Naples and the Amalfi Coast

By Stacy Murphy,2014-07-11 13:25
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Naples and the Amalfi Coast ...

    Smart TravelsEurope with Rudy Maxa

    Individual Program Descriptions

#101: Naples and the Amalfi Coast

    Deep in the heart of Italy, Naples is the ideal launching point for exploring some of the

    country’s great historic treasures. We marvel at the ancient city of Pompeii and the

    devastation of Mount Vesuvius and we trek across a still-active volcano. Then we move

    on to stylish Sorrento, where we sample luscious gelato and hop a ferry to the isle of

    Capri. We drive the thrilling Amalfi coast to take in spectacular views, and further south

    we visit Paestum, home to the best Greek ruins outside of Greece. Tips on Capri’s

    funicular and Pompeii’s train.

#102: Rome

    Rudy is in the city where all roads lead - Roma. We begin in ancient Rome - the Forum,

    Palatine Hill, Colosseum, and Baths of Caracalla. Then we explore modern Roman life

    on the streets and in cafes, pizzerias and gelaterias. We detour to another country,

    Vatican City, then shop along the Corso and relax at the Piazza di Spagna. Rudy's pick

    for best city walks are a tour of the historic center and a stroll in shady Trastevere. Tips

    on getting around and places for tasty snacks.

#103: Venice

Join Rudy as he surrenders himself to the charms of magical Venice. We tour the famous

    sites - Piazza San Marco, the fairy tale Basilica of San Marco and the Rialto Bridge.

    Rudy also shows us how to escape the crowds by visiting the neighborhoods of

    Dorsoduro, Cannaregio and San Polo. Along the way, he takes us for a rousing drink at

    the city's oldest wine bar, on a dreamy gondola ride and to a traditional Venetian mask

    shop. In search of hand blown glass, lace and the birthplace of Venice, we journey to the

    lagoon islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello. Tips on how to navigate your way

    around this watery city.

#104: Genoa and the Italian Riviera

    We’re off to the Italian Riviera seeking la dolce vita in one of the world’s most romantic

    places. With death-defying cliffs and beaches that shimmer like jewels, the Riviera is as

    stunning a coastline as anywhere in Europe. In the port town of Genoa, we tour palaces

    for a taste of old-world elegance and dine on world-class pesto. Then we head south to

    the famous resort of Portofino and the sea cliff towns of the Cinqueterre. Finally, we

    battle vertigo at Pisa’s leaning tower. Tips on using train passes and finding addresses.

SMALL WORLD PRODUCTIONS, 120 Lakeside Avenue, Suite 210, Seattle 98122

    206 329 7167

#105: Florence

    In this glorious city, rich in art, Rudy brings the Renaissance to life. We visit the great museums - the Uffizi, Bargello, and Accademia, as well as the landmarks of the Renaissance - the Duomo, Bapistery and Giotto's Tower. Rudy's tip for beating the crowds is peaceful Oltr'arno on the other side of the river. An excursion outside of town leads to a Medici villa, a sleepy Tuscan town and a museum with inventions by Leonardo da Vinci. Tips on shopping and how to buy quality leather products.

#106: Hill Towns of Tuscany and Umbria

    Castles, vineyards, walled cities and a fierce medieval rivalry that lingers today - we're out for an adventure in the Italian hill towns. Our base is dramatic Siena, home of the intensely competitive Palio horse race. From Siena we explore the multi-towered town of San Gimignano, watch grapes being harvested at a winery and drop in on the cheese festival in Pienza. Then south to Rudy's secret pick - the haunting hill towns of Pitigliano and Sovana. In Umbria we discover Etruscan tombs, visit the home of St. Francis of Assisi and pick up some pottery in quaint Gubbio. Tips on driving through the maze-like streets of a hill town and finding a place to stay.

#107: Provence

    Sun, olive trees and cicadas - we're in the heart of France. With our base in the sleepy town of St. Remy, we make forays into the villages, countryside and cities of Provence. Driving tours of the Alpilles and Luberon regions take us to the red rock village of Rousillion, the lavender ensconced Abbey of Senanque, and the picture perfect village of Eygalieres. We also take in the delights of Provence's cities, Arles, Avignon and Aix-en-Provence. We end our adventures with a dip in the Mediterranean at the seaside village of Cassis. Tips on how to rent a vacation home in France and enjoying the many summer festivals.

#108: Paris

    Rudy escorts us through Paris, the city of style, art and pastries. We experience extraordinary art - the Impressionist collection at the Musee D'Orsay and the garden sculpture at the Rodin Museum. Then we hit the sites from Notre Dame to the Pompidou Center to the Eiffel Tower. We stroll through the parks, markets and cafes in this city where everyday life is art. Rudy leads us to intimate neighborhoods such as the Marais and its lovely Place des Vosges, the bohemian Latin Quarter and artistic Montmartre. Tips on riding the Metro and shopping for the essentials - bread, cheese, ham and pastries.

#109: London

    London is a city that has come close to ruling the world. With a legacy that includes Shakespeare and the Beatles, London seems to have an endless capacity to reinvent itself. Here, we sip tea and savor traditional sights such as Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard. We pop in to see where Charles Dickens penned Oliver Twist,

    and get a bird’s-eye view of contemporary London from the new London Eye

    observation wheel. Finally, we check out cutting edge artwork at the newly opened Tate Modern Art Museum. Tips on using cell phones and cash machines.

#110: Out of London

    The countryside outside of London echoes with storybook images. Around every hedgerow are mythic castles, ruined abbeys and prehistoric monuments. This time, we leave London and stop at Hampton Court, where Henry VIII wooed Anne Boleyn. We gaze on Oxford’s dreamy spires and browse in the real Alice in Wonderland’s candy store. Next, we pay a visit to Jane Austen’s house, puzzle over the mysterious megaliths of Stonehenge, and pursue tales of Camelot in the royal city of Winchester. Tips on driving in England and visiting country pubs.

#111: Brussels and Belgium

    For centuries, Belgium has been a sophisticated hub for gourmets and connoisseurs. In true Belgian style, we treat ourselves to superb chocolate and sample first-rate beer. We indulge our senses with folk music and Bruegel paintings, and investigate the people’s

    passion for comic strips. Then we drive to breathtaking Bruges, a medieval city suspended in time. There, we cruise the canals, admire intricate handmade lace and pay homage to a Michelangelo masterpiece. Tips on hearty Belgian cuisine and lace making.

#112: Amsterdam and the Netherlands

    The country of the Netherlands inspired the Dutch masters and became a powerhouse that conquered the sea. We bicycle to Amsterdam’s great art museums to see the works of

    Van Gogh and Rembrandt. Then we climb to the attic where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis. Later, we prowl windmills and check out Amsterdam’s infamous red-light district. Next stop is the Hague, home to the International Court of Justice. Finally, we peek at the delightful city of Delft where we learn techniques for making world-renowned china. Tips on riding trolleys and buying Delftware.

#113: Copenhagen and Denmark

Join Rudy in the wondrous kingdom of legend and fairytale - Denmark. Here Vikings

    plundered and Hans Christian Anderson spun children’s stories. In cozy Copenhagen, we

    splurge on pastries, visit the Little Mermaid and dance till dawn at Tivoli Gardens. On a day trip to Roskilde, we check out three incredibly well preserved Viking ships. We ride

    horseback through the Danish countryside, stroll through writer Karen Blixen’s gardens,

    and storm the moat at “Prince Hamlet’s” Castle. Tips on canal rides and museum passes.

SMALL WORLD PRODUCTIONS, 120 Lakeside Avenue, Suite 210, Seattle 98122

    206 329 7167

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