Timelessly alluring, for many Tuscany embodies the very best of Italy. Striped with vineyards and olive groves, the viridian landscapes are impossibly picturesque and wonderfully fertile; in Tuscany’s ancient towns, galleries and churches are bursting with fine Renaissance art. From the mist-draped hills of the countryside and the extraordinary traditional cuisine, to the memorable skylines of its medieval cities and wealth of artistic masterpieces, the region is an embarrassment of riches.
based on two sharing in a twin/double room, with a minimum of 35 passengers travelling in a specific month
March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November
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Florence is undisputedly the star of Tuscany, and the city’s bold terracotta Duomo defines one of the most iconic skylines in all of Italy. The city may be small but with so much treasure packed into the Renaissance palaces, wonderful churches and incredible galleries it really takes some exploring. The world-renowned Uffizi Gallery is home to such treasures as Michaelangelo’s David and Botticelli’s Adoration of the Magi amongst many other priceless pieces. One of Florence’s other pleasures is its cuisine: fiorentina dishes celebrate the best produce found in the region.
Stunning Siena is the embodiment of a beautiful Gothic city. Siena’s maze of medieval streets snake away from its central piazza, which fans out like a scallop shell; its dramatic cathedral wears its eyecatching stripes boldly both inside and out, and at every twist and turn towers soar into the skies. Despite having an incredible collection of unmissable art works within these ancient walls, Siena is no museum: this vibrant city buzzes with characterful restaurants, divine pastry shops and colourful boutiques.
The teetering towers of San Gimignano rise strikingly from the green, pastoral landscape. This walled Estruscan town is one of the most photogenic in Tuscany, and beyond the torres and winding medieval streets it has incredible frescoes in its beautiful churches.
Famed for its rejuvenating thermal waters, this spa town has been a firm favourite with the rich and famous for an age; you can follow suit and soak your troubles away in one of the many health spas on offer. You could also take the funicular railway to the hilltop village of Montecatini Alto, where you’ll be spoilt for choice with exquisite churches, an art academy containing 150 marvellous works, and unrivalled views of the landscape.
With its imposing 16th century ramparts still wrapped around the compact village, this Tuscan town wears its air of uniqueness with fierce pride – it was an independent city-state until the mid-1800s. A jewel of medieval architecture, the town emanates charm and history. Highlights include Puccini’s House, the Cathedral, and the Palazzo Pfanner, which has a wonderful Italian-style garden and a house with 18th century frescoes in monumental halls.
Exploring of one of Italy’s most iconic UNESCO World Heritage Sites, you’ll see more than just the famous Leaning Tower. Marvel at the wonderfully preserved Romanesque architecture, scenic piazzas and Gothic churches that abound in this town. With plenty of eateries and bars, you’ll have the chance to sample the delicious cecina – a savoury local delicacy made from chickpea flour.
Hand picked destinations
Timelessly alluring, for many Tuscany embodies the very best of Italy. The southern part of the region is a medieval treasure trove, with its ancient towns, galleries and churches bursting with fine Renaissance art.
Take in the sweeping panoramic vistas of Umbria, and you’ll immediately see why it’s known as the green heart of Italy. The densely wooded hills of this rustic, landlocked region are studded with medieval hill towns which guard historic and artistic treasures.
The five idyllic coastal villages that make up the Cinque Terre, or ‘Five Lands’, are nestled amongst the dramatic cliff edge that defines this area of Italy, best explored by the 19th century railway line that runs between them.
Istria, found in Croatia’s far north, slices into the sparkling blue of the Adriatic Sea. Characterised by miles of coastline and a richly rural interior, this region has its own unique identity and is known as the ‘Tuscany of Croatia’.