Day 01: Milan Arrival | Welcome to Italy! Upon arrival at Pisa airport please proceed through the Passport Control and collect your luggage inside the customs area. Just outside this area meet your driver who will transfer you to your Hotel in Santa Margherita Ligure. The rest of the day is at leisure on the Tigullio Gulf. Overnight in Santa Margherita Ligure.
Day 02: Portofino, San Fruttuoso, and Rapallo | After breakfast at the hotel, meet your driver and private guide in the lobby for a Private Tour of Portofino, San Fruttuoso and Rapallo. The most popular resort towns on the Italian Riviera, little Portofino with just over 500 permanent residents. Visit the Church of San Giorgio and take a stroll down to the lighthouse. A ferry trip to San Fruttuoso is included in the tour. This small fishing village located in a bay at the foot of Mount Portofino can be reached only by boat or on foot, following the trails in Portofino Park. After lunch in a characteristic local restaurant, take a short Ferry to Rapallo. The waterfront is an elegant walk in the shade of palm trees; halfway along with boat berth with which the other places on the Gulf are reached. Late afternoon return to your Hotel. Overnight in Santa Margherita Ligure.
Day 03: Sestri Levante and Chiavari Private Guided Tour | Breakfast at the Hotel. Meet your driver and private guide in the lobby. This morning you will visit one of Liguria’s lovely gems, Sestri Levante. The town is sitting on the jagged coastline it is a pastel place with nice beaches. Sestri Levante was an island but is now connected to the shoreline’s promontory by a sliver of land: a fairy-tale setting, between the Baia di Silenzio (Bay of Silence) and the Baia Delle Favole (Bay of Fables). The old town is pleasant to stroll and soak in the atmosphere, look in the shops and enjoy a gelato. Nearby is the fishing hamlet of Riva Trigoso, still a center for boating and fishermen. It is picturesque with pastel-painted houses lining the waterfront. After lunch in a characteristic local restaurant, continue to Chiavari, a medieval old town rich with “carrugi” (the name was given to the typical narrow streets dating from the Middle Ages) and a succession of historical buildings. Among them, one of the best known and most curious is the 12th century Palace of Blacks Portici. Continuing to walk through the “carrugi”, it is easy to understand why Chiavari was an ancient important commercial port, worldwide renown. Many commercial enterprises were employed in a wide variety of activities under the ancient arcades. Late afternoon return to your Hotel. Overnight in Santa Margherita Ligure.
Day 04: Santa Margherita Ligure – Monterosso & Vernazza Private Guided Tour → Cinque Terre | Breakfast at the Hotel. Meet your Driver at the Hotel Lobby. This morning, en route to your hotel in Poto Venere, you will embark on a Private Guided Tour of The Cinque Terre, featuring some of the Mediterranean’s most picturesque coasts. You will reach Monterosso al Mare where you will meet your Private Guide. The Cinque Terre is one of Italy’s most captivating landscapes. Translated as ‘five lands,’ the region is made up of five unique fishing villages that line the Italian Riviera. A combination of easy walks, village visits, train rides and a short boat trip between the atmospheric villages makes this the ideal visit to the Cinque Terre. Your private Guide will share great stories about each charming village, as The Cinque Terre, which until recently were linked only by mule tracks and accessible only by rail or water. Today you will explore 2 of the 5 Borgos: You Tour starts in the old part of Monterosso, dominated by the walls of the ancient fortress, the remains of Fieschi Castle and the Aurora Tower. Like all the other Cinque Terre villages, Monterosso has brightly colored houses and narrow alleyways. The modern village stretches along the coastline from the San Cristoforo promontory to Punta Mesco. Here you will find a lively seafront promenade and, as previously said, the best beach around. After lunch in a characteristic local restaurant, continue to Vernazza where you will enjoy the view from the Doria Castle, built in the Middle Ages to protect the village from pirates. Lined with cozy cafes, craft shops and wine bars, Vernazza’s main street (Via Roma) links the seaside Piazzetta (Piazza Marconi) with the railway station and hides a little jewel of a chapel: the Chapel of Santa Marta. In the late afternoon, continue to your Hotel. Overnight in Cinque Terre.
