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The French and Italian Rivieras
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The French and Italian Rivieras

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 13 day(s)
Group Size: 8 - 16 people
Destination(s): France   Italy  
Specialty Categories: Food & Wine   Cultural Journey  
Season: May
Airfare Included: Yes
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 7899 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 7899 US Dollar (USD)

Tour Dates:
May 10 - 23, 2015
June 5 - 18, 2016

Medieval hilltop villages, Pastis on your veranda overlooking the Mediterranean, Chagall’s art in Saint Paul de Vence, the flowers of Provence, the pink and yellow houses of Portofino, Cinque Terre’s striking cliffs, the incredible beauty of the Côte d’Azur.

Your Itinerary:

Day 1.
We arrive at the Nice airport and take a short drive to our home for the next five nights in the idyllic hilltop village of Saint Paul de Vence. Tonight is a special dinner at the famous Colombe d’Or restaurant. A number of French Impressionist painters left their works here as payment when they stayed in the inn years ago, so this is a truly unique dining experience.
Overnight: Saint Paul de Vence | Includes: (D).

Day 2.
Today we visit the ancient town of Antibes. Within the Château Grimaldi is the Musée Picasso, containing many of the pieces Picasso painted while living here. We have time to explore the colorful local market before lunch. Next we take a tour of the Biot glassworks factory to see how the famous Biot bubble glass is made, using the ancient hand blown method. We return to Saint Paul de Vence for some time to relax before another gourmet dinner
Overnight: Saint Paul de Vence | Includes: (B), (D).

Day 3.
This morning we head to Cagnes-sur-Mer to visit the Renoir Museum. After lunch and some free time in Saint Paul de Vence, we head to the nearby town of Vence to visit the renowned Chapelle du Saint-Marie du Rosaire, whose walls were decorated by Henri Matisse. A local guide then takes us on a walking tour of Vence’s oldest neighborhood. Dinner tonight is a special Provençal affair in a tiny restaurant within the walls of a castle, complete with open hearth and mouth-watering regional specialties.
Overnight: Saint Paul de Vence | Includes: (B), (D).

Day 4.
Today’s excursion is to the lively city of Cannes. This year’s Cannes Film Festival’s dates coincide with our trip. We are sure to see a movie star or two! We then head to the tiny village of Mougins, incredibly picturesque and crammed with art galleries. Mougins is also known for its large number of gastronomic restaurants, and we will have a lunch to remember in this wonderful setting. We return to our hotel for a swim and a free evening.
Overnight: Saint Paul de Vence | Includes: (B), (D).

Day 5.
This morning we can try our luck at the ancient Provence game of “boules” (bocci), popular in this part of France. In the afternoon we have the option of visiting one of the world’s most renowned modern art museums, the Fondation Maeght, just outside the village. There is time for a swim and an aperitif before enjoying a gourmet dinner.
Overnight: Saint Paul de Vence | Includes: (B), (D).

Day 6.
After packing our bags and saying au revoir to Saint Paul de Vence, we drive to Nice and enjoy a guided tour of the historic center. After lunch in Vieux Nice we drive up, up, up, into the Alps to the magical medieval village of Eze. Perched high at the top of a mountain, Eze commands a breathtaking panoramic vista of the surrounding mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. We can wander its narrow car-free streets, inspecting any of the hundreds of adorable boutiques cleverly nestled among ancient archways and alleys. We will spend the next two nights in this charming village. This afternoon we take a tour of the famous Fragonard perfumery. We end the day with another superb dinner.
Overnight: Eze | Includes: (B), (D).

Day 7.
After breakfast we take a tour of the Rothschild estate on the elegant peninsular of Saint Jean Cap Ferrat. The Villa Ile-de-France was built by Beatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild in the early 1900s as the perfect “dream villa” of the Riviera. We then enjoy lunch in the quaint medieval harbor of Villefranche. In the evening we enjoy some free time.
Overnight: Eze | Includes: (B), (D)(mid-day).

Day 8.
Today we will take a scenic coastal drive to Monaco, where we enjoy an “insider’s” guided walking tour led by a native Monagascan. After lunch in the quaint Le Rocher neighborhood behind the palace we say au revoir to France as we drive along the mountainous seacoast and on to the Italian Riviera. Passing Genoa, we enter the Riviera di Levante and arrive at our destination of Santa Margherita. We enjoy some free time in Santa Margherita before dinner.
Overnight: Santa Margherita | Includes: (B), (D).

Day 9.
A boat ride along the mountainous coast takes us to Portofino, known for its colorful medieval houses and spectacular scenic vistas. After lunch in Portofino, we take another boat ride to Fruttuoso and Camogli, two historic fishing villages surrounded by high cliffs. We return to Santa Margherita for a relaxing evening.
Overnight: Santa Margherita | Includes: (B).

Day 10.
We head for our next destination on the Italian Ligurian coast, Lerici. Along the way we stop for a tour and tasting at a local winery. We arrive at our beautiful hotel overlooking the sea in Lerici, gateway to the enchanting villages of the Cinque Terre. In the afternoon we enjoy a stroll along the water to a beautiful old castle. Tonight you can dine on fish or shellfish caught a few hours before dinner.
Overnight: Lerici | Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 11.
Today we spend the day visiting the five stunningly beautiful villages known as Cinque Terre. Plan to bring an extra memory card for this photogenic experience. Each of these tiny villages- Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso- is unique and indescribably beautiful in a primitive, unspoiled way. We have the option of either taking a boat or hiking from village to village. We return to Lerici by boat for a relaxing evening.
Overnight: Lerici | Includes: (B).

Day 12.
This morning we enjoy an entertaining cooking class in a friend’s kitchen. In the afternoon we can walk off some calories on an oceanside hike, explore the streets of Lerici, or relax at our lovely hotel. In the evening we enjoy our farewell dinner at a charming restaurant with superb local dishes.
Overnight: Lerici | Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 13.
After breakfast we drive to the Pisa airport for the return flight.
Meals: B

Airfare is included in the tour price.

Price Includes:

- Roundtrip airfare from Boston or New York (airfare price can be deducted)
- Transfers from Nice Airport to first hotel and from last hotel to Pisa Airport
- 12 nights in charming, elegant hotels with magnificent mountain or Mediterranean views: (5) overnights in Saint Paul de Vence (Provence); (2) Eze Village (French Riviera); (2) Santa Margherita (Italian Riviera); (3) Lerici (Cinque Terre)
- All breakfasts, 10 dinners (some with wine), 2 special wine tasting lunches
- Transportation in comfortable, air-conditioned minibus
- Full time escort
- Visits to: Saint Paul de Vence, Antibes, Cannes, Biot, Vence, Eze, Nice, Villefranche, Monaco, Santa Margherita, Portofino, Lerici, Cinque Terre
- Guided tours by local experts in Nice, Monaco, and Venice
- Fun cooking class in Lerici
- Winery visit and wine-tasting on the Italian Riviera
- All tour guides, all museum and monument entrance fees, tips and taxes.

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