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Hiking the Cinque Terre

Program Number: 21050RJ
Start and End Dates:
4/18/2015 - 4/26/2015; 4/25/2015 - 5/3/2015; 5/16/2015 - 5/24/2015; 5/23/2015 - 5/31/2015; 6/13/2015 - 6/21/2015; 9/5/2015 - 9/13/2015; 9/19/2015 - 9/27/2015; 10/3/2015 - 10/11/2015; 10/10/2015 - 10/18/2015; 10/17/2015 - 10/25/2015;
Duration: 8 nights
Location: Italy
Price starting at: $2,700.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Walking/Hiking Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 17; 7 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 6 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Gluten Free; Vegetarian; Low Salt    

There are few places on Earth where the marriage of land and sea is more poetic than the Cinque Terre — the “Five Towns” along the Italian Riviera. Here, fishing villages cling to the hillsides above hidden coves, medieval fortresses still stand guard, vineyards and olive trees thrive in the Mediterranean sun, and dramatic cliffs plunge to the sea below. Connecting each of the five towns are centuries-old foot paths that offer intimate views of the sea-swept landscape. Join us on glorious walks amid the beautiful ruins and rugged hillsides of the Cinque Terre. For people who love to hike and experience local culture up close, there is no place better.




Highlights

• Enjoy expert-led walks on stunningly beautiful footpaths connecting the villages of the Cinque Terre.
• The president of the Lunigiana Wine Route welcomes you to his beautiful property and teaches you about the local wine, cheeses and focaccia bread.
• Hike through a chestnut forest and arrive at the abandoned and beautifully maintained village of Vergheto.



Activity Particulars

Hiking up to six hours a day, steps and rugged paths. Sturdy walking/hiking shoes are required (ankle-high shoes are not required, but highly recommended).




Date Specific Information

4-18-2015, 4-25-2015, 5-16-2015, 5-23-2015, 6-13-2015, 9-5-2015, 9-19-2015, 10-3-2015, 10-10-2015, 10-17-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Portovenere, 7 nights; departure.



Overnight flight from the U.S.
1 night
Coach to Portovenere
7 nights
Departure

Begin your adventure in the Cinque Terre with a history of the area beginning with the Roman Empire. Then ride a boat to the town of Monterosso for your first hike — up a steep incline to a chapel with amazing views. The next day, hike Palmaria Island and learn about the famous Portoro marble that was once quarried here. A local expert discusses writers, like Shelley and Keats, who were inspired by the beautiful coast. In Colonnata, hike through a chestnut forest to the abandoned village of Vergheto for a majestic view of the open-air Carrara caves. From Riomaggiore, walk along the Via del Amore (Love Path) to Manarola and then upwards to Volastra. Continue on to Corniglia, through one of the most beautiful areas, following a serene path along terraced vineyards. Encounter the pilgrimage route from Canterbury to Rome called "La Via Francigena,” and learn about pilgrimages during the Middle Ages. Explore the town of Sarzana, including its medieval walls, Roman city gate, as well as its cathedral and picturesque town square. Join an expert to explore Fosdinovo Castle, which dates to the 12th century and once hosted Dante Alighieri. Enjoy a farewell dinner at a farm house whose proprietor is the president of the Lunigiana Wine Route, who discusses local specialties including the little-known wine produced in this region as well as local cheeses and focaccias.




Italy

“Dolce far niente,” the “sweetness of doing nothing.” This ode to leisure is a distinctly Italian phrase, and yet the expression does not do justice to the hard-work ethos of the nation’s inhabitants. The monuments, art and civilization bequeathed to the people of modern Italy are a testament to the industry of their forebearers, and the legacy lives on in today’s Italians, who work hard to better enjoy the sweetness of repose.



