Monthly Archives: May 2018

Day 10/10: Amalfi Ladies, say Ciao to Sorrento- May 05th 2018.

Saturday, May 5                             End of Main Tour

All Good things must come to an end.  This morning, the group said a final fond farewell, at 7:30 Am, as we headed in different directions. The majority went to the Naples Airport, with Pasquale as their escort. Rowena  was going on with 3 others ( Judy, Sandra & Pat) via train from Naples to Rome for a 4 Day extension.   Here’s wishing everyone, Safe Travels, and Thanks for sharing this Journey with us…

Farewell to Sorrento, From Rowena (WTN Tour Host) & Pasquale, our ITalian Tour Guide. 


Day 9/10: Amalfi Ladies at Leisure and Farewell Dinner!

Friday, May 4                   Sorrento at leisure & Farewell Dinner

The final tour day was given to the ladies to continue exploring the town of Sorrento, to sit reading on the panoramic terrace, shop the boutiques and artisan workshops of the Corso Italia and Piazza Tasso.

Today most of us agreed to meet for Lunch at 1:00 PM: at the Lovely Garden Restaurant we discovered on Day 2 in Sorrento: Parracchianni! By now, they were welcoming us, as longtime friends..

This evening, we celebrated the finale of our tour with a  farewell dinner together at a local Seafood restaurant: Zi Antonio Mare!

Sandra: Was the last to enter the restaurant: for our Farewell Dinner. She was “Dressed” for the Occasion :-)!

The Lovely Amalfi Ladies are all seated for our 4 Course Dinner! 

Our menu was: Shrimp Cocktail, Risotto, Fish Course; Mixed Salad and Lemon Cake- Delicious!

Our Fish course is ready

Desert is Lemon Cake!

Sharing fond memories.







A few touching words were said!

Saying Thank You and Goodbye to Pasquale.

Saying  goodbye to our Italian Tour Host, Pasquale, was touching to say the least!  We reminisced on many of the moments, shared the past 9 days. We offered to take him home with us, but he gracefully declined.  I think we will get over it!  We will always Have Sorrento!

Day 8/10: Amalfi Ladies visit a Mozzarella farm, Taste Liqueur and Gelato!

Thursday, May 3                Mozzarella , Limoncello Liqueur Tasting and Gelato, What a Day!

In the words of our Tour Guide; “What about today?”  Well, it’s pure enjoyment and relaxation!
First we’ll  get Fat, then we’ll get Drunk (but not too much!) , and then we get Fat again.

1. Activity #1: We  visited a working farm to learn about mozzarella production.  Then we had to taste it for Lunch.  The verdict: Delicious!

Rowena & Rosa, our Host at the “La Sorgente” family Farm .

One of many (200) Olive Trees- Stunningly beautiful! This is a “Tuti-Fruiti” Farm.

Entering the the 4 acres of Terraced Gardens at La Sergente Farm.  Agri Turismo: Tourist Farm!








Maria Says- “Cheese”! She makes the Mozzarella, with milk  from her 7 cows!

Other products include Olive oil, Jams and marmalades,

Lunch, served with Fresh bread – Umm Umm -Good!







The Lovely Amalfi Ladies, Enjoying the many flavors! Fresh Mozzarella, Tomatoes, & Charcuterie accompanied by Vino.

Saying farewell to a fun morning! From Left: Sandra, Allison & Lyn; Judy & Faye.

2. Activity #2: This afternoon we stop in for a taste of the famous ‘limoncello’ liqueur and learn more about its production.  Of Course,  we have to taste MULTIPLE varities (16??) I lost count!

Our Mid-Afternoon stop: For Limoncello class!

Our host: His tray is empty, because we drank it ll!

Rena & This is all about Limoncello!

Joanne, doesn’t want to leave!







3.  We Saved the Best for LAST: We have an introduction to the most popular , and Perfect Gelateria in Sorrento; where we can choose from their 365 Flavours!   But not before we learn how it is made, via a lesson from the most engaging : Teresa. She  designed the majority of these flavors herself, starting at the tender age of 14 , in her father’s shop!. Her enthusiasm for Gelato is infectious!

