A fabulous new tour for 2019 combines two of Italy’s most popular destinations, the Lakes and Tuscany. First we spend time on to the tranquil shores of Lake Iseo, Northern Italy’s best kept secret. Wooded slopes, a backdrop of mighty mountains, and Europe’s largest lake island with unspoilt fishing villages all add to the charm and appeal. Next we move on to sun drenched Tuscany; the Italian region rich in both history and wonderful architecture and Umbria appropriately named the ‘Green Heart of Italy’. Our chosen base is the spa town of Chianciano Terme where we include unlimited wine with dinner and a free bar for 5 hours each evening.
This superior 4 star hotel, the Iseolago, is located close to the lake on the edge of the small town of Iseo. All bedrooms are tastefully furnished and equipped with private bathroom, air conditioning, television, radio, telephone and minibar. Other amenities of this plush establishment include a tasteful bar, an elegant restaurant, relaxing lounge area, fitness centre, sauna, large outdoor swimming pool and large pleasant gardens – ideal for an evening stroll. A lift serves all floors.
The family run 4 star Grand Hotel Excelsior is close to the heart of the new town. Elegance aptly describes this grand hotel from the spacious reception area to the lounge with its elegant furnishings. The ensuite bedrooms are traditionally furnished and have air conditioning, TV and hairdryer. There is a restaurant, bar and a fabulous rooftop pool and terrace. Lifts serve all floors.
Saturday From your front door to the waiting Club Class coach for the drive to Folkestone during which a light breakfast is served. Boarding the mid morning train a glass of prosecco and snacks set the holiday mood. On through France to the Alsace and our overnight hotel, the 3 star Novotel, Hauconcourt Metz.
Sunday We depart after breakfast and make for Switzerland and the Alps passing Lucerne before taking the spectacular Gotthard Pass road. Now on through magnificent scenery to Lugano and the Italian border. We reach our first luxury holiday hotel on Lake Iseo late afternoon.
Monday A day at leisure, explore the old part of Iseo with its interesting shops and lakeside promenade or make use of the hotels leisure facilities. Tea and cakes will be served at the hotel this afternoon.
Tuesday A full day excursion to the largest of the Italian Lakes, Garda. We spend time in delightful Salo a renowned port and start of the ‘Riviera of Lemons’. Evidence of its prestigious past is found in the elegant buildings lining the main street in the historic centre. This afternoon we enjoy a wine tasting with Bruschetta and toppings at Cantine Redaelli de Zinis a stunning winery, another excellent Italian experience.
Wednesday Our tour continues as we head south taking the Appennine road along the backbone of Italy to the Tuscan Hills. We make a stop in Bologna, known as the gastronomic capital of the north and home to spaghetti Bolognese. Enjoy the many cafes in the main square, Piazza Maggiore before we make our way to Chianciano Therme and the Grand Hotel Excelsior.
Thursday An excursion into the mountains today to the hilltop pilgrimage town of Assisi, the birthplace of St Francis. This charming town built along the slopes of Monte Subasio is dominated by the Rocca, an impressive medieval fortress guarding Italy’s oldest Gothic church built over the tomb of St Francis.
Friday Today we travel to Montepulciano. This small town, surrounded by fortified walls, is famous for its excellent wines and is packed with charm. Its winding street the Corso climbs up to the main square on top of the hill. Later we drive to Lake Trasimeno and the picturesque lakeside town of Passignano. The lake is Italy’s fourth largest but one of the shallowest with an abundance of wild life.
Saturday A relaxing drive south to the grand medieval hill town of Orvieto home of one of Italy’s best loved white wines, returning to our resort for an afternoon at leisure.
Sunday Our homeward journey begins as we head north to Sienna then view the famous Tuscan hilltop village of San Gimignano then by motorway to the Riviera coastline for a scenic drive beside the blue Mediterranean to Genoa. Later we head into the mountains and through the Mont Blanc Tunnel to return to our overnight hotel in Chamonix, arriving well in time for dinner.
Monday North past Geneva and through the glorious French Savoy region to Dijon before returning to the capital of champagne and our overnight hotel in Reims.
Tuesday A fine breakfast before making a visit to the magnificent gothic cathedral of Reims. We include a short tour of the city, passing the incredible Roman Arch before using the motorway to return to Calais for the mid afternoon shuttle back to the UK. We reach our home area early evening at the end of a memorable Italian holiday.
Fenn Holidays Ltd, Whittlesey Road, March, Cambridgeshire PE15 0AG