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Florence, Pisa and the Cinque Terre

Overview

Travel by Coach Days
  • Relax in stunning Montecatini, one of Italy’s finest spa towns
  • Discover ancient Pisa and Lucca, boasting incredible historical sights
  • Uncover Florence’s magnificent cultural attractions
  • Admire the Cinque Terre’s colourful fishing villages
  • Settle in to your hotel with a complimentary welcome drink

Tuscany, with its rich landscape, intriguing history and laidback atmosphere is one of Italy’s best places to visit, and during this holiday we’ll be able to explore many of the cities, towns and villages in this part of Italy. We’ll be based at the Grand Hotel Plaza, from which we’ll get to enjoy a range of included and optional excursions.

Our first included excursion will be to the towns of Pisa and Lucca, where we’ll find a collection of splendid attractions to keep us busy. Pisa is famous for its leaning tower, but there’s much more to this city besides this. In Lucca, we’ll discover ancient city walls and lots of interesting museums.

We’ll also enjoy a full day excursion by train to Florence, so we can admire the scenery and enjoy a relaxing journey to the birthplace of the renaissance, where we’ll find stunning architecture and magical cityscapes.

Our tour is complete with a visit to the Cinque Terre, a coastline running through five villages on the Italian Riviera and, interspersed between all of this, a range of optional excursions we’ll be able to go on to enjoy even more of this amazing region.


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This Holiday is Great For

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Itinerary

Day One - UK to Northern France
Relax aboard your Grand Tourer coach as we cross to Calais then head on to Northern France for an overnight stay.

Day Two - Northern France to Annecy Area
Today we’ll continue our journey southwards to the pretty Annecy area for dinner and an overnight stay. (B,D)

Day Three - Annecy Area to Montecatini
Today we will continue our travels to Montecatini, where we’ll settle into the comfortable Grand Hotel Plaza. (B,D)

Days Four to Nine - Montecatini 

Relax in Montecatini, enjoying three included excursions and exploring this beautiful town at leisure. We’ll make our way to Pisa and Lucca, along with taking the train to Florence, and enjoying a scenic tour of the stunning Cinque Terre. (B,D)

Day Ten - Montecatini to Lyon

We’ll say goodbye to Montecatini today, as we travel northwards for dinner and an overnight stay in the city of Lyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (B,D)

Day Eleven - Lyon to Northern France

Continuing our journey, we’ll travel through France to reach our hotel for dinner and an overnight stay. (B,D)

Day Twelve - Northern France to UK

Today we head to Calais, enjoy our voyage across to Dover, and then continue home. (B)
 

Extras included on this holiday

Tuscan Dinner

Enjoy a traditional Tuscan dinner on one evening at your hotel. 

Welcome drink on arrival

Enjoy a welcome drink on arrival.

Welcome drink on arrival

Enjoy a welcome drink on arrival.

Grand Hotel Plaza

The beautiful town of Montecatini Terme is famous the world over for its natural springs and a number of spas were established in the late 18th century still exist today. 

The Grand Plaza is located right in the middle of the town looking out over the main square and has been one of the towns main hotels for many years. It is even said that while staying here in the late 19th century, Verdi completed the opera Othello which premiered in 1887.

It has a restaurant specialising in Tuscan cuisine as well as a swimming pool, Wi Fi and air conditioning. It makes a great base for exploring more into Tuscany or for simply relaxing at the spas that made this town so famous.
 

 


Rooms at this hotel


Hotel Gallery

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The Local Area

Included Excursions

Full Day: Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre is an incredible stretch of coastline on the Italian Riviera, known for being one of the most beautiful in this part of the world. It encompasses five villages in total - Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Admire the colourful harbours and houses along the coastline, unique to the Italian Riviera, and find out more about this picturesque landscape with insight from our experienced tour guide. 

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Full Day: Florence by Train

We’ll make the journey to Florence by train, which will provide us with an opportunity to admire the beautiful Italian scenery as we travel. We’ll then arrive in Florence and will have time to explore the area at leisure, with many different sights awaiting us.

