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Highlights of Tuscany

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10 days From £2,045 £1,895 per person
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Experience the unique essence of Tuscany’s celebrated medieval towns and Renaissance cities from the historic spa town of Montecatini Terme.

Operated by our sister company Great Rail Journeys
Save up to £150pp

Save up to £150pp on selected 2024 Europe, British Isles and Cruise holidays, when you book by 10th May 2024.

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Mobility Rating 2

2024 Tour code: TUS24

About the tour

Savour the gorgeous colours, aromas and flavours of Tuscany on a holiday that highlights the true beauty of the region. Discover the great Renaissance city of Florence, taste wines and dine at an enchanting castle in the Chianti Classico area, explore striking Siena, the medieval hill town of San Gimignano and circle beautiful Lucca on a gentle bike ride along its ancient walls - experiencing fabulous views across the terracotta rooftops.

Unforgettable Experiences

Wine and dine at Castello di Verrazzano
Wine and dine at Castello di Verrazzano
Set in the enchanting Chianti Classico area, we enjoy a guided tour, wine tasting and dinner at the elegant Castello di Verrazzano.
Discover glorious Florence
Discover glorious Florence
Known as the jewel of the Renaissance, Florence is a feast for the senses, bursting with great art, fabulous food markets, palazzo gardens, and glowing with the soft light of the serene Arno river.
Explore the beautiful medieval city of Lucca
Explore the beautiful medieval city of Lucca
Take a gentle bike ride along the ancient ramparts of the city, above the terracotta rooftops, or wander the delightful streets on foot, before lunch in an historic restaurant.
See the highlights of Pisa
See the highlights of Pisa
Its iconic Leaning Tower and ornate Romanesque Cathedral, in the Field of Miracles, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Step back in time in San Gimignano and Siena
Step back in time in San Gimignano and Siena
These perfectly preserved medieval cities are each known for their unique character. The walled hill town of San Gimignano has an astonishing 14 towers rising up from a golden cluster of ancient buildings, while Siena’s Piazza del Campo is one of Europe’s finest medieval squares.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – London to Turin: Straight to Italy

We meet our Tour Manager and fellow travellers at London St Pancras, where we join the Eurostar service to Paris. Travelling in style in spacious Standard Premier Class, we're served a light lunch at our seats. Changing trains, we continue by First Class rail to Chambéry. After a short break in this attractive French city, we board a comfortable coach for a beautiful journey through the Alps. Enroute, we enjoy stops to absorb the incredible views of towering, alpine peaks, before arriving in Turin where we spend the night. We have our first dinner together in this handsome Italian city.

Includes
  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar meal
Day 2 – A morning in cultural Turin, to Montecatini Terme

After breakfast this morning there's time to explore Turin. This dignified city is an important centre of business, finance and technology, but is also a showcase of Baroque, Renaissance and modern architecture. Fringed by the Italian alps, the city's wide boulevards and grand public squares are lined with enticing cafés and bars. Around midday, we continue to Florence by rail. From here, we transfer to Montecatini Terme for seven nights. This picturesque spa town is set in glorious Tuscan countryside and is split into two parts. We are based in the lower part of Montecatini Terme, close to the hot springs. On the hill above us is the Old Town of Montecatini Alto. We dine this evening at our elegant spa hotel, renowned for its friendly family-run service and excellent facilities.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 – Exploring Montecatini Terme at leisure

There's nothing like waking up in new and lovely surroundings, and today you have a free day to get to know Montecatini Terme. Our beautiful family-run hotel has been offering guests a warm welcome for many years. It has a generous outdoor swimming pool and a sun terrace for warmer days. The spa town is renowned for its thermal springs. The extravagant 18th-century Terme Tettuccio is well worth a visit, not only for its healing waters but for its beautiful Liberty architecture, marble-lined pools and fountains and Art Nouveau tiles. From April to October each year, the Montecatini Opera Festival takes place in various venues around the city, including the spa complex. Montecatini Alto can be reached by a funicular railway, which runs late into the evening and offers wonderful views over the valley. Here are many delightful piazzas, pretty pavement cafés and a charming church.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 - A day discovering Florence, the ‘Jewel of the Renaissance’

Today is a highlight of our holiday, as we travel by rail to the beautiful Renaissance city of Florence. We enjoy a guided tour of the city's treasures, including the impressive red-tiled Duomo, the Santa Maria Novella Church and the legendary Ponte Vecchio, the famous 14th-century bridge. Your afternoon is free to enjoy at your own pace. Labyrinthine streets and pretty piazzas are only part of the city's appeal, as a fifth of the world's Renaissance art is kept and displayed indoors - in Florence's galleries, churches and Medici palaces. If you're planning to visit the Uffizi gallery it is important to book ahead.

When you've had your fill of art and buildings, maybe make your way to one of the city's roof terraces for lunch or stroll across the river to the wonderful Boboli gardens, a peaceful green space with fantastic views of Florence. Alternatively, Mercato di San Lorenzo is the city's largest market with an abundance of fresh products, leather and local crafts, an indoor and outdoor dining area, and a Chianti wine booth. A place to warm up or cool down, depending on the season!

