Cinque Terre | Classic Journeys Blog
  • Greece - Santorini at Sunset

    11 Most Romantic Getaways

    <br>Ready to escape on a romantic getaway? Just imagine… you and your sweetheart watching the sunset over the red sand dunes of the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco/" target="_blank">Sahara</a>, sipping a glass of Bordeaux in the vineyards of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bordeaux/" target="_blank">Bordeaux </a>itself, or following a scenic waterside path to the famed coastal resort of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany/" target="_blank">Portofino</a>. If you’re ready for some quality time together, here are 11 of the best destinations for romance.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italianlakes/" target="_blank"><img alt="Italian Lakes" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001Y3r4&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015ueN" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italianlakes/" target="_blank"><b>ITALIAN LAKES</b></a><br>Since the Roman emperors, these gracious waterside resorts have drawn visitors. The climate is mild, loaded with the vibrant colors of Alpine wildflowers and lush semi-tropical gardens. Your footpaths sometimes traverse mountaintop meadows and often hug the crystal clear waters. Nowhere else does stunning scenery, mellow air, and rich history come together with such romantic results. <br><br> <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/istria-slovenia-walking-tour/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001Y3r4&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015ufG" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/istria-slovenia-walking-tour/" target="_blank">SLOVENIA &amp; CROATIA&#39;S ISTRIAN PENINSULA</a></b><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/istria-slovenia-walking-tour/" target="_blank">Slovenia and Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula</a> are two of the great under-the-radar screen destinations in all of Europe. These unspoiled next-door lands sit right at the top of the Adriatic Sea just east of Venice, the scenery is so insanely perfect that you don’t want the walks to end. Imagine walking hand-in-hand through vineyards rolling into olive groves sweeping to the Adriatic. <br> <br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco-luxury-tour-package/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001Y3r4&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015ufL" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco-luxury-tour-package/" target="_blank">MOROCCO</a></b><br>For most people, Morocco is a top bucket list destination. From soaring sand dunes to dramatic coastlines and fantastically frenetic market squares—there’s no question why Morocco has been a top 10 bucket list place year after year. <br><br><a href="https://www.classsicjourneys.com/bordeaux/" target="_blank"><img alt="Bordeaux and the Dordogne Valley" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001Y3r4&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000oVJ4" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bordeaux/" target="_blank"><b>BORDEAUX &amp; THE DORDOGNE VALLEY</b></a><br>Everything you&#39;ll love best about <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bordeaux/" target="_blank">France </a>is abundant in the scenic southwest: Great wine. Great history. Great culture. And the lifestyle? Think of yourself at one of the loveliest inns you&#39;ve ever discovered, strolling by your 13th-century millpond before dining on a country stew and crème brûlée by candlelight.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/greece/" target="_blank"><img alt="Greece" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001Y3r4&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000oVNQ" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/greece/" target="_blank"><b>THE GREEK ISLES</b></a><br>Ahhh the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/greece/" target="_blank">Greek Isles</a>... walk amid vineyards and olive groves. Have a “pinch-yourself” moment waking to a view of Santorini&#39;s incredible shimmering blue sea. Take a mule ride down to the water’s edge for a boat trip out into the crater of the volcano.  Yes, this is your real life!<br> <br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001Y3r4&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015ueS" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany/" target="_blank"><b>TUSCANY &amp; THE CINQUE TERRE</b></a><br>Picture the two of you wine-tasting on the grounds of a castle, wandering through the streets of<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany/" target="_blank"> towering hill towns</a>, jumping to the head of the line to see Michelangelo’s David and exploring colorful villages along the Italian Riviera.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/portugal/" target="_blank"><img alt="Portugal" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001Y3r4&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000oVJY" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/portugal/" target="_blank"><b>PORTUGAL</b></a><br>Get some much-needed R &amp; R in regal <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/portugal/" target="_blank">Portugal</a>, where you’ll feel like royalty. Taste Port at a family-owned Douro Valley vineyard, walk the dramatic Atlantic coast from Cabo da Roca and luxuriate in some of Portugal’s most historic (and luxurious) hotels.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/barcelona/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001Y3r4&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015ueX" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/barcelona/" target="_blank"><b>BARCELONA &amp; THE COSTA BRAVA</b></a><br>When we asked our guides how to describe <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/barcelona/" target="_blank">Catalonia </a>to you, they said: “Tell them we are Tuscany, only better.” The chic avenues of Barcelona…a dip in the Mediterranean at a private resort on the Costa Brava…the Moorish-accented culture. And did you know about the vivid flavors of Catalan cuisine? <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank"><img alt="Amalfi" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001Y3r4&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000oVJO" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank"><b>AMALFI COAST &amp; CAPRI</b></a><br>Unlike most visitors, you’ll see <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank">Amalfi </a>in the best way. You’ll walk seaside trails past magnificent villas, enjoy authentic dinners after the day-trippers leave, peer into the caldera of Mount Vesuvius and so much more.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costa-rica-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Costa Rica" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001Y3r4&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000oVNu" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costa-rica-tours/" target="_blank"><b>COSTA RICA</b></a><br>You expect paradise to be beautiful. But who knew it was so much fun? If you’re looking for a little thrill mixed with romance, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costa-rica-tours/" target="_blank">Costa Rica</a> blends adventure and nature like nowhere else.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/provence/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001Y3r4&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015uem" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/provence/" target="_blank"><b>PROVENCE</b></a><br>Practice saying: “We&#39;re vacationing in the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/provence/" target="_blank">south of France</a> this year.” As romantic as it sounds, it’s even better in real life. Think quiet country trails that wind through cherry orchards beneath rustic perched villages. In season, purple ribbons of lavender drape the hills. This is Provence at its purest, and you will never forget it.

