We delight in introducing small groups (never more than ten guests) to lesser-known European music festivals, and the Amalfi Coast Music Festival is unique among the festivals we have chosen. More than a series of concerts, the festival is a vibrant gathering of internationally recognized artists and professors, who in addition to performing, give us the opportunity to observe rehearsals or master classes as they encourage the developing artists who have come to the festival.
In a selection of exceptional venues, from lush gardens of seaside villas, to historic cloisters or abbeys, we'll enjoy a variety of performances. Your four-star accommodation for the tour is a gracious seaside hotel in the town of Maori. Italy is a culinary adventure and we'll enjoy it to the fullest, from local mozzarella di bufalo in a Caprese salad, to fresh-from-the grove limoncello (a puckery-sweet lemon liqueur), to delicious pasta and fresh seafood. You'll relish sampling intensely flavored gelato and thin-crust pizza as the locals do.
Although our tours are designed for music-lovers, we don't spend all our time at concerts, but we also enjoy daily adventures, including a specially arranged tour of evocative Pompeii, a boat trip to the island of Capri, a cooking class from a local chef, an introduction to the area's best-buys and colorful open-air markets. For those who want to explore a little more of Italy, we offer a four-day Taste of Tuscany extension. From our base in the historic town of Monte San Savino, we'll discover the wonders of Tuscany, touring Florence, Siena, and Cortona, traveling through the sensuous countryside seen in countless masterpieces of Renaissance art.
Day 1: Arrival. In the afternoon you'll be met at the Naples airport or train station and brought to our hotel beside the sea. Check in, unpack, relax, and enjoy the Mediterranean sun before an introductory walking tour of Maori. Under the bougainvillea on the hotel terrace, join musicians and music-lovers from around the world at the opening reception of the 11th annual Amalfi Coast Music Festival. Welcome Dinner at the hotel. Optional Music after dinner - Four-hand piano concert of music by Brazilian composers at the beautiful Chapel of Arciconfraternita'.
Day 2: Amalfi & Ravello. Wind along the famous Amalfi Coast drive, admiring precipitous bluffs and crashing surf, before stopping in Amalfi to visit the glorious cathedral and walk the catacomb of cobbled lanes. Continue on to the mountain town of Ravello. Lunch with a breathtaking view of the coast. Wander around lovely Ravello before returning to Maori. Dinner at the hotel. Chamber Music with the Fine Arts Quartet at the majestic 12th century Salerno cathedral.
Day 3: Capri. Today we'll marvel at the exquisite coast, sparkling surf, and charming towns from the water, as we head for Capri for the day. Lunch at a charming trattoria overlooking the blue grotto. Return to Maori, and relax before dinner at the hotel, followed by an evening concert.
Day 4: Cava de Tirreni. Breakfast, and we'll head up a winding road to the 12th century hill town of Cava de' Tirreni. We'll enjoy a walking tour of the elegant porticoed streets, taking time to visit intriguing shops and stop for cappuccino at an outdoor café. Chef Fabio will share his secrets in a cooking class at his terraced hillside restaurant, and a festive 5-course meal will be the reward for our labors. Before returning to Maori, we will visit the awe-inspiring 12th century benedictine abbey of Cava de Tirreni. We are always amazed at this marble sanctuary tucked away in the quiet hills. Before dinner, sit in on a lecture or piano master class (optional). Dinner at Maori's favorite pizzeria. Another marvelous concert completes the day.
Day 5: Pompeii. Breakfast, and an early start to explore the excavations of Pompeii - one of the world's most important archaeological sites revealing the social structure, art, and every day life of the ancient world. Lunch on your own. We'll journey to Amalfi for an evening to remember, beginning with a delicious dinner where we'll sample some of the Amalfi Coast's famous desserts: lemon profitoles and Baba au Rhum. In the exquisite Cloister of Paradise we'll enjoy chamber music with the Fine Arts Quartet.
Day 6: Positano. Breakfast, then we'll take to the sea for the best approach to Positano - don't forget your camera! We'll wander the lanes of this captivating town with its honey-comb of white-washed and pastel houses built into the cliff. There will be time to explore the fashionable boutiques and try a beachside trattoria for lunch on your own. Back to Maori for our farewell dinner, followed by a concert featuring award-winning young soloists.
Day 7: Departure. Arrivederci to new-found friends before morning transportation to Naples airport or train station. For those who want to enjoy more of Italy, we offer a four-day Taste of Tuscany extension.
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