Cinque Terre Culinary & Cultural Expedition

The vibrant, cliffside houses overlooking the Italian Riveria are an enchanting sight. Rooted in antiquity, Cinque Terre's five villages date back to the medieval period, and each one has something exceptional to offer. A beautiful, aroma-filled botanical garden sits high in the cliffs of Riomaggiore. This village is also known for its otherworldly sunsets, when the reflections of the sun and the colorful houses dance on the water. Vernazza is famous for its caruggi—narrow, winding paths that travel throughout the steep village. If you’re in the mood for some of Italy’s best wine, travel to Manarola, where Sciacchetrà—a fruity wine unique to Cinque Terre—is produced. Despite no direct access to the sea, Corniglia holds its own with the only terrace on Cinque Terre from which you can see the four other towns. The fifth and final village is Monterosso al Mare—the go-to place for white, sandy beaches, fresh anchovies, and fragrant lemons that sweeten the air.

Trip Summary: Cinque Terre, Italy | 7 Days

Trip Dates:  Year Round

Group Size:  Private & Small Group

Price From: $3400 per person

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

Expedition Route:

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 travel to the quiet, coastal town of Deiva Marina, a short distance from Cinque Terre, you’ll be treated to some of the most breathtaking views in Italy. After arriving at your hotel, unwind in you room, take a dip in the pool, or head down to the nearby beach. To end your first relaxing day of Italian bliss, you’ll enjoy a traditional welcome dinner at the hotel. Accommodation: Hotel Carla / Hotel Clelia

Day 2: In the morning, enjoy a continental buffet breakfast to energize you for the adventures ahead. Fuel up on fresh fruit, fluffy croissants, and flavorful jams.  Partake in a morning of leisure before embarking on a scenic train ride to your first culinary masterclass. Before you get your hands dirty, you’ll learn about the philosophy behind traditional Ligurian Cooking and the ingredients you’ll be using, including how to identify the perfect mussels, freshest fish, and top-notch local vegetables. The chef will guide you through creating a scrumptious 3-course meal of fried whitebait, homemade Gnocchi with scampi, and Pan Dolce. Spend your free time in the evening venturing to the surrounding Cinque Terre Region, then return to hotel for a multi-course dinner served on the panoramic terrace. Accommodation: Hotel Carla / Hotel Clelia

Day 3: Hop on a boat to appreciate Cinque Terre’s beauty from a new perspective. We’ll depart from the harbor in the north and cruise south along the coast.  You'll get to know the other guests and learn about the history of the area, as it takes roughly an hour to arrive at your destination of La Spezia. The cruise will stop at the five villages along the way—Monterosso al Mare, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Riomaggiore—allowing time for a delicious Ligurian lunch overlooking the picturesque Riviera, as well as exploring all the towns have to offer. You can expect an afternoon swim (weather permitting) before heading back to Deiva Marina. After a day full of happiness, gorgeous views, fresh ocean air, and delicious food, make the most of another free evening before a satisfying dinner at the hotel. Accommodation: Hotel Carla / Hotel Clelia

Day 4: This morning you’ll travel by train to your next cooking lesson in Monterosso al Mare. When you arrive, you’ll take a stroll through the restaurant’s lemon orchard, overflowing with sunny fruit and a citrusy aroma. You’ll learn how the restaurant cultivates and maintains the lemon trees, before touring the restaurant’s vineyard and learning about the different wines famous to the region. Finally, you’ll prepare homemade pasta and pesto sauce using traditional Ligurian cooking techniques. Follow the chef’s instructions as you craft a 3-course meal of pesto pasta, mussels mariner, and tiramisu, served with exquisite wine and robust caffè. Accommodation: Hotel Carla / Hotel Clelia

Day 5:  After another hearty breakfast, you get to choose how to spend your day in seaside paradise. Take the train through each of the scenic Cinque Terre towns, hike the footpaths along the coast, soak in the splendor of the views, or visit the local markets in La Spezia.  After a fulfilling day surrounded by sunshine, make your way back to the hotel for a nourishing 3-course dinner of dishes such as, frittata with ricotta, baked seabass, and a freshly baked fruit pie. Accommodation: Hotel Carla / Hotel Clelia

Day 6: Today you’ll visit a wine school and attend an in-depth lesson on how traditional regional wines are made, from cultivation to the bottle. During the wine tasting, you’ll be served a selection of Ligurian specialties to eat; they’ve been carefully selected to complement the palate of each wine. The menu includes sword fish stuffed with pecorino cheese, bruschetta with salted anchovies, fresh octopus salad, and the famous Monterossina cake, among other traditional favorites. You’ll typically sample two kinds of Cinque Terre white, a Cinque Terre red, a Liguria red, and a sweet dessert wine. Following the tasting, you’ll have your choice of caffè or grappa, a grape-based spirit. The hotel will serve a traditional farewell dinner, offering one last evening to soak up the unbelievable wonder that is Cinque Terre. Accommodation: Hotel Carla / Hotel Clelia

Day 7:  Sadly, it’s time to say, “Arrivederci!” to Italy. If you are departing by train, the hotel driver will greet you for your complimentary shuttle service to the station.

Optional 3 - Day Extension to Rome