A trip to Italy - Discovering food and places

September 15th - 22th - 7 nights and 8 days touring Pompeii, Paestum, Naples and the Amalfi coast

Discover places and restaurants foreign tourists have hardly set foot in. In our week-long trip you'll be visiting  Pompeii, Naples, Paestum, and the Amalfi coast. Using the Hotel Villa dei Misteri as a base, this tour will take you off the beaten track - away from mass tourism and eating homey food at every meal.

Tour the ruins of Pompeii with Francesco who, as a boy, used them as a playground. Learn where to buy and prepare a traditional packed lunch in Sorrento for a day trip to Capri. Explore the Greek temples of Paestum, along with a tour of mozzarella making. Walk the Vesuvius crater, and feel the might power of the hot lava cradle under your feet.

Francesco will also introduce you to traditional Neapolitan food: the panuozzo and pizza al metro. You'll eat in some of the most amazing restaurants in the area: a restaurant hidden on the coast near Positano (accessible only by boat); Brandi pizzeria in Naples, the birthplace of the margherita pizza. 

You'll have the choice to take two Italian lessons during the trip.


Price includes- Accommodation; meals; transportation - (private minibus, ferryboat and train fares); ground transportation to and from hotel; excursions; tour sites; lessons

Price does not include - flights to and from Naples airport;  wine.

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Sept 15 - Day 1 - Arrivo

Plan to arrive at the Hotel Villa dei Misteri by the early afternoon. The hotel will serve as our base camp. We'll present the program for the week, and head out for a meter-long pizza for dinner. Transportation from the airport or train station can be arranged for you. 

Sept 16 -Day 2 - Pompeii and Ruins

A day exploring the town of Pompei and the ruins.  We'll be meandering the streets of Pompeii, visiting the gory amphitheatre, the spectacular "teatro grande" and "teatro piccolo" - the big and small theater. We'll also see the Lupanare - the ancient city's brothel. Dinner will take us to the "chioschi", nestled between a shipyard and a seaport - no tourist has ever set foot in this place!   

Sept 17- Day 3 - Sorrento and Capri

We'll be taking the a train to reach Sorrento (20 min trip from hotel). In the morning, we'll explore Sorrento's nooks and crannies, shops and restaurants. Our morning will end at the Salumeria Apreda (a traditional delicatessen) where we will be making a traditional packed lunch. We'll then take a ferry to visit the island of Capri and Villa di Tiberio. In the evening we'll head back to Sorrento to eat at the Cantinaccio del Popolo.

Sept 18 - Day 4 - Positano - Sant'Agata - Nerano

We'll head to Positano and spend some time exploring it before taking a boat to reach a restaurant hidden on Amalfi coast. After lunch, we're off to Sant'Agata dei due Golfi, a mountain which overlooks the golf of Naples and the Amalfi Coast. Dinner will be in Nerano, an idyllic little fishing village on the Sorrento coast.

Sept 19 - Day 5 - Paestum - Vietri sul Mare

Today we go to Paestum via mini-bus where we'll explore the three amazingly well-preserved Greek temples.  The area is renowned for buffalo rearing and for their buffalo mozzarella so we'll also learn the ins and outs of mozzarella making -  with some tasting along the way. Dinner is in Vietri - a town famous for their homemade glass.

Sept 20 - Day 6 - Naples

We'll explore Napoli by visiting the mystical Cappella di San Severo; the spectacular Monastero di Santa Chiara Cloister; the severe Angioin Castle and  the lavish Royal Palace - see pics below. We'll be eating at the restaurant where Pizza Margherita was born -  Pizzeria Brandi and we'll have a coffe at the famous Caffe' Gambrinus. We'll end the day with a dinner at Rossiello, a restaurant in Marechiaro.

Sept 21 - Day 7 - Vesuvius - Vico Equense

You'll be walking on the scorched path running around the crater of Vesuvius. The location offers an incredible view of the Bay of Naples. Dinner will be at Mustafa' on a patio by the sea on the Sorrento Coast.

Sept 22- Day 8 - Partenza

We'll have breakfast together and a final lesson by the swimming pool. We can arrange transportation to the airport or railway station for you. Buon viaggio!


