Why a Women’s Trip is Absolutely The Best
August 21, 2019
Guest Author, Suzi Via: Although I grew up on a Virginia dairy farm, which by definition tends to tie you down, our family was fortunate to take a European “Grand Tour” in 1972, the result of which has been a lifelong love of travel, especially to Europe! Although I’ve now been “across the pond” multiple times, I still have an ever-expanding list of destinations on my travel bucket list: so much to see and experience, so little time!
I’ve been fortunate to travel to Europe several times, but almost always with family members. When the opportunity arose to join the all-women Amazing Amalfi trip in May 2018, I was more than excited to sign up, and boy am I glad that I did!
This was my first trip designed by a woman for women, a “girl’s trip” with a few people I knew and a few that I only knew through a web of connections between us.
From the beginning, it was apparent that we were a collegial, convivial group who quickly bonded to become what one woman described as “Golden Friends” (and no, that’s not a reference to our being of a certain age… or was it?)
It was a very well-planned, luxurious and absolutely unforgettable experience, something I will always cherish.
Bonding in Naples
We officially began the trip in Naples, where we met Claudia and were introduced to the joys of the Aperol Spritz on the rooftop of our beautiful hotel overlooking the Bay of Naples and Vesuvius. Can you say “Uno spritz per favore”? We then enjoyed a lovely dinner, the entire evening setting the tone for the trip, as we started to get to know each other better.
The next day we visited the Archaeological Museum, which provided a wonderful preparation for our later visit to Pompeii, since so many of the original Pompeii artifacts are in the museum, instead of on the actual site.
Dipping Our Toes
Our next stop was Capri, the stuff of legends—literally!—and it certainly did not disappoint. We spent two nights there at a beautiful hotel, and got to appreciate the undeniable allure of the island, something we couldn’t have done on a typical tourist’s day trip. In fact, Claudia planned the entire trip so that we always felt we were travelers, not tourists, and that’s an important distinction.
Our time on Capri included an afternoon visit to an off-the-beaten-path jewelry store for a private showing with Grazia, the jeweler, and her assistants. Nothing like shopping with willing girlfriends! We would never have known about Grazia, much less have been able to find her shop, without Claudia’s expert guidance.
For me, and for many of us, the absolute highlight of Capri was the final morning’s private boat ride with Captain Peppe on the Granseola. He charmed us and fed us and took us to experience the famous Blue Grotto, and then later to our own private grotto for a bracing swim in the cool, azure waters of the Mediterranean. So enjoyable but also so empowering for those of us who were ready to take that dip—and perhaps for those of us who watched as well!
When he saw the photo we’d snapped on the boat of twelve pedicured feet all overlapping, Captain Peppe exclaimed, “Tanti bei piedi sulla Granseola!” or “So many beautiful feet on the Granseola!”
Captain Peppe then delivered us to Marina del Cantone, a charming fishing village, where we had a fabulous lunch prepared by his wife, Marinella.
Afterwards, Captain Peppe whisked us off to Sorrento, where we disembarked to climb the stairs to our cliff-side hotel, the super cool, uber chic Maison la Minervetta, our home base for the next four nights. Staying there felt like being in the lap of luxury, that’s for sure.
The gorgeous pottery and intriguing interior décor looked fresh out of a magazine, and each bedroom was unique—none of this cookie cutter stuff! The lobby and veranda terrace overlooking the harbor were the perfect meeting spot for our group of women to have breakfast al fresco each morning and then meet for a spritz and tapas each evening for even more bonding before leaving for the evening’s meal and activity.
The Women’s Fun Never Ends
Our day trips to Pompeii and to Positano and Ravello were really great. I particularly enjoyed getting a private tour of the hotel rooms in the Villa Cimbrone in Ravello where we saw the Greta Garbo suite and other spots frequented by the rich-and-famous, both then and now. The tour of the hotel was only possible because Claudia requested it, as she had on previous occasions, but we were fortunate that the answer was “Si!” this time!
For me, the absolute highlight of the time in Sorrento was an optional hike on the Path of the Gods, another unforgettable and empowering experience for our women’s group of six. The views on the hike were spectacular, our guide Paolo was wonderful, and the reward for our “labors” was a memorable lunch of so-called “small bites” at Paolo’s family’s restaurant in Montepertuso, just above Positano. In addition to the amazing food and wine, the repast was topped off with a tasting of six—count ‘em, six—house made liqueurs!
In conclusion, throughout the trip, our gaggle of fearless, peerless women enjoyed the camaraderie that can only be achieved in a group of women. That, together with the awesome scenery, history, art, food and wine of Italy, made the journey an absolute embarrassment of riches.
Can you say “Facciamolo ancora per favore”? (Let’s do it again, please!)