Savor the quintessential luxuries of the French and Italian Rivieras during your 10-day tour that will immerse you in the opulence of the former Genoese Republic. Combine the grandeur of the past with the comforts of the contemporary world as reflected in the encompassing beauty of the land and the sea. Squeeze your fingers around a plump grape from a secluded vineyard on the Ligurian Mountains, and then wander along the cobblestone streets to find the thriving local markets. Uncover majestic...
Nice – Arrive in the Beautiful French Seaside with an Evening at Leisure
Nice is a city known to the world for its gorgeous location that overlooks the turquoise water of the Mediterranean Sea. Baroque palaces line cobblestone streets as blue and white umbrellas shade the beachgoers that lounge on the pebbled shores. The city’s beauty is no secret as Nice continues to allure visitors from around the world with intimate, unique experiences unique to the streets that wind along the Maritime Alps and pressing against the serene waters of the Bay.
Your flight will land at the Nice Cot d’Azur Airport, where your private transfer will await your arrival. The luxury of your hotel officially welcomes you to Nice and the French Riviera as the tranquil location offers a relaxed pace and sophisticated charm with views to the emerging city lights that flicker against the sea. Venture out into the Vieille Ville, the Old Town, for your first of many strolls down the maze of narrow lanes and cobblestone streets. The invigorating ambiance emanates from the small bars and enchanting restaurants that lead you to the Palais Lascaris, a 17th-century palace erected as the residence of the Lascaris-Vintimille family. The herbaceous scent of roast red mullet simmered in fennel emanates from the Michelin Star-awarded restaurant nearby.
Nice – Explore the Exquisite Promenades and Established Museums of Nice
Nice returns to vibrant life in the morning around Cours Saleya. The market fills with locals as they socialize with the many fishmongers. The vendors eagerly show the freshness of their seafood caught early in the morning in the Mediterranean and cod and mussels fill the stalls, along with squid and bright prawns. The flower market reflects the beauty of countryside and architecture of Nice, with the beautiful aromas of lavender drifting by. At breakfast, you can sit on the terrace with a semi-sweet and frothy cappuccino and watch the city come to life.
Your guide will meet you in the lobby ready to show the remarkable culture of Nice through the architecture and artwork on display around the city. The beachfront Promenade des Anglais fills with people eager to bask in the sunlight as the scent of chocolate blends with the aroma of roasted coffee beans, which overtakes the briny sea breeze. You will venture first to the Musee Matisse, located on the Cimiez hilltop. The historical Genoese villa was erected in the 17th century, and the rosy hues of the exterior prefigure the riot of color displayed in the interior galleries.
The museum includes the largest collection of Matisse’s works, offering an evolution of the artist’s career. Matisse lived and worked in Nice from 1918 until the 1950s, taking inspiration from the land and sea, culture, and the streets in and around the city. The impressionist work Women with an Umbrella was painted in 1905 using a collection of dots to help create the figure of the woman on the beach. The white space between the dots is as important to creating a sense of dimension and color as the hues themselves.
Nice – Discover Charming Medieval and Artistic Towns of the Countryside
In the morning, you will take part in the vibrant life of the marketplace at the Cours Saleya. The vendors call out from beneath the tents across from the boutique shops and cafes as sacks of saffron and thyme add a mesmerizing fragrance to the air. Locals wander through the lanes with totes brimming with colorful produce and antique books. The Antique Market offers insight into the historical charms around Nice, from the refurbished end tables to the stunning neoclassical marble statues. After breakfast, your guide will meet you in the lobby of your hotel ready to show you the majesty of the hilltop towns and seaside resorts outside of Nice, beginning with the remarkable Villa Ephrussi on the Cap-Ferrat peninsula. The emerald cypress and oak trees bloom easily against the sapphire hues of the Mediterranean Sea.
