Our Luxury Italian Itinerary – Day One to Seven
Italian Itinerary – Day One to Seven
DAY ONE: Nice to Monaco
Your Italian itinerary starts as soon as your plane touches down in Nice. The Captain and his team greet you for a seamless transfer via the yacht’s helicopter, which will take you on the short flight to Monaco.
The yacht is lying at anchor in the beautiful Port Hercule in the heart of Monaco. As you embark, your luggage will be unpacked and stowed in your stateroom already prepared with handmade chocolates, personalised stationery, a bouquet of flowers and personalised itinerary booklet — attention to detail is paramount on a PrivatSea cruise.
The enticing aromas of freshly made focaccia bread and canapés draw you to the sundeck, where you can sip chilled champagne cocktails while your Captain and Chief Stewardess give a safety briefing and introduce each Crew member to you. This is your home for the next two weeks; your crew’s only wish is to make your cruise a wonderful experience.
The Captain instructs the Crew to let go of all lines and the yacht glides slowly past the magnificent Yacht Club de Monaco and out into open water for a cruise towards the Ligurian coast. Often referred to as Riviera dei Fiori (the Flower Riviera) because of the industry centred on Sanremo and Ventimiglia flower markets, the region is also famous for pesto, amaretti biscuits, olive oil, Torta Pasqualina (a pie made with artichokes, spinach, parsely and ricotta), fugassa (Ligurian bread) and, of course, as the birthplace of Christopher Columbus.
Our first port of call in your Italian itinerary is the historic town of Imperia, which dates back to 935ad. As the yacht berths against a backdrop of traditional pastel-shaded townhouses that jostle together along the waterfront, a coach is ready for your first sortie on shore. You will become familiar with your chauffeur who will act as shore support along the coast for the duration of your stay on board.
It is time to enjoy a unique Italian lunch experience at Ca’Mea, which specialises in mushroom dishes and is nestled in the hills just 20 minutes from the port. Sit back, relax and let your tastebuds tingle to an extravaganza of flavours and textures from this mountain hideaway restaurant.
After a long, relaxing lunch, a short drive will bring you to the beautiful Lerrone Valley Garlenda Golf Club, which has been designed to harmonise with the local landscape of ancient olive trees and shady pine forests. Here, you can play a round of golf with the club’s resident professionals, who will guide you around the course that previously hosted the Italian National Championships. If you prefer something a little less strenuous, there is a Turkish bath and a luxurious pool.
Your chauffeur awaits to bring you back to the yacht, supper will be served overlooking the harbour on the private sundeck, illuminated by candles.
DAY TWO: Imperia
To fully appreciate all that Italian cuisine has to offer, we organise a private visit to the cellars of Locanda San Giorgio, an old farmhouse that was once a monastery, for you to sample summer truffles, balsamic vinegar and olive oil, as well as local wines. Your Chauffeur will be your escort for the day and act as your translator, should the need arise.
Lunch today is in the centre of the historic old town of Alba at Piazza Duomo, a three-Michelin-star restaurant that some say is the best in Italy. Chef Enrico Crippa has worked in France and Japan and won many prestigious awards.
In the afternoon, return to the yacht where the Crew is preparing the vessel for departure later in the day. A light buffet supper is served on the deck, where a string quartet provides a musical accompaniment.
Departure this evening will be at midnight, enabling you to drift off to sleep gently while the Crew navigate the yacht across the calm waters of the Gulf of Genoa.
The picturesque fishing village of Portofino on the Italian Riviera
The Ava Gardner suite at the Belmond Hotel Splendido Mare
DAY THREE: Portofino
Awake to the smell of freshly baked croissants and pain au chocolats to enjoy in the Sky Lounge. As the Ligurian hills appear through the morning mist, we approach the magnificent natural harbour of Portofino on day three of your Italian itinerary. The Crew on the bridge will keep a careful look out for dolphins and whales, which are often sighted in this area; if you are very lucky, you may get to see a whale “fluking”.
A private launch takes you diving this morning in the crystal-clear waters of this protected National Marine Park. Dive Masters will offer an introductory course for beginners; for any certified divers, there is an abundance of sea life and shipwrecks to explore. The highlight of this morning will be diving on the Cristo degli Abissi (Christ of the Abyss), a submerged bronze statue resting on the sea floor 17m from the surface. Our underwater photographer will be with you all morning to capture your underwater memories.
