South Italy Tour 8 Days

Amalfi Coast Tour & Italian Culinary Masterclass

Considered an outstanding example of a Mediterranean landscape by UNESCO, the Amalfi Coast is one of Italy’s most intense destinations. Here, mountains plunge into the sea in a nail-biting vertical scene of precipitous crags, cliff-clinging abodes and luxuriant woodlands.
Its string of fabled towns read like a Hollywood ensemble. There’s Positano, a pastel-colored cascade of chic boutiques, spritz-sipping VIPs and sun-kissed sunbathers. Further east, ancient Amalfi tempts with its Arabic-Norman cathedral, while Ravello, on the mountain summit, stirs hearts with its refined villas and its passionate connection with musicians and writers of past centuries. To the west lies Sorrento, gateway to the Amalfi Coast, a handsome cliff-top resort that has inexplicably survived the onslaught of package tourism.

Along with azure seas and picture-postcard piazzas, the region is home to some of Italy’s finest hotels and restaurants. Our tour will encompass all of the above and more, as we also delight in kosher culinary master-classes with one of Italy’s leading chefs while staying at one of the finest and most exclusive villas in the area, the luxurious Oasi Olimpia Relais in romantic Sorrento, which straddles the cliffs overlooking the Bay of Naples and Mt Vesuvius.
Splendid kosher food, posh, deluxe accommodations, and the most sought after location in Italy. What could be better? Benvenuti!

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ITINERARY

There is evidence that Roman Jews believed that the eruption of Vesuvius and the huge destruction caused thereby resulted from the Romans’ destruction of the 2nd Bet Mikdash just 9 years previously in Jerusalem. The city was discovered by chance in 1748 by a peasant who dug in his field and encountered its ancient remains, nearly 1,700 years after it was buried under the ashes. In 1997 UNESCO declared Pompeii a World Heritage Site. At the end of the tour we’ll make our way to the villa, the magnificent, luxurious Oasi Olimpia, where we’ll check in and freshen up in time for our welcome, festive dinner.

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This is the Amalfi Coast’s most photogenic (and expensive) town; with vertiginous houses tumbling down to the sea in a cascade of sun-bleached peach, pink and terracotta. No less colorful are its steep streets and steps, flanked by wisteria-draped hotels, smart restaurants and fashionable retailers.
Travel writes agree that if you only have time to visit one town in the Amalfi Coast (we will have more), it should be Positano. Positano is everything you’d dream the Amalfi Coast to be; lush cascading cliffs stacked with colorful Mediterranean architecture, luxury yachts and speed boats docked on turquoise waters, with narrow streets and ornate stairways lined by boutiques and trattorias. While we are in the area we will also visit an olive oil production facility and discover how this age-old delicacy is produced.
After the tour, we’ll return to our beautiful villa to delight in our first Italian culinary master class, which will be devoted to Italy’s renowned delicious antipasti and appealing limoncello, the renowned refreshing pick-me-up for which this part of Italy is most famous.

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The main drawback is the lack of a proper beach: the town straddles the cliffs overlooking the water to Naples and Mt Vesuvius.
We’ll spend the day exploring this delightful town and the countryside around it, and then return to our villa for our second culinary master class. This time, we’ll be dealing with traditional Italian entrees: Pastas, Fish & Meat.

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It’s the perfect microcosm of Mediterranean appeal, a fusion of glittering grottoes and coves, Roman ruins and chichi piazzas.
Already inhabited in the Paleolithic period, the island was briefly occupied by the Greeks before Emperor Augustus made it his private playground and Tiberius retired here in AD 27. Its modern incarnation as a tourist center dates from the early 20th century.
It’s also a favorite day-trip destination and a summer favorite of holidaying VIPs. Inevitably, the two main centers, Capri Town and its uphill rival Anacapri, are almost entirely given over to tourism. But explore beyond the designer boutiques and cafes and we’ll find that Capri retains an unspoiled charm, with grand villas, overgrown vegetable plots, sun-bleached, peeling stucco and banks of brilliantly colored bougainvillea.
After our full-day excursion to the beautiful island, we’ll sail back to the mainland and return to our villa for dinner and a well-deserved night’s sleep.

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We’ll delight in “The Three Tenors: Opera Arias, and Neapolitan Songs.” Inspired by the “Three Tenors” concerts given by Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras, this concert features famous Italian Opera Arias and the most magical Neapolitan songs, such as “O Sole Mio” and “Torna a Surriento.” It’s an unmissable journey through Italian songs with the powerful voices of The Three Tenors.

