Cinque Terre Culinary & Cultural Expedition

Set amid some of the most dramatic coastal scenery on the planet, these five ingeniously constructed fishing villages can bolster the most jaded of spirits. Rooted in antiquity, Cinque Terre's five villages date from the early medieval period. Monterosso, the oldest, was founded in AD 643, when beleaguered hill dwellers moved down to the coast to escape from invading barbarians. Riomaggiore came next, purportedly established in the 8th century by Greek settlers fleeing persecution in Byzantium. The others are Vernazza, Corniglia and Manarola. Much of what remains in the villages today dates from the late High Middle Ages, including several castles and a quintet of illustrious parish churches.

Trip Summary: Cinque Terre, Italy | 7 Days

Trip Dates:  Year Round

Group Size:  Maximum 16

Price From: $3400 per person

Expedition Dates & Prices:

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All inclusive package including boutique accommodation for all nights, all meals, in-country transport, expert guides & culinary instructors, and all activities as listed on itinerary.  *International airfare not included

This Acanela Expedition © is the perfect fusion between comfort & adventure. Embark on this small group exploration and have hands-on encounters with local peoples and cultures, while experiencing all the historical & culinary highlights along the way.

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Day 1:  As you visit Deiva Marina, which is a small village called “The northern door of the Cinque Terre.” you will be taking one of the most scenic rides in all of Italy. When you reach your Hotel, unwind and relax in the your beautiful room or visit the beach right outside your doorstep.  In the evening, enjoy a traditional Italian welcome dinner at the beautiful hotel. Accomodation: Hotel Clelia

Day 2: In the morning, relax and enjoy breakfast as you await the day’s activities. The hotel serves a full international buffet breakfast to energize you for the adventures ahead. Savor fresh fruits, yogurts, breads and pastries, as well as cooked items.  Enjoy a morning of leisure before you embark on a scenic train ride to your first culinary adventure. Before your first cooking lesson starts, you will receive a talk about Ligurian Cooking and ingredients, where you will learn the philosophy behind traditional Ligurian cuisine. You will learn about the fresh produce, and seafood and learn how to identify the perfect mussels, freshest fish, and top-notch local vegetables. Your professional chef will teach you how to prepare typical and traditional Ligurian recipes using fresh local produce. Follow the chef’s instructions as you create the following 3-course meal: fried whitebait, homemade Gnocchi with scampi and Pan Dolce.  In the evening enjoy free time to explore the surrounding Cinque Terre Region, followed by a multi-course dinner will be served on the panoramic terrace back at your hotel

Day 2: Spend a day exploring Cinque Terre by boat, getting an entirely different perspective of the beautiful villages that dot the coastline. From Levanto in the north, to La Spezia in the south, you will have the opportunity to see the gorgeous colored villages from the water, explore their beaches and winding streets, and taste delicious foods from the local markets. We’ll depart from the harbor in the northernmost village, and cruise along the coast of the Cinque Terre.  You'll get to know the other guests on the boat while learning about the history of the area as it takes roughly an hour to cruise down the coast to the southernmost village, La Spezia.  During your cruise, you will also stop for time to explore each of the villages – Monterosso al Mare, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Riomaggiore.  En route, enjoy a delicious Ligurian lunch at a seaside restaurant overlooking the beautiful Cinque Terre Riviera at one of the area’s best family-run restaurants.  Learn about the fishing heritage of Vernazza and possibly have the opportunity to taste the best “catch” of the day.   After lunch, we’ll stop for another swim (weather permitting) before we head back to Deiva Marina. In the evening enjoy free time to explore the surrounding Cinque Terre Region, followed by a multi-course dinner will be served on the panoramic terrace back at your hotel.  Accomodation: Hotel Clelia

Day 4: This morning enjoy another delicious Italian breakfast, after which you will travel via train to your next cooking lesson in Monterosso Al Mare. Before your second cooking starts, you will visit the restaurant’s lemon orchard, where you will learn about how the restaurant cultivate and maintain the lemon trees. Also have the opportunity to tour of the restaurant’s vineyard, and learn about the different wines, that are famous in the region.  After the tour of the orchard/vineyard, your cooking lesson will begin, where you will learn how to prepare traditional Italian homemade pasta and pesto sauce, from scratch, learning how to prepare these using traditional Ligurian cooking techniques. Follow the chef’s instructions as you create the following 3 course meal: Pesto pasta, Mussels Mariner Ligurian style and Tiramisu, served with wine and café. Enjoy dinner back at the hotel once again. Accomodation: Hotel Clelia

Day 5: Enjoy breakfast as you await the day’s next cooking class. The hotel serves a full international buffet breakfast to energize you for the adventures ahead. Savor fresh fruits, yogurts, breads and pastries, as well as cooked items.  Today you will have a free day to really explore the beautiful nature around you. Take the train through each of the beautiful Cinque Terre Cities, hike the footpaths along the coast soaking in the splendor of the views, and visit the markets in La Spezia.  After a beautiful day, come back to the hotel in time to enjoy a delicious 3 course dinner in the evening, dining on dishes such as Frittata with Ricotta, baked Ligurian style seabass and a crosspie with fruit. Accomodation: Hotel Clelia

Day 6:  Today you will have an opportunity to visit a wine school and have an in-depth experience learning how traditional regional wines are made from the cultivation to the bottle. During this wine tasting session, you will be served a selection of Ligurian speciality bites to eat, which have been carefully selected to compliment the pallet and work well with each wine selected.  The menu for this is: Sword Fish stuffed with pecorino cheese Ligurian style, Bruschetta with salted Anchovies, Fried Cod Bites, Panissa with Prawns Basil - Panissa (Polenta cubed chips) with Prawns Basil and fresh vegetables, Fresh Octopus salad, Genovese Cake or the famous Monterossina Cake. The wines we will serve will all be typical to the region in order to offer the best understanding of Ligurian foods and wines. These will typically be: 2 types of Cinque Terre white Vetua, Buranco or Cappellini; One red Cinque Terre Vetua, Buranco or Cappellini, One red dell'entroterra from Liguria; One sweet wine Sciacchetrà delle 5 terre.  At the end of the session, you will be offered cafe or grappa. End your last free night in Cinque Terre with a traditional farewell dinner.  This will be a multi-course dinner served on the panoramic terrace, offering one last evening to soak up the wonder that is Cinque Terre. Accomodation: Hotel Clelia

Day 7: After breakfast at Park Hotel Argento, pack your bags, checkout, and head to your next destination.  If you are departing via train, the hotel driver will greet you for your complimentary shuttle service to the station.