Dramatically beautiful, wild, daring and romantic, the Amalfi Coast defines an Italian luxury escape. Marvel at the dramatic Amalfi coastline with aquamarine waters, steep cliffs and lemon groves below the Vesuvius, tour Pompeii and Naples and the romantic island of Capri. Take a cooking class in the unique setting of Ravello, walk through the fragrant gardens of Positano, suspended over the sparkling sea, tour the Greek temples in Paestum, and take a private boat tour of secluded beaches, coves and grottoes of the Sorrento Peninsula.
Christmas in Naples
The tradition of nativity scenes - presepio in Italian - dates back to the 13th century and St. Francis of Assisi. But it was Naples that turned nativity scenes into an art form. The original presepi were crafted on a mannequin made of wire, with terra-cotta head, arms and legs, richly dressed in silk clothes embroided with gold.
Traditional Neapolitan cooking can be quite complex, and is known for both simple dishes, such as pizza, and elaborate meals. Pizza, macaroni and spaghetti were foods that best filled the bellies of the poor. Often they were their main meals unless a special occasion presented itself, usually a religious festival, when more elaborate and varied dishes were served.
The Isle of Capri, floating off the tip of the Sorrento Peninsula and shaped like a camel's back - two high mountains flanking a saddle area that slopes gently to the sea - has been attracting visitors for 2,000 years, ever since Emperor Tiberius built his villa here. Capri is part of the same limestone massif that forms the Amalfi Coast, but it's even more dramatic: the cliffs seem more precipitous, the water deeper azure, the gardens more riotous with color and scent.
La Dolce Vita
Since 1950s, Capri has been one of the favorite destinations for film stars, assuming the role of “society island” par excellence. During those years, the small charming Piazza Umberto I, affectionately known as the “piazzetta”, was the setting for illustrious love affairs and summer betrayals, immediately immortalized by the visiting paparazzi. Many of the most influential fashion icons, from Audrey Hepburn to Jackie Onassis, spent long periods on the island, turning heads and launching fashions, such as the Capri pants and canvas and cord sandals.
Limoncello, the lemon liqueur often served as an after dinner aperitif is the most famous of sweet liqueurs made in the Amalfi area from fruits and herbs - known as rosoli. Other rosoli are Finocchietto, made with wild fennel; Lauro, made with bay leaves; Mirto, made with myrtle; Nocello, made with walnuts; the rare Nanassino, made with prickly pears; and Fragolino, made with fragoline di bosco, the wild strawberries.
The city of Pompeii is arguably one of the most famous sites in Italy, primarily known for the devastating volcanic eruption that destroyed the city and killed its 11,000 inhabitants in 79 AD. Along with Herculaneum and many nearby villas, Pompeii was buried beneath 13 to 20 feet of ash and pumice after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, lost to the rest of the world until it was rediscovered in 1599, then more fully unearthed in 1748 by Spanish engineer Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre. Read More...