EXCURSIONS

Florence at a Glance

A mesmerizing wonder set in the Tuscan hills , Florence contains many beautiful art galleries, monumental buildings, and magnificent palaces that give the city a certain vibrancy that is unique to the rest of the world. Few cities can boast the wealth of artistic masterpieces to be found within the walls of the city of Florence, undisputed birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. Stendhal staggered around its streets in a perpetual stupor of delight; the Brownings sighed over its charms; and E.M. Forster’s Room with a View portrayed it as the great southern antidote to the sterility of Anglo-Saxon life.

The city is overflowing with masterpieces in the styles of the Renaissance, Gothic, and Neo-Classical periods. Names from its dazzling historical past, Dante, Michelangelo, Galileo, Brunelleschi, are some of the most resonant of the medieval age. But to see the Tuscan capital simply as Europe’s preeminent city of art would be to ignore not only its role as a dynamic and cosmopolitan metropolis, but also to overlook its more unsung charms: the greatest designers, Italy’s most visited gardens the best ice-cream, idyllic strolls, a broad range of handcraft workshops, shops of every style and taste, eating experiences that range from historic cafés to the country’s most highly rated restaurants.

Its nightlife is lively; one needs only to step outside at night to take advantage of the revelry found in various bars, restaurants, and clubs.

This fertile land is blessed with the best grapes, and the lush greenery on the horizon of the city is a world-famous sight. The greater Florence area has a number of towns and attractions to entice you on a day-trip from the city or even act as a base for exploring the region.

You can choose from the following Full-day and Half-day excursions:

Full-day Excursions

  1. Discovering Florence
  2. Siena and San Gimignano with Visit and Lunch at Winery
  3. Tour of Wine Cellars in the Chianti Region
  4. Pisa - Lunch in Lucca and Tour of the City by Bicycle
  5. Val D’Orcia: Pienza and Montepulciano
  6. Cinque Terre
  7. Cooking Class at Enchantable Hamlet
  8. Cooking Class at San Donato Farm
  9. Venice
  10. Rome

Half-day Excursions

  1. Special Opening of the Vasari Corridor
  2. Pisa: Galileo Galilei Themed Tour
  3. Classic Tour of Florence
  4. Tour of Florence with Visit at the Uffizi Gallery
  5. Tour of Florence with Visit at the Accademia Gallery
  6. Special Tour of Florence
  7. Chianti Half-Day
  8. Siena Half-Day
  9. Pisa Half-Day




Full-day Excursions

1. Discovering Florence

Meeting at the hotel with our local guide and our driver. Drive along the romantic Viale dei Colli up to Piazzale Michelangelo: a stop to admire the wonderful panorama of the city, one of the most beautiful in the world. The tour continues to the old city centre for a visit of the Franciscan church of Santa Croce (interior) where there are tombs of Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Galileo and Rossini among others. The tour will proceed with an outdoor guided tour of the Duomo complex: Giotto’s bell tower, the Baptistery with its bronze doors including the famous Porta del Paradiso and the visit to the interior of the Cathedral with the magnificent Cupola del Brunelleschi.
Stop for lunch at a typical restaurant.
After lunch the tour continues to the heart of the Medieval city to Dante Alighieri’s house and church and , to the imposing, uniquely magnificent stone building of the Church of Orsanmichele, with statues by Donatello, Verrocchio and Giambologna and its exquisite carved marble shrine by Orcagna, a masterpiece of Florentine Gothic Art. Stop for an ice cream tasting.
We reach Piazza della Signoria, a splendid open air museum , with the magnificent Loggia de Lanzi, overlooked by the famous and imposing Palazzo Vecchio. Next to it the Uffizi Gallery, one of the most important museum all over the world. Then you proceed to the picturesque Mercato della Paglia (Straw market), where the famous Piggy Fountain is located. You walk along the street that leads to Ponte Vecchio, the “jewels bridge”. End of the tour.
Starting time: 9:00 hours
Meeting point: Conference Venue
Duration: 8 hours
Price: 84,00 EUR/person for a group of min 15, max 24 people
The price includes:

