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Florence and The Treasures of Tuscany
8 days - by Scheduled Air

Price from £719.00 per person*
Departs 16th Sep 2017

Single person supplement : £100.00 per person

Please see Includes tab for flight times

You don't need to be a rock star celeb or an ex–prime minister to love Tuscany. It's the home of Chianti vineyards, fine cuisine, Roman villas, Renaissance castles and cypress–studded landscapes that look like film sets. On this break we'll visit the Tuscan capital, Florence, treasure–house of the world's most famous works of art; we'll also go to medieval Siena, one of Italy's most visited attractions, and San Gimignano, an outstanding medieval town and major UNESCO site. All this, and Superior 3 star accommodation too, with dinner and breakfast, plus flights and all transfers, only without the rock star prices. Fantastico!

This tour is organised and operated by Omega Holidays plc ABTA V4782 ATOL 6081

  • Return flight from your chosen airport to Pisa
  • Return transfers from the airport to the hotel
  • Seven nights stay at the 3 star Hotel Reale, Montecatini Terme (4 star upgrade available on some dates) with breakfast and dinner
  • Full day excursion to Siena and San Gimignano
  • Full day excursion to Florence
  • Half day wine–tasting excursion in the Chianti region
  • One piece of hold luggage (an allowance of at least 20kgs per person, depending on airline, to be confirmed on receipt of itinerary)
  • Services of an English–speaking representative
  • All airport taxes and security charges and the Government charge on air travel (APD)
  • VAT at 20%

* Based on two people sharing a room. A room for single person occupancy is offered, subject to availability, at a supplement of £100pp for the break.

Upgrades available

  • Flexi twin/double room with balcony, supplement of £105pp for the break

4 star Grand Hotel Nizza et Suisse (tours commencing 17 June & 15 July only)

  • Dedicated single room, supplement of £50pp for the break
  • Flexi twin/double room, supplement of £50pp for the break
  • Superior double/twin, supplement of £141pp for the break

Flights ↔ Pisa
East Midlands09:00 / 12:2013:05 / 14:25Jet2
Gatwick08:45 / 11:5512:25 / 13:40easyJet
Heathrow08:45 / 12:0013:05 / 14:35British Airways
Leeds Bradford07:40 / 11:1011:50 / 13:20Jet2
Manchester08:45 / 12:1513:15 / 14:50Jet2
Stansted08:45 / 12:0012:55 / 14:20Ryanair
These flight times are correct at the time of publishing but may not be available on all dates and are subject to change without notice

Saturday Check in at your chosen airport for the flight to Pisa, where on arrival we will transfer you to the 3 star Superior Hotel Reale, Montecatini Terme (room upgrade available, and 4 star upgrade on some dates). Dinner on the first evening may be a cold platter for very late arrivals.

Sunday After breakfast there will be a Welcome Meeting to introduce you to the area, after which the day is at leisure until dinner.

Monday Siena and San Gimignano Today we embark on a full–day excursion, stopping first at the lovely city of Siena. The shell–shaped Piazza del Campo is one of the best medieval squares in Europe, famous for its beautiful period architecture and also for the bi–annual Palio di Siena horse race, which featured prominently in the James Bond film Quantum of Solace. In the Piazza is the Palazzo Pubblico art museum with its Torre del Mangia (Eater's Tower, bizarrely named for its first bellringer who had the nickname Mangiaguadagni or Profit Eater). It was one of the tallest secular towers in medieval Italy, built deliberately to the same height as the cathedral to avoid implying that the church was more important than the state, and is so famous it has inspired the building of near replicas in Spain and the USA, and in Birmingham and Grimsby, UK.

Other things to see are the gothic Piazza Salimbeni, featuring one of the oldest banks in the world, the Palazzo Chigi–Saracini, now the home of Siena's music conservatory, and especially the magnificent 14th century cathedral, with its elaborate marble floors, frescoes by Ghirlandaio and sculptures by Donatello. Later we continue to San Gimignano, renamed in 450 AD in honour of Bishop Geminianus, who had managed to prevent the town from being destroyed by Attila the Hun. This beautiful, walled medieval hilltop town continued to have an astonishing run of luck through centuries of regional wars, largely escaping war damage and so remaining uniquely well–preserved.

Tuesday The day is at leisure until dinner. If you fancy a little out–of–town excursion, about 15 km to the north–west is Pistoia (take the train, or 63 bus), whose walled medieval old town is a favourite with tourists. Pistoia is known today for its flower markets, and said by some to be the source of the word 'pistol', which it first began manufacturing in the 1540s. Alternatively, half an hour by train to the west (ticket around £3) is Lucca, famous for its intact Renaissance walls enclosing a lovely cobbled old town. Further to the west is Pisa, whose walled Piazza dei Miracoli is dominated by the magnificent (but sinking) 12th century cathedral and its world–famous (leaning) tower. In this Square of Miracles the chief miracle is that the tower is still standing. It started leaning even while it was being built, and the higher storeys were angled during later construction to compensate for the tilt, so that if today it was pushed upright it would still look wonky.

Wednesday Florence This morning we head to the capital of Tuscany. Ranked by Forbes Magazine as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Florence (Firenze, lit. 'the flowering') is a medieval masterpiece of piazzas, churches and palaces. This is where the Renaissance began, the first bankers set up their benches (banca: bench) on the Ponte Vecchio, and the Medicis used their fabulous wealth to create enormous art collections now housed at the Palazzo Pitti (Leonardo, Rubens, Caravaggio...), the Uffizi (Botticelli's Birth of Venus) and the Galleria of the Accademia di Belle Arti (Michelangelo's David, and now Stradivarius violins). We return to the hotel by coach in the late afternoon.

Thursday Wine-tasting tour Today we venture on a half–day excursion into the Chianti wine–growing region for a delightful tour of the Renaissance gardens and wine cellars of Castle Vicchiomaggio, including light Tuscan delicacies and tasting of 4 wines.

Friday A day at leisure, and perhaps an opportunity to do some last–minute souvenir hunting.

Saturday Breakfast and then transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Here are some example hotels or similar ones that we use for this break, actual availability may change with the travel date you choose.

Some hotels have an additional supplement per person, as shown below. Supplements are stated for the break (not per night)

Hotel Reale, Montecatini Terme
Great hotel right in the middle of one of Italy's favourite spa towns...

Quote: BTA03

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