Lunch will be served on board, using only the freshest ingredients from the morning’s market in Santa Margherita. After clearance from the Portofino harbour master, the Captain will slowly manoeuvre into this historic port, docking stern to on the quay. From here, you can browse Portofino’s shops and coffee bars or take a bracing walk up to Castello Brown to enjoy the amazing views.
The remainder of the afternoon can be spent taking a leisurely walk around the elegant town of Santa Margherita, a small coastal town with many alleyways and shops to explore. Sample the best limoncello in Italy, plus a vast range of local cheeses and sausages at the quaint stalls.
Your chauffeur is on hand this evening to escort you to one of Italy’s finest establishments — La Terrazza Restaurant at the Belmond Hotel Splendido, sister hotel to the Belmond Splendido Mare, where you will be served supper as you watch the sun dip slowly beneath the horizon.
DAY FOUR: Portovenere
Awake early this morning with the waves lapping softly against the hull as we start the next stage of your Italian itinerary — today we will be cruising past Cinque Terre, five coastal villages that are a Unesco World Heritage Site. Each village has its own unique character, sit back and enjoy a relaxing morning cruising along the Italian Riviera’s most picturesque coastline from the yacht’s sundeck.
As lunchtime approaches, we drop anchor in the secluded bay just off the island of Palmaria for an informal buffet lunch on the deck. The sound of an incoming aircraft disturbs the afternoon’s tranquillity as our helicopter comes into land on the helipad to whisk you away to your next destination ashore. For the next 40 minutes, you can see Italy unfold beneath you as you cross the mountains to Maranello, home to Ferrari and birthplace of some of the most stunning automobiles ever made. Here, you are given a private tour of the museum and factory — and, of course, a chance to drive around the famous test circuit, where one of Ferrari’s professional drivers will be on hand for the duration of your visit.
Your return flight to Portovenere takes an alternative route to give you some of the best views of this region, and you touch down as the sun sets over the horizon.
The yacht will then manoeuvre into this tiny port, where the evening will be spent wandering around the town and soaking up its magical atmosphere, followed by supper at Pizza Restaurant Timone, overlooking the port, for some exceptional traditionally-prepared pizza.
DAY FIVE: Viareggio
A short breakfast cruise brings the yacht to the town of Viareggio, the gateway to Tuscany. There are numerous options for your Italian itinerary today, from visiting the leaning tower of Pisa to experiencing the magical city of Florence — the birthplace of the Renaissance, where you can see Brunelleschi’s dome and works by Leonardo da Vinci, or visit the leading fashion houses of the world. Florence has everything and then some.
Your chauffeur will stay with you all day with an additional crew member on hand should your party wish to split into two.
The evening brings one of the tour’s exclusive surprises: supper under the stars in the middle of a Tuscan Chianti Classico vineyard. This is not a restaurant, but a tailor-made PrivatSea experience. Sip limoncello at a candlelit table as your food is cooked over an open fire — it is Italian country cooking as you’ve never experienced it before.
Chianti Classico is the longest established viticutural region for Chianti wine
Crystal-clear waters are a feature of Elba
DAY SIX: Elba
After all the recent shore excursions, a peaceful and relaxing couple of days lie ahead. We leave Viareggio at sunrise, and breakfast is served as we head out to open sea and towards Elba — the stunning island where French Emperor Napoleon was exiled in 1814, but which has been inhabited by many civilisations over the centuries.
Its geographical location ensures the beaches are magical and the seas around the island are crystal clear. The yacht drops anchor in the bay of Porto Azzurro for an afternoon of relaxed watersports and excursions to the beach. Supper tonight will be served on the swim platform with the underwater lights attracting a vast array of marine life. A banquet of seafood and shellfish caught locally this morning will be prepared to order on the barbecue.
To complete the evening, we arrange for a firework display over the yacht, illuminating the sea all around — a perfect finish to a perfect day.
The beautiful bay of Porto Azzurro on Elba
DAY SEVEN: Porto Santo Stefano
As dawn breaks the midpoint of your Italian itinerary, the tranquillity of the bay offers a haven for a wonderfully lazy morning in the sun or a swim from the floating pontoon attached to the stern of the yacht.
Hoverboards and flyboards are the order of the day with the world’s top instructors visiting the yacht to assist you in mastering this exhilarating experience.
A late lunch enables us to set sail for Porto Santo Stefano and arrive before sunset. As we slide into the port and secure the lines, you have time for a stroll around the town before supper. Tonight you dine at the Restaurant Baia d’Argento before an early night — ready for a big day tomorrow.