Teresa (Centre) flanked by Trudi (left) & Kaylan: Let’s make Lemon Gelato!

Ready for a Lesson on Gelato.

Pat is also ready! in the Kitchen at Bouganveilla! 







Preparing the Fresh Fruit juice !

Lyn: Ready to Serve !

And the Verdict is: Delicious!   

What a day! Our taste buds are overworked; and yes, we got Fat; but loved every minute of it!

Day 7/10: Amalfi Ladies visit Naples

Wednesday, May 2         Naples

Today we left Sorrento early and drove the Mama Mia route, once again, to Naples, where we met out Local Guide: Fredrika.   We left the Coach, and took to a Walking tour.   Naples is Italy’s most artistic city; its elegantly faded façade hides a city of breathtaking beauty. Our guided walk takes us the UNESCO World Heritage historic centre with its fabulous palaces, castles and churches, its palm-fringed piazzas and splendid panoramas.  It’s a bustling, energetic city and its street life has an infectious vitality.

Walking Tour, Starting in this Square.

Our Guide ( With Backpack) Explains the sites we are about to see,

Naples is Throbbing city with old and new vistas!


On our way to the San Seveo Chapel, to see the Veiled Christ Statue. No pictures taken inside the Chapel.






Many points of interest along the way.


Typical Tourist Merchandise: Nativity scenes- Everywhere!








Our Highlight of today: Was Lunch! We Sampled 3 kinds of  pizza and much more, in the place where Pizza was invented: Naples:  Home of the Neapolitan Pizza! Thanks to the Staff at Trattoria Medina- they put on a Lovely Spread!

Needs no introduction! We feasted on 3 types of Pizza!

Time to Relax and Enjoy!



Sunday May 20 Castles and Cathedrals along the Minho River

Sunday, May 20: Castles and Cathedrals along the Minho River
We explored the routes that lead down to the mouths of the rivers Minho, Lima, and Cávado. Guimarães holds a very special place in Portuguese affections. It was in this medieval castle that Afonso Henriques was born and now has its UNESCO World Heritage Status, a decision that soon becomes clear in its historic centre. We Visit the Cathedral and the Bom Jesus Sanctuary near Braga. Barcelos offers the happy and warm welcome characteristic of the Minho region. The ‘Terreiro do Paço’ square is home to an interesting open-air Archaeological Museum, while the ‘Senhor do Galo’ Cross (Lord of the Rooster) also deserves special attention, with its depiction of the legend of the Cockerel that Barcelos adopted as its symbol.

The legend of the Cock….

The medieval stone cross part of the patrimony of the Archaeological Museum of the city, is associated to the curious legend of the cock. According to the legend, the inhabitants of the borough were very concerned by a unsolved crime. One day, however, there appeared a man from Galicia who, immediately, become the suspect of the crime. The authorities arrested him and despite this protestations of innocence he was accused of being the author of the crime. Nobody believed he was on his way to Santiago do Compostela (Spain) to fulfill a vow and that he was fervent devotee of the Saint venerated in Compostela together with St. Paul and Our Lady. And so, as it was common in the Middle Ages, he was condemned to death by hanging.. But before his execution he asked to be taken to the presence of the judge who pronounced the sentence. His request was granted and so he was taken to the house of the magistrate who, in the moment, was having a banquet with some friends. Once again, the Galician protested his innocence and to the amazement of all presents, pointed to the roasted cockerel on the table and exclaimed: “As sure as I am innocent that cock will crow if I am hanged!”  Immediately laughs and comments were heard, nevertheless nobody touch the cockerel.  And what seemed impossible actually happened. When the pilgrim was being hanged, the cockerel stood up on the table and crowed. No one, any longer, doubted the innocence of the condemned man.  The judge rushed to the gallows and saw, with astonishment, the poor man with the rope around his neck, but the loose knot protected him from being strangled. He was immediately released and continued his journey to pilgrimage.  Years later, he returned to Barcelos and built the monument (the stone cross of the cockerel) Saint James and to the Virgin.

