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Immerse yourself in the vibrant street life and iconic sights of charismatic Rome before heading to the sun-drenched region of Campania to explore the colourful Amalfi Coast, legendary ruins of Pompeii and mighty Mount Vesuvius towering over the Bay of Naples. Hike along the scenic Path of the Lemons, spend time in colourful Amalfi, and travel by ferry along this stunning coastline.
Explore Tour Leader
7 nights comfortable hotel
Trip maximum 16 Explore Average 11
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
The trip starts today in the Italian capital Rome. With a history spanning over two and half a thousand years, the city is packed with iconic ancient sites, exhilarating architecture and artistic treasures. Its picturesque piazzas, neighbourhood cafes and bars make for excellent people watching. With so much to see and do you could easily spend many days here, so if this is your first visit, we strongly recommend arriving early and booking additional hotel nights before the trip starts.
Your trip Leader plans to meet everyone at the hotel for a welcome meeting today at 6pm and for those that wish, there is the chance to go out for dinner afterwards for your first taste of Roman cuisine. There are no activities planned before the group meeting at 6pm tonight, so you can arrive any time before then. Should you miss the meeting, your Leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up.
If you would like an airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO) which is around 45 minutes to an hour from the city centre depending on traffic conditions.
If your flight arrives earlier in the day, put on a pair of comfortable shoes and head out to explore. Walking is the best way to see Rome. Flicking a coin in the Trevi Fountain and marvelling at the vast domed roof inside the ancient Pantheon are just two things every visitor to the city should experience. If you wish to visit the Vatican, Rome's most popular attraction, you should book tickets to the Museum tickets online in advance. Note the Vatican is closed to visitors on Sunday with the exception of the last Sunday of every month when entry is free although it can get very busy. Check the Vatican website (vatican.va) for updated information on opening times. Tickets for the Vatican Museum can be booked online at: biglietteriamusei.vatican.va. Please note that pre-booked tickets are not required if you just want to visit St Peter's Basilica.
Hotel LH Andreotti (or similar)
We're up early today to beat the crowds, heading out on a walking tour to immerse ourselves in the life and soul of the city. Our first stop is the iconic Colosseum, the largest amphitheatre in the world and symbol of the Roman Empire. Built by Flavian Emperor Vespasian, the mighty arena could hold between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators, all attracted by gladiatorial contests, mock sea battles and executions. Heading along the Via Sacra (Sacred Way) we arrive at the Roman Forum, the scene of public meetings and law courts, it was lined with shops and open-air markets and was the site of many of the city's most imposing temples and monuments. Forty metres above the Forum, Palatine Hill is the most central of the Seven Hills of Rome and considered the birthplace of the city, having been inhabited since 1000 B.C.
The afternoon is left free for you to continue exploring. Make sure to find the time to stop along the way to join the locals for an essential espresso at a street side cafe or perhaps indulge in a delicious gelato.
A fast train this morning takes us to Naples. A city of diverse contrasts it evokes enormous pride among the locals. Its rich history, staunch Catholicism and endless charm make it one of the most engaging cities in Italy. Our tour leader will take us on a short walking tour of old Naples; through the old city streets, open air markets and narrow alleyways that give us a captivating insight into the city's heart, which has gone unchanged in essence for generations.
For lunch today you might like to try the most famous Neapolitan cuisine, pizza. The traditional pizzas served here aren't as crispy as in most parts of Italy. They tend to be thinner in the centre so that the fresh tomato sauce collects and soaks into the base. It's normally then topped with a drizzling of olive oil, mozzarella and fresh basil.
This afternoon our charter bus takes us on a trip to Mount Vesuvius. Vesuvius is the only active volcano on the European mainland and dominates the skyline between Naples and Pompeii, rising up from the flat, fertile landscape. Since the mighty eruption of AD 79, it has had another 18 violent eruptions. The last one, in 1944, surprised the Allied forces and destroyed an entire squadron of 88 B-25 bombers belonging to the American Air Force. From the car park at around 1000 metres the walk up to the volcanic crater rim at 1,120m is along a well-graded cinder track and the round trip takes around an hour. From the top there are remarkable views down to Naples, the coastal plain and the glistening bay. It's a short journey from here on to our hotel in Pompeii.
