Our Luxury Italian Itinerary – Day Eight to Fourteen
Italian Itinerary – Day Eight to Fourteen
Porto Santo Stefano on the Tuscan coast is a popular holiday destination
DAY EIGHT: Porto Santo Stefano
Wake before sunrise to watch the yacht slip its lines and anchor out in the bay in preparation for your helicopter departure.
Your flight to the heart of the Tuscan countryside this morning takes less than 20 minutes. On touchdown, you will be greeted by some of the crew offering hot chocolate, tea, coffee and croissants while you wait for your hot-air balloon to be made ready for launch.
After a short safety briefing, the pilot will fire up the burners, gently lifting the balloon into the sky. Once cruising altitude is reached, sit back and watch the sky constantly changing as the sun slowly rises.
The solitude, peace and quiet are elating. Passing silently over the Tuscan countryside, the only sound to be heard is the gentle breeze whistling through the basket. You can admire the ancient castles and fortified towns below, ringed by pine forests, olive groves and vineyards, and feel the fresh dew in the morning air as the region awakens on another beautiful morning.
Provided the wind is as forecast, you will descend slowly and touch down gently on a blanket of purple lavender. Your crew will be ready to assist you while you wait for the helicopter to take you to your own castle for the day, Castle Maremma, which is perched on an outcrop overlooking the Tuscan hills. Landing on the castle’s private lawns, you will be treated to an extravaganza of Maremma and Chianti Classico wines, served with local hams and cheeses.
Your return to the yacht late in the afternoon will signal the end of another memorable day on your PrivatSea Italian itinerary. The evening is left free for relaxation including a sauna and massage in the yacht’s Beach Club.
DAY NINE: Rome
Today will be a full day at sea with the chance to relax on the sundeck. The Captain will happily anchor at a small bay for a pre-lunch swim or, if you prefer, we can head straight to Rome. Late afternoon sees us berthing in Porto Turistico di Roma, with supper this evening served on board. The Captain will give a short presentation on Rome in preparation for your visit tomorrow.
DAY TEN: Rome
This morning we are joined by your chauffeurs for the short journey to the centre of the city, a must for your Italian itinerary. Although Rome wasn’t built in a day, we have just one day to see it! Whether you want to visit Vatican City, the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain or the Pantheon, we will pre-arrange priority entry for all your choices and then regroup for lunch at the world-famous Pipero restaurant.
When you return to the yacht in the late afternoon, the boat deck lounge will be rearranged for a small concert recital as we fly in four tenors to serenade you. Supper will be served on board and the yacht will depart at midnight for a night crossing to Ischia.
Rome’s Trevi Fountain by night
Ischia’s beautiful, secluded bay of Sant Angelo
DAY ELEVEN: Ischia
Famous for its Roman spas, mud baths and health treatments, Ischia is the largest of the Phlegraean islands. We drop anchor in the secluded bay west of Sant Angelo, where there is plenty of time for a relaxing breakfast on the sundeck, which offers great views of the lush vegetation, clear blue sea and the softly coloured fishermen’s houses on the headland.
Today’s Italian itinerary adventure will take you to the top of the island by a different form of transport; get on board the tender, which will whisk you to the small fishing harbour where a minibus is waiting to transport you to a horse riding stable.
You will be riding to the top of Mount Epomeo, through the Falanga and Frassitelli forests, passing old stone houses with stunning views of Capri, Naples and Mount Vesuvius. Refresher riding lessons and a guide are available for you to enjoy the day to its maximum. All the horses originate from a breed in northern Italy known to be one of the calmest in the world.
Lunch today will be simple, home-cooked, local and very Italian. La Grotta da Fiore is renowned for its bruschetta and home-grown tomatoes; add a bottle of Biancolella wine, made in the vineyards nestled on the slopes below you, and you have a perfect match.
A saunter back down the dusty mountain paths leads you to the waiting minibus. From here, you will be taken to one of Ischia’s top thermal springs, where you can soak in the volcanic mud, relax in the hot pools and choose one of the many massage therapies.
