NB This tour will involve a good amount of walking during the included excursions. Given the historic nature of the towns and cities, these excursions may not be suitable for wheelchair / mobility vehicle users. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
DAY 1 - From your chosen joining point, your feeder vehicle will take you to the designated interchange point where your holiday begins. After joining your holiday coach, you will travel to Dover for the short sea crossing to Calais. Continue into France and the overnight hotel stop in the Metz area. Bed and breakfast.
DAY 2 - Lots to see today as you journey through Alpine magnificent scenery en-route to your overnight hotel in Austria. Dinner, bed and breakfast.
DAY 3 - After breakfast, continue south through Northern Italy with a glimpse of the dramatic Dolomites Mountains followed by the first sight of the rolling hills of Tuscany. Arrive at your holiday base, Montecatini Terme for your 7-night stay with a welcome drink on arrival. Dinner, bed and breakfast.
DAY 4 –9 - At leisure in Montecatini Terme with four included excursions.
Montecatini is the largest of Tuscany’s spa towns, revered for its curative waters since the 16th century. Visitors come to try the array of fine spas featuring both traditional and modern as well as enjoying the grandeur of the historic buildings, strolling around the many park and shops or taking the 10-minute funicular ride to picturesque Montecatini Alto for some fantastic views.
Florence – ‘City of Art & Cradle of the Renaissance’
Truly one of Italy’s greatest and most beautiful cities – romantic, enchanting and utterly irresistible! Take the train from Montecatini Terme (station approx. 5 – 10 mins walk from the hotel) into Florence (approx. 1 hour by train). The historic centre is quite compact, so it is easy to visit on foot. A local guide will show you the best of the main sights (no entrances included) from the magnificent Duomo Cathedral, the shop-lined Ponte Vecchio, the Piazza della Signoria and the palazzo Vecchio. After the walking tour there will be free time to explore on your own, perhaps visit the Uffizi Gallery and see the Renaissance masterpieces by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and Giotto or the Academy of Fine Arts, home to Michelangelo’s David. Return train tickets included.
Pisa & Lucca
World famous for its medieval bell tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of Italy’s most familiar images. Set in Campo dei Miracoli, the older part of the city, the tower’s famous lean has now been halted and it is possible to go up for a better view (entrance not included). Continue to the lovely walled city of Lucca, with its imposing Renaissance walls, cobbled streets and stunning piazza as well as the breathtaking Cathedral. A kind of Florence in miniature, Lucca begs to be explored
The well-preserved medieval walled city of San Gimignano still retains much of its charm and character, to say nothing of the splendid views to be had of the surrounding countryside. Its 14 grey stone towers are famous and its hilltop position casts little doubt as to the town’s supremacy in its past. The climb to the centre is worth it if only for the views.
Head out to the Tuscan coast for a breath of sea air and a visit to Viareggio, the most popular and lively beach resorts in the region. A short distance along the coast is Marina di Pietrasanta, with its delightful and historic old town and the chic resort of Forte dei Marmi
DAY 10 - It’s arrivederci to Italy as you travel northwards through Tuscany to your overnight hotel in Austria. Dinner, bed and breakfast.
DAY 11 - After breakfast continue to the final continental stopover. Bed and breakfast
DAY 12 - Travel back through France today to Calais for the return crossing to England