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Full Itinerary Here

A feast for the senses…fields of fragrant lavender, orchards of silvery gray-green olive trees, deep blue seas, grilled fresh fish, ruby-red wine, warm golden sun, light sea breezes; bold vivid fabrics, church bells at dusk and the clear, clean light of the impressionists.

During our stay we’ll visit Aix-en-Provence, the home of Cézanne and see his studio in town as well as the family summer home, which was inspiration for several of his paintings.  We’ll travel the route to Le Tholonet with views of Mt. St. Victoire, a favorite landscape subject of Cézanne.

You’ll take a walking tour of Arles, an ancient Roman town, and visit many of the locations Van Gogh chose to paint including the view of the Rhône River for Starry Night Over the Rhône and the Langlois Bridge.  We’ll drive to très chic Saint Rémy-de-Provence, where the artist was hospitalized at the Clinique St-Paul.  We’ll visit the hospital grounds and see the garden, a frequent subject of the artist.

Renoir moved to the warmer south in 1907 because of rheumatoid arthritis and bought a small farm, Les Collettes, in Cagnes-sur-Mer.  He painted paintings of his house, the olive trees around his farm and took up sculpture.  We’ll visit Renoir’s house, now a museum,  which will be re-opened next summer after extensive renovations.

Henri Matisse moved to the French Riviera in 1917 where he continued to paint.  It was here that he started his work with cut outs.  We will tour the museum dedicated to Matisse in Cimiez, housed in a grand 17th century villa, which contains the largest collection of his works in the world.

Monet visited the south of France during the winter months.  He loved painting Antibes from Cap d’Antibes with views of the deep blue sea in the foreground, the old fort and the snow capped alps in the background.  We will visit the artist’s favorite location for painting the fort of the old town.

In addition to the artists’ lives, we will visit villages, sample some of the best wines of the region, see Les Beaux, maybe have a hands on cooking class, take in at least one market and eat delicious and healthy provençal food.

Provence is scheduled for in the first part of September 2013.  Check “Follow” to be alerted about updates.  Or, fill in the form below for alerts about this trip.

See Full Itinerary Here

Small Group Trip to Calabria

Calabria Itinerary

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Day 1:  Here at Last!
Arrive at Lamezia Terme International Airport. Drive south to the charming fishing village of Scilla and check into your Bed and Breakfast located in the oldest and most picturesque area of the village.  You will have time to settle into your room, nap or explore the village before the group will gather for a delicious Calabrian-style seafood feast.

 Overnight Scilla  D

Day 2:  Anchors Away
After breakfast at your B&B you will board a boat for a ½ day excursion through the sparkling waters along the Calabrian Coast, known as the costa viola, to see the tuna fishing port of Palmi.  During your sail, you can sample delightful Calabrian antipasto and take an espresso or sip a cool Calabrian aperitivo.

After the cruise you will have the rest of the afternoon to further explore the village of Scilla, take a nap or sit in a café and people watch.

Be sure to catch the sunset over the Straits of Messina for it is at this time the sea turns a deep purple color giving this area its name.

For dinner you have the opportunity to investigate one of the many delicious restaurants in Scilla on your own.

After dark don’t miss the fireworks from the volcano island of Stromboli.

Overnight Scilla   B, Snacks

Day 3:  Shopping and Nude Greek Men
Breakfast at your B&B after which you will drive about 20 minutes to Reggio Riace Bronze Warrior, Calabria, Italy, Greek, Age of PericlesCalabria for a morning at the delight your senses open-air market. We will have a guided your of the lungomare, other interesting sights and In the afternoon you will visit the museum, along with the guide, where the superb Riace Bronzes (7 foot tall nude greek warriors) are housed.  The museum also displays artifacts found throughout Magna Grecia of which Calabria is a part.  Return to Scilla.

Overnight Scilla  B

Day 4:  Head For the Hills
Breakfast at your B&B and then Up, Up you go into the Aspromonte mountains where you will have a guided visit to a ghost town.  After finding out what happened to all the people who used to live here, you will have lunch in a special, family owned agriturismo where the food and the service is remarkable.

Next stop, a village where ancient Greek is still spoken.  Much of southern Italy had been settled by Greeks fleeing their city-states as early as the 8th century BC.  You will have time to wander the village all the while admiring stunning views of mountains and Sea.

It’s time to head back to your beautiful fishing village, put our feet up, sip an aperitivo and watch another magnificent sunset.  Tomorrow you change locations…you will be on the Ionian Sea side of the peninsula.

