Touring Tuscany this summer


It’s that time again when we’ve almost made it past the cold weather of winter and we’re thinking of where to spend our summer vacation.  Many of us will head overseas in the summer to visit Europe by way of a tour of one country or several.  Organized coach tours are a safe bet for seniors and those that like to uncomplicate life, leaving the driving and organization up to others.  There’s no need to bother with booking hotels or restaurants or planning routes and schedules.  This way, travel is more enjoyable and more relaxing.  Touring Tuscany was our goal last summer, the price was reasonable for the two of us and we experienced the best attractions for which Tuscany is noted.  If you’re the do-it-yourself type, check out our useful travel tips for Tuscany to assist with your plans.

An organized tour of Tuscany is one way to experience its major highlights in a short period of time. Ours was a four day tour staying in 4 star hotels in three different cities. For a little over $600 US per person,  it was a great bargain.  The tour was easy-going and we returned home feeling renewed, refreshed and enlightened by the tour. I probably couldn’t have organized a tour better myself and there’s the reassuring fact that all the details are taken care of by the tour company.

Touring Tuscany offers an amazing experience of art galleries, monuments, duomos, monasteries and churches.  Outside of the cities and towns, the countryside landscapes of rolling green hills, terracotta rooftops, crumbling monasteries, vine yards, shuttered windows and stone walls are a visual pleasure.  Riding by coach through the scenic landscape,  dining at tried and true restaurants, staying at acceptable hotels makes it worry-free travel. You know you’re getting what you paid for.

As I mentioned, our tour of Tuscany which began in Florence covered three beautiful cities:  Pisa, Siena and Arezzo.  The Tuscany hotels included in the tour included the Hotel Bonanno in Pisa, the Hotel Executive in Siena and the Hotel Il Patio in Arezzo. The tour price was based on double occupancy, so we were covered there. I understand for single travelers, there’s always the single supplement to pay.

We stayed in the Hotel Bonanno ten minutes from the Leaning Tower in Pisa.  In Siena, the Hotel Executive in a residential neighbourhood was our home for a night.  The Hotel Il Patio was the chosen hotel in Arezzo.  All were good 4 star hotels so no disappointment there.

In Pisa, we visited the town’s most famous monument, the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  Pisa is a city of history, architecture and artistic beauty. Also on the tour was the monumental Cemetery, the Baptistry, the Duomo, the Field of Miracles and a quick visit to the Museum of the Sinopie.

On to the medieval town of Siena, 322 meters above sea level in the hills, we visited the Duomo di Siena Cathedral and saw the the magnificent frescoes by Pinturicchio in the Piccolomini Library.  In the Palazzo Pubblico (the town hall), we had a chance to see the awe-inspiring frescos of Ambrogio Lorenzetti, “The Effects of Good Government and The Effects of Bad Government”.

It goes without saying that when touring Tuscany, one gets the privilege of sampling the delicious cuisine. Such delightful food, fresh, healthy and organic, tantalized the taste buds. Famous as a wine region, Tuscan wines such as the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Brunello di Montalcino and Chianti were welcome accompaniments to lunches and dinners.

If you plan on touring Tuscany this summer there are many companies in Italy that offer tour packages of the region.  Coach tours with companies such as Trafalgar and Global offer tours in Italy.  If you have special interests such as Tuscan gastronomy, wine tasting tours, art history or architecture, you can also find specialized tours which focus on your interests.