(farm fresh, healthy & out of this world)
For our tours, we select the best of the local trattorie serving authentic regional specialties. These aren't "Frommer's Best Picks" but the kinds of places where Italians themselves choose to eat, and Italians are picky eaters: the food served had better be as good as what nonna dishes up at home, no frills please (and no menus translated into umpteen different languages either).
Generally speaking, you choose freely from the menu: antipasto, primo, secondo, contorno, dolce, café. Often the waiter arrives at the table with the menu of the day memorized and reels off a list (a guide comes in handy at these moments); you may see in-depth discussions going on at the tables around you between the waiter and his customers as to what exactly is in the ragu al contandino or what precisely constitutes un vero vincisgrassi.
Every region is different, with each its own specialties; a list of the possible dishes you might encounter would be long indeed. In the countryside, you're likely to enjoy scrumptious truffles, hand-made tagliatelle, and delectable wild boar, while close to the sea, you might try risotto al pescatore or the perennial Italian favorite, 'na bella grigliata.
No doubt you'll be pleased with the generosity of the portions too, because the Italians like to eat well!
“...fabulous food and entertainment...”
We have returned to Iowa and settled reluctantly back into daily life, but we find ourselves wistfully dreaming of our days in southern Italy! We didn't really know what to expect when we took a leap of faith and booked with Girosole tours after studying many options on the Internet. Believe me, the experience we enjoyed was above and beyond any fuzzy expectations we had, and we could not be more enthusiastic about our adventure!
We had a group of 4, all 60somethings, and a main concern was whether we would be able to handle the physical demands of the hikes. Both Ulisse and Luigi were very in tuned to our fitness levels, and at the end of the day, we were amazed and proud of what we accomplished, and we could still climb the stairs of Positano to enjoy dinner!
The annoying details of travel were all handled quietly and efficiently by Girosole. Local drivers were personable and fun, as well as skilled on the Italian roads! Luggage was moved from place to place and showed up magically in the trunk of the car! Transfers at the end of our tour were all arranged for us so we did not have to figure it out. The meals included within the tour were spectacular. Our first genuine Napoli pizza (we must have consumed dozens during our 2 weeks in Italia!), the Food Feast during our Path of the Gods hike (never to be forgotten...ever!) and the amazing final night at Ristorante Mediterraneo with fabulous food and entertainment...that was a highlight for sure!
Without a doubt, our two Girosole guides were the key to our enjoyment of the whole experience. Having Ulisse, a Napoli native, share his city with us, and Luigi, a Capri native, guide us around his island, made the experience very meaningful and interesting. Both men are extremely knowledgeable, professional, and fun to be with! Each day of hiking was a new adventure full of challenges and natural beauty beyond description. It didn't hurt that we had perfect weather also!
Your suggestion of Ischia was just perfect as a destination for our final 5 days in Italy. We located a very cozy property minutes from the harbor in Forio, where we relaxed and enjoyed a slower pace, beautiful sunsets and a lot of wine, limoncello and gelato!
So... THANK YOU to Girosole for orchestrating an adventure that introduced us to Napoli, Pompeii, Sorrento, and the amazing beauty of the Amalfi coast as well as the warm and wonderful people who live there.
— Sue & Tom Taiber