Day 1 Pistoia
Make your own way to the hotel where your Holiday Director will meet you for your welcome meeting this evening.Meals included: D
Day 2 Chianti Walk & Vicchiomaggio Castle
Walk 6 km/4 mi - 2.5 hrs
Our walk today takes us to the famous region of Chianti. Beginning at the Badia a Passignano Monastery, we'll stroll along quiet country roads, past vineyards and olive groves, and through a landscape dotted with quaint little villages and farmhouses. The walk ends at the magnificent Vicchiomaggio Castle, a well-preserved castles in Tuscany, that's now a winery. We'll see its cellars and then enjoy a tasting of Chianti along with a light lunch on a terrace, overlooking the Tuscan countryside.
Day 3 Florence Walk
10 km/6.2 mi - 3 hrs
We’re going to explore Florence on foot, starting at Piazzale Michelangelo, which sits on a hill and offers stunning views of the city. We’ll then make our way to the city centre, past hidden treasures including one of the finest Romanesque churches in Tuscany and the Porcellino covered market. Enjoy some free time for lunch and perhaps a spot of shopping this afternoon.
Day 4 Pistoia - at Leisure
Walk 12 km/7.5 mi - 4 hrs
You can enjoy time to yourself today, or change the pace on a more advanced optional trek in the mountains north of Pistoia. We’ll admire breathtaking views as we ride a cable car to Doganaccia, about 1,500 metres above sea level. From here, we’ll walk through meadows and mountain pastures to the glistening mountain lake of Scaffaiolo. We’ll enjoy a lunch of traditional dishes, such as polenta with sausages or mushrooms and cheese. On the way back to the hotel, we’ll stop at a suspension bridge that’s said to be the second-longest in the world. If you’re feeling brave, you can walk across it!
Day 5 Pistoia - at Leisure
Walk 9 km/5.6 mi - 2.5 hrs
You’ve a free day to relax at the hotel or explore at your own pace with your travelling companions. Alternatively, join our optional walk from Fornello to Vinci, the birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci. In the company of a Local Guide, we’ll explore this hilltop town and visit the museum dedicated to the artist’s work. Models bring to life the ideas captured in his drawings and provide a fascinating glimpse of his work.
Day 6 Medici Walk & Poggio a Caiano Villa
Walk 8km/5mi - 3hrs
You'll step back in time today and learn about the fascinating history of the Medici family, who rose to political power in Florence during the Renaissance period. Thanks to their success, the family amassed significant wealth and were passionate supporters of the arts. It was due to their influence and generosity that Renaissance culture flourished in the city of Florence.
On our walk today, we'll learn how the Medicis ruled Florence for around three centuries and then we'll head to the magnificent Medici Villa of Poggio a Caiano, before heading to the stunning medieval town of Carmignano, nestled in the Montalbano hills. There will be free time to enjoy lunch here if you wish.
Day 7 Pistoia - at Leisure
Enjoy a day at leisure or join an optional excursion to Lucca, a medieval fortified town. Here, we'll walk along the impressive walls and admire fabulous views of the town's surroundings.Meals included: B,D
Day 8 Departure
Today it's time to say goodbye to your fellow travelers as your trip comes to an end.Meals included: B
Please note: Most walks take place on paths and tracks. Some will be more strenuous and involve moderate climbing, plus slopes, tracks, hills, stiles and foot bridges, which may be rough underfoot at times. Sturdy walking shoes and walking poles are essential.
What to expect from food and drink in Italian Hotels:
The cuisine that you will enjoy in Italy is based on the Mediterranean diet. It is often very simple with many dishes just featuring a handful of locally sourced ingredients.
Traditionally evening meals are served as a three-course dinner, with a choice of the second-course dish either decided in advance or on the evening, although some hotels will serve a buffet or accompanying salad buffet. As a group you will enjoy a set meal together.
The first course ‘Primi’ will be a local dish of pasta, risotto or occasionally pizza or soup, ‘Secondi’ is the second course which will be a protein-based dish with a local meat or fish served simply with one vegetable or potato on the side. Some food that is served hot in the UK, may be served cold in Italy, for example roast beef and some of those vegetable side dishes.
‘Dolci’ the dessert part of the dinner is a simple traditional dessert of fruit, cake or gelato.
Enjoying a coffee is a typical social activity in Italian culture. An electric kettle is not a common domestic appliance in Italy and therefore it is quite common for hotels to not offer coffee and tea facilities within the rooms, but instead serve in the main restaurant / bar.