Hotel Amitrano (or similar)
We're up this morning in time to get to the archaeological site of Pompeii for opening time. A guided walking tour takes us around this fascinating and remarkably well-preserved example of a provincial Roman city. The town once housed 15,000 people and was an important commercial centre, as well as a favourite residence of wealthy Roman patricians. Of course, on one fateful day some 2,000 years ago, this all changed when the powerful eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius buried the city, preserving the city and its citizens in layers of ash and pumice. On our tour, we will see the extensive colonnaded forum with its Temple of Jupiter and the magnificently-decorated villas, such as that of the Vetii. Human casts of some of the victims trapped by the eruption give an emotive snapshot of this catastrophic event.
In the afternoon we take the inland route across the hills to the wonderful Amalfi coast. Our plan is to visit Ravello en route. A tranquil spot located high on a rocky promontory overlooking the azure coastal waters. The architecture here is a glorious mix of Moorish flair and aristocratic excess, and the town's captivating charms have attracted artists and writers to its enchanting streets for generations.
Continuing on we reach our hotel in the small resort town of Maiori which has the largest beach along the Amalfi Coast, backed by a pleasant waterfront promenade.
Hotel San Pietro (or similar)
We head out on foot from our hotel this morning along the spectacular Sentiero Dei Limoni (Path of the Lemons), with some great views towards Capri and along the Amalfi Coast. The route passes through terraced lemon groves, up and down ancient staircases and through alleyways to the neighbouring village of Minori. It's not a long hike; we expect the 2.5 kilometre walk to take us around an hour or so with plenty of stops along the way to admire the scenery.
From Minori we'll catch the ferry along the coast to Amalfi. A great maritime power since the Byzantine era, Amalfi went on to reach its pinnacle during the Middle Ages, when it was an independent trading republic rivalling those of Venice, Pisa and Genoa. The beautiful 11th century Cathedral of Saint Andrea dominates the town - a magnificent combination of Romanesque and Saracen design, with an impressive set of bronze doors that hail from Constantinople. At the far end of the town lies the Valley of the Mills, a once important centre of Amalfi's paper industry, that today echoes with the ghosts of its past glories.
The rest of today has been left free to explore Amalfi or perhaps head to the beach either here or back in Maiori. You could also choose to head over to Positano (approximately 15 km) by either public bus or ferry. A poor fishing village until the 1950s, Positano has grown into a chic town that is still a favourite with Hollywood stars.
We take the Amalfi Coast road to Sorrento today, a spectacular route with incredible views that hugs the cliffs and coves of the Tyrrhenian Sea, twisting its way past pastel-painted villages. On the Northern side of the Peninsula that takes its name, Sorrento perches atop the cliffs and overlooks the Bay of Naples. The historic centre is a warren of narrow alleys that's home to the Chiesa di San Francesco, a 14th-century church with a tranquil cloister that boasts a garden terrace with sweeping views over the bay. The centre and Piazzo Tasso (Central Square) are home to many quaint shops featuring the work of the local artisans and also restaurants where you can sample home-grown cuisine. The city is rich in historical and religious places of interest, including the remaining four gates of the old city walls.
Upon arrival in Sorrento we'll head to a local lemon grove to learn about the cultivation of the famous lemons of the region and enjoy a tasting of home-made lemon products including flavoured olive oils and limoncello.
Hotel Nice (or similar)
Today you are free to relax on the Sorrento Peninsula or perhaps to visit the island of Capri. It's just a short walk to the Port of Sorrento to board a hydrofoil ferry across to the island of Capri, which takes about 20 minutes each way. There are then multiple ways for you to explore the island, but we'd recommend taking a private bus excursion to the main sights of Anacapri and Capri. From Anacapri you could walk to the delightful museum and gardens of Villa San Michele and to the Villa Jovis - the ruins of the Roman Emperor Tiberius' cliff top palace with impressive views over the island. Alternatively you can take a boat to the famed Blue Grotto, which is a sea cave where the sunlight shines through it in such a way that it illuminates the waters and makes them appear bright blue. Go into the cavern to witness this natural spectacle.
