DAY 1: Check-in at Hotel Bellevue Syrene Sorrento & Welcome Dinner

DAY 2: Naples, National Archeological Museum & Museum of Capodimonte

DAY 3: Positano, Amalfi & Ravello by private boat

DAY 4: Paestum & Visit of a Buffalo Mozzarella Farm

DAY 5: Island of Capri by private boat (incl. Blue Grotto, Monte Solaro & Piazzetta)

DAY 6: Pompeii and Herculaneum

DAY 7: Check-out of Hotel Bellevue Syrene Sorrento.

Amalfi Coast…..

”When you come to the South [of Italy], you cry twice: once when you arrive and then again when you leave.”

—Alessandro Siani, Italian comic and actor


This program will explore the most colorful, animated, and breathtakingly beautiful areas of Italy – the South! Starting with Naples which has been a crossroads of many a Mediterranean culture and home to many an archeological and artistic treasure. At the south of the Gulf of Naples lies the charming town of Sorrento, whose strategic position offers views of Naples, Mt. Vesuvius and Capri and is also home to our luxurious Hotel Bellevue Syrene (Relais & Châteaux).

From Sorrento, we shall explore the striking natural beauty of the Amalfi Coast by both land and sea, visiting the towns of Positano (my favorite), Amalfi and Ravello. And just when you think that you have seen paradise on earth, we shall outdo ourselves by exploring the “Pearl of the Bay of Naples” – the island of Capri – by private luxury boat. The island has been the playground of the rich and powerful ever since Roman Emperor Tiberius constructed his vacation villa there in the 1st century CE.

Tiberius was not the only Ancient Roman to appreciate the natural beauty of the area, as many more moved to the coastal towns of Pompeii and the nearby “Malibu” of the Bay of Naples called Herculaneum. Unfortunately for their inhabitants, both cities were “flash frozen” by the pyroclastic blast caused by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE. But fortunately for us, the nearly- perfectly-preserved cities offer an extraordinarily vivid view of daily life in the ancient world. And although it was Rome that eventually conquered the area, the Greeks before them left indelible monuments to their greatness. Monuments such as the three well-preserved temples that we shall visit in former Greek colony of Paestum.

And the only thing that can compare to the history and natural beauty of the area is food and wine. Birthplace to pizza, Naples is home to the world’s greatest pizzerie. Part of the reason is the extraordinary quality of the buffalo mozzarella produced in the surrounding area. We shall visit a buffalo mozzarella farm to see firsthand the care and craftsmanship that goes into producing this gastronomic treasure. And while Southern Italian wines are lesser known than their Tuscan or Piemontese cousins, they are by no means inferior.

That is certainty a lot to try to show you in a week, but that’s not going to stop me from trying!!!!

Accompanied service

Hotel Main Attractions Guide Sightseeing Tickets Meals

Special offer


The Southern Italy program is the perfect manner to explore one of the most naturally beautiful, historically rich and gastronomically appealing areas of Italy. There is also no better time to do it than in early fall with warm Mediterranean water and mild temperatures.

Join us for a luxurious and customized experience in Southern Italy where participants will

  1. Explore the great artistic, archeological, and architectural treasures of the area with Rocky
  2. Learn about the history, power and intrigue of ancient Rome in some of the world’s most important archeological sites and monuments such as Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Paestum
  3. Come up close and personal with the art treasures in the various museums of Naples and Paestum including works by Renaissance maters such as Caravaggio, Titian, Masaccio, Raphael as well as ancient masterpieces such as the Alexander the Great mosaic or the Tomb of the Diver
  4. Visit the breathtakingly beautiful Amalfi Coast by land and sea, exploring the towns of Positano, Amalfi and Ravello
  5. Enjoy Capri and the surrounding bay by private luxury boat exploring the natural landscape and geological marvels that make the island the “Pearl of the Bay of Naples”
  6. Enjoy a fantastic lunch at the famous and historic La Capannina Restaurant on the island of Capri
  7. Visit a buffalo mozzarella farm and discover the process that produces one of the world’s most sought-after cheeses
  8. Sojourn at the historic luxury five-star Hotel Bellevue Syrene in Sorrento

Activity Level: Moderate

Walking tours and on-site visits may entail uneven terrain such as cobblestones and city hills, as well as challenging environments with stairs without handrails and/or the absence of elevators).


PLEASE NOTE: This program is SOLD OUT. If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please send us an email at [email protected].



Arrival in Sorrento and check-in at the Hotel Bellevue Syrene


7:30pmWelcome Dinner


9:00am Depart for Naples in private minivans







10:00-11:30am Visit of the Archeological Museum
The Archeological Museum in Naples houses one of the most important archeological collections in the world housing the major works unearthed at Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae including the Alexander the Great mosaic, the Farnese Bull statue and a collection of ancient papyrus scrolls.

