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Highlights of Tuscany

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4.6 stars(14 reviews)
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Small Group

Discover the colours and flavours of Tuscany

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
20212022
10 days From £1,795 per person

2022 Tour code: TUS22

About the tour

Discover the colours and flavours of this region on a holiday that highlights the true beauty of Tuscany. 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 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, where we stay for seven nights. The 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 with 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's a number of wonderful spas you could spend some time in. The extravagant 18th century Tettuccio Terme spa is worth a visit, not only for its healing waters but for its beautiful Liberty architecture, marble-lined pools, 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 - San Gimignano and Chianti

Today takes us into the Tuscan countryside, through ochre-coloured hills and past secluded farmhouses. We arrive in San Gimignano, a walled village known for its thirteen towers, where you have some free time to explore. This afternoon we venture to Castello di Verrazzano. The castle is located in the Chianti region, nestled on top of a hill overlooking the lush countryside. We enjoy a guided tour of the gardens and historic aging cellar before a tasting of the wines for which the area is famous. After, we settle down for dinner using the best of local Tuscan produce.

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. We see the iconic Leaning Tower, renowned around the world for its jaunty angle, as well as the striking white marble Romanesque Duomo.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 6 - Florence

We travel by rail to the beautiful city of 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; 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 7 – Montecatini Terme

Today is spent exploring Montecatini Terme at your own pace, or perhaps relaxing in the comfort of your hotel. 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 mouthwatering, 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 truffle foraged from the surrounding countryside.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 8 – Siena

We travel 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, perhaps to sample some of the cured meats and cheeses that are popular in the city. Opt for Siena's most iconic cheese, pecorino, alongside finocchiona, a delicious local salami made with fennel.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 - Nice

Bidding farewell to Montecatini Terme, we transfer to Viareggio for a rail journey along the stunning coast. We take in the truly beautiful scenery that passes by the train's windows on the way to the French city of Nice, on the sparkling Côte d'Azur. We spend the night here in a local hotel.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 – London

Our holiday comes to an end today 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

Please note

This tour also has Standard Class departures available, as well as a fly home option. If you return by air your tour will end on Day 9, when you transfer to Pisa airport for your flight to London.

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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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 by Rail 2022

Europe by Rail 2022

The definitive guide to our 2022 summer rail holidays to a wide range of destinations in Europe. When ordering for postal delivery, you will only receive our collection of European holidays. If you are interested in UK holidays, these are available on the website.

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Discover the colours and flavours of Tuscany

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