The Bay of Naples & Amalfi Coast
A tour of stimulating contrasts and richly varied gardens: we step off the narrow streets of Naples into a colourful cloister garden; travel across the glittering bay to the charming island of Capri; climb narrow paths to an Amalfi lemon grove and explore a Moorish cloister; shift from the intimacy of a private villa to the vast landscape of Caserta. To reduce travelling time we have selected two hotels: Hotel San Francesco al Monte 4*, an ancient Franciscan convent with dramatic views across Naples to Vesuvius, and The Hotel Maria 4* in the heart of Ravello. We are privileged to have garden writer & historian Helena Attlee as our tour leader. Helena is the author of the best-selling “The Land Where Lemons Grow” and we are delighted that she will host a special session on Amalfi Lemons as well as give an evening lecture based upon her book.
Day 1 Friday, 16th October
The tour starts at 12.00 noon at Naples International airport. We begin with a visit to the famous art-nouveau Café Gambrinus for a light lunch. Following refreshment, we take you to the 18th century cloister garden of Santa Chiara with its dazzling majolica decorations. Later we are lucky to be able to have a private visit to the impressive Orto Botanico di Napoli which is an oasis of green calm, beauty and tranquillity, and the ideal way to see the range of flora that can be grown in this region. From here it is a short drive to Hotel San Francesco al Monte where we share an excellent supper overlooking the Bay of Naples & Vesuvius.
Day 2 Saturday, 17th October
Travel out of the city to the magnificent 18th century gardens of Palazzo Reale Caserta, where we are shown the grand formal gardens and the English Garden in horse drawn carriages as well as a viewing of some of the interior of this formal Royal Palace. Lunch is taken in a 18th century private villa before a visit to the beautiful grounds of the former home of the Duchess Guevara di Bovino, an intriguing garden with interesting topiary and wonderful ancient trees. Return to Hotel San Francesco al Monte for a free evening where we suggest you can either dine at the hotel or share taxis to the area surrounding Castel dell’Ovo, a seaside castle located on the former island of Megaride (now a peninsula) where you will find a good selection of restaurants.
Day 3 Sunday 18th October
Take the ferry from Naples port to the island of Capri (journey time approx. 1 hour). Here you will transfer to a local bus and be taken up to Villa San Michele, the former home of Dr Axel Munthe, on the rocky ledges above the small town of Anacapri. The garden and villa are described in Munthe’s book, The Story of San Michele, which avidly depicts his love for the island and the creation of the garden. Following free time for lunch, we return to Naples by ferry for another free evening.
Day 4 Monday 19th October
Leave Naples and travel to Pompeii, the former thriving port that was destroyed on August 24, 79AD when Mount Vesuvius literally blew its top. We meet our private guide for a tour of this amazing site that will provide us with a clear understanding of what life was like almost 2000 years ago, including the use and layout of courtyard gardens for some of the wealthier inhabitants. Then drive to the Amalfi coast to check in at our hotel in the hill town of Ravello. Please do note that the coach is not able to get to the door of the hotel, so there will be a 10 minute walk, luggage carried for us. Following time to refresh, again we walk the narrow streets and climb several flights of steps to reach the impressive gates concealing the wonderful, early 20th century garden of Villa Cimbrone, which Lord Grimthorpe surrounded with an eccentric and very personal garden. An evening meal is included at the hotel, preceded by a talk by Helena Attlee.
Day 5 Tuesday 20th October
We devote the morning to Amalfi’s famous lemons, walking out of town to the ‘Valley of Mills’ to meet our host, a local lemon farmer. He will lead us up into the terraces above the town to walk in the historic lemon groves, learn tricks of the trade from local farmers, and taste lemon-flavoured, regional specialties. Back in Amalfi we enjoy lunch with a citrus theme, before viewing the remarkable Byzantine and Moorish cloister, Chiostro del Paradiso, perched dramatically above the sea next to the Duomo. Return to Amalfi at the special invitation of an MGS member to view her private garden. Return to Hotel Maria for another meal together.
Day 6 Wednesday 21st October
Leaving the Amalfi coast, we travel back to Naples Port to take the Ferry to Ischia. Here you will be met by the AGM organisers and taken to your hotels.
How much & what's included
The price per person: €1,998
Single supplement levied by the hotels: €350 per person not sharing
The price includes: buffet breakfast each day; three lunches and three evening meals; all garden entries and ferry journeys as set out in the itinerary
To make a reservation
Please either book online with the facility at the bottom of this page.
OR telephone the Boxwood office below to make a payment by card.
Boxwood Tours, Rhiw, Llanbedr, Gwynedd, LL45 2NT, UK.
Telephone: +44 (0)1341 241717
Facsimile: +44 (0)1341 241712
In accordance with “The Package Travel, Package Tours Regulations 1992” all passengers booking with Boxwood Tours Limited are fully insured for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all monies paid to us, including repatriation if required, arising from the cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Boxwood Tours Limited.
A certificate detailing this cover will be given to each and every passenger as evidence of cover. Please ensure that you have been given the appropriate certificate(s) at the time of booking.
This insurance has been arranged by MGA Cover