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Taste of the Italian Riviera
SEPTEMBER 14-20, 2025

Liguria, on Italy’s northern Mediterranean coast, is home to the famed Italian Riviera, glamorous Portofino, the five technicolor fishing villages collectively known as Cinque Terre, and the cosmopolitan and noble port city of Genoa. In collaboration with my friends at Beautiful Liguria, I've designed an exclusive food-and-wine-centric tour that will take you on the backroads of the Italian Riviera to terraced vineyards and hillside olive groves overlooking the Mediterranean, on a food crawl in the narrow medieval alleyways of Genoa and to the lively market and artisanal workshops in Chiavari. We’ll experience cooking lessons with local chefs and food writers and savor the catch of the day hauled in by local fishermen.  

Our home base during this 6-night tour is seaside Santa Margherita Ligure, a strategic point for exploring the Italian Riviera and itself a lovely town - the perfect spot for an evening passeggiata and a Spritz overlooking the bay. From Santa Margherita, we'll take a boat to Portofino and then on to San Fruttuoso, one of the pearls of the Golfo Paradiso, with its private beach alongside a Benedictine monastery built in 1000 A.D. We will travel via private coach to nearby Rapallo for a roving food and wine tasting throughout the town and to Camogli for a photo walk and sunset dinner in one of the most beautiful fishing villages in Italy (and one of my favorite places in the world). We'll feast on cheese-stuffed focaccia, savory farinata, salty anchovies, and of course, real pesto Genovese. This insider’s tour of Liguria is truly a feast for the senses!

Tour Itinerary

Day 1

Benvenuti in Liguria!

We meet at our 4-star hotel in the lovely seaside town of Santa Margherita Ligure, our base for your Italian Riviera adventure! Settle in, unwind, and then we'll get acquainted with our local private guide who will give us an orientation of the area and a day-by-day rundown of the exciting week ahead!

Relax in the garden with a Spritz, soak in the views of the bay and then we'll meet for dinner to get to know one and other and get excited!


Day 2

Picturesque Portofino & a Roving Wine Tour of Rapallo


After breakfast, we’ll meet our local guide and enjoy a panoramic trip by public boat to the postcard-perfect village of Portofino. We’ll marvel at the unique arch of colorful houses and the lovely "piazzetta" overlooking the water during a guided walking tour. We’ll then take the boat to our next stop, San Fruttuoso, a stunning cove reachable only by boat or via a hiking path, with a medieval abbey built right on the beach, which has been restored and protected by FAI,  the Italian National Trust. We’ll enjoy a leisurely fresh seafood lunch before heading back to Santa Margherita to relax.


Later this afternoon, we’ll head to nearby Rapallo and meet with a local wine expert who will lead us on a behind-the-scenes walking and tasting tour of Rapallo’s gastronomic scene. At each of our five stops, we’ll experience a different Ligurian delicacy, each carefully paired with a local, artisanal wine of excellence.

Day 3

Heroic Wines of Cinque Terre

Experience the real, “insider’s” Cinque Terre today. Led by our local guide, we'll visit these picturesque fishing villages, wander among the tiny squares and side alleys and enjoy postcard panoramas. Cinque Terre exists thanks to the design and cultivation of unique terraced vineyards that shape this exceptional sloped landscape framing the rugged coastline. A visit to these terraced vineyards is a window into the real soul of Cinque Terre.


Today, a well-known winemaker will welcome us to his vineyard and tell us the story behind his “heroic” wines. After a stroll in the vineyard, admiring the breathtaking panorama, we will enjoy a tasting of wines followed by lunch on the beautiful patio surrounded by vines. We’ll spend the afternoon taking it all in and appreciating the “heroes” of this slice of paradise. After a full day of exploring, we’ll return to Santa Margherita, where you’ll be able to enjoy dinner on your own tonight.


Day 4

Focaccia & Olive Oil

cooking lesson.jpg

Today we’ll explore a corner of Liguria still untouched by mass tourism.  In the morning, we head to the colorful village of Sestri Levante nestled along the picture-perfect Bay of Silence.  Here we’ll meet the owners of a family-run restaurant for a unique cooking class in which we’ll master the art of making focaccia di Recco, an iconic unleavened bread filled with a tangy soft cheese that is hyper-local to the region. 

