North Italy: From Alpine to Wine
- Itinerary:Pisa - Lucca - San Gimignano - Cinque Terre - Val Maira - Turin
- Duration:12 days / 11 nights (flexible)
- Price:from £ 950.- per person (excluding flights)
Days 1-4 – Tastes of Tuscany
Today you will arrive at your agriturismo that is nestled in green hills decorated with vineyards, olive trees and old Italian villages. Your room is very comfortable with an en-suite bathroom, air conditioning, a beautiful wooden beamed ceiling and charming furniture. There’s nothing plannig for the rest of the day, so you can slip easily into Italian life with a glass of Chianti by the pool. There is also a restaurant on the property, so you can eat here in the evenings if you don’t feel like leaving the house.
Days 4-7 – Scooting through San Gimignano
You’ll have already picked up your hire car at Pisa airport on arrival, so you’re ready and set for the open road! After your stay you’ll drive from Lucca to San Gimignano. The driving time is approx. 1.5 hours, but you may wish to make stops along the way. Today you will drive through rolling hills to your agriturismo that has an outdoor swimming pool and a view over the countryside and the medieval tower village of San Gimignano in the distance. Check into your comfortable, rustic room and at the end of the day you can cool down in the pool, before enjoying a glass of homemade wine. For an authentic Italian dinner experience, you can sit at the long wooden table with other guests, sharing a bottle of homemade Chianti.
After breakfast the next morning you’ll drive to San Gimignano, where you’ll trade in your car for a new set of wheels – your own Vespa. You’ll mainly drive on country roads with little traffic and below San Gimignano is where the real Tuscan countryside begins. Pass vineyards, cypress-lined villas, the golden-brown hills of Val d’Orcia, as you follow quiet roads meandering through the countryside arriving at single-street villages like Montepulciano or Volterra, the highest hill town in Tuscany. The following day you can either rent the vespa for another day, or you may prefer to unwind at the edge of the pool with a good book after a busy day yesterday.
Days 7-9 – Colourful cliffs of Cinque Terre
Today you’ll drive from San Gimignano to Cinque Terre. The driving time is approx. 3 hours, but you may wish to make stops along the way. You will arrive on the rugged and colourful coast of Cinque Terre. In this area there are five fishing villages, each more colourful than the last, meaning you’ll want to find a way to visit them all. It’s good to be aware that this is a popular spot, which is why you’ll be staying small-scale hotel that is slightly away from the coast where it’s a bit quieter. You can still easily explore the area from here, enjoying the villages and the coastline by train, walking, boat, or a mix of the three.
The following morning it is good idea to get up and get out as early as possible. The sunrise light is a stunning way to view this coastline and you will also avoid some of the busier times of day. Stroll through the narrow streets and enjoy the views from the coastal walkway, using your navigation app to get handy tips and walking routes. Every village has something new to offer, but don’t worry an ice cream or Italian cappuccino is available everywhere.
Days 9-12 – Hiking valhalla Val Maira
Today you’ll drive from Cinque Terre to Val Maira. The driving time is approx. 4 hours, but you may wish to make stops along the way. You will arrive in northern Italy, close to the border of France. You’ll stay in a quiet spot away from the crowds, sleeping in a small-scale mountain hotel, run by a local family. This area is truly blessed in terms of cuisine, as it combines the pure food of Italy with the sophistication of France. Breakfast and dinner is included at your hotel, as you will be venturing out a lot in the coming days and working up a big appetite.
Start the day today with a fantastic breakfast in the hotel, whilst you plan out the best hiking routes for you to venture through the valley of Val Maira. There are different walks, in length and in difficulty, all allowing you to enjoy the green valleys, flowers and lakes of this tranquil region. The following day you can decide to hit the trails again with another adventure through the Italian Alps or simply grab your book and settle down on the terrace at your mountain hotel, enjoying the peace and the sweeping views.
Today you’ll drive from Val Maira to Turin. The driving time is approx. 2 hours, but you may wish to make stops along the way. You’ll drop off your hire car at the airport and head to the terminal for your flight home.