- Bus available half day (max 4 hours)
- Bus city ticket
- English speaking local guide available for 6 hours
- Entrance ticket to the Church of Santa Croce
- Lunch drinks included at typical restaurant
- Ice cream tasting
- Vat
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2. Siena and San Gimignano with Visit and Lunch at Winery

Departure from Florence with our assistant/guide. Arrival in Siena and guided tour of the old city centre: walking along the small medieval streets, admiring the splendid palaces and ending up at the Cathedral where you can visit the splendid interior. The guided tour will conclude in the Piazza del Campo, one of the most beautiful in the world, famous for the horse Palio race, where you will find the Palazzo del Comune (exterior).
Stop at local winery for a visit of the wine cellars followed by the lunch and tasting of the local wines
After lunch departure for San Gimignano a tiny city that has remained intact through the centuries; situated on a hilltop, it is famous for its numerous towers, frescoes and other art treasures; free time to discover this fascinating city. At the end transfer back to Florence.
Starting time: 9:00 hours
Meeting point: Conference Venue
Duration: 8 hours
Price: 124,00 EUR/person for a group of min 15, max 24 people
The price includes:

- Bus available full day (max 8 hours)
- Bus city ticket
- English speaking local assistant/guide available for 8 hours
- Entrance ticket to the Cathedral in Siena
- Lunch and wine tasting at local winery
- Vat
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3. Tour of Wine Cellars in the Chianti Region

Meeting in the morning with our assistant and transfer by bus to Greve in Chianti for a tour of the village, one of the main centre of the Chianti area. Stop for a visit of the famous Falornis’ butcher shop where you can find delicious sausages made in a traditional way. Arrival at Verrazzano Castle. The Verrazzano Castle is located on a hilltop in the Chianti Classico area, the first grape growing and wine producing area in the world to be determined by an official proclamation, made by the grand Duke Cosimo III de' Medici in The castle is known for being the birthplace of the family Verrazzano to which the Navigator Giovanni belonged. The descent of Verrazzano became extinct in 1819.
Tour of the gardens, the castle and the wine cellars followed by the lunch with typical products and tasting of wines.
The tour continues to the wonderful Villa of Vignamaggio. It surrounded by an elegant Italian garden in a stunningly beautiful corner of the Chianti countryside and it offers an authentic testimony of country life during the Renaissance period. The main part of the villa dates back to the 14th century. Mona Lisa, painted by Leonardo, was born at Vignamaggio in 1479. The estate covers an area of 160 hectares, situated in the heart of the Chianti Classico district.Most of the estate is occupied by vineyards and olive-groves. The wine is aged in oak barrels and barriques which are situated inside the fifteenth century cellars. Vignamaggio is the location of the movie "Much Ado about Nothing", taken from Shakespeare's tale, and directed by Kenneth Branagh in 1992.
Visit of the estate (courtyard, villa and wine cellars) with tasting of some wines
Starting time: 9:00 hours
Meeting point: Conference Venue
Duration: 8 hours
Price: 124,00 EUR/person for a group of min 15, max 24 people
The price includes:

- Bus available full day (max 8 hours)
- English speaking local assistant available for 8 hours
- Tour of the winery + lunch and wine tasting at the Castle of Verrazzano
- Tour of the winery + wine tasting at Villa Vignamaggio
- Vat
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4. Pisa - Lunch in Lucca and Tour of the City by Bicycle

Meeting in the morning at the hotel with our assistant and our driver. Departure to Pisa where you will meet our local guide and visit of the magnificent Piazza dei Miracoli, with the celebrated Leaning Tower (exterior), the Baptistery (interior) and other important monuments. This is followed by a visit to the interior of the Cathedral, an unrivalled masterpiece of Romanesque art constructed between the 11th and 12th centuries.
Transfer to Lucca and stop for lunch at typical restaurant.
After lunch your guide will let you discover this elegant and refined city by bicycle!
Thanks to its ring of tree-lined Renaissance walls and to its suggestive historical centre now a pedestrian precinct, Lucca is the only city in Tuscany which offers visitors the unique chance of seeing its splendour on a bike, completely hassle-free. We begin with a delightful tour along the famous 16th Century walls, followed by visits to the mediaeval Church of San Frediano, the breathtaking Piazza Anfiteatro, the Torre Guinigi, the Cathedral of San Martino, the “characteristic antiques street”, and the Church of San Michele in Foro. Transfer back to Florence.
Starting time: 9:00 hours
Meeting point: Conference Venue
Duration: 8 hours
Price: 143,00 EUR/person for a group of min 15, max 24 people
The price includes:

