Art & architecture
Birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, Florence is an art-lover’s dream. Beauty reflects from wherever you look, whether it’s the impressive Duomo which dominates the skyline, the picturesque Ponte Vecchio bridge over the river Arno that is lined with shops or the world-fabled Uffizi Gallery that is filled with some of the world’s most precious paintings and antiquities.
If you wish to explore Tuscany in some depth, hiring a car is a great idea. Highlights for your sight-seeing list should include Lucca, with its maze of backwaters lined with captivating shops and restaurants, while the hilltop town of San Gimignano, with its famous stone towers soaring above the horizon, offers an array of architectural delights.
Whilst Siena’s charming gardens and pretty wells ooze romance, the city is also famed for its fast-paced, warlike Palio battles, perhaps Italy’s most famous annual sporting event. Twice annually, on 2nd July and 16th August, ten fearless jockeys race bareback around the famed Piazza del Campo, in a historic race held to honour the Virgin Mary. Join thousands of passionate locals and soak up the inimitable atmosphere of excitement and anticipation, as you wait to hear the thundering hooves as they pass. For the ultimate Palio experience, join a festive open-air dinner held by each of the city’s districts on the evening before the big race.
Best known for its iconic Leaning Tower, charming Pisa’s appeal does not stop there. Stroll beneath the Tuscan sunshine past Romanesque buildings, striking churches and Renaissance piazzas; the magnificent Duomo was begun way back in 1064, boasting a glorious tiered exterior and famed elliptical dome. Discover the countless museums and art galleries that the city houses, explore the hauntingly beautiful Camposanto cemetery (home to a number of iconic Pisans), before an evening of authentic Italian food and great wine in Pisa’s vibrant bars and restaurants.
Food & Drink
For those with an interest in wine, the Chianti wine-producing region is blessed with some excellent vineyards where wine-tasting is a popular pastime. Numerous local trattorias and restaurants in both towns and countryside offer you the chance to indulge in tasty Tuscan cuisine. And, for fantastic ice-cream, head for any of the ‘gelaterias’ on Florence's Ponte Vecchio.
Our Travel Consultants can advise on, arrange and pre-book many things to enhance your holiday. This includes everything from spa reservations and dinner reservations, to a range of special experiences available in our featured resorts that you may not know about.
Our featured luxury villas in Tuscany offer families and groups in particular, flexible living, home comforts and luxurious amenities.
British Airways from London Gatwick and London Heathrow to Pisa.
From London to Pisa: 2 hours, 10 minutes.
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.