The eastern half of the Italian Riviera is known as the Riviera Levante, starting at the port of Genoa and extending over 150 miles. Sprinkled with fishing villages, beach towns, and even an ancient port, this coastline is considered the jewel of Italy. Our tour will take you to some of the best-known…and least-known gems of this exquisite region. 4-Star boutique hotels with sea-view rooms, private guides, and the magic of the region set the tone for your journey. You’ll roll up your sleeves and learn to cook local dishes from some of the best in the area, you’ll watch talented artisans keeping age-old traditions alive, and you’ll meet an abundance of local folks who are happy to share their day with you. From the magical cliffside towns of the Cinque Terre to the peaceful medieval villages of the Ligurian coast, from the historic city of Genoa with it’s 100-year-old food shops, to the elegance and beauty of the Portofino Peninsula…you’ll fall in love with the landscape, the towns, the cuisine, and most of all, the people!
Tour Dates & Pricing
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Day 1 - Ben Venuti in Italia!
Your Italian adventure starts today in the historic port of Genova. Known as La Superba (The Proud), Genova was a great maritime power in the 13th century. A network of fortresses protected the city, and were connected by a wall second in length only to the Great Wall of China. Genova's bankers, merchants and princes adorned the city with palaces, churches and impressive art collections. With more than 2,000 years of history producing countless magnificent buildings, museums, and the largest medieval city center in Europe, Genova's cobblestone streets will provide plenty of opportunity for wandering, shopping, and just getting lost!
You should plan to arrive in Genova by midday and make your way to your 4-Star hotel, perfectly located in the city center. Tonight we'll have our orientation meeting and afterwards we'll walk to one of our favorite spots for our welcome dinner. We'll begin with an introduction to the wonderful vintages of the region, then you'll be rolling up your sleeves and learning how to cook Genovese-style from a talented local chef. If you're more of a spectator, you can watch and sip wine instead! Afterwards you'll sit down to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
An after-dinner passegiata in the piazza near the hotel will cap off your first day on the Italian Riviera.
Day 2 - Genova and Camogli
After breakfast this morning you'll meet your local guide to begin a fascinating walking tour through the streets and neighborhoods of this captivating city. As you wind through the ancient streets of the old city, you'll be enthralled by the combination of historic monuments and grand buildings surrounded by a sea of small shops and stores, still very much alive and bustling, much as they have been for over a thousand years.
Like all seafaring cultures, Genova benefited from the vast variety of foodstuffs its fleet supplied. In addition, fresh fruits and vegetables from the surrounding hills, dairy from the rich mountain pastures, and seafood from the fishing boats still provide the basis for the wonderful cuisine of the area. One of the delightful aspects of Genova is the century old tradition of the friggitorie, or fast food restaurants, Genova-style! A small storefront with an even smaller kitchen will turn out delicacies to eat in or take away...you can buy a slice of torta pasqualina, farinata, or focaccia slathered with local olive oil. Genova has one of the largest collection of Ultra-Centenarian (continuously in operation for over a hundred years) food shops in all of Europe. Explore and enjoy! Your guide will take you to a typical Genovese trattoria for an excellent lunch.
This afternoon we'll relax on our private transfer as we leave the city behind and journey down the coast to the idyllic seaside town of Camogli, our home for the next two days. After checking in to your sea-view room at your beautiful 4-Star hotel overlooking the bay, you'll have time to meander along the seashore and take in the charming views. It might be the perfect time to relax at a sidewalk cafe and let the time slip by, people-watching and daydreaming.
Tonight you’ll go to a fabulous local ristorante where you can enjoy yet another aspect of the regional cuisine. Tonight's passegiatta might be along the lamplit walkway of Camogli's seafront, enjoying a gelato from the local shop!
Day 3 - Chiavari
This morning your guide will use the local train system for the short ride to the nearby town of Chiavari. This area has for many centuries been a community of artisans and craftsmen. Even today many of them still work in their particular craft, handed down through the generations. You'll get a chance to visit some of them and marvel at their skill. Afterwards a stroll through the streets of Chiavari will lead you to a special lunch, featuring many of the products and vintages of the region. The afternoon is free to wander, shop, or visit the beach. Try to stay a little active and work off lunch, because tonight you have a fantastic dinner waiting for you in Camogli!