1:00pm-2:30pmGroup lunch in a historic Neapolitan pizzeria

3:00pm-5:00pmVisit of the Museum of Capodimonte
The Museum of Capodimonte contains one of the world’s most important, but overlooked, collections of medieval and Renaissance Italian paintings including works by Simone Martini, Titian, Caravaggio, and a one the few known works by Masaccio.



9:00am – Depart by minivans for a walking tour of Positano
Positano is the crown jewel of the Amalfi Coast. A dramatic vertical panorama of colors, with a cascade of peach, pink, and terra-cotta houses tumbling into the azure blue of the Tyrrhenian Sea below, Positano is a truly breathtaking. Lined with an endless array of charming boutiques and cafes, enchantment awaits at every sharp twist and turn down its narrow streets.


11:00am – Depart Positano by private boat to visit the town of Amalfi
Amalfi is one of the most charming towns in Italy and is known for handmade colorful ceramics and tiles, as well as its beautiful Romanesque cathedral.


1:00pm – Depart Amalfi by private boat for Ravello
Ravello is known as the “City of Music” for internationally-renowned music festival. It is also home to extraordinary examples of maritime landscape architecture.


1:30pm-3:00pm –Group Lunch in traditional Amalfitana restaurant in Ravello

3:00-4:30pm –Free time in Ravello

4:30pm –Depart for Hotel Bellevue Syrene, Sorrento and free evening


9:00am –Depart by minivans for Paestum

10:00am-12:45pm –Visit of Paestum
The ancient town of Paestum was part of Magna Grecia and is home to three of the world’s best preserved Ancient Greek Doric order temples built between 650 and 450 CE. The Archeological museum houses an extraordinary collection of Greek and Lucan artifacts, including the enigmatic 5th-century BCE “Tomb of the Diver”.


1:00pm-2:30pm – Lunch in traditional restaurant on the Cilento Coast (the “Other Amalfi Coast”).

3:00pm-4:30pm – Visit buffalo mozzarella farm
Buffalo mozzarella is one of Italy’s great culinary treasures and the Cilento area is home to the highest-quality production of this particular type of cheese. We shall have behind-the-scenes access to a buffalo mozzarella farm where we will watch the making this exquisite product and then have the opportunity to taste its many variants as well.


4:30pm – Depart for Hotel Bellevue Syrene, Sorrento and free evening


9:00amDepart hotel for pier of Sorrento to meet our private skipper and embark upon our private luxury boat that shall take us to Capri.
Known as the “Pearl of the Bay of Naples”, Capri has been appreciated for its striking natural beauty since ancient times when Roman emperors such as Tiberius built a series of villas on the island. In the 19th century, the island became famous throughout Europe because many an artist and author sojourned on the island in search of inspiration. Today Capri is the playground of the rich and famous and known for its exclusive hotels and restaurants and haute couture shopping.


10:00-11:30amBoat tour of the island and visit of the Grotta Azzurra (“Blue Grotto”), which is a natural cave containing water which looks almost fluorescent due to a particular play of natural light on the cave floor.


11:30am-12:30pmSpectacular chairlift ride to the Monte Solaro – the highest peak of the island for breathtaking views of the island landscape and the surrounding Bay of Naples.

12:30pmTransfer to the Piazzetta (“Little Piazza”), which is the urban heart of the island

1:00pm-3:00pmGroup lunch at the famous “La Capannina” restaurant

3:00pm-4:00pmFree time

4:00pmDepart Capri for scenic boat ride through the Bay of Naples back to Sorrento

5:00pmArrival at Hotel Bellevue Syrene, Sorrento and free evening


9:00am – Depart by private minivans to Pompeii

10:00am-12:30pm – Guided archeological visit through the ruins of Pompeii

The ancient Roman city of Pompeii was “flash-frozen” by a pyroclastic blast during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79CE. The excavation of the city has revealed an extraordinarily-well-preserved archeological site that provides us with an almost unimaginable snapshot of Roman life nearly two millennia ago. Not only do buildings survive, but so too does an enormous amount of painting and sculpture, as well as an amazing panoply of mundane objects and information which makes the ancient city literally come to life.


12:30pm-2:30pmGroup lunch at a local restaurant specializing in ancient Roman specialties

2:30pmDepart Pompeii for Herculaneum

3:00pm-4:30pmGuided archeological visit through the ruins of Herculaneum

Herculaneum was the “Malibu” of southern Italy. Its residents were much wealthier than those at Pompeii, therefore the artifacts buried by the same volcanic eruption that buried Pompeii are much more opulent and valuable. The pyroclastic material that covered Herculaneum carbonized thereby preserving organic matter such as wood and food. Although most of the city’s ancient residents evacuated the city before it was destroyed, in 1980 archeologists made a harrowing discovery when they found the carbonized remains of 400 people who were desperately looking for a means of escape along the seaside.


4:30pmDepart Herculaneum for Sorrento

5:30pm Arrival at Hotel Bellevue Syrene, Sorrento and free evening



All participants will be staying at the Five-Star Relais & Châteaux Hotel Bellevue Syrene Sorrento.



