It has been three years since I returned from my “bucket list trip”and I find myself longing for another unique experience.
As I am a diehard follower of Delectable Destinations website, I read all of the blogs and follow upcoming trips, once again looking for the perfect match for my next experience. I felt I needed to share this experience and invite you to share it with your friends, family and just about anyone longing for a dream trip!
With all of the anticipation leading up to my trip, I could not fathom how anything could come close to my imagination. I had only seen photos and through photos alone, I knew this was the experience I wanted.
I landed in Naples mid-morning on a magnificent day in October 2013. I quickly retrieved my luggage and was greeted by a handsome gentleman holding a sign with my name on it (I noticed the handsome gentleman before my name and thought to myself, please be my name on that sign!) and so began my friendship with Roberto from Amalfi Coast Destinations.
We met another couple at the train station as they were joining us on our journey and the laughs began at the same time as our trip.
Travelling from Naples to Ravello was quite scenic and our excitement was apparent. Graciously, Roberto stopped at numerous sights allowing us many photo ops along the way as well as giving us history behind the sights. Finally, we arrived at the Villa we were to call home for the next week and were greeted by Carol from Delectable Destinations and Margarita from Villa San Cosma, we were shown around the breathtaking grounds, then given some time to settle in following our long flight.
After unpacking and freshening up, we were spoiled with a mouth watering welcome dinner, given the opportunity to meet the other people we would eventually refer to as family and had the chance to bond through casual dinner conversations. Following dinner we decided as a group to take a walk led by our beautiful leader, Carol into the town of Ravello where we were to experience our first taste (of many) of gelato.
My thoughts as I went to bed that night were “pinch me, am I really here” and funny enough, “I can’t wait to have cappuccino in the morning overlooking the breathtaking coastal views”
I was awoken by the sounds of roosters and church bells, I popped out of bed as I did not want to waste a moment of the day, nor did any of the other guests as I was not alone in my picturesque cappuccino moment for long. Once we were all together, the most lovely breakfast buffet along with farm fresh eggs was served, everything from sweet to savory was presented in front of us (I am salivating just thinking about it).
Keep in mind all of this was before the true experience begins.
Ahhh, the cooking school, my main reason (or so I thought) for going. I was so excited about this day! I was about to meet Mamma Agata, Chiara and Gennaro at Mamma Agata’s Cooking School of the Amalfi Coast – The Hidden Treasure. Often, when you anticipate something amazing, your perception is not always parallel with the reality. Well, I can assure you this was nothing like I imagined.
As a matter of fact, you cannot truly imagine the beauty, the aromas, the views, the elegance… it far exceeded my imagination. I was in paradise.
How would you top an unforgettable day? Well good thing I did not have to worry because Carol had it all covered.
Waking up on day two was as wonderful as day one, we once again gathered for breakfast and then met Carol at our meeting spot to begin our morning in Ravello.
Learning the history, visiting many sights including the Cameo factory where we had the privilege of seeing how those beautiful masterpieces are made and then a private tour of the family museum at the back of the store. We then enjoyed a private tour of the town of Ravello, and experienced so much more. However, without a doubt, my favorite part of that morning was our visit to Villa Cimbrone, home of the most magnificent gardens and an infinite view of the Mediterranean.
How much more amazing could you get in one week! Well to be honest, we are only half way through day two and “amazing” just continued.
From our visit to Tenuta San Francesco Vineyard, to the olive groves, Mozzarella making and limoncello tastings, our time spent in Amalfi and Positano and I will never forget our surprise visit to the Emerald Grotto, this entire week was perfect and flawlessly choreographed by our incredible and beautiful Carol.
She brought the week to a close with the most elegant wine and cheese tasting evening hosted by Chiara and Gennaro where we not only enjoyed the last hours as a new found family but were given an intensive and very informative course on wine pairing.
The next morning I had to wake up from this incredible dream and bid adieu to my family and friends as I gave endless thanks to Margarita for her beautiful accommodations, Roberto for his expertise and safe driving skills maneuvering all the curvy Amalfi coast roads, and Carol, our Carol for truly being a dream maker and creating an experience that I will never, ever forget. Truly a trip of a lifetime.
Carol Ketelson is the owner and operator of Delectable Destinations LLC. Dedicated to designing and co-ordinating customized small group tours to hand-picked destinations. Each trip is arranged by experienced travel planner, and European culture and culinary arts specialist, Carol Ketelson. Bespoke luxury travel, personally escorted, and intimate first-hand experiences, ensure memorable and inspirational journeys. The tours are ideal for anyone with a passion for travel – discovering local flavors, culturally rich traditions and mesmerizing sights. For over 10 years, Carol’s tours have captured the true essence of some of the most beautiful regions of the world, including the Amalfi Coast, Tuscany, Sicily, Puglia, Spain, Ireland and India. Our business defines the key to experiential travel, while creating memories to last a lifetime.