Once back on board the yacht, feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, supper will be an all-Italian affair, using only produce from today’s market: local fish, fresh insalata, soft cheeses and succulent fruit. The night will be spent at anchor under the glittering stars.
Colourful houses surround the Marina Corricella on the island of Procida, which lies between the mainland and Ischia
DAY TWELVE: Capri
This morning will be a calm, relaxing cruise to the island that some say is the jewel in the crown of Italy. As the jagged, weather-beaten cliffs appear through the morning mist, we approach world-famous Capri.
The island, which has been home to many writers, poets and artists over the centuries, has it all: Roman ruins, fields of aromatic flowers, stunning architecture, unique cafés and piazzas, and rugged seascapes.
As we anchor on the north of the island, the crew prepare kayaks for the short voyage to the Blue Grotto. Once used by Emperor Tiberius as his private swimming hole, it is a beautiful, sparkling cavern lit by azure-blue light. The grotto can be entered only at low tide and when the seas are calm due to the one-metre height clearance. Back on board, the Chef prepares a light luncheon before your next helicopter flight. As you lift off from the deck and climb to 2,000m, you will be awestruck by the magnificent island of Capri in all its glory.
In the distance is your first destination, Mount Vesuvius — the only active volcano on mainland Europe and one of the most dangerous volcanoes on earth owing to its proximity to the densely populated city of Naples. After a couple of circuits of the crater rim, it’s on to the first landing at Pompeii and nearby Herculaneum, Unesco World Heritage Sites that date back to 79ad.
PrivatSea has arranged for you to be escorted by one of Italy’s top archaeological historians; whether you are examining the wall paintings of the Villa Oplontis or exploring the House of the Tragic Poet, the Temples of Apollo or Jupiter, the Amphitheatre of Pompeii or the Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary, you will absorb the very best from your visit to this historic site.
As the day draws to a close and you touch down back on board, the anchors are hauled up and we start our approach to the next leg of your Italian itinerary: Marina Grande harbour. Once in this small marina, there’s plenty of time for a trip ashore, where you can use the funicular railway from the harbour to reach La Piazzetta for a round of aperitifs before supper at Da Paolino, which Alberta Ferretti described as “the most beautiful restaurant in the world”. Overlooking the Marina Grande, this unique garden eatery serves simple Italian food.
Image Caption: Dine beneath the lemon trees at Da Paolino above the Marina Grande in Capri
DAY THIRTEEN: Capri
This morning is free for wandering among the picturesque alleyways of the old town. Absorb all of Capri’s charms, from the aromas of fresh flowers and crisp sea air amongst the sound of church bells ringing, to the turquoise waters below, the swish designer shops and the taste of homemade lemon sorbet will tantalise your senses and form memories to treasure. As we drop all lines and clear the harbour entrance, we will head west for a leisurely cruise around the island, eventually anchoring in Marina Piccola in the shadow of the three stacks of Faraglioni.
There is plenty of time to enjoy an afternoon of tranquillity and relaxation with all the watersports toys at your disposal, including our very own floating beach club, secured 50m
off the stern.
For your last evening on board, the crew will prepare a veritable feast of lobster, prawns, langoustines and fish — all caught locally within the last day; sea bass with salsa verde; calamari with chilli and rocket; fresh dried tomatoes on a bed of pine nuts in a basil orzo salad, mozzarella and sun-kissed pomodori.
Dessert will showcase the fresh, succulent lemons from Capri alongside berries and edible flowers. The meal will be complemented by wines from Tuscany and Liguria, and the evening will finish, of course, with limoncello from Santa Margherita.
The Gulf of Naples and Mount Vesuvius in the distance
DAY FOURTEEN: Naples and farewell
As dawn breaks on the final day of your Italian itinerary, breakfast will be served underway as we approach Naples, our concluding destination. On the quay is the familiar face of your chauffeur, ready to escort you to the private aviation terminal at Naples’ Capodichino Airport.
The crew are also on the quay to say farewell, but hopefully not goodbye — your Captain is already planning your next PrivatSea cruise.
We hope that you have enjoyed your PrivatSea tour of the very best of Italy. It has been a wonderful experience for us to show you Italy’s finest sights.