Contact Us
ABTAATOLTravel Awards 2015

01904 734 356

Open 7 Days A Week
ViewHide Gallery

A Tuscan Retreat

(Tour code: TPS17)Rural Tuscany and Renaissance Splendour

From our base at the beautiful Villa San Paolo, close to San Gimignano, we explore the Renaissance delights of striking Florence, see the Gothic beauty of Siena, and sample the rich fruits of Tuscan sunshine with a Chianti wine tasting, on this relaxed, scenic Italian holiday.


Secure your Italian holiday for only £50pp low deposit when booking on or before 9th December 2016, plus save up to £75 per person when booking on or before 31st October 2016. Terms & Conditions

Tour Highlights
  • Excursion to San Gimignano
  • Florence, with a guided tour and free time
  • Learn to cook authentic Tuscan cuisine
  • Arezzo & Cortona
  • Chianti wine tasting
  • Siena, with a guided tour and free time
What’s Included (Full details)
  • 1st & Standard Class Rail
    Eurostar Standard Premier
    Eurostar Meals
  • 4* Hotel Accommodation
    Breakfast Every Day
    Selected Evening Meals
    1 Lunch
  • All Transfers Included
    Optional Bag Concierge

Itinerary & Map

top ^
Departure Times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Day 1

To Basel

Our journey begins today as you meet your Tour Manager at Great Rail Journeys' dedicated Departure Office. From here, we travel by Eurostar to Paris, enjoying a light meal and drinks on board. We continue by train to Basel where we overnight, enjoying our first dinner together this evening.

  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
San Gimignano
Day 2

To Florence

Today, we travel to Florence by train. From here, we transfer by coach to our hotel for seven nights, the stunning Villa San Paolo. Located within sight of the UNESCO World Heritage village of San Gimignano, Villa San Paolo combines an authentic rural Tuscan atmosphere with superb country views and contemporary 4-Star accommodation.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
San Gimignano
Day 3

San Gimignano

After breakfast today, we head to nearby San Gimignano, where we are treated to a guided tour. San Gimignano earned UNESCO World Heritage status for its striking medieval walls and thirteen well-preserved towers, which date back to the Middle Ages. The town has a long history, benefitting from an excellent position amongst an array of fertile hills, which have ensured San Gimignano's prosperity for centuries - even today, olive oil production is a thriving local trade. After free time for lunch, we return to the hotel for a cookery lesson. Using local produce, we learn from the experts how to prepare delicious, authentic-tasting Tuscan cuisine. This evening, we enjoy a dinner of our lovingly-prepared culinary creations.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • San Gimignano Tour
Day 4

Arezzo and Cortona

Today begins with a guided tour of prosperous, pretty Arezzo, once famed as an important Etruscan city, now known for its surviving medieval architecture and its weekly antiques market. Once a free republic, the city succumbed to Florentine rule in 1384, following its support of the Ghibelline cause. This attractive town is less grand than Florence, with a quaint medieval air, but boasts a beautiful Duomo, which took two centuries to complete and features an exquisite 15th century fresco by Piero della Francesca. Later, we visit Cortona, a spectacular hilltop town that has long been a refuge for artists, including Fra Angelico, Luca Signorelli and Pietro da Cortona. Famously used as a location for the film adaptation of Frances Mayes' memoir 'Under the Tuscan Sun', Cortona is a maze of medieval streets, lined with sand-coloured buildings and topped with red-tiled Tuscan roofs.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Arezzo Guided Tour
Day 5


Today we leave the medieval world behind, and venture into the Renaissance, taking a guided tour of stunning Florence. We discover the 'Cradle of the Renaissance' with a local guide, visiting the city's best-loved attractions, including the Duomo with its iconic red-tiled dome and the Ponte Vecchio - a 14th century bridge that is home to an impressive 43 jewellers' shops. Later, you have time to enjoy this stunning city at your own pace. Perhaps visit the glorious Uffizi Gallery, with its 1,700 masterpieces from artists such as Botticelli, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian and Caravaggio.

With a fifth of the world's Renaissance artwork housed in the city's sprawl of museums and galleries, there is always something to see indoors.Outside, picturesque narrow streets and squares, including the Piazza della Signoria - the people-watching centre of Florence - are only part of the city's charm; the greener areas of Florence are equally stunning. The Giardino Bardini, or 'Bardini Gardens' are a pleasure to visit for a stroll, with their typical Tuscan feel.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Guided City Tour
San Gimignano
Day 6

At leisure

Today is spent at leisure in the stunning Tuscan countryside. With beautiful views and a tranquil atmosphere, our hotel is ideally located for a relaxing day by the pool. Perhaps take advantage of the villa's extensive spa centre, with massage therapies available to guests. Alternatively, should you wish to revisit San Gimignano, a shuttle bus is provided at selected times of the day. Perhaps enjoy lunch in one of the piazzas.

  • Breakfast
  • Free Day
Chianti Wine Tasting
Day 7

The Via Chiantigiana and a wine tasting

Today we take to the Via Chiantigiana, visiting three of the most important villages in the Chianti wine region. Our first stop is Greve, a historic town dominated by the medieval Castle of Montefioralle. Located between Florence and Siena, Greve is a sleepy town surrounded by vineyards and dedicated to producing fantastic local wines. Next, we travel to Panzano, a typical Tuscan village, surrounded by green, vine-laden hills and dotted with farmhouses and picturesque villas. Here, we enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. Finally, we visit Castellina, a former Estruscan town that acted as a Florentine fortress against the Sienese during the 15th century. After our tour, we are treated to a tasting of delicious Chianti wines.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
  • Wine-tasting
Day 8


Siena is our destination today, where we enjoy a guided city tour before free time to explore. The medieval city of Siena is remarkably well preserved and boasts a mix of narrow streets, pretty open spaces and magnificent buildings focused around the great central Campo, the shell-shaped piazza. The delightful city is car-free, making it the perfect place to explore on foot. Walking among the terracotta-roofed houses, you will often come across secret squares and hidden back streets, discovering countless small fountains outside tiny community churches. Sights of interest in Siena include the magnificent Duomo, one of Italy's great cathedrals with a nave flanked on both sides by intriguing giant striped columns, constructed from black and white marble. During your free time here, you may wish to visit Siena's most famous museum, the Museo Civico; elaborate frescoes adorn the walls, depicting scenes from Siena's rich history, the personifications of Justice, Wisdom, Virtue and Peace stand poignantly next to the allegories of good and bad government. Once a reminder of civic duty to the bickering Sienese aristocracy, they are now considered to be some of the most important secular paintings of the Renaissance.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Guided City Tour
Days 9-10

To Turin

Today we transfer by coach to Florence, where we take a train to Turin. On Day 10 we travel home to London via Paris.

  • Day 9 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 10 - Breakfast, Eurostar meal

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.


Get in touch with one of our Travel Specialists

Helping you plan your holiday...

Phil Conde
Kathryn Cambridge
Julie Longfield
James Eaton



Sign up for our free newsletter

Order Brochures Contact Us View Shortlist 0