After lunch, we’ll visit a beautiful olive oil farm in the mountains above Portofino. Here, on a hill overlooking the turquoise Golfo di Tigullio, we'll be welcomed to a farm owned by a well-known local family for an exclusive private tour and olive oil tasting among their olive groves. We will learn about Liguria’s soft, almost buttery olive oil and the huge task of this family to recover the abandoned lands. We’ll  discover how they resurrected the olive farm and with it, the slow pace and cyclical rituals of rural life. After a full day of exploring, we’ll return to Santa Margherita, where you’ll be able to enjoy dinner on your own tonight.

Day 5

Genoa Food Crawl & Pesto in a Palazzo

Today we’ll discover the noble port city of Genoa. We’ll take a private walking and tasting tour through the medieval “carrugi” alleys of Genoa’s historic center, discovering  the “real” essence of this old town. Our expert culinary guide will take us to centuries-old food shops such as the old friggitorie serving friscieu (fried croquettes filled with herbs), farinata and fried fresh seafood, the prestigious old pastry cafè where the famous composer  Giuseppe Verdi loved to spend his time savoring pastries, and the singular confectionary “Pietro Romanengo fu Stefano,” a Genoese institution.   


Our day continues as we enter a noble palace where a local culinary expert will welcome us for a hands-on lesson in making pesto Genovese in the traditional method, using a mortar and pestle. After our lesson, we'll taste our pesto with a dish of typical “trofie” pasta, delicious focaccia, and local wine.  After a full day of exploring, we’ll return to Santa Margherita, where you’ll be able to enjoy dinner on your own tonight.

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Day 6

Chiavari, Cooking Class &  Camogli

Image by Chris Curry

Today, we’ll visit the town of Chiavari, known for its fascinating mix of architectural styles as well as its porticoed medieval streets. Still undiscovered by the masses, our private tour guide will accompany us to traditional artisan and food shops and to the lively local market. 


Then, close to Chiavari, we'll arrive at the village of Leivi, where we’ll meet the fabulous Valentina, a food writer and photographer of local cookbooks, who has dedicated her life’s work to the cuisine of Liguria.  We’ll don our aprons and learn to prepare some of the most famous Ligurian street food recipes. After lunch with Valentina, we’ll head back to Santa Margherita Ligure to relax for a bit before we’ll head to the beautiful fishing of Camogli. We’ll take a photo walk, visit some of the art galleries, enjoy an aperitivo by the little port and enjoy a farewell dinner overlooking the sea.

Day 7


After breakfast, we'll bid Liguria and one another Arrivederci!


WHERE WE’LL STAY … Our home base for the week will be the four-star Hotel Continental in the seaside town of Santa Margherita Ligure. Situated on a promontory, the hotel overlooks the bay and historic harbor of Santa Margherita and is nestled among oaks, leafy palms and centuries-old pine trees. The hotel is located within walking distance to restaurants, shops and cafes, making it a lovely and convenient base for getting acquainted with the town.


DATES: Sunday, September 14th - Saturday, September 20th, 2025


RATE: $5790.00 per person, in double occupancy room**


  • Queen room with private bath for six (6) nights at a 4-star hotel

  • Breakfast and lunch daily

  • Three dinners

  • Wine included (with sit-down lunches & dinners)

  • All ground transportation 

  • Any entrance fees, tours and local guides 

  • Taxes and service charges

  • Gratuities (however, at the conclusion of the tour, if you are pleased with the hospitality and service of our local partners, additional recognition at your discretion is appreciated)


**Single supplement of $1540.00 applies (very limited availability)



  • Airfare

  • Trip insurance

  • Meals not outlined above

  • Optional activities during free time 

  • Gifts and personal purchases including snacks and refreshments not included in, or in excess of, what is included on the guided tours and planned meals/activities or purchased during “free time” or during spontaneous stops along the way​​​


Number of Participants:  A minimum of six (6) participants is required for the program to occur. The maximum number of participants for the program is 12.

**Please note that this trip is not suitable for travelers with mobility issues. Tour guests must be comfortable exploring on foot - the ability to walk at a comfortable pace, over uneven surfaces, and to navigate stairs is a must.**

Our tour begins in Santa Margherita Ligure on the afternoon of Sunday, September 14th. Our activities conclude after breakfast on Saturday, September 20th. Please inquire if you need advice planning transfers or the next leg of your journey.

Deposit & Terms & Conditions: A $1000 non-refundable deposit (for administrative fees) per person payable by check to Three Little Guys  LLC (D/B/A Majella Tours), is required at the time of the reservation of the tour for each participant. Final payment of the balance must be received no later than 120 days prior to the first day of the tour. Upon payment of the deposit, the tour registrants expressly agree to be bound by the Terms & Conditions set forth in the Tour Agreement.

Andiamo ... Let's Go!

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