(Option: Customized Itineraries)
Cinque Terre, Italy - 5 nights
Available March to October
Immerse yourself in the delicious Cinque Terre cuisine with a chef who was born and grew up in this area near Levanto. Your hands-on lessons will feature typical Ligurian cuisine and simple, yet fresh and flavorful ingredients many of which will be picked from the garden of the farmhouse. You will also have a couple of guided walks in the area and if you'd like we can even add some other more challenging hikes.
The Ligurian cuisine is known for its natural and pure ingredients composed of fresh products from the garden, the sea, and the woods. Most characteristic is the abundant use of wild herbs, such as the aromatic rosemary, thyme, sage and borage. Fresh basil is not only used for the famous Genovese pesto sauce but adds flavor to many Italian dishes.
Enjoy wonderful accommodations in a 17th century estate only a few minutes away from the most picturesque coastal villages of the Cinque Terre. The aristocratic family who owns the estate formerly spent their summer holidays there, in this ancient agricultural estate where tenacious farmers work hard to produce the particularly fragrant olive oil and the quality wine of the Ligurian Riviera. Today the estate opens its doors to its guests allowing them to experience the tradition and ambiance from long ago. You will find a peaceful atmosphere surrounded by 15 hectars of silver green olive groves and bright green vineyards, only a few minutes away from the beautiful Ligurian sea. The view from the estate is unique, in the distance one can see several small villages nestled in the valleys, a scene that becomes especially appealing by night when the ochre-colored church towers are bathed in a soft light. Today the farm maintains the agricultural traditions of the estate in spite of the rather harsh character of the Ligurian terrain. The work is still done manually because rarely machines are able to climb the steep hills. Olive groves and vineyards are skillfully cultivated thanks to the experience of the old farmers and the enthusiasm of the youngest descendent of the noble family. Olives, grapes, vegetables and fruit (which are used to prepare the delicious jams and preserves) are cultivated without the use of pesticide or chemicals, thus the guests will be able to taste 100% natural products. Fresh herbs are grown in the gardens for the guests to pick and use in their meals to get a true taste of Italy.
The estate offers accommodations in the elegantly furnished Baron’s Villa and in the charmingly restored historic stone farmhouse. All the junior suites have private terraces or gardens with panoramic view as well as private bathroom, air conditioning, satellite TV, mini bar, in room safe and telephone.
WELCOME TO LEVANTO!
Arrival on your own after 4pm at Levanto train station. Private transfer to the farmhouse and accommodation.
You will meet the owner of the farmhouse who will lead you to discover the estate and its organic products, the olive groves and vineyards. A welcome cocktail and tasting of typical Ligurian gastronomic products (anchovies, “focaccia” with cheese and olives , pesto), local extra virgin olive oil and wines will follow.
COOKING LESSON & LEVANTO
Enjoy your breakfast on the enchanting flower filled terraces tasting organic and local products.
Then a private car will transfer you to Levanto where you will meet your private guide. Levanto is a small village called “the Northern Door of the Cinque Terre“, famous for its 20th century villas overlooking the sea, for the typical colorful houses, narrow roads and the small vineyards on the mountains behind the village, producing the famous “Sciacchetrà wine“ (a dessert wine). You will visit the village, the ancient church of Sant’Andrea (the symbol of the village with its black and white striped façade) and together with your guide you will visit the local food market where you will learn about the fresh local vegetables (and above all the basil) so very important in the Ligurian cuisine, about the fish, the extra virgin oil and typical products (honey, marmalades, olive patés, typical sauces). You will visit a gastronomic shop in Levanto where you will also have a light lunch based on typical products.
At about 2.00 pm transfer back to your accommodation.
At 4.00 pm you will attend your first hands-on cooking class with the chef of your relais. He will teach you how to prepare the most typical Ligurian recipes: focaccia in Genovese style, vegetable quiches, the renowned pesto etc. Then an Aperitivo will be served on the panoramic terrace and a candlelight dinner will follow.
CINQUE TERRE VILLAGES
Private transfer to Levanto and you will meet your guide for a full day tour of the Cinque Terre. You will visit the villages of Monterosso, Riomaggiore, Vernazza and Manarola which make up this stunning area of shoreline dotted with villages and rocky cliffs. First you will reach Riomaggiore. Enjoy a lunch in one of the most typical restaurants of the Cinque Terre.
Transfer back from Levanto train station to the relais.
Dinner on your own (return transfers by private car to Levanto included).
CINQUE TERRE PATH & COOKING LESSON
Pick up from the relais and transfer to Levanto train station and meet your guide. You will take the train to Corniglia and then you will hike following the Volastra’s Ring to Manarola. You will walk through the typical Ligurian vineyards (the ones that produce Sciacchetrà wine), then you will reach Manarola.
Lunch on your own. Back to Levanto by train and transfer back to your relais.
At 4pm, you will attend your second hands-on cooking class with the chef of your relais. He will teach you how to prepare the most typical Ligurian recipes: pansoti and pesce alla ligure etc.
Dinner will follow.
PORTOFINO & SAN FRUTTUOSO
Today you will have a private guided excursion to Portofino and San Fruttuoso. You will meet your private guide in Levanto, then you will reach Santa Margherita Ligure by train (45 minutes by train). You will walk to the ancient city center of Santa Margherita and along the elegant seaside “promenade “ and you will learn more about this beautiful village (one of the most elegant seaside resorts in Italy). Reach Portofino by public bus or public boat and enjoy a walk in this wonderful small village. From Portofino you can reach by public boat San Fruttuoso, a small fishing village in a deep inlet along the coastline of the Portofino promontory, one of the most beautiful places in the Italian Riviera.
Back to the farmhouse. Private transfer to Levanto (it takes ten minutes by car).
Dinner in a gourmet restaurant and transfer back to the farmhouse.
Private transfer to Levanto train station
*The content or order of the itinerary may change depending on dates, availability of services or activities, local festivals/holidays, weather constraints, etc. Menus are samples and may vary according to the season
A minimum of 2 participants is required to run this tour and the tour is limited to a maximum of 12 participants.
(The number of participants refers to how many persons are required to run the tour, not to how many persons you must have in your party. Please inquire.)
HOW TO ARRIVE
Closest train station is Levanto - about 1 mile/1.5 km from accommodation
Closest airports are Genova (about 1 hour and 15 minutes), Pisa (about 1 hour and 15 minutes) and Florence (about 2 hours)
*Private transfers by car or minibus can also be arranged from the airport to the accommodation - please inquire about pricing
*These details are provided as additional information. Please check below to see if transfers are included in this tour.
*Please inquire about lower pricing based on four or more persons
*Pricing may vary depending on market fluctuation
After availability is confirmed, a 30% non-refundable per person deposit and the completed and submitted registration form will secure your reservation. Final payment is due in full 75 days before your arrival date.
*Five (5) nights accommodation in junior suite at the Farmhouse
*Two (2) hands-on cooking lesson followed by dinners
*Full day guide for the Cinque Terre villages excursion ( Day 3)
*Half day guide in Levanto ( Day 2 )
*Half day guide on Day 4
*Full day guide on Day 5
*Private transfers by car and English speaking driver as per program
*Light lunch on Day 2 and on Day 4 ( drinks included )
*Lunch in Manarola ( Day 3 )
*Dinner in Levanto ( Day 5 )
Airfare, personal expenses, train and boat tickets in the Cinque Terre, drinks for lunch on Day Three and for dinner on Day Five are not included.
For further inquiries or to register, click here.
Please contact us for cancellation policy information. Travel insurance is highly recommended.