Italian Riviera & Italy Tour – June 4- 11, 2022
Cost $3700 Pay by March 31st
$400 Non-Refundable Deposit to Reserve Tour
If you pay now $3300 – you’ll save $400
$3300 Balance for the Italian Riviera & Italy Tour – Paid in Full
Viareggio – Riviera Home Base
Welcome to Viareggio! Our group meets at our hotel near the city center at 3pm. We’ll have a meet & greet to get acquainted and discuss the itineray. Then we can explore Viareggio at our own pace or just rest until our celebration dinner is served in the hotel restaurant. We’ll enjoy getting to know each other as we embark on an exciting adventure together.
Viareggio is a coastal city and comune in northern Tuscany, Italy. With a population of over 62,000, it is the second largest city within the province of Lucca, after Lucca. Viareggio is known for its Carnival. La Cittadella is a complex housing the Carnival Museum, with small reproductions of the city’s allegorical floats. The Villa Paolina Civic Museums include a museum of musical instruments and an archaeological museum.
The “Viareggio Boardwalk”, is home to numerous boutiques and prestigious brand-name shops boasting the best in Italian, European and international fashion, which attract locals and tourists alike, even from distant cities, to spend a day in Viareggio shopping or relaxing in the sun.
A number of high-end bars and restaurants boast magnificent views of the sea and are perfect for when you need to get out of the sun. For those who prefer to grab a quick bite to eat, there are many eateries along the street that offer a range of alternatives to accommodate all types of requirements. In addition to the shops and restaurants, a number of artisanal gelateria offer a vast assortment of flavors from the traditional to the more original.
In the evening, we’ll have dinner and celebrate our embarking on an exciting adventure together.
Tour Cinque Terre
After breakfast, we’ll travel north to Cinque Terre towns. Cinque Terre is a rugged coastline on the Italian Riviera and consists of the five beautiful hillside towns Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.
The five towns are connected by footpaths, for example the famous sentiero azzurro which connects all five villages. There are also train and boat connections between the towns.
Monterosso is the biggest of the five towns and has the most amenities. Many hotels are situated in the newer part, Fegina.
In the old town you will find seafood restaurants and nice shops. Monterosso has the only long and sandy beach in the area where you can rent chairs and umbrellas or a kajak to explore the many coves around the coast.
Monterosso has a long sandy beach situated in the new part of the village. This is the perfect place if you are looking for a traditional beach with sand and umbrellas. You can either choose to pay for an umbrella and a chair or settle in a free area with your own towel. Along the promenade you’ll find restaurants, pubs and ice-cream shops.
To reach the beach take the train that goes between the Cinque Terre villages and you’ll find the beach right in front of the train station in Monterosso.
Monterosso beach (old town)
This beach is situated in the old town of Monterosso where also the trail to Vernazza starts. It’s a sandy beach near the boats rental area and is divided into public and private zones.
From the train station turn left and walk along the promenade in direction old town, pass the tunnel and you’ll see the beach on your right side. 10 minutes walk.
Vernazza beach (harbour)
Vernazza has a natural pier with an amphitheatre shape making it maybe the most photographed village of the Cinque Terre.
In Vernazza there are only a few hotels to stay in but several B&Bs and private rooms for rent. The tiny port is surrounded by colourful typical Ligurian houses and the charming piazza is lined with good restaurants and bars.
In the harbour of Vernazza there is a small sandy beach where you can take a swim and there are also flat rocks that are great for sunning. The natural harbor surrounding the beach allows the water to remain calm and creates a great place to protect the local’s fishing boats.
From the railway station go along the main village street in direction harbour, 2 minutes walk.
Vernazza beach (behind the cliff)
This is a stony beach on the east side of the village.
From the main village street turn left through the “cave”, 2 minutes walk.
Corniglia is located in the middle of the five towns. It is the only village which is not built directly on the sea but on a cliff 100 metres above sea level.
Corniglia is probably the most genuine town of the five and with the least amount of tourists. Corniglia is connected to the other villages of the Cinque Terre by well kept footpaths and a train connection.
One of the least crowded is the Guvano beach near Corniglia. If you hike the trail between Vernazza and Corniglia you will find a sign Spiaggia Libera, which means Public beach. The Guvano beach is known to be a nudist beach and is usually very quiet and peaceful. A particulary long expanse of pebble beach can be found by Corniglia railway station.
Manarola has a tiny harbor with a boat ramp, picturesque multicoloured houses facing the sea and a tiny piazza with seafood restaurants. In Manarola starts the famous path Via dell’Amore (Lover’s Lane) which is a very scenic path that leads you to Riomaggiore in only 20 minutes.
Although there is no traditional beach in Manarola, there is a beautiful harbour area that have the best deep-water swimming around.
A ladder up the rocks and a shower are provided for those who love a little adventuresome swimming.
