Florence (full day)
The Renaissance city of Florence was transformed during the 15th century into a centre of art and culture. An orientation tour with a local guide serves as an introduction to the city and will bring its history to life.
You’ll also have time at leisure to discover its treasure trove of sights on your own. Perhaps visit the Galleria dell’Accademia, home to Michelangelo’s David, or the Uffici gallery where Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus hangs. Of course, some of the city’s greatest treasures can be found by simply walking through its streets.
See Brunnelleschi’s 15th-century dome which crowns Santa Maria del Fiore Duomo, admire the Bapistry’s ornate doors dubbed “gateway to heaven” by Michelangelo or browse the jewellery and antiques in the shops that line the Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in the city. Entrance charges to museums and galleries are not included.
Pisa and Viareggio (full day)
The historic Tuscan city of Pisa lies on a plain near the estuary of the River Arno and was originally a wealthy port with a mighty naval fleet before the land was eventually reclaimed from the sea. Pisa is famous for the Campo dei Miracoli or Field of Miracles where its Leaning Tower precariously stands.
The tower now leans by over five metres at its top, which is also famous as the spot where Galileo conducted some of his velocity experiments. Part of a quartet of medieval buildings, the Leaning Tower of Pisa was originally intended as the bell tower for Pisa’s Duomo, one of the finest Pisan-Romanesque buildings in Tuscany with its cream colonnades and arcades.The more Gothic Baptistry and the marble arcades of the Camposanto complete the set.
Admission to two monuments is included, unless these monuments are closed for restoration or for other reasons.
After, you will visit Viareggio, Tuscany's largest seaside resort where you can enjoy free time to explore, stroll along the promenade or break for lunch at a local restaurant.
Lucca and Torre del Lago (full day)
A Tuscan hill town of Roman origin, Lucca was founded in 180BC. Its medieval lanes follow the original Roman grid pattern and are enclosed by mighty ramparts which were converted into a beautiful shaded promenade in the 19th century. Needless to say, this city is a delight to explore on foot.
Admire the ornate marble columns on the Pisan-Roamesque churches– the San Michele is considered one of the most elaborate in Tuscany while the San Martin cathedral houses the Volto Santo, a 13th-century effigy.
You can also enjoy a visit to Villa Torrigiani, a beautiful and historic country mansion house located in the hamlet of Camigliano which dates back to the 16th century when it belonged to the Buonvisi family.
You will also visit Torre del Lago, where the area around the Lake of Massaciuccoli was a place of refuge for Puccini and inspired many of his operas. The villa, completed in 1900, has been preserved much as he left it on his death in 1924. The composer is buried in the villa's chapel which was transformed into a mausoleum after his death.
Siena and San Gimignano (full day)
Siena is a delightful hilltop town of pink and white buildings topped by a mighty Duomo. Its medley of narrow streets are centred around one of Europe’s grandest medieval squares, Piazza del Campo. Set on the site of the former Roman forum, it was the medieval marketplace whose current fan-like display of red-brick paving was laid between 1327 and 1349.
Coaches cannot enter the historic centre of Siena, so there will be lots of walking to reach the main attractions.
Later you'll visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of San Gimignano, which was once an important stopping point for travelling pilgrims journeying to or from Rome. 72 tower-houses were built by wealthy families in the 13th century as symbols of their wealth and power - although today only 14 are still standing.
Take a walk to the Piazza del Duomo where you'll find many public and private monuments. The historic town also houses a series of Italian art masterpieces from the 14th and 15th centuries including in the cathedral the Last Judgement, Heaven and Hell by Taddeo di Bartolo
Countryside tour with wine tasting (full day)
Set off on a scenic drive through the Tuscan countryside to the hilltop village of Vinci, famous as the birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci in 1452. You have time to explore independently - perhaps to visit the Museo Leonardiano, which is dedicated to the prolific polymath and displays a vast array of his models and inventions.
This region is also famous for its wine which has been produced in the area since the time of the Etruscans and Romans. You can sample the fruits of the land with a wine-tasting session at a local cantina.