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November 7-18, 2024

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.

November 7-18, 2024

Price for Full Land Package All Inclusive $ TBD 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 November 7, 2024

Travel overnight from North or South America

Day 1, Friday November 8, 2024

AM: Arrive Rome. Meet your private driver outside baggage claim.
PM: Meet the group for an aperitivo and dinner in hotel
Sleep at Hotel Shangri La, Via Algeria, 141, Roma, 00144

Day 2, Saturday November 9, 2024

AM: Hop on Hop Off Bus tour of Ancient Rome
PM: Walking tour of Rome’s Piazza and the Pantheon

Sleep at Hotel Shangri La, Via Algeria, 141, Roma, 00144

Day 3, Sunday November 10, 2024

AM: Tour the Galleria Borghese
PM: Lunch in in Rome
Travel from Rome to Naples and Vico Equense by private motor coach
Sleep at Hotel Sporting, Vico Equense

Day 4, Monday November 11, 2024
Image by Gregory Smirnov

AM: Coastal Drive drive along Costiera Amalfitana with stops in Amalfi and Ravello
PM: Boat trip along coast
Sleep at Hotel Sporting, Vico Equense

Day 5, Tuesday November 12, 2024
Image by Antonio Sessa

AM: Travel from Vico Equense to Paestum
Tour Paestum Archeological site
PM: Lunch in Battipaglia at buffalo farm
Sleep at Hotel Sporting, Vico Equense

Day 6, Wednesday November 13, 2024
Image by Andy Holmes

​AM: Tour Pompei, then travel by coach to Mt. Vesuvius
PM: Lunch 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
Sleep at Hotel Centrum Palace, Campobasso

Day 7, Thursday November 14, 2024

AM: Short coach ride from Campobasso to Oratino
Enjoy truffle hunting in Oratino

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

PM: Join in the Feast of the local patron saint in piazza

Sleep at Hotel Centrum Palace, Campobasso

Day 8, Friday November 15, 2024
Cheese Platter

AM: Travel from Campobasso to Agnone
Tour the Bell Foundry and the Cheese Factory
PM: Lunch at the Cheese Factory then visit the Copper Museum
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 November 16, 2024

AM: Short coach ride from Campobasso to Oratino
PM: Lunch in Oratino
Travel from Oratino to Rome
Sleep at
 Hotel Shangri La, Via Algeria, 141, Roma, 00144

Day 10, Sunday November 17, 2024
Vatican Building

AM: Tour Religious Rome (The Vatican, St. Peter’s Basilica and their Museums)
PM: 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
Sleep at Hotel Shangri La, 
Via Algeria, 141, Roma, 00144

Day 11, Monday November 18, 2024
Airplane Flying

Depart from the group after breakfast

Choose another Philìtaly Adventure to explore below

Image by Fabio Tura
March 14-22, 2024

Starts in Rome and also

visit Campobasso, Agnone, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Pompei, Vico Equense and Battipaglia.

A private Ohio-based group of friends exploring Italy.

Image by Samuel Ferrara
March 22-27, 2024

Starts in Palermo and also

visit Alimena, Cefalù, Taormina and Agrigento.

A private Ohio-based group of friends exploring Sicily.

April 4 to April 12, 2024

Starts in Palermo, Sicily

and also visit Palermo Monreale, Agrigento, Catania, Taormina, Siracusa, Ortigia, Trapani, Montalbano Elicona and Cefalù.

A group of 25 travelers (including you?) with Sicily on bucket list.

sergey-pesterev-9-5-WYEBDz0-unsplash (1).jpg
April 26-May 4, 2024 and Spring 2025

Starts in Asmara Eritria

and also visit Massawa and Dahlak.

A private group exploring the influence of Italy in Eritrea, Africa and vice versa.

May 26-June 2, 2o24

Starts in Rome and also
visit Fabro Scala, Citta della Pieve, Orvieto, Montegabbione, Civita di Bagnoregio, Perugia, Scarzuola and Bomarzo.

Experience Drawing in a small group.

Italian Fans
June 25 – July 4, 2024

Starts in Rome and also

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


Learn more about Playing for Pizza ▾


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.

Image by Henrique Ferreira
October 17-25, 2024

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.

November 7-18, 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 paces off the beaten path and not known to tourists, where the culture, food, wine and music are regionally preserved.

April 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
April 2025

Starts in Berchidda (Olbia),