Accommodations
A four-star seaside hotel overlooking the majestic "Golfo dei Poeti,” which inspired famous poets such as Shelley and Byron.
Meals and Lodgings
   Royal Sporting Hotel
  Portovenere, Italy 7 nights
 Royal Sporting Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Royal Sporting Hotel is a sea-side hotel overlooking the majestic "Golfo dei Poeti," which inspired famous poets such as Shelley and Byron. It is located near the historical center of Portovenere, a charming medieval sea village which dates back to the Roman era. Because of its central location, the Royal Sporting Hotel is the ideal starting point to visit the "Cinque Terre," one of Italy's most beautiful areas.
  Contact info: Via dell’Olivo 345
Portovenere SP,  19025 Italy
phone: +39 (0) 187 790 326
web: www.royalsporting.it/en
  Room amenities: Garden-facing rooms are equipped with a television, telephone, safe, mini bar, air conditioning, wireless Internet access (for a fee) and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: This hotel offers a panoramic restaurant, bar, spa, sea water swimming pool, tennis, garden, laundry services, air conditioning and wireless Internet access (for a fee).
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: N/A Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: N/A Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Portovenere, Italy. 5:30 PM Meet at the hotel. You will be staying at Royal Sporting Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Portovenere, Italy. After breakfast at the hotel. You will be staying at Royal Sporting Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
N/A
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Trains and busses are available for travel to Portovenere.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Portovenere
  Transportation to site: Take a taxi from the airport to the hotel. It takes approx. 1 hour and 20 minutes and costs approx. 255 Euros. Alternatively, you can arrange a private transfer with the hotel. You can call them at +39 0 187 790 326.
  From End of Program
  Location: Portovenere
  Transportation from site: Take a taxi from the hotel to the airport, or you can arrange a private transfer with the hotel.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Equipment Requirements: Sturdy walking/hiking shoes are required (ankle-high shoes are not required, but highly recommended). Walking sticks are also recommended.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: In Transit
(Saturday, April 18)
   
 In Transit: Depart on international overnight flight to Pisa.

Day 2: Program Orientation / Introduction to the Ligurian Region
(Sunday, April 19)
   
 Morning: Arrive at Pisa airport (PSA) and transfer to Portovenere (approx. 1 hr 30 mins). Hotel check-in.
 Afternoon: At 5:30 PM meet in the hotel conference room for an orientation to the program and introduction to your fellow participants.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Royal Sporting Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Cinque Terre - Monterosso to Corniglia
(Monday, April 20)

Note: 2 hour and 15 minute hike, approx. 2.5 miles. Please note that you will be walking on trails with little shade, some steep ascents and descents, and mixed terrain including steps, cobblestone, and rugged narrow paths with dirt and rocks. In order to reach the cliff-top town of Corniglia, you must climb nearly 400 steps.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Depart by boat for Monterosso (approx. 1 hour). From Monterosso, hike trail number 2 to Vernazza and Corniglia.
 Lunch: Enjoy a little free time for lunch and explore local fare on your own at one of the restaurants or cafes in Corniglia.
 Afternoon: From Corniglia, return to Riomaggiore via train and then by boat (approx. 35 minutes) to Portovenere. At 6:00 PM, hear a lecture on the Ligurian Region, which will provide an overview of the history of this part of Italy beginning with the Roman Empire.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Royal Sporting Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Palmaria Island
(Tuesday, April 21)

Note: 2-3 hour hike, approx. 5.5 miles. Please note that there is a change in elevation of approx. 656 feet. Depending on what trail the group takes, be prepared for both asphalt and dirt trails with some rocks, and some uphill climbing.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Depart by boat to Palmaria Island (approx. 15 minutes) from where the famous Portoro Marble was quarried. Enjoy a 2-3 hour hike through this beautiful island.
 Lunch: Lunch at Locanda Lorena, a restaurant with picturesque views of the Ligurian Sea.
 Afternoon: Return by boat to Portovenere. After a bit of rest and just prior to dinner, enjoy a lecture entitled "Portovenere & The Pirates."
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Royal Sporting Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Colonnata - Carrara Marble
(Wednesday, April 22)

Note: 2.5 hour hike through forest trails.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Travel via coach to Colonnata (approx. 2 hours). Upon arrival, we will hike a trail through a chestnut forest and arrive at the abandoned village of Vergheto. The village is beautifully maintained and provides a majestic view of the open-air Carrara caves, from which the famous Carrara marble is quarried. Walk back to Colonnata for lunch.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Ristorante Venanzio situated in the beautiful main square of Colonnata that is paved in white marble.
 Afternoon: On the return to Portovenere, visit a unique 'bottega' which sells local food specialties and has maintained its original 1950's decor.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own at one of the restaurants in Portovenere.
   
