Excursions

Firenze

3 Hours excursion
Guided tour of the Florentine palaces.
Guided Tour subject to booking of the Uffizi Gallery and/or the Accademia di Belle Arti.
Guided tour of the Churches.

The Chianti Tour

8 Hours excursion
An excursion to discover the Chianti district, with a driver and a pause for lunch at a typical Tuscan "trattoria".
Excursion devoted to the visit of one of the renowned Chianti winecellars, with wine-tasting included.
Trip to Montalcino, the homeland of the famous Brunello wine. On the way back a stop-off at Radda in Chianti to see the kilns where the well-known Tuscan pots are made.

Secluded Florence

4 Hours excursion
visit organized and guided by a professor of the International School of Restoration and Art, to discover places and works of art as yet unknown to mass tourism.

Florence in Montgolfier

The tour starts early in the morning, just before dawn, and can last 45 minutes, 1 hour or 1 and a half hours. The air-balloons can hold 3 to 4 passengers per basket. After the flight a Champagne-Breakfast is offered and a souvenir certificate. The guests are fetched from the hotel and reaccompanied there at the end of the trip.

For further information:

www.ideaballoon.com or: www.flyballoon.it

Shopping in Florence

Surrounded by the best of fashion, style and handicrafts, shopping in Florence is a pleasure that no one can, or wishes to, resist.
It takes only a few minutes to drive from the hotel to such shops as Gucci, Prada, Armani, Ferragamo, Fendi or any of the “bottega” which so well represent the highly skilled Florentine handicraft.
On request, with pleasure our Concierge will organize for a Personal Shopper to accompany you and show you the best Florence has to offer.

EXCURSIONS BY CAR:

Pisa

Located in western Tuscany, is known throughout the world for its famous Leaning Tower, the bell tower of the Pisa cathedral and when visiting the tower, it is hard to understand how it has remained standing after more than 700 years.

Lucca

Is unique for its intact sixteenth century walls, surrounding the historical centre, isolating it from the modern suburbs, so that walking along its narrow streets, (now pedestrian precinct) you forget about time, living in a slower and more human atmosphere.
Many are the monuments, elegant palaces, churches and squares that make this town so beautiful: the Guinigi tower, the Anfitheatre, the Holy Cross in the cathedral of San Martino, the National Museum of Palazzo Mansi..

Siena

A particularly enchanting city bounding with Gothic architecture and Tuscan cuisine, Siena is home to an impressive medieval centre, which is filled with eye-catching buildings.
The Piazza del Campo is the main public square in Siena, next to the Palazzo Communale, along with a riot of churches, museums and pavement cafes.
Piazza del Campo" is still used today for the well known Palio horse race which is one of the most famous popular Italian manifestations. It takes place every year on July 2 and August 16. The Palio is run to celebrate the miraculous apparition of the Virgin Mary near the old houses that belonged to Provenzano Salvani. The holy apparition was therefore called "Madonna di Provenzano" in whose honour the very first Palio was run on August 16, 1656. The Palio was run for the first time in 1701 in honour of the "Madonna dell'Assunta" the patroness and Advocate of Siena through all the tragic events since she protected the Sienese militia at the famous battle of Monteaperti on September 4, 1260, against the Florentines.

Chianti

Can be compared to a unique vineyard. Hundreds of rows of vines represent the most characteristic feature of Chianti, the land where excellent wines are produced. The high quality of Chianti wine is the result of millenary knowledge and a great tradition of wine-making. Chianti wine has been of great importance since Etruscan times. Greve in Chianti: 236 mts above sea level, about 12,000 pop., 30 km from Florence.
Right in the centre of Tuscany, on a hill top entirely covered by trees and vineyards, amid beautiful scenery, lays the village of Greve in Chianti.
In the heart of Chianti, halfway between Siena and Florence, Greve in Chianti, the "city of wine", with its vineyards, olive groves, castles, churches and medieval hamlets is the unavoidable choice for visitors who are looking for a real taste of Tuscany.

San Gimignano

Is situated in Tuscany, halfway between Siena and Florence. Today it is a town that still preserves its ancient medieval layout. It experienced great importance and economic growth during the Middle Ages, thanks to the Via Francigena, the ancient way walked by pilgrims who went to Rome from northern Europe. It is called the Town of the Towers because in the past it had up to 72 Tower-houses and 14 still survive. San Gimignano contains many remains and several works of 14th and 15th century Italian art, especially from the Sienese and Florentine schools. Piazza del Duomo is the heart of the town and it hosts the Palazzo del Podestà, the Palazzo Comunale (Town Hall) and the Duomo. Throughout the centuries, Piazza del Duomo represented the focal point of San Gimignano where all celebrations took place and where the municipal power was seated.
Two towers rise up in the square: Torre Grossa and Torre Rognosa. Nowadays, it continues to preserve its ancient role and is still one of the focal points of the town.

Montalcino

Is a walled hilltop town in Tuscany lying in a very good position at 564 meters above sea level. It enjoys splendid views of the surrounding valleys.
The landscape is characterized by stark rolling hills, marked by winding roads lined with dark cypresses and fortified towns, but among the most important features, are the numerous acres of vineyards from which some of Tuscany's most esteemed red wines are produced, Brunello di Montalcino and Rosso di Montalcino.

Montepulciano

Is a renaissance town in Southern Tuscany and an important agricultural center, famous for its "Nobile" wine. Montepulciano lies on a hilltop in a panoramic position and is surrounded by the 15th century defensive works by "Antonio da Sangallo". Birthplace of the famous poet Agnolo Ambrogini, called "Poliziano". Thanks to its history throughout the centuries, the town has preserved many architectural jewels and artistic treasures along side the natural beauty of the surrounding countryside.

