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Enjoy the very best that Tuscany has to offer. A perfectly curated tour allowing you to see the key Tuscan sights, yet ideally balanced with time for relaxation or some discovery of the lesser know Tuscan wonders.
Fly from Dublin to Pisa where you will be met at the airport by your Topflight resort manager. You will be transferred comfortably by coach to Montecatini Terme where you will stay for seven nights in the Grand Hotel Croce di Malta on a bed and breakfast basis. Upon your arrival, you will enjoy a welcome buffet brunch provided by the hotel.
Perfectly situated right beside the thermal park of Montecatini Terme and in the most elegant of areas, the Grand Hotel Croce di Malta is one of the most beautiful and prestigious 4 star hotels around. The exclusive Thai Silk Spa at the hotel provides a wealth of treatments and massages to choose from, in a luxurious and peaceful setting so that you can truly unwind and feel perfectly pampered.
Today is the day to discover Montecatini Terme at your own pace. The so called “Garden City" boasts beautiful parks and Art Deco buildings. The quiet parks are embellished with the Liberty style architecture of the ancient Spas are a green oasis of relaxation.The great composer Giuseppe Verdi fell in love with Montecatini Terme and spent many holidays in the town. Today, take the opportunity to stroll through its lively streets and indulge in the chic boutiques, the inviting cafés or enjoy the tantalizing delicacies of its restaurants.
Today, you will be picked up from your hotel, by coach, to venture out on your full day tour. You will start with a drive to the ‘Medieval Manhattan of Tuscany’ San Gimignano where you will have free time to discover the medieval streetscapes and enjoy the enchanting rural setting. Next it is off to a local farmhouse who specialise in organic produce, your palate is in for a treat. Here you will enjoy wine tasting of the local wine Vernaccia accompanied by bruschetta with extra virgin olive oil, cold salad or soup, green olives, pecorino cheese, prosciutto and salami. And to finish, enjoy cantuccini biscuits and Vinsanto liqueur wine.
Your next destination is the enchanted UNESCO world heritage town of Siena. On arrival enjoy a local gelato before you embark on your guided walking tour, approximately a two hour tour. Your guide will regale some fascinating stories of the Sienesi people and you will have the opportunity to visit some of the key monuments and sights. You will also soak up the magic atmosphere that Siena is renound for. Afterwards, return to Montecatini by coach.
Today you choose how active or inactive you would like to be. Simply stay and relax at the hotel or venture further afield. We suggest a day at the beach in the seaside resort of Viareggio. Viareggio is one hour by train and the beach is just over a kilometre from the train station. When in Viareggio, take some time away from relaxing on the beach and enjoy some of what this lively beach resort has to offer including the beautiful promenade full of shops, cafes and art deco buildings, marvel at the amazing yachts in the harbour, enjoy a gelato or some retail therapy in the pedestrianised area.
Alternatively, enjoy some me time and enjoy a spa day at the SPA resort called Grotta Giusti. A fascinating natural cave with a hot water underground lake where guests can enjoy relaxing and detoxifying steam baths. The spa also offers mud therapy, ozonized baths in thermal water, massages and inhalation treatments.
Start your day with a short drive to Lucca. Once in Lucca enjoy a guided walking tour, approximately 90 minutes and discover this charming town. Wander through the narrow cobbled-stone lanes and pass numerous palaces and churches. It is a veritable open air museum. The huge and imposing ramparts (city walls) are undoubtedly one of the most popular attractions of Lucca. Fringed with bastion gardens, they encircle the town for over 4 kms and are topped with a tree-lined pedestrian promenade. The views are spectacular, don’t forget to take a few pictures so you can relive this enchanting town, once you return home. Enjoy some personal time for lunch, a cappuccino or a little more sightseeing.
Later in the day it is off to Pisa. Initially enjoy some time around the mesmerising ‘miracle square’ home to the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. Even during the construction period this tower was starting to lean! Beyond the world-famous square there is a great town waiting to be explored. Wander along the Renaissance-style Piazza dei Cavalieri, the “Borgo Stretto”, the Arno’s banks lined with noble palaces, museums and monuments bearing witness to the High Middle Ages, when the city grew into a very important commercial and naval center becoming one of the four Maritime Republics, together with Venice, Amalfi and Genoa. As Pisa is a university center there is a bustling atmosphere. Make sure to make time to enjoy a coffee at one of the many cafes and enjoy some people watching.
After your busy day in Lucca & Pisa, a day of downtime might be exactly what is needed. Alternatively you may want to explore another Tuscan wonder? If so, the town of Pistoia is an excellent choice. Pistoia was declared Italy’s Capital of Culture for 2017 and is regarded as one of Tuscany’s lesser known treasures. You can take a bus or train to Pistoia, it is only a 30 minute journey. Like many of the other Tuscan towns and cities that you have visited, Pistoia is steeped in history and architecture. Make sure to visit the main square with its evocative Cathedral, the Baptistery and the Palazzo Comunale. There is also an underground tour of Ospedale Del Ceppo which tells the story of how the black death affected this area of Tuscany, pre-booking this tour is recommended.
No visit to Tuscany would be complete without visiting Florence. So before you head home, you will enjoy the wonders of Florence, Tuscany's capital city. Walk to the train station in Montecatini and take the train to Florence, which will whisk you into the heart of the city. Florence was founded in the first century BC and is simply jam packed with historical, cultural and artistic treasures. Initially enjoy a two hour guided tour which includes visits to the gothic Santa Maria Novella church and Piazza della Signoria, where Michelangelo’s handsome David guards the town hall (Palazzo Vecchio), albeit not the original statue which is housed in the Galleria dell’Accademia. You will also see the beautiful Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge crossing the Arno that has tiny little jewellery shops across the whole bridge, built into it like bird nests. At the end of your visit you will see one of the biggest and most impressing churches in Europe, the Santa Maria del Fiore with its huge cupola, designed by the famous architect Brunelleschi. In front of the church you will find the antique Baptist church with its fantastically worked “door of paradise”. After the guided tour you will have plenty of time to discover the city, enjoy a delicious cappuccino in one of the elegant cafés, go shopping or explore one of the more than 70 museums that the city offers. Afterwards, return by train to Montecatini.
You will check out of the hotel after your final breakfast of the stay. Your coach will pick you up at your designated time and transfer you to Pisa airport for your return flight back to Dublin.
This property is offered on a Bed & Breakfast basis. A children's menu is available. Vegetarian and special dietary requirements can be catered for on request.
The Grand Hotel Croce di Malta, where you will stay for the duration of your Escorted Tour Holiday, is located in the spa town of Montecatini Terme. It is within easy walking distance of all the thermal baths, shops and restaurants of the resort centre. The train station is just a 10 minute walk away.
My name is Roberta and I am part of the Versiliana Viaggi Team who are Topflight's ground agent in Tuscany. I was born in Pietrasanta and am very fond of my land and my roots. When I want to disconnect, I enjoy walking by the sea to a good playlist. As a Tuscan native I appreciate my local cuisine and cannot resist a nice plate of spaghetti or pizza enjoyed in good company! I am available during your stay for any assistance and support you may require. Please feel free to email, call or send me a Whatsapp messge.
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