The trails of Southern Italy lead you through the unforgettable splendors of Roman ruins and volcanic peaks, coastal vistas, and tranquil villages. Overlook cliffs as the stunning rock formations rise out of the Mediterranean Sea. Climb to the top of Mount Vesuvius for a sweeping panorama of the Bay of Naples and then stroll along the ancient streets of Pompeii to witness lava as it sprouts from a conical peak like fireworks on a secluded island near Sicily. Your custom tailored tour lets you...
Naples – Arrive in the Bustling City of Naples to See the Captivating History
Naples is a bustling city filled with the scent of the sea as fresh pizza emanates from both the chic and traditional pizzerias found around town. Large parks open up to views of the harbor as fishing boats come and go in the marina as their sails flutter in the breeze. The palace atop Capodimonte looms over the city with royal garnishes as the ancient history, beautiful churches, opulent palaces, and marvelous castles will captivate any visitor to Italy.
Your flight will arrive at Naples International Airport, and your private transfer will greet you at the baggage claim. Settle into your hotel before you venture out for a leisurely tour of the city to uncover the unexpected elegance of sculptures, frescoes, and breathtaking panoramas. The waterfront contains the historical gateway to the Mediterranean Sea and connects the city to the world as it has for millennia as separate docks and basins give way to a series of piers and breakwaters.
You can see Mount Vesuvius as it rises along the edge of the bay in the distance. Locals linger in the cafes and sip espresso as the sun drifts behind the water on the horizon. In the evening, meet a local chef to learn the secrets of the renowned Neapolitan pizza, named for the city in which the dish was invented. Get your hands dirty and your taste buds ready for the savory treat of a stone-fire oven roasted pizza that you will make fresh with your own two hands.
Naples – Venture to Capri to Explore the Island Trails and Scenery
On the southern edge of Piazza del Municipio stands the five-towered frame of Castel Nuovo, the former residence of the kings and viceroys of Naples. The castle was originally constructed in the 13th-century under the patronage of Charles I of Anjou. Subsequent rulers added to the structure and renovated the interior to create a collection of elaborate and opulent décor. After breakfast, your guide will meet you at the hotel and lead you back to the harbor to board the ferry to the island of Capri.
The sea sprays water around the hydrofoil as you travel the nearly 30 miles across the Mediterranean to the towering limestone cliffs of the island that reaches a height of up to 200 feet. The ferry docks at Marina Grande, a harbor that fills with local fishing boats that line the promenade in the foreground, with vibrant houses that overlook the water. You will take the funicular to the plateau to Capri Town, the main town of the island. Chic boutiques line the cobblestoned streets, and charming cafes offer outdoor tables where patrons can people-watch.
From the Piazzetta, your guide will lead you along Via Vittorio Emanuele to Via Camerelle. The trail takes you out of town and along the undulating hills. Forest spreads across the landscape until the bleached limestone cliffs plunge into the water. Signs will guide you along the steps towards the Arco Naturale, a natural opening carved into the rock face. The arch looks down to the coastline and provides a spectacular view of where the Mediterranean brushes against the rugged base of the island.
Amalfi – Enjoy a Guided Tour of Naples and Walk Amalfi’s Agerola Plateau
In the morning, the sunlight will spread across the sapphire waters of the Bay of Naples. The aroma of freshly baked brioche will drift along the lanes of the historical city center in the neighborhood of Spaccanapoli. Your guide will meet you in the hotel lobby and escort you through the old city to discover the Catacomba di San Gennaro, the oldest and most sacred catacomb in the city. The mausoleum became a pilgrimage center for early Christians in the 5th-century after Saint Gennaro’s body was brought to rest beneath Naples. 2nd-century frescoes decorate the walls, and 5th-century mosaics depict the oldest portrait of Saint Gennaro known to exist. The labyrinthine passages lead to three different types of tomb chambers, each corresponding to a particular social class at the time.
