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  • Liguria, Piemonte and the Italian Alps Touring Holiday


    Piemonte vineyards

    View from Hotel Bellevue

    Hotel Villa Beccaris

    Villa d'Amelia Piemonte

    Hotel Miramare, Liguria

    Fly-drive touring holiday of Liguria, Piemonte and the Italian Alps

    12 nights and 13 days
    This touring holiday of northern Italy takes you from the sophisticated waters of the Mediterranean on the Ligurian Riviera, through the noble vineyards of Barolo and Barbaresco and on to the serenity of the Italian Alps and Cogne in the shadow of the Gran Paradiso. This touring holiday effortlessly combines stylish and tasteful spots for rest and relaxation by the sea, with the chance to explore attractive vineyards and landscapes of the Piemonte and the Italian Alps.

    Click here to download a pdf with information about some of our suggested Italian touring holidays.

    Begin your touring holiday by flying into Pisa, where you collect a hire car and drive for just over one and a half hours north along the coast of the Ligurian Riviera. Your first hotel is the Hotel Miramare in Santa Margherita, which overlooks the crystal clear waters of the Tigullian Gulf. Take a few days to explore the Ligurian Riviera, which has long been famed for its mild climate, luxuriant vegetation and colourful fishing villages. After five nights in Rapallo, continue further around the coast then head inland to Piemonte, where you stay at the delightful Hotel Villa d'Amelia. Piemonte is a region of alpine peaks, rolling vineyards and pretty villages. White truffles are the region’s speciality and feature on the menus of all the best restaurants, of which there are many in the immediate vicinity of the hotel. Spend two nights in Piemonte before driving three hours northwards, past Turin, and into the Italian Alps. Your journey takes you to Cogne, a delightful mountain town nestling in a valley in the shadow of the Gran Paradiso Mountain not far from the Swiss and French borders. Hotel Bellevue is a four-star hotel with the external appearance of an alpine chalet, combining understated elegance with a warm and homely atmosphere. Relax and admire the mountain views, enjoy hiking in stunning surroundings and enjoy the superb hospitality and leisure facilities at the hotel. After spending five nights in the Italian Alps, end your touring holiday by driving two and a half hours east to Milan airport where you return your hire-car and fly back to the UK.

    Prices from £2,390 per person based on two sharing

    What’s included:

    • Five nights’ bed and breakfast at the Hotel Miramare at Santa Margherita on the Ligurian Riviera.
    • Two nights’ bed and breakfast at the Villa d'Amelia near Alba in Piemonte
    • Five nights’ bed and breakfast at the Hotel Bellevue in Cogne in the Italian Alps.
    • Scheduled flight with British Airways from London to Pisa, returning from Milan to London.
    • Hire of a basic group car for the duration of your holiday.

    Click the tabs above to view our suggested day-by-day touring itinerary and to find out more about the hotels featured.
    Click here to find out more about how our touring holidays work or click here to download a pdf with information about some of our suggested Italian touring holidays.

    Fly-drive touring holiday of Liguria, Piemonte and the Italian Alps

    Day-by-day itinerary

    Arrive in Pisa and drive north to Rapallo, and stay for five nights

    After your arrival in Pisa, collect your hire car and drive north to the seaside resort of Rapallo on the Ligurian Riviera. Spend a few hours observing the many historical and architectural delights of Pisa, such as the Torre Pendente, to make the most of this touring opportunity. Your hotel in Rapallo, however, is the Excelsior Palace Hotel, built right on the edge of the water, with fantastic sea views from the bedrooms. Its public rooms share the elegance of its suites, with a focus on Italian marble, and a dedication to its maritime situation that is evident throughout. Rapallo’s iconic image is its waterfront Castello, built on a small rocky outcrop. Now used primarily for temporary exhibitions, the quirky castle is still open to the public. On the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of July, the Castello di Rapello plays host to a fireworks display in honour of Rapello’s patron saint, Madonna of Montallegro. A vision of the Madonna was said to have appeared to a farmer on the site of the Santurio di Montallegro, a church built at the top of Monte Allegro. The Sanctuary is resplendent in its colourful Italian marble, with the Byzantine icon as its focus. The building has come to represent a real sense of community for Rapallo, with pictures of past residents decorating the walls. Rapallo’s impressive connections contribute to its status as a favourite destination on the Ligurian Riviera; in the past it has attracted literary names such as Ezra Pound and Max Beerbohm, while the high-arched Ponte di Annibale bridge delineates the town’s connections with Hannibal. Explore further along the coastline by taking one of the many trails from the Santurio di Montallegro, hiking across the Regional Park on the promontory of Portofino, or via a boat trip to Comogli, Santa Margherite Ligure or Portofino. Portofino’s location offers a sense of exclusivity that across history has attracted painters and A-list stars alike. Its small port has a few bars and restaurants that are known across the continent, while the beauty of its historical landmarks incentivises a more active day out. The Castello Brown offers a quiet shady retreat from the Italian sun, as well as magnificent views from its hilltop position, and from here, you can walk along the coast to Faro Lighthouse, overlooking the Gulf of Tigullio and a vast pine forest. If time permits, drive down to the famous Cinque Terre to see the precariously perched fishing villages, with their undeniable authentic charm. Dine in the evening at the restaurant of the Excelsior Palace, tasting the refined but creative palate that they specialise in. 