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  • Villa le Barone in Tuscany, Italy

    A Family Meeting in Italy

    <h2>…the best way to ensure 100% attendance!</h2>   <p>For Scott and Gina Phelps, a family meeting around the dining room table wasn’t going to work. With daughter Victoria traveling in Europe and son Zachary away at college, together time was getting harder to negotiate. Last summer, with their 25th anniversary coming up, the Phelps’ turned to Classic Journeys to arrange a private departure just for the four of them. Italy, it turns out, is an excellent way to guarantee 100% attendance!</p> <h3><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/private/" target="_blank" title="Private journeys">CALL US TO ARRANGE YOUR PERFECT FAMILY JOURNEY AND LEAVE THE DETAILS TO US!</a></h3> <p><i><b>IN THEIR WORDS</b></i></p> <p>We’re experienced travelers, but when we began planning the trip it was stressful trying to include everything we wanted to do.</p> <p>We admired how Classic Journeys structured its tours, so we worked with them to weave together elements of their <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany/" target="_blank" title="Discover Tuscany">Tuscany &amp; Cinque Terre </a>walking adventure and their <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italyfamily/" target="_blank" title="Rome &amp; Tuscany">Rome &amp; Tuscany</a> family journey into a customized itinerary just for us.<br><br><img alt="Man and woman in front in Cinque Terre" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mN&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002roK" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p>Once we hooked up with our Classic Journeys guide, we didn’t need to do a lot of thinking other than enjoying the people and places the guide introduced us to each day. The flexibility was also nice. If the weather changed, for example, the guides adapted quickly and everything ran seamlessly.<br><br>We had great rooms with great views every place we stayed, and we ate in some fantastic restaurants. But when we reflect on the trip, one thing that really stands out is how our guide, Luciano, incorporated history into everything we saw and did it in an interesting way. We’d see a painting or a building and he’d tell us how it tied into the same historical period we’d discussed earlier, for example. It brought perspective to the trip, and our kids adored Luciano and our driver. In fact, Zachary will be traveling abroad during school and plans on reconnecting with Luciano in Italy. That really speaks to the kind of people that make up the Classic Journeys team.<br><br><img alt="Luciano" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mN&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002roP" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></p> <br> 

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  • View of Cinque Terre from the water

