Italy – Florence, Lucca and Pisa by Annette Ross

An early flight to Pisa followed by about a 1 hour transfer to Florence staying at the 3 star Hotel Corona d’Italia in a very good central location, and close to the railway station. Handy for the local market and a good starting point for our walking tour of Florence.
An opportunity to see all the iconic sights, a stroll along the Arno River stopping at the Ponte Vecchio and not forgetting the guided visit to the Accademia Gallery to see Michael Angelo’s famous statue of David one it’s many art treasures.

Lunch at the Zaza Restaurant – tastey pasta in nice surroundings – putting us firmly in the Italian mood.

Enjoyed a pizza at the Mamma Napoli in the evening.

Sunday 4 December

Enjoyed a full day walking tour of the Lucca, an hour’s drive from Florence.
A wonderful walled city with beautiful buildings, great shops, markets – and 99 cathedrals! Lucca is a must ‘do’on an visit to Tuscany even if only for a day trip.

Lunch at the Buca Sant’Antonio Restaurant was a great experience, lovely ambience and more delicious local food and fine wine.

Dinner back in Florence at the Hotel Baglioni’s famous La Terraza Brunelleschi  Restaurant with fabulous views over the rooftops of Florence and of the Duomo.

Monday 5 December

A half day walking tour of Pisa including lunch at another lovely restaurant – the ‘Nonna Rosa Trattoria’. Listened to the amazing acoustics in the Pisa Baptistery with a 70 step climb in to the dome and, of course, had to climb the leaning tower..just under 300 steps…worth it for the views!
(Access to the Leaning Tower must be pre-booked).

Typically Italian can book train journeys to any of these places and/or excursions. Our hotel in Florence was ideal from this point of view. They can also make advance bookings for entrance to various buildings where and when needed…and of course, give advice. They also organise speciality trips which include Cookery Classes,  Art Classes in Tuscany …amongst others.

I would highly recommend the hotel and any of the restaurants we went to .

This was a wonderful cultural and gastronomic experience…fitting in 3 cities in to a 2 night stay worked out perfectly…in all a fabulous long weekend break…and although we flew from Gatwick you would be able to fly from Stansted.

Must go back to each place for a longer stay..especially to Lucca!