The lower level contains the older section of the catacombs with tombs decorated with pagan motifs of fruits and animals. Your experience of trekking along the trails below the city is unique as you follow the trails that lead to mountain summits or cliffs. When you ascend to modern-day Naples, your private transfer will escort you around the Bay of Naples to the charming fishing villages of Amalfi, one a maritime powerhouse along the Mediterranean Sea in the 13th-century. Your hotel is situated near the trails of the Agerola high plateau and from the top of the trailhead, the view opens to the remarkable cliffs that slope down into the sapphire Mediterranean Sea. Forests spread green leaves along the plateau as lemon trees sprout along the fertile soil. In the distance, the grapevines roll along the undulating tiers of the hillsides.
Amalfi – Relish the Scenery and Culture when Trekking the Path of Gods
The quiet streets of Amalfi return to life in the morning as cafés set out their tables along the main square of the town. Fishing boats return from their early hours out at sea to fill their nets with the best of the fresh seafood from the Mediterranean. Your guide will meet you in the morning to lead you along the celebrated trail known as the “Path of the Gods.” The path runs along the high cliffs of the coastline and was named for its close position to the sky, or as locals referred to it, close to Olympia.
The path is nearly five miles long and connects Amalfi to the most westerly fishing towns at the beginning of the coastline, Positano. The trail begins with an ascent along nearly 500 stairs that lead you above Amalfi. The view immediately opens to the rugged cliffs and forested mountains that hug the Gulf of Salerno. The scent of rich earth blends with the refreshing sea breeze as you pass the familiar view from the Agerola plateau and continue along the ruins of old paper mills that lead you towards Positano.
The rugged path turns lush as it is lined with grass and blossoming wildflowers. The mossy texture blankets the cliffs that rise above your head as you pass the hamlet of Bomerano at nearly 2,100 feet above sea level. Descend into the town of Positano, a colorful fishing village with homes that climb the terraced lanes along the mountain foothills. The aroma of fresh lemon trees overtakes the scent of the sea as a friendly face will welcome you into their boutique shop in which they sell various flavors of Limoncello. After taking a sip of the refreshing, zesty southern Italian drink, the shop owner will teach you the recipe to produce the traditional beverage back home.
Overnight Ferry – Hike Mount Vesuvius and Stroll the Streets of Ancient Pompeii
The lingering summit of Mount Vesuvius captures the imaginations of visitors from around the world. The legend of the volcano’s temper spans millennia, most notably in the historical context of the ruined city of Pompeii. In the morning, stroll along the quiet streets of Amalfi once more to watch the fishing boats return to the marina. Your private transfer will meet you at the hotel and lead you on a scenic drive along the coast, through the hills, and around the Bay of Naples before you reach the base of Mount Vesuvius. Since the infamous eruption in 79 AD that covered Pompeii in ash and soot, Mount Vesuvius has erupted more than 30 times.
A wide trail along the mountain’s edge guides you to the summit at more than 4,200 feet above sea level. The two new peaks rise above the rim and punctuate the depths of the caldera. Pockets of steam drift out of the rocks in hidden vents that naturally release some of the volcanic pressure. From the summit, you have a marvelous view of the Bay of Naples, the city, and a portion of the Apennine Mountains. Your guide will meet you at the mountain base for an engaging tour of the preserved city of Pompeii before you board a luxurious overnight ferry to the island of Stromboli.
Stromboli – Venture to the Craters of the Volcanic Island of Vulcano
In the morning light, you will have a perfect view of the island of Stromboli. The volcanic peak rises to a conical summit, the shape most people have a volcano as a child. Smoke continues to drift out of the caldera to add a layer of adventure to the beauty of the coast. Black sand beaches line the uninhabited northeast corner of the island, and the lack of roads accentuates the rugged sense of discovery. In the town of San Vincenzo, you will stroll along the cobbled streets that overlook the cobalt sea.
Fishing boats moor on the volcanic sand as narrow lanes lead to whitewashed houses. A pathway connects the main town with the tiny village of Ginostra on the opposite side of the mountain. Locals still use donkeys to help them transport materials around the landscape, including luggage from visitors as they walk up from the marina. In the afternoon, you will meet your guide in front of the main church at the heart of San Vincenzo ready to venture up to the trails of the volcano.
