We traveled to Puglia, the Amalfi Coast and Naples in late July.
We felt very safe in Italy. Italy required masks indoors, and most places were requiring social distancing and had timed entrances. Jennifer did a great job developing our itinerary, helping us react with flexibility in-country and putting us in the hands of great people on the ground, especially our driver, Luca.
In Ostuni we visited the Masseria Le Pianelle and had a magnificent time learning and participating in making mozzarella, stracciatella, and burrata. In Lecce we had a private tour with a local docent of the Jewish history museum. Everyone—no matter where we went—said they were so happy to see Americans. Our next stop was Matera, which is magical, and the Sextantio Le Grotte Della Civita, which is a hotel of somewhat modernized caves within a UNESCO site. Luca then drove us to Sorrento, where we learned about the ancient craft of wood inlay (Intarsia) and visited one of the oldest crafters of this art form, and on to Positano.
Our hotel, The Eden Roc, was conveniently located by the stairs that took you down and across the street to the main path to the beach area of Positano. Positano was the busiest place of our trip, and we saw crowds everywhere. It is expensive and full of young, beautiful people. Then it was off to Herculaneum, Pompeii and Naples. Pompeii was a bit busy, but we had the museum at Herculaneum largely to ourselves. We visited a local winery, Casa Setaro, where Jennifer arranged for the owner to invite us to his home for a tasting and lunch. We sampled four of his wines, his olive oil, limoncello, and one of the best meals ever. It was a wonderful trip.
The itinerary and time at each place was perfect. The guides and drivers were phenomenal. We had a great mix of experiences. Southern Italy is a truly beautiful group of regions, each of which could have been a vacation in itself!