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Reader Holidays - Portofino, Florence and Tuscany from Dorset Echo
Departing April 2014 - October 2015
*Price shown: 11 May 2014 - DNE
An Italian adventure
Enjoy a wonderful break in one of Tuscany's most celebrated spa resorts. Discover Santa Margherita, exclusive Portofino and exquisite Florence - breathtaking Cradle of the Renaissance - on our included excursions, and take the opportunity to visit fabled Pisa and Liguria's stunning Cinque Terre coastline.
What The Price Includes
- Return flights from your local airport to Italy
- Return airport-to-hotel transfers
- Seven nights' half-board accommodation at your chosen hotel
- A visit to Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino
- A visit to Florence
- The services of a Newmarket Tour Manager
Single rooms are available for a supplement
A delightful Tuscan spa resort, Montecatini Terme is close to many of the province's greatest cities. As well as the spa baths, it boasts beautiful parks, countless eateries, and bars and clubs. Above the main town, and reached by a historic funicular railway, medieval Montecatini Alto's piazza and winding streets are lined with ancient churches and elegant palazzos.
Fly to Italy, meet your tour manager and board the coach for the transfer through the Tuscan countryside to Montecatini.
Today you're free to get to know the hotel and the many treasures of this historic spa resort, perhaps paying a first visit to Montecatini Alto for its stunning views.
Discover the beautiful Ligurian coast, where some of Italy's most famous resorts are dotted along the shoreline. Explore elegant Santa Margherita Ligure, which overlooks a stunning bay, before enjoying a boat trip along the coast to its ultra-chic neighbour, Portofino, for a taste of "la dolce vita".
Relax in the resort, or join today's optional excursion to Pisa and Lucca. Discover the Pisa's medieval delights - the famous 'leaning tower', circular Baptister and mightly Duomo - on a guided tour before we continue to the elegant walled city of Lucca. Here the medieval clock tower, the Torre della Ore, and the exquisite Piazza Anfiteatro are just some of the must-see sights.
Enjoy another day of gentle exploration in Montecatini, as you soak up the charming atmosphere of the spa-town.
We'll return to the Ligurian coast on our final optional excursion, heading to the Cinque Terre (Five Lands). This entrancing quintet of ancient villages is squeezed into a series of tiny coves surrounded by celebrated vineyards. Overlooked by working fishing harbours, the breathtaking villages produce some of Ligura's most celebrated wines.
The magnificent Florentine skyline, dominated by the dome of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore greets you on today's included excursion. Explore the splendour of Santa Croce and the medieval Ponte Vecchio, discover Italy's artistic past in the Accademia or the Uffizi (payable locally), and watch the world go by in one of the trattorie.
Journey back to the airport and check in for your flight home.
Hotel transfer times
The transfer time to Montecatini Terme is approximately three hours from Verona Airport, or one hour from Pisa Airport.
Combining hotel transfers
We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.
Meals in Italy
Guests on half-board arrangements will be served a three-course evening meal, and can expect a first course of traditional pasta or soup, a main meat or fish course accompanied by one or two types of vegetable, and a simple dessert of fruit, cake or Italian ice cream. Breakfasts will usually consist of bread rolls, jam, cereal, ham, cheese, fruit juice, tea and coffee. Menus will vary from hotel to hotel, but choice will be more limited than in a normal restaurant.
Since certain attractions visited offer free admission to visitors aged under 18 and over 65, we do not include entrance fees. These will be payable locally where applicable. This applies to excursions that are included in the price of your holiday and to excursions booked as optional extras.
If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair or electric scooter, please let us know as soon as possible so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Italian hotel room tax
Some regions of Italy have introduced a room tax of between 1 EURO and 3 EURO per person per night, payable directly by the guest to the hotel on check-out. You will be advised by your tour manager in resort if a particular hotel is implementing this charge.
Airport development fees
An Airport Development Fee has been introduced at a few UK Airports. You will be required to pay this charge at the following airports prior to checking in for your flight: Blackpool, Durham Tees Valley, Newquay and Norwich. The amount varies from airport to airport, but it is generally between GBP5 and GBP10 per person. Please visit the airport's website for further information.
Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
The following hotels are offered with this holiday (subject to availability and supplementary pricing)
Grand Hotel Regina
This elegant hotel has extensive terraces which overlook the parkland surrounding Montecatini's thermal baths.Further Hotel Information »
This elegant hotel has extensive terraces which overlook the parkland surrounding Montecatini's thermal baths.Hide Hotel Information »
The Belvedere boasts an excellent location opposite the famous Tettuccio Spa.Further Hotel Information »
The Belvedere boasts an excellent location opposite the famous Tettuccio Spa.Hide Hotel Information »
This modern four-star hotel is situated close to the resort's facilities and Montecatini's thermal baths.Further Hotel Information »
This modern four-star hotel is situated close to the resort's facilities and Montecatini's thermal baths.
Room facilities Private facilities Satellite TV Air conditioning Hairdryer Mini-bar Telephone WiFi Room Service Balconies (single rooms do not have balconies)Hide Hotel Information »
Grand Hotel Panoramic
Close to the resort's shops, bars and restaurants, and within walking distance of the Thermal Gardens, this fine four-star hotel boasts an enviable position. HALF-BOARD UPGRADES AVAILABLE!Further Hotel Information »
Close to the resort's shops, bars and restaurants, and within walking distance of the Thermal Gardens, this fine four-star hotel boasts an enviable position. HALF-BOARD UPGRADES AVAILABLE!
Facilities & Amenities
The hotel has a bar and lounge area, a separate piano bar, a 24-hour reception, free WiFi, a dining room and a lift. There is a large outdoor swimming pool and sunbathing area in the hotel's gardens.
All of the rooms are air-conditioned, and each has private facilities, a telephone, a mini-bar and satellite TV.Hide Hotel Information »
This family-run, three-star hotel offers a good level of service, and is ideally located within walking distance of the Thermal Gardens and the resort's shops, bars and restaurants.Further Hotel Information »
This family-run, three-star hotel offers a good level of service, and is ideally located within walking distance of the Thermal Gardens and the resort's shops, bars and restaurants.
Facilities & Amenities
Facilities at the hotel include a 24-hour reception, a bar and lounge area, a lift, a spacious dining room, and an outdoor swimming pool and sunbathing area.
The 54 rooms at the hotel all have air conditioning, private facilities, safes, telephones and satellite TV.Hide Hotel Information »