Accommodations: Royal Sporting Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Cinque Terre - Manarola to Corniglia
(Thursday, April 23)

Note: 4 hour hike, approx. 4.5 miles. Please note that you will be walking uphill for approx. 1 hour to Volastra. Also, in order to reach the cliff-top town of Corniglia, you must climb nearly 400 steps.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Depart by coach to Manarola. Set out on a hike upwards to Volastra. Continue on to Corniglia through one of the most beautiful areas following the path right along many vineyards.
 Lunch: Enjoy a little free time for lunch and explore local fare on your own at one of the restaurants or cafes in Corniglia.
 Afternoon: Depart Corniglia by train to La Spezia, where the coach will be waiting to take you back to Portovenere. In the late afternoon, hear a lecture about such famed writers as Shelley and Keats entitled "The Gulf of Poets and Lerici."
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Royal Sporting Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: Cinque Terre - Riomaggiore to Portovenere
(Friday, April 24)

Note: 6 hour hike, approx. 8 miles. Please note that trails #1 and #3 have mixed terrain including stone, forest-floor and rocky, narrow paths with some uphill climbing. This walk is challenging and not advised for participants who suffer from vertigo.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Depart by coach to Riomaggiore. Today's hike will include the most quintessential Cinque Terre trail which follows the ridge separating the coast from the inland regions.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch.
 Afternoon: Continue your hike ending in Portovenere at around 4:30 PM. At 5:30 PM, attend a lecture on "The Via Francigena," an ancient road and pilgrimage route running from France to Rome.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Royal Sporting Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Sarzana / Fosdinovo Castle
(Saturday, April 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Take advantage of some extra time this morning to start packing for the trip home. At 10:00 AM, depart by coach to Sarzana. This town, at the entrance to the valley of Marga, lies along the pilgrimage route from Canterbury to Rome called "La Via Francigena." It is featured prominently in Italian history for its political and religious influence. This morning's field lecture will discuss Sarzana's history and the important role of pilgrimage during the Medieval Period. Your guided excursion will highlight the unique character of Sarzana, including its medieval walls, Roman city gate, as well as its cathedral and picturesque town square.
 Lunch: Lunch in a historic restaurant called "Il Loggiato."
 Afternoon: Guided excursion of Fosdinovo Castle, which dates back to the 12th century. In 1306, the Malaspina family, who still own the castle today, hosted Dante Alighieri here. Coach to Massa.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner in Massa at "La Scurtarola," whose proprietor, Mr. Lorieri, is the President of the Lunigiana Wine Route. The farm house is situated on top of a hill between Apuan Alps and the sea. Mr. Lorieri will welcome you personally and give presentations on local specialties including the little known wine produced in this region called Vermentino Nero as well as local cheeses and focaccias.
   
Accommodations: Royal Sporting Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Departures
(Sunday, April 26)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to Pisa airport (PSA) for departures.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Room with a View


Author: E.M. Forster


Description: E.M. Forster's classic tale of love among the middle classes, set largely in Florence.



A Traveller's Wine Guide to Italy


Author: Stephen Hobley


Description: A slim but very informative, lavishly illustrated guide to the wines of Italy. It's a vineyard-by-vineyard guide, organized by region.



Catherine of Siena, A Passionate Life


Author: Don Brophy


Description: Brophy sets this deeply researched biography of the saint against the backdrop of 14th-century Europe, showing Catherine's sheer fortitude and personal magnetism in her efforts to bring peace to a troubled time.