The volcanic summit stands at 2,900 feet above sea level as your guide will lead you along the meandering trail to the crater that contains several vents from which the pressure releases. The volcano has been active for more than 2,000 years and has gained the name, “The Lighthouse of the Mediterranean.” Your guide will time the walk to reach the summit at sunset when the natural fireworks begin. Lava erupts from the crater and spills over the edge with bright orange light each night to resemble the glowing volcanic eruptions you thought of as a child.
Stromboli – Visit San Vincenzo Town and Trek to Stromboli’s Fiery Summit
Wake up to a gorgeous display of natural wonder with the cobalt Mediterranean water as it laps against the black sand and pebbles of Stromboli’s shoreline. From the unique view, enjoy the charming lanes of San Vincenzo as the island is a veritable paradise. After breakfast, board a hydrofoil and travel to the larger island of Vulcano, located nearly 25 miles off the coast of Sicily. Several overlapping volcanic craters make up the island, with the Fossa cone of the northeast coast the most active.
Arrive at the marina and your guide will lead you to the natural mud pools that bring visitors from around the Mediterranean. The heated mud contains rich minerals that help soothe and smoothes the skin. You can submerge your body into the mud until it forms a mask and rinses away the layers, and immediately feel the soothing effects on your skin. The craggy foothills lead to the barren summit of the Fossa de Vulcano with its cone-formed between the 12th and 9th-centuries BC.
Trek the trail to the summit and look down into the caldera as active fumaroles near the Gran Cratere rises out of the dark rocks and resemble steam leaving the vents. The smoldering landscape looks as though a dragon sleeps beneath the surface waiting to strike. The central plateau of the island provides a view to the surrounding summits as you bask in the rural tranquility of vegetable gardens and verdant forests absent from the volcanic foothills at the edge of the island.
Taormina – Follow the Trail from Castelmola to Taormina to View Mt. Etna
In the morning, you will leave the black pebbles and sand of the Stromboli beaches and make your way to the island of Sicily. Your private transfer will greet you at the harbor as the ferry docks and escort you to the hamlet of Castelmola, located on the southeastern edge of the island. The village stands high atop the craggy cliff that overlooks the luxurious town of Taormina. From your perch, you have an unparalleled view of the towering summit of Mount Etna, Italy’s most active volcano. The aroma of lush trees and verdant shrubberies drift from the landscape that lines the trail.
The trail descends from the more than 1,730 feet above sea level down to the ruins of Castello di Taormina at over 1,300 feet above sea level. The castle ruins continue to watch over the seaside in search of oncoming navies or pirates. The rampart walls were erected over the ancient Acropolis built by the Greeks. Wildflowers grow alongside the pathway and lead to semi-ruined cottages dotting the mountain slopes. A stone gateway frames the path before your descent into Taormina on the main road of Corso Umberto. Your guide will lead you to Piazza IX Aprile to enjoy the terrace views of Mount Etna and the sapphire Mediterranean Sea as it shimmers along the coastline below town. The pink Baroque façade of the church of San Guiseppe welcomes you to town, and after a rest, your guide will lead you on a spectacular introductory tour of Taormina’s eclectic and visible history.
Taormina – Full Day Tour Exploring the Craters and Lava Dunes of Mt. Etna
In the morning, the sunlight will wash over the Greek theater at the edge of town and turn the antique stone gold. The seats at the top tier provide an excellent view over the landscape to the soaring peak of Mount Etna, which rises to an altitude of nearly 10,900 feet. After breakfast, your private guide will escort you to the mountain base to traverse the coarse foothills and snow-capped peaks around the various craters. A cable car will take you up to the barren lunar landscape at more than 8,200 feet above sea level as the air is cold and crisp against your cheeks.
The mountain contains more than 250 volcanic vents that circumvent the summit. The recent lava fields have staggered boulders and undulating crevices as the forest below and resembles a carpet of greenery with the individual trees no longer discernable. The newest crater of Bocca Nuova smolders with fumaroles as the wide caldera sweeps away from the trail and causes you to look back to see the panorama of Sicily beneath you. Upon your descent from the mountain, your guide will lead you to a local winery to tour the plush vines and sumptuous flavors caused by the rich minerals of the volcanic soil.
