- guided walk in Genoa
- 5 guided walks along the Ligurian Coast
- visit of the Cinque Terre villages
- wine tasting with a sommelier at a local producer
- boat ride along the Cinque Terre Coast
- 6 nights in charming accommodations
- 5 lunches and 1 dinner
- drinks other than water at meals
- activities not listed in the itinerary
Day 1: Arrival in Genoa
Make your way independently to Genoa, one of Italy’s most fascinating cities. For centuries it was one of the most powerful maritime republics in Italy and its fleet controlled territory from Corsica to Crete. Check into your hotel and enjoy dinner on your own tonight to allow for a relaxed first evening. Overnight Genoa. Dinner not included.
Days 2-3: Camogli and the Gulf of Tigullio
Discover the fascinating history of Genoa on a guided visit this morning and then head out for a lovely walk along the coast. Eventually we transfer by train to the colorful fishing port of Camogli, which is famous for the painted trompe l’oeil facades on the houses. On our second day we fortify ourselves with an extra coffee and one of the town’s famous rum balls before setting off on a challenging hike around the promontory that separates quiet Camogli from elegant Portofino. We climb through verdant forests of oak and chestnut before descending down to a tiny cove that shelters the monastery of San Fruttuoso and a lovely pebble beach. From there you can continue to hike or else hop a ferry over to Portofino, whose small harbor attracts some of the swankiest yachts in the world. Return to Camogli by ferry or else continue by water taxi to the seaside town of Santa Margherita before returning to Camogli by train. We dine together tonight at a local trattoria. Overnight Camogli.
Days 4-6: The Villages of the Cinque Terre and the “Port of Venus”
For the next three days we hike and explore the towns of the famed “Cinque Terre,” five villages that are tucked into tiny crags and bays along the coast. For centuries they eked out a living on fishing and wine, but in the last 25 years they’ve become one of the most visited destinations in Italy. We stay 3 nights in the largest of the towns so you can see it with fewer tourists once the day-trippers leave. We have glorious (and challenging!) hikes every day that begin with steep rocky steps before flatter trails that curve around the coast before dropping down into the next village. Any of the walks can be traded for easier options as there are trains and ferries that connect all of the towns. Our final hike goes over to beautiful Portovenere. Named after the Goddess of Love (Venere = Venus in Latin), this narrow strip of houses began as a Roman enclave and eventually became one of Genoa’s most important fortresses; but it was the town’s beauty that eventually captivated visitors like Lord Byron and D.H. Lawrence, both of whom lived in the area. 3 nights in Monterosso.
Day 7: Tour Ends
We offer one group transfer to the La Spezia train station for connections back to Genoa or on to Rome, Florence or Milan.
Getting there and away: You can fly directly into the Genoa airport, which has some connections to European hubs, or take a train from Rome or Milan. La Spezia is an hour from Pisa by train and from there you can connect to the rest of Italy.