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Highlights of Tuscany

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4.0 stars(68 reviews)
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Small Group

Discover the colours and flavours of Tuscany

10 days From £1,895 £1,745 per person
Booking Offer

Save £150pp on your Europe 2023 holiday when you book between 16th November 2022 and midnight 12th December 2022, for departure dates between 1st April 2023 and 31st October 2023.

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2023 Tour code: TUS23

About the tour

Discover the colours and flavours of Tuscany on a holiday that highlights the true beauty of the region. Explore terracotta hill towns, linked by winding roads lined with cypress trees, discover great Renaissance cities, sip wine in Chianti and take in the views of stunning Lucca with a gentle bike ride.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – London and Turin

We meet at London St Pancras, where we take the Eurostar service to Paris. Changing trains, we continue by rail to Turin where we spend the night. An attractive Italian city filled with Baroque and Renaissance architecture, Turin is a fantastic introduction to the country with its wide boulevards and grand public squares lined with enticing cafés and bars.

Includes
  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Day 2 – Montecatini Terme

Leaving Turin, we continue to Florence by rail. From here, we transfer to Montecatini Terme for seven nights. This picturesque town is nestled amidst glorious Tuscan countryside and is split into two parts. First, there's Montecatini Alto, the oldest part of the town which sits at the top of a hill. There are many delightful buildings dotted along the narrow streets here, together with a choice of pretty pavement cafés and a charming church. Montecatini Alto is connected to the lower part of the town by a funicular railway, which runs late into the evening and offers wonderful views over the valley.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 – Montecatini Terme

Enjoy a free day to get to know Montecatini. The attractive spa town is famous for its thermal waters and there are a number of wonderful spas you could spend some time in. The extravagant 18th-century Tettuccio Terme spa is well worth a visit, not only for its healing waters but for its beautiful Liberty architecture, marble-lined pools and fountains and Art Nouveau tiles. There's also Terme Leopoldine, which is built in the style of a classical temple.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Florence

We travel by rail to beautiful Florence, known as the Jewel of the Renaissance. We enjoy a guided tour of the city's treasures, including the Duomo with its red-tiled dome and the Ponte Vecchio - an elegant 14th-century bridge. Your afternoon is free to explore at your own pace. Labyrinthine streets and quaint city squares are only part of the city's charm as much of the beauty of the city is found indoors, with one fifth of the world's Renaissance art kept and displayed in Florence's galleries, churches and palaces.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Lucca and Pisa

We travel to Lucca, where you have some time to explore. A ride along the ancient ramparts offers up unforgettable views and bike hire is included, with a choice of single, tandem, or four-seater bikes - the perfect way to get to know the city. We enjoy lunch in a local restaurant before continuing to Pisa, where a guided tour introduces us to the famous Field of Miracles. Here, we see the iconic Leaning Tower, renowned for its jaunty angle, as well as the striking white marble Romanesque Duomo.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 6 - San Gimignano and Chianti

An excursion takes us into the Tuscan countryside, travelling through ochre-coloured hills and past secluded farmhouses to arrive in San Gimignano, a walled village known for its thirteen towers. In the afternoon, we venture to Castello di Verrazzano, located in the Chianti region and nestled on top of a hill overlooking the lush countryside. We enjoy a guided tour of the gardens and historic cellar before a tasting of the wines for which the area is famous. Afterwards, we sit down to a dinner made from delicious local produce.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 – Montecatini Terme

Your day is spent exploring Montecatini Terme at your own pace. If you fancy heading out to explore, you could take the funicular railway to Montecatini Alto, the medieval old town. Here, you can admire views across the Tuscan hills and stroll amongst the townhouses, churches and town walls before choosing a café in which to enjoy lunch. Typical Tuscan cuisine is humble yet mouth-watering, with simple dishes executed exceptionally well. Try crostini di fegato, warm bread topped with chicken liver pate, or pasta finished with olive oil and shaved truffles foraged from the surrounding countryside.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 8 – Siena

We make our way to medieval Siena, a charismatic Tuscan city where a labyrinth of narrow streets open out onto charming piazzas. The Duomo here is one of Italy's most magnificent, boasting statues by Donatello and Michelangelo, as well as an elaborate mosaic floor. The city's most famous sight, however, is the incredible Piazza del Campo - a grand, shell-shaped piazza that's regarded as one of the continent's best medieval squares. We discover the sights on a guided tour before some free time, during which you can sample some of the cured meats and cheeses that are popular here. Opt for Siena's most iconic cheese, pecorino, alongside finocchiona, a delicious local salami made with fennel.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 - The Côte d'Azur

Bidding farewell to Montecatini Terme, we transfer to Viareggio for a rail journey along the stunning coastline. We take in the beautiful scenery that passes by our train's windows on the way to southern France. We spend the night here in a local hotel, enjoying a final dinner together.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 – London

Our holiday comes to an end as we board the train for Paris. In the French capital, we change for the Eurostar, which takes us back to London St Pancras.