- Bus available full day (max 8 hours)
- Bus city tickets
- English speaking local assistant available for 8 hours
- English speaking local guide available for max 6 hours
- Entrance ticket to the Cathedral and Baptistery in Pisa
- Lunch drinks included at typical restaurant in Lucca
- Bike available for 2 hours in Lucca
- Vat
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5. Val D’Orcia: Pienza and Montepulciano

Meeting with our assistant and transfer to the Abbazia di Sant’Antimo Located in a Tuscan valley not far from Siena (Val d’Orcia). The spectacularly beautiful Sant'Antimo Abbey is a must-see for anyone visiting the area. Originally built in Carolingian times, the present abbey church is an elegant Romanesque edifice of the early 12th century. Gregorian chant can be heard from inside throughout the day. Transfer to Bagno Vignoni, a small village where time seems to have stood still for centuries. Situated on the Via Francigena, the historic pilgrim route leading to Rome, Bagno Vignoni centres around a large pool of thermal water. Bordered by a 14th century wall, the pool is continually replenished with warm water (52°) from the village's thermal springs. The health inducing properties of the water have been known since ancient times. Today, the waters are used in spa therapies performed in the various wellness centers situated in Bagno Vignoni.
The tour continues to Pienza ,the earliest example of a Renaissance "ideal town"”, now recognized by UNESCO as “World Heritage”. It was created by Pope Pius II, who decided to refurbish his poor hometown of Corsignano and turn it into his papal summer court. Bernardo Rossellino was the main architect who executed the pope's ideas. The buildings and objects that he designed are in a Gothic style with German influences. Pienza is famous also for the delicious Pecorino di Pienza cheese.
Stop for lunch in a local farm between Pienza and Montepulciano with tasting of local wines.
After lunch transfer to Montepulciano which is, without doubt, one of the most beautiful Medieval towns of Tuscany, resting at 600 meters above sea level protected by still impressively intact walls. Montepulciano is known for its noble Renaissance town houses and for the elegant architecture of its churches. Montepulciano is also known for its fine wine, the Vino Nobile, much acclaimed internationally. Return back to Florence.
Starting time: 9:00 hours
Meeting point: Conference Venue
Duration: 10 hours
Price: 112,00 EUR/person for a group of min 15, max 24 people
The price includes:

- Bus available full day (max 10 hours)
- Bus parking in Montepulciano
- English speaking local assistant available for 10 hours
- Visit of winery in Montepulciano with lunch and wine tasting
- Vat
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6. Cinque Terre

Meeting in the morning with our assistant and transfer to the Cinque Terre.
With this tour you will have the opportunity to discover two of the five coastal villages of the Cinque Terre, UNESCO World heritage . The villages of Cinque Terre, Italy are built between the hills and the beaches, in between the rocks and each village is unique and has its own characteristics.
Arrival at the hamlet of Manarola, meeting with our local guide and catch the train to Vernazza. Vernazza is characterized by a natural pier with an amphitheatre shape making it perhaps the most picturesque village of the Cinque Terre. Vernazza was a Roman installation and had a big strategical importance during the age of the Maritime Republics in Genoa. It was also famous for its carpenters. Stop for lunch at typical restaurant, with wonderful location on the square in front of the sea. After lunch the tour continues by train to Manarola, a town planning jewel, rich as it is in typical tower houses of Genovese style. Founded during the XII century, the village probably derives its name from an antique "magna roea", a large mill wheel present in the village.
Enjoy a wonderful walk to Punta Bonfiglio from where you can have the most engaging and spectacular views of Manarola .
Transfer back to Florence.
Starting time: 9:00 hours
Meeting point: Conference Venue
Duration: 10 hours
Price: 138,00 EUR/person for a group of min 15, max 24 people
The price includes:

