Mon, June 3
Lufthansa #477 Depart Vancouver 6:25 pm

Tue, June 4 Arrive Munich 1:30 pm
Air Dolomiti #8292 Depart Munich 3:05 pm
Arrive Pisa 4:20 pm

Our private transfer will take us to our hotel in Monterosso, one of the first towns in Cinque Terre. Enjoy 4 nights of exploring the five villages on foot, by boat, train or a combination of all the above.

We were messed up by the airline so we ended up in Florence.


The next few days should be more happy photos

Wed, June 5 Free time
After breakfast, enjoy your free time to explore the magic of each village. Walk the trails or on a good day, get a day pass on the boat and see the villages from a different view.

After a long flight here, finally, happy times.

It's sunny and 24C in Monterosso.



A busy day at the beach.  


Monterosso is our home base, the largest town of the five villages known collectively as Cinque Terre.






Thu, June 6 Free time
Try the “pesto” which is a speciality of the area. Explore beyond Cinque Terre. Take a local train to Genoa and marvel at this UNESCO World Heritage site.
HOSTED DINNER: Details to be advised. Feeling a little fancy tonight?

Riomaggiore, the southernmost village in Cinque Terre 


Cloudy and a little cool with the promise of sunshine later in the afternoon. 






Via dell'Amore (lovers walk) is still closed due to a landslide in 2012.



A well-deserved dinner at Porto Roca restaurant, perched on top of a hill offering a spectacular view of Monterosso.



A sweet ending after a lovely dinner!







Monterosso at night



Fri, June 7 Free time
Reserve your chair and relax on the beach today. Do more walking or do nothing!

Manarola, the second village from La Spezzia







Vernazza, Monterosso, s neighbouring village is a favorite among visitors for its very picturesque landscape. Truly magical!










Corniglia is the middle town in Cinque Terre and the only town with no sea access. The town sits atop a rocky promontory about 100 metres where you will find lots of vineyards.


A long way ahead to go to the top, 382 steps! 




A spectacular view awaits you at the top and all is worth it. 




The town of many hidden alleys and endless steps.







Which one makes it to the finish line first?


Mission impossible: code named La Spezzia baggage swap. The mission: to get that delayed baggage back in Monterosso! 



Seafood risotto and Farinata; blue cheese, onion and pesto. Yum 



Sat, June 8 Check out after breakfast
We leave for Trequanda at 10 am. It will be a 4-hour drive with some stops for bio-breaks and lunch (on own). We will arrive at our private villa mid-afternoon, with good time to settle down. There are 7 bedrooms in this rustic villa with 4 bathrooms that we will all share. There is a private swimming pool and other facilities that you can explore!

We bid Cinque Terre goodbye this morning! 


We finally arrived at our next destination: Villa Archi



Sun, June 9 Smell the Tuscan air and just relax.
During the day, we can explore the town through the backway trail from the winery! Trequanda is a very charming old town that has not been touched by much tourism. Some English is spoken by most people working in the stores.
HOSTED DINNER: Details to be advised

A 40-minute hike to the closest village to the estate. It's a 2 km hike on trail and in the bushes.




Nestled on the hills is the little quaint village of Trequanda. The charming village was once inhabited by the Etruscans, then the Romans from the 3rd century.









Porta al Sole meets you at the entrance overlooking the endless fields outside the village.


Mon, June 10
We head out today at 9 am for our full day tour of Siena and San Gimignano. A tour guide will meet us in Siena with some free time. Then we head to San Gimignano for a short walking tour and have some time at leisure.

A visit to Tuscany must always include Siena. It's famous for it's Paleo that takes place twice a year, one in July and one in August. 








Piazza del Campo


Duomo di Siena


Tower of Mangia


Basilica San Domenico


Medieval parking stall 



Another historic town which is a must-see is the UNESCO World Heritage site of San Gimignano. 
Saffron of the highest grade is produced here as well as Chianti



The town is known for its preserved architecture and its towers






Tue, June 11 Cooking class today at 10 am
Helle will be our chef instructor who will introduce us to some Tuscan delights. We will enjoy the fruits of our labour for lunch.
At 3:30 pm, we will have a wine & olive tasting tour.

Tuscan cooking 101

Meet our Chef and her team:
Helle, Ciaran and Patrizia


Pici is a typical Sienese pasta in Tuscany. It's hand-rolled like thick fat spaghetti. It's made of flour, water, olive oil and egg.











Pici alla Senese


Everyone was kept busy at work!



Ensalata del pastore


Preparing the appetizers


Crostino con fromaggio fresco, rucola,, melone, e prosciutto


Crostata di spinaci




Polpette alla cacciatora



A sweet ending in process




Lunch alla Toscana. Salute!



Thank you, Helle. It was great cooking with you!


Wed, June 12 Full day tour of Pisa and Lucca. Depart at 9 am
We will have a short stop in Pisa for a picture opportunity then head out to Lucca, a medieval city enclosed by walls and towers.

Pisa is known for its iconic leaning tower of Pisa. In Piazza dei Miracoli you will find 4 important monuments: the Baptistry, the Cathedral, the bell tower and the monumental cemetery.

The Cathedral of Pisa is a treasure trove of Italian art






The eight-sided pulpit inside the cathedral symbolizes the virtues in Gothic sculpture 


The new pulpit inside the cathedral in a more contemporary style


Baptistry


Bell tower, known as the Leaning Tower of Pisa



The leaning picture of the tower of Pisa


The city of Lucca is inside a well preserved Renaissance wall with beautiful cobblestone streets and treelined pathways







Cathedral of Lucca 



Tower with trees on top



Calzone, Lucca's size


Thu, June 13 Morning tour of Cortona
Made famous by the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun. We depart at 9 am. Free time in the afternoon.

Cortona is a hilltop town in Tuscany made famous by the book/ movie, Under the Tuscan Sun.

Villa Bromosole, home to author Frances Mayes (under the Tuscan Sun)






Cathedral of Cortona 




Images of Cortona












Via or Vicolo?



Fri, June 14 Free time

Sat, June 15 We leave our rustic villa and head out to Florence
Awaiting us is our palatial accommodation. We leave today at 11 am!

Sun, June 16 Free time
Enjoy the sights of Florence on foot or take the hop on hop off to get yourself acquainted with the city.

Mon, June 17 Free time Last call for shopping!
HOSTED FAREWELL DINNER: time to be advised

Tue, June 18 Check-out after breakfast
We will leave for the airport at 10:00 am.

Air Dolomiti #8195 Depart Florence 1:10pm
Arrive Munich 2:25 pm

Lufthansa #476 Depart Munich 3:20 pm
Arrive Vancouver 4:45 pm