Hiking in the Cinque Terre. This is a question we get asked A LOT. “Should we go hiking in the Cinque Terre? Do we need a guide? Can we walk between all of the villages? Can I go it alone?” The answer to all of the above is YES. You should 100% go hiking in the Cinque Terre. You can hire a guide if you like, but there are also trails that you can follow on your own. Of course, which ones you take will depend on your fitness level. Here’s a great resource from the National Park for checking out the trails. I like to recommend going with a guide at least once, because then you get to hear insider stories about the area that you wouldn’t hear otherwise. On our Cinque Terre tour, many of our guests will opt to spend a free day enjoying the trails. Just know that if you decide to hike the hills for 18 minutes or for 8 hours, these dreamboard worthy views will be something that you NEVER forget.

(PS: Pack a bottle of your favorite vino, cups for sharing, and some freshly baked focaccia for an easy picnic)


Masseria Serra dell’Isola is a 17th-century olive oil mill turned learn-to-cook homestay that has been in owner Rita’s family for three centuries. Puglian cuisine is renowned even in Italy, and with Rita you’ll get to learn some of the intricacies. Come for the weekend or even stay for a whole week – she’s got rooms for you too! Learn about the magic of truffles, pick your own herbs and vegetables from her garden, and accompany her to the local fish markets. We love her motto: “Arrive as guests, leave as friends”. Getting here? Nearby Bari has an international airport, and Rita will happily arrange a private transfer for you. 


Speaking of 17th-century buildings — here’s one breathtaking building that also comes with breathtaking Mediterranean views. And yes. You can stay here, too. Monastero Santa Rosa is a once-upon-a-time monastery/convent perched upon the cliffs between Positano and Amalfi, in the small fishing village of Conca dei Marini. Whether you’re dining at the Michelin Star Ristorante Il Refettorio, or watching the sunset from the infinity pool, you better pack an extra bag, because you know you’re going to get here and never want to leave.


In this cozy mountain hut, drinking something bubbly, while watching the sunset — after a day of exploring (or more likely frolicking through) mountain meadows. This is the Auronzo Mountain Hut overlooking Tre Cime di Lavaredo, and you can access it by foot, or by car via one spectacularly scenic mountain road. 


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