AMALFI COAST & BAY OF NAPLES
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
So many inspirational moments. Visiting the surprisingly well-preserved "ruins" of Herculaneum, followed by a walk up Mount Vesuvius was a definite highlight. The 'Walk of the Gods' was breathtaking as were Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. The vast area of Pompeii (optional trip) was equally awe-inspiring.
What did you think of your group leader?
Our group leader, Christine Rooney - deservedly one of Exodus's highly commended leaders of 2010 - was absolutely terrific. She was incredibly enthusiastic throughout the holiday and has a great sense of humour. She is highly knowledegable and passionate about each area visited and made each day memorable and fun. Her organisational skills were also second-to-none.
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
I have no reservations about recommending this trip. If you like historical sites, impressive scenery, fresh air, amazing food and wine then you need look no further. Groups will vary from trip to trip I'm sure, but i definitely struck gold with my fellow travellers. The hotel offers Exodus customers free internet access should you wish to Skype home with your smart phone. Make sure you wear a pair of sensible shoes for the Vesuvius walk and Walk of the Gods - I saw people struggling with flip-flops! Naples is gritty - bear in mind it's a city - every surface seems to have graffitti on it. The museum in Naples is definitely worth a trip - with hundreds of equisite statues, impressive mosaics and a rather amusing "over age 14 only" section.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I cannot praise the hotel enough. Before dinner each evening there is a chance to meet in the bar and discuss with the Exodus leader the events of the following day over a glass of Prosecco - very nice indeed. The hotel also hosts a pizza-making demonstration on one evening using their own wood-fired pizza oven - make sure you take your camera as hilarity is bound to ensue. They also offer a trip to their kitchen on a separate evening in which you watch the preparation of that evening's meal. For a small fee each evening you can have unlimited wine also - just remember to take it easy!