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Situated amongst stunning Tuscan hills the cultural city of Florence is simply beautiful. From the towering Duomo, Florence’s cathedral, to the street architecture full of decorative columns and arches, this city will impress with its unparalleled Renaissance heritage. Equally impressive is the dramatic coastal landscapes of the Ligurian Riviera, but for wholly different reasons. