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Liguria: Genoa, Cinque Terre & the Italian Riviera

Oct 14 - 20, 2024

7 days, 6 nights

Small Group

From €6,250 per person based on 2 people

Join Ciao Andiamo and professional travel writer Michelle Damiani for an insider’s journey through Liguria, where you’ll learn creative techniques to open your senses and translate your experiences onto the page. By practicing travel with a writer’s lens, you’ll experience Italy in a whole new way. In other words, you’ll travel write to travel right. Located in the northwestern part of Italy, Liguria boasts charming seaside villages, impressive cliffs, and centuries of history. Explore the dramatic coast of the Italian Riviera, from the winding alleys of Genova to the five colorful towns of the Cinque Terre, with striking vistas and delicious local cuisine along the way. This adventure is an excellent opportunity for anyone with a creative spirit and passion for travel—no previous writing experience required!

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Why You'll Love It
  • Enjoy a tour of Genoa’s historical city center and sample its many markets, along with tasting the nationally renowned focaccia and learning to make a pitch perfect pesto
  • Stroll through the fishing villages of Camogli and Boccadasse, explore the colorful Cinque Terre and stylish Portofino, and admire the Ligurian coast from the sea
  • Elevate your journey with daily guided writing with a professional author and devoted Italophile
  • By documenting your experiences, you’ll become better at experiencing—opening your senses and seeing poetry in the everyday
Day 1

Journey to the Riviera

Benvenuti in Italia! Meet Ciao Andiamo Co-Owner Max Brunelli and Michelle (your writing guide), in central Milan this morning and begin your journey to Genova and the Italian Riviera. Along the way, stop in Vercelli to tour a historic rice farm where you’ll journey back in time to see how rice farmers lived and worked in decades past, get an up-close look at rice production today, and enjoy a delicious lunch featuring local risotto. Then continue to Genova, settle into your accommodations and enjoy a welcome dinner at a favorite local restaurant.

Day 2

Experience Liguria’s Past

Following breakfast, start today in one of Genova’s hidden gems: Boccadasse, a former fishing village that still maintains its charm, even as the city has grown around it. Step into the neighborhood’s past as you explore its picturesque alleyways and walk along the shore. Following a group lunch together, return to Genova in the afternoon for a guided tour of the largest medieval city center in the world. See the original house of Christopher Columbus and stroll down the historic renaissance streets which feature many noble palaces and unique carruggi (historic alleyways that wind through the city). Cap the tour off with a refreshing aperitivo overlooking the city and port, before heading off to sample food stands at the Mercato Orientale.

Day 3

Explore Genova

Get to know Genova a bit more this morning with a visit to the fresh vegetable and fruit market. Afterwards, enjoy a cooking class where you’ll learn how to prepare some of the most iconic plates of the Genovese tradition, such as pesto sauce, vegetable pie, focaccia, and many more tantalizing dishes (please note – the exact menu items featured will depend on what is in season and can be adjusted for group preferences). Spend the evening relaxing or exploring the town further on your own.

Day 4

Head Down the Coast

Say “Ciao!” to Genova with a celebratory farewell breakfast at one of the oldest historical cafes in the heart of town (a true genovesi tradition for special occasions). From there, your journey continues down the coast. Enjoy scenic views along the way and a stop in the charming town of Camogli to explore and enjoy a group lunch together. Then arrive in Sestri Levante, where you’ll check in to your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure to explore the vibrant town center near your hotel, and enjoy dinner on your own.

Day 5

Portofino & San Fruttuoso

Today you’ll visit Portofino and spend some time in this famous jet-setting destination. Wander through the alleyways as you make your way up to the church of San Giorgio to admire the spectacular views of the entire village. Then enjoy a tasty lunch together right on the beach. Following lunch, climb aboard a boat and make your way to San Fruttuoso, a former convent only accessible by sea. Hear fascinating stories about this unique site and savor the gorgeous views of the coast from the water. Then return to Portofino for your drive back to Sestri Levante where you’ll enjoy a relaxing evening at your leisure.

Day 6

Explore Cinque Terre

Travel to the Cinque Terre where you’ll have plenty of time to walk around and enjoy the unique atmosphere of these colorful, world-renowned villages. Take in breathtaking views of the Ligurian coastline as you explore towns like Manarola, Monterosso and Vernazza; do a little shopping and eat a delicious seafood lunch. Following your return to Sestri Levante this evening, regroup for a memorable farewell dinner at a favorite local spot.

Day 7

Wine Tasting & Departure

Following breakfast and check-out, stop in Gavi on your way to Milan for a wine tasting lunch at a local winery. Gaze at the rolling hills that separate Piemonte and Liguria and feature an astonishingly different environment, food, language and history from the coast, showcasing the complexity of the Italian cultural melting pot. From there, you’ll return to Milan where we bid you arrivederci until our next adventure together!

Our Guides

We partner with local guides, drivers, chefs and artisans of the highest caliber across all 20 regions of Italy. Every Ciao Andiamo expert is hand-selected by our team and passionate about sharing the best of Italy with our travelers.

Getting Around

In Italy, getting around isn’t always easy, which is why we design each trip to flow as seamlessly as possible. From private transfers to expert guidance and assistance with public transportation, we’ll make sure you get from point A to point B without the stress.

Dedicated Private Driver

Throughout your tour, travel seamlessly in the comfort of dedicated car service, as you journey on daily excursions spanning small towns and off-the-beaten path adventures.

Where You'll Stay

Where you call home when you are away from home can make all the difference. That’s why we’ve handpicked accommodations across all our small group tours that blend a mix of Italian hospitality, comfort and local character (you want to feel like you’re in Italy, not Idaho).

What's Included

Six nights stay in NH Genova Marina (or similar) and Hotel Vis a Vis (or similar) with daily breakfast

Nine meals (lunch and/or dinner, depending on daily itinerary) featuring regional specialties and local wines

Hands-on cooking class

Private guided tour in Genoa with admissions

Private half-day boat excursion in the Riviera

Full day excursion to the Cinque Terre

Dedicated English-speaking tour leader with daily excursions and ground transportation

Pick-up and drop-off in center of Milan

What's Not Included

Single supplement, airfare, travel insurance, personal expenditures, meals and transfers not specified, guide gratuity (optional)

The Ciao Difference

Every Ciao Andiamo Tour Includes

Expert Local Guides

Private Tours

Insider Access

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