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Simon in TOSCANA (Tuscany)In 2001 I flew just once, again with Page "&" Moy When their "Christmas Holidays" brochure dropped on my mat, I saw the chance to escape the confines of Cornish Christmases and do my own thing. Having enjoyed that experience (see DOLOMITI) I decided to repeat.
For Christmas 2000 I decided to join Page & Moy again, and take my first look at Toscana. "Chiantishire" is the English nickname for the region that Italians call TOSCANA and which we know as TUSCANY. Our tour left London Heathrow midday on December 23rd 2000 and flew to Rome before a 2hour coach transfer to the Hill town of MONTEPULCIANO, though in fact we stayed below its slopes at ALBERGO SAN BIAGIO. Christmas Eve was spent on local excursions to MONTEPULCIANO, to the Hilltop town of PIENZA the birth place of Pope Pius II, and A Thermal spa (shown below). Weather was grey and damp.
The best excursions were to ASSISI, to SIENA, and to fabulous FIRENZE. All these are covered by separate pages which can be loaded by clicking on the links behind their names.
In 2003 I decided to return to Toscana for another Tuscan treat, this time spending Christmas at the Hill town of GAVINANA. We again visited Siena and Firenze as well as Vinci and Pistoia.
In September 2004 I introduced my sister to Tuscany when we took the "Leisurely Tuscany" Tour with COSMOS and stayed at Montecatini Terme. On this tour we visited Florence and Siena (again) but also Pisa, Lucca, and San Gimingagno. Cosmos took us back to Tuscany, but also to Umbria, when we took the "Medieval Italy" Tour, staying at Chianciano Terme and visiting Assisi, Orvieto, Arezzo, Todi, Pienza, and Montepulciano
click pictures below for full size views