Hotel Teatro, Porto


Friday May 18 Touring the Douro

Friday, May 18: Touring the Douro
Enjoyed a full day tour to the Douro region. First we visited Amarante which sits right on the picturesque River Tamega
We went over the Sao Goncalo bridge gives you stunning views of the town and leads you to the striking 16th century Sao Goncalo convent.  Then we went  to Régua, the official centre of the Port wine growing region. Finally arrive to Pinhão, which makes for a great base
to explore the Douro wine region as it is the current Port wine capital, We enjoyed a wine tasting visit to a local producer.  In which many of us bought a couple of bottles  and then return to Porto. We will enjoy an amazing dinner together at the hotel.

Portugal National car race which went by our hotel, very exciting.

Portuguese Championship of Cross Country Rallies 6 races,  Portugal from North to South


Hotel Teatro, Porto

Portugal May 17 Porto

Thursday, May 17: Meet in Porto
Enjoy a guided walking tour in the neighbourhood this afternoon. What a way to start the adventure.  We got to see the city and learn about the history of Porto.  Then we had a wonderful welcome dinner.
Hotel Teatro, Porto The hotel theme is a theatre   Old movies playing the the lounge,

Day 6/10: Amalfi Ladies Visit Pompeii; Hike Mt. Vesuvius; And a Surprise!

Tuesday, May 1             Pompeii ; A Surprise &  Mount Vesuvius 

Due to the Weather forecast for the next 3 days (rain) , we decided to swap the Tuesday ( May 1st) and Thursday (May 3rd) Schedules. We hoped for a dry visit to the Volcano mountain.  The weather man was kind, and we had a DRY day for our outdoor visit to Pompeii today.  

Pompeii: One of the most impressive archaeological sites in the world,! It provides a glimpse in to ancient Roman life; our guide showed us the highlights of this fascinating site.  We walked the Roman streets and explored houses, shops, amphitheatres and cafes of ancient times.

Arriving early at the Gates of Pompeii, Mt. Vesuvius in the Background.


A bird’s eye view of the What’s to come.

In we go!

Tour Host Rowena, waiting while the ladies explore!

The ladies are engaged…

Starting in one main Square.



Our Guide Roberta. Explains what we see.

Calcified remains, there are many examples,

How they were when the Volcano Erupted!

Judy, Sandra and Lori: Break time, so much to absorb at this Historical Pompeii!

After our  visit to Pompeii: We drove up part of the Slopes, Mt. Vesuvius, where we had a nice Surprise!:   Lunch & a Wine Tour! We were ready for this!

Arriving at LaCryma Christie Winery!

The Restaurant at the Winery. We tasted 4 Wines.

A fabulous lunch accompanied the wine tastings! Allison & Kaylan, enjoying!








Rena, enjoying the pasta, my Favorite Course!

A bit of HistoryLacryma Christi, (also Lachryma Christi of Vesuvius, literally “tears of Christ”), is the name of a celebrated Neapolitan type of wine produced on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius in CampaniaItaly. White Lacryma Christi is made mainly from Verdeca and Coda di Volpe grapes, with smaller proportions of FalanghinaCaprettone[1] and Greco di Tufo included. Red Lacryma Christi is made from Piedirosso and Sciascinoso grapes. It is also, as archaeologists have discovered, the nearest equivalent to wine drunk by the Ancient Romans, having analysed microscopic residue left on the taps of the casks.

Final Stop: Mt. Vesuvius:  we climbed the mountain! What a way to end our day..!

A few of us were tired, by this time, and elected to hang out at the base, for mid-afternoon coffee, and take in the sights. near where our Bus was parked… which was 1167 metres up!   Others, with our Fearless Leader, Pasquale in Front, took to the slopes for a Hike up to the 1200 metre mark, to catch a better view of the Crater, and the Bay of Naples from this side.

Our fearless Leader, Pasquale, explaining the views from Mt. Vesuvius!!

Trudy, stopping to take it all in! The Glory of Mt. Vesuvius.

Sylvia, taking in the view!











On one side: The Bay of Naples in the background

A look into the Original Crater, from our Viewpoint above: Mt. Vesuvius!!









Day 4/10: Amalfi Ladies:~ Exploring The Mama Mia Way!

