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EXPLORE CENTRAL SOUTH ITALY

September 13-21, 2o24

Starts in Rome and also visit Vico Equense, Amalfi, Ravello, Paestum, Battipaglia, Pompei, Campobasso, Oratino and Agnone.

Find your roots on this trip starting in Rome and endeavor onto the road much less traveled, the region of Molise, then into Naples and the nearby Amalfi Coast. 

 

It is worthy to note that the new name for the Cleveland major league baseball team is the Guardians.  The stone carved historic Guardians are four 43-foot high statues guarding traffic, and now also the Progressive Baseball Stadium in Cleveland.

 

They were built in 1932 by the hard work of several stonemasons from Oratino, in the province of Campobasso, in the region of Molise.  Each Guardian holds a different mode of transportation in his hands (a hay rack, a covered wagon, a stagecoach, and a passenger automobile, and four types of trucks), representing the evolution of transportation.

 

On this trip we will celebrate them, and the Oratinese/Molisana heritage, in a 10 day/10 night viaggio exploring the roots and the life of those remaining in this jewel of the region of Molise.  In addition, you will enjoy the splendor of Rome, the Amalfi Coast and important archeological sites in Pompeii and Paestum.

You will be guided by an Italian insider, Phil of Philítaly.  He will leverage his Italian language, access to family and friends to show you the real Italian “day in the life”, and take you to places off the beaten path.

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10 DAYS / 10 NIGHTS
September 13-21, 2024

Price for Full Land Package All Inclusive $4,100 Per Person
 

Purchase your flight on your own to have more control over possible changes.  Choose a flight from the closest airport with non-stop flights to the Italian hub city where the group meets.  If you are not close to a city with non-stop service to the hub in Italy, we suggest you take a domestic flight to the US city that offers non-stop service to Italy hub or fly to a European city with layover to the hub city in Italy where the group meets. ​

Consider travel insurance for peace of mind to protect land, air and trip cancellation as well as medical service and evacuation insurance.  Click here to view options for comprehensive insurance, not just for flight cost, like most airlines sell. 

Day 0, Thursday September 12, 2024

Travel overnight from North or South America

Day 1, Friday September 13, 2024
Welcome to Rome and meet the Group
Dinner

Morning

  • Arrive Rome. Meet your private driver outside baggage claim.
     

Afternoon/Evening

  • Lunch on your own

  • Meet the group for an aperitivo and dinner in hotel (included in package price)

  • Sleep at Hotel Donna Laura

Day 2, Saturday September 14, 2024
Exploring Ancient Rome and Piazzas
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Morning

  • Hop on Hop Off Bus tour of Ancient Rome
     

Afternoon/Evening

  • Lunch on your own

  • Walking tour of Rome’s Piazza and the Pantheon

  • Group Dinner (included in package price)

  • Sleep at Hotel Donna Laura

Day 3, Sunday September 15, 2024
Art and Gastronomy in Rome
Naples

Morning

  • Tour the Galleria Borghese


Afternoon/Evening

  • Lunch on your own

  • Travel from Rome to Naples and Vico Equense by private motor coach

  • Group Dinner (included in package price)

  • Sleep at Hotel Sporting, Vico Equense

Day 4, Monday September 16, 2024
Scenic Coastal Exploration in Amalfi and Ravello
Image by Gregory Smirnov

Morning

  • Coastal Drive drive along Costiera Amalfitana with stops in Amalfi and Ravello


Afternoon/Evening

  • Lunch in town of Amalfi on your own

  • Boat trip along coast

  • Group Dinner (included in package price)

  • Sleep at Hotel Sporting, Vico Equense

Day 5, Tuesday September 17, 2024
Ancient Wonders and Culinary Delights: Paestum and Buffalo Farm Experience
Image by Antonio Sessa

Morning

  • Travel from Vico Equense to Paestum

  • Tour Paestum Archeological site


Afternoon/Evening

  • Group Lunch (included in package price) in Battipaglia at buffalo farm

  • Dinner on your own

  • Sleep at Hotel Sporting, Vico Equense

Day 6, Wednesday September 18, 2024
Ancient Ruins and Volcanic Wonders: Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius Adventure
Image by Andy Holmes

​Morning

  • Tour Pompei, then travel by coach to Mt. Vesuvius
     

Afternoon/Evening

  • Group Lunch (included in package price) at Cantina (winery) in Mt. Vesuvius

  • Travel in private coach from Vesuvius to Campobasso, leave bags at hotel and travel nearby to Welcome in Oratino

  • Choice of group dinner or on your own

  • Sleep at Hotel Centrum Palace, Campobasso

Day 7, Thursday September 19, 2024
Truffle Hunting and Local Festivities in Oratino
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Morning

  • Short coach ride from Campobasso to Oratino

  • Enjoy truffle hunting in Oratino

Click here to learn more about Oratino ▾

Nestled just a few kilometers from Campobasso, the picturesque village of Oratino stands as a testament to Italy's rich cultural and historical tapestry. Renowned as one of the 100 most beautiful villages in Italy, Oratino captivates visitors with its charm, art, and storied past. The village's stunning location offers breathtaking panoramic views that have earned it a well-deserved reputation as one of Italy's most enchanting destinations.

