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:  Maximum 12 People

Price From: $3600 per person

Dates & Prices:

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Trip Price $3600

Single Room Supplement + $600

3-Day Extension to Rome / Milan + $1200

Single Room Supplements and Extension add-ons become available after you select Book Now and hit continue.

All inclusive package including accommodation for all nights, in-country transport by private bus, train, or flight, lecture and instruction materials from our expert guides, all activities, and 2 meals per day. *International Airfare and Visa Fees 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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Arrival Airport: Genoa International Airport

Day 1:  As you travel to the quiet, coastal towns of Deiva Marina and Levanto, 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, 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 / Levanto. 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.

Departure Airport: Genoa International Airport

Optional 3 - Day Extension to Rome, Italy

For those who wish to extend your time in Italy, transfer to Rome and check-in to your beautiful hotel in the city center.  Spend the next 3 days exploring the ancient city, starting at Capitoline Hill before continuing on to the Palazzo dei Conservatori, Palazzo Nuovo, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill, ending at the famous Colosseum. Wake up to a traditional Italian breakfast each day before setting out to explore the world-famous Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica. With your private guide, you’ll experience the unforgettable highlights of the Vatican, such as Michelangelo’s masterpiece—the frescoed ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Afterwards, stop by St. Peter Basilica, the world's largest church, and gaze upon some of the world’s most beautiful Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Accommodation: The Empire Hotel

Optional 3 - Day Extension to Milan

Welcome to Milan!  You will transfer to the city, check-in to your hotel, and meet your guide to begin your city and culinary tours of Milan. The first stop on the tour is the famous Duomo cathedral (Duomo Di Milano). This famous structure is dedicated to St. Mary of the nativity and is the seat of the archbishop of Milan. This incredible cathedral took nearly 6-centuries to build and is the largest church in all of Italy. You will have a guided tour inside the Duomo structure, and we will get the opportunity to see the many beautiful frescos that cover the cathedral ceiling. Upon exiting the Duomo, adventurous members of the group can purchase bird seed to feed the hundreds of pigeons that crowd the courtyard grounds! The next day embark on a guided market tour where you will get to see the where local chefs purchase fresh produce, meats, and assortment of ingredients for their restaurants. The guide will explain how the perfect ingredients are selected and how to identify suitable ingredients for one of Milan’s most famous dishes -such as saffron risotto. Following the guided market tour, the group will have free time to explore the main city center and visit a number of famous historical and culinary sights.  Enjoy your final evening in Milan with a delicious Northern Italian Farewell Dinner.  Accommodation: Kilma Hotel Milan Fiere