A Perfect Week in the Italian Riviera Tour

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Total Trip:

7 Days
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Countries Visited:

Italy
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Places Visited:

Rapallo, Recco, Lerici, Sanremo, Portovenere, Genoa, Tellaro, Bonassola, Monterosso, Vernazza, Manarola, Corniglia, Riomaggiore, Alassio
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Departure Dates:

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
A week in Italy will take your breath away as you are immersed in village charm and city glitz along the pristine Ligurian shores. Dive into the refreshing Mediterranean Sea in view of the soaring cliffs and then wander through medieval squares, vineyards, and olive groves. Witness opulent palaces adorned with the noble crests while the aroma of fresh seafood emanates from the open grills. From the colorful towns of Cinque Terre to the serene streets of the Gulf of Poets, you will find inspiration

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Day 1

Sanremo – Arrive in Nice and Transfer to the Luxurious Town of Sanremo

Sanremo welcomes visitors from around the world with glitz, glamour, and gorgeous scenery. Villas ascend the mountainsides that overlook the Mediterranean Sea. Locals refer to the Sanremo as the City of Flowers due to the beautiful blossoming petals that enrich the already gorgeous scenery. Your flight will land at Nice Cote d’Azur Airport in France where you will meet your private transfer for a scenic drive along the coastal highway between France and Italy. You will enjoy the pristine views of the Mediterranean Sea, the charming medieval hilltop towns, and the stunning mountain ridges before you reach the lavish atmosphere of Sanremo.

The medieval city center features cobblestone streets for meant for pedestrians only. The Madonna della Costa Sanctuary watches over the city from the hillside with a 17th-century cobblestone mosaic path that leads upwards to the portico. The interior includes an ornate altar and remarkable statues crafted between the 17th and 19th centuries. The opulent décor of the sanctuary embodies the atmosphere of the city below as the labyrinthine streets of the historical center hides behind the manicured lawns and hotels that sport facades of the Belle Epoque. You will be welcomed at your hotel with a traditional regional cocktail known as “Tintoretto.” The drink contains sparkling white wine, white peach pulp, and pomegranate juice for a bright, zesty summer vibe.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

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Day 2

Genoa – Enjoy the History and Scenery of the Ligurian Coast and Genoa

Your morning the medieval city center offers a respite from the glitz of the waterfront. Yachts wade in the calm water along one of the city’s two harbors, and the second fills with fishing boats as they set out onto the Mediterranean Sea eager to fill their nets. After breakfast, your private transfer will meet you at your hotel and escort you on the old road to Genoa. Your scenic route will stop in the villages between Sanremo and the capital of Liguria to offer you a chance to enjoy the seaside views, mountainous terrain, and culture of the western Italian Riviera known as “Coast of the Setting Sun.”

The town of Alassio has the longest sandy beach east of the Riviera di Ponente and reaches nearly two miles. Iconic beach umbrellas and deck chairs speckle the sand as the indigo water laps at the beach underneath the toes of beachgoers. Elegant shops and boutiques line the historical city center inland from the coastline. Once you reach Genoa, you can take your time to settle into your hotel in the heart of a city once the capital of the great Republic.

Genoa battled Pisa in the 10th century onward for supremacy of the Mediterranean, eventually overtaking Pisa and the architecture speaks to the city’s former glory as it dates back to the 12th century. History comes to life in the narrow, twisting lanes of the old city that leads to the palaces along the vibrant street of Via Garibaldi. Noble families erected palaces, such as Palazzi dei Rolli, centuries ago in opulent fashion. Walking down the street you will marvel at the carved and painted embellishments that accentuate the grand arcades adorned by noble family crests.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 3

Monterosso – Visit the Towns of Rapallo, Recco, and Bonassola

In the morning, the grandeur of Genoa is alive in the spouting fountain at the heart of Piazza de Ferrari. Art Nouveau facades and Baroque buildings create layers of rich history. After breakfast, your private transfer will escort you out of town and along the “Coast of the Rising Sun,” a stretch of the Italian Riviera east of Genoa. The Maritime Alps separate the coastline from the countryside as fishing boats rest in the small marinas of villages with their masts swaying in the calm waters that brush against the shore.

