Following the outstanding success of our tour last year, we are pleased to return to the Tuscan Riviera, an unspoilt area lying to the east of Genoa. Here we find delightful towns, picturesque fishing villages, beautiful beaches, the wonderful Cinque Terre and the classical masterpieces of Lucca and Pisa. Our base is the elegant resort of Viareggio with its noted promenade, fashionable shops and pavement cafes.
The stylish 4 star Palace hotel is ideally situated on the promenade opposite the sandy beach. The public areas are spacious and elegantly furnished and include a charming restaurant, bar, various lounges and sitting areas and a roof top terrace affording fine views of mountains and sea. All the air conditioned bedrooms are well presented with mini bar, satellite TV, hairdryer and telephone. All floors are served by a lift.
Saturday Our door to door service takes you to the waiting coach for the drive to Folkestone during which a light breakfast is served. Boarding the morning shuttle train to Calais, champagne and snacks set the holiday mood. Through France to Reims and on to our overnight hotel in Dijon for dinner.
Sunday The finest Alpine scenery to Chamonix then through the Mont Blanc Tunnel and along the grand Aosta Valley to Genoa. We travel along the scenic Riviera coast to reach Tuscany and our hotel the 4 star Palace in Viareggio, late afternoon, where we enjoy a welcome drink.
Monday A day at leisure to explore our chosen resort in the early summer sunshine.
Tuesday A morning visit to nearby Lucca, birthplace of Puccini, with its well preserved 16th century walls, it is the only town in Italy which is still completely surrounded by such walls. This beautiful place has a wealth of Medieval and Renaissance style architecture and is a pleasure to visit. After a good stay and time for lunch we continue on to Pisa, home of one of the world’s most famous sights, ‘the leaning tower’. Other places of interest include the cathedral and attractive squares lining the banks of the River Arno. After a day of sightseeing we make our way back to the hotel with time before dinner.
Wednesday After breakfast we make our way to the port La Spezia where we are joined by a local guide. We join a local boat service as we visit the wonderful and colourful ‘Cinque Terre’, five visually stunning villages, located amidst dramatic coastal scenery and clinging to vine clad steep cliffs. The five are connected by footpaths and only reached by a boat and train service. A truly memorable day.
Thursday A full day excursion to the unspoilt beautiful Etruscan Coast stretching from Livorno to Piombino. The beautiful beaches and the green Mediterranean ma-quis, are landscapes which have only been partially tampered with by man. We spend time in Livorno, a historic planned town and port of the Medici’s which was created in the 16th century and later developed into a fashionable resort.
Friday Today takes us into ‘Chiantishire’, the name for the rolling hills covered with vineyards that produce the magnificent Chianti wines. We make a stop at the beautiful medieval walled hilltop town of San Gimignano, a photographer’s paradise before returning to our hotel late afternoon.
Saturday A day at leisure, relax on the beach, enjoy a leisurely lunch and promenade stroll or catch up on some last minute souvenir shopping.
Sunday This morning we bid farewell to our hosts in Viareggio and begin the journey back to Dijon. We travel back through northern Italy and the alpine peaks where we spend time in Chamonix at the foot of Mont Blanc before crossing the French Savoy to Macon and the Saone Valley, home of the finest Burgundy vineyards. We then continue on to Dijon where we find our overnight hotel.
Monday From Dijon we journey north to Reims then through northern France to Calais for the late afternoon shuttle train to Folkestone. We return to our home area mid evening.
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