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EXPLORE CENTRAL SOUTH ITALY
September 13-21, 2o24

Starts in Rome and also visit Campobasso, Agnone, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Pompei, Vico Equense and Battipaglia.

We will spend 8 days, 8 nights together in the period of local festivals and folkloric experiences, not seen in more iconic places in the country.  We will beat the crowds, have mild weather, and we will hit iconic places in Rome (Lazio) and Naples including Amalfi Coast and Campania, while taking two days and two nights to explore the country-side near Campobasso.  Tour a cheese factory, hunt for truffles, and bell foundry and visit the town from which the Cleveland Guardians stonemasons emigrated (Oratino), and more.

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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8 DAYS / 8 NIGHTS
September 13-21, 2024

Price for Full Land Package All Inclusive $4,200 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 O, Thursday September 12, 2024
Travel overnight from US or early morning from a European city
Day 1, Friday September 13, 2024
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Morning

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

Afternoon/Evening

  • Opening reception and dinner following at hotel
  • Sleep at Hotel Shangri La, Via Algeria, 141, Roma, 00144
Day 2, Saturday September 14, 2024
Saint Peter's Basilica

Morning

  • Roma Antica (Antique Rome)
     

Afternoon/Evening

  • Tour Religious Rome (The Vatican, St. Peter’s Basilica and their Museums)Sleep at Hotel Shangri La, Via Algeria, 141, Roma, 00144
Day 3, Sunday September 15, 2024
Piazza San Marco Venice

Morning

  • Walking tour of Rome’s Piazza and the Pantheon
     

Afternoon/Evening

  • Tour the Galleria Borghese Dinner in Center of Rome
  • Sleep at Hotel Shangri La, Via Algeria, 141, Roma, 00144
Day 4, Monday September 16, 2024
Image by Andrea Cairone

Morning

  • Travel from Rome to Campobasso by private motor coach

Afternoon/Evening

  • Truffle hunting with Phil’s cousins

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

  • Dinner in Agriturismo

  • Sleep at Hotel Centrum Place, Campobasso

Day 5, Tuesday September 17, 2024
Image by Alice Donovan Rouse

Morning

  • Travel from Campobasso to Agnone by private motor coach

  • Visit Agnone where we will tour a cheese factory, a bell foundry and a copper museum

Afternoon/Evening

  • Lunch in the Cheese factory 
  • Return from Agnone to Campobasso
  • Sleep at Hotel Centrum Place, Campobasso
Day 6, Wednesday September 18, 2024
Naples

Morning

  • Travel from Campobasso to Naples

  • Lunch at famous Naples Pizzeria Napoli Pranzo 

Afternoon/Evening

  • Walking tour of Naples
  • Dinner in Hotel in Vico Equense, Sorrento Coast
  • Sleep at Hotel Sporting, Vico Equense
Day 7, Thursday September 19, 2024
Image by Tom Podmore

Morning

  • Travel from Naples to Amalfi Coast, then Mt. Vesuvius
     

Afternoon/Evening

  • Stop in town of Amalfi on Coastal Drive
  • Lunch at Winery at Mt. Vesuvius then Tour Pompeii archeological site
  • Dinner at Vico Equense Ristorante
  • Sleep at Hotel Sporting, Vico Equense
Day 8, Friday September 20, 2024
Image by Antonio Sessa

Morning

  • Tour Paestum Archeological site

  • Lunch in Battipaglia at buffalo farm; bike ride along coast 
     

Afternoon/Evening

  • Transport from Battipaglia to Rome 
  • Final Group Dinner in Center of Rome
  • Sleep at Hotel Shangri La, Via Algeria, 141, Roma, 00144
Day 9, Saturday September 21, 2024
Continental Breakfast

Morning

  • Breakfast in hotel then depart from the 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.

 

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