Day 05: Riomaggiore, Corniglia and Manarola Private Guided Tour | Breakfast at the Hotel. Meet your Guide at the Hotel Lobby. Today you will explore the other 3 Cinque Terre Borgos: Riomaggiore, Corniglia and Manarola. After a short boat tour ride, you will each Riomaggiore. Most of the village of Riomaggiore is squeezed into a narrow and steep valley, with tall colorful houses on either side of the main road and a small harbor below. Although tourism is clearly a major local industry, the fishing boats in the harbor (and the vineyards you will also come across as you explore) are a reminder that Cinque Terre actually has a real working population, not just cafes and tourist shops! Continue to Corniglia. Nestled in the middle of the five towns, Corniglia sometimes gets overlooked due to the myth that there are no beaches. After lunch in a characteristic local restaurant, continue to Manarola. The town of Manarola, most probably antique slang for “the big millstone”, sits along both the coast of the Tyrrhenian sea and the Groppa river which flows down to the sea. Manarola is one of the smallest of the five towns that make up Cinque Terre. In the late afternoon, return to your Hotel. Overnight in Cinque Terre.
Day 06: Cinque Terre | Breakfast at the Hotel. Today Spend the day at leisure in Cinque Terre. The main attraction of the Cinque Terre is the landscape. Mediterranean herbs and trees grow spontaneously from the top of the hills down to the water level. Well embedded in this magnificent natural scenery, one can admire the intense human activity of the ancestors when the wine terraces were built. Overnight in Cinque Terre.
Day 07: La Spezia and Gulf of Poets| Breakfast at the Hotel. Today explore the Gulf of Poets on a Private Guided Tour. The Gulf of Poets is a dramatically beautiful area full of little villages, gorgeous colors, and steep cliffs that disappear into the blue waters below. Also known as the Gulf of La Spezia this area of the Italian Riviera begins at the Magra River and finishes at the town of Portovenere. The Bay of Poets, so-called because it was a favorite of writers like Shelley, Byron, Petrarca, and Montale. It also includes the picturesque villages of Lerici, Sarzana, Tellaro, San Terenzo, Montemarcello, the city of La Spezia, and the islands of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto. Overnight in Portovenere.
Day 08: Cinque Terre → Lunigiana Borgos Private Guided Tour → Pontebosio | Breakfast at the Hotel. Meet your Driver at the Hotel Lobby. This morning, en route to your Castel Hotel in Pontebosio, meet your Guide in Licciana Nardi. The town dates back to the 13th century, when its role was to guard the route to the Passo del Lagastrello. The castle, which now looks more like a mansion, towers over the main square. Look for the bridge that was used by its inhabitants to reach the church without having to encounter the locals. The castle is now a private residence, and not open to the public. However, the owners are personal friends of ours, therefore arrangements may be made to visit the Castle. Some of the ancient fortified walls of the town can still be seen. Today, the main street of Licciana Nardi is filled with small shops, all with colorful painted signs. Look out for the Brunilde, (same owner of the Castle: Architect Brunella Viani) which is part of the initiative, i Laboratori del Parco that supports the production by local artisans of handicrafts using local materials, such as wool and leather. In the afternoon, after lunch in a characteristic local restaurant continue by visiting Tavernelle, a small village in the hills of Licciana Nardi, at 450 meters above sea level. It has a medieval center with a restaurant, bar, and campsite. Continue for a visit to the Borgo of Taponeco. In the late afternoon, continue to your Hotel. Overnight in Pontebosio.
Day 09: Fosdinovo and Sarzana Castles and Borgos Private Guided Tour | Breakfast at the Hotel. Meet your driver and Guide at the Hotel Lobby. In the morning, you visit one of the most fascinating castles in Lunigiana, Fosdinovo castle. It is strategically placed halfway between the peaks of the Apuan Alps and the coast. Today, the descendants of the ancient feudal Malaspina family still live in the castle. The Malaspinas built the castle in the Middle Ages and their fortunes are interwoven with its history. Inside, the frescoed walls and furnished halls reflect what life was like during those times. The tumultuous life of the Malaspina family is full by legends, and, as befitting every self-respecting castle, these legends are full of ghosts, trapdoors and torture chambers. In the afternoon, after lunch in a characteristic local restaurant continue to Sarzana for a Private Guided of Sarzanella Fortress. The first sure information on the existence of Sarzanello Fort takes us to a few decades before the famous year one thousand. In that period, at the branch of two main roads, via Romea, being the road used by pilgrims, and via Aurelia, there was a vast flat area of land, just like today, useful for farming. This extraordinary strategic position could certainly not remain without a citadel, a stronghold for the potentates of the time. In the late afternoon, return to your Hotel. Overnight in Pontebosio.
Day 10: Pontebosio – Milan Airport | After breakfast at the hotel enjoy a Private Transfer to Milan Airport.