A five-Star hotel peaking on the waves, with terraces dominating the Gulf of Naples and a postcard Vesuvius in the background.

The Bellevue Syrene, one of Sorrento’s best-known hotels, is located in a place of timeless beauty.

Ancient fish shops and nymphea confirm the Roman origin of the location – From Augustus to Tiberius to Virgil. Legend goes that this place, set between rock and sea, was so beautiful that the Mermaids chose it as their home.

Born as a patrician residence-turned-villa, the Bellevue Hotel of Sorrento offers modern hospitality which has its roots in a tradition that has seduced intellectuals, artists and heads of state.


Hotel Bellevue Syrene 

Piazza della Vittoria, 5

80067 Sorrento 


+39 0818781024


  • Participants will enjoy a DELUXE DOUBLE ROOM WITH SEA VIEW (Upgrades available upon request)
  • Breakfast is included


Dates & Prices



Double Occupancy – $6,450.00/person

Single Occupancy – $6,950.00/person


–        6-night accommodations in Deluxe Double rooms Sea View at the historic and luxurious 5-star Relais & Châteaux Hotel Bellevue Syrene in Sorrento (breakfast included)

–        All lectures with Rocky

–        All admissions

–        All group lunches

–        All ground and water transportation on between September 30 – October 6, 2021

–        Welcome dinner


Not included:

Airfare to Italy and transportation to Sorrento

Terms & Conditions

A deposit of 30% of the course fee is required to reserve a space on a program. All payments may be made by credit card or check. Deposits are applied to final payment of the program price.
The balance is due 60 days prior to departure, unless otherwise noted. If full payment is not received by the final payment due date, your place cannot be guaranteed on the program.

Wait List:
If the program of your choice is fully subscribed, you may choose to be placed on a waitlist by contacting us at [email protected] or by phone. Individuals on the wait list will be contacted if space becomes available and can inquire about program status by contacting us. If you choose to withdraw from a wait list, please notify us.

Cancellation and Refund Policy:
Following enrollment, a participant’s withdrawal from the program for any reason, including, but not limited to, illness, injury, family engagements, work-related issues, or geopolitical concerns, etc., will be deemed a cancellation. Please understand that there will be no exceptions to our cancellation policy.
Per person cancellation fees are based on date of written notice to Rocky Ruggiero. We will refund on the following basis:
– Cancellations within 10 days of booking: Full Refund
– Cancellations after 10 days of booking: Full Deposit Retained
– Cancellations made within final payment date, 60 days before departure: No Refund
– Cancellation by Rocky Ruggiero: Full Refund or Credit

COVID-19 Cancellation Policy:
In light of the current worldwide pandemic, should a program be postponed or cancelled due to covid-19:

– we can transfer your reservation to a rescheduled date, or
– if you prefer a refund, we will provide you with one.

We will communicate any changes as they happen, but please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Special Travel Arrangements:
Participants may wish to extend their stay in the group hotel either before or after the tour. We will work with you on these arrangements, dependent upon space availability.
Should you decide not to participate in certain parts of the program, no refunds will be made for those unused parts of the program.

Neither Rocky Ruggiero nor faculty shall be held liable for personal injury, death, property damage or accident, delay or irregularity arising out of any act or omission of these suppliers. Rocky Ruggiero and other faculty reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in their judgment, conditions warrant, or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of tour participants.

Rocky Ruggiero and designated faculty also reserve the right, without penalty, to withdraw the program announced, to decline to accept any person as a participant in a program, or to require any participant to withdraw from the program at any time (including, but not limited for inappropriate, or offensive behavior) when such action is determined by program staff to be in the best interests of the health, safety or general welfare of the program group or the individual participant.
Dates, schedules, tour details, and costs, although provided in good faith based on information available at the time of publication on the website, are subject to change and revision.

The undersigned has read carefully the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer set forth above, the schedule of activities for this program, as well as the terms and conditions of application and participation as set forth in the program materials and recognizes and accepts any risk associated with the program and the conditions, including the refund policy, set forth in the program materials. The undersigned further acknowledges that there are many risks and uncertainties inherent in any travel program, including but not limited to the hazards of various modes of transportation, forces of nature, acts or omissions of foreign governments, terrorism, war or insurrection, theft, illness, and damage to person or property due to the negligent acts or omissions of program staff or others. In consideration of, and as part payment for, the right to participate in the program, the undersigned, on behalf of himself, his dependents, heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, agrees to release Rocky Ruggiero, its Regents, officers, employees, representatives or agents, the United States, from liability for personal injury, death, property damage or loss suffered by any person in connection with this tour, even if caused by the negligence (but not the reckless, willful, or fraudulent conduct) of program staff or other related persons or entities. In addition, by registering for this program, the applicant certifies that he or she is mentally and physically capable of full participation in this tour. By registering for a “Rocky Ruggiero Program in Italy”, the participant agrees to the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer and the Terms and Conditions herein.