GENERAL ITINERARY

The following itinerary is tentative and subject to slight changes. There are occasional trail closures due to weather, etc. We’ll update the itinerary as we get closer to departure.

Day 1  Arrive Corniglia

  • Arrive in Corniglia and meet with tour leaders who will direct you to your apartment. After settling in, take the time to visit the small village or take a swim at the beach far below.
  • Group dinner

Day 2  The Azurro Trail – From Corniglia to Monterosso (3.5hrs)

  • The panoramic Azzurro trail takes you to two of the five colorful villages that make up the Cinque Terre, among which Vernazza is the most stunning. We’ll traverse between scrublands, farmyards, gardens, vineyards and orchards and along alleys leading to interesting sites such as the beautiful Santa Margherita di Antiocha Church of Ligurian gothic style. We’ll return to Corniglia by train.
  • Duration: 3h 30 min :: Ascent: 410m :: Descent: 500 :: Walking distance: 7.5km
  • Meals will be on your own.

Day 3  Crossing the Punta Mesco - From Monterosso to Levanto (4.5hrs)

  • Rich from its religious past, the northern part of the Cinque Terre holds many remarkable buildings. The facades of the churches of San Giovanni Battista in Monterosso and Sant’Andrea in Levanto are decorated with Carrarra marble in a unique Genoese gothic style. Beautiful trails along the ridge among conifers and deciduous trees lead to Punta Mesco, the Cinque Terre’s ultimate bastion. This abrupt cape made up of red rock watches over the whales, which swim in from the open sea to this preserved and tranquil area each year to give birth. On arrival in Levanto there are many relics from the Middle Ages which can be found in the middle of the small town: the castle, ramparts, and the clock tower, to name a few. We will return to Corniglia by train.
  • Duration: 4h 30min :: Ascent: 650m :: Descent: 650m :: Walking distance: 10km
  • Meals will be on your own.

Day 4  Lerici and the Montemarcello-Magra Natural Park (3.5hrs)

  • Today’s hike follows portions of the AGV trail, which connects the Portovenere ridges to La Spezia and the Montemarcello, at the boundaries of Liguria and Tuscany. The name stands for “Alta Via del Golfo”, which means “high road over the gulf”. The coastal views are outstanding during the walk and depending on visibility, it is possible to see the northeastern part of Tuscany, which begins in the Magra river valley, as well as the outline of the Apuane Alps in the background. White areas midway on their slopes indicate the vast marble quarries of Carrara, which have been operating since Antiquity. The return walk from Zanego to Lerici is along an overhanging path among olive trees on the old stone paths of the Montemarcello.
  • Duration: 3.5h :: Ascent: 400m :: Descent: 400m :: Walking distance: 10km
  • There will be a group dinner.

Day 5  A sea of Vinyards – From Corniglia to Volastra and Riomaggiore (3hrs)

  • At the heart of the Cinque Terre, the Volastra domain is home to the most prestigious viticultural lands – due to their aesthetic qualities and the high quality of their products. During the September harvest, this is where convoys of raisins climb up the steepest slopes on monorails, seeming to leap into the sea below. Overlooking the coast and the green open spaces and terraces, the hike meanders between dry stone walls. The plunging views of small villages clinging to mountain spurs are a photographer’s dream. The highlights of the walk continue with the discovery of Riomaggiore and its animated multicolored alleys.
  • Duration: 4 hours :: Ascent: 495m :: Descent: 500m :: Walking distance: 7.8km
  • Meals will be on your own.

Day 6  The Gulf of Poets – From Marola (La Spezia) to Portovenere (4hrs)

  • The climb starting in Marola opens up to beautiful views of the city of La Spezia, also called the Gulf of Poets. When visibility is good, it is possible to see the Apennine mountain range as well as the Apuane Alps and their white marble quarries. The hike climbs up through gardens before going through the Castellana marble quarries where, even today, a rare black marble called portoro is mined. The seemingly idyllic landscape encountered during the descent into Portovenere is full of surprises: the calm and majestic gulf widens up towards the open sea and the islands that inspired such great poets, artists, and learned men and women as Byron, George Sand, Pétrarque, Montale, and Marconi where their creative impulses were nurtured during extended stays. Once a Roman port, Portovenere became a part of the republic of Genoa in the middle ages.

    Being the closest military post to Tuscany, this was a place from which sea battles were waged with its eternal (and current) rival and neighbour, the republic of Pisa. Today, the area is visited by many tourists, who come to enjoy its ancient architecture: houses on the cliffs, castles and ramparts towards the hill, meandering alleys, and the Genoese gothic churches of San Lorenzo and San Pietro.
  • Duration: 3 hours Ascent: 510m :: Descent: 510m :: Walking distance: 8.5km
  • Final group dinner.

Day 7  Trip Concludes

  • Arrangements end upon check out from your apartment in the morning.

MORE INFORMATION


DETAILS

Dates: June 11 – June 17, 2018

Cost: $1400 per person for double occupancy; $1775 per person for single occupancy

Register: Complete and submit the online registration form by November 15, 2017. Additional information (Registration Part II) is required. Forms will be sent to those who make a deposit.

Deposit: A deposit of $500 per person by November 15, 2017.


Fast Facts

Visas and Passports

Visas not required for citizens of USA or Canada. Please ensure your passport is up-to-date and is stamped on arrival.

Climate

Italian summers are hot. From late June to September, highs of 95 degrees Fahrenheit are common. Spring and autumn are the nicest times of year. Specifically, April to early June and September to October are the most pleasant months to walk. Average daytime highs are around 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit.

Special Gear Needed

Wet weather gear, sunscreen, good walking boots/shoes and sun hat - walking poles optional but recommended. (A comprehensive packing list will be included in the pre-departure information.)

 

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Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

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