GROUP EXCURSIONS FROM MONTECATINI TERME
The Grand Hotel Nizza et Suisse recommends the following daily (all year round) excursions
Pisa - Citrus Garden - Tuscan flavours
: The Leaning Tower of Pisa is known worldwide as one of the seven wonders. Our tour begins at the famous "Square of Miracles", where, apart from the Tower, there is the largest baptistery in all of Italy - with a stupendous baptismal font by Nicola Pisano - and the beautiful Pisan Romanesque-style cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary. We then go on to Piazza dei Cavalieri, the Renaissance center of the city.
THE CITRUS GARDEN & BONSAI MUSEUM
: Guided tour of the ornamental citrus gardens of Pescia, known as the city of flowers. The garden has over 200 varieties of citrus plants from around the world. It is a true botanical garden where you can admire the ancient cultivars from the de’ Medici collections of the 1500s. We then proceed to the discovery of the oldest bonsai trees.
Let’s make pizza and homemade pasta together. Theme lunch at an agriturismo, then a discovery tour of the flavors of Tuscany and the use of aromatic herbs.
| Tuesday excursions
The Cinque Terremore information
THE CINQUE TERRE:
A full day dedicated to exploring one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. After reaching the Gulf of Poets by bus, we will embark on a romantic boat trip from the port of the goddess Venus, Portovenere, where Lord Byron used to seek refuge and inspiration.
We then continue by boat along the Ligurian coast to admire all five villages: Riomaggiore - Manarola - Corniglia - Vernazza and Monterosso.
We will disembark at the small fishing village of Vernazza, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and then at the biggest village, Monterosso, where we will sample the famous white wine of the Cinque Terre.
Siena and San Gimignano
SIENA & SAN GIMIGNANO:
In Siena a visit to one of the largest squares in Europe, Piazza del Campo, is an absolute must. Founded on the ancient Roman forum in the form of a shell, the square is also famous because it is here that twice a year (July 2 and August 16) rivals of the 17 districts are pitted against one another in the famous Palio of Siena horse race. After the square we will visit the beautiful cathedral, the baptistery and the Chigi Academy. Free time for lunch and then on to the small medieval town of San Gimignano. Olive oil, wine and pottery are the main products of this “city of towers”. We will get to San Gimignano in early afternoon. Here you will have a chance to stroll the streets and enjoy unforgettable views, squares, medieval towers and the many characteristic ceramics and leather shops.
Vinci and Wine – Horseback excursions
VINCI & WINE:
This is a tour dedicated to lovers of fine wine and relaxation. The birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci is nestled in the hills of Montalbano, surrounded by beautiful vineyards and olive groves. We will visit one of the most famous Chianti wine producers of the area and enjoy a guided wine-tasting session with typical bruschetta and Tuscan salami. After savoring the culinary traditions of Leonardo we will visit in his little home town, where everything recalls the artistic genius: the Castle of the Guidi Counts, the church where he was baptized, the streets and squares.
Horseback riding in the beautiful nature reserve of Fucecchio, a few kilometers from Montecatini, where you can observe herons and admire the water lilies.
| Friday excursions
: We will begin our tour with a visit to the beautiful Florentine cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (the Duomo) and followed by a stop at the Giotto Bell Tower, the Baptistery of San Giovanni, Piazza della Signoria and Ponte Vecchio, where like the Queen of England, we will window shop and maybe even buy precious jewelry from these ancient goldsmiths.
A visit to the Uffizi is booked to discover the masterpieces of Giotto, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo and a thousand other famous painters. After the guided tour, you will have free time to roam as you please.
| Saturday excursions
Lucca - The historical villa tour more information
: A guided walking tour of the "city of a hundred churches." We will visit the beautiful Duomo and the church of San Michele, built on the ruins of an ancient Roman forum. We will also see the two most famous towers: the Clock Tower and the Guinigi Tower. To commemorate the origins of ancient Lucca, we will also tour the Roman amphitheater and walk over the city’s mighty walls.
THE HISTORICAL VILLAS OF LUCCA:
Along the hills of Lucca and hidden in folds of the Monti Pisani we will admire the beautiful country villas which in the past were used by wealthy families as the venues of great summer parties.
Some of them served as residences for Italian noble families and the great art patrons and they are living examples of the various styles of architecture to be found all over Tuscany. We will tour the most famous of them: Villa Torrigiani and Villa Reale.
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