Door 2 Tour

Coach Holidays, Escorted Tours & Events

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Monday - Friday 9am to 5pm

Florence, Assisi And The Highlights Of Tuscany

Europe
  • Duration: 8 days
  • Board Basis: Half Board
  • Tour Ref: D2TOME8298

Holiday Summary

  • Travel Type: Air

8 days

Europe 2018

PRICE FROM ? £789 per person
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Itinerary

Description

You don’t need to be a rock star celeb or a certain ex-prime minister to love Tuscany. It’s the home of Chianti vineyards, fine cuisine, Roman villas, Renaissance castles and cypress-studded landscapes that look like film sets. On this break we’ll visit the Tuscan capital, Florence, treasure house of the world’s most famous works of art; we'll also go to medieval Siena, one of Italy’s most visited attractions, San Gimignano, an outstanding medieval town and major UNESCO site, plus an outing to Assisi and Lake Trasimeno.

Air Itinerary

Friday: Make your way to the airport for your flight. On arrival we will transfer you to your hotel in the Chianciano area for check in before dinner and the first of seven nights' stay.

Saturday: After breakfast, the day is at leisure until dinner. Chianciano Terme is a spa resort celebrated since Etruscan times for its mineral waters and today considered one of the best health resorts in Italy, with lots of opportunities for swimming, saunas and massages. You'll enjoy wandering round the old quarter, and Chianciano's parks make a pleasant walk too. Worth visiting are the Archaeology Museum, with four floors of Etruscan exhibits, while the Museum of Art has earned excellent write-ups in newspapers such as the New York Times with its fine collection of works by Tiepolo, Veronese, Goya, Piranesi and Rembrandt, and more modern works by Damien Hirst, Munch, Magritte and Dalì, among many others.

Sunday: This morning we head to the capital of Tuscany. Ranked by Forbes Magazine as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Florence (Firenze, lit. ‘the flowering’) is a medieval masterpiece of piazzas, churches and palaces. This is where the Renaissance began, the first bankers set up their benches (banca: bench) on the Ponte Vecchio, and the Medicis used their fabulous wealth to create enormous art collections now housed at the Palazzo Pitti (Leonardo, Rubens, Caravaggio...), the Uffizi (Botticelli’s Birth of Venus) and the Galleria of the Accademia di Belle Arti (Michelangelo’s David, and now Stradivarius violins). We return to the hotel by coach in the late afternoon.

Monday: The day is at leisure until dinner.

Tuesday:  Today we embark on our next excursion, stopping first in San Gimignano, renamed in 450AD in honour of Bishop Geminianus, who had managed to prevent the town from being destroyed by Attila the Hun. This photogenic, walled medieval hilltop town continued to have an astonishing run of luck through centuries of regional wars, largely escaping damage and so remaining uniquely well preserved. In the afternoon we continue to the lovely city of Siena. The shell-shaped Piazza del Campo is one of the best medieval squares in Europe, famous for its beautiful period architecture and also for the bi-annual Palio di Siena horse race, which featured prominently in the James Bond film Quantum of Solace. In the Piazza is the Palazzo Pubblico art museum with its Torre del Mangia (Eater's Tower, bizarrely named for its first bellringer who had the nickname Mangiaguadagni or Profit Eater). It was one of the tallest secular towers in medieval Italy, built deliberately to the same height as the cathedral to avoid implying that the church was more important than the state, and is so famous it has inspired the building of near replicas in Spain and the USA, as well as Birmingham and Grimsby in the UK.


Other things to see are the Gothic Piazza Salimbeni, featuring one of the oldest banks in the world, the Palazzo Chigi-Saracini, now the home of Siena's music conservatory, and especially the magnificent 14th-century cathedral, with its elaborate marble floors, frescoes by Ghirlandaio and sculptures by Donatello.

Wednesday: A day at leisure, and perhaps an opportunity to do some last-minute souvenir hunting.

Thursday: Today we visit Assisi, UNESCO World Heritage Site and birth and resting place of Italy's patron and one of the world's most famous saints. The town is full of beautifully-preserved medieval houses clustering around a hillside and dominated by the huge and magnificent 13th-century Basilica, built in honour of St Francis and containing authentic frescoes by Giotto. In the central square, nestling among the grand official palazzi, is a genuine 1st century BC Roman temple, thought to be dedicated to Minerva but possibly to Hercules, with its six Corinthian columns and pediment intact, but with a 17th-century church built inside. There is part of a Roman amphitheatre here, two medieval castles and several ancient churches, and a spectacular view of the countryside all around.

In the afternoon we continue on to Lake Trasimeno, a gorgeous but surprisingly shallow large inland lake near the city of Perugia. The lake shore is studded with medieval towns, villages and castles and surrounded by low hills, olive groves and vineyards. Anyone who had to study Latin at school may recall that this lake was the scene of a famous victory by Hannibal, who hid his troops at the north end and then jumped out on the Romans in what has been called history's greatest ambush. No clear evidence of this one-sided battle remains, but there are two locations close by with the names 'Ossaia' and 'Sanguineto', which could be loosely translated as 'Boneyard' and 'Bloodbath'. On a more serene note, the area is today a prized wetland haven for many bird species. We stop at the medieval walled town of Castiglione del Lago, great for shopping but also for the Corgna Palace and Lion Fortress, with towers, secret passages and panoramic views (entry 5€pp). We return to the hotel in time for dinner.

Friday: After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Please note the order of excursions is subject to change.

Air Bullets

  • Return flights to Rome
  • Airport taxes and luggage allowance (one piece of checked-in hold luggage per person)
  • Airport transfers in Italy
  • 7 nights dinner, bed and breakfast at our selected hotel in Chianciano Terme
  • Excursions to Florence, Siena, San Gimignano, Assisi & Lake Trasimeno
  • Services of an English-speaking representative and excursion guide

Search Bullets

  • 7 nights dinner, bed and breakfast at our selected hotel in Chianciano Terme
  • Excursions to Florence, Siena, San Gimignano, Assisi & Lake Trasimeno
  • Services of an English-speaking representative and excursion guide

Search Results Air

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Flight Information

*Air holiday prices are correct at the time of publication but are subject to fluctuation and availability. Other regional airports may be available and the final price will depend on your chosen airport, airline and flight time. This will be advised at the time of booking.

One piece of checked-in hold luggage PER PERSON is included however; the weight allowance does vary between airlines. Please ask for details.

Hotel transfers may be in shared vehicles. You may also have to await passengers arriving on other flights; for your convenience we will do our utmost to keep the waiting time to a minimum.

Holiday operated by Omega Holidays under ATOL No.6081

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