Day 1: Welcome to La Spezia
Check-in at the booked hotel or guest-house/apartment. Upon arrival, you receive a welcome package containing information about the territory and the proposals for your visits in the next days. The package also comes with all necessary vouchers regarding the services included in the tour. Dinner is booked in a characteristic restaurant in La Spezia where you will be offered a menu with typical specialties of the area.
Extra: instead of going to a restaurant this evening, you might find it more interesting to take part at our Food & Wine tour. Together with other food lovers, you will taste and smell your way through the city trying the typical kitchen of this town. The food guide will bring you to historic shops, delis and restaurants where you will try six typical Ligurian dishes. The guided walk starts at 5pm and ends at around 8pm in a cozy restaurant where an original aperitif is served.
Ask for the supplement for this food tour.
Day 2: Mussel farmers under the castle of Lerici
This morning you will discover one traditional activity of the Gulf of La Spezia: mussel farming. The Gulf of La Spezia is famous for growing mussels, called cozze or muscoli, which are a particularly flavorful breed, briny and delicious. The farmers look after the harvesting, treatment and distribution of more than six thousand tons of mussels, with a total turnover of about 6 million euros. If you have never tried them, this is your chance. You start the day with a ride in the ferry boat from La Spezia to Lerici. Crossing the Gulf of La Spezia, you will see clearly where the mussels are grown. Once you have arrived in Lerici, we suggest a stroll up to its medieval castle that overlooks the picturesque fishing village. Then, taste a the mussels during a simple, but tasty lunch prepared with local ingredients.
After lunch, you will take the ferry boat to the beloved town of Porto Venere, located on a rocky peninsula in the Gulf of Poets. This enchanting little sea town was once popular with poets and writers such as Byron, Shelley and Lawrence. The small harbor lined with colorful houses, its narrow streets leading up to the castle and the church standing on top of the rock are perfect for a romantic stroll.
From there, the ferry boat takes you back to La Spezia in only about 30 minutes.
Dinner in a restaurant in Porto Venere (4 course without beverage): starting from € 59,00 per person
Dinner transfer from La Spezia to Porto Venere and back: on request
Day 3: Taste the Cinque Terre
The first stop this morning will be Levanto, the northern gateway to the Cinque Terre. During the morning, you will learn how to prepare the legendary pesto sauce, starting to know all about the basil harvest and the assembling of the necessary ingredients. You will learn the insider tricks of how to make the true pesto sauce, using mortar and pestle just like the Italians do. The results can be tasted right after the small cooking lesson together with a glass of wine.
Then, you travel on and in only five minutes by train you will reach Monterosso, the largest of the five lands and famous for its wine and anchovies. In a local Enoteca in the ancient town, you can taste the wines made exclusively in Monterosso, the traditional white wine of this area and the precious sweet wine Sciacchetrà. You also acquire information about and taste another local tradition: the famous Monterosso Anchovies.
You can then spend the afternoon to discover the other villages of the Cinque Terre. Using your train day-ticket you will be able to move between one and the other in only a few minutes time. Enjoy the colorful houses in Riomaggiore and Manarola, hike up to Corniglia, the only village without a marina, and finally relax in Vernazza, the most romantic one of the five lands, ideal for picture and coffee time.
Panoramic trip on the ferryboat from Monterosso to La Spezia, one way: € 29,00 per person
Dinner in a restaurant La Spezia, 3-course without beverage: starting from € 40,00 per person
Check-out and departure. Or extend your stay if you wish.
Extended stay: Day 4
Discover precious marble, the world’s best lard and local wine
Today, you get to know a fantastic and truly unique world – the marble quarries of Carrara. You will discover the beauty of the precious marbles, the challenging environment and the struggle that for centuries men had to endure against nature so that master artists like Michelangelo could find the raw material for their masterpieces. The guided tour will take you into one of the marble caves, explain the various quarries, extracting techniques and all tools used during the ages, from roman period until today.
However, there is another precious item, a regional specialty: Lardo di Colonnata is made using two great Tuscan products: the white marble from the Apuan Alps and pork, the main type of livestock in the region.
The best lardo of Italy is undoubtedly produced in Colonnata, and you will certainly taste it.
In the early afternoon, you are welcomed in one of the most important wine growing estates in the Val di Magra area. The Magra Valley marks the border between Liguria and Tuscany and produces “Colli di Luni” DOC superior wines: Vermentino, white and rosè wines from the hills of Castelnuovo Magra and Ortonovo, and red wines from other areas close by. The visit includes the wine cellar, vineyards and the private museum. A tasting of the wines and some typical snacks will follow.
In the afternoon, you can relax on the sandy beaches of Marina di Carrara or discover the charming medieval town of Sarzana.
Seafood dinner in a restaurant of Bocca di Magra, 3-course without beverage: starting from € 62,00 per person
This tour is a self-driving tour. Car with driver for the daily tour: price on request