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Autumn in Tuscany

The beloved region of Tuscany encompasses the best of Italy: stunning historic cities; artistic masterpieces; extraordinary views and landscapes; sea and mountains; sunny climate; not to mention the wonderful local food products (especially during the fall harvest season), fine wines and artisan shops with age-old traditions.
With its carefully tended hills covered with grape vines, cypress trees, olive groves, stone farmhouses and mild weather year-round, it is a delightful area for an interesting and relaxing stay-put holiday. 

We will stay in Viareggio, a small resort town with a long, lovely Mediterranean coastline of wide sandy beaches, parks and pine forests. Parallel to the beach is a wide promenade and lively shopping area. The town has easy access to the great Renaissance cities of Florence, Siena, Pisa and Lucca, all of which are included in our tour. We will also visit Cinque Terre - the amazing cluster of villages clinging to the dramatic cliffs along the coast, the medieval town of Bolgheri - a beautiful historic hamlet with a famous avenue of cypress trees, and Livorno - with its dramatic rocky coastline. On the day we explore Chianti we will sample many famous regional wines.  

In Viareggio our hotel is located on the Tuscan coast in a region called the “Riviera Versilia”, which features the backdrop of the magnificent Apuan Mountains. We’ll stay at the Hotel President, a four-star hotel that overlooks the seafront promenade. The beach is across the road and shopping is just a short walk away. Hotel facilities include a pleasant lounge, bar and restaurant. The guestrooms are comfortably furnished with two beds, telephone, satellite TV, mini-bar, safe and individual climate control.  

* Those joining any of our tours to Europe must be able to walk fairly long distances and climb stairs easily.

Itinerary / Excursions

We depart for Tuscany with a change of planes in Paris.
We arrive in Florence and transfer by coach to Viareggio on the Riviera Versilia.
Today we have a walking tour of the town, with its delightful seafront promenade, market and shopping area.
We visit a farm that produces some of the fine wines and olive oil found in Tuscany. We also see the wine cellars and vineyards and partake in a tasting.
At leisure to explore this lovely Italian town. The bus and train stations are close to the hotel, and public transport is very good, so it is easy to visit the many surrounding towns and villages.
A full day in the city called the "Cradle of the Renaissance" and former stronghold of the Medici family. Today we visit the Academia Gallery to see the magnificent statue of David by Michelangelo. We then have a walking tour of the city and see the multi-coloured marble cathedral, the Baptistery, Signoria Square and Piazzalle Michelangelo from where we have the best view of the city.
At leisure to perhaps join an optional excursion to see more of the region. Your Tour Manager will assist and offer suggestions.
Today we travel “off the beaten path” as we visit some of the unspoiled medieval villages in the region. In Bolgheri we drive the impressive avenue of cypress trees stretching 5 km. long! The town has maintained its original historic buildings, old roads and small shops. The atmosphere is enhanced by the amazing views of the hills covered in olive trees and the sea in the distance. There will be time to shop for local products before we continue along the wine route to visit the famous cellars of Michele Satta, where some of the best wines in Italy are produced. Lunch will be at a restaurant in Castagneto Carducci, featuring  a selection of typical dishes including homemade pasta with wild boar sauce. We return to Viareggio via the beautiful rocky coastline of Livorno.
We travel by train to the five villages known as Cinque Terre, which cling dramatically to the cliffs along the rocky coastline. Upon arrival at the village of Manarola we explore the village and then take the local train to Vernazza for some free time. Then there will be a boat ride to Monterosso - one of the most attractive of the five villages. At the end of our visit we return to Viareggio by train.
At leisure, perhaps to visit the street market or other nearby towns.
This full day tour begins in the medieval town of Siena - famous for its annual Palio horse race but also a lovely city in many other respects. We will see the wonderful cathedral and the Piazza del Campo - considered one of the most beautiful squares in the world. After a morning of history and art we unwind in Chianti with a tasting of their well-known wines.
At leisure
This morning we visit Pisa, and yes, the tower is still leaning. The beauty in the area of Campo Dei Miracoli will amaze you. It includes the tower, the duomo, the baptistry and the cemetery. A visit to the athedral is included. There will be time to stroll around after the tour. We then proceed through the countryside to Lucca, a charming town which looks like a movie set for a medieval epic film. Most of Lucca is traffic-free and it is a pleasant place to stroll through the narrow streets and see the magnificent churches, squares and statuary. We will have a little free time to visit the small shops and perhaps enjoy a coffee and people watch.
At leisure. This evening we enjoy a Tuscan evening with a typical meal of local specialties.
We say arrivederci to Tuscany and head home via Paris.
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