Passage to Naples

Passage to Naples

Regular price $500.00 Sale



April 10 - 16, 2025


Parthenope was one of the Sirens in Greek mythology. 
Her name means "Maiden-voiced". 
The Bird Goddess represents nourishment and the cycle of birth/death/rebirth. Naples has a long history of birth/death/rebirth and we are going to be exploring all of it on this journey. 

Naples is beautiful, emotional, passionate, wild hearted to the max, untameable. Naples is ancient, exciting, tragic and inspirational all at the same time. Parthenope's vulnerability gave her infamy. The legends say that she gave herself wholeheartedly to love, and though her love and desire was not reciprocated, her song and her story is woven deeply into the warp and weft of the city that is Naples and the country that is Sud Italia. If you listen deeply, you can still hear it.

Join us for a glorious and exciting week in the classic, historic and exhilarating city of Naples and its surroundings, April 2025. Most of our immigrant ancestors from Sud Italia, booked passage to America on ships embarking from Naples. We, their descendants, are booking passage back again…to our origins, to our roots, to our ancestral lineage, to the wisdom that has sustained a proud, beautiful and accomplished people for millennia. Rediscover lost cultural threads, reweave them back into the fabric of your modern, daily life, welcome new ancestral connections and allow them to inform your work and restore your spirit. I absolutely love Naples and it is my great joy to share it with you! 

We’ll spend a week together exploring the wild heart of Parthenope/Naples with her beyond-amazing collection of ancient history, legends, magic, fabulous old world art and culture. We will feast on some of the freshest and most fabulously delicious traditional foods in this world - impeccably prepared ocean-fresh seafoods, garden fresh fruits and vegetables…olives, eggplant…mozzerella, salciccia…Napoletan traditional pasta dishes, the best pizza in the world!

We’ll be diving deep into Napoletan art, history and culture and falling in love with timeless, exotic, awe-inspiring Naples and her salt-of-the earth people.

We’re offering this journey as a cultural immersion trip; we’ll be seeing and experiencing some of the most remarkable and world renowned Old World art, archaeological and cultural sites on earth, be surrounded with classic and beautiful architecture and roam through ancient streets, squares, alleys, museums, churches and catacombs, as well as unrivaled medical, botanical and ethnobotanical collections. We’ll be eating in 5 star restaurants every day and enjoying the finest and freshest cuisine Naples has to offer.  We’ll be stepping into ancient history with one foot and into the real life timeless soul of the city that is Naples with the other!

Join us for what will prove to be a most memorable, enjoyable and inspirational journey into the wild heart of Parthenope!

Each day begins with a group smudge and a prayer, a blessing and an invocation. We honor and give thanks to the animate world, to our guardians and our ancestors and we invite them to be with us. We ask for their blessing and protection.  In this way, we set the foundation for magic to unfold and mysteries to be revealed. Here's a look at the tentative itinerary thus far...these sites will be the highlight of each day and we’ll fill in around the edges with all that is mentioned above. 

Day 1 – The Botanical Gardens and Ethnobotanical Museum - Naples Botanical Garden is one of the most prominent botanical gardens in all of Europe, noted both for the relevance of its collections and the number of species in culture. It hosts one of the largest and most biodiverse collections in Italy, with approximately 25,000 samples, covering about 10,000 plant, shrub and tree species, representing almost all floras from the different regions of the world. kept in the open or in controlled environments. The Garden is actively engaged in the preservation of endangered plants and hosts the Museum of Paleobotany and Ethnobotany, the Herbarium, a botanical library and a seed bank. The greenhouses (warm, temperate and cold) cover approx. 5000 sq. meters. Among the most important collections are the cycad collection, the collection of succulents from the African, American, Asian and Australian deserts; the tree fern collection, one of the few in Europe; the palms; the Italian orchids and the bulbs; the air plant collection and the Citrus grove. The paleobotanical section of the Museum illustrates the evolution of land plants, with the help of fossils, reconstructions and texts, starting from the earliest vascular plants to the present. The ethnobotanical section illustrates the various uses of plants, displaying objects, products, pictures and plant specimens; special attention is given to daily activities and interaction with plants of several disappearing ethnical groups. We’ll bring a picnic lunch and spend a good part of a day here, there is so much to see, learn and discover, and it such such a magnificently beautiful place.

