This Tuscan escape offers the perfect mix of sightseeing and relaxation, plus plenty of delicious food and wine. Start off with a couple of days in Florence, before heading out to the countryside for a week of wine tastings, long lunches and lazy days by the pool.
Once you arrive at the airport, your private transfer will whisk you into the city to your chosen hotel.
Head straight out to begin exploring – pop in to the Palazzo Vecchio, perhaps, or tour some of the city’s marble-fronted churches.
If you fancy trying a local dish for dinner, opt for bistecca alla Fiorentina, or Florentine steak – a huge cut of meat that’s best shared between two. Wash it down with a glass of red from the Chianti hills just south of the city.
Florence’s small size means it’s easy to get around on foot. Start early at the Duomo di Firenze – there are often queues to climb the steps to the top of its dome, so get there just before it opens to beat the crowds. On the way up, you’ll have close-up views of the frescoes on the dome’s interior; at the top, Florence’s terracotta rooftops unfold beneath you.
The rest of the morning could be spent at one of the city’s two world-famous art galleries, the Uffizi and the Accademia. For lunch, the Mercato Centrale is a good spot – artisan stalls and shops sell fresh-baked breads and regional cheeses, meats and wine.
Devote your afternoon to the Oltrarno, the neighbourhood across the River Arno. Cross the historic Ponte Vecchio, then meander between the Pitti Palace museums and the serene Boboli and Bardini Gardens. Stick around for sunset, best viewed from lofty Piazzale Michelangelo.
After a final morning in Firenze, pick up your hire car and motor out into the rolling hills of Tuscany.
Whichever hotel you’ve chosen, you’ll be in picture-postcard territory – think pinstripe vineyards, honey-stone hill towns, medieval hamlets and golden wheat and sunflower fields.
Perhaps spend your first afternoon poolside, mapping out your week’s plans with a glass of local wine in hand.
With your own set of wheels, it’s easy to explore as and when you like. Trace a route through Chianti wine country, stopping off at family-owned vineyards for tours of barrel-lined cellars and tastings overlooking the vines, or zigzag between historic towns like San Gimignano and Montalcino.
The city of Siena is a real must-visit while you’re here. Sprawling across a hilltop, its old town is a UNESCO-listed medley of Gothic palazzos, medieval lanes and a wedding-cake cathedral. In the centre is Piazza del Campo, a shell-shaped square which plays host to the historic Palio horse race twice a year.
After a final Italian breakfast and maybe one last dip in the pool, drive back to the airport for your flight home.
If your flight is later in the day, why not stop off at another Tuscan town on your way to the airport? Plot a route to Volterra or Lucca if you're departing from Pisa, or Greve in Chianti if you're flying from Florence.
Alternatively, you could continue your Italian adventure - ask your Trusted Adviser about adding a few days in Portofino or Rapallo on the Ligurian coast.
Interested in this holiday? To book or for more information, call our Trusted Advisers on 01293 762400*.