French & Italian Rivieras

French & Italian Rivieras

Discover the illustrious beauty and chic cultures of the French and Italian Rivieras during stays in Nice, France, and Sestri Levante, Italy. Spend sunny days uncovering the lauded sights, cultures and historic wonders of these coveted destinations. Indulge in glamorous Nice, Monaco and Monte Carlo, and bask in the quietude of scenic villages, such as Portofino, Santa Margherita and the unrivaled Cinque Terre hamlets. Nothing compares to the Mediterranean landscapes and soul-stirring character of this special corner of the globe!

Trip Itinerary:

May 7 Depart gateway city

AHI FlexAir passengers depart for Nice, France. Please check your luggage from your gateway city to your arrival city. Your claim checks should have the following airport code: NCE.

May 8 Nice, France

Arrive at Nice Cote d’Azure Airport. Proceed through immigration to the baggage claim area and retrieve your luggage. After completing customs, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for the group arrival transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer should exit the baggage claim area and proceed to the Arrivals Hall, where an AHI Travel representative will meet you.

Transfer to the Hotel Aston La Scala. Please note, if you arrive before check-in time, your room may not be immediately available.

Gather with your fellow travelers to enjoy a Welcome Reception, followed by a Welcome Dinner.

May 9 Nice

Enrichment: The Lives of Matisse and Chagall on the Côte d'Azur. Delve into the fascinating lives of painters Henri Émile Benoît Matisse and Marc Chagall who produced many of their masterpieces in this region.

Nice – Capital of the French Riviera. Nice quickly captivates visitors with its waterfront setting and vivacious Mediterranean energy. Begin at the Musée Marc Chagall, viewing the artist’s biblical-themed works and whimsical art. Then follow shaded cobblestones through Vieille Ville, Nice’s vibrant Old Town, an inviting space full of shops, churches and crêperies. Look above to see Castle Hill, which offers impeccable views of Nice and the Bay of Angels. Stroll along the Promenade des Anglais (English Walk), a legendary seaside road that was originally designed as a footpath. The walk runs parallel to Nice’s beachfront and is lined with swanky hotels, high-priced eateries and world-class museums. Pay a visit to the Cours Saleya, Nice’s longest-running market that pulses with life. The market offers a bounty of fresh produce and flowers. (Moderate)

Free Time: The balance of the day is at your leisure in Nice.

Enjoy a dinner of delicious Niçoise cuisine. Niçoise dishes are often light and simple, made with fresh herbs, sun-kissed vegetables and white meats.

May 10 Èze | Monaco | Monte Carlo

Èze, Monaco and Monte Carlo. Travel outside of Monaco to the medieval village of Èze. From its perch at 1,400 feet above sea level, you can take advantage of unbelievable views of the Cote d’Azur. Join your guide for an orientation tour. Continue to the principality of Monaco, perched on a rocky cliff jutting into the sea. Known as “Billionaires’ Playground,” it exudes extravagance at every turn. Get to know Monacco’s Old Town today. Witness its neo-Byzantine cathedral, which contains the grave of Grace Kelly, followed by the Palais du Prince, once home to Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace. Observe the Changing of the Guard, accompanied by a military brass band.

Find a sunny spot to enjoy lunch at leisure. Then venture into glamorous Monte Carlo, Monaco’s wealthiest district, and pass by the famous Casino de Monte-Carlo designed by Charles Garnier. (Moderate)

Enrichment: A Contemporary View of France. Gather with a local expert to learn about the modern French family, how French traditions and culture are preserved and other compelling topics.

May 11 Villefranche-sur-Mer | Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

Villa Ephrussi and Villefranche-sur-Mer. Enjoy a visit to the palatial Villa Ephrussi, built for Baroness Béatrice de Rothschild, a wealthy French socialite. Following her death in 1934, the Baroness donated her estate to the Institut de France, who still manage the property. Admire the flamingo-colored villa’s sumptuous furnishings, decorations, remarkable art collection and themed gardens. Continue to explore the Cap-Ferrat peninsula, one of the French Riviera’s three large capes. This Mediterranean isthmus is a playground for glitterati and billionaires and is dotted with Belle Epoque-style villas.

May 12 Genoa | Sestri Levante

Riv to Riv. Depart the Côte d'Azur for Genoa, Italy’s leading port city. Along the way, stop in a small village for a coffee break before continuing to Genoa. After lunch, set off to uncover Genoa’s many highlights on a walking tour. Admire panoramic city views from Spianata Castelletto. Walk along the grand Via Garibaldi, lined with the elegant façades and balconies of Renaissance palaces. Continue down timeworn streets to see Columbus House, the black-and-white striped Cathedral of San Lorenzo and Palazzo Ducale. (Moderate)

Arrive in Sestri Levante and check in to the Hotel Vis a Vis. Cap off the evening with a dinner of authentic cuisine.