Once at the villa, you will have a glimpse into the lifestyle of a baroness, the daughter of Baron Alphonse de Rothschild. The villa was erected in the early 20th century and modeled after the luxurious Italian palaces of old. Antique furniture accentuates the interior, framing paintings and sculptures shaped by master artists. Your guide will lead you into the gardens—nine in total—each manicured to a different theme, from Florentine to Spanish, and even a rose garden. The French garden fills the largest space and was designed to resemble a ship’s deck. You will hear the gentle trickle of waterfalls in the serene ambiance as olive trees and cypress hedges border the walkways. A musical fountain sprouts from a large pond with ballet-type grace.
Genoa – Visit the Luxurious City of Monaco and Tour the Streets of Genoa
The harbor of Cagnes-sur-Mer fills with fishing boats as they return from the shore as yachts are moored against the mountain ridges. The village sits atop the hillside that overlooks the water and the mouth of the River Var. Pierre-Auguste Renoir resided in town near the end of his life to enjoy the mild climate and stunning scenery. The French Riviera unveils the wonder of land, sea, and artistic creativity of master artists, wrapped in the historical charms of the Genoese Republic. After breakfast, you will meet your private transfer and venture to the famous Principality of Monaco, a city less than one square mile in size. The Mediterranean Sea shines three shades of blue against the golden bark and emerald leaves of the towering palm trees.
The 13th-century streets of Old Monaco meander around the rocky promontory known as Le Rocher. The colorful buildings soar above the harbor where stunning yachts weight anchor. The streets have a rich atmosphere that brings luxury and history, glitz and glamor to the forefront. Wander along the two elegant boulevards of Monte-Carlo, those of Princesse Charlotte and Boulevard des Moulins. The Palais du Prince stands atop Le Rocher and houses the oldest monarchy in the world, established in the late 13th century by a Genoese noble family. The exterior walls maintain the stronghold purpose of the original fortress as the panoramic views that once offered defensive positioning now create a fabulous ambiance.
Levanto – Venture to Seaside Levanto for a Relaxing Exploration of Town
Genoa symbolizes a long-standing maritime power along the Mediterranean Sea. After defeating Pisa in the 12th and 13th centuries, the Genoese Republic grew to prominence in the 16th and 17th centuries. The palaces along Via Garibaldi represent the lavish past through grand facades, embellished with carvings and frescoes, along with detailed arcades. Former noble family crests adorn the main porticos. Spend the morning wandering along the remains of Genoa’s decadent past before you venture south to Levanto. The seaside town has a long sandy beach and charming historical center as the villas on the hillside have spectacular views to the shimmering sea.
The original city walls wrap around the edges of the Levanto’s former borders as portions of the 12th-century castle stand near the edge of the historical center that overlooks the shoreline. Two square-based structures frame the circular tower as decorative motifs accentuate the castle complex that depicts the conflicts of noble families in the region. Waves roll to the south of the beach and offer a perfect place for surfers to enjoy waves that reach upwards of 12 feet high. Tubes break from the left to the right and glisten with sapphire water and white foam.
Levanto – Follow the Trails that Connect Monterosso and Vernazza
In the morning, the aroma of fresh focaccia lingers in the streets as it drifts from the bakeries around the historical center. Surfers have made their way to the beach to catch the waves that edge the southern end of the city as the beach shines gold in the gentle light that reaches over the hillside. After breakfast, you will make your way to the train station and board the local train that connects Levanto to the most northerly town of Cinque Terre, Monterosso. The scenic ride takes you through the coastal mountain that separates Levanto from the Cinque Terre. The tunnel opens to a bright view of the foothills on your left and the vast Mediterranean to the train’s right as the scent of the sea blends with the rich, untamed soil of the mountain rides.
Monterosso is the largest of the five towns, and its city center reaches the edge of the bay with a narrow stretch of beach decorated with blue and white umbrellas and lounge chairs. The scent of pesto drifts from the restaurants along the cobblestone streets. The medieval tower once erected by the Genoese Republic continues to stand along on a singular promontory. You will stretch your legs in town before you take the trail to Vernazza with a stop at the Madonna di Soviore, located between the towns on the hillside above the trail. The sanctuary was established in the 8th century and remains the oldest sanctuary along the Ligurian coastline. Vineyards stretch along the hillside, texturing the landscape between the plateau and the boulders rising out of the shoreline below.