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For one thing, it’s not a big place – you can easily walk from one end to the other in about 20 minutes. For another, there are very few historical buildings of note. The explanation is chilling: most of the old city, and its populace, simply slid into the sea during an earthquake in 1343. Despite this, the town exudes a sense of history and culture, most notably in its breathtaking cathedral and fascinating paper museum.
Sitting high in the hills above Amalfi, Ravello is a refined, polished town almost entirely dedicated to tourism. From Amalfi we’ll take the nerve-tingling 5-mile drive up the Valle del Dragone Mountain to Ravello, nestling at a height of 1200 feet above Amalfi, surrounded by vineyards and orchards.  From the parking lot, we’ll climb up the stairs to the charming Piazza Duomo, surrounded by shops and cafes. Boasting impeccable bohemian credentials – Wagner, DH Lawrence and Virginia Woolf all spent time here – it’s today known for its ravishing gardens and stupendous views, the best in the world according to former resident Gore Vidal, and certainly the best on the coast.
Toward the late afternoon we’ll return to our villa for our gala farewell dinner. This will be a time to review our tour and culinary seminar and discuss plans for future travel.

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PRICES & DATES

DEAPARTURE
RETURN
DAYS
PRICE *
SINGLE ROOM **
FLIGHTS
NOTES
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* Price per person in USD double or twin room

** Supplement Price for single room

NEED TO KNOW

Price Includes:

Air-conditioned tourist coach
Half Board throughout plus supplies to make sandwiches for lunch
English-speaking local guides and a professional experienced guide from the staff of Shai Bar Ilan
Entrance to all sites mentioned in the itinerary
first class hotels throughout
Tips for local service providers

Price Excludes:

International flights
Taxes and surcharges
Personal expenses and services
Insurance
Tip for guide (Recommended: $5  per person per day)

Important to Know:

There may be changes to the order of places visited. We will make every effort to visit every place mentioned in the itinerary.
The tour organizers have no control over airline services such as seating, special meal requests, changes in departure times or delays. These remain the sole responsibility of the airline company.

Kashrut on Tours

Only strictly kosher food is provided to our travelers on all our tours. On some of our tours we are able to provide glatt meals. Kashrut is of utmost importance to us and we take special measures to ensure that everything served is kosher.

The meals:

Breakfast is prepared using our utensils. We use local fresh fruits and vegetables, and we use milk products when they are permitted. We use kosher cereals, and bread. We usually serve hard boiled eggs and sometimes scrambled eggs or omelets. At breakfast, we prepare our lunches so that people have their choice as to what they eat for lunch. We bring food from Israel to supplement what is served in the hotel such as cheeses, peanut butter, tuna, etc.
For dinners, we serve either fish or meat (usually chicken) as our main course. In areas where meat is not available nor readily acquired, we will have fish. When possible, we acquire the meat locally from Chabad or other reliable kosher source, and in some cases we fly the meat in from Israel. We try to provide as many meat meals as possible. The main course at dinner is preceded by soup and salad and accompanied by freshly prepared vegetables. Dessert typically consists of fresh fruits.
We do not guarantee Pat Israel and Chalav Israel for all destinations.
In many destinations we have our own dishes and silverware. Where we don’t, we provide disposables at the meals. When we cook in hotel kitchens, we use our own knives, cutting boards, pots and pans, cooking implements and disposable metal trays. All food preparation is done on covered surfaces under the strict supervision of our trained staff/guides who function as our mashgichim.
We make great efforts to assure that our travelers will experience local foods first-hand, while maintaining stringent observance of Kashrut laws on all occasions.
On most of our tours, you will be accompanied by two of our staff members- one a guide for the tour who is knowledgeable about the places you are visiting and will accompany you throughout the day and the second, a person who will deal with the logistics of the tour and provide kashrut supervision in the kitchen.

Hotels:

It is our aim to provide the finest hotel possible in each area we visit. We require our hotels to allow us to work in the kitchen and to supervise the cooking and there are many hotels that are not willing to cooperate. They simply have no desire for us to be “meddling” in their cooking process nor are they happy about our bringing our equipment into their kitchens. We work very hard to find the best hotel in the area that will meet our requirements. Because we are not ready to compromise on kashrut, we may not always be able to use a five star hotel.

Deposit, Cancellation Fees & Policy:

A $750 USD Deposit per person must be received at the time of booking in order to confirm your reservation. A minimum number of participants are required to operate tour date. If a minimum number has not been reached prior to tour departure and the tour is cancelled you will receive a FULL refund.

• Till 60 days before departure bookings are refundable less a $750 administration fee
• 59-30 days prior to departure: 20% of total.
• Less than 29 working days prior to departure: 100% of total – no refund.
Working days: Monday till Thursday
Non working days: Friday till Sunday, Jewish holidays.

We strongly recommend purchasing Travel Insurance.

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