May 13 Sestri Levante

Enrichment: The Riviera di Levante – A Painter’s Palette. Delve into this beautiful region’s alluring history and culture, which has enchanted artists and painters for centuries.

Sestri Levante Walking Tour. Enjoy a walking tour of Sestri Levante, a jewel centered snugly in the curve of the Italian Riviera. Home to some of the region’s most enticing beaches, Sestri nonetheless manages to retain its easygoing, down-to-earth charm. A stroll through town provides ample architectural rewards, with converted castles and palazzos displaying styles from Romanesque to Gothic to Renaissance. The ornate trompe l’oeil stonework, adorning many a local façade, is a delightful specialty of the region. This decoration style, which uses paint and fancy stencil work to create incredible designs and illusions, is one of the region’s unique charms. (Moderate)

Italian Cooking Lesson. A local chef demonstrates how to make authentic pesto alla genovese, a delectable basil sauce, and focaccia, a classic savory bread. After the lesson, settle in for lunch overlooking the Bay of Silence. (Moderate)

Free Time: Indulge in the invigorating atmosphere and lively culture of this seaside town. If you have a taste for unique seafood, be sure to sample local specialties: anchovies or cappon magro, an elaborate seafood salad. At sunset, relax to the soothing melody of old Ligurian fishing boats bobbing on the waves.

May 14 Portovenere | Manarola | Vernazza

Cinque Terre. The stunning coastal villages of the Cinque Terre were once isolated from the world. Since they only be reached by mule or by sea, each village cultivated its own personality and individualism. Few places touch your heart like this patchwork of villages tumbling to the sea. Begin your discovery in Portovenere, overlooking the Bay of Poets. Portovenere is often considered the sixth Cinque Terre village due to its proximity to the five hamlets. Explore the pedestrianized medieval streets and pretty marina before continuing to Manarola, surrounded by vineyards and replete with romantic alleys and typical houses stuck together like colorful jigsaw puzzles. Marvel at the coastline on a cruise, passing clifftop Corniglia and Vernazza. (Moderate)

Take a seat at a waterfront trattoria in Vernazza for a delectable lunch, featuring seafood just plucked from the sea! The Taverna del Capitano serves cucina tipica, traditional cuisine.

May 15 Sestri Levante

Free Time: Today is yours to spend how you wish. Visit local shops for unique souvenirs or gather picnic fixings for a relaxing lunch in one of the village’s many parks or beaches. With the train station nearby, you can also venture further afield if you desire. As the day draws to a close, consider joining the evening passeggiata. Your Travel Director will be available to offer suggestions for the day’s activities.

Elective Activity: Carrara Marble Quarries. Journey back in time to ancient Rome on a visit to the legendary marble quarries that have been sought after by sculptors through the centuries. This prized white marble was used in the creation of Michelangelo’s David and Pietà and in buildings such as the Pantheon. Tour a working quarry and see local artisans in their studios. (Moderate) Available at an additional cost.

Enrichment: A Contemporary View of Italy. Explore the current events shaping contemporary Italy and its place within the European Union.

May 16 Rapallo | Portofino | Santa Margherita

Journey through the Italian Riviera. Fall under the spell of the Ligurian coast today! Travel the coastal road to seaside Rapallo, once loved by writers W.B. Yeats and Ezra Pound. Continue to Santa Margherita and board a boat for a cruise to the crescent-shaped village of Portofino, “Port of the Dolphin.” Once a small fishing village, Portofino is now filled with expensive hotels, exquisite seafood restaurants and boutique brands and is a playground to the rich and famous. This picturesque village has a gorgeous waterfront promenade and pristine harbor. Soak up its ambience while strolling along the colorful harbor. After leisure time in Portofino, sail upon sapphire waters back to lovely Santa Margherita and admire the village’s waterfront trove of fishing cottages, elegant luxury hotels and the gleaming yachts of visiting jet setters. Take a break for lunch on your own before rejoining the group for a walking tour. (Moderate)

Celebrate your getaway during a Farewell Reception and Dinner at a seaside restaurant.

May 17 Depart for gateway city

After breakfast, bid farewell to this stunning slice of Europe. AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for a group transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer depart for Genoa airport. Your Travel Director will provide the details.


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