Your driver will collect you from your hotel or central meeting point and then the day begins with the journey east towards the Tuscan coastline. In the region of Liguria, you will enjoy the lovely views of the Mediterranean Sea. You will visit the small and colorful villages of the '5 lands' Vernazza, Rio Maggiore, Monte Rosso & Manarola. The five quaintly distinctive fishing villages stretch along five miles of rocky Ligurian coastline and look proudly out to see. The villages are not easy to get to; there are a number of choices to see these lovely towns and the magnificent coast.
The driver can drop you at the first town and you can either take the local coastline train which travels between each town or you can also walk between them using the path that has been cut through the rock known as "Passeggiata dell'Amore” - Lovers walk. Another option in the summer months is to travel by boat and from here you can really imagine what the fisherman has seen everyday for centuries. The cost is approx 8 euro per person for the one way day ticket, there are also other options by sea going also to the islands off the 5 terre and then back to cruise the full coastline, these services are offered from April. If you chose the train the driver will meet you at the last town to drive you back on long the old winding road with it's breathtaking views.
You can stop and enjoy a typical lunch in one of the villages and can expect to taste dishes such as 'Troffie' which is a kind of pasta made from chestnut or wheat flour and is one of the forefathers of modern and more sophisticated pasta. Its condiment is still 'pesto' sauce; an original Ligurian sauce made from basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, grated cheese, pine nuts, and marjoram. 'Cotoletta di acciuga' are anchovies stuffed with a breadcrumb based filling and then fried. The 'fritelle di bianchetti', fritters made from tiny newborn anchovies or sardines were also highly appreciated. Following the seamen's gastronomic traditions, other dishes included stewed cuttlefish, stuffed calamari and spiced octopus. The area is also known for the steep hills that fall into the sea lined with vineyards and olive groves. Man has tamed the difficult landscape through terrace cultivation consisting of narrow strips of land on the hillside or sheer cliffs. The Wine and Olive oil from this area is very good; you can also stop and taste the wine along the road.
The fame of the Cinque Terre is largely due to its products, the dry white wine, simply called 'Cinque Terre' and the 'Sciacchetrà', a prized dessert wine made from prime grapes dried to the point of holding only a few drops of sweet juice.
A colorful addition to the Cinque Terre products is 'limoncino'; a dessert wine made from steeping lemon peels in pure alcohol and then added sugar and water to make a fragrant and fresh liquor similar to Limoncello from the Almalfi area.
There are also many shops in the 'cinque terre' and many artisans still stand in the lane ways outside their shops whittling away at the wood or making various items like picture frames or fishing nets.
* Please note that all prices below are quoted considering a pick up and drop off in Florence. We can organize for the driver to come to your villa or accommodation in other areas of Tuscany and prices will be quoted separately upon request.
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