Please note: on certain departure dates, Day 4 and Day 6 have been swapped.

**Please Note: For certain departures, will be visiting Villa Machiavelli instead of Castello di Verrazzano.Villa Machiavelli is set in 600 acres of flourishing vineyards and olive groves in the wine-making region of Chianti Classico. Just outside the city of Florence, this magnificent villa was built in the 15th Century by the Machiavelli family and showcases the Renaissance master, Michelangelo.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Discovering Lucca from its city walls, and exploring Pisa

We travel to the lovely walled-city of Lucca, where you are free to explore. Bicycle hire is included, with a choice of single, tandem, or four-seater bikes, and a gentle ride along the ancient ramparts is a great way to see the city. Lucca is also a pleasure to explore on foot, but do pick up a map at the Tourist Office, where our day starts. The maze-like centre has a Duomo and other frescoed churches, striking piazzas - including the Piazza Anfiteatro, once a Roman amphitheatre - a botanical garden, art galleries, and a tranquil ornamental garden at Palazzo Pfanner, all inside the city walls. We enjoy lunch in a local trattoria before continuing to Pisa, where a guided tour introduces us to the famous Field of Miracles. Here, we see Pisa's iconic Leaning Tower, and the striking Romanesque Duomo, which glows in white marble.

Please Note: For departure 26/04/2024, Day 5 & Day 6 have been swapped.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 6 - San Gimignano, wine tasting and dinner at Castello di Verrazzano

Today starts with an excursion into the gorgeous Tuscan countryside, among ochre-coloured hills, dotted with cypresses and secluded farmhouses to San Gimignano, an extraordinary medieval hill town. This perfectly-preserved town is known for its thirteen towers, one of which - Torre Grossa - can be climbed. We have free time over lunch and into the afternoon to explore this gem of a Tuscan town. Later this afternoon, we venture to Castello di Verrazzano, in the heart of the Chianti Classico area between Florence and Siena, set on a verdant hillside among terraced vineyards. We enjoy a guided tour of the castle's gardens and cellar before a tasting of the organic wines produced on the estate. Afterwards, we sit down - either inside the castle or on the terrace - to a wonderful dinner prepared from delicious local produce. Specialities include cured Tuscan ham, Pecorino cheese, various meat dishes, and freshly-made pasta with a rich tomato sauce and Tuscan herbs.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 – Another chance to explore Montecatini Terme, or further afield

Your day is spent exploring Montecatini Terme at your own pace. If you haven't already discovered it, you could explore charming Montecatini Alto, the medieval old town. Here, you can admire views across the Tuscan hills and wander among the ancient townhouses, churches and medieval walls before choosing a café in which to enjoy lunch. Typical Tuscan cuisine is humble yet mouth-watering, with simple dishes executed well. Try crostini di fegato, warm bread topped with chicken liver pate, or pasta drizzled with olive oil and shaved truffles, foraged from the surrounding hillsides. Another appealing option is to make the most of the frequent rail service to visit the coastal resort of Viareggio (50 minutes), the buzzing city of Bologna (2 hours), or possibly to revisit Florence, Lucca or Pisa.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 8 – Discovering charismatic Siena

Today we travel by coach to medieval Siena, a charismatic Tuscan city where a labyrinth of narrow streets open out onto charming piazzas. The Duomo here is one of Italy's most magnificent, boasting statues by Donatello and Michelangelo, as well as an elaborate mosaic floor. The city's most famous sight, however, is the incredible Piazza del Campo - a grand, shell-shaped piazza that's regarded as one of the continent's best medieval squares. This is the site of the world-famous Palio horse races, an extraordinary event which the city has celebrated since the 17th century, now held twice a year in July and August. We discover the city's sights on a guided tour before some free time, during which you could sample some of the cured meats and cheeses that are popular here. Maybe opt for Siena's best-loved cheese, Pecorino, or finocchiona, a delicious local salami made with fennel.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 - The vibrant Côte d'Azur

Bidding farewell to Montecatini Terme, our journey continues to France today. We transfer to the coastal town of Viareggio for a scenic rail journey along the stunning Ligurian coastline, passing the pastel-coloured houses of the Cinque Terre and enjoying ever-changing scenery. When we reach Ventimiglia, close to the French border, we continue by coach, travelling along the attractive French Riviera to the stunning Côte d'Azur. We spend the night here, enjoying a final dinner together with fellow travellers and new friends.

**Please Note: For certain departures, there will be a change of location to Toulon.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 – Homeward bound

This morning we start our journey homewards and, as we travel by First Class rail to Paris, we have time to savour the new memories we've created on our Tuscan adventure. In the French capital, we change for the Eurostar service, which takes us back to London St Pancras where our journey ends.

Includes
  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar meal

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotel

Grand Hotel Francia & Quirinale, Montecatini Terme

Grand Hotel Francia & Quirinale, Montecatini Terme

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