The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Sorrento. There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Sorrento at any time.
If your flight is departing later in the day luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like an airport transfer today, you need to depart from Naples Airport (NAP), which is about an hours' drive from our hotel.
April/May and October/November are pleasantly warm. June/September are the hottest months. Showers are common in Autumn.
2 Pin Round
Rome - Visiting the Vatican; Rome's most popular attraction. you should book tickets to the Museum online in advance and we recommend visiting on day 1 (Saturday) before meeting up with your leader at 6 pm. Note the Vatican is closed to visitors on Sunday with the exception of the last Sunday of every month when entry is free although it can get very busy. Check the Vatican website (vatican.va) for updated information on opening times. Tickets for the Vatican Museum can be booked online at: https://tickets.museivaticani.va/home. Please note that pre-booked tickets are not required if you just want to visit St Peter's Basilica Capri - Your tour leader can advise you on various options Hydrofoil ferry from Sorrento to Capri - Approximately €44 EUR return ticket per person Charter bus tour around the islands highlights from Marina Grande to Anacapri and Capri before returning to the marina (minimum 8 people) - awaiting confirmation of 2023 rates At Anacapri can walk to Villa San Michele (30 minutes per way) - entrance €10 per person At Anacapri taxi to Vila Jovis - entrance €10 per person Boat trip from Marina Grande, lasts for approximately two hours (does not include Blue Grotto) €18 per person One hour boat trip from Capri Harbour - €18 per person and lasts for approximately one hour. Entry to the Blue Grotto is an additional €16 per person
Bring light and comfortable clothing that can be layered according to the temperature. July and August can be extremely hot, but early and late in the season Italy can be chilly so go prepared with clothing to suit drops in temperature and rain showers. Light rainwear may be needed at any time of year, and a warm fleece/jacket is recommended for cooler evenings and nights and the Vesuvius climb. You'll need your swimming costume if you fancy a dip in the sea.
We recommend taking comfortable walking shoes for exploring and trainers or sandals for relaxing. You will need to wear closed toe shoes to climb Mount Vesuvius. For the Path of the Lemons you will need comfortable walking shoes or boots with good grip and ankle support. Trainers, flip flops or sandals are not suitable for the terrain on this walk.
You'll need one main piece of baggage and a small daypack for when you're out and about exploring. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so don't overload yourself.
Sunscreen, sunglasses and a sun hat are advised. A power bank may be useful if you'd like to use or charge your phone whilst travelling. Bring a swimming suit and towel for taking a dip in the sea. We advise you bring a water bottle for day to day use. We have a partnership with Water-to-Go, who have developed a filtration system that eliminates over 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants. This allows you to drink from any tap, including on trains, or even streams and lakes. You can purchase your own Explore branded bottle with the discount code EXPLORE15. For the Path of the Lemons walking poles are very useful if you have them. The path is over uneven rocky ground, some sections are steep stone steps and the descents can be tough on the knees. We'd suggest taking a backpack (handheld bags are not suitable) with a waterproof cover for this walk to store your camera, water, a picnic lunch and snacks, any clothing and sun products required, etc.
Bus, Boat, Ferry, Train
Can you drink the water?
It is generally possible to drink the local tap water, therefore to reduce the need for single-use plastic bottles we recommend you bring a refillable water bottle with you. Your leader will advise you on refill points each day.
We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.
Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.
Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.
Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. However, please note that if you voluntarily make any changes to your booking including changing your trip or departure date, any additional costs or charges incurred will not be covered. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions
Italy: Visas are not required by UK, E.U. Nationals, Australian, New Zealand, US or Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office. All visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related questions with the relevant embassy prior to departure.
If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.
Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information.
You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.
The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.
Free transfers are not available for Polar customers.
If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.
For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here
It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.
Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.
You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.
On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.
Nothing required. Tetanus recommended. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.