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A Journey into the Magna Grecia 


Beniamino & Anne

The Land of Swords and Kings

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The Land of Swords and Kings Tour

11 days (10 nights) 

NZ$TBApp (Price to be updated for 2021 and single supplement may apply) 

On this tour, you will: 

  • Gain real insight into Italian life and customs

  • Enjoy maximum freedom to do what you want to do while being appropriately looked after

  • Enjoy charming accommodation in a range of different settings

  • NOT be getting up every day at 7am and moving on to your next stop

  • Have the opportunity to learn some Italian from Beniamino and put your learning into practice

  • Dip your toes in the Mediterranean Sea 

  • Potter round the stalls and enjoy a fritto misto in Amalfi

  • Marvel at the Greek and Roman archaeological treasures

  • Visit Beniamino’s birthplace and see the church-yard where he gathered edible confetti at his aunt’s wedding

  • Keep a look out for local food producers and learn about the regional cuisine from a real Italian chef – food and wine will be a major feature of this tour

  • NOT have absolutely everything mapped out for you- there will be surprises along the way that you will want to tell all your friends about when you get home, assuming you still want to go back home by then and MOST IMPORTANTLY you will have fun!😊 


Tour Outline:


Start date:   15 September 2022


End date:    25 September 2022

Commencement and conclusion of the Tour: Rome International Airport (Fiumicino)

Note: The tour package is a land package only. Flights to suit your individual needs can be arranged for you through us or you can make your own flight arrangements if you prefer.

The tour group will be transferred from the airport to the Amalfi Coast where the party will stay for 2 nights. We will enjoy a gelato and a limoncello in the charming hidden piazza of Amalfi beneath the gleaming Byzantine cathedral, steps away from wonderful cameo and ceramic shops.


When we leave the Amalfi Coast on 17th September we will visit the temples at nearby Paestum where you will see and learn about some impressive remnants of the Magna Grecia. A star in the local museum is the 5th century BC fresco Tomba del Tuffatore (Tomb of the Diver) discovered in 1968, which is thought to represent the passage from life to death with its depiction of a diver in mid-air.

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We will pass through the unspoiled countryside of the Cilento on our way  to Padula, home of the impressive Certosa  and importantly the birthplace of Beniamino’s relative, the legendary Lieutenant Joe Petrosino, who fought against organised crime in New York in the late 19th Century.  He will feature in the new film “The Black Hand” with Leonardo di Caprio starring as Joe Petrosino.

We will stay in Padula for two nights and on 19 September we will move on to our next base across the border from the region of Campania and in the region of Basilicata. On the way we will visit Beniamino’s birthplacein Montesano sulla Marcellana. In Basilicata we will stay for four nights in an Agriturismo in the lush countryside near where Beniamino grew up and explore this ancient land of castles and monasteries.     

Beniamino’s book is valuable reading before the tour! You will see where he went to school and where he worked as a shepherd at the age of 9. This is really off the beaten track.


On 23 September we will be leaving for Matera.  On the way, we will visit Aliano, where in the 1930’s the writer and philosopher Carlo Levi was exiled by the fascists and inspired to write ‘Cristo si e` fermato a Eboli’ (Christ stopped at Eboli). At the time Basilicata was used as a kind of open prison for political dissidents.

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I Sassi di Matera is a magical place to visit. It is one of the world’s oldest towns, dating back to the Palaeolithic Age and has been inhabited continuously for around 7000 years. People lived there in caves and UNESCO has named the whole town a World Heritage Site. After publicity resulting from a number of high profile films using Matera as a biblical landscape, the town is now undergoing a transformation and it has been nominated a European Capital of Culture for 2019 by the European Commission. We will have two nights in Matera in a spectacular hotel and spend a full  day viewing ancient frescoes and generally   marvelling at the sheer antiquity of the place.

When we leave Matera on 25 September we will sadly have to return to Rome which will be the end of our tour. On the way we will enjoy some stops in picturesque settings along the way. For those of us continuing on the Garden tour, the fun continues.

Tour inclusions


  • All accommodation costs sharing a double or twin room including breakfasts. Note - a single supplement may apply for single travellers wanting their own room. We will discuss this with you prior to confirmation 

  • All tour travel costs including coach or minibus transport and associated charges such as fuel, tolls, taxes, with local drivers

  • Daily sightseeing: From our main bases we will undertake sightseeing and it will be completely up to you whether you want to participate or spend the day at leisure/ independently

  • Transfers from Rome Fiumicino Airport to the Amalfi Coast at the start of the tour and back to Rome at the conclusion of the tour
  • One group dinner including wine and soft drinks at a venue in Basilicata

  • Entry to Paestum Archaeological site and Museum

  • Local tour guide - Matera

Tour exclusions


  • Meals and beverages other than those included

  • City taxes, room service meals and mini bar refreshments

  • Telephone/internet charges

  • Porterage

  • Gratuities

  • Individual sightseeing not undertaken as part of the tour


 We do not arrange TRAVEL INSURANCE. Comprehensive Travel Insurance is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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