Italy • Cinque TerrePainting & Walking Holiday
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The remote yet beautiful Cinque Terre has inspired artists and poets alike for centuries, and little is changed today. Mountains that appear to dive into the sea, tiny fishing villages and brightly coloured houses that overlook harbours, it's easy to see why creativity can be easily inspired here. There are still only few roads, so we will let the train take the strain as we explore the five settlements of this enchanting UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Boasting some of the most dramatic coastal scenery anywhere in the world, the five fishing villages that make up the Cinque Terre, namely Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore, achieved World Heritage status back in 1997. Not only is this magnificent part of the world noted for its magnificent beauty, but it is a National Park and Protected Marine Area.
The stunning azure seas, multi-coloured houses and rugged bays provide an idyllic setting for painters to indulge their creativity, while the coastal walkways, woodland and vineyard-strewn landscapes are perfect for the rambler. The flora and fauna of this Italian region are stunning, the regional cuisine is enhanced by the amazing herbs that grow in its mineral rich soils and the dessert wine that the Cinque Terre is known for - Sciacchetrà - is simply delicious.
Day 1 - Arrival day
Our hotel, located at Monterosso al Mare, is just a short trip from Pisa airport. There will be ample time to enjoy the view, take a dip in the sea or just relax and do some sketching.
Day 2 - Monterosso
While Monterosso is famous for its gorgeous beach, perhaps its most eyecatching feature is the Monterosso Giant. This 14-metre high sculpture of King Neptune was built in 1910 by a sculptor named Arrigo Minerbi and it juts out dramatically from the cliff face, although today it is missing its arms. Walkers will take a short train ride across vineyards and fields that sit between rugged mountains and the sea to the famous Via dell'Amore. This stunning coastal path links Riomaggiore to Manarola and local legend says that this trail was once a meeting place for lovers from these two towns.
Day 3 - Vernazza
Painters will be in their element today as we drive to Vernazza, a little picture postcard fishing port that is perfect painted from on high. Colourful houses punctuate its marina and it makes for a very picturesque scene indeed. Here, we look down on its small harbour that boasts a tiny beach, which is tightly hugged by its church and surrounding town. The walkers will take another train ride, this time to Levanto. Passing a castle, we follow a picturesque ancient path cut into the edge of a cliff and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views along the way. We will stop for lunch at a local restaurant before continuing with our day.
Day 4 - Corniglia
Situated on top of a promontory, Corniglia is the most rural of the Cinque Terre villages. Surrounded by vineyards and terraces, this glorious location will undoubtedly broaden both our artistic horizons and our palette. It is so striking that Giovanni Boccaccio mentioned it by name in 'The Decameron'. If you prefer to take in the views on foot, walkers will sail to Porto Venere for a tour, taking in its old churches and Genovese castle. Later, we will continue on to Riomaggiore where we take the train back to meet the rest of our group.
Day 5 - Free day
Today we will indulge in a chance to unwind and take in our surroundings at a leisurely and independent pace. Visit neighbouring Genoa, Portofino or Riomaggiore. Take in the sights, find a local restaurant for lunch or dinner or perhaps do some shopping.
Day 6 - Manarola
A glorious day awaits and we begin by travelling high into the mountains above Monterosso to the Sanctuary of Soviore. The very first written record of this historic building dates back to 1225. For the walkers among us, there will be a short train ride before we climb to the Madonna di Reggio Sanctuary, which is located on the hills behind Vernazza. A lovely woodland walk brings us to a second sanctuary before descending to Monterosso along an ancient pilgrims' path. This area, strewn with magnificent vineyards, is revered for its sweet Sciacchetrà wine.
Day 7 - Departure day
This morning we will transfer back to Pisa, where we will catch our flight home.
Dates and prices
8th - 14th October
£1,995 Inc. Flights
Exc. Flights: £1,795
Sgl Supp: £255
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Angela Corben - A love of the great outdoors, and the beauty of nature, Angela loves to paint on location. She is captivated by the changing light, colours, scents and sounds, whether in the New Forest, the South of France or Andalucia. Angela’s style is bold and expressive, using an economy of brush strokes to capture the atmosphere of the scene.
5 full days of painting tuition
6 nights in en-suite accommodation
6 breakfasts and 5 lunches
6 dinners with wine
Full-time tour manager
Personal welcome at Pisa airport
All transport in Italy including trains
Cheese, olive oil and wine tasting
Chairs and boards provided
Where We Stay
The Cinque Terre is an artist’s delight, awash with colour and brimming with charm. The accommodation we will enjoy in this area is set in a quiet corner with great facilities, close to the region’s renowned walking areas. It is also close to local cafés where you can sit and watch the world go by when not walking or painting. Please note: all transfers here are by train so bear this in mind when packing!
All locations are within 400 metres of transport (trains). Village streets are steep.
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