Wild Photography Holidays - Photographic Adventure Travel: Italy – The Bay of Naples and the Amalfi Coast with Chris Roche

Town of Atrani, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Italy – The Bay of Naples and the Amalfi Coast with Chris Roche

Highlights include…

  • The island of Capri
  • Sorrento markets and street life
  • The ancient ruins of Pompeii with views of Vesuvius
  • Walking the mountain top ‘Path of the Gods’
  • The beautiful and vertiginous town of Positano
  • Villa Cimbrone and its gardens, Ravello
  • Stunning landscape and seascape views
  • Culinary delights of southern Italy

Introduction

This area of Southern Italy, Campania, has attracted visitors ever since the Romans named it ‘happy land’. The mild climate, the beauty of the coasts, the richness of its art and history, and the love for food contribute to make this one of the most alluring regions of Italy and a delight to photograph.

The journey begins with the sea: Naples and Sorrento, the legendary volcano Vesuvius and the neighbouring ruins of Pompeii, all look out over the bay to its jewel, the island of Capri – with its stunning landscape and dramatic history.

Across the peninsula the unique and remarkable Amalfi Coast unwinds before the eye. Pastel coloured fishing villages tumble down the mountainsides, indented and inaccessible bays with small and hidden beaches weave their way through lush and enthralling scenery.

This tour offers the opportunity to explore various different photographic genres: wonderful land and seascapes which seem to constantly evolve under the Mediterranean light; street photography that captures the drama of every day Italian life with its elderly fishermen, bustling markets, louche coffee drinkers, busy waiters and artists with easels; long exposure night photography; the stillness of architectural photography with highlights such as the ancient ruins of Pompeii and Tiberius’ palace in Capri.

Christopher Roche, your guide, has been visiting the area for over thirty years and knows many hidden gems as well as the ‘must sees’. Having travelled extensively across the world this remains one of his favourite destinations and one that he regularly returns to because – as he tells us – it nourishes his soul.

Daily Itinerary

For full details please download the trip description PDF

Day 1: Arrive In Sorrento

You will be picked up at Naples airport and transferred to our hotel in Sorrento. This is about an hours drive, passing under Vesuvius and around the bay of Naples.
We will meet in the early evening for introductions and a briefing for the following week followed by dinner.
Hotel Sorrento (D)

Day 2: Sorrento, Pompeii and Vesuvius

This morning we head around the bay of Naples to Pompeii where a guide leads us amidst the famous ruins, regaling us with stories from how life was led during the ancient times and taking us to wonderful vistas with Vesuvius as a backdrop. We then head up to Vesuvius itself, one of the two active volcanoes in Europe. The whole of the Mount Vesuvius National Park is both beautiful and productive, dotted with small farms and vineyards. The views across the city of Naples and its bay are breathtaking. It is approximately a 20minute hike from the car park to the rim of the crater itself.

We return to Sorrento leaving time free to explore this gorgeous town, whether that be visiting the Cloisters of San Francisco, the maze of back alleys bustling with life and markets or sipping a coffee in Piazza Tasso and watching the drama of Italian life go by. All offering great opportunities for street photography.
We have dinner out at a local restaurant
Hotel Sorrento (B,D)

Day 3: Capri

This morning we depart early from Sorrento on a ferry to Capri that rises like a mirage from the Bay of Naples This beauty of this island has to be experienced to be believed. It is here that some say Odysseus resisted the seductive but deadly song of the Sirens, and the Roman emperor Tiberius caroused in orgiastic debauchery. The Russian novelist Gorki lived in exile on Capri, as did the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Later, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis stopped by while on the yacht Christina, buying Capri pants on her trips ashore.

We will head up to Villa Jovis, the ruins of Tiberius’ palace, explore the back alleys of Capri town, take a chair lift up to Monte Solario, as well as explore the coastal paths, photographing the remarkable rock formations such as the Arco Naturale or Faraglioni. The views from here to the Amalfi Coast are stunning.
At the end of the day we return to Sorrento by ferry. Dinner out at a local restaurant.
Hotel Sorrento (B,D)

Day 4: Positano and the Path of the Gods

This morning we cross the Sorrentine Peninsula and head down one of the most spectacular drives in the world to Positano on the Amalfi Coast.