Sunday, April 29          Exploring the MaMa Mia Route &  Amalfi Coastal towns of Positano, Amalfi and Ravello    

Today we learned the True meaning of “Mama Mia!” – as it pertains to the Amalfi Coastal Drive!  As we traversed the Steep, Windy Coastal “MaMa Mia” route – we had occasion to say like the Italians” Mama Mia” or – In Canadian “OH MY GOSH (OMG)”! at each turn, either for the stunning view that presented itself, OR as each oncoming vehicle, jockeyed for position on the narrow roads, with ours! Thank Goodness we were always in Capable Hands with our Bus Driver, we made it safely both ways!

We Explored the charming small towns of the coast travelling by coach along the panoramic seaside road. However, it is Sunday, and traffic is at times very slow: more time to take in the Scenery from our comfortable Coach.One we arrived at Positano: we transferred to a small boat, to view the Coastal Towns from the water;

The Amalfi Coast is a glittering string of coastal gems, an outstanding example of Mediterranean landscape and seascape. Positano lives up to its reputation as the most photogenic town on the coast with pink, peach and terracotta coloured houses seeming to tumble down to the sea.

Amalfi was once a Maritime super-power; its striking 11th century cathedral is all that remains.

We enjoyed our Guide’s local tales about the famous Villa, built by Carlo Ponti for his Hollywood Actress wife: Sophia Loren, at the pricetag of 25 Million Euros!, We caught site of i from the water:

Ravello has a refined and polished feel with ravishing gardens and the very best views on the coast. The Drive back is all about the Colours, that uplift your Spirits and send your Senses Soaring to New Heights!  If you are a pisces, ( like me) ; then the fish in you would be totally sated!

After many tales of Sophia Loren: We were excited to have Dinner tonight at a Sofia’s Restaurant!

Dinner at Ristorante Donna Sofia Sorrento, Italy ;

We were not disappointed! The staff was extremely friendly, the wine flowed incessantly, and we feasted on a 4 Course Italian Menu that was sumptuous!  Definitely a highlight of the trip, so Far!!

First Course: Prosciutto Ham & Mozzarella Cheese.

2nd: Course, Pasta: Sorrento Style Cannelloni

3rd Course: Beef Tagliata with Arugula, Parmesan & Tomatoes.

4th: House Case: Delightfully Lemon!

We are certainly, one happy bunch of Ladies! The Term “Lovely Amalfi Ladies” Was coined today, by our Tour Guide: Pasquale:!

Lovely Ladies of Amalfi!

Day 3/10 : Amalfi Ladies In Capri: Mediterranean Chic -So Picturesque!

Day 3: Saturday, April 28            Capri and AnaCapri (Higher Capri) 

After breakfast, we hopped on our bus, for a transfer down to the port, and met our Guide for Today: Roberta. We are headed for the Island of Capri! Known as a vacation spot for many celebrities. While waiting at the Port for our Hydrofoil tickets, we stop for water and another morning coffee!

And we are off : A short hydrofoil ride from Sorrento takes us to magical Capri.

On Arrival : We transfer to a smaller boat; so we can have a view of Capri from the Water: Including the White and Green Grottos! Then we made a wish as we travelled under the Archway!. 

Back on Land: We explore the island: With its white-washed buildings, a mix of luxury hotels and designer boutiques, and entrancing views everywhere, Capri is the epitome of Mediterranean chic. There are ancient Roman sites to discover dating from the time of the Emperor Tiberius and beautiful gardens overlooking the limestone Faraglione Islands.



A walk up to Anacapri, the laid back village at the top of the island. provides us with many scenic views:  I spotted the Capri Tennis Club, nestled at the base of the water, sporting Red Clay Courts.

After a full day on the island, we enjoyed some scenic views on the ride back to Sorrento; but not before some serious, last minute Shopping! Classic Capri Watches Anyone???

Historical Tidbit : View from our boat ride around Capri Island: This Pink Villa perched high up on the Cliffside: was the meeting place between Britain’s Sir Winston Churchill, and The American President: Dwight D. Eisenhower: in 1943. They decided on the landing of the Allied Troops at Salerno!.