Includes
  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal

Additional information

- Travel Options

We offer a Standard Class and First Class rail options for departures on this tour. You can find out which class each departure is by clicking on the information button in the pricing grid.

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.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotel

Grand Hotel Francia e Quirinale, Montecatini Terme

Grand Hotel Francia e Quirinale, Montecatini Terme

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Trains

Eurostar
Frecciargento
Frecciarossa
TGV
Trenitalia

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Upgrades

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London Hotels
UK rail connections

Reviews

4.0 stars4.0 / 5 · 68 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (25)
  2. 4 stars
    (26)
  3. 3 stars
    (10)
  4. 2 stars
    (4)
  5. 1 star
    (3)

B Hughes

4 stars

Submitted 25/Oct

Good accomodation and great sights. Train travel was good and issues were handled successfully and expeditiously. Kate is an excellent tour manager.

Collected by Trustpilot

J Richardson

3 stars

Submitted 25/Oct

Food poor at hotel and rather noisy if at front of it. A couple of things were no exactly as described but nothing major. Rest of it was varied, well planned , enjoyable and very well managed and organised.

Collected by Trustpilot

Brian

5 stars

Submitted 20/Oct

GRJ came up tops when our Eurostar from London was delayed making it impossible to get our connecting train to Turin. While we travelled to Paris, they organised seats on another train to Lyon, booked rooms in a different hotel for the night, next morning we were on our way to Italy and arrived in Florence on time to enjoy the rest of our holiday.

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Angela

3 stars

Submitted 17/Oct

A mixed experience. Some very enjoyable visits and the Eurostar and TGV journeys were great. Also some disappointments, such as the limited food choices and final hotel.

Collected by Trustpilot

proxon

3 stars

Submitted 17/Oct

Tour guide 10/10: Talked to us individually, daily plans always worked, dealt with emergencies and food allergies competently Montecatini Hotel evening meals bland not Italian ( main reason for knocking off two stars) Train journeys good except for hot local train viareggio to Genoa

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Lynnette

3 stars

Submitted 14/Oct

The holiday started extremely well, we were very impressed with the standard of the Turin hotel (the Hotel Concord) and with the wonderful food at the local restaurant. Everything we had hoped for in what is quite an expensive holiday. However, we weren't so delighted with the Hotel in Montecatini, the Grand Hotel Francia & Quirinale. Our room overlooked a derelict hotel with empty pool, which in itself wasnt so bad, and not the fault of the hotel, but the bath was very narrow based and high sided, not at all suitable for older geusts. The housekeeping was very good, our room was cleaned and remade daily to a very good standard. However, our main criticism has to be the food we were given. Whilst breakfast was ok, the evening meals were not good. Most felt they were similar to the standard of school meals! Everything was bland, with very little fresh fruit and vegetables. We had travelled to Italy, where the food generally is wonderful, but were given an Anglicised version of most things, done badly. A bit of fresh pasta and salad would have been wonderful! Vanilla ice cream is not acceptable as a dessert every night. Our tour guide was excellent, and did try to deal with our concerns for us. The visits to Lucca, Siena, and Pisa were excellent, with wonderfully informative and amusing guides. The wine tasting and meal at a chianti vineyard was also an unmissable experience. Florence was however, disappointing - the guide marched our group around, we had no opportunity to enter any buildings (churches here have some wonderful artworks and are totally free), and by the time we reached the Ponte Veccio, most had already left the tour to explore by themselves. It was unfortunate too, that having been advised to book our own entry to the two major art galleries, the daily itinerary was altered so that unless we were able to travel ourselves back to Florence on one of the two rest days, the tickets were useless. The local guide was hampered unfortunately, by audio that wasn't working, and kept cutting out, meaning what she was telling us made little sense. I question whether the hotel in Nice was suitable for a group of older guests? There was one lift, that carried only two people at a time, whilst the rooms were up several flights of steep stairs. The staff did do their best to help, by offering to carry up our cases, but it was less time consuming to do it ourselves. The rooms were acceptable, though very small, the bathrooms less so - small would be an understatement! The toilet extended in front of the shower, and was soaked when someone used the shower. The shower itself was so small, it was impossible to turn round in it! Overall, we did enjoy the holiday, but after the wonderful start in Turin, found the accomodation thereafter to be disappointing. The outings were very enjoyable, if somewhat tiring, with lots of walking, and possibly it should be made clearer that the level of fitness required was quite high.

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Discover the colours and flavours of Tuscany

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