The unique ‘Five Lands’, Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso, are nestled like precious gems on the cliffs of Italian Riviera di Levante, just south of Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure.
Until the second half of ninteeth century, you could reach these five pictoresque hamlets, chracterized by pastle coloured tower-houses, only through mule tracks and via sea.
If you do not wish to enjoy an eight hours hicking trip, the best way to discover them it is by booking a boat/walking tour, which can start from either La Spezia, Monterosso or Riomaggiore and led you to visit four of the five hamlets (Corniglia is located 300 feet above the sea level).
Refreshed by a gentle breeze while sailing and captured by Your Personal Guide Martina’s warm personality on the shore, you will learn the local history, legends, traditions, and all the secrets of Ligurian cousine.
Last but not least, you will have the opportunity to meet up with native people who will make you fell at home, while sharing their stories and offering you their specialities or craftsmanship!
A truly authentic local experience! You will not regret it!
Note: If you prefer, Martina will be happy to book in advance a private boat tour for you.
Whether your ship docks at the port of Livorno or at the port of La Spezia, Martina will be happy to hire a minivan with professional driver + A/C and pick you up at the dock.
From then on you will enjoy an amazing day trip to Pisa and Lucca.
Having a personal guide who knows these two Tuscan gems in details, you will be able to not only appreciate must see attractions, like the world famous Leaning Tower of Pisa and the imposing Renaissance Walls of Lucca, but also their hidden treasures which make these two Italian cities unique!
First, You will stop in Pisa, where Martina attended University and has lived for more than fifteenth years.
Martina will happily introduce you to the square of the Duomo (‘also known as the ‘Field of miracles’) through the ‘Porta Nuova’ which let you get an amazing view of the Leaning Tower, the Cathedral, the Baptistery and Campo Santo of Pisa, all at one glance!
You will then enjoy a delightful 2.5 h stroll and take photos of/with the Leaning Tower (you will arrange with Martina which buildings you wish to visit inside).
Lunch time: according to the time at disposal, you will have a light lunch either in Pisa or Lucca: Martina will bring you to a nice family run ‘Osteria’ where you can have a taste of the local cousine!
Then, you will head to the charming walled city of Lucca. Martina will make you to discover its highlights, like the Duomo of St. Martin, the Guinigi Tower with its unique top roof garden (it is possible to climb it), the beautiful Roman Anphitheatre Square, some of its one-hundred churches, like the beautiful St. Michael and Saint Frediano’s, the famous composer Giacomo Puccini’s house/museum and, as already mentioned, the tree lined renaissance walls which you can walk/cycle on top.
Last but not least, Lucca is the perfect place where to do some shopping (especially leather shoes/bags, ceramics and silk garments)!
It will be a truly memorable day!
Guided by your expert local guide Martina, you will start your adventure from Corniglia, located 300 feet above the sea level, though still keeping its little old ‘Marina’, which you can reach through a stip stear.
You will explor its historic centre where you will visit the beautiful genoese Gothic Church of St. Peter and Paul, see the remains of the fortress and walk to a terrific panoramic terrace on the sea.
Then, you will start your delightful hike to Vernazza (it takes 1,30 h): this mule track has been recently restored and you do come across with a few steep points, while surrounded by a charming nature, which has been a challenge for the native people from the past to date.
Missing land to grow vines, olive trees, vegetables, and fruits trees, they created terraced gardens, hold by dry stone walls built also with the help of women and children, along the steep cliffs which characterized the Riviera di Levante.
Arrived in Vernazza, you will have a delicious light lunch while sitting on the shaded terrace of a medieval tower, which was part of the fortress built up by Genoese people when they got the control of the Tirrenian coast during XIII century.
From your restaurant you will notice the church that like a little boat it is standing on rocks by the shore: it the church of St Margaret of Antiochia with its ‘oriental style dome’, which construction is related to a fascinanting story. You will love the intimate and authentic atmoshere which you get when you go inside!
At this point, a gelato stop at Martina’s favorite ice-cream shop, it is a must!
Happily refreshed, you will start your hike to reach Monterosso, the northermost of the ‘Cinque Terre’ (it takes 2 h).
Monterosso is diveded into two art by a promontory: the old village with lovely artisanal shops, the Franciscan Monastery and the remains of a medieval Genoese fortress, which you will come across and discover first; and the ‘Fegina’, a residential area which developped in the second half of XIX century, characterized by a beautiful promanade: there you will end up an unforgettable day tour with Martina!
1) At present the trails along ‘Sentiero Azzurro’ and connecting Rio Maggiore to Manarola (‘Love Path’) and Manarola to Corniglia are closed due to landslides and safety reasons.
2) you will reach Corniglia from La Spezia and La Spezia from Monterosso by train
Join Martina for the ultimate experience in the heart of the Tuscan countryside.
She will introduce you to an exceptional team, comprising a dog and two expert truffle hunters (a father and a son team), who will introduce you to the world of the ‘diamond of the earth’, the white truffle!
*Martina is not a professional driver. She can accompany you in your car, or arrange private transportation for you. Feel free to contact her!