    Head further north to Benevello in Piemonte, and stay for two nights
    To reach your next port of call on this touring holiday, drive from Rapallo along the coast and through Genoa, a city famous for its exquisite lace. Head inland from seaside Savona, and observe the countryside change as the horizon becomes mountainous. Situated in the Langhe wine region of the Cuneo province, near the vineyards of Barolo and Barbaresco, your next stop is Monforte d’Alba. Spend two nights in the Villa d'Amelia, sampling the best wines of Piemonte and Northern Italy by venturing out into the surrounding vineyards and taking a wine tour. Stop off at the elaborately decorative Parrochia Madonna della Neve, in Monforte d'Alba, to see its intriguing exterior as well as its interior blue ceilings and ornate golden decoration. Whilst you are there ramble around the ancient walls of Palazzo Scarampi, a somewhat quaint Italian castello, with the appearance of a manor house, which dates back to the 13th century. Take advantage of the lively community spirit that the summer months bring, and watch a jazz concert or theatre performance at the outdoor Horszowski Auditorium, exclusive and private due to its small size. For a fulfilling day-time excursion, perhaps drive up to the wine town of La Morra for a wine-tasting experience, or drive the short distance  to Serralunga d’Alba to explore its atmospheric central castello. The larger city of Torino, or Turin, is just an hour and a half northwards. Spend a morning browsing the shops and cafes under the arcades of the Piazza San Carlo, before taking the glass floating lift up to the top of the Mole Antonelliana, famous for its size, with a pointed roof that reaches high above Torino. Just outside the city sits the Basilica di Superga, an 18th century basilica painted a shade of gold, with spectacular views of both the Alps and the city below. Travel below the city in the underground Pietro Micca Museum, which features nine miles of underground tunnels and the detailed story of the 1706 siege and battle of Torino. Aside from this, the pleasure of Torino, Monforte d’Alba, and the other neighbouring villages comes with walking along their streets and becoming acquainted with the Northern Italian way of life. 

    Head east to Cogne in the Italian Alps, and stay for five nights
    Leave Monforte d’Alba on your eighth day and drive north through Torino, perhaps using this day to explore the city, before skirting around the Gran Paradiso National Park and entering the surreal settlement of Cogne. The Hotel Bellevue in Cogne is in a charming rustic building, surrounded by green countryside, the rising grey faces of the Alps, and their snow-capped peaks. Recognised as a building of historic interest, your Alpine chalet hotel is packed full of character. It offers a wide range of spa facilities and treatments in the quirky but enchanting spa, by the pool’s own waterfall. Dine in the evenings in the hotel’s gourmet restaurant, which has a widely-known reputation for excellence. This landscape is ideal for the more active traveller, offering sports such as mountain-biking, mountaineering, horse-riding, and fishing among others. In the winter, Cogne is a popular destination for skiing or skating holidays. For those looking to relax in Cogne, perhaps take a stroll through along the Torrente Grand’ Eyvia, or seek out the ponds and mountain refuges of the Gran Paradiso National Park. Take the light walk along the Lillaz Waterfalls trails, exceptional in any weather, and experience the wonder of having such abundant wildlife so close. The Alps are known for their rare flora and fauna, and the range of plant and flower species that flourish in the area can be seen in the highly interesting Giardino Botanico Alpino Paradisia. In the evenings, venture out to see the beauty of the town and landscape as the light fails. To experience even more of the Aosta Valley and Alpine landscape, drive north to Mont Blanc and, unless you are afraid of heights, take the skyway to its peak and see the French and Italian landscape from a new angle. The Aosta Valley’s torrents and rivers are considered to be some of the most exciting in Europe, providing some un-paralleled opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, or rafting. Whatever activities you choose to partake in during your five night stay, Cogne is the ideal base for an exciting and varied holiday, and offers an important and intriguing insight into the treasures of northern Italy.

    Leave the Alps and drive into Milan for your return flight to the UK
    Stay in Cogne for as long as you can on your final day in Italy, before heading east to Milan. Consider spending an hour or two wandering the historic streets of Milan, exploring the Duomo, the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, home to the works of Raphael and Caravaggio, and the various castello, churches and other monuments. Explore the chic, modern districts of the town to appreciate the city’s reputation for affluence, before driving to the airport. Return your hire car, and then embark on your return flight to London.

    Driving time for this touring holiday:
    Pisa to Rapallo: 1 hour 30 minutes
    Rapallo to Benevello: 2 hours 25 minutes
    Benevello to Cogne: 3 hours
    Cogne to Milan: 2 hours 25 minutes

    Click the 'Hotel Information' tab to find out more about the hotels featured in this touring itinerary or click here to download a pdf with information about some of our suggested Italian touring holidays.