From the train station proceed in direction harbour, 3 minutes walk.
Riomaggiore is considered to be one of the most peaceful and quiet villages of the Cinque Terre. Riomaggiore is basically a cascade of multi-coloured houses in the typical Ligurian style, all tightly clustered around a tiny natural harbour carved out in between the rocks.
The Cinque Terre is a cultural landscape of great scenic and cultural value. The disposition of the small villages and the shaping of the surrounding landscape, overcoming the disadvantages of a steep, uneven terrain, encapsulate the continuous history of human settlement in this region over the past millennium.
In Riomaggiore there is a public beach of boulders with crystal water east of the village. From the railway station follow the tunnel and the sign to “marina”. Visit the lovely harbour and take the stairs to the left and it will wind around to the ferry dock. Just past there and you will reach the stony beach.
We’ll have lunch along the way and if there’s time we’ll also visit Levanto, just north of the Cinque Terre near Monterosso, where we’ll find a beautiful and relatively long beach which is rather uncommon for this area.
It’s a sandy beach ideal for all sorts of activities. It’s divided into public (free) parts and private parts providing a range of services such as bars, outdoor pool, deck chairs, umbrellas, showers etc. You can rent canoes, peddle boats, motor boats and surf boards by the hour or for the whole day.
When we return to home base, the rest of the evening is free to do what you want and maybe go to bed early so your rejuvenated for the next day.
After breakfast, we’ll visist Torre del Lago which is southeast of Viareggio, with a beautiful beach and the Villa Puccini, a museum about the composer in his former lakeside residence.
After lunch we’ll return to Viareggio and free time for you to explore extra cirricula activities.
After breakfast, we’ll continue our travels take us south for a sightseeing tour of the following:
Pisa and Florence
Pisa is 6 miles from the coast and the Port of Pisa which has safe pebble and sandy beaches sheltered by stone barriers and popular with families.
Pisa is a city in Italy’s Tuscany region best known for its iconic Leaning Tower. Already tilting when it was completed in 1372, the 56m white-marble cylinder is the bell tower of the Romanesque, striped-marble cathedral that rises next to it in the Piazza dei Miracoli.
Florence, capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, is home to many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture. One of its most iconic sights is the Duomo, a cathedral with a terracotta-tiled dome engineered by Brunelleschi and a bell tower by Giotto. The Galleria dell’Accademia displays Michelangelo’s “David” sculpture. The Uffizi Gallery exhibits Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” and da Vinci’s “Annunciation.”
Michaelagelo’s David – Florence
Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
Dominating the serene Tuscan skyline of Florence is the Duomo cathedral, the third largest cathedral in the world. A masterpiece by architect Filippo Bruneschelli’s, it’s one of the most enduring symbols in all of Italy and the gigantic cupola is testimony of the bridging of Greek and Gothic architecture. The massive structure required six centuries to complete. Located in the appropriately named Piazza del Duomo and dedicated to Santa Maria del Fiore (Saint Mary Of The Flower),
Free Day to explore more of Viareggio or follow your bliss some other way, i.e. enjoy the beach that’s only a short distance from out hotel.
The Vatican and Rome
After Breakfast, we’ll travel to Rome.
Traditional stories handed down by the ancient Romans themselves explain the earliest history of their city in terms of legend and myth. The most familiar of these myths, and perhaps the most famous of all Roman myths, is the story of Romulus and Remus, the twins who were suckled by a she-wolf. They decided to build a city, but after an argument, Romulus killed his brother and the city took his name. According to the Roman annalists, this happened on 21 April 753 BC.
This legend had to be reconciled with a dual tradition, set earlier in time, that had the Trojan refugee Aeneas escape to Italy and found the line of Romans through his son Iulus, the namesake of the Julio-Claudian dynasty.
Gladiatorial spectacles were held there in the sixth century.
We’ll have a photo op at the Colosseum, an oval amphitheatre where Gladiatorial spectacles were held in the sixth century. It’s located in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy, just east of the Roman Forum. It is the largest ancient amphitheatre ever built, and is still the largest standing amphitheatre in the world today, despite its age.
Arch of Constantine
Just outside the Coliseum is the Arch of Constantine (Arco di Costantino), a 25m high monument built in AD315 to mark the victory of Constantine over Maxentius at Pons Milvius.
After lunch we’ll visit Vatican City, a city-state surrounded by Rome, Italy, is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. It’s home to the Pope and a trove of iconic art and architecture. The St. Peters Basilica houses ancient Roman sculptures such as the famed Michelangelo’s “Pieta” and a Renaissance frescoes is displayed on the ceiling as well as on the ceiling in the Raphael Rooms. and the Sistine Chapel is famous for Michelangelo’s ceiling.
The Sistine Chapel
We’ll journey to Pisa International Airport for our flights home.
*Header Photo is a Tuscany Riviera Beach in Viareggio, Italy