Fratelli Group Travel
TRAVEL & TOURS
Any of the current or past tours can be customized to fit the needs of your specific group. If you would like us to personalize any of our tours or develop a new tour to fit your needs, please email: Louis@fratelliandcompany.com or use the contact form. We look forward to helping you plan a trip of a lifetime.
Day 1 - USA - Rome, Italy We will depart Newark International Airport for our trans-Atlantic flight to Italy. Dinner and entertainment aloft.
Day 2 - Rome – Florence Upon arrival, baggage claim and customs formalities, we will meet our motor-coach and driver to begin our drive north through the regions of Lazio and Umbria and finally Tuscany to Florence. This magnificent city is the cradle of the Renaissance, the flower of Italy, it is the city of abounding creativity. We will go directly to our hotel in Piazza Santa Maria Novella in the heart of the historic center. After check-in and a brief period to settle in and freshen, our guide will meet us and our tour will begin. We will visit the Duomo of Santa Maria del Fiore, and view the Baptistery and Giotto’s Bell Tower from the outside. A highlight of today’s tour is Michelangelo’s David and his Prisoners of the Stone in the Accademia. We continue on Piazza della Signoria and the famous Ponte Vecchio, known for its gold and silversmith boutiques. Tonight dinner (included) will be in a local restaurant and overnight in Florence.
Day 3 - La Chiantigiana – Wine Tasting & Dinner This morning after a good night’s rest and breakfast, we will depart for the picturesque “Chiantigiana” the Chianti Wine Road. Our first stop today will be in an Olive Oil plant, such as “Frantolio Goccia d’Oro” for a short tour and explanation of today’s oil production. We proceed on to one of the most exquisite working wineries in Chianti, Castello di Verrazano for our first wine tasting of the day. The castle was an etruscan then a roman settlement before becoming the property of the Verrazano family in the VIIth century. Giovanni da Verrazzano, who discovered the bay of New York and east coast of America, was born here in 1485. We proceed on to Montalcino to taste the wonderful Brunello di Montalcino wines at the Fattoria dei Barbi , offering wines ranging from the respected Brunello Riserva 'Vigna del Fiore' to the Brusco dei Barbi. The Colombini family have owned this property in Brunello di Montalcino since 1352, and they established Fattoria dei Barbi there in 1790. This evening you are in for a treat. Dinner (included) will be served in the Barbi Restaurant with a local fare of the Chianti region. Overnight in Florence.
Day 4 - Florence to Campobasso This morning after breakfast we get an early start, traveling south, along the Autostrada del Sole. We will make a lunch (on your own) and relax stop along the road today due to the long distance to our destination. We get back on the road later in the afternoon for the balance of our trip to Campobasso. Upon arrival we will check in to our hotel and relax the rest of the evening. Perhaps a stroll around the historical city center. Dinner (included) and overnight in Campobasso.
Day 5 - Campobasso/Sant’Elia a Pianisi/Region Molise This morning after breakfast we get an early start for our ancestral village of Sant’ Elia a Pianisi in Campobasso in the region of Molise only about a 20 mile ride from the hotel. The village a Sant’ Elia lies about halfway between the two seas, the Mediterranean to the west and the Adriatic to the east. During your visit in the village you will have some time to visit the local parish church and other places of interest to the Candelora family. The entire day
may be spent in the village or surrounding area.
