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A Week of Living Like Royalty on the Amalfi Coast...

Click above to view a video presentation of our Amalfi Coast weeks

This very exclusive week-long vacation will consist of a very small and intimate group of no more than 18 people. It is an 8 day, 7 night all-inclusive experience that offers a wonderful mixture of some of the Amalfi Coast's highlights with some truly off-the-beaten-path treasures unique to the area. It is a week that embraces Southern Italian cooking, culinary and artistic tradition with some of the most wonderful locations along the Amalfi Coast and Naples area. It is a week of discovery as you integrate into coastal Italian village life, getting to know the locals, shopping with them, dancing and singing with them. Most of all, it is a week of fun, family and laughter as we share what makes Italy so special in a very personal way.

Location! Location! Location!

The Amalfi Coast has its share of villas, but there are very few that offer central location, stunning views, private rooms with en suite bathrooms, walking distance to town, etc. Villa Eremo San Francesco is one of just a handful that has it all...

...and it is ALL OURS this week.

It is such a stunning location, within walking distance to Amalfi, that we feel confident that once our guests see it, the rest of the itinerary for the week simply won't matter... but here it is nonetheless:

The Cooking Classes

We'll have three half-day completely hands-on cooking classes this week, plus a unique "family cooking experience". Our cooking classes are not demonstrations. They are 100% hands-on. We structure them so that you can be as involved as you wish in every stage of every course we prepare. With every class, we roll up our sleeves and get wrist deep in making everything fresh, from scratch.

During the week, we will be making three kinds of pasta from scratch, a local Ragu recipe, traditional Neapolitan style Pizza, Caponata, Pasta Fazul, Fresh Mozzarella, Lemon Scaloppini, and local desserts like Baba' al Rum, Sfugliatelle pastries, and much more!

For those would rather eat than cook, you are at one of the most coveted spots of the Amalfi Coast. Hang out by the pool, take it all in, or head into town for a stroll. Boredom is not likely to be a problem for anyone!

The Excursions

We do all-inclusive weeks, so we make sure there is always something to do, but we design the weeks so that you can opt-in or opt-out of just about everything. So when we are not cooking, there is always some sort of excursion going on, or you can just relax back at home and soak up that awe-inspiring view and lay out by the pool.

Most rarely opt out of the excursions, because they are pretty amazing and unique! We'll be visiting Positano, Amalfi, Ravello, Minori, Tramonti, a Day of the Island of Capri, and an outing to Pompeii. Moreover, they are not mere sightseeing trips, but they are true culture discovery. On the day we go to Positano, we go by private boat from the Amalfi harbor. We end our time in Positano with a private party on our private boats, before heading to a tiny cove off the coast for a memorable meal at a local family-run restaurant serving delicious regional fare from family recipes. On the day we go to Tramonti, we visit a family vineyard with vines as old as 500+ years, then join the family for lunch. While in Minori, we make Limoncello with Carletto, owner of a small Limoncello factory. The list goes on, and these are all experiences we trust you will never forget.

Oh the Food!

We are all about food & wine, and if there is one comment we hear more than any other from our guests throughout our weeks, it is "I can't eat another bite". Unlike so many other tour companies out there, we take a very artisinal approach to what we do. We do everything we can to get away from the touristy places that serve substandard tourist fare, and go where the locals do. And when we do, we always opt for the local specialties. After all, if a place is famous amongst the locals for a certain dish, it is a pretty safe bet, and it always works!


Cities we'll visit...

  • Positano
  • Capri (and Anacapri)
  • Ravello
  • Pompeii (Ruins)
  • Minori
  • Atrani
  • Tramonti
  • Conca dei Marini

What we'll be cooking...

Our classes will be divided into three half-day major classes, a few small "prep only" time slots, and one family cooking experience. Some of the things we make one day will be part of a meal we finish preparing another day. When it is all said and done, you will have made (and eaten) the following dishes:

  • Caponata
  • Lemon Salad
  • Dunderi’ pasta with Ragu
  • Tagliolini pasta al limone
  • Pasta Fazul
  • E’ RicciPasta with catch of the day
  • Beef & Pork Braciola, Ribs & Sausage in Ragu
  • Scaloppini al limone
  • Eggplant Involtini
  • Potatoes Gateau
  • Potatoes Sfruguliate
  • Babà al Rum
  • Babà soaked in Limoncello syrup
  • Fresh Mozzarella from Scratch
  • Pizza Napoletana

Factories, Wineries & Mills we will visit...

