This excursion was outstanding! The excursion includes train tickets, a boat ride and a pesto cooking class with the owner/chef of a seaside restaurant with magnificent views. We had a little hiccup in at the start due to the schedule of the owner/chef which reversed the order of the day's activities. Our tour coordinator and guide, Gary, was very friendly, helpful and considerate. He explained the change in itinerary and gave us directions with a new meeting place after we explored the Cinque Terre's quaint towns. The train rides between towns were just a few minutes each. Corneglia was especially charming with one of a kind shops, cafes and expansive seaside views. The boat ride to the restaurant allowed you wonderful views of the coastline and towns perched on the cliffside locations with a different perspective of the Cinque Terre. Simone, the owner/chef, was an excellent teacher and historian of pesto's origins. The resulting pesto and lunch was delicious. I strongly recommend this unique excursion to anyone visiting the region.
If you are visiting Cinque Terre, this class is a must! Gary, our tour guide was great. We were able to meet him at Cinque Terre office at Manarola station instead of La Spezia since it was closer to our hotel. Once he greeted us, he told us about the town as we walked to where the class was going to take place. The actual class was amazing. The instructor gave up step by step directions on how to make a great Pesto class. He was very knowledgeable and very informative. After the hard work of making Pesto, everyone was awarded with wine and lunch. Lunch included various meats, breads and cheeses, and of course, your homemade pesto. The tour also includes a boat tour but Gary contacted us two days before the tour to let us know the seas would be rough. Instead of taking a boat tour, he gave us two bottles of delicious Cinque Terre wine! Gary even took pictures for us and sent them to us a few days later!
This tour was the highlight of our trip, would absolutely recommend! We were a group of 6 ranging from 23-85 years old and we all loved it. Gary was a great host and it was so much fun! We got some history, amazing sights, learned the intricacies of making pesto, ate fabulous food, drank lots of Cinque Terre wine, went on a lovely boat ride with breathtaking views and then we were able to explore all the towns. The tour was over at 1ish but we enjoyed Cinque Terre until 9:30, including a swim in the Mediterranean Sea. If you want to stay for dinner you should make a reservation, we weren't able to eat at a sea side restaurant but had a lovely meal in town. Gary was taking photos and he sent them to us along with the recipe, an added nice touch. Really can't say enough good things about this tour.
This tour was fantastic!!! Our tour guides Gary and his partner totally blanking on her name were a lot of fun and very informative. The pesto making experience was awesome. We learned so much from the chef about making pesto the authentic way ... And the end result was spectacular!! We enjoyed a delicious lunch with our pesto along with the local wine which was great. We almost didn't get to experience the boat tour due to rough seas but in the end our brave sailer Niko was able to take us out and the views of Cinque Terre from the boat were absolutely breathtaking! If you enjoy exploring, learning and having fun experiencing the culture through food and great people this tour is not to be missed.
I was so grateful to live this experience in my life, it was the highlight of our trip to Cinque terre, the setting was amazing, Gary our guide was very helpful and understanding, the restaurant chef was very nice and made our course a unique experience, to be able to learn this and at the same time listen to the best arias of Pavarotti was amazing, the wine, the music, the food, the sky you just have to close your eyes and be grateful to be able to live this...
This tour is absolutely awesome! Gary, the tour operator and guide, met us at the train station in La Spezia, and guided us to the Cinque Terre. He had already secured our train tickets and knew exactly where to go, making it a stress-free experience. Once on the train, he showed us a map and thoughtfully explained the layout of the five towns, as well as the game plan for our tour. The pesto making class was a highlight of our Italian vacation. Our three teenagers absolutely loved it! We made fresh and delicious pesto from scratch with a passionate Italian chef, and proceeded to eat it, along with a delicious lunch, overlooking a spectacular view. From there, we enjoyed a fun boat ride north to another of the five towns, at which point the tour concluded with easy-to-follow return instructions from Gary, which made us feel comfortable that we could not only find our way around the remaining towns, but also find our way back to La Spezia which was easy. If you are looking for a surprisingly fun tour and introduction to the Cinque Terra, this tour is the one.