Day 2 – Pharmacy of the Incurabili Complex - The First Pharmacy in all of Europe - This is a most interesting place combining the workings of science, art, medicine, magic, alchemy, spirituality, education, history and culture! It is a historical pharmacy, a church, a cloister and a library all together in one complex. The Pharmacy is part of the convent of Santa Chiara degli Incurabili, founded in the early 1500s by Maria Lorenza Longo, a Catalan noble woman who dedicated herself to helping the poor and sick during the years that Napoli was struck by the plague and other infectious diseases. The walls of the pharmacy are covered by six-tier walnut cabinets and the floors are tiled in majolica and terracotta. Every section has shelves containing polychrome vases (dated 1747-48) portraying biblical scenes. The vases contain perfectly preserved ointments, syrups and powder. The Pharmacy contains remnants of ancient healing mysteries in its architecture, such as hidden figures and symbols in marble and magical decorations on doors, archways and columns. Inside the courtyard of the hospital, opposite the Pharmacy, there is the Museum of the History of Medicine and Health, which documents the development and discoveries of medicine throughout the centuries. This timeline underscores the advancements in the practice of medicine in Naples during the 16th century, compared to the rest of the world. The museum houses many rare surgical instruments and artifacts, such as a portable pharmacy from the 18th century, the first glass feeding bottles and primitive face masks, including the masks used by the plague doctors.

Day 3 - The Cave of the Sybil on the Bay of Pozzuoli - The Antro della Sibilla is part of the Cumae Archaeological Site (Parco Archeologico di Cuma). “The gates of hell are open night and day; Smooth the descent, and easy is the way: But to return, and view the cheerful skies, In this the task and mighty labor lies…“ Virgil described the cave with a hundred openings as home to one of the most famous prophetesses of ancient legend - the Cumaean Sibyl. Written in 19 BC, the Aeneid chronicles the adventures of Trojan warrior Aeneas, including his encounter with a mysterious ancient oracle. It was said this oracle, or sibyl, dwelt in the mouth of a cave in Cumae, the ancient Greek settlement near what is now Naples. “A spacious cave, within its farmost part, Was hew’d and fashion’d by laborious art Thro’ the hill’s hollow sides: before the place, A hundred doors a hundred entries grace; As many voices issue, and the sound of Sybil’s words as many times rebound.” In the poem, the Sibyl acts as a guide to the underworld, to which Aeneas must descend to seek the advice of his dead father Anchises and fulfill his destiny, the eventual founding of Rome.

The Cumaean Sibyl appeared in the works of Ovid, is painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo, is written about in Dante’s Inferno, and in the poetry of TS Elliott. According to tradition she sang her prophecies in verse, or wrote them on oak leaves which she left at the mouth of the cave.

The Sibyl’s cave is on the same archaeological grounds as the ruins of ancient temples dedicated to Apollo, Jupiter and Diana and very close to Lake Avernus which we will also visit. 

All of these portals into other realms have reinforced the long-held associations of Southern Italy with the mythical underworld. The volcanically active region around Naples is known as the Campi Flegrei, or “Feiry Fields.” Avernus was named as the opening to Hades by Virgil, and the area’s bubbling sulphur pits and volcanic, brimstone-scented islands.

We will enter into this ancient, still-vibrant portal, listen for the Sybil’s voice, and perhaps hear her guidance, inside the innermost chamber of her cave, where it is believed she received and wrote her prophesies. 

Day 4 – The National Archaeological Museum is one of the most important museums in the world due to the uniqueness of its heritage and the immeasurable contribution it has made to European culture. It holds the world’s most famous collection of Old World art and artifacts…everything removed from Pompei is here! The amazing “many-breasted” Artemis is here. (They aren’t breasts, they’re bee hives!) All the most famous paintings and ceramics regarding the Greek myths are here! All the bigger than life statues of the Gods and Goddesses are here! And so much more ancient, Old World beauty such as the artifacts excavated from sites in Campania and throughout Southern Italy, in places such as my valley, and also from private collections.  If you are an artist, you will never want to leave this place and it will be informing the art you create forever more! 

