49 Newtownards Road
028 9015 1030
ATOL No. 11029
TUSCANY & CINQUE TERRE
18 May 2019 – 8 Days / 7 Nights
£1185 per person sharing
Single supp. £225 double room for single use)
•Bed, breakfast & evening meal
We are delighted to be returning to Tuscany in 2019. It's been three years since we were here, last! This time we'll be staying in the sea-side resort city of Viareggio, at the historic Palace Hotel, right on the famous "Lungomare".
Meals are taken in the restaurant, where we have included a three course dinner each evening, including a super salad buffet. Breakfast each morning is extensive, including eggs, cereals, hams, cheeses and yoghurts, breads and cake!!
(Note: It is uncommon to receive a warm, cooked breakfast in Italy)
Single Rooms and Supplements
We are still awaiting single room supplement details.
We will make a full day of this excursion, allowing time for anyone to visit the world famous Uffizi Gallery, which houses many masterpieces. Our journey commences with a train journey, right to the heart of Florence, where we will meet our guide. The walking tour will last for up to three hours but you are free to drop off the tour at any time.....but you might miss something. You will see the Basilica of Santa Maria Novello, the Duomo, Campanile and Baptistry, the Palazzo Vechhio, the Ponte Vechhio and, if you wish, the Palazzo Pitti. There will be plenty of free time to enjoy a leisurely lunch or to explore the alleyways and shops, including the leather market. We will return to Montecatini in the late afternoon.
Both of these cities are easily visited in one day, allowing you to enjoy the Leaning Tower and Basilica in the morning and the walled city of Lucca and its squares and courtyards in the afternoon (or v.v.). Enjoy a stroll around the walls, visit the church of the Irish monk, San Frediano, enjoy lunch in the Piazza Amfiteatro, shop in the Via Vittorio Veneto, climb the tower at Santa Giovanni, where trees grow from the rooftop.....just some of the dozens of things to see and do in beautiful Lucca.
In Pisa you may wish to visit the famous leaning tower (See note below) and beautiful basilica and gardens. We will travel home in time for the evening meal.
(Note: Entrance to the Leaning Tower is not included and is only recommended to those fit to climb approximately 18 storeys, non-stop. Great views and worth the effort....but exhausting).
The "Cinque Terre" (translated as - The Five Lands) is one of the most beautiful and scenic sights in all of Italy. Five small villages are tucked into the cliff-sides, sweeping down to tiny harbours adorned with cafes, bars and restaurants. There are three ways to enjoy this rea to its full: by train, by boat or by walking.....see below. We include the cost of the train fare, allowing you to nip between the villages, through tunnels carved out of the steep hillsides. If you wish to enjoy the boat journey, which we highly recommend, tickets are availble locally from around €30 for the day. The walking part is the bit you really need to know about! This is not a picnic but rather a tough hike, up narrow gorges, over narrow cliff-top paths, across streams......it's only for the fit and well-prepared. But, we assure you, you will enjoy it immensely.
Everyone comes to Tuscany to see the rolling hills, the hilltop villages, the vines and orchards and the magnificent medieval cities. Today’s excursion rolls them all into one! We start early, around 8.30am, with a drive towards Florence, breaking off into the Tuscan countryside and on to the fascinating hilltop village of San Gimignano. Built on a series of hills, the towers of the former wealthy traders stretch up towards the sky. Cobbled lanes are lined with inviting cafes; artists and artisans trade their wares with tourists, as they wend their way up to the main squares, perhaps enjoying a tasty, home-made ice-cream on the Via San Matteo. There will be time here for a quick coffee before we continue our journey. We will enjoy a guided tour of this stunning, walled city, taking in the Cathedral before making our way down to the Piazza del Campo, scene of two famous horse races each year....dangerous or what! You will have time for a late lunch before heading off into the Tuscan countryside again and the beautiful village of Castelina in Chianti. There’s time for a stroll through the castle ramparts before enjoying a glass of the famous local wine or a cup of coffee. No-one is in a hurry in this village so order your food or drinks quickly and pay straightaway....otherwise you could be here all night. Back to Viareggio, where dinner will be served a little later tonight!
Gratuities are included for the dining room staff but a tip for your room maid would be greatly appreciated, although not compulsory. As a guideline, €2 - €3 per person, per day is the norm, so around €15 - €20 per week. It is customary and expected to tip 10% at cafes and restaurants.