  1. Winery in Tramonti
  2. Paper Mill in Amalfi
  3. Limoncello Factory in Minori

Dates & Prices


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The Villa
The Villa
The Villa
Private Room the villa
Private Room the villa
Private Room at the villa
Villa gardens at night
Villa garden at night
Villa gaden at night
Common area of the villa
Common area of the villa
Common area of the villa
Private Terrace at the Villa
Our private pool
Our private pool

Villa Eremo di San Francesco

In the heart of the Amalfi Coast,overlooking the water between Amalfi and Atrani, sits one of the most beautiful villas of the coastline. Built in the 13th century, it was originally a Franciscan Monastery. The location is just 300 meters from downtown Amalfi, and 150 meters from Atrani! It is paradise within paradise. It is the ultimate "pinch myself because I must be dreaming" location. The villa boasts magnificent views, lemon grove, swimming pool, wood-fired oven, and so much more. We have the entire property to ourselves this week.

The Rooms

The villa is composed by twelve double rooms, with vaulted or frescoed ceiling, finely decorated with artistic hand-painted ceramic from Vietri sul Mare and equipped with LCD TV SAT, telephone, internet connection, and a/c. Each room boasts beautiful views, while 5 of them also offer a balcony.

How Rooms Are Assigned

We assign the rooms to our guests as they reserve based on a needs and desires model. That is, we assign the best rooms to the first people to book, while also taking into consideration their needs. For example, if a couple is the first to book, they will get the best room with the nicest balcony, but we will hold off on rooms with more than one bed for reservations with friends traveling together that need separate beds.



All rooms have air conditioning, flat screen televisions, hair dryers. Each room has one bathroom with shower (a few also have a tub), and all rooms have at least one Queen bed, and some have a second bed as well.


The villa offers free WIFI Internet. Because of the thick walls, it may not reach every room, but the large common area of the villa has a full signal. Note, however, that internet on the Amalfi coast is often hit an miss.


Like most of the Amalfi Coast, we are on the side of a cliff, and roads do not get to most of the villas. The walk between the street and the villa is about 300 feet. Upslop to the villa, and down to the street. The pathway is uneven with a slight slope and steps.

See More Photos

Click here to see more photos of the vacation and the property

Is This For You?

Is This For You?

Your Disposition

Our vacations are focused on having a good time with new friends. Everything we do revolves around that. People seeking a self-centered vacation might reconsider. Our groups tend to span all ages, men & women, singles & couples... everyone is welcome, and when our guests come ready to embrace a new culture, look forward to trying new things, and interact with other guests, it is always amazing. Even the way our guests see us is important. If you see us as "providers of a service", you may reconsider our trips. We bring you into our family and become part of the group with you... as though you are visiting friends and family. If you are able to be in this frame of mind, our trips will be like nothing you have ever experienced, but if you are looking for a more detached relationship with us, our trips may not be for you.

Be Ready to Embrace the Culture

Our trips focus on bringing you into the true culture of the place, but some guests want to see it, but not live it. We embrace the culture and do things the way locals do, which may or may not be what you are looking for. This includes little things like not having cappuccino with our meals (Italians only have cappuccino as a breakfast beverage), not having bacon and eggs for breakfast (Italians have coffee or tea and pastries), or larger things, like the fact that we have most of our dinners after 8:00 PM, like the Italians do. Every step of the way we adapt to the local culture, rather than asking the local culture to adapt to us. This also tends to make us much more welcome guests than other groups!

EXPECT and EMBRACE Changes in the Schedule

The weather can be unpredictable, and some things on our itinerary simply cannot be done in certain weather conditions. For example, on the day we go to Capri, and the day we go to Positano, if the sea conditions are not right for boating, we simply cannot boat. In the case of Capri, we will do everything in our power to reorganize the week and do Capri on another day, but sometimes it just is not in the cards. In the case of Positano, we may need to go there by bus instead of boat, in which case the Proseco at sunset on the water has to be canceled and the BBQ becomes a dinner in a restaurant. Unfortunately, we cannot control what we cannot control, but please know that we do everything our power to make everything happen.

There are, however, some things that we may change from time to time that ARE within our control. For example, there may be a special festival event happening in a nearby town. Or we may have a unique opportunity to participate in local activities, such as harvesting. These are often the kinds of things that come up on the fly with a phone call. They are rare, but they do happen. These are the times that we make a call based on our experience, because if we look for a unanimous vote among the guests on something they cannot imagine until they have experienced, we will never get a consensus. An example of this happens on our Tuscany trips in the Autumn. We may get a call telling us we can go harvest wine grapes. When that happens, we always cancel whatever we were doing that day and go harvest. Our reasoning is simple: Our name is "Culture Discovery", and we are all about unique experiences that you would never be able to otherwise have. You can visit that town on the itinerary again, but when will you have the chance to harvest those Tuscan grapes?