Maritime forests open to bushes and olive groves as you venture farther south out of Rapallo to Recco. Recco has a relaxed ambiance that is in touch with its humble roots. Locals tend to the land and sea with farms and fishing boats, and the aroma of basil emanates from the small plots of tilled land on the hillside. Restaurants grill fish on open flames and add twists of lemon or cups of olive oil to keep the fish tender. Bakeries are known for their focaccia and have turned the savory bread into an art form with the rich aroma often overtaking the streets. For an authentic experience, you will stop at a celebrated deli known for its walnut cream sauce tossed over pansotti pasta.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 4

Cinque Terre – Discover the Charms of Cinque Terre on a Private Boat Tour

Your morning in Monterosso is everything you would dream it to be as you can step out onto your private terrace and hear the indigo waters of the Mediterranean splashing against the boulder-clad shoreline. Beneath the former grandeur of the Villa Pastine stands a 45-foot tall statue of Neptune crafted into the rock face, and the shimmering emerald leaves of the terraced vineyards are as captivating as the glistening waters of the Mediterranean. You will venture to the small harbor at the edge of Monterosso to meet your guide for the day, a welcoming local eager to show you the beauty and hidden coves of Cinque Terre.

You will weigh anchor and set sail onto the water for the day and stop at each of the five towns that make up Cinque Terre. The mountains have a more dramatic frame from the distance, but the verdant trees and brush tame the image of the Maritime Alps. The calm water offers secluded inlets to swim in, where you can enjoy the refreshing crystalline water. You will reach the town of Riomaggiore, and your guide will moor at the small marina.

Pastel colored buildings form an inverse “V” shape along the mountain promontory that reaches out to the sea. Waves splash against the coastal ridges on the outskirts of town as the colorful houses contrast with the verdant and rugged landscape. The familiar aroma of focaccia emanates from the local bakeries on the main road of town, and you will relax at a seaside restaurant at the edge of Lover’s Path with a tasting menu of local delicacies paired with celebrated Ligurian wines.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 5

Manarola – Trek one of the Numerous Trails Connecting Cinque Terre

In the morning, the locals tend to their vineyards that overtake the terraces on the hills above Monterosso. The aroma of bitter chocolate and fresh cherries emanates from the gelaterias of town to form the traditional gelato flavors. After breakfast, the day is yours to wander the trails that connect the towns of Cinque Terre for a different view of the culture and coastline. Take the Trail of Sanctuaries that connects the churches of each town, and the challenging paths offer the reward of spectacular views and rich history both on the trail and in the religious structures. On the mountainous path, you will pass both olive groves and maritime forest that fill the air with herbaceous fragrance.

You will reach Manarola to find the 14th-century Gothic church, adorned with a detailed rose window. The interior contains 15th-century images of saints etched into a bas-relief, and the bell tower was originally erected as a watchtower in the 13th century. You will take the trail slowly to bask in the natural beauty of the mountainside as it offers pristine views to the layers of color on the Mediterranean Sea. Relax in Manarola at a centuries-old wine cellar, and then visit with the owner who will take you through the wines of Cinque Terre with a tasting tour that ends with a sample of the dessert wine Sciacchetra.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 6

Tellaro – Traverse the Towns along the Gulf of Poets to Portovenere

The pleasures of the Ligurian coastline stretch beyond the Italian Riviera and into the Gulf of Poets, a stretch of land named for the artists it inspired, such as Lord Byron and Petrarch. Step aboard a boat for an enchanting ride as you travel parallel to the Maritime Alps and the villages of Cinque Terre. You will pass the luxurious harbor of Portovenere, where yachts linger in the calm waters moored against the wooden walkways. Colorful, antique buildings line the seaside promenade and harbor an air of elegance and luxury. After rounding the cape, travel between the shores of the coast and Palmaria Island until you reach the town of Tellaro.

The aroma of grilled octopus fills the seaside walkways. The quiet marina leads into the depths of the medieval town, accentuated by pink and yellow painted homes with flower boxes adorning the windowsills. The traditional ambiance of town leads you inland to Lerici, which was originally settled by Etruscans. Sandy beaches run along the coastline and dip softly into the crystalline water. Visitors and locals turn to the sea to canoe and sail past the Gulf, and the breeze picks up in the mid-afternoon as the windsurfers grab air off of the small waves.

The nearby castle was originally erected in the 8th century by the Pisans but has been refurbished throughout the centuries due to its desirable location that overlooks the gulf. It was a spot of contention between the Republic of Pisa and the Republic of Genoa, but eventually, the Pisans gave it over to the Genoese. The masts of fishing boats rock in the calm water like staffs raised to the sky and the architecture of the town rises over the hills, surrounded by lush forest thanks to the Mediterranean climate. The Jewish Ghetto dates back to the 15th century and remained a desirable district for Jews until the 17th century, acting as a safe-haven for those expelled from Spain, Portugal, and Livorno over time.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 7

Monterosso – Depart for Home

The beauty around Cinque Terre resembles a postcard, picturesque in proportions and color with rolling hilltops and terraced vineyards. The aroma of fresh brioche blends with the scent of brewing espresso. Lemons and olives thrive in the Mediterranean climate and wash over the vegetation as small mills hide in the trees above town. The Convent of Monterosso once belonged to Capuchin monks in the 17th century but today, a bronze statue of St. Francis looks out to the water in honor of the legend where Francis stopped to admire a wolf on the landscape. With time until your flight, your private transfer will meet you in town and escort you by car on a scenic drive outside of Monterosso, before you explore one last village en route to Genoa.