Mustafa', Vico Equense

Mustafa' restaurant on Sorrento coast

Mustafa' restaurant has a patio overlooking the gulf of Naples. Its most popular dish is linguine all'astice.

Caupona, Pompeii


The restaurant Caupona  is all about ancient Pompeii - its rooms, its furniture, and its recipes are a tribute to the  ancient Roman times.

Brandi, Naples


Brandi is a pizzeria were the very first pizza margherita was created. It is located in the beating heart of Naples.

Da Adolfo, Positano


Da Adolfo is a restaurant nestled on the Amalfi Coast and can only be reached by boat. 

La cantinaccia del popolo, Sorrento


This is a family-run restaurant with fantastic traditional recipes such as  gnocchi alla sorrentina.

I Chioschi, Castellammare


At the Chioschi expect the unexpected - crowd, hagglers, acrobats and the best octopus ever. 


Sailing to a restaurant on the Amalfi Coast

You will be reaching the restaurant after a five-minute shuttle launch ride onto the Laurito beach’s wood plank gangway.   Da Adolfo is a quaint restaurant that lays on a rocky cove at the feet of the Amalfi coast and is a place very few people know about. 

With your back to the water, Adolfo  is the place to be.  Sergio Bella, Adolfo’s son – a dedicated  sommelier and inspired host – cooks the fare in the back, flames  shooting out of the grill on the cliff side, and serves the few informal  tables barefoot.

The laid-back trattoria has been a favorite Positano landmark for  more than 40 years. The items on the menu (and value prices) are the  same, usually graced with freshly caught fish, mussels, delicious  barbecued chicken, seafood pasta, or the curious house specialty: a  slice of mozzarella grilled on a large wild lemon leaf.

Meals and conversations aren’t rushed. Patrons sit under the straw canopy on Adolfo’s wooden deck and enjoy Sergio’s totani con patate  (stewed squid and potatoes), sip white wine with peaches and homemade  limoncello until sundown. Mandatory breeze-laced naps can be taken on  the beach or–my favorite spot–the flat inclined rocks to the far right,  below Adolfo’s deck.

Laurito Beach

Laurito is the Costiera’s best kept secret. I’m sharing with you this little corner of coastal paradise.

Foreign tourists hardly know the place.  This Amalfi Coast beach is not in the average guidebook, and the few  Italians on holiday along the stunning beaches of this coastline who are  familiar with this secluded little strand keep it to themselves.

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Mozzarella making tour in Paestum

Masseria Caseificio Lupata Tenuta Vannulo

You cannot leave Paestum without a “Mozzarella experience”. You are welcome to visit an estate and see the different phases of artisan mozzarella production.

The name mozzarella comes from the Italian word “mozzare” meaning to cut off. You will assist at the “mozzatura”,  which is still entirely made by hand, in line with the scrupulous  hygienic regulations. The milk used for the whole range of products  comes solely from the farm, all products are produced on the premises  and sold exclusively in the shop set inside the estate that you will  visit.


An ancient City founded around the end of the 7th century BC, originally known as Poseidonia, Paestum  is one of the most important and fascinating Italian Archeological  sites. Forgotten for many Centuries and only rediscovered in the XVI  century, Paestum was expanded with the building of roads, temples and  other features of a growing city. The main features of the site today  are the standing remains of three major temples in Doric style, dating from the first half of the 6th century BC dedicated to Hera and Athena

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"Finestrella di Marechiaro", Naples

Visiting Naples means not only seeing its beauty, but also getting in touch with its hidden side - with its ‘heart’. Naples has a lot of places full of secrets which are worth discovering. One of these is Marechiaro, a little cove in Posillipo, famous for its ‘finestrella’.

The song inspired by the finestrella

You can breathe the romantic atmosphere as soon as you arrive in Marechiaro . There you'll find  a  "little window" known as the ‘Finestrella’, which is famous for inspiring the verses of an old Neapolitan song. Its lyrics are about  a man who, going under the ‘Finestrella’, calls up his love, a woman named Carulì. 

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All participants are responsible for their own travel and health insurance.