Milano, Genoa, Santa Margherita, Portofino, Cinque Terre, Pietrasanta, Pisa, Lucca & Florence
From the resplendent to the remote this tour exemplifies why Discover my Italy has earned such a singular reputation for out-of-the-ordinary experiences to Italy. The tour begins with a brilliant Benvenuto party in cutting edge, cosmopolitan Milan… after which it’s on to the Italian Riviera, the Tuscan coast and all that Italy’s Mediterranean paradise has to offer. Traveling to Liguria, we go to historic, maritime Genoa, which offers beautiful landmarks, resplendent views and delicious food too often overlooked by most visitors to Italy. We then travel to the Ligurian resort town of Santa Margherita, our base to soak up the sun & sights of one of the world’s most famous coasts…the Italian Riviera. We’ll do Portofino - long a port of call to Europe’s jet setting elite, idyllic San Fruttuoso - accessible only by boat, and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Cinque Terre - Italy’s spectacular, remote centuries old Mediterranean cliffside villages. We then head south to the Tuscan coast, where the artists community of Pietrasanta will be our seaside home as we explore this great undiscovered corner of Italy. We will also make a foray into inland Tuscany for an exclusive winery tour, a visit to Pisa with its Leaning Tower and the wonderful walled city of Lucca. This beautiful tour will end with one night in splendid Florence.
Italian Riviera and Undiscovered Tuscany - Day by Day Itinerary
Departure from the United States
Thursday, May 3
Day 1 - Welcome to Milan
Friday, May 4
Morning: Arrive in Milan and check in to your four-star hotel in the heart of the city.
Afternoon: Free time to explore sophisticated and fashionable Milan on your own. Private guided tours are available upon request, with the option to visit the famous La Scala opera house, the architecturally stunning Galleria, Milan's cathedral (the Duomo), and Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper.
Evening: Enjoy a welcome reception with true Milanese hospitality at the private residence of Giovanna's mother, Kathleen Chiti.
Day 2 - Milan-Genoa-Santa Margherita
Saturday, May 5
Morning: Our day starts in the maritime city of Genoa, the birthplace of Christopher Columbus and proclaimed “European Capital of Culture” in 2004. Here we’ll be met by our local Genovese guide and Ligurian regional expert Andrea for a Walking Tour of Genoa Center. The walking tour will include Piazza dei Ferrari renowned for its beautiful fountain, Teatro dell’Opera Carlo Felice, Palazzo Ducale and the Palazzo San Giorgio.
Afternoon: The afternoon begins with a relaxing lunch at the Ristorante Le Maschere. Genoa is also the birthplace of pesto and combined with Ligurian olive oil (the best in Italy) makes this the perfect time to indulge. After lunch we head to the renowned Riviera resort of Santa Margherita. En-route we’ll enjoy a Panoramic Tour of Genoa admiring the beautiful views and landmarks like the Piazza della Vittoria, Arco di Trionfo, Caravelle di Colombo & Quartiere di Carignano e Castelletto. Arriving in Santa Margherita we’ll check into our first class hotel and enjoy some free time to relax. The afternoon ends with a Walking Tour of Santa Margherita.
Evening: Free time and dinner at our hotel’s exquisite restaurant.
Day 3 - San Fruttuoso & Portofino
Sunday, May 6
Morning: Today we take a ferry ride to San Fruttuoso…a tiny village with a rich history that dates back to the 9th century. There are few spots on earth more lovely than the small pristine bay of San Fruttuoso surrounded by olive and pine trees. Once there go for a swim and then relax on the small beach or at one of the quaint cafes. You can also visit the San Fruttuoso Abbey, built in the 11th century.
Afternoon: From San Fruttuoso we ferry to Portofino, nowadays a very exclusive harbor, formerly (and for centuries) a strategic fortress for the great fleet of the Sea Republic of Genoa. Enjoy free time for lunch at one of the many restaurants at the “Piazzetta”, the center of life in Portofino. After lunch stroll with guide Andrea to the Church of Saint George and enjoy wonderful views of the bay. There’s also an optional walk up to Castle Brown. We then return to Santa Margherita by ferry with an optional visit to the historic and scenic Riviera town of Rapallo.
Evening: Dinner on your own.
Day 4 - Cinque Terre
Monday, May 7
Full day excursion to Cinque Terre, the five enchanting ancient fishing villages and UNESCO World Heritge Site
Morning: This day promises to be truly remarkable for both scenery and nature lovers. The tour will divide into two guided groups of hikers and non-hikers as we travel by train to start our visit to Cinque Terre in the village of Riomaggiore. After a Walking Tour of Riomaggiore and its colorful murals one group will proceed by foot along a spectacular hiking trail while the other group proceeds by train or ferry to the next village of Manarola and its beautiful views and harbor. Weather permitting we’ll then ferry to the very picturesque village of Vernazza and enjoy free time for lunch. Suggested lunch at Ristorante Belforte, Giovanna’s favorite!
