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Tuscany embodies the very essence of Italy – centuries of heritage, exquisite art and architecture, beautiful scenery, an enviable climate, great food and wine – and so much more. Florence, together with lesser-known gems such as Lucca and San Gimignano, offer perfectly preserved architecture and artistic treasures. You’ll also experience extraordinary San Gimignano, a superbly preserved enclave famous for its immense stone towers and dramatic skyline. Siena is another wonderful Tuscan city on our tour, guarded behind impressive walls. At its heart is Piazza del Campo, one of Europe’s most attractive squares. Then there’s Lucca, one of Italy’s most graceful towns, with a historic quarter nestling inside outstandingly preserved Renaissance walls. To the south of Lucca is Pisa, a city famed around the world for a tower that seems to defy gravity, yet it has so much more to offer. Wander a little way from the Square of Miracles and you discover the city’s maze of tiny streets and intimate piazzas. The Tuscan countryside really is picture-postcard Italy and a rambler’s dream.
- Discover a less-visited ‘other side’ of Florence on an urban trek with a local guide
- Explore the breathtaking Tuscan countryside on a guided walk through the renowned wine region of Chianti
- Savour the spectacular scenery around the hilltop village of San Gimignano on a guided walk
- See Pisa’s incredible Leaning Tower and explore the medieval walled city of Lucca
- Marvel at the medieval splendour of Siena on a tour led by a local guide
- The services of our experienced and insightful tour manager throughout
- A specialist guide to accompany you on all walks
- 7 nights in 4-star accommodation
- Return flights & transfers
- Daily breakfast & 4 dinners
- Programme of daily tours & walks
- Expert tour manager/walking guide
- Checked Luggage
Day 1: Arrive in Florence
Arrive at the airport for your flight to Pisa. On arrival, transfer by coach to Florence, where you stay for three nights, with breakfast, at the four-star Grand Hotel Mediterraneo.
Day 2: Walk Florence
Discover Oltrarno, a charming and less-explored side of Florence south of the Arno River. Cross the Ponte Vecchio, the landmark bridge over the river, and walk through the medieval quarter of San Niccolò. Before long you reach Piazzale Michelangelo, where you are rewarded with panoramic views of Florence and the rolling hills beyond. The descent takes you through leafy streets to Porta Romana, the best-preserved gate of the city’s ancient walls. From this imposing gate, Via Romana leads straight to the historic centre of Florence.
Duration: 3 hours (3.5 to 4.5 miles)
Altitude gain: 500 feet
Day 3: Discover Lucca & Pisa
After breakfast, leave for the delightful city of Lucca, birthplace of composer Puccini. Be sure to visit the ancient cathedral and its venerated wooden crucifix, known as the Holy Face of Lucca. It’s an easy walk that’s just 2.5 miles long. Then take the short drive to Pisa, whose most famous gems are on display in the Piazza dei Miracoli – the ‘Square of Miracles’.
Day 4: Walk Chianti
After breakfast explore the rural Tuscany made famous by Renaissance paintings, literature, films and travel posters – a truly memorable landscape of undulating hillsides, vineyards, ochre-coloured valleys, terracotta-tiled farmhouses and pencil pines.
Duration: 2 hours (3 miles)
Altitude gain: 490 feet
Terrain: country roads
Duration: 3 hours (5 miles)
Altitude gain: 820 feet
Terrain: country roads
Day 5: Discover Siena
After breakfast take the short drive to glorious Siena for an enriching guided tour of its treasures.
Day 6: Walk San Gimignano
During today’s walks, you’ll discover the enchanting area around picturesque San Gimignano. You have a choice of an easy or a moderate walk.
Duration: 2 hours (3.5 miles)
Altitude gain: 655 feet
Terrain: country paths
The easy walk follows part of the ancient Via Francigena pilgrim route, which in medieval times connected Canterbury to Rome.
Duration: 3 hours (5.5 miles)
Altitude gain: 620 feet
Terrain: country paths
The longer walk takes you around San Gimignano, with the impressive skyline of its towers in front of us. Hug the ridges of the gentle Tuscan hills, pausing to admire the spectacular views.
Day 7: Free Day
Today you have a free day to do as you please. Just a few miles away are two utterly charming hilltop settlements, Monteriggioni and Colle Val d'Elsa.
Day 8: Return Home
Transfer to the airport for your return flight.
The price of this holiday is per person based on two people sharing a room. Single rooms are available at the relevant supplement. The price includes five nights’ accommodation with breakfast; all tours as mentioned; airport departure taxes; return flights and hotel transfers; all coach travel as mentioned; the services of a Riviera Travel tour manager and an expert local walking guide.
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