    Liguria, Piemonte, Alps

    Hotel Information

    These are the characterful hotels that are featured in this touring holiday through Northern Italy. Alternative hotels are available in some destinations - please contact us for full details.

    Hotel Excelsior
    Rapallo, Ligurian Riviera
    The Excelsior Palace originated as Italy’s first casino in 1901 and even after it became a hotel it was often frequented by the high society of Europe. Surrounded on three sides by the sparkling Mediterranean, the Excelsior Palace Hotel looks out to Rapallo’s pretty marina with its 16th Century castle on one side and the chic resort of Portofino on the other. The interiors retain their early 20th Century splendour, resulting in an atmosphere which encompasses period elegance and modern touches of luxury. The well-appointed bedrooms, most of which have a balcony and glorious sea views, are furnished to a high standard and decorated in summery shades of coral, blue and yellow. The Excelsior Palace Hotel has two distinguished restaurants which specialise in Mediterranean cuisine, one in the main palazzo and the other at the Beach Club, overlooking the coast and reached by a private interconnecting passage across the road. Here there are also two delightful panoramic pools where umbrellas, sun loungers and a full bar service are provided. The views from this spot are amongst the most beautiful on the Italian Riviera. Guests can spoil themselves (at no extra charge) in the Health and Fitness Centre, whose facilities include a heated indoor pool, and gym with views of the sea, and in the Beauty Farm there are tailor-made face and body treatments for which you can pay locally. At the Excelsior Palace Hotel you can enjoy excellent facilities in the atmosphere of a traditional grand hotel.
    Find out more here.

    Villa d'Amelia
    Benevello, Piemonte
    Nestled amongst the rolling hill and parkland of Piemonte, the four-star Relais Villa d’Amelia is a charming renovation of an 18th Century estate. Although the hotel is near to the quaint village of Benevello the hotel maintains its sense of seclusion, claiming outstanding views over the Monviso Alps. Although it has transformed from an estate to a hotel it has not lost its traditional features with exposed beams and tiled floors in communal areas, blended with contemporary furnishings and amenities. The hotel’s 37 rooms and suites have marble bathrooms and are individually decorated maintaining warm, yet neutral colours with charcoal accents throughout. The hotel has an intimate ambience and yet combines this with modern flourishes that places well-being at the forefront. The hotel has excellent facilities, including a Wellness Centre, which has a fitness area, Turkish bath, Finnish Sauna and whirlpool where guests can see views of the Alps, it provides the perfect place for guests to relax in. The outdoor swimming pool is heated, making it available for use later in the year and walking paths and mountain bike routes surround. Gastronomic bliss can be found in the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant where the elegant and refined atmosphere is coupled with modern interpretations of local cuisine. From the borders of Relais Villa d’Amelia’s extensive gardens, guests can easily reach the nearby town of Alba, known for its mediaeval towers, museums and art galleries, search for white truffles in autumn, or wander through Piemonte’s wine cellars. The Villa d’Amelia is a charming hotel, with good facilities, perfectly located for exploring Piemonte.
    Find out more here.

    Hotel Bellevue
    Cogne, Italian Alps
    The Hotel Bellevue is located in Cogne, a delightful mountain town at about 1500 metres above sea level, nestling in a valley under the shadow of the Gran Paradiso mountain and about 17 miles south from Aosta. The town has kept its original mountain character and is approached through stunning mountain scenery as you climb from the Aosta valley. The Hotel Bellevue is an excellent base for holidays almost all year round. The area does have some skiing in the winter but is not a predominantly ski resort. The main attraction would be for a leisurely stay to enjoy the mountain scenery and to benefit from the leisure facilities of the Hotel Bellevue. The Hotel Bellevue is an exceptional find and a superb addition to our personal selection of hotels. A four star hotel and member of Relais & Chateaux, the Hotel Bellevue has the external appearance of an alpine chalet, but as you enter the hotel its real magic becomes apparent. Combining an understated elegance with a warm, homely atmosphere, the feel is very much that of a private house, decorated with a stylish rusticity, family and local artifacts and original paintings. Great wooden ceilings and panelled walls feature in profusion throughout the building. The bedrooms vary in size and shape and are all furnished individually in the same cosy style as the rest of the hotel. Nearly all rooms have a balcony, some overlooking the town at the front and some overlooking the valley and Gran Paradiso to the rear. Six new rooms have been built, all with a fire-place, jacuzzi and balcony. The Hotel Bellevue has three restaurants; these include a gourmet restaurant, a typical local restaurant, and the Brasserie du Bon Bec, located nearby in the main square of Cogne. There is a well stocked wine cellar with local wine and wines from all over the world. Lunch can be enjoyed, weather permitting, on an outside terrace with panoramic views. The garden has sun loungers where you can sunbathe amid glorious mountain scenery. Inside there is a swimming pool, sauna and beauty centre. The hotel is also particularly good for families and there are rooms that take a third and fourth bed. We recommend the Hotel Bellevue very highly and suggest it as a holiday in its own right for relaxing in the mountains or as a two centre combination perhaps with the Italian Lakes.
    Find out more here.

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