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  • Wine tasting and gastronomic experiences in Liguria

    Grand Hotel Miramare

    Riomaggiore vineyards

    Portofino

    Wine tasting and culinary experiences in Liguria

    Enjoy a luxurious food and wine holiday in northern Italy, where you indulge in the culinary delights and delicious wines of the Ligurian Riviera and Cinque Terre area. Stay in the Art Nouveau Grand Hotel Miramare for five nights on the dates of your choice, overlooking the beautiful waters of the Portofino Gulf. Seek out the quaint fishing villages and towns that line the coast, or travel into the larger, lace-making city of Genoa, stopping to tour the vineyards and olive groves on your way. Spend lunchtimes in quintessentially Italian bakeries, before retiring in the evenings to your hotel, and dining on the terrace of Restaurant Vistamare, sampling the very best food inspired by Ligurian tradition and contemporary flare.

    Highlights of this food and wine holiday

    This five-night food and wine holiday in Liguria is available on the dates of your choice and includes the following experiences, all of which take place at or near the Grand Hotel Miramare.
    • Wine tasting of three Ligurian vintages at the hotel, accompanied by a large selection of cheeses and charcuterie.
    • Dinner at the hotel's Vistamare restaurant, including a 4 course menu of regional cuisine, coffee and water.
    • 2 hour cookery lesson at the Niasca Distribuzione in Portofino followed by lunch with soft drinks and dessert.
    Prices from £1,430 per person including flights, car-hire, bed and breakfast accommodation and the experiences mentioned above.

    Your food and wine holiday
    Arrive into Genoa on the first day of this five-night holiday, and collect your hire car. Drive east through Liguria, passing Camogli and San Massimo before reaching Santa Margherita Ligure, the closest town to your hotel. The Grand Hotel Miramare sits approximately halfway between Santa Margherita Ligure and the exclusive, stylish seaside village of Portofino, which has long been popular with A-list stars and artists. On your first night in Italy, dine in the hotel’s restaurant in order to gain a sense of the flavours and ingredients particular to the area - a four course dinner is included in this food and wine holiday.

    The following afternoon, remain at the hotel for a tasting of three Ligurian vintages, accompanied by a selection of cheeses and charcuterie. Sample a variety of hard, semi-hard and soft cheeses including Gorgonzola, Castelmagno, Pienza and Parmesan, as well as a number of excellent quality hams and salami.
    The following morning, travel to Portofino for a cookery lesson lasting two hours. An experienced chef will teach you to cook typical Ligurian cuisine including a starter, pasta and sauce, then you can enjoy the dishes you have created. Make a day of your visit to Portofino, exploring the picturesque harbour and tall colourful buildings that emerge from the verdant cliffside. Slip into one of the many boutique shops selling rarities such as the famous Genoan lace. Walk up to the Semaforo Nuovo lighthouse, perched on Portofino’s cliff, or browse the relics from Portofino’s past in the Church of Sant Giorgio. From Castello Brown, you can walk across to the Faro lighthouse to view the exquisite panorama over the Gulf of Tigullio and the pine forest. A two hour walk across the Portofino promontory, or a short ferry ride, will bring you to the Benedictine abbey in the San Fruttuoso bay. Its arches and frescoes are slowly being buried by the sand of the bay, but its chambers still maintain their original atmosphere. The tombs of its original owners, the Doria Pamphilj family, are still present in the abbey’s Gothic vault. The La Gritta American Bar and the Scafandro American Bar have long been popular spots for afternoon and evening relaxation. Portofino’s culinary crowning glory is the Da Puny restaurant, serving excellent fresh fish, and a number of intriguing twists on traditional Italian dishes, which serve to prove the influence of Portofino’s many American visitors. Puny himself is often on hand to relate anecdotes from his long and illustrious career.

