No other area in Italy has won the attention and the love of foreigners like the wonderful Tuscany. This region has everything to offer – thousands of years of history, art on every street corner, charming small medieval villages, beautiful countryside, lovely wines and tasty kitchen. In Tuscany we find traces of the Etruscans and the Romans, but the dominating historical period is the Renaissance, which was born in Florence. This journey brings us not only to Florence, but also to historical cities like Siena and Pisa. We also visit less known treasures like Lucca and San Gimignano. We stay very centrally located for our excursions in the elegant spa town of Montecatini.
Arrival at Pisa Airport. Coach and tour manager awaits us to go to our host town Montecatini. During the transfer our tour manager will share tips and advice for the coming week.
After check-in to our lovely and centrally located Hotel Imperial Garden there will be time to explore the town and have a first look at the many good restaurants here.
Day to day menu
Our first excursion passes through beautiful landscapes to reach lovely Siena. Siena is only surpassed by Florence in number of art treasures. The city is scenic located in the Tuscan landscape and is one of the most complete Gothic cities. A walk takes us past the cathedral, which many considers to be the most beautiful in the world. We arrive at Il Campo, which is the town hall square and the city centre.
There will be time on your own to tend to personal interests before we walk to the coach and we return back in Montecatini late afternoon.
The excursion of the day will be Florence, the capital of the Renaissance and Tuscany. We board the local train and in Florence our first stop will be the exciting food market. We then go to the San Lorenzo church to meet our city guide, who will show us the main highlights of Florence during the morning.
After the guided walk there will be time on your own for lunch and to experience Florence at your own pace, whether you are tempted by world famous museums, fashionable shopping streets or just wandering and experience the atmosphere of the city.
We return to Montecatini late in the afternoon.
We board a train again, this time for the charming town of Pistoia. The town is not well known, but you will soon feel the quiet and harmonious atmosphere of Pistoia. Visit the cathedral or the Sant’ Andrea church with the Pisano pulpit. In the lively market square there are several good restaurants and we return to Montecatini after lunch.
In Montecatini the afternoon is on your own. There is an opportunity to ride the 1898 Funicolare up to Montecatini Alto. There is a lovely scenic view of the landscape from up here.
Today’s tour by coach brings us to the essence of the Tuscan landscape, the wine area of Chianti. Our first stop is the small wine village Greve in Chianti. In the beautiful town square is the historical butcher Falorni. We visit the shop and learn about their many delicious products. The tour ends with tastings of food and wine.
The views from the coach become more and more beautiful as we approach Castellina. In this charming small town there will be time to find a good place for lunch, before the tour continues past impressive panoramic views to the well preserved medieval town San Gimignano. San Gimignano has often been called the Manhattan of the Middle Ages and the town is mainly famous for its many towers. When you walk down the main street, you feel like you are in an old movie about knights. When you reach the Cisterne square, you find the world champion in home-made ice cream.
Our day begins with boarding the train to Lucca. Lucca is a lovely city, which is well hidden behind its fantastic city walls. The walls were built as a defence against the Medici family and they helped Lucca to keep its independence as city state up until 1848. We will go on a short walk and there will time for lunch as well, before we continue to Pisa.
Pisa is first of all famous for the Leaning Tower, but we soon discover that the Square of Miracles, which the cathedral square is called, also has a beautiful cathedral, where Galilei discovered the principle of the pendulum. The biggest Baptistry in the world is definitely also worth a visit.
We will be back in Montecatini late in the afternoon.
You could have a free day on your own! Visit the brilliant spas or explore the many exciting shops. Alternatively many people will probably have chosen the optional excursion to Cinque Terre. Along the beautiful coastline of Liguria we find these 5 small fishing villages, very inaccessibly located. That is why the coach will take us to the harbour town of La Spezia from where we continue by train.
The first stop is Riomaggiore, from where we walk along Via dell’Amore to Manarola. By train we next arrive in Vernazza, which is probably the most charming of the villages. We stop for a longer visit with time to enjoy a good lunch in one of the many excellent fish restaurants in the harbour. The last stop is Monterosso, before we go by train to La Spezia, where the coach awaits us.
After breakfast the trip goes to Pisa Airport after a week full of new experiences.