January 24 to February 1, 2019
Rome and Naples
This will be the sixth year in a row that we’ve offered Fundamental Italy. And, truly, it’s a trip not to be missed: the chance to explore some of the most iconic sites in Italy, off season, with few other tourists. While weather is increasingly unpredictable, on our past excursions we've enjoyed abundant sunshine and mild temperatures. January is also a good time to catch an opera at Naples’ glorious and recently renovated Teatro San Carlo. Here's hoping there'll be something good on offer.
Thursday, January 24: Rome's Centro Storico, an Italian Journey's "essential": the Pantheon, the Ghetto, the piazzas, the fountains.
Friday, January 25: The Vatican: the museums, the Raphael Stanze, the Sistine Chapel, the Basilica of St. Peter's.
Saturday, January 26: Caravaggio: The tour includes the Borghese Gallery, one of my favorite museums in Italy, plus half a dozen masterpieces still in situ throughout the city: Santa Maria del Popolo, San Luigi dei Francesi, Sant'Agostino.
Sunday, January 27: Ancient Rome: The Colosseum, Forum, and Palatine Hill.
Monday, January 28: Morning bus to Naples. Afternoon to the recently restored Charterhouse of San Martino, with masterpieces of the Neapolitan Baroque, plus an enchanting museum of Christmas creches.
Tuesday, January 29: Tour the excavations of Pompeii. Last year we were thrilled to find open an entirely new quarter of the city with stunning frescoes, ancient gardens, remains of a bustling provincial city, and a mere handful of other visitors.
Wednesday, January 30: Morning visit to the Campi Flegrei, a curious back-water in the periphery of Naples, with some very interesting archeological sites: the amphitheater of Pozzouli, the ancient water cisterns of Bacoli, and more. After lunch, a visit to the Naples archeological museum, with finds from the excavations at Pompeii and Herculaneum: frescoes, mosaics, bronzes, household wares. Certainly one of the great museums of the world.
Thursday, January 31: Spaccanapoli: the historic center of Naples that sits upon Ancient Greek foundations. It's a jumble of street life, with surprising treasures: Caravaggio's masterpiece, The Works of Seven Mercies; the hauntingly beautiful chapel of San Severo; the delightful Convent of Saint Claire with wall-to-wall majolica tiles; the Christmas Creche street of San Gregorio Armeno, and more. Return to Rome in the afternoon.
Friday, February 1: The tour ends with breakfast.
That had to be the best, most enlightening, delicious and elegant trip I have ever taken. . . It amazes me that no matter how many times I visit Rome, besides enjoying the old treasures, that are always exciting new adventures waiting around the next ruin. And now I have fallen in love with Naples, grit and all.
Ottley Mullady; Southold, NY
Three nights at the in Naples at the luxurious Grand Hotel Vesuvio: Deluxe rooms with views of the sea and the volcano for everyone.
Final night at the Rome Airport Hilton Hotel.
A word about food:
Expect to eat well. In Rome, we have our favorite spots where we've been dining for many years and where there's no point in even looking at a menu since we know before we get there exactly what we plan to eat. Meanwhile, meals in Naples always feel like feasts. This, perhaps, having something to do with their having been so hungry to so many generations. And, my gosh, but the food is delicious, fresh and fundamental: pizza, pasta, mozzarella, the freshest fish and the most pungent olive oil.
In double occupancy: $4850 per person.
In single occupancy: $5200
Rates for hotel upgrades in Rome available upon request.
Included: 8 nights in hotels, all breakfasts, one meal with wine and coffee each day, private bus transportation throughout the trip, entrance fees, tips. Not included: airfare and airport transportation, room service and items of a personal nature.
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