The five towns of Cinque Terre create a charming enclave where the Maritime Alps meet the Mediterranean Sea. The villages each encircle a ravine outlet with pastel-painted homes and narrow cobblestone streets free of cars and enchantingly preserved in their isolation. Your flight will land at Cristoforo Colombo Airport in Genoa, and your private transfer will meet you at baggage claim to escort you alongside the coastline that encompasses the Italian Riviera. Villages with medieval castles rise out of the plateaus that overlook the water as fishing towns border golden sand beaches.
Quiet trails crisscross the hilltops that lead you to private gardens and lush vineyards that rush over the terraces. Once in Monterosso, you will settle in at your luxurious hotel set on a promontory that overlooks the water. Verdant olive trees and grape vines grow along the hillside as the pebbled beach arches near the opposite promontory. The cliff is adorned with an early 20th-century sculpture that depicts a giant holding the base of what was once a villa on its back. Umbrellas shade the beach, and circuitous cobblestone lanes lead to small boutique shops with elegant window displays.
The aroma of the seaside blends with the herbaceous scent of fresh pesto sauce that drifts out of the cellar-like restaurants set amidst the narrowing streets. The tunnel at the back of the city leads to the contemporary district of town that overtakes the valley and foothills of the encompassing mountains. The medieval stones of Torre Aurora once protected the town from pirate attacks in the 16th century and remains a fixture on a small plateau that overlooks the layered shades of blue that span the Mediterranean to the horizon.