    The hotel’s staff are on hand to organise many exciting excursions. Consider visiting the Bisson Vini winery, where you can taste local wines such as Vermentino, Bianchetta, and Cliegiolo. Do not miss the opportunity to sample Abyss, a sparkling white wine named as such because the bottles are kept 60 metres under the sea at a constant temperature of 15 degrees for eighteen months before being sold or tasted. This particular winery is free to visit. Alternatively, visit Riomaggiore to sample the Sciacchetrà wine, one of the best Cinque Terre wines. A visit here includes a tour of the vineyards, and a tasting session in the cantina, but is only available to parties of more than four people. The Ristorante Da Cila, also in Riomaggiore, is open for dining, wine tours and tastings, as well as a more relaxed bar experience. Its wine cellar specialises in wines of the Cinque Terre area.

    The Grand Hotel Miramare’s concierge can also organise a visit to two different olive oil producers in nearby Sestri Levante, featuring an olive oil grove and a historic villa. This visit is available only to parties of six and above, but offers oil tasting opportunities accompanied by water and snacks. To delve deeper into traditional Genovese cuisine, go no further than Santa Margherita Ligure. The Panificio Pinamonti and Panificio Fiordiponti bakeries offer samples of the typical, rustic Genovese Focaccia as well as numerous other delicious pastries and breads. And, to conclude your gastronomic experience of the Ligurian Riviera, visit the Pasta Fresca da Renato to try some fresh pasta. While in Santa Margherita Ligure, be sure to stop off at the Santuario di Nostra Signore della Rosa, a small church whose intricate decoration exceeds the expectations inspired by its size. Inside, it is decorated with an abundance of dazzling gold leaf, beautiful frescoes, chandeliers, and stained glass.

    To finish off your five-night stay at the Grand Hotel Miramare, spend your final day in Genoa. The historic streets of this old city are lined with impressive Palazzos, cosy boutique shops, and new, innovative architecture. The Cattedrale di S. Lorenzo was built at the end of the 11th century, near a collection of Roman ruins, and houses the ashes of St. John the Baptist, Genoa’s patron saint. Its architecture, due to several modifications and a 13th century fire, is a combination of the Romanesque, Medieval, and Mannerist styles, to name but a few. The Galleria di Palazzo Rosso has the largest collection of all of Genoa’s museums, while the Galleria Nazionale di Palazzo Spinola sets its exhibits amidst the atmosphere of a private estate. The Galleria di Palazzo Bianco is home to a number of traditional Italian masterpieces, but several smaller galleries pay testament to the talent of local contemporary artists. The Villa Durazzo is open for visitors to tour the pink-hued mansion and its expertly maintained and landscaped gardens. You may then wish to walk around the pretty, narrow streets of Genoa’s old town, wander down to the bustling port, or view the largest exhibition of aquatic biodiversity in Europe in the Aquarium.

    However you choose to end this trip, you will leave the Grand Hotel Miramare with a real sense of the delights of Liguria, and a strong desire to return.

    Recommendations for visits in the area:
    • Cattedrale di S. Lorenzo, Genoa
    • Galleria di Palazzo Rosso, Genoa
    • Galleria Nazionale di Palazzo Spinola, Genoa
    • Galleria di Palazzo Bianco, Genoa
    • Villa Durazzo, Genoa
    • Sestri Levante
    • Panificio Pinamonti, Santa Margheriate Ligure
    • Panificio Fiordiponti, Santa Margheriate Ligure
    • Santuario di Nostra Signore della Rosa, Santa Margheriate Ligure
    • Bisson Vini Winery
    • Riomaggiore
    • Semaforo Nuovo Lighthouse, Portofino
    • Castello Brown, Portofino
    • San Fruttuoso, Portofino
    • Da Puny Restaurant, Portofino
    Entrance fees not included in the price of the holiday.

    What’s included:
    • 5 nights' bed and breakfast at Grand Hotel Miramare, based on two people sharing a Superior Room with Park View.
    • British Airways flights from London Gatwick to Genoa
    • Group A hire car the duration of stay
    • Wine tasting at the Grand Hotel Miramare of three Ligurian vintages accompanied by a selection of cheeses and charcuterie.
    • Dinner at the Vistamare restaurant. Includes a 4 course menu of regional cuisine, coffee and water.
    • 2 hour cookery lesson at the Niasca Distribuzione for two adults in Portofino followed by lunch of the dishes with soft drinks and dessert included.

