CINQUE TERRE LIGURIA,
TUSCANY AND EMILIA ROMAGNA
Prices from 1500 pounds
Available all year around
- Enjoy 8 nights in family friendly accommodation in La Spezia or Lerici
- Visit Pisa and Parma
- Discover Porto Venere’s stunning Gulf of the Poets
- See Cinque Terre by boat from April to October
- Enjoy the captain’s aperitivo on board at sunset from April to October
- Visit Portofino, one of the Mediterranean’s most exclusive corners & Santa Margherita Ligure & San Fruttuoso
- Spend a day walking between the Unesco World Heritage fishing villages of the Cinque Terre
Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced English and Italian speaking tour manager and guided tour leader
- Wine, olive oil and cheese tasting near the medieval town of San Gimignano in Tuscany
- Explore San Gimignano and its fascinating towers
- Tasting of wine, cheese, olive oil and other local dishes in the countryside around Cinque Terre
- Discover Forte dei Marmi and beautiful Lucca in Tuscany, home of the great composer, Puccini.
- Eight breakfasts and five dinners, two lunch including vino della casa
- Transfers throughout
- Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager and guided tour leader
- Entrance fees to attractions
- Train and ferry tickets
- Italian lessons by qualified teacher
Cinque terre, five fishing villages, has been recognised by Unesco World Heritage since 1997. The villages are nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and the Appennine mountains. The tall, narrow houses are colourful and they reproduce the colour of the nature around them. No cars are allowed here, only boats, train and pedestrians. The landscape is characterised by olive trees, grape vines and classic Mediterranean vegetation. The typical ‘muri a secco’ (dry stone walls) run all around this area and the total length is popularly believed to be longer than the Great Wall of China.
Villages linked by stunning cliff-top paths
The villages are linked by stunning, cliff-top paths. Some paths have name of their own, such as the ‘la via dell’amore’ (the path of love) or sentiero azzurro (the blue path).
Each village has its own special features and beauty. Riomaggiore is the start of the via dell’amore, Manarola hosts the museum of the Schiacchetra’, the typical wine from this area, the sleepy Corniglia seems to be a snapshot of times past, unaffected by modern times, Vernazza has a fascinating history, being built by slaves during the Roman period, while Monterosso has inviting beaches and centuries-old towers.
Each village starts at the seashore before ascending the cliffs through small carrugi (paths), packed full of traditional restaurants, shops and coffee places.
All five villages have their own Santuario (Sanctuary) on one of the hills above the village. Years ago, the sanctuaries were used as places for socialising and trading by the people living in the fishing villages, because they were easy to access from the roads.
The magic and beauty that attracted fine minds
During this tour, we will discover the ‘Golfo dei Poeti’ (Bay of the Poets), a special place loved by the English poets Byron and Shelly and by the Italians Petrarca and Montale. Only when you are there can you understand the magic and beauty that attracted these fine minds to this breath-taking location.
You will see the bay where Byron swan in 1822 for 7 km to meet his friend Shelly and if you are brave enough you can join the ‘Coppa Byron’, a swimming race held in August every year to commemorate Lord Byron’s legendary swim.
You will taste a wine called Sciacchetrà from le Cinque Terre and you will understand why its nickname is ‘Brave’.
Traditional foods & typical Italian accommodation
You will taste traditional foods such as the pizza Farinata, made from chick pea flour, that was a typical street food for the stevedores or the ‘mesciua’ (“mix” in dialect) soup made from a mix of different ingredients for the fishermen.
The accommodation comprises “Affittacamere” – family owned and run accommodation.
Spectacular views from the 16th floor of the highest building in La Spezia
The Affittacamere is a typical Italian type of accommodation, that could be compared with a B&B. One of our affittacamere is on the 16th floor of the highest building in La spezia and the location and the view are spectacular. All the ensuite room have a sea view, feature air-conditioning, parquet floors, free Wi-Fi and satellite TV. One of them has a spa as well. The other accommodation is in Lerici and it has a terrazzo (terrace) overlooking the Gulf of the Poets and Porto Venere. Perfect for enjoying the view with a glass of vino.
Many artists loved this place
The bay is a very wide and deep inlet at the eastern end of Liguria. Among the many artists who loved this place, David Herbert Lawrence, George Sand, Lord Byron and Percy Shelley are remembered here. Shelley had his last residence in Lerici: in 1822, on July 8th, he was drowned in rough seas while trying to reach San Terenzo with his schooner. The Gulf also hosts one of the most important Italian naval ports and arsenals, which has made La Spezia a site of considerable historical significance since the mid-19th century.
Italian language and culture lessons every day
We offer Italian language and culture lessons every day and we will engage the local shop keepers, café owners and wider population so that you can practise your language skills. We will offer lessons before and after the tour to those who are interested in having a deeper knowledge of the language and culture.
All breakfasts, four evening meals, two lunches, transfers and language lessons are included.