Taormina – Depart for Home
In the morning, the boutique shops of Taormina open along the Corso Umberto. A brick and pebbled walkway meanders beneath the lush trees in the hidden public garden off of Villa Comunale. A nature conservationist in the late 19th-century shaped the scenery into an English-style garden in the yard of what was once her private residence. The scent of blossoming daisies drifts along the pathway as the bustling restaurants along Corso Umberto disappear. The beauty of Taormina is once again highlighted in its nature, as the hillside slopes down into the gem-like waters of the Mediterranean. Your private transfer will meet you at the hotel and escort you to the international airport in Catania for easy check-in for your flight home.
- Relish the unique opportunity to hike to the summit of an active volcano and watch the lava spill over the crater’s rim at dusk
- Indulge in the joy of Neapolitan pizza during your private lesson on how to make the delicious dish
- Discover the marvelous scenery of the Amalfi Coast while traveling the trails that connect the historic fishing villages
- Delight in the zesty and refreshing flavor of Limoncello during a private instruction on how to make the traditional Southern Italian digestif
- Follow the trail to the top of Mount Vesuvius for an unparalleled view of the Bay of Naples and the ancient city of Pompeii
- Relax in the soothing mud pools and hot baths of Vulcano Island before having an up-close view of the steaming fumaroles of the La Fossa crater
- Visit a ruined castle on the trail between a small mountain hamlet and the luxurious resort town overlooking the Sicilian coastline
- Embrace the stellar flavors of the wine grown in the mineral rich soil at the base of Mount Etna
- Trek rugged trails of Capri to discover the gorgeous untamed scenery of the island and the ruins of former imperial villas
Ascend the volcanic peaks and cliff-top plateaus of Southern Italy on your 10-day active tour of the natural topography and captivating history found from the Amalfi Coast to the streets of Taormina. Your adventure will begin with your arrival at the Naples International Airport as your private transfer will meet you at baggage claim and escort you into the heart of Naples. Stroll the historical streets for an introduction into the culture before you meet a private chef ready to teach you the methods and techniques to prepare a proper Neapolitan pizza.
Next day, your guide will meet you at the hotel and lead you to the harbor to board the ferry to Capri. Enjoy the mixture of the untouched rugged landscape and opulent boutiques of the main town. Follow the trails that crisscross the island for incredible views of the shore, as well as the tallest mountain of Monte Solaro. Continue your travel beneath the city to trek the Catacombs of Gennaro before a scenic drive around the Bay of Naples to the Amalfi Coast. After settling into your hotel, walk along the trails of the Agerola high plateau for your first view of the stunning scenery found along the famous Amalfi Coast. Trek along a portion of the “Path of the Gods,” that connect Amalfi to Positano and explore the lavish fishing village as you relish a private lesson on how to make the perfect Limoncello, a traditional Southern Italian digestif.
Wake up early for your trek to the top of the infamous Mount Vesuvius. Take in the panoramic views en route to your tour of the preserved streets of Pompeii. Venture to the harbor in the afternoon for a luxury ferry ride to the island of Stromboli located off the coast of Sicily. Discover the unique charms of Stromboli, from its black-pebbled beaches to the secluded villages that overlook the Mediterranean. In the afternoon, trek to the summit of the volcano to watch the lava spill over the conical peak. Move on with a morning ferry ride to the island of Vulcano to soak in the thermal and mud baths before you hike along the volcanic craters to view the smoldering fumaroles and relax in the shade of the island’s lush rural heart.
Travel next to the main island of Sicily to traverse the trail that leads from the small hilltop hamlet of Castelmola to the luxurious town of Taormina, which overlooks the sea. Enjoy a private tour of Taormina’s exceptional history. Move next to the top of Mount Etna to conquer the heights of Italy’s most active volcano. After you descend the mountain and its various craters, your guide will lead you to a vineyard on the foothills of Etna, where the mineral rich soil produces fine wines. To conclude, your private transfer will meet you at the hotel and escort you to the international airport at Catania for your flight home.
$2,745 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
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Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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