10 DAY SEASIDE TO HILLTOPS CINQUE TERRE TUSCANY TOUR
10 Day Seaside to Hilltops Cinque Terre and Tuscany Tour
Take in spectacular coastlines, ancient seaside villages and two full days exploring the famous Cinque Terre,
plus 3 days in Tuscany where the beauty of man and nature is at its best!
Jim and Lynette’s tour was a great way to intensively enjoy and engage in the sights, food and delights of some of the “off the usual tourist track” parts of Italy in the company of a small group of like-minded travellers." Richard and Tracey
2017 May 10th - May 19th / Sep 20th - Sep 29th
2018 May 9th - May 18th / Sep 19th - Sep 28th
Tour cost – AUD $4,650.00 per person, twin share, GST inclusive (AUD$550.00 Single Supplement)
Immerse yourself into the stunning landscapes of Tuscany and the Italian Riviera! The first part of this small group tour takes in the spectacular Ligurian coastline with two days spent enjoying the Cinque Terre. Whilst here you will also learn how to make pesto and the prized Focaccia di Recco or cheese focaccia. You are then treated to a delightful three day sojourn in Tuscany, as we explore the beautiful and historic gardens of Villa La Foce, the stunning towns of Pienza and Montepulciano, and San Gimignano Tuscany's famous city of towers!
Cinque Terre, Portofino, Rapallo, Sestri Levante, Montepulciano, Pienza, San Gimignano and much more…
You will be met by Jim at Milan’s Malpensa Airport at 12 pm, or the Voghera train station at 1.30 to 2pm. A well-appointed private, air-conditioned 9 seater vehicle will transfer you to the Hotel Genova in time to unwind either in your room, or on the grounds of the hotel. In the evening we head off for a welcome dinner at La Calanca, a delightful restaurant located in the charming old part of Sestri Levante. Here we will enjoy a range of tasty local Ligurian dishes and wines.
Day Two – (A day in a seaside Paradise!)
Today we spend a full day in the stunning Cinque Terre National Park, where you are free to walk or utilise the train service at your leisure in this wonderful part of the world (our suggestion would also be to take a boat ride!). We provide you with the time and flexibility to get the most out of your day. You will simply have to work your way back to Levanto train station by a set time in the late afternoon, before we head back to our hotel and a free evening in Sestri Levante.
Day Three – (A charming day by the seaside!)
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Camogli – Abbey of San Fruttuoso –Leivi
We begin our third day in Camogli, a very popular town for Italian holiday makers during summer. It is also a place where one can enjoy a sumptuous slice of cheese focaccia, more commonly known as Focaccia di Recco (the name of a neighbouring town). We arrive early in the morning in time to take the ferry to the nearby location of the Abbey of San Fruttuoso. We spend the morning in this isolated and idyllic location, which is only reachable by boat or foot, before heading back to Camogli for a free lunch. After lunch we head back to Sestri Levante to relax at our hotel and prepare for tonight’s provided meal at the Ristorante Pepen, in the town of Leivi, high up in the hills above the Ligurian coastline.
Day Four – (Genoa - Historical Port City & Europe's largest Historical Centre)
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Genoa - Guided Walking Tour and Free Afternoon – Sestri Levante
Today we visit the historical port city of Genoa. We spend the morning exploring the narrow alleyways (caruggi), in the company of a local walking guide, and afterwards guests have the opportunity to visit two of Genoa's historic Palazzi, The Palazzo Rosso and the Palazzo Bianco (included as a part of our walking tour). Another place of interest for those curious about the history of this very young nation (unified as a Kingdom in 1861), is the former house and museum of one of its founding fathers, Giuseppe Mazzini. After our sojourn and provided lunch in Genoa, you will have a free evening to dine at your pleasure back in Sestri Levante.
Day Five – (Cinque Terre - Return to Paradise!)