 

Dominating Oratino's skyline is the majestic Ducal Palace, also known as Giordano Palace, which serves as a timeless emblem of the village's grandeur and heritage. This architectural masterpiece beckons travelers to explore its rich history and intricate design, embodying centuries of artistic and cultural evolution. Moreover, Oratino boasts a millennial church, a sacred haven that stands as a testament to the village's enduring spiritual legacy. The medieval tower perched atop a cliff, known as "the rock," narrates tales of Oratino's medieval past, once a bustling castle and village tragically marred by the forces of nature. Despite the ravages of time and earthquakes, Oratino's resilience shines through, inviting visitors to delve into its storied past and embrace its timeless allure.

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Afternoon/Evening
  • Group lunch at private Villa (included in package price)

  • Dinner on your own

  • Join in the Feast of the local patron saint in piazza

  • Sleep at Hotel Centrum Palace, Campobasso

Angelo and Paolo Nardolillo, brothers with their well trained dogs, Maybe and Ziggy.

Click here to learn more about truffle hunting ▾

One of the most precious fruits that nature gives us is hidden beneath our feet in the undergrowth of the woods, shrouded by silence and darkness: it is the truffle, an underground mushroom considered a true jewel of the earth.

This tuber grows among the tree roots and, unlike mushrooms, truffles don’t use air currents to spread their spores; they have evolved a strong aroma that attracts insects and mammals who, by feeding on them, contribute to their spread.

Traditionally, pigs were the undisputed champions in truffle hunting.  These animals have an incredibly keen sense of smell and can easily detect the pungent aroma of truffles buried underground.  However, there was one major drawback to using pigs: their insatiable passion for truffles.  Once a pig detected a truffle, they would do anything to eat it, making collecting it a race against time!

To overcome this problem, the choice has shifted towards a faithful companion of ours: the dog.  Dogs, when properly trained, are invaluable allies in truffle hunting and, although any trained dog is suitable to find truffles, the only breed recognized for truffle hunting is the Lagotto Romagnolo.

In parallel with hunting, truffle farming has become more scientific.  Instead of relying exclusively on luck, farmers have begun to create the ideal conditions for the growth of truffles, planting oak and hazelnut trees; the trees with which truffles form a natural symbiosis.  Modern techniques offer more stable and predictable production, making truffles accessible to an even wider audience.

However, truffle farming remains an art as much as a science.  Soil conditions, temperature, humidity and many other factors must align perfectly to produce high-quality truffles.  In fact, truffles are environmental sentinels that grow only in uncontaminated areas; the particular nature of the woodlands of the Italian region of Molise guarantees all the conditions necessary for their diffusion and survival.

There are around one hundred different species of truffles in the world; among these, only nine are edible and concentrated mainly in the Italian peninsula.  Each truffle has its seasonality listed as follows:

1- Tuber magnatum Pico, commonly known as the white truffle, from October to December

2- Tuber melanosporum Vitt., commonly known as the prized black truffle, from November to March

3- Tuber moscatum, known as the Moscato truffle, from December to March

4- Tuber aestivum, called the summer truffle or scorzone, from May to August

5- Tuber uncinatum, known as the hooked truffle, from October to December

6- Tuber brumale, called the black winter truffle, from January to March

7- Tuber borchii, called the biancatto, from January to March

8- Tuber mascosporum, called the smooth black truffle, from October to December

9- Tuber mesentericum, called the ordinary black truffle, from October to January

 

Hunting and digging up truffles in Italy has become part of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity protected by UNESCO, one more reason to respect and safeguard the knowledge and traditions of this precious and delicious product!

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Day 8, Friday September 20, 2024
Exploring Artisan Traditions and Cultural Celebrations
Cheese Platter

Morning

  • Travel from Campobasso to Agnone

  • Tour the Bell Foundry and the Cheese Factory

Afternoon/Evening

  • Group Lunch (included in package price) at the Cheese Factory then visit the Bell Factory

  • Possible classical music concert with Lelio DiTullio and Michele Nardolillo

  • Return to Campobasso from Agnone, then join the festivities at the Festa di San Gennaro in Oratino

  • Sleep at Hotel Centrum Palace, Campobasso

Day 9, Saturday September 21, 2024
Farewells in Oratino and Return to Rome
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Morning

  • Short coach ride from Campobasso to Oratino
     

Afternoon/Evening

  • Group Lunch (included in package price) in Cerce Maggiore La Ginestra

  • Travel from Oratino to Rome

  • Dinner on your own

  • Sleep at Hotel Donna Laura

Day 10, Sunday September 22, 2024
Spiritual Exploration in Vatican City and Leisure in Rome
Vatican Building

Morning

  • Tour Religious Rome (The Vatican, St. Peter’s Basilica and their Museums)
     

Afternoon/Evening

  • Free time to explore on your own, rest, exercise, take a bike ride along the Tiber River or meander in the piazzas of Rome and marvel at the many fountains Donna Laura

  • Sleep at Hotel

Day 11, Monday September 23, 2024
Farewell and Departures
Airplane Flying

Morning

  • Depart from the group after breakfast

Choose another Philìtaly Adventure to explore below

Image by Jonathan Körner
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THE SPLENDORS OF CENTRAL AND
NORTHERN ITALY
June 25-July 4, 2024
This is a suggested itinerary for one or more people traveling. It can be modified by the travelers and price modified accordingly.

