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  • Departing from?Dublin + 3
  • Travelling to?Italy + 1
  • When?March 2015
  • How long for?7 nights
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Christmas in Tuscany
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Christmas in Tuscany

  • 7 Night Holiday
  • Half Board
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Celebrate a magical Christmas in the pretty spa town of Montecatini in beautiful Tuscany. Surrounded by picturesque winter scenery and immersed in Italian culture you will celebrate the festive season with delicious cuisine, freshly prepared from local produce, including a sumptuous Christmas lunch and candlelit dinners. 

Regarded as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, many famous artists, including Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, have called Tuscany home throughout the centuries. The area is not only rich in art and culture but is also world renowned for its medieval hill towns, lush vineyards, olive groves and the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. 

On this 7-night holiday you will visit the beautiful city of Florence with its famous Piazza della Signoria and travel to Lucca, a walled city that was the birthplace of Puccini. You will also visit Siena, a city famous for its art, cuisine, museums and medieval landscape and the small medieval town of San Gimignano. A highlight for many is the trip to Pisa, which is home not only to the tower, but also to some magnificent cathedrals and baroque buildings. Join us on this Italian adventure that has the perfect mix of culture, relaxation and history. 

 

Practical Information for this holiday

Currency
Euro (€)     
Local Time
Ireland/UK Time +1 hour
Passport
A valid passport is required for this holiday. EU citizens do not need a visa, however non-EU citizens should check requirements. 
Airport
Flight is apprximately 2.5 hours. 
Climate

The inland valleys of Tuscany enjoy warm summers and cool winters and tend to assume a continental character the further inland you travel.

Food & Drink
Tuscany is known for earthy, robust dishes, made from the finest of local ingredients. Try ‘Bistecca alla Fiorentina’, a thick T bone steak (served rare), or for a lighter option, panzanella, a salad made of stale bread soaked in cold water and vinegar, mixed with diced tomatoes, onions, and basil, all sprinkled with the exquisite olive oil for which the region is famous. Wine lovers will be spoilt for choice, from the fruity white Vernaccia di San Gimignano to the mouthwatering red, Rosso di Montalcino, and many more besides.
Average Prices for Region
  • Coffee: €1.20
  • Beer: €3.50
  • Glass of wine: €3.50
  • Light Lunch: €12.00
  • Soft Drink: €1.50
  • Bottled Water: €1.00
Packing List
  • Your valid passport
  • Sun cream
  • A continental plug adaptor
  • A rain jacket
  • A small backpack
  • A sun hat
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Camera
Recommended Reading/Viewing

Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes

The Savage Garden by Mark Mills

Innocence by Penelope Fitzgerald

A Room with a View (film, 1985) dir. James Ivory

Holiday highlights

Florence

The cultural and historical impact of Florence is overwhelming. Close up, however, the city is one of Italy's most atmospheric and pleasant, retaining a strong resemblance to the small late-medieval centre that contributed so much to the cultural and political development of Europe. Its striking buildings, formidable galleries and treasure-crammed churches attest to the Florentine love of display.

Siena

A self-contained and still part rural city that sits behind medieval walls. Siena's great attraction is its cityscape, a majestic Gothic ensemble that could be enjoyed without venturing into a single museum.

Pisa

Thanks to its extraordinary Leaning Tower and the impressive Campo dei Miracoli where it is situated, the university town of Pisa is one of Tuscany’s top attractions.  The historic centre has well-preserved Romanesque architecture and pleasing piazzas, where students and locals enjoy the city’s buzzing café and bar scene.

Lucca

The beautiful Renaissance town of Lucca lies a short distance from Montecatini, and a regular train service links the two. Lucca’s remarkably intact city walls provide an ideal set of viewpoints from which to see the town’s rooftops, bell towers and lush surrounding countryside. If visiting Lucca in your free time, try to include the Cathedral of San Martino, to see Tintoretto’s painting of The Last Supper and a wooden cross carved by Nicodemus.

Spa treatments in Montecatini Terme 

Montecatini is renowned for its healing thermal waters. A vast array of treatments is available at various spas and wellness centres in the town. Terme Tettuccio, normally open daily from May to September, is perhaps the most famous of these establishments. The attractive Liberty style building has a beautiful interior and gardens, where live music is played most days. It is well worth a visit, even if you are not availing of a treatment.

Practical Information for this holiday

Currency
Euro (€)     
Local Time
Ireland/UK Time +1 hour
Passport
A valid passport is required for this holiday. EU citizens do not need a visa, however non-EU citizens should check requirements. 
Airport
Flight is apprximately 2.5 hours. 
Climate

The inland valleys of Tuscany enjoy warm summers and cool winters and tend to assume a continental character the further inland you travel.

Food & Drink
Tuscany is known for earthy, robust dishes, made from the finest of local ingredients. Try ‘Bistecca alla Fiorentina’, a thick T bone steak (served rare), or for a lighter option, panzanella, a salad made of stale bread soaked in cold water and vinegar, mixed with diced tomatoes, onions, and basil, all sprinkled with the exquisite olive oil for which the region is famous. Wine lovers will be spoilt for choice, from the fruity white Vernaccia di San Gimignano to the mouthwatering red, Rosso di Montalcino, and many more besides.
Average Prices for Region
  • Coffee: €1.20
  • Beer: €3.50
  • Glass of wine: €3.50
  • Light Lunch: €12.00
  • Soft Drink: €1.50
  • Bottled Water: €1.00
Packing List
  • Your valid passport
  • Sun cream
  • A continental plug adaptor
  • A rain jacket
  • A small backpack
  • A sun hat
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Camera
Recommended Reading/Viewing

Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes

The Savage Garden by Mark Mills

Innocence by Penelope Fitzgerald

A Room with a View (film, 1985) dir. James Ivory

Trip Itinerary - Day by day

Day 1 - Travel to Italy

Full Day

Travel to Italy

Depart for Italy. On arrival, you will be met at the airport before transferring by coach to your hotel. Your guide will provide plenty of tips and information to help get your holiday off to a great start.

