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Lucca, Portofino & the Cinque Terre

8days from
£2,399*per person


8 Days - European Tour

No distance at all separates Lucca and Pisa from Portofino, the Cinque Terre & Genoa, but the treasures they offer make for a diverse experience. In Pisa’s Square of the Miracles there’s the Leaning Tower, cathedral and baptistry, but much less well known are the colourful villages that cling to the Ligurian coastline. Take in two of Italy’s most desirable regions: Tuscany and the Italian Riviera. They’re delightfully different from each other, but both are evocatively scenic. First, we visit Tuscany, always a favourite destination for art, architecture and stunning countryside, staying in Lucca, the birthplace of Puccini. It’s one of Tuscany’s most graceful towns, with a historic quarter nestling inside preserved Renaissance walls. Then discover Porto Venere, the Cinque Terre’s unspoilt villages with their riot of colour, and Portofino’s stunning harbour, plus of course Genoa, with its fascinating mix of medieval alleyways and imposing Palazzi.. This tour offers contrasting cultures, centuries of history and ravishing landscapes, all crying out to be experienced.


  • Arrive at the airport for your flight to Lucca from where you will be taken to your hotel.
  • After breakfast we take a tour with a local guide who will bring the story of Lucca to life. The city was founded by the Etruscans, and its well-preserved walls date from the Renaissance. As we explore the centre, you’ll notice the rectangular grid pattern which originated with the street plan of Roman times, while the oval Roman amphitheatre is another evocative reminder of millennia past. This afternoon you can experience more of Lucca’s wonders, exploring its cobbled streets, strolling along its shady promenades and relaxing in its elegant piazzas. As the birthplace of Puccini, Lucca hosts numerous concerts celebrating his work. You can often hear talented vocalists during rehearsals, which adds a wonderful acoustic dimension to your enjoyment of this beautiful city.
  • After breakfast, it’s just a short drive to Pisa for a guided tour that takes you to the heart of this historic city. You’ll marvel at how such a relatively small space can accommodate such magnificence. The Leaning Tower – one of the world’s most instantly recognisable silhouettes – is your iconic introduction to the rest of the piazza. We conclude our visit with the Camposanto, a huge cemetery reputed to contain soil from Golgotha – the site of Jesus’s crucifixion. The great and good of Pisan society wanted to be laid to rest in holy ground and the arched Gothic cloister is lined by sarcophagi and huge frescoes, some in the process of being restored to their former glory. In the afternoon we return to Lucca for you to relax or explore at your leisure. This evening we dine at a local restaurant serving traditional Tuscan cuisine. Signature Expereince: Enjoy an upgraded dinner at a local restaurant. Indulge in a delicious dining experience at one of Lucca's authentic restaurants, where you can enjoy some of the region's local delicacies paired with a glass of Tuscan wine.
  • Our morning drive north takes us past Carrara’s enormous gleaming quarries, source of the finest marble, which has been used in masterpieces by sculptors from Michelangelo to Henry Moore and fashioned since Roman times into the great monuments now dotted across Italy’s landscapes and beyond. Our exploration of the extraordinarily arresting coast of Liguria brings us to the Gulf of the Poets, an evocative name for an inspiring area. One of its highlights is the picturesque village of Porto Venere, its fortress high on the hillside overlooking an array of colourful multi-storeyed houses lining the harbour. A stroll along the promenade reveals a network of narrow medieval lanes leading to the church and castle. We will enjoy lunch in a local restaurant before continuing to Genoa, where we stay for the rest of the tour.
  • This morning we enjoy a guided tour of Genoa, followed by free time in the afternoon. Known as 'La Superba' at the height of its maritime power, Genoa was one of Italy's four major maritime republics and it is still home to Italy's largest Port. We start exploring the heart of Medieval Genoa, famous for its narrow lanes called 'caruggi', interspersed with imposing late-Renaissance palaces built by Genoa's wealthiest families in the 16th and 17th century. Today, it is a vibrant and eclectic city with so much to offer, from the regenerated port area or ornate palazzi and museums. Signature Expereince: Discover the secrets of traditional pesto recipes from Genoa by visiting the basil greenhouses where Genoese basil has been cultivated for centuries. Here, we'll learn why this region produces the best basil before discovering for ourselves how pesto is traditionally made with a mortar and pestle and enjoy a tasting of pesto and focaccia paired with local wine.
  • We spend the next two days exploring the splendours of the surrounding coastline in the manner to which local people have been accustomed for millennia – by boat. Our private charter takes us to the extraordinary Cinque Terre, which translates as ‘Five Lands’. We visit a selection of these five villages – Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore – cut off from the landward side by rugged terrain and steep coastline, making them almost unreachable by car. The dramatic locations, the vivid colours and the way the villages seem to fuse organically with the rugged topography make this one of Europe’s principal scenic highlights. Seafood dominates menus here, anchovies being a local speciality, while steeply terraced hillsides produce fine olives and the ingredients for pesto. Immerse yourself in your surroundings and a lifestyle that has changed very little over time
  • You can watch fine watercraft quietly going about their business on the shimmering waters as we sail the short distance to Portofino. Arriving here by boat gives you a real sense of the way in which this historic fishing village established itself and thrived around its own superb natural harbour, with a setting of cypress trees and olive groves. A walk to the headland offers a life-affirming view and the scents of thyme, pine and wildflowers hanging heavy in the air. We return to Genoa in the afternoon, where you will have a bit more free time to enjoy this intriguing coastal city, or simply relax and seek out a local restaurant for dinner. Signature Expereince: Unwind and enjoy a delightful Italian aperitif while gazing at the charming harbour view of Portofino's Piazzetta. You can relax in the serene surroundings and catch a glimpse of the harbour where boats are moored.
  • Transfer to the airport for our flight home.