Day 4 - Portofino
After breakfast today you'll have a private transfer to nearby Santa Margherita Ligure, a bustling seaside harbor town at the base of the Portofino peninsula. You'll have time to wander and explore Santa Margherita before you make your way to the petite, but stunning harbor of Portofino. Lined with multi-colored buildings and filled with boats, Portofino harbor is found on more postcards than any other bay in Italy. The rich-and-famous make Portofino a regular stop, and you'll probably see a few of their yachts anchored there. After some free time to soak up the ambiance, your guide will take you to a small agristurismo (farm) where you'll be treated to one of the most unique, and picturesque, cooking class/lunches you'll find! Nestled in the hills overlooking Portofino Harbor, the venue is near-perfect. Here a local chef will take you through his herb garden to show you how his family has used local products in their cuisine for generations. You'll help prepare lunch as you learn from the best! Then, of course, another phenomenal meal will grace the table! After lunch you'll have a train transfer to the town of Sestri Levante, midway between Genoa and the Cinque Terre, and your home for the rest of your journey. Here you'll check in to your sea-view room at a gorgeous 4-Star hotel perched on the edge of the water, overlooking one of Liguria's loveliest bays, the Bay of Silence. The rest of the afternoon and evening is free to wander and find that perfect seaside ristorante for your evening meal. Your Go Get Lost guide can steer you towards some of his favorites.
Day 5 - Go Get Lost Day
Today is all about options, depending on your energy level, abilities, and your interests, you can do as much...or as little as you want. Perhaps you'd like to spend the morning perusing the shops of Sestri Levante, then the afternoon lazing on the beach behind the hotel, sipping one of the local wines. Or maybe you might like to add to your culinary skills by booking another cooking class at a local family restaurant. If you crave more activity, you might opt to do an easy kayak tour somewhere along the coast, like Portofino. There's also a day of sailing and swimming that's popular with visitors, and we can point you onto a trail that will take you up to nearby Punta Manara, with spectacular views. The train can also whisk you to some nearby towns in just minutes, where you can explore and shop 'til you drop.
Make sure you don't stay away all evening, though, as tonight we have a superb meal planned for you in Sestri Levante. You'll need to get a good night's sleep tonight, you have an exciting day tomorrow!
Day 6 - The Cinque Terre
The Cinque Terre is a series of five charming towns scattered along the coastline. Until modern times they were very isolated and accessible only by water. Today you'll use our expert local guide and the train system to travel between these five gems. Each one has its own unique feel, and you'll enjoy experiencing the sights and sounds of all of them. At each one your guide will detail the history and culture, then turn you loose to explore on your own. At some point in the day you'll be treated to a wonderful lunch of local specialties, and have a chance to enjoy the Cinque Terre wines, of which the villagers are quite proud of. By the time you find yourself relaxing on the train back to Sestri Levante, you'll have a camera full of pictures and a head full of memories of one of the most interesting places in Italy!
Tonight we have a very special farewell dinner planned. It's a time for exchanging pictures and emails, a time for remembering all the good times and amazing experiences of the journey and a time for heartfelt goodbyes to all your new lifelong friends.
Day 7 - Arrivederci Italia
This morning after breakfast you'll check out and have a transfer to the nearby train station in Sestri Levante, where our Go Get Lost tour will end. As part of your package your guide will give you a train ticket for either Genova, La Spezia, Milan or Pisa.
- 1 night at 4 Star Bristol Hotel in Genoa
- 2 nights at 4 Star Cenobio del Dogi Hotel in Camogli, sea-view room
- 3 nights at 4 Star Hotel Miramare or Helvetia in Sestri Levante, sea-view room
- Daily breakfast
- Meals as specified: 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners, 1 wine tasting
- Lunch at a local trattoria in Genova
- Lunch at a local trattoria in Chiavari
- Cooking class/lunch at an agriturismo on the Portofino peninsula
- Lunch at a village in the Cinque Terre
- Welcome cooking class/dinner in Genova
- Dinner in Camogli
- Dinner in Sestri Levante
- Farewell Dinner in Sestri Levante
- Genova walking tour with local guide
- Chiavari artisan tour with local guide
- Portofino tour with local guide
- Cinque Terre tour with local guide
- Welcome night wine tasting
- Cinque Terre access card
- Transportation once the tour has begun.
- All train, ferry, hydrofoil, coach, and taxi transfers as specified in itinerary.
- Departure train transfer from Sestri Levante to either Genova, Milan, La Spezia or Pisa.
- Sightseeing and entrance fees as specified in itinerary
- Completely escorted by an American Go Get Lost Tour Leader with local guides at specified sites throughout the itinerary
- A lifetime of unforgettable memories!
What´s not Included
- Airfare package
- Arrival transfers, tour begins at the hotel in Genova on the afternoon of Day 1, and the tour ends at the train station in Sestri Levante on the morning of day 7. (Train tickets to your choice of four cities are part of your package)
- Gratuities for meals, porterage, local guides, coach drivers, etc.
- Visa fees, if applicable
- Meals not specified in itinerary
- Beverages at meals unless specified in itinerary
- Any costs associated with activities on Go Get Lost day, all activities are optional
- Trip Cancellation/Interruption and Medical Insurance (strongly recommended), call for details
- Single supplement charge
- Items of a personal nature; phone calls, laundry, etc.