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Highlights of Tuscany

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4.6 stars(14 reviews)
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Small Group

Rural Tuscany and Renaissance Splendour

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
20212022
10 days From £2,095 per person
Flexible Booking

Book your 2021 holiday before 31st May and you can transfer your holiday for free - no questions asked. T&C's apply

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2021 Tour code: TUS21

About the tour

Discover the colours and flavours of this region on a holiday that highlights the true beauty of Tuscany. Ochre and terracotta hill towns, linked by winding white roads and pathways lined with cypress trees, contrast with the magnificent architecture of great Renaissance cities.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Days 1-3 - London and Montecatini Terme

After meeting at our London St Pancras Departure Office, we take the Eurostar to Paris, continuing by rail to Turin for the night. On Day 2 we continue to Florence and transfer by coach to Montecatini, where we stay for seven nights. Day 3 is free in Montecatini, an attractive spa town famous for its thermal waters. The extravagant 18th century Tettuccio Terme spa is certainly worth a visit, not only for its healing waters but also for its beautiful Liberty architecture.

Includes
  • Day 1 - Eurostar Meal, Dinner
  • Day 2 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 3 - Breakfast, Dinner
Eurostar
Day 4 - San Gimignano, cookery and wine in Chianti

Today takes us by coach deep into the Tuscan countryside, through undulating ochre-coloured hills and past secluded farmhouses. Our first destination is San Gimignano, a walled village with a charming rural feel. The village is perhaps best known for the thirteen towers which rise up into the skyline. This afternoon we venture to Castello di Meleto for a guided tour. Surrounded by fields and vineyards, the castle is located in the beautiful Chianti region, at the end of a pathway lined with cypress trees and laurel bushes. We enjoy a cookery demonstration using typical Tuscan produce and traditional recipes handed down through the generations, before dinner and a tasting of the wines for which the area is justly famous.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
San Gimignano
Day 5 - Pisa and Lucca

This morning we travel by rail to Lucca, where you have some time to explore. A stroll around the wide walkways along the top of the ancient ramparts is an excellent way to discover the true charm of the city, while you can get a bird's-eye view from the Guinigi Tower, which has an oak tree growing from its top. We enjoy lunch in a local restaurant, before continuing to Pisa, where a guided tour includes the Field of Miracles. We see the renowned Leaning Tower, famous for its jaunty angle, and the white marble Duomo, a superb example of Romanesque architecture.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Pisa
Day 6 - Florence

A short rail journey this morning takes us to the beautiful city of Florence - 'the Jewel of the Renaissance'. We enjoy a guided tour of the city's many treasures, including the Duomo with its iconic red-tiled dome, and the Ponte Vecchio - a 14th-century bridge that is home to 43 jewellers' shops. Your afternoon is free to explore Florence. Labyrinthine streets and squares, including the Piazza della Signoria - the café-packed peoplewatching centre of Florence - are only part of the city's charm; 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 museums, galleries, churches, and palaces.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Florence
Days 7-8 - Montecatini and Siena

Today is free in Montecatini. You could take the funicular railway to Montecatini Alto, the medieval old town atop a hill. Here, you can admire views across the Tuscan hills, and stroll amongst the pretty townhouses, historic churches, and ruined town walls, before choosing a café in which to enjoy lunch.

On Day 8 we travel to medieval Siena. Siena boasts a magnificent Duomo, which is regarded as one of Italy's great cathedrals and boasts statues by Donatello and Michelangelo. The city's most famous sight however, is the Piazza del Campo - a vast, shell-shaped piazza that is regarded as one of the greatest medieval squares on the continent. We enjoy a guided tour before free time to stroll among the terracotta-roofed houses, stumbling across secret squares and hidden back streets, or perhaps sample some local produce. The city is famous for Sienese panforte, a traditional desert similar to Christmas cake, and packed with fruits and nuts. Or, seek out some local cured meats and cheeses, which are best accompanied by a glass of Tuscan wine.

Includes
  • Day 7 - Breakfast
  • Day 8 - Breakfast, Dinner
Siena
Days 9-10 - Montecatini, Nice and London

Leaving Montecatini, we travel by coach to Viareggio for the train to Nice, via Genova, where we spend the night. On Day 10 we take the train to Paris, where we board the Eurostar to London St Pancras.

Includes
  • Day 9 - Breakfast
  • Day 10 - Breakfast, Eurostar Meal
Eurostar

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

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

Inclusive Luggage Upgrade
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Reviews

4.6 stars4.6 / 5 · 14 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (9)
  2. 4 stars
    (5)
  3. 3 stars
    (0)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

Mr F Gamester

5 stars

Submitted 11 Jul 2018

Out of all our tours with Great Rail the company of our fellow travellers was the best we have encountered. A great group of people and many friends made. For the first time in eight tours we have met up with someone we have travelled with before.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr Alan Dolling

5 stars

Submitted 11 Jul 2018

Highlights of Tuscany was a superb holiday made all the better with a first rate tour manager in Lucille Ralph, super travelling partners and a lovely hotel in Montecatini, La Francia & Quirinale, where the staff went above and beyond in enhancing the experience. Special thanks must go to Luigi and his team in the dining room and Roberto serving at the bar.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr M Grazier

5 stars

Submitted 11 Jul 2018

NO COMPLAINTS EXCELLENT TOUR

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs E Pratt

5 stars

Submitted 13 Jun 2018

Despite uncertainties due to the French Rail stikes on both our travel days through France everything went smoothly and there was plasinly a great deal being done behind the scenes to ensure this. Our tour manage conveyed calmness, even when plans were further thwarted by a WW2 bomb in Turin. The tours seemed a bit rushed at times. It would have been nice to spend longer in some of the places we visited. Some of the local tour guides were a bit too informative for our taste

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Ms S Lee

4 stars

Submitted 12 Oct 2017

Overall this was a very lovely holiday experience delivering a wonderful introduction to, and overview of Tuscany, with the right balance of guided & escorted tours and free time to explore. The hotel was well placed in Montecatini Terms, serving very good food and incredibly friendly and helpful staff. The location allowed easy access to the station for some of our day trips, and Montecatini Alto is certainly worth a visit, with stunning views across the Tuscan landscape. All day trips were well organised, good transport, and we were met by local guides to give an overview and interesting introduction to the places we visited, and there was usually enough time for an independent exploration following the guided tour. Late September is one of the busiest in the tourist season, Florence, Sienna and Pisa were absolutely packed with people, you have to expect long queues and waiting times everywhere.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr J Moore

4 stars

Submitted 11 Oct 2017

Although a large group of people they were all very friendly and the tour was organised superbly by Sharon, the only criticism would be the very long day on the coach when we left the hotel around 10.00 and didn't arrive back until 11.00pm

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

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Europe & UK by Rail 2021

Europe & UK by Rail 2021

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Rural Tuscany and Renaissance Splendour

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