Monterrigioni

Is a suggestive and glorious suburban town on the left bank of the Staggia torrent. According to the wishes of the Sienese people, it was erected in the l2th century as a castle and served as the city’s front emplacement against Florence. In 1213-19, it was encircled by a mighty wall, whose circumference was 570 metres and which had 14 huge towers that at one time stood much higher; they made an impression on Dante who refers to the towers in Canto 31 of inferno: « On the waII so round / Monteriggioni with towers is crowned. The town still bears its medieval aspect and in the parish church we can clearly view the interesting example of the transition from the Romanesque to the Gothic style.

Pienza

Is a small town near Siena in a panoramic position overlooking the Orcia river valley; it is a rare example of Renaissance town building. It was built by the order of Pope Enea Silvio Piccolomini in 1458. Thanks to its position, Pienza was of great importance during the Middle Ages.Around Pienza's central square are the most important buildings: the Cathedral, "Palazzo Piccolomini", "Palazzo Borgia" and "Palazzo dei Priori".

Volterra

Is an Etruscan town of Tuscany at 531 meters above sea level.
It is also called the "windy town", thanks to its hilltop location halfway between the valleys of central Tuscany. A town with Etruscan origins, it became an important Episcopal seat around the 11th century. Nowadays, the town is an important city of art, also well known for the handicrafts of alabaster and onyx

Arezzo

Is a provincial capital within the central Italian region of Tuscany (Toscana).
Like so many Italian towns, the historic part of the city is on a hill, in a defensive position close to the base of a stronghold. The lower part of town, around the railway station, is more modern, with a well-ordered and prosperous buzz. More medieval than grand, the town isn't as breathtaking as Tuscany's finest, but it's an attractive place to visit, with plenty to keep the visitor occupied. Arezzo's greatest artistic treasure is the set of frescoes by Piero della Francesca called La Leggenda della Vera Croce, in the church of San Francesco.
Started in 1452, this Renaissance masterpiece tells the story of the 'True Cross'. Entrance is by timed admission ticket, which can be booked in the office next door.

Cortona

Is located in the central Italian region of Tuscany (Toscana), in the Province of Arezzo. The town isn't far from the border with Umbria, and its magnificent views extend over the green plains and hills of Tuscany and Umbria, extending beyond the lovely Lake Trasimeno. Cortona is a pleasant day-trip destination for tourists exploring Tuscany, and it's appealing enough to use as a base for a more relaxing holiday. The town is attractive and welcoming, with several inviting bars and restaurants off the central piazzas, and a few highly-recommended places to stay. Cortona is surrounded by defensive walls, the foundations of which date back to the Etruscan period.

Forte dei marmi

It is the most recent municipality, having been founded in 1914. Its territory borders Marina di Pietrasanta in the south and stretches up to Cinquale in the northern part. The modern area is built around its small historic centre near the fort, dating from 1782. Today, its pier stretching out into the sea for about 100 m, is frequented by strollers and fishermen but in the past was used for transporting marble from the Apuan Mountains.

On clear days breathtaking scenery of the sea and mountains can be enjoyed from here and the Apuans seem almost to soar above the sea. Today it is a very popular destination for tourists from all over the world. In the 1930s the Agnelli family chose the town for their summer residence making it famous and starting a trend for many other wealthy industrial families coming from northern Italy who continue to spend their holidays here.

Outlet the Mall

The Mall outlet centre is thirty minutes driving from Florence in the green Tuscan hills.
The Mall is a gallery of select top luxury brands and quality merchandise including: Alexander McQueen, Armani Jeans, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Emanuel Ungaro, Ermeneglido Zegna, Fendi, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Hogan, Pinco Pallino, La Perla, Loro Piana, Marni, Pucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Sergio Rossi, Stella McCartney, Tod’s, Valentino, Yohij Yamamoto, Yves Saint Laurent.

Portofino

Portofino is a beautiful village on the Italian Riviera. Portofino was the hot spot for the beautiful people in the 1950s heyday, and their pictures are found in the Castello Brown, which overlooks Portofino harbor.
Portofino, Italy, is known as the resort of the rich and famous, but there is much more to see here than just people. Portofino is a picturesque, half-moon shaped seaside village with pastel houses lining the shore of the harbor. Portofino has shops, restaurants, cafes, and luxury hotels. Portofino's crystalline green waters reveal a myriad display of aquatic life. A castle sits atop the hill overlooking the village. There are also opportunities for hiking, diving, and boating.

Assisi

The charming town of Assisi offers tourists a wealth of tranquillity and this is amongst the most attractive destinations that you are likely to encounter in Umbria. Assisi is the birthplace of St. Francis (San Francesco), patron saint of animals and ecology, and its undeniable charm and appeal attracts huge numbers of visitors and religious pilgrim.

Golf

Ugolino Golf Club (18 holes): It was 1889 when the English colony of Florence founded the Florence Golf Club, the first italian golf association. It was founded in the Cascine area, then transferred to the Osmannoro area after the first world war. Between the 20’s and the 30’s the idea of creating a new golf course takes shape; in 1933 the Ugolino was realized on the Chiantigiana street on a project of the English architects Blandford and Gannon. A natural course, difficult, for differences in levels, the handicaps, the small and well defended green.
Considered one of the most suggestive natural golf courses of the worlds, it has been named among the 50 most beautiful golf course of the world by the American writer Chris Santella.