Clifftop views and colourful coastlines
8 day itinerary
Vertiginous cliffs and impossible prettiness characterise the coastline of Liguria, running from Genoa along to the Cinque Terre and on to Pisa, gateway to the iconic countryside of Tuscany. Explore this extraordinary peninsula by yacht to discover its secrets with an experienced captain and crew.
La Bella Vita
Join your yacht in Genoa and kick off your Italian holiday experience with an Aperol Spritz onboard to as you cruise to Portofino. On arrival, take your yacht's tender around the bay to see the famous statue of Christ of the Abyss, sunk underwater in 1954 in front of the Abbaye San Fruttoso. Head ashore to stroll around the iconic harbour and cobbled streets, and indulge in an afternoon of Italian designer shopping. For dinner, head to La Terrazza, at the famous Hotel Splendido above the port, or stay on the waterfront at the hotel's other restaurant, Chuflay.
Have your cameraphone at the ready as the yacht cruises to Porto Venere, following the Cinque Terre coast – a UNESCO World Heritage site. Stop for lunch in Vernazza, one of the five villages: Trattoria Franzi, on the Piazza Marconi, has been serving typical Ligurian food for decades. Arrive at Porto Venere, a pretty jumble of multi-coloured houses, passing through ‘the narrows’ between the church and the rocks of Palmeria. Visit the stunning black and white St Peter's Church.
THE BAY OF POETS
Spend the day exploring the Nature Reserve islands of Palmeria, Tino and Tinetto, by kayak or paddleboard. Stop at San Terenzo, the home of Percy and Mary Shelley: Lord Byron is said to have swum across the bay to visit them, and Shelley later drowned in this bay whilst writing, ironically, ‘The Triumph of Life’. The area's sun-dappled cliffs and villages lured countless other poets, earning it the name ‘The Bay of Poets’. Arm yourself with a copy Byron’s ‘Childe Harold’ to read in the place which inspired their authors.
Arrive in Livorno for a private guided shore visit to the breathtaking city of Florence. Visit the Uffizi and immerse yourself in some of the world's most iconic treasures of Renaissance art. Climb the Duomo, and take in Michelangelo’s magnificent David at the Galleria dell’Accademia. Savour a gelato from Grom's as you head to the Piazzale Michelangelo for panoramic views over the city, dominated by the dome of the Santa Maria del Fiore. Visit the monastery of San Miniato al Monte, where you can buy a jar of honey made by the monks.
AT ONE WITH NATURE
Wake up in the picture-perfect island of Capraia. Part of the Tuscan archipelago, this red rock island is known as 'the wild one': hike up to Monte delle Penne, where you can see Corsica in the distance. Walk along ancient mule paths, or kayak to different coves. Discover grottos and waterfalls or swim with colourful fish. Snorkel in crystal-clear water at Lo Scoglione, or grab the yacht's scuba gear and dive one of the many sites nearby in superb visibility. Enjoy sunset onboard over cocktails before a delicious dinner prepared by the chef.
Enjoy breakfast with a view as the yacht cruises to Elba, an island with much to offer. Explore the north coast for beautiful sandy beaches. Photographers should make for the lakes at Rio Albano for stunning shots of multi-coloured landscapes in the old mining area. Cyclists can head for the hills to discover a range of bike trails of different levels. Visit Napoleon’s exile home, Villa dei Mullini, or the Museum of Relics, and later dine on true Elban and Tuscan delights at farmhouse restaurant Montefabbrello.
Cruise along the Argentario peninsula from Elba to Porto Ercole, and go onshore to wander the enchanting towns of Siena and San Gimigniano. Discover rocky coves and beautiful sandy beaches by kayak or paddleboard. Visit the Orbetello Lagoon, managed by the WWF, a natural habitat for pink flamingos and other birds. Explore the town of Porto Ercole, dominated by the La Rocca fortress. Have dinner backdropped by a stunning sunset at Le Chicche di Cala Moresca Gia del Porto, in Porto Santo Stefano, which offers wonderful views of Giglio from its terrace.
Enjoy a leisurely champagne breakfast as the yacht cruises to Rome. Disembark and, if you're not ready to finish your Italian story just yet, spend a few days in a luxury hotel in the Italian capital.