Another fantastic new Italian tour, based in beautiful Tuscany, a land rich in art and history and known for its gastronomy and stunning landscapes. During March & April the beautiful Cherry Trees are in bloom, or ‘Ciliegi in Fiore’ as it’s locally known. The village of Vignola is considered the ‘Cherry Capital’ and hosts numerous parades throughout this period with flower bedecked floats, music and folklore groups. An amazing spectacle! The area is also famous as the home of those iconic red cars – Ferraris. Our holiday includes a visit to the Enzo Ferrari museum and excursions to many more of the local towns and attractions. Our chosen resort is Modena, located in the heart of Italy’s Emilia Romagna Region.
The 4 star Phi Hotel Canalgrande is an elegant hotel situated in the very heart of Modena’s historic centre, just a short walk away from the city’s grand cathedral and the stunning Palazzo Ducale. Each of the classically styled, en suite rooms is tastefully furnished in the traditional Italian style and equipped with air-conditioning, a minibar, safe, hairdryer, TV, telephone and some have a balcony. The hotel boasts an ornate terrace overlooking the beautiful gardens – the perfect place to enjoy an aperitif, an elegant bar, a sophisticated restaurant and plenty of relaxing lounge areas. A lift serves.
Tuesday Our door to door service takes you to the waiting coach for the drive to Folkestone where we board the morning shuttle train to Calais, where a glass of fizz and snacks are served on board. Through France to Reims and on to our overnight hotel in Dijon.
Wednesday The finest Alpine scenery to Chamonix then through the Mont Blanc Tunnel and along the grand Aosta Valley to Genoa. Along the scenic Riviera coast to reach Tuscany and our hotel in Modena, arriving early evening with time to settle in before dinner.
Thursday After breakfast we are joined by a guide for the day and travel first the short distance to the Enzo Ferrari Museum. The MEF is not just a museum but an enthralling and exhilarating experience. In the futuristic 2,500 square metre plus pavilion, visitors not only get to admire the cars on display but also enjoy a captivating immersive video experience that tells the magical story of Enzo Ferrari’s nine decades, spanning his childhood, his discovery of racing at the start of the 20th century, his years as driver, as the brain behind the Scuderia and then as a constructor with the triumphs. After spending time here we travel to our next destination – a balsamic vinegar cellar. Real Aceto Balsamico, or Balsamic vinegar, is one of the most amazing gourmet goodies a foodie could discover, and to learn the history of Balsamic in a real “Acetaia” is a fascinating experience. During our visit we are able to view the production process of the ‘Black Gold’ and of course enjoy a tasting. We return to our hotel with time to relax before dinner.
Friday Our first destination today is Bologna – one of the most beautiful and best preserved historic districts in Europe. With many towers dating from the Middle Ages, chic arcades, piazzas and churches. We are joined by a guide for a walking tour of the old university centre with noted buildings such as the Della Garisenda towers, the San Petronio Basilica and the incredible Neptune Fountain. After plenty of time to enjoy the town we move on to the medieval village of Dozza where, once again, we are joined by a guide to enable the most from our visit. We return to our hotel with time to relax before dinner.
Saturday Today is spent at leisure in our resort. An opportunity to take in the warm spring sunshine and to enjoy an espresso or a glass of wine in one of the many pavement cafés whilst watching the world go by.
Sunday One of the highlights of our tour today as we visit Vignola and the Cherry Blossom Festival. The trees in the cherry orchards of Vignola stand in neat rows, like soldiers on parade.Their branches spread almost from ground level and form gnarled, inverted triangles, like river deltas on a map. In addition to the activities taking place there are also markets with local products and a large exhibition of flowers and plants, transforming the entire centre of Vignola into a colourful and fragrant garden. We return to our hotel with time to relax before dinner.
Monday Today we visit Ravenna – the former capital of the Western Roman Empire and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is most famous for its huge mosaic decorations, the lovely facades in the historic district and the significant architecture from the early Middle Ages. We are joined by a guide for a walking tour of the principal architectural monuments including Saint Vitale Basilica and the Galla Placidia Mausoleum with its amazing Mosaics. Our final visit is to a local winery where we enjoy a tasting and some local snacks. We return to our hotel with time to relax before our final evening meal.
Tuesday This morning we bid farewell to our hosts in Modena 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.
Wednesday 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.
Fenn Holidays Ltd, Whittlesey Road, March, Cambridgeshire PE15 0AG