The tour operator
Solanda was established as a tour operator specializing in the organization of trips for small groups of 12 to 24 people in the Land of the Sun: Italy.
All our tours and holiday packages, starting at some of Italy's most important cities, are sited in those wonderful regions of Southern Italy which are "sun-kissed" for most months of the year. We have a deep knowledge of these regions and can show them to you with all their most characteristic aspects. We will show you all the details hidden to mass tourism, unveiling the heart of Southern Italy through its literature, art and music, cooking and folklore, archaeology and history, sea and natural phenomena, or indeed the "dolce vita" of many of its cities.
Every itinerary is carefully chosen for you so that you can enjoy it without feeling abandoned, while at the same time experiencing that sensation of freedom and discovery which characterizes travelling alone.
What we do
We cater for small groups and offer special itineraries which are off the main tourist circuits. Our trips are organized in a different way, with a focus on interest rather than business; on absorbing what you see rather than burning up the kilometres. Our tours are unique in their attention to detail, allowing you to experience a reality unknown to mass tourism. In addition, every one of our itineraries is planned well in advance so as to be as carefully organized as possible.
Some of our itineraries are wide-ranging, while others are aimed at satisfying a pleasure for detail, enjoyment of a particular activity or one of your special interests.
We can show you the real, genuine face of the Italian regions, without neglecting those aspects for which they are traditionally famous in the rest of the world.
We offer you an adventure to the heart of places, while travelling in a comfortable, relaxed manner, with our guarantee of high quality, carefully chosen services.
How we operate
In order to realize our objectives, we make use of the professional services of expert guides and tour directors who have an excellent working knowledge of the places visited. Before organizing any trip we make numerous reconnaissance visits to the area to select the best and most dependable individuals and services as our collaborators. These will include guides, tour directors, hotels, spas, restaurants, catering services, transport services and experts in recreational and sporting activities.
Where we go
We pay great attention to what we choose, and select places, itineraries and activities which reveal the true origins of Mediterranean civilization by taking you off the usual beaten track.
Our tours of the Literary Parks will teach you about the South through the words of writers and poets who lived there, or who travelled through these places and then wrote about them in their works. We also offer courses in the cookery of Sicily, Puglia and Campania, leading proponents of the "Mediterranean Diet", where you can learn to cook dishes from this famous and ancient tradition of gastronomy, the product of diverse ethnic influences and a history of foreign domination.
You can venture out in a sailing-boat to explore the amazing coastlines of Puglia, Campania, Calabria, Sicily and Sardinia, with their unexplored coves, beautiful little islands and deep, clear waters. Alternatively, you can join a trekking expedition to explore a volcano (Vesuvius, Etna or Stromboli), climb the steppes of the Murge hills or the benign slopes of Cilento. You can ascend the mountains of Pollino and Sila and the Lucane Dolomites, or explore the breath-taking canyons of the Gole dell'Alcantàra, the majestic Gargano promontory and the Sorrento peninsula.
Finally, you can allow yourself to be bewitched by the hypnotic music of the Taranta, or by classical performances at the Festivals of Taormina, Ravello and Valle d'Itria. You can live in the world of art and create objects with your own hands, by attending a course in sculpting Lecce stone or modelling papier-mâché.
Again, for those who wish, there is the opportunity to join in the night-life in cities such as Catania, Bari, Naples and Sorrento; exploring the cafés and open-air bars on the squares during the hot summer nights, enjoying the exciting, glamorous scene at discos on the beach, or the magic atmosphere of old, restored farmhouses. Afterwards, you can spend your days in total relaxation, indulging in the health-giving pleasures offered by a thermal bath, spa or wellness centre, which play an important role in our itineraries.
Our team consists of dedicated personnel who love the place where they live and want to share this passion with our clients. They achieve this by planning every tour meticulously before it begins, and managing both the trip and its participants with care and good judgement from beginning to end.
The people who make up our staff are our company's strength, and your guarantee of security. With their knowledge of the different places, routes and people, they can provide answers to all your questions and satisfy your every need. They are not simply generic guides, but carefully chosen tour directors with enormous experience and a thorough knowledge of the different places and their culture. At the same time, they know about your culture and country of origin, and so can act as a constant and reliable point of reference, taking care to ensure that you do not feel out of your element, and make sure you have a safe trip.
Who do we cater for
Our trips are designed for all those people who feel themselves to be "travellers" and not simply tourists, and who therefore want to explore places off the main tourist routes.
These are people who also want to see the "classic" sights, but to experience them in a deeper and more special way. They are people who love the Italian sun, and maybe will take a little of it home with them at the end of their trip.