Renaissance Tuscany 19 – 26 May 2012
This holiday is definitely one for those who are passionate about art – it oozes wonderful paintings, frescos, sculptures and architecture. Montecatini is a busy but delightful town and the Hotel Arnolfo provided a friendly atmosphere – a family run concern, where all the staff worked unbelievably hard, attending to our every need, and always had time for a smile.
There is definitely not time to visit Pisa on the Saturday before the flight back to London – I went on the ‘free day’ and it was well worth it. The climb to the top of the Leaning Tower is a must, a strange sensation when negotiating the angle of the steps!
I don’t like heights but the see-through metal barriers give great protection and the views from the top are spectacular. All the monuments and places of interest are nearby in the ‘Field of Miracles’.
On your visit to Florence you will no doubt climb to the Piazza Le Michaelangelo to enjoy the view over Florence, but DO climb the extra bit to the Basilica of San Miniato Al Monte. It is a serene and beautiful place, without too many tourists, and with a view well worth the extra climb.
In addition to the historic towns in Tuscany, I was impressed by the lush greenery and huge variety of trees.
A good tip for lunch is to visit a snack bar or pizzeria for a takeaway pizza slice or antipasti hot sandwich and then treat yourself to a wonderful Italian ice-cream – you can have several flavours in one cone or tub.
Transport to the various towns is via the very efficient railway system and much more fun than travelling by coach. A good way of mixing with the local people and seeing the ‘real’ Tuscany!
Our leader and guide, Jenny, was excellent – friendly, knowledgeable, conscientious. She had checked out the walks and the routes for sightseeing prior to our arrival and made sure at every point that everyone was happy and doing what they wanted to do.