Physical Limitations

Physical Intensity
You by no means need to be athletic for this vacation, but you must be able to handle some level of physical exertion. A good rule to follow would be to ask yourself if you can do three flights of stairs, then continue walking without needing to sit down for a while.

The Amalfi Coast is all cliffs, and there are LOTS of stairs. Do not expect to get out of a vehicle, and hop on elevators. There will be a good amount of walking with lots of steps getting to and from places on a regular basis during the week.

Motion Sickness
If you suffer motion sickness and have a difficult time keeping it under control, this trip may not be for you. We will be on boats for a couple days this week, and we cannot control the sea. Additionally, the roads along the coast are very winding.

Age Concerns
We have had guests as old as 90 years old with no problems whatsoever. Age is not a limiting factor, so long as you are in good physical condition with no health problems that exertion would complicate.

Most of the week we are at sea level, except the day we go to the winery, which is 1,000 feet above sea level.

Walking, Boat, & Bus Time
In Italy, walking is always a larger concern than it probably is back home. This is because the towns are ancient, and much is closed to vehicle traffic. Some guests are also concerned about how much time they will spend in a bus. While we are in a very central area, we try to go to some of the most interesting places. Some days will have more travel time, and some very little.

Here is a general outline of the intensity and amount of walking and time in the bus (and boat) during this week:

Total Walking All Week (Excluding walking and stairs at the villa, and time on your own shopping and strolling):
~ 4 miles (6.5 km) - Total for the week, NOT per day - Take note of stairs involved!

Total Time in Bus All Week (Excluding transfers at beginning and end of week):
~ 4 1/2hours - Total for the week, NOT per day

Total Time in Boat All Week:
~ 5 1/2hours - Total for the week, NOT per day

Detail Day By Day:

For the evening excursion to Minori, we will be walking roughly 0.4 miles (0.6 km) total, all of which is on flat surfaces and no hills or steps.

Time in Bus:
For those being picked up at the Naples airport, the drive will be roughly 1 hour and 20 minutes to the villa. For those meeting us at the Salerno Train station, the ride will be roughly 45 minutes. For the evening, we will simply be going to Minori, which is about 5 minutes in each direction this evening.

Rest Time:
Depending on the time you arrive, you may have more or less time to rest once we check in. Those arriving from the airport should have roughly 3 hours to get settled in. Those arriving at the train station will have about an hour and a half before we get started.

You can expect roughly 0.75 miles (1.2 km of walking today in Ravello, plus a very short walk to the restaurant for dinner. There are a few stairs to consider when we go to dinner tonight.

Time in Bus:
The drive to Ravello in the afternoon is only 4 miles (6 km), and we will spend about 15 minutes getting there. Form there to dinner is another 2 miles (3 km) that will take 10 min., and back home is another 2.5 miles (4 km), for about 15 min. In all, we will spend about 40 minutes driving today.

Rest Time:
Assuming we finish our cooking class and lunch on schedule, we have 2 hours of rest time before the afternoon excursion. However, cooking class times can vary, and lunch always depends on our group. If lunch goes long, the rest time can easily be cut to one hour.

Walking today is very much up to you. We will have roughly 3 hours on the island of Capri, during which you will be free to do your own thing. Some will simply find a cafe and take it all in, while others will walk around town for shopping, and others will take a hike.

Time in Boat:
There is no time in a bus today, except a very short funicular to get to the piazzetta in Capri. However, we will be spending a considerable amount of time in boats. The boat from our Villa to Capri is about 1 hour, then we will be boating around the island for roughly 2 1/2 hours. Later in the day we will boat back to the Villa, which is another hour. All in all, we will have spent about 4 1/2 hours in the boat today.

Rest Time:
Being our first full day out, there is no rest time built into the itinerary in the middle of the day, except the fact that we will be on a boat much of the day.

Today, you can expect roughly a mile (1.6 km) of walking in Pompeii, much of which is on uneven surfaces with up and downgrades. Pompeii is a challenging proposition for people with walking problems.

Time in Bus:
The drive from the villa to Pompeii is 30 miles (48 km), which will take roughly an hour each way.

Rest Time:
The excursion to Pompeii can be very exhausting, as the entire time there is under the sun. However, upon our return, we will have 2 1/2 hours of down time, which will include a lunch that awaits us at the villa. Additionally, after that down time, we are still at the villa for a cooking class, so guests can really take it easy today if they desire.

