7 nights starting from
The volcanic island of Ischia and its gardens
The lovely town of Amalfi
Glorious gardens and magnificent villas along the Amalfi coast
Local produce tastings – mozzarella and marmalade!
This tour looks at the magnificent villas and gardens dotted along Italy’s fabled Amalfi coast, a haunt for writers, artists and composers for more than a century. Added to this is a three-night stay on the island of Ischia, the largest island in the bay of Naples. Here, more glorious gardens await as well as lovely mountain scenery. Renowned for its spas fed from the volcanic springs with therapeutic qualities, this little known island is an undiscovered gem.
|01 - April - 2019||£ 1499.00||Travel Info Book Now||booking-journey/#/start/VAI/01 April 2019/|
Departing: 01st April 2019 at 06:00
Returning: 08th April 2019 at 16:45
Day 1: Fly from London Gatwick to Naples.
Transfer to Minori and check-in to the hotel for four-night stay. This evening group welcome dinner included.
Day 2: Full day Amalfi Coast.
A glorious day in prospect as we enjoy a full day tour of the Amalfi Coast, starting with the Belvedere at Positano, a stunningly beautiful village that clambers down a vertiginous slope to the sea. We also visit the largest town along the coast, Amalfi with its magnificent Duomo dating back to the 9th century with a 13th century façade. Two villas and gardens complete a full but fascinating day - Villa Rufolo in the heart of the lovely UNESCO-listed town of Ravello, where the composer Richard Wagner was so enchanted that he imagined the setting as the garden of Klingsor in his opera, Parsifal. Finally, just below Ravello, we visit the breathtakingly beautiful gardens of the Villa Cimbrone, (now a five-star hotel) which were largely redesigned at the start of the 20th century, with the valuable input of the English gardener Vita Sackville-West, who waxed that they contain a wealth “of the most beautiful flowers imaginable”. They are considered among the most important examples of the English landscape and botany culture in the South of Europe. Gore Vidal opened that “The most beautiful sight that I have ever seen is the panoramic view from Villa Cimbrone on a bright winter’s day, when the sky and the sea are so vividly blue that it is not possible to distinguish them from each other.”
Day 3: Sorrento – guided tour, mozzarella and marmalade tasting.
Today we head to the Amalfi coast’s biggest resort, Sorrento, starting the day with a visit to the La Sorgente Agriturismo for a mozzarella cheese-making presentation and tasting with snack lunch included. In the afternoon, a guided walking tour will show us the delights of charming Sorrento including a visit to the Cataldo Garden, with lemon and orange marmalade tasting.
Day 4: Visit to Porta de Ferro Tenuta.
Morning visit to the beautiful and productive gardens at the farming complex of Porta di Ferro Tenuta (near Salerno) with lunch included. The 17th century farmhouse, stables, a dairy, bakery and grain silo bear witness to the farming heritage of this complex which now boasts four gardens. It is one of the “Grandi Giardini Italiani” group of gardens. Return to the hotel mid-afternoon with time to relax and pack before transferring to Ischia tomorrow.
Day 5: Morning visit to Reggia di Caserta and ferry across to Ischia.
Morning visit to Caserta for a guided visit of the royal palace and gardens of the Reggia di Caserta. Built for the Bourbon king, Charles III, it is Italy’s largest royal palace with 1,000 rooms, set in a lavish park with fountains, ornamental waterworks, statuary and a lovely English garden. In the afternoon, we continue to Naples for our ferry sailing to the island of Ischia. On arrival transfer to hotel for three-night stay.
Day 6: Morning visit to La Mortella Gardens, afternoon free.
Ischia has long attracted a literary and musical set, including W.H. Auden who wrote “In Praise of Limestone” here and British composer, Sir William Walton, who settled on Ischia in 1956 and built a beautiful house and garden, La Mortella, here. He lived here until his death in 1983. A guided tour will show us the highlights. Afternoon free for personal exploration of Ischia Town.
Day 7: Full day Ischia tour with the Giardini Ravino and Poseidon Gardens.
A full day tour of Ischia will show the island’s sights including the Giardini Ravino, an unique botanical park with a vast collection of extraordinary cacti, driven by the passion and vision of one man, Peppino D’Ambra. Time for lunch is allowed in the picturesque town of Sant’Angelo. Finally, in the early evening we will visit the gardens of Poseidon.
Day 8: Morning free in Ischia before catching the ferry to Naples and transferring to the airport.
NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions, weather, garden openings and tour manager's discretion.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 30 passengers.
Hotel Villa Romana, Minori
The traditional four-star Villa Romana Hotel & Spa is located in the heart of the pretty little town of Minori, about 4km east of Amalfi. Facilities at this charming hotel include spa, bar, restaurant and very comfortable bedrooms with all modern facilities.
The Hotel Hermitage, Ischia Town
The traditional four-star Hotel Hermitage is quietly located on a small street in the centre of Ischia Town, within walking distance of the small town centre with a host of restaurants, bars and cafes and seafront. Facilities at this charming hotel include spa, bar, restaurant and very comfortable bedrooms with all modern facilities.
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