- 08:00 Meet the driver and move to Manarola
- 09:45 Manarola (meet the guide)
- 10:15 Boat ride to Vernazza
- 14:00 Vernazza Post Office
- 14:45 Corniglia
- 15:00 Drive to Pisa
- 17:00 Pisa Miracoli Court
- 18:00 Arrive at the ship
The five small villages known as the Cinque Terre (or ‘five lands’), perched in a spectacular position on the Ligurian coast, were once only accessible by sea and are still best seen from the passenger boat that regularly connects them. The breath-taking scenery, the quaint pastel-coloured buildings, and the generally laid-back feeling that pervades the villages, have made them one of Italy’s most popular destinations.
The area, a World Heritage Site and a National Park, can be enjoyed on a private shore excursion with English-speaking driver from the port of Livorno.
There are many different ways of visiting the Cinque Terre, but after years of experience we have devised the following (flexible) itinerary to get the most from a day trip by private minivan.
We recommend making an early start from the port of Livorno (8am) from where you will drive north along the motorway into the region of Liguria (a drive of about 1h30m). Your first stop is Manarola, the oldest of the Cinque Terre, where your driver will accompany you through the pretty village to the boat landing stage.
From here (weather permitting) you will travel by boat to Vernazza, taking in the amazing natural beauty of the Ligurian coastline from the sea. Enjoy the village’s elegant buildings and natural harbour, and perhaps some locally-made pesto and crisp white wine for lunch, before meeting your driver again to drive up to quieter Corniglia, the only village that does not lie directly on the sea. This is the ideal spot for a gelato or a taste of the local Sciacchetrà wine, before heading back into Tuscany.
On the way back to port, you will call in on Pisa, for a short photo-stop in Piazza dei Miracoli, one of the most famous squares in the world, the site of the 12th-century leaning bell tower for which Pisa is so renowned. Nothing can really prepare you for the breath-taking spectacle of this World Heritage site, with its Cathedral and circular Baptistry, so make sure you have your cameras ready for some memorable shots.
From Pisa it takes just 30-40 minutes to get back to the port of Livorno.
NOTE: Public boats in the Cinque Terre operate subject to weather conditions from April to about the 3rd week of October. When boats are not operative, transfer between towns will be by train.