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  • Day5


    November 6 in Italy

    You know when you get to have breakfast alfresco, it's going to be a great day! Sun is shining, skies are blue, and cappacino is great!
    Off we go... by motorcoach to take in the sites of the city from one of the highest points of Naples. Breathe taking view of the Mediterranean sea that can't be captured in a single picture.
    Back down into the historical district for a walking tour of churches, shops and bakeries - where we had a midmorning treat, then off again.
    More walking, then our coach picks us up to drive us back to the waterfront to Rosolina's. The personal pizza here is enough for 2 or more, but excellent. (Accompanied with wine.) Followed by a couple of great sfogliatella and a shot of limoncello!
    Good thing the hotel we were to inspect was just a block down the street. Grand Hotel Saint Lucia is a beautifully restored hotel with an amazing view.
    The rest of the afternoon was ours to do as we wished as along as we were ready to leave at 710 for our dinner at Marianna's place. More on that later.
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  • Day4

    Rome to Naples

    November 5 in Italy

    Checked out after early breakfast and on our way to Naples we stopped at the Pope's summer place Castelgandolfo. Another rainy morning forced us into a cafe cutting our tour short... rain stopped so we tried again only to get 1/2 block and the skies opened again. Quick trip through a few shops and back on our van, continue the journey south. Lunch today is at Marco Carpeneti winery and vineyard. Through the clouds we took in their view. Then onto the tour. Roberta was very informative and explained the history of this family run winery.
    Next the tasting:
    Small plates (so they said) were lining the table: fresh bread with their own olive oil, vegetable soup, olives, cheese, bacon and prosciutto, baked pumpkin with rosemary and most important the wines. Wonderful! Only bought 1 bottle of their brut, 14 Euros. May not make it home.
    Back on the road heading for our hotel in Naples for the next couple of nights.
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  • Day8

    Last night, fun night!

    November 9 in Italy

    When in Sorrento, you must do the cheese making, pizza making, and learn the limoncello making process. What a blast. Funniest part was the drive after we got off the coach and into a 4 pax vehicle cross between a moped and a golf cart. But the best part is just like an amusement park ride:" keep your hands inside the car at all times" and they mean it!
    Sadly we had to say goodbye to Rossella who has been with us all week. Thank you for showing us some of the best things in Italy especially your home city of Sorrento.
    4am comes early... so good night!
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  • Day6

    Dinner at Marianna's

    November 7 in Italy

    Avanti is the only company that offers this special feature - dinner in a local's home. Come, sit, relax, have a glass of wine, converse with new friends and enjoy a special evening. This evening we rode to the marina were Marianna lives in a beautiful complex. We rode the open elevator up to the 6th floor and were greeted by our gracious host.
    For the next 3 hours flew by... we chatted about our day, had some wine, toasted to good days ahead, laughed, listened to a wonderful guitarist and singer and ate fabulous (what I would call) Italian comfort foods - mini 'mama's pizza', gnocchi with marinara sauce, pasta with prawns, bread, fennel and orange salad. Dessert was puffs filled with a limoncello cream and a shot of limoncello! AMAZING!
    The miracle is that we all came down the elevator (3 at a time) and it still works! So full not sure I'll get to sleep anytime soon but tomorrow we head for Sorrento via Pompeii.
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  • Day7

    Hotel Villa Garden, Sorrento

    November 8 in Italy

    Warmly welcomed to this beautiful seaside Villa, with an exceptional mimosa, this will be our home for the next few days. Sorrento is a hidden gem south of Naples; rich in history, spectacular views and yes, wonderful food!
    After a tour of the Villa, we find our luggage in our rooms... I have to pull myself away from taking in the view from my room, unpack, freshen up and rejoin the others in the reception room. And we are off with our local guide, Enrica, for an evening walking tour of the village and on to dinner. St. Anthony, their patron, is proudly represented and revered by the residents. Beautiful church shares the many miracles he interceded for those who came to him.
    November till mid March is not as crowded here as in the summer months, so walking down the streets is not difficult. We popped into a limoncello store for a quick tasting, will have to remember this place to come back to purchase a couple of bottles to bring home.
    Dinner as always was excellent, back to the Villa for a good night's sleep tomorrow-another day of adventures awaits us.
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  • Day7


    November 8 in Italy

    Amazing drive south toward the Amalfi coast leads us here. Views, views, and more views of this city built in the limestone of the mountain. Hiked down to the Bay of Salerno. Even dipped my toes in the water, which felt great. The sand is volcanic with small stones were rough.
    Now on to

  • Day8

    buongiorno da Sorrento

    November 9 in Italy

    Sadly our last day... but what a beautiful view to wake up to. Today we will see a few more hotels, indulging in a gelato for lunch and walk it off by supporting the local economy! I think I have a few Euros left and a bit of space in my luggage! Ciao for now. This is the view from my room.

  • Day7

    Wonderful day!

    November 8 in Italy

    Lunch in Positano was wonderful, as all meals have been, then back to the hotel for a rest (for some people) but a few of us enjoyed the patio with wine and a beautiful sunset!
    Off for a couple of hotel/villa tours. Now enjoying a simpler dinner. Off for a walk thru the historical district to window shopping!

  • Day3

    Where do I start. After a busy walking day, 30 minutes of rest and off again, this time to Tiberina Island for our pasta cooking class and dinner with wine of course! When in Rome!
    We had a tour, then got put to work... cutting vegetables, drinking wine, making pasta, drinking wine, sampling our ravioli stuffing of zucchini more wine then time to eat.
    Sleep now for tomorrow morning we head south to Naples. But first I want to add some pictures but took so many where do I start...Read more

  • Day2

    Ciao da Roma!

    November 3 in Italy

    No time at the Heathrow airport to see or do much. We arrived in at Terminal 2 then took the shuttle to Terminal 5. Good bit of walking, but it felt good after a 7+ hours. Nope, didn't sleep much.
    Flights were great, all on time. On our 2 hour flight to Rome, I dozed a little but then we hit turbulence passing the Swiss Alps , beautiful view (I'll post those pictures later).
    On our approach into Rome I think I saw Vineyards, the the cruiseport which has a Princess and if you look really close, upper left is Disney.
    After clearing customs which took 5 minutes tops... scouted around for my driver from Avanti- there were at least 25 people with signs, wish I had my phone/camera out for that. Drive into Rome and Vatican city was wild but here at Hotel del Mellini for a few nights.
    Showered, unpacked and resting with my feet up until happy hour when I meet the rest of the group.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

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