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Highlights of Tuscany

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4.1 stars(87 reviews)
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Small Group

Discover the colours and flavours of Tuscany

You are viewing the 2023 itinerary. Select your departure year
20232024
10 days From £1,695 per person
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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
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

Inclusive Luggage Upgrade
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Reviews

4.1 stars4.1 / 5 · 87 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (35)
  2. 4 stars
    (34)
  3. 3 stars
    (11)
  4. 2 stars
    (4)
  5. 1 star
    (3)

Linda

5 stars

Submitted 7/Jun

The countryside of Tuscany is beautiful. The rail trips to Pisa, Lucca, and Florence from our base in Montecatini Terme were well organised. Our first hotel in Turin was fabulous, the NH Lingotto Congress, go up to the test track on the roof where the mini cars raced in The Italian Job. Coach visits to Sienna and San Gimignano were great. One of the highlights was the wine tasting at Castello Di Verrazzano. The hotel in Montecatini Terme was OK, but not really 4 star, I'm not sure why this hotel was chosen when there are many others in the town. Our return hotel in Nice was OK for an overnight stop, breakfast in the roof restaurant was amazing. The services of our tour manager was excellent. The guides in Sienna and Pisa were excellent, the one in Florence less so. You need to be fairly fit for this tour, but we can thoroughly recommend it.

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Malcolm Wain

5 stars

Submitted 7/Jun

Well planned, excellently managed tour.

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Dr Arthur Nicholson

4 stars

Submitted 7/Jun

A very good trip apart from Florence and the last evening's restaurant. The tour manager, Keith , was very good.

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Keith Roberts

4 stars

Submitted 7/Jun

Tuscany is a great place to visit and trains are a great way to do it. The Turin hotel was an exemplar, I suggest you find better hotels closer to stations in Tuscany and South of France.

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John Broughton

4 stars

Submitted 5/Jun

Excellent Trip, well organised and a great way to see the world and visit different places.

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David Guest

4 stars

Submitted 2/Jun

An enjoyable holiday but there are some issues that require attention. On the positive side, the trains were clean, spacious and generally on time. The hotels in Turin and Nice were very good. The excursions were excellent. The tour manager, Stuart, was attentive and well-organised. Luggage service was excellent. On the negative side, the hotel in Montecatini was only average. Breakfast was very bland and unappealing - requires higher quality and more fresh ingredients. Our room at the front of the hotel was noisy with continual comings and goings of residents for one night. Also coach drivers leaving their engines running and noisy bottle recycling before 7 a.m. (but not every day). The hot water was generally only warm and just hot occasionally at times of lower demand. We also had a problem with drain smells from the toilet and complained on arrival. The situation improved a bit but then deteriorated so we complained again and there was again some improvement. Finally the meal in the restaurant at Nice was sub-standard. I was not expecting so much pizza and pasta - we had just come from Italy! The beef stew was very un-French! The service was poor and we felt like a nuisance rather than valued customers.

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