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Cinque Terre – Sestri Levante - Chiavari option
Today we head back to the beautiful Cinque Terre. Your morning is free and all you need to do is arrive in Manarola for our provided seafood lunch. For the rest of the afternoon guests you're free to walk and/or ride the trains as much as you like in an attempt to get the most out of your first day in this seaside paradise! We meet up together again in the late afternoon/early evening at the Levanto train station, where we will then return to Sestri Levante for a free evening or an optional visit to nearby Chiavari.
Day Six – (Views, glorious views - and Opulence a la Italian Riviera!)
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Rapallo – Sanctuary of Montallegro – Portofino – Cooking class
Today we visit two very different landmarks along the Northern Italian Riviera. The first is a religious monument called the Sanctuary of Montallegro. The easiest route to the sanctuary is by the cable car from Rapallo. It is a breathtaking ride and at the end there are magnificent views of Rapallo and as far as Portofino. Around the sanctuary there are also picnic places and lovely walks. The church, with its Neo Gothic façade, was consecrated in 1559 and local legend has it that the Virgin Mary appeared to a farmer and presented him with a Greek-Byzantine icon and asked him to construct a church in which it could be housed. In the late morning we return to Rapallo before heading off to Portofino, the town of the rich and famous, for our free lunch and afternoon sojourn. Later in the afternoon we head back to Sestri Levante for a rest, prior to tonight's cooking demonstration, where we will help prepare our dinner for the evening; be taken through the preparation of the different courses. When this is done all we have to do is eat, drink and be merry!
Day Seven – (Departure Day- Beautiful Tuscany Awaits!)
San Gimignano - Montepulciano
Today we say goodbye to the gorgeous Northern Italian Riviera and hello to the equally beautiful Tuscany! We stop at one of Tuscany's most spectacular hilltop towns - San Gimignano. With its amazing towers and stunning surrounding countryside, this will surely be one of the highlights of your time with us! After our San Gimignano sojourn we head to the commanding hilltop town of Montepulciano, where we spend the next four days together. Upon arrival at Montepulciano, and after checking into and relaxing at our new lodging, the Agriturismo Nobile, guests we will have a free evening either at the farmhouse or in Montepulciano.
Day Eight – Archetypal Tuscany! Montepulciano - Montichiello
- La Foce Gardens
Montepulciano - Montichiello - La Foce Gardens
This morning begins with the opportunity to spend a time in nearby Montepulciano. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy a mid morning visit to this beautiful and noble town. For lunch we head to the gorgeous hamlet of Montichiello for an hour or so, before returning for a break at the farmhouse, We then move on to the La Foce Villa, whose magnificent garden extends over the hills overlooking the Val d'Orcia, a vast and enchanting valley in southern Tuscany. The Val D'Orcia attained UNESCO world heritage status in 2004, and the property itself, with its magnificent garden, is steeped in history. Its owner, Iris Origo, sheltered, fed, and educated orphans and displaced Italian children here during World War 2 in the years after the arrival of the Allied forces. Tonight is a free evening in Montepulciano or at the farmhouse.
Day Nine – (Views, glorious views)
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Stunning Pienza and return to Montepulciano
Well we have certainly saved the best till last on this tour! This morning we visit the nearby charming hamlet of Pienza (formerly known as Corsignano) which was rebuilt according to Renaissance ideals and renamed as Pienza by Pope Pius II (Eneo Piccolomini) in the mid 1400s. Pienza is surrounded by the most beautiful Tuscan countryside that there is to see. Have your cameras at the ready! A free morning and lunch is spent here before we head back to our accommodation for a break, and then head into Montepulciano for a second time before departure day tomorrow. Upon our return from Montepulciano we will dine together for the last time on tour at Il Nobile.
Day Ten – (Farewell Day)
Chiusi – Chianciano Terme Train Station - Rome's Fiumicino Airport
Today is the end of the tour as we say farewell to our fellow guests and the beautiful Tuscan countryside. After breakfast, guests will be taken to the very conveniently located Chiusi –Chianciano Terme train station (1-1 ½ hours away from Florence and/or Rome), or Rome's Fiumicino Airport, to continue your onward journeys. Alternatively you can make your own posttour arrangements.