Levanto – Travel to Manarola for a Wine Tour along the Hillside Vineyards
Today you will continue along the trails of Cinque Terre to discover the charms of the countryside and majesty of the culture along the five towns, each distinctive yet connected. Board your train to Manarola for a tour through the vineyard-clad hills, and then your guide will meet you at the train station to lead you along the trail of the narrow dirt paths that overlook the town. This peaceful walk will introduce you to the different views and aromas of Liguria, from the seaside to the rich earth, both sweetened by the presence of the grapevines. A garden clings to the edge of the cliff with blossoming flowers reminiscent of the colorful homes, verdant brush, and dazzling sea. You will travel back to town to notice the 16th-century watch tower and 14th-century Gothic church.
The latter contains a stunning rose window constructed with Carrara marble. Your guide will take you into a local, ancient wine cellar at the heart of Manarola near the lapping water of the natural harbor. Locals enjoy the ambiance of the cellar and embrace its historical connection to the town. Your guide will recount Manarola’s connection to white wine in the region as they produce the celebrated Sciacchetra sweet wine. The refreshing cool of the cellar bar adds to the secretive character. Winemakers pick the grapes from the stem by hand, connecting to the process and the generations of history who have made the wine before them. The scent honey fills the glass, and a taste of figs lingers on your palate.
Levanto – Visit the Abbey San Fruttuoso and the Coastal Town of Portofino
The promontory separating Portofino from Recco hides the gorgeous 10th century Abbey San Fruttuoso. After breakfast, you will step aboard a private boat at the marina in Levanto. The boat wades in the water as fishermen return from their time searching the Mediterranean for the perfect catch and the breeze carries the mist as it splashes up from the waves as they hit the rocks. You will see the dome rising above the medieval and Romanesque vaults of the cellar as the boat moors at the docking bay where a colorful fresco of San Fruttuoso welcomes you to the secluded beach protected by the mountains.
The water once covered the new, pebbled shoreline to reach beneath the arched cellar to allow supply boats to enter into the Abbey from below. A small shop overlooking the water offers artisanal olive oils and vinegar produced on family run orchards and vineyards around the foothills. The clear water laps against the boulders that frame the beach as a 16th-century watchtower peeks out of the treetops that once kept guard over the Abbey to protect the shoreline from pirates. After basking in the sun and the culture in and around the Abbey, you will board your ferry to Portofino. En route to the gem of the Italian Riviera, your boat will pass the statue known as the Christ of the Abyss, a bronze sculpture that stands nearly 50 feet beneath the sea’s surface. The statue’s face and arms are raised, visible in the calm, clear water.
Pisa – Discover the Towns along the Enchanting Tuscan Countryside
The Republic of Genoa shared a luxurious and wealthy history along the coastlines of Italy and southern France eventually overtaking the Pisan military might. Today you make your way to Pisa to discover the remnants of the city’s former decadence, stopping to explore the majesty of Tuscan villages along the way. Olive trees, vineyards, and fields encircle the hillside that supports Casale Marittimo. The town was established in the 8th century following the construction of the Church of St. Andrew. The old neighborhood and new neighborhood divide the overall town, following the remains of the medieval fortifications and gates as the verdant trees and vines grow across the coastal plains that lead to the Ligurian shores.
The hilltop reaches a height of 1,355 feet above sea level, and the scent of the fields has a wheat-like quality, differing from the aroma along the Mediterranean beaches. When you arrive in Pisa, you will find a city established in a youthful exuberance rooted in the university, which was founded in the 14th century. The bountiful allure of the city takes you beyond the Piazza dei Miracoli and the Leaning Tower, and to Campo Santo, a 13th-century cloister decorated with Gothic imagery and Roman sarcophagi. The interior contains original sketches of 14th and 15th-century frescoes lining the walls in red ink.