    Dates for this holiday
    This holiday operates on any date of your choice, subject to hotel/flight availability at the time of booking. Additional nights here and at any of our other hotels can be arranged.

    PRICES
    £1,430 per person when sharing a Superior Room with a park view for stays from 29th March to 20th April and from 9th October to 22 December.
    Supplements: £110 per person for a Deluxe Room with a sea view, and £310 per person for a Classic Park Suite

    £1,590 per person when sharing a Superior Room with a park view from 25th March to 28th March, 21st April to 16th June, 11th September to 8th October and 23rd December to 5th January
    Supplements: £120 per person for a Deluxe Room with a sea view, and £320 per person for a Classic Park Suite

    £1,840 per person when sharing a Superior Room with a park view from 17th June to 10th September.
    Supplements: £180 per person for a Deluxe Room with a park view, and £400 per person for Classic Park Suite

    Supplement for private transfers instead of hire car: £10 per person for all dates.

    To book this holiday
    Deposit payment of £300 per person. Please call us on 01392 441275.

    Where you stay

    Grand Hotel Miramare, Santa Margherita Ligure
    The four-star Grand Hotel Miramare is a family run hotel with a historical air of elegance and splendour. Opened in 1903, the hotel occupies a privileged beach-front position on the Portofino Gulf. The 83 rooms and suites maintain the original style of the hotel, from the wooden floors and chandeliers, to the wrought iron beds. High windows flood the rooms with light, while the balconies or terraces in most rooms allow guests to more thoroughly enjoy the sea views and lush gardens. Three indoor bars and a plush lounge, offer ideal meeting and relaxing spaces, while the Piano Bar adds an essence of exclusive luxury. The spa, E’Spa’ce, adds another element of luxury with four treatment rooms and a range of facilities, from floating beds to sensory showers. Culinary delights are found in the hotel’s restaurant where traditional Ligurian cuisine is given a contemporary twist. Outdoor dining is set against the backdrop of the sea. The outdoor swimming pool is accompanied by its own bar, sun loungers, and umbrellas. A Mediterranean garden and parkland offers an escape from the everyday, while the beach opposite is ideal for sailing and bathing. The beach club is complimentary for hotel guests.
    Find out more about Grand Hotel Miramare

    Travel arrangements

    Flights
    British Airways flies direct from London Gatwick to Genoa at least 3 times per week. We include economy but can offer you advantageous upgrade fares for Club Europe.
    There are direct flights from regional airports with Thomas Cook Airlines (from Glasgow, London Gatwich and Manchester) or with Thomson Airways (from Birmingham, London Gatwick and Manchester) which operate seasonally.
    Connecting flights can be organised with British Airways through London Gatwick.
    Local transport
    We recommend the use of a hire-car for this holiday because of the flexibility it gives you to explore the region at your own pace. We include a basic group A car with Avis; for example, a Peugeot 107. A variety of upgraded cars are possible at a supplement of about £30 a day for an Alfa Giulietta 2.0, about £35 a day for a VW Golf automatic, and about £45 a day for an Audi A4.
    If you do not want to use a hire-car, it will restrict what you can do from the hotel, but we can arrange for you to have a private car transfer whereby you are met at the airport and taken to the hotel in a Mercedes car.
    Other means of getting to Italy
    This holiday can be reached by car from the UK with a night or two in France en route if you want and we can suggest and make those overnight arrangements for you. This holiday can also be done by train from the UK: Eurostar to Paris and then either overnight sleeper train to Milan Central or a daytime train, perhaps with a stop in Paris or the Swiss cities of Geneva, Lausanne or Lucerne for a few examples. From Milan we would recommend a hire-car, or it is possible to take a train onwards to Genoa.


     Hotel Miramare food and wine map
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