Athena and Dionysius: Food and Wine Tour of the Ligurian Riviera

Athena and Dionysius: Food and Wine Tour of the Ligurian Riviera

A food and wine tour of the Ligurian Riviera that offers a full immersion in tastings, guided tours to museums, olive groves and vineyards to discover the cuisine, wine and local specialties of Liguria.

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Let yourself be seduced by the treasures of the wines and gastronomy of the Ligurian Riviera of the Ponente on an intense and delightful tour which is guaranteed to make you fall in love with the cuisine created in this meeting point of the mountains and the sea. This is a region that has been famous since antiquity as the realm of the divine Athena, goddess of extra virgin olive oil, and of Dionysius,  god of wine, who was the inspiration for the genuine and wholesome Mediterranean diet.

On your journey to find the Gold of Ponente, you will find a quiet and secluded Italian Riviera, a land consisting of olive trees and vines clinging tenaciously to terraces in the Maritime Alps, of picturesque villages perched on hills, of small olive oil mills, of narrow alleyways and impressive church bell towers, of high mountains and deep valleys plunging into the azure sea.

Home made pasta, pesto, stuffed vegetables, and focaccia have long been famous well beyond the borders of our territory, but here you will rediscover their most authentic taste when made with our olive oil and served with the DOC wines of the Riviera of Flowers.  Rossese, Ormeasco, Vermentino and Pigato: these are wines with a long history, which have always been produced in limited quantities, wines with an intense aroma and flavor; as such, they are viewed as the perfect symbol of an area which is so colorful, bright and full of life.

A land of genuine tradition, aromas, flavors, the Riviera di Ponente opens its doors and offers you a wonderful, authentic voyage of discovery of all that is authentic in the region.

Let us take you on this gourmet escape with its never-ending surprises.

TOUR PACKAGE  Food and wine tour of the Ligurian Riviera: Athena and Dionysius  (4 days – 3 nights)

1st day

Arrival in late afternoon and hotel accommodation. Dinner and overnight stay.

2nd day: Extra virgin olive oil: the gold of Ponente

During this day you will discover how, for more than two centuries, cultivation of the olive has ruled the daily life and the economy of our region.

After breakfast, transfer to Imperia for a visit to the Museo dell’Olivo, named European Museum of the Year in 1993 by the Council of Europe, and found in the heart of Oneglia, an oil port for millennia. The museum is unique for its originality and contents, which demonstrate the symbolic and cultural value of the oldest tree cultivated by mankind.  Following the history of more than 6000 years of Mediterranean civilization,  characteristic environments related to olive oil production have been recreated in the museum rooms: the dry stone wall used to terrace the slopes of the Maritime Alps, an historic olive oil mill, and the hold of a Roman olive oil ship. After learning all about the history of the olive cultivation, it is also possible to visit the modern facility of the Fratelli Carli and indulge in some shopping in the remodeled Emporio of the Fratelli Carli company.  Then you are free for lunch.

In the afternoon, you will visit the premises of the Raineri company (founded in 1910), where you will be able to watch the various stages involved in the modern production of extra virgin olive oil. The guiding principle of the company is to offer the highest quality “cold-pressed” extra virgin olive oil. Raineri olive oil was included on the menu at the official gala dinner for the 1990 “Nobel Prize” in Stockholm, and at the 1991 “Gran Giubileo”.

Return to the hotel, dinner and overnight stay.

3rd day: Rossese of Dolceacqua: the nectar of the Riviera

The Riviera, land of mountains and sea, is also a region of great wines, produced in limited quantities on man-made terraces perched along the hillsides among the inaccessible alpine valleys.

In the morning transfer to Dolceacqua, the pearl of the Nervia valley: this delightful medieval village features a humpbacked bridge and the ruins of the castle of the Doria family.  Here, among the craft workshops, you will discover the nectar of the Riviera: the Rossese di Dolceacqua. This special red wine, which has an intense taste, was the first Ligurian wine to receive the prestigious DOC classification : the guarantee of origin and quality.

At lunchtime there will be a chance to visit a typical cantina of Rossese. Here you will be able to taste the entire list of the wines produced in the Riviera di Ponente accompanied by tasty specialties from the valley.

In the afternoon you’ll visit the medieval village of Apricale with its narrow lanes perched on the alpine slopes. Here you can try for yourself the original Ligurian snack, zabaione con pansarole, little sweets coated with sugar.

Return to hotel, dinner and overnight stay.

4th day: The Taggiasca olive: the black pearl of Liguria

We invite you to visit the “realm”of the taggiasca olive: la Valle Argentina is ready to show you the flavor and color of Ligurian gold.

After breakfast, transfer to Badalucco, an area with a vocation for olive oil, to visit a traditional family-run olive oil mill, complete with a fascinating little museum, where you’ll experience first-hand the attachment of the inhabitants of the valley to its ancient rural traditions.

After the tour you can stop at the small shop, where you can purchase extra virgin olive oil directly from the manufacturer, as well as some typical products of our Riviera.  Then you are free for lunch.

Afterwards there is a visit to the historic center of Taggia and the convent of San Domenico. The convent was founded by Cristoforo di Milano, a Domenican friar, in 1459 and contains many precious works by Ludovico, Antonio and Francesco Brea, Giovanni Canavesio and Emanuele Maccari, known as il Macario.

At the end of the visit departure for your home destination.

More information on the Food and Wine Tour of the Ligurian Riviera

Our offer includes:

  • Individual subscription fee covering administrative costs
  • Accommodation at one of our hotels in double room with half board
  • Tasting of wines and typical Ligurian products
  • Tasting of typical Ligurian snacks (according to season)

Our offer does not include:

  • Round trip travel, local transportation and all that is not included under the entry “our offer includes”
  • Lunches and dinners are to be selected according to the menu of the day or the tasting menu proposed by the chef. Beverages and à la carte items are to be paid for on site.
  • The tours suggested in the program are considered to be free, hence they do not include a guide

Optional services:

  • Tour guide to visit the villages
  • Local transfers by auto or minibus with driver