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Our Guide Alessandra, was very insightful and accommodating . Ample time was given to walk and wonder through each of the towns and taking time to stop for lunch at Monterosso. Would definitely do this tour again.
A lovely excursion by small van. Our guide was delightful and the rest of the travelers as well. The boat trip provided the opportunity to see the coast from the sea, and get a better view of all the villages. Because we went in high season I'd hoped September would have had less tourists, the little towns were very full of tourists so it was a bit hard to get a flavor of life there without the mobs ourselves included, of course! of visitors. Our guide and driver made it so the van picked us up in a flat area so we never had to contend with all the steep steps going up to the road.
Best tour we did! Our guide was amazing,, the day was perfect! I want to go back!
This trip was absolutely outstanding. Our guide, Emilia, was excellent. A great day out.
This was an amazing trip! Worth every penny! It was very crowded in the different towns but our guide was exceptional at giving us tips to avoid the crowds. All the work is done for you... ferry tickets already arranged...no need to worry about parking or navigating tiny streets. You truly get to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery! Very low stress and extremely enjoyable!
Michele Leoni led this tour for us. The tour was indeed a small tour, since the other tourists failed to show up at their pick-up location. So we had the driver and the tour guide all to ourselves. This made the trip extra special. We could ask away which we did.
Michele is a source of information. He had been in the travel industry for several years in Milan and returned to his home in the Pisa-Lucca area to start up the guide business. His knowledge of history, geology that included the Pisa City State, Genoa City State, the Ottomans, etc. made for a very interesting time as well as learning the role that the Cinque Terre towns played in history.
We followed the lovely coastline where we saw the Tyrrhenian Sea, marble quarries, the Apennines, olive orchards, wildflowers and vineyards. We drove through the interesting town of La Spezia, where a thriving city and port town exists. The road began to become twisty as we rose along the shoreline. We eventually ended at the small town of Riomaggione. Michele gave us a quick tour and let us explore for an hour. The town is quite small and doesnt take too long to see everything, but it did allow time for a much needed pastry and coffee!
Due to strong winds, the boats were not running, so we took the train to our next stop, Vernazza. Michele bought are train tickets as we followed him to the train. Again, we were given a brief tour and left on our own for an hour. The town was almost identical to Riomaggione, with the one main road in town plunges down the hillside into the sea. We did explore the town and did find a bit of the famous Cinque Terre hiking trail that connects the various towns. We did engage in that for a short while and admired the views of the town and sea.
Michele was working hard the entire time hoping to get us on a boat. He succeeded! He bought our tickets as we rode one of the first boats of the day to Monterosso al Mare. This town was considerably larger and more interesting than the other two towns. We were again given a brief overview and had an hour to explore. He had just enough time to find a place for lunch and walk around a bit.
Michele then got us tickets on a boat ride all the way back to Portovenere. We were able to see all the towns that comprise the Cinque Terre as well as a few dolphins that decided to perform for us.
We had a bit of time to explore Portovenere. We saw the church on the edge of the sea, wander its narrow streets and return to the port area. The driver was summoned and came for us as we drove back to Lucca. Michele indicated that the amount of folks that we encountered was as heavy as what is experienced in the summer. It was due to fabulous weather and being a holiday. Unfortunately, we got caught up in the post Easter traffic that tied up traffic for hours. Both Michele and the driver were most patient. The driver was also very courteous and a safe driver. The van was a Mercedes air-conditioned van. It was quite comfortable.
This was the second tour that we took through BellaItalia Tours first being the small group to Siena and San Gimignano that we had booked via Viator. It is obvious that they take great pride in making certain that we, as their customers, are satisfied with a quality tour. Thank you!!
We throughly enjoyed seeing Cinque Terre by ferry and Marta was so knowledgeable. We had a wonderful lunch by the yellow umbrellas in Monterossa.
Wonderful day spent with friends on the Small Group Tour of the Cinque Terre. Our guide, Emilia, was amazing and was so full of energy and knowledge. I would highly recommend this tour.
We loved this tour. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable about the area and its history. He was very nice, and patient with questions. We really enjoyed the fact that it was a small group, instead of one of the large tour groups. It made it easier to navigate. The only thing we wished was different was that we could have spent a little more time in each city.
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