    Savoring Cinque Terre Walking Tours: Our Guide's Advice

    <p><b>By exploring with an expert local guide, Classic Journeys’ guests see much more t</b><b>han the average visitor during a day on the Cinque Terre. </b></p> <p>“Up on the ridge there’s a gentle breeze, the smell of lavender; and below us the sea crashing against rocks,” says our guide Luciano, as he describes a single moment of a single day on Classic Journeys’ Tuscany &amp; <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany/" target="_blank">Cinque Terre walking tour</a>. <i>Amo questo giorno!</i> “I love this day!”</p> <p>The string of five enchanting villages perched on Italy’s northwest coast produces a sensory symphony, and Luciano is the walking tour impresario who reveals its rhythms and melodies to his visitors.<br><br><img alt="Cinque Terre" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7nF&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002lpB" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p>For thousands of years, the Cinque Terre villages were isolated, accessible only by boat or mule trail. To survive, natives ingeniously developed ways to cultivate grapes, olives and vegetables on the steep cliffsides. Fishermen used natural coves as their harbors. During medieval times, residents built Gothic churches and stone houses into the irregular mountainsides and painted them with tantalizing pastel colors that add magic and contrast to the rugged landscape.</p> <p>Today, a local train runs through the Cinque Terre, and it’s popular with tourists who come for the <i>Sentiero Azzurro</i>, or Blue Route. The trail that connects all the villages can be—and usually is—hiked in a rushed six hours.</p> <p>But with Luciano as their guide, guests on Classic Journeys’ walking tour of Cinque Terre<br>sidestep the masses and <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/blog/an-italian-immersion/" target="_blank">experience the Cinque Terre much more completely</a>.<br><br><img alt="Luciano in front of Cinque Terre" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7nF&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002lpV" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br>“We never would have had such a leisurely experience on our own,” says Nancy Stade, who joined this trip in June 2012 and also traveled with Classic Journeys to the Italian Lake District. “We covered it every way possible—by foot, ferry and train. We took in the stunning views; walked through lush stretches of wild thyme, sage and roses; and meandered through olive groves and along pebbled beaches. Luciano even knew all the this-is-the-moment spots for the best photos. Best of all, everywhere we went, he knew somebody, so we were always personally welcomed.”<br> </p> <p>Starting in the cool morning in the southernmost village of Riomaggiore, Luciano leads travelers down a hidden stairway to a port where they meet weathered fishermen unloading their abundant catch—including the sea bass that’s popular in many of the local, waterside restaurants. From there, a leisurely hike along the flat <i>Via dell’Amore</i>, or lover’s path, takes them to the village of Manarola, where they’re treated to <i>cecina</i>, a traditional Cinque Terre snack bread made from chickpeas. Some guests opt to take a ferry ride for a wondrous view of coastal coves; others head uphill to the hillside village of Corniglia, encountering farmers tending terraced vineyards or, at harvest time, carrying grape baskets on their heads.</p> <p>The guests reunite for an alfresco lunch in Vernazza—often called “the Gem of the Cinque Terre”—an awe-inspiring spot with a natural curved harbor and a castle.  “My friend from my hometown in Tuscany owns this restaurant on top of a medieval tower,” Luciano says. Andrea, the waiter, brings out the region’s signature <i>primi</i>: pasta al pesto made with the same basil the guests saw growing along the trail earlier that day.</p> <p>Next comes the <i>secondi</i>: fresh, whole sea bass pulled from the water this morning by the fishermen in Riomaggiore, and crisp, white wine from the nearby Luni region. No meal in the Cinque Terre is complete without <i>Sciacchetrà</i>, a sweet dessert drink made from dried grapes.</p> <p>As dusk falls, tour guests hike or take a boat to a pretty beach in the final village of the day: Monterosso al Mare. Glowing, as though the golden light that sparkles on the cobalt sea rubbed off on them, they reflect on a day immersed in the nature and traditions of the one and only Cinque Terre.<br><br><img alt="Cinque Terre at dusk" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7nF&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002lpQ" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></p>

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