- Bus available full day (max 10 hours)
- English speaking local assistant available for 10 hours
- English speaking local guide at the 5 terre - Lunch drinks included at typical restaurant in Vernazza
- Vat
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7. Cooking Class at Enchantable Hamlet

Meeting in the morning with our assistant and transfer to Certaldo. Meeting with our Giuseppina for a cappuccino and brioche at central café, then head for the local fresh market to select the ingredients , seeing what looks best. Once all selections are made, return to the school located in the enchantable hamlet of “Certalso Alta”, for a light lunch before you begin meal preparation. Prepare a four-course meal of starters, first and main course, dessert before indulging in results of your hard work!
Return back to Florence.

Starting time: 8:00 hours
Meeting point: Conference Venue
Duration: 8 hours
Price: 230,00 EUR/person for a group of min 7, max 12 people
The price includes:

- Bus available full day (max 8 hours)
- Cooking class with lunch
- Vat
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8. Cooking Class at San Donato Farm

Meeting in the morning with our driver and transfer to the San Donato farm. San Donato is a farmhouse and a tiny medieval village set amidst the classic green hills of San Gimignano, famous for the production of wines and saffron. Its position also offers a marvellous charming view on this unique town and its surrounding countryside.
The Fenzi family, owners of the farm since 1932, will be glad to welcome you .
Visit of the wine cellars followed by the cooking class and the lunch
Return back to Florence.

Starting time: 8:00 hours
Meeting point: Conference Venue
Duration: 8 hours
Price: 142,00 EUR/person for a group of min 7, max 16 people
The price includes:

- Bus available full day (max 8 hours)
- Cooking class with lunch
- Vat
Please reserve your Tour by following this link!
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9. Venice

Meeting at the conference venue with our assistant who will escort you to the to the Florence central railway station by minibus to take the train to Venice. On you arrival in Venice our local guide will wait for you at beginning of the platform to start the tour of this unique city.
The tour starts with the visit of St-Mark's Basilica with the spiritual, all-pervading light of its golden mosaics, with its sumptuously colored marble floor, will introduce the theme of Venice's intense relations with Constantinople and the Eastern world.
Lunch on your own
We shall then enter the Doge's Palace, seat of the Venetian power for over nine centuries. Today's visitors, like past ones, will be overwhelmed by the wealth of its decoration, and will learn about the rise and fall of "La Serenissima", the "most Serene" Venetian Republic.
Cross the Bridge of Sighs and into the Prisons, still in use until 1922, and then back to the Palace for a last view of the majestic Giants` Staircase.
Return back to the train station and transfer to Florence.

Starting time: 8:00 hours
Meeting point: Conference Venue
Duration: 11 hours
Price: 160,00 EUR/person for a group of min 10 people
The price includes:

- Bus available for return transfer hotel-railway station-hotel
- Local assistant for transfer to the railway station in the morning
- Return fast train ticket Florence-Venice-Florence (second class)
- English speaking local guide in Venice available for max 4 hours
- Entrance to the Basilica of St Mark and the Doge's Palace
- Vat
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10. Rome

Meeting at the conference venue with our assistant who will escort you to the to the Florence central railway station by minibus to take the train to Rome. On you arrival in Rome our local guide will wait for you at beginning of the platform to start the tour of the eternal city.
The tour starts from the valley of the Colosseum, then we will proceed on via dei Fori Imperiali to see the remains of the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill, the largest archeological urban area in the world. Then we will walk on the Campidoglio hill, to enjoy the breathtaking view on the forum, and see the square designed by Michelangelo. From here we enter the Vittoriano monument, that is the altar to the fatherland. This is famous for the Vittorio Emmanuel II Monument commemorating the Italian unification. There is an eternal flame burning at the bottom of this monument to mark the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Stop for lunch at typical restaurant close to the Pantheon, Roman Temple which shows the biggest dome in the world.
A nice stroll through ancient and charming narrow streets in the heart of Rome will lead you to Piazza Navona, unique in the world, with its beautiful fountains. Walking through the narrow streets which will still keep the ancient aspect, you will reach Piazza Pietra where you can admire the imposing remainings of the Imperial Hadrian's Temple. Then, crossing Via del Corso, the main street in the City planning of Papal Rome, you will reach Piazza di Spagna (the Spanish step) ,with the beautiful Colonna dell' Immacolata , the impressive Palazzo di Propaganda Fide, a marvelous example of baroque architecture (Bernini - Boromini). The tour ends at the Trevi fountain known all most famous fountain in Rome and possibly the world. It is believed to grant the wishes of those who throw coins in its waters and those who do will certainly be able to go back to Rome.
Return back to the railway station and transfer by train to Florence.