As you walk around Positano during the ~3 hours of free time, you will see that Positano is built on a rather steep hill, so getting around will involve many hills and steps unless you spend all of your time down near the beach.

Time in Boat:
There is no bus time today (unless the seas are too rough to go by boat), but we will be on a boat for about 30 minutes each way today.

Rest Time:
Being the middle of the week, we have a large chunk of rest time in the morning for guests to sleep in, spend time at the pool, etc. We won't be leaving the villa today until 1:30 PM, unless you feel like spending some time on your own in Amalfi today. However, because of the beach BBQ, it is likely that we will not return home until around midnight tonight.

In the late morning when we go to Minori, there will be very little walking involved, not more than 1/4 mile (500 meters or so). The same goes for lunch. Finally, in the afternoon when we have our pizza class, we will have a bit of a challenge for those with walking issues. We will be high above Minori at a private villa. From the place we can park our minibus, there will be roughly 150 stairs to get to the villa.

Time in Bus:
In the morning, we will simply be going to Minori, which is about 5 minutes. For lunch we will be going to Atrani, which is about about 2 miles away (3 km) - a 10 minute drive. Then back to the villa (5 minutes), and back into Minori for the evening (5 minutes). The total driving time for the day is about 35 minutes

Rest Time:
Today is a fairly leisurely day. We get a late start at about 10:00 AM, and stay very close to home. We are doing some basic shopping at the weekly market, then a short Limoncello class, followed by a leisurely lunch. We should have between 1 1/2 and 2 hours of rest time at the villa between lunch and our pizza class. Furthermore, the pizza class is at a very relaxing villa overlooking the Amalfi coast.

There will be very little necessary walking in Amalfi today, except time that you spend on your own shopping and browsing. You can estimate roughly a half a mile (0.6 km) total.

Time in Bus:
The drive to Amalfi is only 1.25 miles (2 km), taking about 5 minutes. The drive to the winery is about 13 miles (20 km), but it is up mountain roads, so it will take about 35 minutes each way today.

Rest Time:
We will have roughly 2 hours of rest time between lunch at the winery and our final cooking experience. Also note that cooking tonight is not a traditional class, but rather a family cooking experience at the villa, so it will be very laid back.

How This Trip is Unique From Our Others

Many people ask us how our locations are different when trying to choose the trip that is best for them. Each of our locations is different not just in the places you see, but in the overall "feel" of the week. For a "Culture Discovery" style trip, the Amalfi coast presents us some great challenges to overcome. For example, many of our trips are based in places that are off the beaten path, allowing for a uniquely immersive exprience. The Amalfi Coast, however, being a very popular destination, has a large tourism industry built around it. Getting off the beaten path here is difficult, causing a true sense of immersion to be a complicated proposal. Additionally, how do we build a week here and not go to iconic sites like Positano, Capri, Amalfi and Pompeii?

We have found a balance with our Amalfi Coast itinerary that we believe offers our guests the traditional Amalfi Coast experience, while bringing you into the actual lifestyle here in a way that no other tour could. To begin with, our home base is not just a stunning villa on the water, but its location is closer to some of the towns in which a tue local lifestyle does still exist. This is the reason you see us spending more time in the village of Minori than other places. It is not nearly as touristy as places like Amalfi, Positano and Ravello. It is a place where we actually get to know the locals, integrate into their life, and feel like guests rather than tourists. But with that immersion, we also have a more traditional Amalfi Coast experience as we boat around Capri, shop in Amalfi, visit Ravello,a nd tour Pompeii. All said, this week is a wonderful mixture of immersion, luxury, local cooking & cuisine, and amazing sites!

Special Needs we can (and cannot) cater to on the Amalfi Coast

Physical Limitations
You must be able to walk up to a mile and do at least a few flights of stairs in order to come on this trip in order to go on the excursions.

If you suffer motion sickness, please consider that w will be spending two days on boats, and we cannot guarantee sea conditions. Furthermore, much of the driving is along very winding roads.

Food Limitations
We can cater to most food allergies, vegetarian diets, and to some extent kosher diets. We will substitute with other dishes if you let us know in advance. We can even cater to a gluten-free diet. Our cooking class menus will not change based on a guest's food limitations, but even in the classes, we can usually offer alternatives to eat. That said, if you do have limitations, it is important that you have a positive attitude about it. We are happy to substitute, but the variety of alternatives may be limited. For those that do not eat seafood, there will always be non-seafood options, but they will be somewhat limited.