Please sign in to post.

South of Italy trip

My husband and I are interested in the South of Italy tour for next year to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. I think we're pretty set on this itinerary for Italy; I've already been to Venice and he really doesn't want to go there, so the Rome/Venice/Florence tour is out, and we're both really interested in history and archaeology. We've done a RS city tour before, so we know about the walking and the packing.

My question is this: any comments/warnings/suggestions about the South of Italy tour? I notice it's not discussed often on these forum boards. Just looking for some feedback!

Elizabeth

Posted by
41 posts

I took this tour the year after my Rome/Venice/Florence tour. It's a great way to see another part of Italy and it's really different than the northern part. Pompeii, Matera and the Amalfi Coast are some of the highlights. You will enjoy it.

Posted by
31440 posts

elizabeth,

The South Italy tour is wonderful and I would highly recommend it! One suggestion to offer is that some things in the south are a bit different than in the north, so be flexible Just accept the differences and enjoy the experiences. One unique experience for me was staying in a "cave hotel" in Matera. I quite enjoyed that and it was one of the highlights of the tour (of which there were many). You will dine well on that tour!

I can't imagine a more perfect place to celebrate a 30th anniversary than the Amalfi coast. I can suggest a great restaurant in Sorrento if you're interested.

Congratulations!

Posted by
2007 posts

Took this tour 2013 and loved it! Nice mix of what you say you're most interested in doing/seeing. I agree with the above replies re food! Umm..........the buffalo farm lunch! Plus so many other unexpected treats. The Archaeological Museum in Naples is one of the best museums I have visited. As I said, I loved this tour.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks for the feedback! I am already excited about the trip (and it's not even 2016 yet). I guess it's time to start looking at airfares too. Did you all fly into Rome and out of Naples or just round-trip to Rome? We're thinking about spending a few extra days in Rome, so I'm starting to think about adding to our itinerary.

Ken, I would love a suggestion for dinner in Sorrento!

Posted by
260 posts

My husband and I took this tour a couple of years ago and loved it. I think I enjoyed it the most of our three Italy tours. We had Nina as a guide (American Nina living in Italy as opposed to Belgian Nina married to another guide Jamie). Actually, both these Ninas AND Jamie were fabulous guides, but I think Nina on the S. Italy trip was the most interesting and outspoken (politics etc.) guide we've had on a R. S. trip - and we liked that a lot. I learned a lot about modern day Italy. The locations were wonderful - I too loved Matera and who can NOT love the amalfi coast? I thought Naples was great too - don't be put off by some of the press it gets - the museum is one of the best (all the treasures from Pompei are actually here). The R.S. hotel in Naples was in an area that felt very safe, and very convenient too. We always wear money belts and did so on this trip too. Never felt threatened, but the peace of mind is worth it. Yes, southern Italy is a bit grittier (and much poorer) than the north. But it's great fun and you'll have a blast!

Posted by
31440 posts

elizabeth,

This will definitely be a splurge, but for dinner in Sorrento you might consider L' Antica Trattoria. I thought the food was excellent and the service impeccable. It won't be cheap but what the heck, it's your anniversary!

When in Naples, be sure to see the Veiled Christ (can't remember if that's included in the tour).

Posted by
41 posts

The Amalfi Coast is awesome and I loved Positano. Swimming in a cave pool in a hotel in Matera and the Veiled Christ in Naples are more highlights.

Posted by
375 posts

Elizabeth, your trip sounds wonderful. I have also looked at that tour and thought it would be interesting. We took the Best of Italy tour in early September a few years back. It was very warm! I'm sure that Southern Italy will be even warmer. You might want to think about an early or late season trip to avoid the heat. I had to do a lot of laundry in the sink to have something clean to wear each day. We haven't decided on next years' travel destination yet. Maybe we'll have to think seriously about that tour. For right now...we have a Germany/Austria/Switzerland trip coming up in less than 2 months. Can't wait! and Happy Anniversary to you and your husband!

Posted by
2007 posts

To answer your second question Elizabeth, I flew into Rome (adding two extra days-did a wonderful food tour there!) and out of Naples-added one extra day there. My home airport is Denver and we have two non-stop flights to Europe a day-changing in either Frankfurt or London. I always choose whichever has the best connecting flight to my final destination.

Posted by
1284 posts

Elizabeth, have you seen the tour scrapbook section on this website? There are some terrific scrapbooks for this tour from the last few years. Enjoy!

Posted by
38 posts

I was on the South of Italy tour last fall. It was great. We visited very interesting places and saw a lot. But I really wanted to see more of the historical and archeological sights. The visit to Hadrian's Villa, Paestum, Pompeii all felt a little rushed. The Archeological Museum in Naples was better because you could stay as long as you wanted after the guide was done.
It may not be accurate, but I think the Village Italy tour had more of historical note. The Scroveni Chapel, Etruscan Museum in Padua, church in Ravenna, Assissi, Orvieto, Lucca, even the guide's favorite Tuscan hill town were fascinating. Venice is close by, but you could stay in Rome a day or two, then take the train to Padua for the tour.
Happy travels!

Posted by
147 posts

I returned 29 May '15 and thought this was the best of my 4 RS tours I've enjoyed (VFR, Paris, BAM my previous). My personal bent is European cities but I love more 'rural' or smaller towns/cities, as well. SOIT (RS code for the tour) is really, really wonderful. Bookended by Rome and Naples, the amount of southern Italian peninsula you get to taste and experience on this tour is fantastic. Keep in mind the pace; 2-night stays are great, but 6 different locations for your 12 nights means you move along smartly. It is so much fun!! After the Eternal City, Vieste is a sublime coastal location. So charming and you haven't even gotten to the Amalfi Coast. Matera, wow, you will be amazed at this small city and how people have lived. Positano is a vacationer's dream spot, more so if you've got the ducats, or at least, a swanky insouciance. ;-} Sorrento is such a lovely place; imagine strolling in a lemon grove, downtown. Not many places I've done that before! And Naples, well, some call it gritty and intense and if it is gritty, it is the most beautiful gritty I have ever experienced. You have to go to Castel St. Elmo and see the views. Then you have some inkling of the glory of this former (fabulously wealthy and geographically blessed) kingdom. Sure, anything with an engine used to propel a drivable contraption is done so in a manner you may have never witnessed before in your life, but if you remember to keep your elbows in while walking in this terrific city, you'll be fine. Make that, great! Are you a gardner or vegetable lover? Hoo boy, volcanic soil has a lot to recommend. It's a wonderful tour and I am sure you will be blown away by the local guides you will have the pleasure of leading you through some amazing sites. Buon Viaggio a year early!

Posted by
3 posts

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for their comments and their enthusiasm - I'm already really excited for a trip that's at least nine months away!