Pisa – Depart for Home
In the morning, the marble façade and slender pillars of the Cathedral shimmer in the passing light. Moorish mosaics glow with abundant light and color, highlighting the beauty of the past and the Romanesque features of the architecture. Locals venture to the cafes to indulge in the scent of chocolate and the most popular espresso in the city as cakes and freshly baked brioche fill the display cases. After breakfast, your private transfer will meet you at your hotel and escort you to Galileo Galilei Airport for your flight home.
- Enjoy the natural and cultural charms of the famous five towns of the Italian Riviera known as Cinque Terre
- Traverse the Ligurian coastline by private boat to reach the secluded shores of Abbey San Fruttuoso
- Stroll along the ancient trails that connect the five towns of Cinque Terre
- Indulge in the local wines of Cinque Terre during a private vineyard and cellar tour
- Bask in the gorgeous architecture, opulent history, and stunning beaches of Nice in France
- Discover the depth of color and range of artistic interpretation of famous French master Matisse at the Musee Matisse
- Wander through the grandeur and lavish setting of Monte-Carlo in the Principality of Monaco
- Witness the stunning Italian palaces of Genoa that date back to the height of the Genoese Republic in the 16th and 17th centuries
- Uncover the wonders of Pisa, from the remarkable churches to sacred grounds, along with the renowned Leaning Tower
- Relish the beauty, charm, luxury of the French and Italian Rivieras
- Traverse villages filled with local culture and remarkable history in southern France and western Tuscany
The extravagances of the French and Italian Rivieras offer unforgettable treasures. Your custom tailored tour will trace the breadth of the former Genoese Republic that once conquered the seaside, building castles and towers along the shore to demonstrate its wealth and protect its assets. Villages inland from the shores look over the splendor of the coast between the South of France and western Italy and offer panoramas of vineyards, olive orchards, mountain ridges, and pebbled beaches. Your flight will land at Nice’s International Airport where you will meet your private transfer at baggage claim. Your hotel is located near the heart of the historical city center and offers you comfort and luxury near the vibrant life of Nice.
Wake the next day for your private tour of the city’s graceful architecture, enthusiastic culture, and colorful museums, including the Matisse museum, the Chagall Museum, and Castle Hill. The next day, you will discover the tranquil and inspiring villages around Nice and utilize the knowledge of your local guide to discover Saint-Paul de Vence, Eze, and Villa Ephrussi. Your private transfer will meet you at your hotel the following day and escort you southward towards the heart of the Genoese Republic. En route, you will stop in the Principality of Monaco to immerse yourself in the opulence of the famous streets of Monte-Carlo. Once in Genoa, you will enjoy an in-depth tour of the city’s elaborate history.
The following day you can enjoy a leisurely morning along the streets of Genoa before you venture to the seaside town of Levanto. The remainder of the day is yours to explore the beaches and castles of the Levanto at your preferred pace. Continue the next day as you catch a train to Monterosso al Mare, the most northerly town of Cinque Terre, to embrace the quiet streets and luxurious coastline once protected by the Genoese Republic. Traverse the trails between Monterosso and Vernazza, visit the church and enjoy the panoramic views. The following day, you will complete your discovery of Cinque Terre as you visit the remaining towns and indulge in the local culture through a wine tour along the hills of Manarola.
Wake the next morning to board your private boat that will take you to the secluded shores of Abbey San Fruttuoso. Delight in the pebbled beaches and historical architecture before you continue to the town of Portofino, the gem of the Italian Riviera. The following day, your private transfer will lead you inland from Levanto to reveal the serene splendor of Tuscan towns en route to Pisa. Wander through the cobblestone streets of Casale Marittimo, Barga, and Lucca before you reach Pisa. See the splendor of the Leaning Tower, the Piazza dei Miracoli, and the majesty of the monuments beyond the well-known architecture. Conclude as your private transfer will meet you at the hotel and escort you to Pisa Galileo Galilei Airport for your flight home.
$2,745 per person (excluding international flights)
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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