Tuscany and Amalfi: La dolce vita

Rolling hills, crystal waters and food fit for the gods; Tuscany, Sorrento and Amalfi are a breathtaking trio. You’ll begin in the north of Italy, sampling the sun-fuelled foods and wines of Tuscany before heading south, fully rejuvenated for further pool-side relaxation and splendid vistas in this undeniably Italian escape. Visit a few of the historic hotspots and learn to cook the Neapolitan way, or zip along the coast in your own classic open-top Alfa Romeo. You really will be living the dolce vita.


After landing in Florence, you’ll be whisked away to your own Tuscan sanctuary, just a short forty-minute drive away. Here, the elegant 12th-century Castello del Nero awaits with its sprawling 740-acre estate and beautiful muralled suites. Experience authentic Italian style as you get lost in the beauty of the Tuscan hillside on a morning hot air balloon trip or an afternoon horseback ride.

Spend your first few nights here at the Castle, unwinding among the poplar trees and indulging in the local produce exquisitely prepared at La Torre Restaurant and matched by one of the best wine cellars we have ever seen. Once you’re feeling refreshed from a rejuvenating spa treatment, we’ll organise a hire car for you so you can continue your culinary adventure at your own pace. Head to Siena and sample the traditional dishes, where the local specialities include beef from the special Chianina breed of cattle, pasta e fagioli, and of course, truffles. Make sure you take some time to sample the wines from the many vineyards around Montalcino. Tuscany is famous for its Chianti, and we can arrange for you to send a collection of your favourites home to remind you of your Tuscan retreat.

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Waking up fully refreshed on day four, we’ll organise for you to hop on the train and head a scenic hour south to the coastal town of Sorrento. Spend the rest of the day, and the next relaxing at the historic hotel, the Bellevue Syrene. Built on the foundations of a Roman Villa by the Earls Mastrobuono in 1750 and transformed into a hotel in 1820, this stylish hotel has been frequented by celebrated writers, poets and artists. Take advantage of the Bellevue’s beauty centre, pools and stunning sea views during the day and at night take to the wine cellar, made from a Roman grotto, and enjoy the fruits of Bacchus in an indulgent wine tasting.

Over the next couple of days, we recommend exploring the surrounding area by foot and by car. Sorrento town boasts beautiful churches, squares and a quaint marina. The 14th century San Francesco monastery is definitely worth a peek, with charming baroque cloisters and rich stucco decorations. Spend the afternoons cooling off in the waters of one of the many little beaches. We’d suggest the Marameo beach with deck chairs, floating water beds, gazebos and umbrellas all coloured to match the lush, blue water, or try the more unusual Cassano beach, renowned for its black volcanic sands.


Top off your trip with three nights in Amalfi, a short train journey around the coast. You’ll be staying in the dazzling hotel Casa Angelina, perched on the cliff face of Praiano. The pure white colour scheme enhances the turquoise shades of the sea and you’ll see the silhouettes of the mountains from the comfort of your king-sized bed. If you ever tire of the views, why not partake in a little people watching by the pool? Or treat yourself to a cooking lesson and learn to create Neapolitan specialities with chef Raffaella D’Esposito and her family.

Fill your final days exploring the fantastically preserved Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum; go back in time and walk down the streets, enter the temples and sit in the amphitheatre. Or we’ll arrange for you to tour some of our favourite coastal villages such as Ravello, Amalfi and Positano. You’ll be driven along the cliff tops of the Costiera Amalfitana and catch a final glimpse of this picturesque coastline before heading home.

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