The Ancient Romans built luxury villas along the coast of Positano, the ruins of which can still be seen. The town later became an important medieval port with fortified walls, watch-towers and innumerable churches. After the unification of Italy and the opening of new commercial routes the town’s importance declined, many emigrated and Positano was reduced to a quiet fishing village. In the 1950s it was rediscovered by visitors such as John Steinbeck, Picasso and Liz Taylor and quickly became the chic destination it is now whilst retaining its old charms.

Pastel coloured houses and hotels tumble down vertiginous cliffs, navigated by a maze of paths and steps. Fishing boats still anchor off the shore and artists direct their easels towards whatever sights inspire them each day. Kids kick footballs against medieval cathedrals and the scent of wisteria blends with that of seafood fresh from the day’s catch. Offering endless opportunities for street photography we explore the town and enjoy a coffee or gelato on the waterfront.

Late morning we head up to the mountain villages of Nocelle and Montepurtuso. We enjoy a traditional lunch of handmade pastas and local cheese and meats before exploring these villages and ‘The Path of the Gods’, an ancient mule trail high up in the mountains that offers spectacular scenery and views to the coastline below.
Hotel Positano (B,L,D)

Day 5 – 6: The Amalfi Coast

Over the next two days we explore the Amalfi Coast.

Highlights include various magical coves such as La Praia and Furore with their fishermen’s houses built into the cliff face as well as the bustling Amalfi. This pretty little town with its sun-filled piazzas and small beach was once a maritime superpower with a population of more than 70,000. Worth visiting are the Byzantine influenced Cathedral and paper museum. Beyond the town there is an interesting walk past a ruined water mill and up to the Path of the Gods once again.

We visit the tiny Atrani which is nestled in between two steep cliffs, its maze of narrow streets reveal medieval fountains and baroque churches. Far from the glitz of Positano, paint flakes off the facades and the day’s laundry flaps on the clotheslines hanging from high windows.

One of the highlights of the tour is the village of Praiano which is usually skipped by the majority of tourists but which offers the best views on the whole coastline. Watching the sun set behind Capri with Positano in the foreground and the Galli Islands (where Nureyev lived) in between offers great photographic opportunities. Due to the ever-changing light the view is never quite the same.
Hotel Positano (B,D)

Day 7: Ravello, Scala and Pontone

Today we head back up to the hill towns of the Amalfi Coast and the most famous of them all, Ravello. Visiting Ravello is reported to have cleared Richard Wagner’s creative block and inspired D. H. Lawrence to his greatest writings. Founded in the 5th century as a sanctuary from barbarian invaders fresh from sacking Rome, this lofty town was built, in contrast to other nearby settlements, up on a hill rather than down on the coast.
We will visit Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufulo with their famous gardens which are well worth exploring for those with an interest in botanical photography. Once again there are the inevitable spectacular views – this time looking south towards Salerno.
This evening before dinner we will meet for a presentation of our best images.
Hotel Positano (B,D)

Day 8: Departure

Today there are transfers to Naples airport for those heading home.

Flight Information

Easy Jet, Ryan Air, British Airways and Al Italia all offer flights to Naples and the flight time from London is approximately 2.5 hours.

What’s Included

  • Airport transfers
  • All local transport; minibus, ferry, etc.
  • All breakfasts and dinners
  • One traditional lunch
  • Local guide
  • Entries into Pompeii, Villa Cimbrone, Villa Rufulo and chair lift to Monte Solario
  • No extra charge for single rooms

What’s Not Included

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Lunches except for where mentioned
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Soft drinks and snacks between mentioned meals

Full Details

This page is only a brief summary. More details can be found in our trip description PDF
It is important that you read this full day-to-day description and further information for this holiday before making your booking.