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From beautiful Florence to the 5 Terre coast, a family unique trip

Little fishermen and carvers discovering the coasts of Liguria and Tuscany

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The National Park of the Cinque Terre is full of small medieval villages hanging on the hillside in strategic places. Over the centuries, travellers and traders have been fascinated by the beauty of this landscape, a territory hanging between sea and mountains. The sea is everywhere, with cultivated vineyard terraces and perfectly preserved medieval villages, offering travellers the chance to trek through nature, culture, history and food - a trekking trip for all lovers of the Mediterranean . We will discover the secrets of the Levanto caves by canoe and admire the sub aquatic landscape. Leaving the coast towards Tuscany, we will explore Lucca where we will cycle on its well-preserved walls. After entering into the heart of the Apuan Alps like real speleologists, in the Grotta del Vento, we will conclude with a visit to a didactic laboratory of a white marble carver, used in the past by the famous Michelangelo.

Highlights:
- The Mediterranean landscape classified on the UNESCO list
- Canoeing in the caves of the Ligurian coast
- Cycling along the walls of Lucca
- Grotta del vento and marble carving in the Apuan Alps
Day 1: Transfer to Florence – Pizza cooking class
Arrival in Florence and private transfer to your hotel 4*. Time to relax and enjoy a first stroll around this lovely city and late in the afternoon, enjoy a fun pizza and gelato making cooking class! Overnight stay in Florence. Meal (D)

Day 2: Artisan tour and Oltrarno neighborhood
In the morning, special half-day tour that will lead you directly in the other bank of the river to the Oltrarno area, the most authentic part of the city, crowded with historical workshops concerning any kind of handicraft.
You will appreciate the skills of paper and mosaic artisans, visiting their workshops and you'll learn how they create their marvellous products. You will be directly involved in special laboratories such as a marble paper laboratory and a painting workshop. In the afternoon, some free time to relax and enjoy the city on your own. Free time for dinner and overnight stay in Florence. 

Day 3: Florence bike tour and Fiesole walk
In the morning, be part of a fun group bike tour leading by a professional guide. You will ride in downtown and stop by the greatest monuments like Ponte Vecchio, The Dome, Palazzo Pitti just to mention a few. After lunch, short ride to Fiesole, a tiny village from where you will admire a stunning view of Florence and having a pleasant stroll surrounded by olive trees. Dinner and overnight stay in Florence. 

Day 4: Lucca and Pisa
Enjoy a fantastic day discovering Lucca and Pisa. Explore this Italian gems with a full-day private tour. Your guide will lead you first on a 2-hour private walking tour of Lucca along the Medieval Via Fillungo, the Tower of the Clock, the Duomo San Martin and the wonderful “Piazza dell’Anfiteatro” one of the most beautiful squares in Italy. After lunch, proceed to Pisa for an independent visit of the city. You will visit the Baptistery, the famous Leaning Tower and more. Your tour will conclude with transportation to Levanto, the gate of Cinque Terre National Park. Dinner and overnight in Levanto. Meal (B-L-D)

Day 5: Hike across the Punta Mesco Cape (3 h hiking, gradient + 315 mt – 315mt, 7,5 km) 
After breakfast, at your leisure, enjoy your first walk across the Punta Mesco Cape. Starting from the Levanto historical centre, passing the ancient medieval defensive walls, the mule track will lead us in the pine forest with beautiful viewpoint on the sea.  Arrival in Monterosso, the first village of the “Cinque Terre National Park”. Visit of the elegant historical centre, the “Capuchin Monastery”, the narrow typical Ligurian street. Train back to Levanto (5 minutes, you buy ticket locally). Enjoy a Ligurian cuisine menu on your own and then same hotel back in Levanto. 
 
Day 6: Boat tour to Portofino Natural Park and S. Fruttuoso Abbey
After breakfast train to Santa Margherita Ligure, a lovely and elegant village. Take a boat and enjoy a lovely tour to and the beautiful Abbey of San Fruttuoso that appears like a mirage in the wonderful tiny bay. The set is dominated by the Abbey that dates back to the 11th century, by the prominent beach, the Church, the Doria tower, a few fishermen houses. Take your time for a visit, then boat back to Santa Margherita and on the way, stop in the famous town of Portofino. Train back to Levanto, dinner and overnight.


Day 7: From Vernazza to Manarola: walking between the sea and the vineyards (4hrs 30min walking + 350m – 350m)
After breakfast, train to Vernazza (10 min.). Vernazza is a tiny coastal village from where the mule track starts in the direction of the terraced vineyards, cultivated with tremendous effort by the local farmers over the centuries. Passing first among the olives trees and lush oak forest, we come to the perched village of Corniglia. We enjoy a spectacular path between the vineyards and among the agave and lemon trees in the village of Volastra with views over the majority of the Levante Ligure, even as far as the charming seaside town of Manarola, the fourth of the Cinque Terre. A refreshing swim in the clear Mediterranean water is the great end of the day. Train back to Levanto (15 min.). Dinner and overnight stay in Levanto. 


Day 8: Departure
After breakfast, private transfer to Levanto train station and end of our services.

Note: This day-to-day schedule should be taken only as a general guide. Although we update our itineraries on a regular basis, to take into account such things as changes to trekking routes and changes in the routing or availability of local transport, it is not possible to guarantee that any of our trips will run exactly according to the proposed itinerary. A variety of factors, including adverse weather conditions and difficulties with transportation, can lead to enforced changes. The trip leader will make any changes that are necessary.
Skill level: easy, 2 to 3 hours walking each day. The typology of the paths are: large dirt road, mule track and wooden path.

Accommodation :
3 nights in hotel**** in Florence
4 nights in hotel*** in Levanto

Luggage: we advise you to use one large bag with wheels where you put all your stuff. A backpack (30 litres) for your trekking days.

Equipment: trekking shoes, trekking socks, trekking t-shirt, warm shell, wind and water proof jacket, hat and gloves, bathing suit, sun glasses and sun cream, daily backpack, trekking poles advised.

Included:
- 7 night accommodation in hotel ***/****
- Lunches except on day 1,6-7-8
- All transfer by public bus, train, boat and private minibuses
- Dinners except on day 2-5-8
- Entrance fee in all the museum/monuments visited during the guided visits
- cooking class (Pizza and Gelato) in Florence
- Bike tour in Florence
- Artisan guided tour with laboratories in Florence
- Guided tour of Lucca and Pisa
- English spoken tour leader
- Water during all the tour
- Tourist taxes

Not included:
- All alcoholic beverages
- Everything not mentioned in “included”
- Meals not included
- Personal items
- Porterage

Cancellations by the Client
The client can cancel their holiday at any time. Any cancellation by the client must be sent as soon as possible to Mandala Tour in order to update the rooming list and to determine the cancellation charge applicable. The cancellation charges are expressed hereafter as a percentage of the total tour price:

1)       No charges for cancellations 30 days or more before departure
2)       Cancellation 29-15 days before departure: 25% of the tour price
3)       Cancellation 14-9 days before departure: 50% of the tour price
4)       Cancellation 8- 4 days before departure: 75% of the tour price
5)       Cancellation less then 3 days before departure: 100% of the tour price

Trips Note


Destination: Tuscany and Cinque Terre
Trip type:
Family Adventures
Interest:
 History and Culture
Departures:  Apr May Jun Jul Sep Oct Nov
Duration:
8 days / 7 nights
Group size:
from 4 to 15 people
Airport:
Florence

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