The town of Carro is close to Cinque Terre in terms of miles but worlds away in terms of culture. Trails crisscross the woods and forests to take visitors and locals off the beaten path in view of pristine nature. Red-tiled roofs stand above the verdant cypress and fern trees as mountains encircle the town to form a uniquely secluded area, much like the promontories that guard Cinque Terre. Although inland, the serene landscape and continued traditions remind you of Tellaro, and the pristine beauty of a place seemingly untouched by time crowns your perfect week in the Italian Riviera. After wandering through Carro, you will continue north to the Genoa airport to check-in for your flight home.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Trip Highlights

  • Experience the glitz and glamour of the Italian Monte Carlo at Sanremo, located at the northern end of the Italian Riviera
  • Discover the serene charms of Cinque Terre with a villa-style hotel in the town of Monterosso
  • Wander through the vineyards of Monterosso on the terraces near your accommodation
  • Linger on the beaches of Cinque Terre to bask in the sunlight and the enchanting atmosphere of the Italian Riviera
  • Visit the five towns of Cinque Terre scattered along with secluded coves and beaches during your private cruise as you travel from Monterosso to Riomaggiore
  • Witness the tremendous flavors of Cinque Terre with a wine and food pairing at a restaurant that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea
  • Cruise from Monterosso to the shores of Tellaro to discover the incredible history and majestic landscape of the Gulf of Poets
  • Indulge in the quintessential luxury of the Italian Riviera with a visit to Portovenere
  • Explore the lavish history of Genoa during a private tour of the city’s streets connected to the Republic of Genoa and the life of Christopher Columbus
  • Delight in the simple pleasures of the Ligurian coastline by sampling the regional focaccia bread and other culinary wonders
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Detailed Description

Experience the perfection found in the region of Liguria on your 7-day vacation to the Italian Riviera. Glamour meets the landscape and luxury meets with relaxation as the Riviera is known for its two diverse regions, one west and the other east of Genoa. Your adventure will begin with your arrival at the Nice International Airport, where you will meet your private transfer and travel into Italy to reach Sanremo, located 30 miles away from the French border. The city is often referred to as Italy’s Monte Carlo as you will find a medieval city center, along with the splendor of a town shrouded by its own glamour.

Wake the next day to travel along the old road that connects the seaside villages of Liguria between the French border and Genoa. The Republic of Genoa once governed the shoreline up to the French Cote d’Azure. Stop in the towns that inspire you most and enjoy the seaside charm and fishing culture. Once in Genoa, you will have a private tour of a city rich with history and grandeur, harkening back to the wealth of the former Republic. Continue the next day down the Riviera, east of Genoa, to visit the tranquil towns of Rapallo, Recco, and Bonassola en route to the Cinque Terre’s most northerly town of Monterosso. Indulge in focaccia bread while you watch the surfers catch the breaks before you settling into your villa-style hotel that overlooks the cliffs of the Maritime Alps.

The following day, you can take your time to traverse the streets of Monterosso with a visit to the local church and to the cobblestone square that overlooks the beach. Step aboard a boat for your private cruise that will bring you to each of the five towns along Cinque Terre. Jump into the water at hidden coves and linger in the vistas that overlook the Mediterranean Sea. Once at Riomaggiore, you can partake in a tasting menu at a local restaurant that offers pairings of wine and local cuisine. Venture next onto the trails that crisscross the Maritime Alps and lead north to Levanto and south to Portovenere.

You can follow the mountainous path, or you can wander along the walkway that connects the town churches. The next day, you will have a private boat ride to the Gulf of Poets and visit the charming towns of Tellaro and Lerici, and then spend your evening in the opulent atmosphere of Portovenere at the edge of the Italian Riviera on your way back to Monterosso. Conclude your Italian vacation as your private transfer will lead you to the hamlet of Carro, located inland between Cinque Terre and Genoa, for a view of the forested mountains and tranquil traditions before you arrive at the Cristoforo Colombo Airport in Genoa for your flight home. 

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Starting Price

$1920 per person (excluding international flights)

This trip is customizable for your private travel.
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What's Included

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.

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