Starting time: 8:00 hours
Meeting point: Conference Venue
Duration: 11 hours
Price: 143,00 EUR/person for a group of min 10 people
The price includes:

- Bus available for return transfer hotel-railway station-hotel
- Local assistant for transfer to the railway station in the morning
- Return fast train ticket Florence-Rome-Florence (second class)
- English speaking local guide in Venice available for max 6 hours
- Entrance to the Basilica of St Mark and the Doge's Palace
- Vat
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Half-day Excursions

1. Special Opening of the Vasari Corridor


Meeting with our guides and transfer by walk to the centre of the city.
As exclusively for your guests there will be a Special opening of the Vasari Corridor.
This Corridor a kilometre long, built for practical reasons, to link the "Medici” offices to the Pitti Palace at the time owned by the family, today displays "Uffizi” paintings from the 600’s and 700’s and that of the artist self-portraits. The concept from an architectural point of view of an elevated passage at that time was very innovative. The corridor also boasts a spectacular view of the river and the Santa Felicità church, from the corridor you can actually see the inside of the church just like the Medici did at the time; along the wall there is also a window that faces, which at one time was the family’s private garden.
You will have a preliminary visit of some rooms which host celebrated masterpieces of Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raffaello, Giotto, Cimabue, Masaccio and then you will have the access to the Vasari Corridor.
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2. Pisa: Galileo Galilei Themed Tour


Meeting with our assistant and transfer by bus to Pisa, the birthplace of the genius Galileo Galilei. Meeting with our local guide.
Few of the millions of visitors who cross Pisa’s Cathedral square each year know that Galileo used this theatrical setting as a real scientific laboratory. It was inside the Cathedral that he calculated the law of the isochronism of pendulums by observing the oscillation of a votive lamp, and according to an unverifiable legend it was from the Cathedral’s bell-tower that he did his experiments on falling bodies. These were years of great political and cultural ferment for Pisa which was chosen by the Medici family as a winter residence of the Court and as the seat of the University. The guide will talk about Galileo’s life , his studies and his discoveries, and at the same time will show you to recognize the traces of his history in the monuments and buildings that you will meet during the tour.
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3. Classic Tour of Florence


Meeting with our local guide and transfer by walk to the Cathedral square to admire the Duomo complex: Giotto’s bell tower, the Baptistery with its bronze doors including the famous Porta del Paradiso and the visit to the interior of the Cathedral with the magnificent Cupola del Brunelleschi.
The tour continues to the heart of the Medieval city to Dante Alighieri’s house and church and , to the imposing, uniquely magnificent stone building of the Church of Orsanmichele, with statues by Donatello, Verrocchio and Giambologna and its exquisite carved marble shrine by Orcagna, a masterpiece of Florentine Gothic Art.
We then reach Piazza della Signoria, a splendid open air museum , with the magnificent Loggia de Lanzi, overlooked by the famous and imposing Palazzo Vecchio. Next to it the Uffizi Gallery, one of the most important museum all over the world. Then you proceed to the picturesque Mercato della Paglia (Straw market), where the famous Piggy Fountain is located. You walk along the street that leads to Ponte Vecchio, the “jewels bridge”. End of the tour.
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4. Tour of Florence with Visit at the Uffizi Gallery

Meeting at the hotel with our local guide. With a beautiful walk along the river you will reach the Old bridge,the jewellers bridge, one of the symbols of Florence. Then you proceed to the picturesque Mercato della Paglia(Straw market), where the famous Piggy Fountain is located. We enter Piazza della Signoria , a splendid open air museum , overlooked by the famous and imposing Palazzo Vecchio . Next to it the Uffizi Gallery, one of the most important museum all over the world, where you can admire the superb paintings of Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raffaello, Giotto, Cimabue, Masaccio
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5. Tour of Florence with Visit at the Accademia Gallery