Every Day in Tuscany, Seasons of an Italian Life


Author: Frances Mayes


Description: Twenty years later, Mayes is still besotted by Italy -- her house, the tumbling geraniums, the people and the food -- all lovingly documented in her best memoir yet. With interludes in Portofino, Assisi and Rome and a focus on Renaissance master artist Luca Signorelli.



Italian Days


Author: Barbara Grizzuti Harrison


Description: Grizzuti Harrison writes with warmth and depth of her journey from Milan south to Calabria in this sprightly account of Italy and the Italians.



Italy in Mind


Author: Alice Powers


Description: A terrific collection of some of the best literary writing on Italy, including pieces by Melville, Lawrence, Henry James, Mary McCarthy and many others.



Italy, A Short History


Author: Harry Hearder


Description: Elegantly written, generous and informative, this compact book takes in the sweep of Italian history from the Roman Republic through the Renaissance, World War II and up to the present.



Italy, A Traveler's Literary Companion


Author: Lawrence Venuti (Editor)


Description: Not just a literary companion, this anthology is also a who's who of contemporary Italian writers that captures the spirit, history and allure of the country.



La Bella Figura, A Field Guide to the Italian Mind


Author: Beppe Severgnini


Description: Italians themselves love this guide to the Italian character, which addresses their never-ending passion for beauty, disorder and high emotion. Severgnini opens the book with a snapshot of the hubbub at Malpensa Airport, then moves on to Tuscany, Rome, Naples and Sardinia.



Liguria Regional Map


Author: Touring Club Italiano


Description: A map of the region, including Cinque Terra, at a scale of 1:200,000.



National Geographic Italy


Author: Tim Jepson


Description: Published in National Geographic's attractive visual style, this illustrated guide features hundreds of photographs, full color maps, and useful information on history, culture and travel.



The Finest Wines of Tuscany and Central Italy


Author: Hugh Johnson (Foreword), Nicholas Belfrage


Description: This astute guide to wine-making regions and villages in Tuscany includes a history of Tuscan grapes and culture, excellent color maps and profiles of select vintners and wines.



The Food Lover's Guide to Florence, With Culinary Excursions in Tuscany


Author: Emily Wise Miller


Description: Miller polled neighbors, friends, cooks and ordinary folk for this delectable guide to 125 eateries, organized by neighborhood.



The Food of Italy


Author: Waverly Root


Description: Evocative of Italy and its diverse cuisine, this classic book, organized geographically, offers a cook's tour of the country. It's a well-informed and wonderful culinary guide.



The House of Medici, Its Rise and Fall


Author: Christopher Hibbert


Description: A well-written, entertaining history of the Medicis in Renaissance Florence. Great to read before going to Florence, where the influence of the Medicis and the artists they supported is still very much in evidence.



The Most Beautiful Country Towns of Tuscany


Author: James Bentley


Description: Traveling north to south, Bentley captures the historic, walled and Romanesque cities of Tuscany. Includes principal sites, hotels, events and restaurants in each town. 273 illustrations.



The Portable Romantic Poets


Author: Norman Holmes Pearson, W.H. Auden (Editor)


Description: This is the anthology to take along on a trip to England's Lake District, Italy's Cinque Terre or any other classic haunt of the romantic poets. This selection includes works by all the masters (and even an occasional mistress).



Too Much Tuscan Sun, Confessions of a Chianti Tour Guide


Author: Roberto Rodi, Dario Castagno


Description: With affection and humor, Castagno recalls his experience as a tour guide in Tuscany, and the remarkable travelers he meets along the way. His ease with and taste for Chianti combine to evoke intoxicating images of the much-loved Tuscan region.



Under the Tuscan Sun


Author: Frances Mayes


Description: In this best-selling memoir of buying, renovating and living in an abandoned villa in Tuscany, Mayes reveals the sensual pleasures found in rural Italy.





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