capri, getting a fabulous view of Naples, the sparkling bay, and Vesuvius along the way—and perhaps some playful dolphins. (It happens!)

After disembarking, we'll take the funicular up to the town of Capri, then go for a walk to explore the island, ultimately arriving at the archaeological site of Villa Jovis, the Imperial villa of Emperor Tiberius. After this, we can head back to town for shopping or an aperitif. After returning by ferry, dinner is on your own in Sorrento. 
B • Hotel Palazzo Guardati in Sorrento

DAY 3 – POSITANO
In the morning, there’s free time for last-minute shopping in Sorrento. Then we drive over the mountains to the Amalfi Coast, stopping in Positano for the afternoon. You can head straight to the peeble beach, indulge in a gelato, relax with an Aperol and soda, shop for breezy linen fashions, or wander the narrow switchback streets and steps that cut through this picturesque town, which looks like building blocks tumbling down to the sea.

Late afternoon, we’ll continue to Furore and settle into our hotel, owned by the cousins of winemaker Marisa Cuormo, whose winery sits across the street. We’ll have a winery tour and tasting at Marisa Cuomo, featuring wines produced from ancient terraced vineyards and pre-phylloxera vines. Dinner follows at the hotel, where you’ll find such regional fare as grilled zucchini with mint; baccala (salt cod) with fennel, red peppercorns, and arugula; and scamorza (melted smoked cheese) wrapped in lemon leaves. Mamma mia! 
B, D • L’Hostaria di Bacco in Furore

DAY 4 – AMALFI & RAVELLO
Today is devoted to Amalfi (on the sea) and Ravello (on the cliffs directly above it). Amalfi was once a formidable sea power equal to Venice, Pisa, and Genoa, as evidenced in the opulence of the Amalfi Cathedral, which we’ll visit. We’ll also pop in a limoncello shop to see how this liquor is made from the sweet, enormous Meyer lemons grown on the surrounding hills.

Then it’s up to Ravello, where we’ll explore the beautiful English gardens of Villa Cimbrone, the secret hideaway for Greta Garbo and Leopold Stokowski, where you can pause in gazebos and terraces overlooking the sea. If time allows, late afternoon can include a passagiata (stroll) on a portion of the Path of the Gods, a trail that provides spectacular views of the sea and the mountainous landscape, with its terraced vineyards, lemon groves, and occasional herds of sheep. Dinner at a local agriturismo.  
B, D • L’Hostaria di Bacco in Furore

DAY 5 – THE GREEKS IN PAESTUM
Leaving Amalfi, we drive two hours south along the coast to Paestum, an ancient Greco-Roman city founded in the 7th century BC. Here we’ll have the opportunity to walk around the vast archaeological site, where temples to Hera, Neptune, and Athena still stand, and visit its stellar museum, where the famous Diver fresco resides.

We then continue towards our hotel in Castellabate. En route, we’ll have a winery tour and tasting at Luigi Maffini, a boutique producer who pioneered winemaking in the Cilento and remains one of the region’s stars. Here you’ll taste beautifully crafted white Fiano and red Aglianco, both mentioned by the ancient Roman historian Pliny the Elder. Dinner at a local restaurant.  
B, D • L'Approdo in San Marco di Castellabate

DAY 6 – CILENTO & WINE OF THE ANCIENTS
This morning, the energetic can take a seaside walk from the hotel, following a path shaded by umbrella pines that passes alongside the enchanting villas and private gardens skirting the sea. The more laid-back can choose to relax at the hotel, which offers both a swimming pool and a private beach. We’ll change perspective at lunch, driving up to Castelabate, a medieval town that surveys the entire region from its mountain perch.

Then in the afternoon, we’ll have our final winery visit at De Concilis. Bruno De Conciliis capitalizes on southern exposure and ancient soils to produce full-bodied, fruit-driven reds. His signature wine is the majestic Naima (named after the John Coltrane tune), but Bruno also makes a range of Aglianico, Campania’s most important red wine. With jazz echoing in the cellars to keep his wines happy, the wines of De Conciliis are sure to be a hit with any wine enthusiast. Dinner at a local restaurant.  
B, D • L'Approdo in San Marco di Castellabate

DAY 7 – ARRIVEDERCI!
En route to the Salerno train station, we stop by Tenuta Vannulo, an organic buffalo mozzarella producer. With 300 buffalo living on 500 acres of land, the caseificio gets top-quality milk for its traditionally made buffalo mozzarella. We’ll see that process step-by-step. Then it’s on to Salerno in time to catch a train to Naples or Rome. Or if you’re flying out of Naples, we can go directly to the airport. B


Want an Amalfi wine tour with some exercise? We can do that! See Amalfi Hike, a custom wine & walking tour.


TRIP NOTES

Airport
Naples or Rome. Both offer multiple trains to our meeting spot in Caserta, south of Naples. From Rome, it's 1 to 2 hours, depending on the choice of train. From Naples, it's 35 to 45 minutes. You can fly directly to Rome from various cities in the U.S. To fly direct to Naples, there's only Meridiana Airlines leaving from New York. 

Pre-tour
Plan to land in Italy at least a day before the tour begins; that’s necessary to be at our starting point on time. 

Meeting point
We meet at the Hotel Miramare in Naples, located on the lungomare or seafront promenade. We recommend this hotel for your pre-tour stay. For other options, email us or check a good hotel search engine like TripAdvisor or Hotels.com.

Departure day
On our final day, we’ll have you back at the Naples train station by noon.

Italian train schedule
Here's the English-language version of TrenItalia. Be aware that the schedule is posted only several months in advance, so if you're looking for long-range dates, try something sooner, just to get an idea of departure frequency and trip length.

Trip extensions
Because this tour does not include any time in Naples, we recommend spending a few days there. All of the treasures from Pompeii are there, in the National Archaeological Museum. Plus, there are museums, castles, churches, and palaces that cover 2800 years of history. And authentic Neapolitan pizza!

Travel insurance
This is recommended to protect you from needless loss caused by last-minute cancellations, lost luggage, and more. Three sources are Travelex Insurance, (800) 228-9792; CSA Travel Protection, (800) 348-9505; and Travel Guard, (800) 826-1300.

Weather
When packing, check www.weather.com. Go to “Naples, Italy” and “Amalfi, Italy” to get a general idea of temperatures and forecast.

For cancellation policy & more, see our General Information page.

2017 dates
October 22–28

2018 dates
For private, custom groups only
Minimum group size: 2
Contact us to pick dates

Price
$3,695
Single supplement: $400
Price based on this 6-day itinerary for 2 pax; discounts for larger groups. Modifications are possible, including the number of days, level of accommodations, amount of wine tastings, and inclusion of meals.

Meet
Caserta train station

Depart
Salerno train station

What's included
- 6 nights accommodations (double room) in three 3-star hotels, with breakfast buffet
- 5 gourmet dinners (three courses with wine)
- All wine tastings mentioned
- Guided tour of Pompeii
- Admission to Paestum & Villa Cimbrone
- Ferry to Capri & funicular ride 

What's not included
- Air travel
- 1 dinner on your own & all lunches
- After-dinner drinks, or special wines at tastings that are not part of what is provided to the group
- Items of a personal nature
- Anything not specified as included