Tour Highlights, Suggested Stops & Further Info
A vibrant beautiful city famous for it’s art galleries which house some of the best Renaissance art in the world. Admire Michelangelo’s “David” at the Galleria dell’Accademia or be transfixed by the great Renaissance artists; Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael & Titian at the Galleria degli Uffizi.
In addition to immersing yourself in the art & history of the city, we suggest a guided tour to savour the fantastic Florentine flavours. Our recommended local tour provider offer a rewarding small group walking tour to gain insight into the best local food stores, restaurants, and wine bars in Florence and to sample delicious local fare on route, including earthy truffles and artisan chocolate.
The tour begins at a delightful food store specialising in earthy truffles, where you’ll enjoy a glass of Prosecco with a truffle panini. An artisan chocolate tasting is next, followed by a visit to a local olive oil boutique. Owner Andrea will engage you with a balsamic vinegar and olive oil tasting and enlighten you about the virtues of unctuous extra virgin olive oil.
As the tour continues, you will learn about the history of Florence’s local and regional cuisines while exploring the city’s small alleyways and walking through charming local suburbs. Along the way you’ll be indulged further with tastings of ‘the best gelato in town’ and then partake in a glass of chianti while nibbling on tasty focaccia bread.
No trip to Florence is complete without an evening stroll (or passeggiata) over the Ponte Vecchio. The old bridge was until the early 1200’s the only bridge across the River Arno, which was built near to the site of the old Roman crossing. Today’s bridge was rebuilt in 1345 after the old bridge was destroyed by a flood. Following the construction in 1565 of the Vasari Corridor, built to link the Palazzo Vecchio to the Palazzo Pitti (the historic Town Hall and the chief residence of the ruling Medici family), the Medici Grand Dukes prohibited butchers, who had monopolised the stores along the bridge, from selling on the bridge to help remove the rotten stench and enforce the prestige of the bridge. Goldsmiths and gold merchants quickly moved in and today the present tenants are jewelers, art dealers and souvenir sellers.
The Hotel is located in the most ancient part of the historic centre of Florence, in a lively promenade where the majority of Florence’s museum and monuments are surrounded by typical Tuscan restaurants, Italian fashion designer stores and traditional street markets. The Cathedral, the Uffizi Gallery and Ponte Vecchio are just a short 5 minutes’ walk away, at a distance ranging from 70 and 400 meters from the hotel.
All rooms are decorated in antique Florentine styling with soothing cherry wood furniture, glass chandeliers, stucco ceilings, prestigious window drapes and refined linens covering large and comfortable King Size beds.
Siena is a compact, picturesque, well-preserved, walled medieval city, rich in culture, historic architecture & artistic treasures, and deserves a stay of a few nights to fully appreciate its beauty and history.
The city centre is famous for the Piazza del Campo, one of the biggest medieval squares in the world and has an unmistakable peculiar shell-shape. Every year on 2nd July and 16th August the famous (and highly competitive horse race) Palio di Siena takes place here, bringing many parades and costumed revellers. The piazza is the center of life in Siena, being an active market and a place where the Sienese gather for important political events, parties and celebrations.
For those who are not afraid of heights, you might want to venture up the 88 meters (400 steps!) of the Torre del Mangia to experience the wonderful view. From here the sight is truly breathtaking, you can see all of Siena, the Piazza del Campo, the Cathedral and further & beyond to the hills.
Siena is home to a wealth of wonderful flavours and tastes from wild boar pappardelle pasta to the local sausages and cheeses, and is the perfect base to explore the nearby wine regions of Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vernaccia di San Gimignano. Accompanied day tours of each of these regions can be arranged with our recommended local tour provider who offer rewarding small group tours to their favourite wineries including vineyard & cellar visits, stops at local artisan food producers and a leisurely Tuscan lunch accompanied of course with the local wines.
The Athena Hotel in Siena, stands in the heart of the old town centre inside the ancient city walls. It is ideally located for reaching Piazza del Campo and the Cathedral, just a few minutes’ walk away.
The Hotel offers a wide range of 4* hotel services and a splendid view of the surrounding countryside characterized by its gently rolling hills and the profile of cypress trees and old farmhouses which add touches of colour to the skyline.
The hotel benefits from private parking facilities.
Standard Room – located on the ground floor, this elegant en suite room and equipped with all the comfort comes with bath tub or shower and a big double bed or 2 twins. Room Size: 16 m².
Deluxe Room – located on the top floors of the hotel. Built in a traditional style, this room has a traditional Tuscan design features elegant décor and offers panoramic views over the Tuscan hills or balcony overlooking the city of Siena’s rooftops.
Executive Room – spacious and comfortable, featuring a sleek contemporary style that meets the needs of a traveler attentive to the details. This room has a double bed plus a sofa or armchair. Stylish bathroom with a bathtub. These elegant rooms are also equipped with a large work desk, LCD TV with Mediaset Premium and a Wi-Fi completely free of charge. Room size: 25 m².
Lucca’s historic centre inside the medieval walls remains a tranquil oasis away from the modern world. The town centre is a peaceful pedestrianised zone with fantastic restaurants, cafes and artisan food stores, many of which have been in the same families for generations.
It’s a deeply conservative city, where some locals can proudly trace their lineage back to the Etruscans, who founded Lucca before the Romans took over in about 180 B.C. Indeed some Luccans believe that they’re Etruscans, not Romans!
Enjoy a stroll around the tree lined medieval walls surrounding the town’s ancient centre or wonder at the notable facade of the Roman Catholic basilica Church of the San Michele originally built over the site of the ancient Roman forum.
Restaurant suggestion – La Buca di Sant’Antonio, one of the city’s most celebrated restaurants, whose specialties include feather light ravioli with ricotta and zucchini, pappardelle in wild game sauce and a semi-sweet chestnut flour cake.
A large superior modern 4 star hotel set in an ancient building from 1540. The hotel, which has 4 floors with 17 Junior Suites, 3 Suites, 4 doubles and 2 singles, is well sought-after for its elegant furnishings, technology and offering maximum comfort.
The hotel is situated inside the walls of Lucca in the ancient town centre. It is a brief distance from the shopping district and provides safe & secure parking.