Starts in Rome and also

visit Ravenna, Ferrara, Bologna, Florence, Assisi and Farfa.

Customized experience for a private group.

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Learn more about Playing for Pizza ▾

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 


Playing for Pizza: A Novel by John Grisham Published in 2012

American National Football League third string quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, Rick Dockery becomes a national laughing-stock after what is considered the worst performance in NFL history. No other NFL team wants him after he is cut by the Browns.

 

Against all odds he lands a job as the starting quarterback for the Parma, Italy Mighty Panthers. The Parma Panthers are happy to have Rick, wanting an NFL player and not being selective about which former American NFL player they choose.

For Rick, not knowing anything about Parma and not speaking a word of Italian, a series of adventures ensue bringing with it a few surprises.

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EXPLORE CENTRAL SOUTH ITALY
September 13-21, 2024

Starts in Rome and also

visit Vico Equense, Amalfi, Ravello, Paestum, Battipaglia, Pompei, Campobasso, Oratino and Agnone.

A group of curious travelers interested in places off the beaten path and not known to tourists, where the culture, food, wine and music are regionally preserved.

Image by Henrique Ferreira
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ITALY IN ARGENTINA
October 17-25, 2024
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Starts in Buenos Aires and

also visit Tigre, San Isidro, Mendoza and Iguaza Falls.

Open to the public for those who want to see how Italy influences the culture of Argentina, and vice versa.

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EXPLORE CENTRAL SOUTH ITALY
November 7-15, 2024

Starts in Rome and also

visit Vico Equense, Amalfi, Ravello, Paestum, Battipaglia, Pompei, Campobasso, Oratino and Agnone.

A group of curious travelers interested in places off the beaten path and not known to tourists, where the culture, food, wine and music are regionally preserved.

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EXPLORE CENTRAL SOUTH ITALY
March 20-28, 2025

Starts in Rome and also

visit Vico Equense, Amalfi, Ravello, Paestum, Battipaglia, Pompei, Campobasso, Oratino and Agnone.

A group of curious travelers interested in places off the beaten path and not known to tourists, where the culture, food, wine and music are regionally preserved.

Image by Giulia Gasperini
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TRULLI OF PUGLIA AND MATERA OF BASILICATA
April 24-May 2, 2025

Starts in Brindisi and also

visit Lecce, Oria, Cisternino, Ostuni, Matera, Martina Franca, Foggia, San Vito, Mesagne, Gillipolo and Taranto.

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EXPLORE CENTRAL SOUTH ITALY
May 1-9, 2025

Starts in Rome and also

visit Vico Equense, Amalfi, Ravello, Paestum, Battipaglia, Pompei, Campobasso, Oratino and Agnone.

A group of curious travelers interested in places off the beaten path and not known to tourists, where the culture, food, wine and music are regionally preserved.

Montreal
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ITALY IN MONTREAL
Summer 2025

Starts in Montreal and also

visit New York, Quebec City and Toronto.

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EXPLORE CENTRAL SOUTH ITALY
September 13-21, 2025

Starts in Rome and also

visit Vico Equense, Amalfi, Ravello, Paestum, Battipaglia, Pompei, Campobasso, Oratino and Agnone.

A group of curious travelers interested in places off the beaten path and not known to tourists, where the culture, food, wine and music are regionally preserved.

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ENERGY INDUSTRY EXECUTIVES
September 2025

Starts in Rome

Open to the public, a group of professionals working in the Energy sector.

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LGBTQIA+ AND FRIENDS IN ITALY
Fall 2025

Starts in

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HEALTHCARE, WELL-BEING & HR EXECUTIVES IN ITALY
Fall 2025

Starts in Berchidda (Olbia),

Sardinia and also visit San Teodoro, Berchidda, La Maddalena, Barbagia and Cagliari.

Open to the public, a group of professionals in healthcare management and human resource management exploring the very healthy Blue Zone of Sardinia.

Image by Ivan Ragozin
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UnDISCOVERED SARDINIA (THE BLUE ISLAND)
Fall 2025

Starts in Berchidda (Olbia),

Sardinia and also visit La Maddalena, Tempio Pausania, San Pantaleo, Azarchena, Golfo Aranci and Alghero.

Open to the public, and ready for you to join.