CARAVAGGIO TOUR 2019 - Rome, Pompei and Amalfi in 5 days

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From the petrified yet alive Pompei to the coast of Amalfi, magically suspended between the sky and the sea, and finally Rome, the "Eternal City". Wandering in Central Italy at the discovery of the culture and spirit of the country.

SUMMARY

  • Duration: 5 full days + 5 nights
  • Type of tour: circular
  • Tour starts and ends in Rome

 

WHAT'S INCLUDED:

Accommodations with Continental Breakfast:

  • Days 1 to 3: 3* to 5* Hotel in Amalfi
  • Days 4 & 5: 3* to 5* Hotel in Rome city centre

Transfers:

  • Day 1: Pick up at your Hotel + Transfer by private car / minivan to your accommodation in Amalfi – Stopover in Pompei
  • Day 3: Transfer by public jetfoil from Amalfi to Capri and back
  • Day 4: Transfer by private car / minivan to your accommodation in Rome city centre – Stopover in Castelgandolfo

Private Guided Visits / Tours / Activities:

  • Day 1: 2-hour private walking tour of Pompei Archeological Area with an Authorised Tourist Guide
  • Day 2: Full day round trip by private car / minivan on the Amalfi Coast
  • Day 5: Full-day private tour (walking + minivan) with an Authorised Tourist Guide of Classical and Baroque Rome, including Colosseum and Imperial Forums Archeological Area and Vatican City with the Sistine Chapel

Admission Tickets to:

  • Pompei Archeological Area
  • Colosseum and Imperial Forums Archeological Area in Rome
  • Vatican Museums in Rome

Meals at selected home-style local restaurants (wine not included):

  • 1 dinner in Rome

Full assistance 24 hours/day by our Back Office

All taxes (tips not mandatory)

Day 1 – POMPEI

Welcome to Italy!

Today you will reach Pompei, the Roman city excavated from the ashes of the Vesuvius, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997!

In 62 A.D. Pompei was partially destroyed by an earthquake, and as its reconstruction was still ongoing, on August 24, 79 A.D. the eruption of Vesuvius covered the city and its suburban villas with a thick layer of stones, ashes and lapilli (thick, glassy lava). Herculaneum, on the other hand, disappeared beneath a flood of volcanic mud. 

The ruins of the ancient Roman cities offer an unparalleled window into the quotidian life of classical antiquity.  Here you can understand how the Romans of the 1st century AD lived: from the brothels and lavatories to the posh dining rooms and the bathing establishments which included modern spas, health clubs and gym. The eruption of Mount Vesuvius destroyed the town in 79 AD and more than 3,000 people were covered by the debris from the volcano.

Pompei

Pompei: Casa del Fauno

Due to its healthy climate and pleasant scenery, Pompeii was a holiday resort for rich Romans. It is now famous for its civic buildings lining the streets that are still intact today. Some of these include the Surgeon’s House, as well as those of the Faun and the Chaste Lovers, which are exceptional examples of the epoch’s architecture. Another remarkable construction is the House of Mysteries, which derives its name from the murals depicting the initiation rites (i.e., the mysteries) of the Dionysian cult. A peculiar characteristic of Pompeii is the florid graffiti covering the walls in just about every building; this is because when the volcanic eruption happened, Pompeii was set to carry out elections in the days ahead – hence the writings and ideograms, which feature both political and sexual content. 

After this interesting visit you will head for the Amalfi Coast. At dinner, celebrate the first day of the tour with Spaghetti with clams in olive oil and garlic sauce, or a Seafood Risotto, together with a glass of Greco di Tufo, the excellent wine of the area.

Day 2 – AMALFI COAST

Today you will explore Costiera Amalfitana, widely considered Italy's most scenic stretch of coastline, a landscape of pastel-coloured villages terraced into hillsides, steep panoramic roads, luxuriant gardens and enchanting vistas over turquoise waters and green mountains. Considered by UNESCO "an outstanding example of a Mediterranean landscape, with exceptional cultural and natural scenic values," the coast is a World Heritage Site since 1997. You may go from town to town at the discovery of Amalfi, Positano, and Ravello, three of the most beautiful villages in Southern Italy, world-famous for their charm and colourful architecture.

Amalfi has a typically Mediterranean architecture, made up of lanes and characteristic white houses piled one upon the other. In the Middle Ages, it was of Italy's four powerful maritime republics (with Venice, Pisa, and Genoa). All sea trade in the Mediterranean was once governed by the 12th century “Tavole Amalfitane”, one of the world's oldest maritime codes. A must-see in Amalfi is the Duomo di Sant'Andrea, fronted by an intricately patterned façade, redone in the 19th century. Founded in the 9th century, the cathedral's subsequent alterations have spared its principal glory, the main portal's 11th century Byzantine bronze doors. Next to the church lies the Chiostro del Paradiso (1268), or Cloister of Paradise, whose serious Romanesque tone is enlivened by the Arab elements in its sinuous columns. To escape the bustle of Amalfi let’s take the popular walk along the “Valle dei Mulini”, a steep-sided valley dotted with ruined watermills – “i mulini” - once used to make paper, an industry for which Amalfi was, and still is, famous.

Pompei

Amalfi

Positano sits in a splendid panoramic position on one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline. Its enchanting town centre of delightful pastel-coloured houses surrounds the parish church of Santa Maria Assunta; its streets are lined with quaint, colourful shops and its numerous beaches are world famous.