For example, we’ll be able to look forward to seeing such landmarks as Florence Cathedral, the Piazza della Repubblica, the Loggia dei Lanzi, and the Palazzo della Signoria. This city is known for be the home of the renaissance movement, and so we can expect much in the way of beautiful architecture and amazing artwork, as well as lots of history to be found in its many museums.

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Full Day: Pisa and Lucca

The city of Pisa is now synonymous with the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and while this majestic bell tower is a sight for sore eyes, there are also many other things to do and sights to see in Pisa. For example, the city is filled with beautiful churches featuring stunning gothic and Romanesque architecture, such as the Church of St. Sixtus, the Church of San Frediano, the Church of San Nicola and the Church of Santa Maria della Spina. In addition to this, there are also many museums, with the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo and the Museo Nazionale di San Matteo both being well worth a look.

Following our time in Pisa, we’ll travel onwards to the small town of Lucca, which is known for its superbly preserved renaissance walls. They entirely surround the town and are one of the only examples of such walls to be perfectly intact. Here, too, we’ll find lovely churches with old architecture, such as St Martin's Cathedral, San Michele in Foro and the Basilica di San Frediano, as well as an ancient Roman amphitheatre and the National Museum of Villa Guinigi.

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Optional Excursions

Chianti country And wine tasting

Sit back and relax on board our coach as we explore the spectacular scenery. Admire fields filled with vineyards, hidden gems and quaint villages on a scenic drive through the heart of the Chianti Region. 

Chianti is famed for the production of Chianti and Chianti Classico wines. Historically associated with a squat bottle enclosed in a straw basket called a fiasco, today the fiasco is only used by a few winemakers as many Chianti wines are now bottled in standard-shaped wine bottles, but these wines are still absolutely amazing.

After our scenic drive, we’ll pay a visit to Castello di Verrazzano, an impressive winery in the Chianti Classico area. We’ll be guided through the castle gardens and the historical ageing cellars, followed by an excellent wine tasting with three wines, Tuscan bread and cheese.

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Guided walking tour of Lucca

The first thing you’re bound to notice when arriving in Lucca are the ancient town walls, which have been incredibly well preserved. Today, these Renaissance-era walls still surround Lucca’s old town, making it the only town in Italy to still be entirely surrounded by walls.

In Lucca itself, we’ll discover the town’s amazing medieval and Renaissance architecture on our excellent guided walking tour. Our expert guide will take us through the town, showing us the sights. These include the town’s many medieval churches, as well as the impressive Ducal Palace, Lucca’s ancient Roman amphitheatre and the Villa Garzoni. 

There’s so much to see in Lucca that we’re guaranteed to fall in love with this charming town, complete with its cobbled streets and spacious piazzas, where we can soak up its bustling atmosphere. 

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Guided walking tour of Pisa

Visit the famous Italian city of Pisa, perhaps most famous for the Leaning Tower of Pisa. However, this well-known tower is simply one of many beautiful buildings in the city. It’s located on the Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles), where we’ll find the city’s impressive medieval cathedral. Here, we’ll also discover the baptistry and the Camposanto Monumentale (monumental cemetery).

To learn more about this magnificent city, its many attractions and its interesting past, we’ll take a guided walking tour. Our experienced guide will tell us all about Pisa’s heritage, while taking us past some of the city’s most famous attractions. 

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Siena and San Gimignano

No visit to Tuscany would be complete without a trip to the historical cities of Siena and San Gimignano.

The unique town of Siena, where the iconic Palio horse race takes place every year, is one of Italy’s best preserved medieval towns. Built on three hills and surrounded by preserved walls, Siena is filled with fine examples of Gothic architecture. 

We’ll conclude our tour in the stunning town of San Gimignano, a small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena. It’s famously known for its medieval architecture, especially the towers which may be seen for several kilometres. The town’s international symbol is its 14 beautifully preserved towers.

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