Campobasso for overnight. The little town rises in a
landscape of woods, farmlands, and hills covered with
olive trees. A very lively trade center in the past. There
was a pasta and biscuit factory, a flour mill and a
trousers manufacturer. Unfortunately most of them now
have closed. The first historical records of the town go
back to the 14th century, when it was a fiefdom of
Fiorentia de Trinci; later on it passed to the Di Capua
and finally to the Di Palma family. Today a favorite
pilgrim destination since in the Capuchin Convent there
is the cell where Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, the beloved
Padre Pio, spent four years of his life studying for the
order. The Church of Sant'Elia, 13th century, contains two beautiful marble statues representing Joseph and Mary and a 16th-century painting "Allegoria dei Sette Sacramenti" moved here from Ripabottoni in 1720. Also, there is a fine canvas of local painter, Fernando Di Stefano, representing the patron Sant'Elia the Prophet on his fire wagon. Territory Molise is the youngest Italian region, since it was established in 1963, when the region "Abruzzi and Molise" were split into two regions. However, still today they maintain a common identity both geographically and in their historic and traditional heritage. The region is administratively divided into two Provinces, Campobasso, the regional capital, and Isernia, and comprises 136 municipalities, most of them very small, but each unique and worth seeing. Molise is mostly mountainous and the economy, in the past centuries, highly dependent on the transit of shepherds and their flocks from Abruzzo to Apulia The region still relies heavily on agriculture and livestock raising, though food and garment industries are undergoing a remarkable development. History After the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 AD Molise was invaded by the Goths (535 AD) and then by the Lombards in 572, and annexed to the Dukedom of Benevento. A very troubled period began with the invasions of the Saracens that, in 860 AD, destroyed Isernia, Telese, Alife, Sepino, Boiano and Venafro. By the 10th century there were 9 countdoms: Venafro, Larino, Trivento, Bojano, Isernia, Campomarino, Termoli, Sangro, Pietrabbondante. In 1095 the most powerful of them, Bojano, came under the rule of the Norman Hugo I of Molhouse, who most probably gave his name to the region; his successor Ugo II was Count of Molise in 1144. In the 16th century Molise was included to the Province of Capitanata (Apulia) and in 1806 became an autonomous Province, included in the Abruzzi region. In the 19th century there was a general worsening of the economic conditions of the population, and this gave rise, under the newly established Kingdom of Italy (1861), to brigandage and a massive emigration not only abroad but also to more industrial Italian areas. A heavy destruction took place in WW2, until finally the Allied Forces were able to land at Termoli, in September 1943.
Day 6 - Campobasso to Sorrento VIA Materdomini or VIA Monte Cassino This morning after breakfast we will depart Campobasso and this rich historical region of Molise heading southward to the region of Campania and the Sorrentine Peninsula. We make a stop today (if you so choose) in Monte Cassino, the Benedictine Monastery founded by St. Benedict in the 6th century. The monastery still flourishes today as a motherhouse for the Benedictine order and an elite high-school level boy’s academy. It was a strategic point during World War II, being held by the Germans who stopped all movement of the allies along the Gustav Line. On February 15, 1944, during the final stage of World War II, Monte Cassino, being on the firing line between two armies: this place of prayer and study which had become in these exceptional circumstances a peaceful shelter for hundreds of defenseless civilians, in only three hours was reduced to a heap of debris under which many of the refugees met their death. The reluctant permission to bomb the monastery was given to the Americans by Pope Pius the XII in collaboration with Abbot of the monastery. Out of this evil and terrible destructive act came the good; the beginning of the end of the war for the Italians. Materdomini, Shrine of Saint Gerard Majella: Should we decide this option instead of Monte Cassino, we will head south staying to the interior of the land until arriving in the Province of Avellino. In the beautiful hills of the Apennine range, we will make a short visit to the famed Shrine of Saint Gerard in Materdomini, a patron dear to the hearts of the Italian immigrants of the Newark, New Jersey area. We arrive in Sorrento late in the day/early evening. Dinner (included) and overnight in Sorrento.
Day 7 - Sorrento/Costiera Amalfitana Now that we have traveled
directly through the heartland of Italy its time to see the most
spectacular coastal drives in all of Europe, if not the world! The 40
mile trek of cliff road stretching from the Bay of Sorrento to the Bay
of Salerno is called the Amalfi Coast Drive. It consists of over 1000
curves and turns, each one with a new and fantastic view of the
mountains which seem to lean down to kiss the crystal clear turquoise
sea below. There will be panoramic stops along the way for photos -
pack plenty film for this one!!! Our main stop today will be in Amalfi,
a beautiful seaport city, once an ancient Empire. You will have some
free time in Amalfi to shop, have lunch (on your own) or visit the
magnificent Arab/Norman Cathedral of Saint Andrew’s (9th - 12th
Century). The cathedral houses the relic of the head of Saint Andrew
taken in the sack of Constantinople in 1204. You can visit the
Cathedral on your own there is an entrance fee of 5 Euro per person. Dinner (included) and overnight in Sorrento.
