This program is a full 7 day journey through the area of Sorrento including the following excursions and side activities, like restaurants, shopping, walks and evenings together.
All the excursions are going to be done at a slow pace in order to be accurate and satisfaying. And of course all the tour is entirely in english.
Pompei is, of course, a must and will amaze you. I will pass on to you the feelings of the spectators in the theatre and how the actors, acting in a tragedy or a comedy played with the crowd. We shall also be naughty by going to see the erotic paintings and move as though in the days of the Romans by going to the public bath, having a sauna surrounded by steam, enjoying classical decoration evoking Gods and sacred figures, feeling aroused by a man or a boy next to us.
We will sense the majesty of the Forum, see Vesuvius and almost fear an imminent eruption.
We will admire the vivid colours of the frescoes and enter the magic world of the Villa of the Mysteries, with its wall to wall Dionysian initiation.
Phallic symbols will gravitate around us, giving the world originator a meaning beyond sex.
We shall imagine slaves transporting amphoras, merchants weighing cereals and people scarily sacrificing young animals in the temple.
And we we'll do that with humour, because I know the ancient Pompeians allow us to do that because we respect them.
Suggested itinerary for an excursion to Capri
Meet with the guide in Sorrento(or Naples)and then jetfoil to Capri
Taxi up to Anacapri for for exploration and visitof the fabulous villa of Axel Munthe where the historical background of the gay life of Capri will be unraveled
And the incredible taste for art and antiques of Axel Munthe,doctor,writer and pioneer for this enlightened aristocracy will blend with the outstanding view.
Then depending on the weather(and crowds)ther's the possibility of going up on a chairlift(optional)where the whole island,bay of Naples and bay of Salerno will be seen from above the birds.
Then down with the taxi to Capri town,where after the visit of the Gardens of Augustus,built by Frederick Alfred Krupp there will be lunch(optional).and ther's a big gay connection between Krupp,Capri and the gay world,the reason infact he eventually was forced to leave the island.
Then after some free time to explore Capri down to Marina grande with the funicolare train(or taxi depending on the crowds)for a boat trip round the island to experience the caves ,the dramatic and rugged cliffs that so much have bewitched Tiberius, He is talked to have had orgiastic perties with young boys. But perhaps that is not true.
And when we go to Napoli, we will enter a magic world, stepping into a past that still exists. We are going to come into a word made of art, dreams, vision, power and esoteric ideas, which lead today to a mixture of beauty, uniqueness and craziness. Walking through the old streets of the historical center we will see shops that almost don't exist anymore in the west, people trying to sell you things on market stalls, boys on scooters without helmets, having a ball and laughing and feeling safe in this unique urban jungle. all of that surrounded by incredible and often decadent, art treasures.
As we try to understand the alchemical word of Principe di San Severo and his Cappella di San Severo, with its sculptures seemingly moulded out of rubber, but in reality carved in marble with the realism of wet clothes or real ropes.
Sorrento. ‘Come back to Sorento’. This famous song has its right to be, That's what I do all the time, wherever else I may go, just for the beauty of Sorrento which has enchanted so many: Ibsen, Lord Byron, Keats and Goethe. And the song was written for the Minister of communication, to make him fall in love and give a Post Office to Sorrento. Together we will discover its treasures walking in the historical center, coming across splendid views, drinking coffee in one of the most cute squares that I know and having dinner in one of the ancient streets, with flagstones paving the way, underneath ancient portals sculpted by hand and hidden courtyards decorated with majolicas. And we'll be astonished by this cliff of volcanic material built 50 meters above the sea level, and all these beautiful hotels built on it, the hills at the back and the ravine behind the main piazza with an old water mill in it.
I will make you see why I decided to be born in Sorrento and how you live the in between moments that in other countries are only a time for going from point a to point but here there is lifebetween.
We are going to go to Herculaneum to sense the precious history of this ancient town and imagine the life of the aristocracy. You will imagine roman patricians with their expensive robes dealing with rich merchants, sitting or lying at their dining tables, served by slaves pouring wine, eating, talking, getting intoxicated by the strong taste of the food, alcohol, the light of the torches, the laughter of the "pater familiae" and all that surrounded by beautiful frescoes, exceptional marble floors, very fine mosaics and super view over the bay of Naples.
We will experience the uniqueness of the temple dedicated to Augustus; we'll admire its luxurious marble wall, the paintings dedicated to mythology, and the Roman Gods will transport us into a world that we can hardly believe was happening 2000 years ago. Walking around the streets will make us want to buy some wheat or pulses, or a jar of wine, after we have gone for a shave in the little barber shop (tonsor) and of course have the usual sauna wondering how technology was so advanced and enjoying the benefits of our superior social condition, as Herculaneum was a place of wealthier families. And smaller too, compared to Pompeii, so they started developing houses in height instead of width.
And we cannot miss the Amalfi coast, loved by many famous like Zeffirelli, Nureyev or Gore Vidal, and enjoyed by millions of people every year. It is a stunning road built within the limestone rock cliff and altogether it is a 59 km long road all the way from Amalfi to Vietri sul mare.
The first pearl is Positano with its bouganville pathway to the water level, where fashion shops mix with art galleries and market stalls. Not to mention cafes inviting you to add calories to your body without making you feel guilty.
Its narrow winding streets, the steps in through the houses, back up the road again, you will feel like a prince close to a 50's actress with a scarf over her hair and big square turtle sunglasses. Heading towards Amalfi, all those watchtowers built in stone will remind you that this place was once upon a time infested by the Saracens, with their turbans and scimitars; the Arsenals of the Republic, where thybuilt ships with over a hundred oars, and the superb cathedral of St.Andrew, will caste its power over the Mediterranean.
And the drive to Ravello will make you see how aloof and aristocratic a village can be when a noble family decides to develop a remote place on top of a hill, over two narrow valleys, into a royal little place,with villas built in Norman Sicilian style. And then its two pearls: villa Rufolo and villa Cimbrone, where Greta Garbo lived her love story with Leopold Stokowsky away from the eyes of the curious and the paparazzi.
Museo Correale Terranova
Museo Correale di Terranova
This is one of the most important italian private museums.
It"s a gift of two benefactors,two brothers infact:Alfredo and Pompeo Correale.
One of them was rather cute and never got married(!!!!).
The building,which is a jem in itself,houses on the ground floor(amongst other things)a collection of inlaid wood work furniture and objects,and that is a historical typical Sorrento's craft.
Then a serie of roman archeological findings,of which the most important is an egiptian artifact,a sphinks that once upon a time was located in the heart of the historical centre of Sorrento.
Then on the first floor furniture and paintings from the 17th and 18th century,chinese porcelain and a fantastic room with neoclassical furniture,mirrors and venetian lamp shapes.
The second floor is more 19th century oriented,with a vast choice of views of Napoli and surroundings,classic school of Posillipo,a collection of clocks and the most known piece of the museum:the game of BIRIBISSO,a society table game comparable to the game of the Goose.
And on the top level lots of european porcelain,amongst which of course many Capodimontes.