Day 2 - Florence

Morning

Florence Walking Tour

After breakfast, begin your holiday with a walking tour around Florence accompanied by your expert local guide. You will witness the famous Duomo (cathedral), which was completed structurally in 1436 and has an elaborate green and pink façade in the 19th century gothic-revival style. From there you will move on to the Piazza della Signoria, which was the centre of the Florentine Republic and remains the political hub of the city. You will also see the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) which has shops built along the length of it as was once common for Italian bridges.

Afternoon

At Leisure

After your walking tour, enjoy some free time to have a leisurely lunch and the chance to explore Florence’s exquisite streets and squares.

Day 3 - Siena & San Gimignano

Morning

Siena

On this superb full day excursion, you will have a half day guided tour of Siena, including a visit to Piazza del Campo, scene of the famous ‘Palio’ - the historic horse race held here twice a year. 

Afternoon

San Gimignano

In the afternoon, visit the charming hilltop town of San Gimignano, and admire its famous ‘Medieval skyline’. That evening a special Christmas Eve meal will be put on for you. After dinner bingo will be arranged for all who wish to take part.

Day 4 - At Leisure

Full Day

At Leisure

Today, you will have a full day to relax and enjoy the charms of Montecatini at your own pace. Ask your guide to recommend some places of interest for you according to your tastes. We recommend a stroll through Montecatini's piazzas and parks, or perhaps a visit to one of the many thermal baths. Enjoy dinner this evening at your hotel with music & dancing. 

Day 5 - Pisa & Lucca

Morning

Pisa

On this full day tour, you’ll visit Piazza dei Miracoli in Pisa, to admire the amazing Leaning Tower.

Afternoon

Lucca

You will then continue to the remarkably preserved medieval town of Lucca, rich in art and history and the only town in Italy entirely surrounded by walls. After your evening meal there will be music and dancing in the hotel.

Day 6 - Christmas in Montecatini

Full Day

Christmas in Montecatini

Christmas is a special time in Montecatini. Today you can relax, take a leisurely stroll around the beautiful town before your Christmas lunch. The afternoon is free before your festive candlelight dinner followed by music and dancing.  

Days 7 - At Leisure

Full Day

At Leisure

You will  be free today to relax and get to know the lovely town of Montecatini, where there are abundant attractions awaiting you. Try a treatment at one of the renowned thermal spa establishments, or visit the picturesque old town of Montecatini Alto. Your guide can offer information and suggestions for local sightseeing.

Day 8 - Return Home

Return Home

Time to take leave of glorious Tuscany, and return home with great holiday memories. Depart by coach from your hotel to the airport, with guide assistance, for your return flight.

* Please note that the order of your excursions on the itinerary above is provisional and subject to change

Customer reviews

Hotel & accommodation available for this trip

Grand Hotel Plaza and Locanda Maggiore 4

A long time Travel Department partner, Grand Hotel Plaza & Locanda Maggiore is a favourite family run hotel that offers a welcoming stay right in the centre of Montecatini Terme. This uniquely designed 19th century palace has spacious and distinctive salons and high ceilinged... read more read more read more

A long time Travel Department partner, Grand Hotel Plaza & Locanda Maggiore is a favourite family run hotel that offers a welcoming stay right in the centre of Montecatini Terme. This uniquely designed 19th century palace has spacious and distinctive salons and high ceilinged rooms, whose old-world charm will captivate you. When you have a break from exploring Tuscany, enjoy the special atmosphere at the Grand Hotel Plaza.

Hotel address
Grand Hotel Plaza and Locanda Maggiore
Piazza del Popolo, 7 - 51016
Montecatini Terme (PT) - Italy

Montecatini
View available dates for this hotel

* Some hotel facilities may be seasonally operated or under maintenance and therefore unavailable at the time of your stay. Charges may apply for certain facilities.

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Price, taxes, flight times & availability are subject to change. E&OE. Price based on per person, sharing. Single Supplement cost may apply.

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  • Single Supplement from €149.00
  • Baggage from €40.00
  • Insurance from €12.50

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Why us?

  • We’ve done the research for you, creating perfectly planned itineraries
  • Outstanding value for money – Flights, transfers, accommodation and excursions included in nearly all our tours
  • We are experienced and dedicated to your experience
  • No holiday surcharges –
    guaranteed

Our guides

  • Friendly and welcoming everywhere you go
  • Local experts, passionate about their area
  • Take pride in making your holiday memorable
  • Innovative itineraries with amazing excursions

 

Our promise

  • To remember your holiday is a very precious time
  • To go the extra mile for you, our customers
  • To describe our holidays in an honest manner
  • To use your feedback to continually improve our service

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  • 24/7 emergency contact number while abroad
  • We are a privately owned business and have been around for over 20 years
  • Licenced by the Commission for Aviation Regulation, TO 163 & TA 0692