Day 8 - Sorrento/Capri A full day excursion to Capri, the Isle of Lovers. Those of you who have never been there will soon realize why it is so called! One of the most Romantic places in the world. We leave from the port of Sorrento by hydrofoil, about a 20 minute crossing. We begin our tour with Capri — its streets lined with boutiques famous for perfume making and lemon products of every sort imaginable. YES IT’S TRUE!!! Lemons on Capri grow as large as grapefruits. And you haven’t lived until you’ve tried the “Limoncello”, lemon liquor so typical of the area. Later we will continue to the summit of the rock — Anacapri. Here in Anacapri you will have some free time, where the streets are lined with shopping amidst Roman Villas and beautiful garden paradises. We will leave on the last hydrofoil back to Sorrento at approx. 4:30 PM. Dinner (included) tonight will be in Napoli where you will have the opportunity to invite your Italian relatives. This evening you will be transferred to Napoli by your motor-coach for dinner at the famous “Zi’ Teresa” restaurant of this famous port city from where most of our parents and grandparents departed Italy. It was from here that they left their humble origins for the journey to the new world. Many, never to see their homeland again, set out for the unknown to make a better life for “us” the future generations. Italians and Italo-Americans are one of the ethnic groups that truly progressed, assimilated and prospered in the new world. Those of Italian descent can be proud that their ethnic heritage that not only comes from three millennia of history, culture and traditions, but they have been and continue to be a vital part of the fabric of the new world. Italians and Italo Americans helped shape, form and develop the new world as evidenced by the familiarity of such names as Amerigo Vespucci, Columbus, Verrazano, Meucci, Marconi, Scalia and many others. An Italian proverb states: “La vigna e` per i figli ma l’uliveto e` per i nipoti.) The USA is our “ULIVETO”.
Day 9 – Napoli/Pompeii/Roma After breakfast, we depart for the city of Naples for a panoramic tour of the city. Later, onto Pompeii, we pass under the ominous shadows of Mount Vesuvius, the volcano responsible for the destruction of the city. Pompeii lay 2000 years under the ashes and lava of the 1st century eruption of Vesuvius. Here we can marvel at the advanced culture of the Pompeian citizens. The baths, the homes, the market place, and the gardens have all been remarkably preserved under the lava for two centuries. Time allowing, perhaps a visit to the beautiful Basilica of Our Lady of Pompeii with its miraculous painting of Our Lady handing the Most Holy Rosary to Saints Catherine and Dominic. Dinner (included) and overnight in Rome.
Day 10 – Roma/Caput Mundi - Monumental and Ancient Today after breakfast, we will begin exploring the wonders of the Eternal City. The tour of Monumental & Ancient Rome will include: Capitoline Hill, Fountain of Trevi, the Pantheon, and Piazza Navona. Piazza Venezia, the Colosseum, Circus Maximus and the Capitol Square - a masterpiece by Michelangelo, a panoramic view of the Palantine and the Roman Forum. Dinner (included) and overnight in Rome.
Day 11 - Saint Peter’s Basilica & Vatican Museum/the Sistina
Today after breakfast our guide will accompany us to the Vatican
State, one of the smallest independent countries in the world.
Although Vatican state shares the monetary system of Italy it is not
governed by the Italians. The head of the sovereign state is the
Pope. We will visit the Vatican Museum to see the newly discovered
majesty of the Sistine Chapel embellished with Michelangelo’s
famous masterpiece ceiling. Restoration took place about 15 years
ago revealing the magnificent colors that were hidden by centuries
of black soot from candles and oil lamps. Afterwards, we will walk
over to Saint Peter’s Basilica for a complete tour. Inside we will see
the famous Pieta` by Michelangelo, the bronze of St. Peter, welcoming the faithful and also the corpus of Pope John the XXIII, recently placed in the nave in a glass sarcophagus. The balance of the afternoon is free to relax, shop or sightsee on your own. Dinner (included) and overnight in Roma.
Day 12 - Rome /USA Today, we bid not (Addio), farewell, but, (Arrivederci), see you again, to Italy as we transfer to Leonardo d’Vinci International Airport in Fiumecino, Rome. Upon boarding our plane for the flight home we will be carrying not only many kilos of Italy in our luggage, but many memories of fun days, wonderful meals that we shared with family, a bit more culture to add to our already sophisticated and patrician consciousness, but above all, the recollection of an extraordinary, moving and somewhat emotional journey of true knowledge and traditions of our roots as we made our way down the Italian peninsula. Dinner aloft and overnight in USA!