Overnight Scilla   B, L

Chiesetta di Piedigortta, PizzoDay 5:  Pack Your Bags – You’re Headed for the Ionia Sea
Breakfast at your B&B.
The largest church in Calabria, located at our first stop, is located in a well-preserved medieval village.  It was consecrated in, get this, 1045, and many of the columns used in its construction came from ancient Greek temples once located in a seaside town not far away.  You will have time to explore the village sites and have lunch.

Your next stop is a small village on the Tyrrhenian Sea.  There will be time to wander the narrow streets, visit the unique and unusual Chiesetta di Piedigrotta and indulge in an afternoon snack of tartufo, the gelato Pizza is known for….a mixture of chocolate and hazelnut ice cream filled with solid chocolate…the perfect afternoon pick-me-up (Yum).

You continue your journey and cross the peninsula and check in to your beautiful agriturismo, an Italian farm with rooms, a swimming pool and its own private beach!    An aperitivo with your toes in the sand anyone?

Farm-fresh organic fruits and vegetables straight from the farm’s garden will be prepared for you in the cucina-calabrese style accompanied by perfectly paired local DOC wines for dinner.  Delizioso.

Overnight Sellia Marina   B, D

Day 6:  Mountain Lakes and Waterfalls
Breakfast at the agriturismo.

Mountains cover most of Calabria offering some of the toe’s most beautiful natural sites.  You will climb into the Sila mountain range (don’t panic it’s by car) this morning, breathe the fresh, clean mountain air and visit a magnificent waterfall.  A delicious lunch is planned for you at a lakeside, family owned restaurant after which you will return to your restful agriturismo and have a chance to taste some of the farm’s organic products.

A nearby wine producer will be there to share some of his vino to accompany your tasting.  If still hungry, you can take a trip to a nearby town for a light dinner.

Overnight Sellia Marina   B, L

Day 7:  What’s Cookin’?
Breakfast at the agriturismo.

Then, prepare yourself for a day with Massimo, a talented chef who learned cooking at his Calabrian mother’s knee before going to culinary school. Massimo will guide you through the market choosing the freshest ingredients available for your hands-on cooking class.  Be prepared though, Massimo has a twinkle in his eye, a quick wit and a side-splitting sense of humor.  Bring a hearty appetite, a powerful thirst and your funny bone.  This will be a day to remember.  Buon Appetito!

After resting a bit, you will go to the nearby Lido where you can join the local people making their evening passagiatta and where you will have a chance to have a light dinner on your own.  A list of restaurants will be provided to give you an idea about some delightful choices.

Overnight Sellia Marina  B, L

Day 8:  It’s All In Ruins
Breakfast at the agriturismo.

Ancient ruins of former settlements are on your schedule today in sea side towns of next to each other.   This area of Calabria has been claimed at one time or other by the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Arabs.  The Normans were in this part of Italy too and there are castles to prove it!  Your guided tour includes an ancient archeological park and a village known for its ceramics.  Shopping anyone?  A delicious lunch in planned and a chance to participate in making a terra cotta piece of your own.

You will spend the early evening  strolling the Catanzaro Lido where you will have the opportunity to try award winning gelato at a two-time national champion gelateria.

Overnight Sellia Marina  B, L

Day 9:  Castle In The SeaLe Castella, Italy, Calabria, Ionian Sea
Breakfast at the agriturismo.

Today you will drive a short distance to a handsome castle on a tee-tiny island right next to the mainland.  Luckily you can explore its ancient stone ramparts and its once beautiful interior.  Bring your cameras…this place is quite unique.  Lunch will be on your own.  Al fresco dining anyone?

Your farewell dinner will be at the agriturismo.  As a special treat, you will have musicians playing some traditional Calabrese folk music.  Maybe they will do a tarantella Calabrese style.  Mamma Mia….could it get any better than this!

 Overnight Sellia Marina   B, D

Day 10:  Boo Hoo Hoo
Transfer to airport and goodbye to Calabria…arrivederla.

Price includes 10 Days/9 Nights Plus:
  • 9 nights of accommodation in quaint, family run B&Bs and agriturismos.  You only change location once.
  • 9 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, and 3 dinners.
  • Hands on cooking class with a native Calabrian and culinary-trained chef.  This includes a tour of the outdoor market to choose the freshest ingredients for class.
  • 1/2 day coastal boat trip which includes antipasto and drinks on board.
  • Guides and Entrance Fees.
  • Transfers to and from Lamezia Terme Airport (SUF)
  • Daily transportation to destinations included in itinerary.
Tour offered September 2013.  (See ** Below)
Every effort will be made to follow the Itinerary above.  However, unforeseen events can occur due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control.
Interested in continuing your Southern Italy journey?  Take a look at the Aeolian Islands add on here.
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