Afternoon: After lunch we’ll go by ferry or train to Monterosso and a chance to enjoy an aperitivo at one of the many enoteche, wine bars. Cinque Terre boasts a renowned local dry white wine and an equally renowned and rare sweet wine, Sciacchetrà. From Monterosso we return to Santa Margherita by train.
Evening: Dinner on your own.
Day 5 - Massa Carrara & Pietrasanta
Tuesday, May 8
Morning: This morning we say arrivederci to the Riviera and head for the beautiful but less traveled Tuscan coast. En route to our final destination, the famed artists community of Pietrsanto, we’ll visit the town of Massa Carrara, world renowned for its extraordinary white marble, and a rare chance to visit the impressive ancient marble quarries.
Afternoon: Free time for lunch before checking into our first class hotel in Pietrasanta. Walking Tour of Pietrasanta, known as the international cradle of sculptors like Igor Mitoraj, Marcello Tommasi, Fernando Botero, Ivan Theimer and others.
Evening: Welcome dinner at local restaurant.
Day 6 - Forte dei Marmi & Pisa
Wednesday, May 9
Morning: Our local guide Tiziano will take us on a Walking Tour of the resort town of Forte dei Marmi followed by free time to explore and shop the popular Forte dei Marmi market.
Afternoon: Walking Tour of Legendary Pisa with our local guide. Tour will include Piazza dei Miracoliand the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Evening: Dinner on your own.
Day 7 - Lucca
Thursday, May 10
Morning: Depart for Italy’s famed walled city of Lucca. Our Walking Tour of Lucca will include the Basilica of San Frediano with its exquisite mosaics, Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, Lucca’s most beautiful square, the Guinigi Tower, symbol of Lucca, with its garden on top and Piazza San Michele the central civic square of Lucca since Roman times with its wonderful church. We will also see the birthplace of the composer Puccini whose house is now a small museum.
Afternoon: Free time for shopping and for a fun and easy bicycle tour to see Lucca from a different prospective. Return to Pietrasanta with en-route visit to a local winery including a tour of their cellars. Enjoy a wine tasting accompanied by a selection of exquisite gourmet Tuscan foods.
Evening: Dinner on your own.
Day 8 - Florence
Friday, May 11
Morning: Leaving the Tyrrhenian coast our destination will be Tuscany’s capital city, Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance.
Afternoon: Check-in for one night1 at our four-star hotel, then meet with our local guide, Elena. Elena will take us on an historical and architectural walking tour of Florence's center, covering the Piazza del Duomo, Piazza della Signoria and Ponte Vecchio. The tour will end with a visit to the Accademia Museum to see the famous Michelangelo’s David.
Evening: Farewell dinner at an elegant Florentine restaurant.
Day 9 - Early morning transfer to the Pisa or Florence airports
End of tour
Saturday, May 12
Itinerary specifics subject to change.
Enchanted Italian Riviera and Undiscovered Tuscany - Pricing
Your tour price includes:
• Beautiful elegant hotel accommodations in first class hotels as follows:
1 night in Milan
3 nights in Santa Margherita Ligure
3 nights in Pietrasanta
1 night in Florence
• Breakfast daily
• The services of your host, Giovanna Chiti, founder of Discover My Italy, for the entire duration of the trip
• Private transportation throughout the itinerary - Not including airport transfers
• 1 Welcome dinner reception in a private residence in Milan
• 2 Dinners in Santa Margherita
• 1 Dinner in Pietrasanta
• 1 Farewell Dinner in Florence
• 1 Wine tasting presentation with winemakers/owners in Tuscany
• Guided tours of: Genoa, Santa Margherita, San Fruttuoso, the Cinque Terre, Massa Carrara, Pietrasanta, Forte dei Marmi, Pisa, Lucca and Florence
• All group ferries and trains
• All museum entrance fees
• All local taxes
• Gratuities for group activities: restaurants, guides, and drivers
• Airport Transfers
• Meals not specified in itinerary
• Personal expenses such as telephone, minibar, etc
• Travel Insurance (strongly recommended)
Tour Cost based on double occupancy
9 days/8 nights Italian Riviera..................................$5,295
All aspects of the tour will be coordinated by Giovanna Chiti of Discover my Italy.
World's Finest Pesto
Forte dei Marmi
Milan's Cathedral, the Duomo
Florence, Ponte Vecchio