Ravello is situated in a more elevated position than the other pearls of the Amalfi Coast, boasting exceptional views of the coast and its marvellous villas and gardens which, according to French novelist André Gide, are “closer to the sky than the sea”. Here you may visit Villa Rufolo, built in the 13th century, which hosted popes and kings, as well as Richard Wagner, who composed part of his opera Parsifal here in 1880. Views from its idyllic gardens are magnificent!

At dinner, don’t miss Spaghetti with clams in olive oil and garlic sauce, or Seafood Risotto, with a glass of excellent Greco di Tufo white wine.

DAY 3 – CAPRI

An island that offers a landscape of wild beauty sculpted by wind, sea and the hand of man, this is Capri.  With a precipitous, jagged coast, and encircled by the famous “Faraglioni” (sea stacks), enormous and uniquely-shaped boulders, and by numerous caves that tell of evocative plays of light. The most famous of these caves is the “Grotta Azzurra” (Blue Grotto), closely connected to the history of tourism in Capri. 

Its discovery by the ancient Romans is hinted at by countless archaeological finds - e.g.  Villa Jovis, whose construction was commissioned by Emperor Tiberius.

The island continues to be both a legend and a favourite destination for travellers, intellectuals and the international jet-set - "performing" at any given time in the legendary “Piazzetta”, the real-time theatre of the island's 'Dolce Vita'. Beyond the cultural attractions and sea and nature in all their charm, Capri also offers good shopping: tasteful boutiques and artisans' studios selling “Made in Italy” items and typical products alternate along the characteristic sidestreets and alleyways. Moreover, the exuberantly-flavoured local food is tied to the island's maritime and peasant traditions. 

Capri

The “Faraglioni” in Capri

DAY 4 – CASTELLI ROMANI

On your way to Rome, you may stop at Montecassino, where you will admire the Benedectine Abbey which was built 4 times after destruction over the centuries, the last in 1944 during a fierce battle.

You will then stop in the area known as “Castelli Romani” (Roman Castles), 20 km. south of Rome. This is an area of pretty hill towns famous for their ancient history and highly regarded wine: Castelgandolfo, the summer residence of the Pope, Rocca di Papa and Grottaferrata, known for their culture and gastronomic delicacies, Frascati, popular for its breathtaking views and for its sweet and refreshing white wine named after the city, are only some of them.

Later in the afternoon, you will check in at your accommodation in Rome.

Castelli Romani

The town of Castelgandolfo

Day 5 – ROME

Here you are in Rome, a place where ancient history, excellent art and religious icons mix in a unique blend! Start from the 2,000-year-old Colosseum, the most famous amphitheatre in the world, and the Imperial Forums, the administrative and monumental centre of the Roman Empire. On the Palatine Hill, the grandiose ruins of the Palaces of Augusto, Tiberius and Domiziano still dominate the Circus Maximus valley, 50-meter-high structures giving a unique view of the city.

Walking from the Colosseum to Piazza Venezia, on your right you may reach the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli, hosting the famous Michelangelo’s sculpture of Moses.

From Piazza Venezia, you will head inside “Baroque” Rome, starting with the Pantheon, dedicated to the worship of every god (Pan-every Theon-divinity), now the memorial chapel of great Italian people of the past. After that, don’t miss the Church of St. Louis of the French, famous for the cycle of paintings of the great Caravaggio at the end of the 16th century. Then Piazza Navona, a splendid oval area corresponding to the underground Domitianus’ Stadium, with the gorgeous Fountain of the Four Rivers by Lorenzo Bernini in the centre of the Piazza. And finally Fontana di Trevi, the biggest and most famous fountain of the city, a Rome icon known all over the world: here statues of travertine marble stand over the cliff and the wide basin, in an epic representation of the Kingdom of the Oceans.

Colosseum

The Colosseum

On the other side of River Tevere, head for the Vatican hill, home of the tiny state of Vatican city. Here stands the immense St. Peter’s Basilica, dominating the extraordinary Piazza framed by the magnificent four column-deep colonnades designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The Basilica itself is an extraordinary casket for some of the most beautiful works of art in the world, such as Michelangelo’s “La Pietà” and Bernini’s “Baldacchino”, along with works of the most important artists of the Renaissance, from Raphael to Canova.

Inside the Vatican Museums, you will be astonished by the exquisite and unique Sistine Chapel, the sancta sanctorum of Roman Catholic Church, where cardinals of the Catholic Church gather to elect the new Pope! The Sistine Chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV della Rovere (pontiff from 1471 to 1484) who had the old Cappella Magna restored between 1477 and 1480. The decoration of the walls was executed by a team of painters, Pietro Perugino, Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Cosimo Rosselli, assisted by their respective shops. Julius II della Rovere (pontiff from 1503 to 1513), the nephew of Sixtus IV, decided to partly alter the decoration, entrusting the work in 1508 to Michelangelo Buonarroti, who painted the Ceiling and, on the upper part of the walls, the lunettes. The nine central panels show the Stories of Genesis, from the Creation to the Fall of man, to the Flood and the subsequent rebirth of mankind with the family of Noah. Again, towards the end of 1533 Clement VII de' Medici (pontiff from 1523 to 1534) gave Michelangelo the task of painting the Last Judgement on the altar wall.

On your last night, you will enjoy a typical Roman dinner at a local home-style restaurant, where you will taste the true Roman cuisine in a popular and cheerful atmosphere (see our blog at https://www.vitoritalytours.com/blog/item/7-when-you-are-in-rome,-eat-like-a-roman.html).

Vatican

Città del Vaticano: Basilica di S. Pietro

The tour is over, but the memories of a fantastic journey will accompany you for a lifetime!

Arrivederci for another tour with VITOR, Visit Italy on the Road.

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