Day 4 - Today we’ll take a gorgeous ferry ride out to the island of Ischia, just off the coast of Naples, where we will relax and soak our bodies in the amazing and luxurious mineral-rich thermal springs the island is famous for, while surrounded by an exquisite array of exotic botanicals. You will have the option of spa treatments, or a massage, if you wish. We’ll enjoy the beach, have a fabulous mid-day meal here, do a bit of exploring, maybe some shopping and then take the sunset ferry ride back across the sea to Naples.  It will be an incredibly restorative,fun and memorable experience! 

Day 5 – The Museo di Capodimonte is one of the most prestigious museums in Italy. Located in the grand Bourbon Palace of Capodimonte, it was used by the kings of the Two Sicilies as their summer residence and hunting lodge. It’s the major repository of Neapolitan painting and decorative art and is a most exquisite, inspiring place. It’s located on a hill overlooking the gulf of Napoli and the woodland is vast and extremely well kept. The painting collection covers almost all periods, starting from the Giotto school up to contemporary Andy Warhol and Italian-Greek Jannis Kounnelis. We will see works by Caravaggio, Tiziano, Botticelli, Bellini, and Brueghel, as well as Parmigianino and Correggio, the “Crucifixion” by Masaccio, and “The Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine” by Carracci, as well as original drawings by Michelangelo, and art by El Greco, Titian, and many more. We’ll walk through the old apartments to see the 18th-century furniture and the truly remarkable and outstanding collection of royal porcelain and majolica. We’ll bring a picnic lunch, take our time strolling through the collections, explore the beautifully maintained royal grounds and make a day of it. The views of the Bay of Napoli on the way home will be exquisite!

Day 6 –  Herculaneum - our driver will take us to visit the Archaeological Park of Herculaneum in Ercolano today.  Ancient legends say that Heracles founded Herculaneum, although scholars and historians tell us it was founded by either the Oscans or the Etruscans in the 7th century BC. It is one of the few ancient cities, along with Pompei, to be preserved nearly intact, as the ash that fell when Vesuvio erupted in 79AD, blanketed the town, protecting it against looting as well as the elements. It is smaller than Pompei, more enjoyable, easier to navigate and every bit as full of ancient art, architecture, history and artifacts. However, unlike Pompeii, the mainly pyroclastic material that covered Herculaneum preserved more wooden objects such as roofs, beds, and doors, as well as other organic-based materials such as food and papyrus. There’s a lot to see here!  We’ll spend the day exploring this amazing and inspiring site, learn about its wonders and it’s ancient history, and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.  We may also visit the botanical garden in nearby Portici, if there is time, before heading back to Naples. 

Day 7 – That’s it, you’re heading back home today. You’ll be packing up incredible memories along with any souvenirs you may have gathered, and huge shifts in perspective, life altering insights, and perhaps even a deeper appreciation for your own life and ancestral lineage and connection.

7 days…$5,989…includes housing and dinner every night, transportation to all sites and all entrance fees. We’ll be staying in a comfortable, gated, well situated apartment in Naples in a safe and secure location. 

You may place your $500 non-refundable deposit now to hold a space using the button at the top of the page. The remainder of your payment of $5,489 is due by February 1, 2025. We prefer you send us a check made out to Gail Faith Edwards for that amount. Using a credit card or Paypal to make the final payment incurs an additional $150 to cover bank and website processing fees.

Our Passage to Naples cancellation policy: All deposits are non-refundable.  If you cancel within 60 days of the tour start date you will be refunded half your payment. If you cancel within 30 days of the tour start date you will forfeit your payment.

Place your $500 desposit now to hold your place so you won’t miss out on Passage to Naples, a springtime journey of magic, mystery, art, history, Napoletan cuisine and connection! The remainder of your fee isn’t due until the first of February 2025!

Thank you for visiting ~ blessings on your day!