Departing on 10th June 2012, 38 of us enjoyed a seven day holiday on the Italian Riviera. After a short flight to Milan and a coach transfer we arrived in Rapallo, a charming little coastal resort situated on the Ligurian coast, south of Genoa. After a delicious evening meal in our hotel we were able to explore the old Town, get our bearings and have a drink on the seafront promenade, admiring the beautiful coastline and the diminutive castle, perched above the sea, looking wonderful in its floodlit splendour.
The following day we sailed to Portofino, a gem of a coastal village, one of the riviera’s most exclusive destinations. A pleasant half-hour was spent over a cappuccino or beer by the harbour, admiring the breathtaking scenery. Several of us walked up to the castle with its exquisite gardens, passing the magnificent church of San Giorgio on the top of the hill with its amazing, beautifully maintained cemetery. Some continued to the top of the hill to visit the lighthouse and have a well-earned ice cream.
On Tuesday we drove to the Piedmont region, famous for hazelnuts, wine and white truffles. After visiting a nougat factory, we went to the castle in Barolo, former home of the Faletti family. The Marchesi di Faletti, assisted by Count Cavour, a powerful force in the unification of Italy, helped to establish Barolo as a prime wine growing area. A tour of the castle was followed by a visit to a local winery (Adelaide), where we enjoyed samples of local food & wine, including the King of Wines, Barolo.
The journey by train on Thursday to Cinque Terre (five lands), was enjoyed by everyone. These five fishing villages, now a Unesco World Heritage Site, boast some of the most dramatic scenery on the planet. One could hop on / hop off the train at any or all of the five stations, or walk from village to village. A group of nine hardy souls did the undulating walk from Monterosso to Vernazza in two hours, quite a feat in the hot weather. We later learnt that one of our number ran the same trail in one hour. Deflated or what?
Free days were spent pottering around the town, taking the 1934 vintage cable car up to Santuario Basilica di Montallegro, visiting Genoa, Lenci, the beach at Santa Margherita or just chilling around the hotel. After a 6:00 a.m. breakfast we travelled back to Milan for our flight home, arriving back at St Teresa’s at midday on the 16th.
Our thanks go to Mike Crickett for arranging such an enjoyable holiday. Where are you taking us next year?