Meeting at the hotel with our local guide. With a beautiful walk along the river you will reach the Old bridge,the jewellers bridge, one of the symbols of Florence. Then you proceed to the picturesque Mercato della Paglia(Straw market), where the famous Piggy Fountain is located. We enter Piazza della Signoria , a splendid open air museum , overlooked by the famous and imposing Palazzo Vecchio . We then continue to the Cathedral square to admire the Duomo complex: Giotto’s bell tower, the Baptistery with its bronze doors including the famous Porta del Paradiso and the visit to the interior of the Cathedral with the magnificent Cupola del Brunelleschi.
In a short you will reach the Accademia Gallery where you can admire the famous David by Michelangelo and other works by the great artist.
After the visit of the museum return back to the hotel by walk.
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6. Special Tour of Florence

The tour starts in the lively Piazza Santa Maria Novella, with the beautiful Dominican Church of the same name (interior) when you can appreciate great masterpieces such as Brunelleschi’s crucifix , and Masaccio’s Trinity.
Stop at the Farmacia di Santa Maria Novella, the oldest shop in the world of its kind. With its historic, artistic and handicraft legacy, it has thrived for centuries in uninterrupted symbiosis with the city of Florence. In its rooms, as in a jewel casket, the Officina hosts frescoes, furnishings and ancient implements of the pharmacist’s trade, alongside its products: a vast range of preparations to entice even the most demanding customer. Indeed, no one who enters the portal can ever forget the indescribable range of scents that linger in the air: this is the magic of potpourri, a sagacious mixture of flowers and herbs from the hills surrounding Florence. The tour continues to the Ferragamo's museum, situated on the second floor of Palazzo Spini Feroni. The museum was opened to the public in 1995 by the Ferragamo family, in an effort to illustrate Ferragamo's artistic qualities and important role he played in the history of shoe design and international fashion. Besides photographs, patents, sketches, books, magazines and wooden lasts of various famous feet, the museum boasts a collection of over 10.000 models designed by Ferragamo from the end of the 1920’s until 1960, the year of his death. Return back to the hotel by walk
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7. Chianti Half-Day

Meeting at the hotel with our assistant and transfer to Greve in Chianti and tour of the village, one of the main centre of the Chianti area. Stop for a visit of the famous Falornis’ butcher shop where you can find delicious sausages made in a traditional way.
Transfer to Vignamaggio, an historical wine estate with production and selling of wine since 1404, in the heart of the Chianti Classico. The Villa of Vignamaggio, surrounded by an elegant Italian garden in a stunningly beautiful corner of the Chianti countryside, offers an authentic testimony of countrylife during the Renaissance period. The main part of the villa dates back to the 14th century. The Gherardi family who bought the villa from the Gherardini at the end of the 16th century, were responsible for its present appearance. Mona Lisa, painted by Leonardo da Vinci, the daughter of Anton Maria Gherardini, was born at Vignamaggio in 1479. Guided tour of the Villa, the gardens, the wine cellars with tasting of two wines. Transfer back to Florence.
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8. Siena Half-Day

Departure from Florence with our assistant. Arrival in Siena and meeting with our local guide. Guided tour of the old city centre: walking along the small medieval streets, admiring the splendid palaces and ending up at the Cathedral where you can visit the splendid interior. The guided tour will conclude in the Piazza del Campo, one of the most beautiful in the world, where you will find the Palazzo del Comune (exterior).
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9. Pisa Half-Day

Meeting in the morning at the hotel with our assistant and our driver. Departure to Pisa where you will meet our local guide and visit of the magnificent Piazza dei Miracoli, with the celebrated Leaning Tower (exterior), the Baptistery (interior) and other important monuments. This is followed by a visit to the interior of the Cathedral, an unrivalled masterpiece of Romanesque art constructed between the 11th and 12th centuries. Return back to Florence.


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  Last Modified: 17 October 2013