|5 days and 4 nights|
Italy (Florence, Pisa, Lucca, Siena, San Gimignano)
Italy (Rome, Florence, Pisa)
Day 1 Montecatini Terme / Florence
Arrival in afternoon. Check-in at your hotel. Dinner and overnight stay in Montecatini Terme / Florence.
Day 2 Florence
A full day dedicated to the romantic Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance. We will have a guided tour of Florence covering some of the city’s rich history as we pass famous landmarks like the beautiful Piazza della Signoria, the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza Santa Croce. The rest of the day is at your leisure for lunch and self-exploration. See other important sites like the Uffizi Gallery, one of the most famous and important art museums in the world, the Accademia Gallery to see some of Michelangelo’s works including the famous Statue of David, the Bargello museum, or the Pitti Palace and Boboli gardens, a 16th century sculpture garden. As well as often being referred to as one of the most beautiful cities in the world and named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s a great place to indulge in a spot of shopping, so see if you can pick up a bargain among the side streets and markets. Return for dinner and overnight in Montecatini Terme / Florence
Day 3 Pisa, Lucca
In the morning we will visit Pisa, former maritime republic, rivalling Genova, Amalfi and Venice. Most of the city’s finest buildings date from the 12th and 13th century, when Pisa controlled Corsica, Sardinia and most of the mainland coast. Since the 15th century the city was governed by Florence, whose Medici rulers re-established the University of Pisa, where Galileo, Pisa’s most famous native, once taught. In the Piazza dei Miracoli we will find the most important monuments: the Cathedral, a masterpiece of Pisan Romanesque architecture, the Baptistery, the largest in Italy with excellent acoustics that are demonstrated every half-hour, the Monumental Cemetery and, of course, the world-famous Leaning Tower. It took 176 years to complete and began to lean shortly after construction. We continue on to the elegant city of Lucca completely enclosed by a massive well-preserved wall wide enough to hold small parks and a pedestrian path along the top. We will walk through medieval alleys, Baroque palaces and typical antique dealers street to see the Cathedral, the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro and the Piazza Napoleone then will climb the Guinigi Tower which has an ancient oak tree growing on top. Don’t forget to try the local Bucellato – a sweet bread filled with raisins and aniseed. Return for dinner and overnight stay in Montecatini Terme / Florence.
Day 4 Siena, San Gimignano
We head to the historic city of Siena, built on the hills in the middle of the pilgrimage road Via Francigena. Our guide will lead you through the city’s history and local culture strolling the streets lined with medieval and Renaissance palaces to the Piazza del Campo, unusually formed in a half-moon shape, where the famous Palio horse race is held twice a year. We will visit the outstanding cathedral, one of Italy’s greatest, a masterpiece of Italian Romanesque-Gothic architecture. Built in black and white marble it has fine and intricate carvings by Giovanni Pisano and boasts works by Donatello, Pinturicchio, Nicola Pisano, Bernini, Michelangelo and others. During the afternoon you are free to explore as you wish the town, or just enjoy a coffee in the main square watching the world go by. We will travel through the Tuscan countryside to reach the walled town of San Gimignano, whose stunning skyline of towers is seen from afar, evoking the medieval Tuscany perhaps better than anywhere else in the province. From the originally 72 towers built by rival nobles during the 13th century, only 13 are left today. We will wander through its cobbled streets and stop in the main squares, Piazza della Cisterna and Piazza del Duomo. You will have some free time, so you may visit the church called La Collegiata, as well as the civic museum. You may also climb the big tower, see the fortress and the unusual torture museum, enjoy the great shopping on the San Giovanni and San Matteo streets or simply absorb the fascinating medieval atmosphere of the town. Return for dinner and overnight stay in Montecatini Terme / Florence.
Day 5 Montecatini Terme / Florence
Breakfast and departure for return journey. End of our services.
Accommodation, depending on your option, in good 4* hotels centrally located or 3* not centrally located hotels, double occupancy rooms, as described:
4 night accommodation in hotel in Montecatini Terme or Florence on a half-board basis, drinks not included
Local English speaking guides in Pisa, Lucca, Florence, Siena, San Gimignano. Other languages are available on request.
Entrance to the Cathedral in Pisa, Cathedral in Siena, Guinigi Tower and Cathedral in Lucca
Bus GT for the entire tour with arrival and departure from Rome / Pisa / Florence airport, including all expenses (check point and parking fees, board and lodging for driver)