What's Included

Holiday Highlights

  • Discover Lucca, birthplace of Puccini, on a guided tour
  • Take a private boat cruise along the Cinque Terre
  • Experience the majesty of Pisa’s historic centre on a guided tour, visiting the cathedral and the marble baptistry
  • Explore Genoa and find out more about its illustrious maritime history on a guided tour
  • Sail to Portofino, with its breath-taking waterfront and celebrity visitors
  • This Signature Tour includes all of the above as well as the following:
  • Savour an enhanced dining experience at one of Lucca's authentic restaurants
  • Discover the secrets of centuries-old pesto recipes that have lasted through the ages, using Genoese basil and traditional methods
  • Enjoy stunning harbour views and sip a refreshing Italian aperitivo in the charming ambience of Portofino’s exclusive Piazzetta
  • Enjoy the more exclusive atmosphere of travelling in a small group with an average of 22 guests

Our Price Includes

  • The price of this holiday is per person based on two people sharing a twin room. Single rooms are subject to availability at the relevant supplement. The price includes: 
  • Return flights from a selection of regional airports, plus all hotel transfers
  • Seven nights in four-star and four-star superior accommodation inclusive of all local taxes, with breakfast and three dinners (one will be taken at a local restaurant)
  • The services of our experienced and insightful tour manager throughout
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Dates and Prices

September 2024
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  • Limited Availability
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Price from:£2,399
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4* Grand Hotel Guinigi - Lucca -


The four-star Grand Hotel Guinigi is situated in a leafy area of Lucca and a twenty-five minute stroll from the famed city walls, the hotel offers a wonderfully tranquil base.  There is a welcoming bar and lobby area on the ground floor.  All rooms are furnished in soothing pastel shades with satellite TV and are fully air-conditioned. Please note the use of air-conditioning in hotels in Italy is at the hotel’s discretion and is normally restricted to the summer months (mid-May to mid-September), depending on the temperature.

Grand Hotel Savoia 4* Superior -

Built in 1987, this traditional hotel is full of character with its Belle Epoque inspired furnishings and elegant marble and glass features. The hotel has a restaurant as well as a bar, it is also one of Genova's most convenient locations, just a few steps from the opulent Royal Palace.

Hotel Continental 4* -

Located next to the Grand Hotel Savoia, this hotel is just a few minutes' walk from the ancient harbour and offers a colourful mix of modern furnishings and Art Nouveau inspired style. Located within the hotel is a typically Italian trattoria open for both lunch and dinner.

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Holiday provided by Riviera Travel

BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE: change your booking for free, Covid-19 cancellation protection included as standard and 100% protection with ABTA & ATOL. This holiday is sold and operated by Riviera Travel (ABTA V4744, ATOL 3430). These ABTA and ATOL bonds mean that, when you book a Riviera Travel holiday, you can be 100% sure that your money is safe.

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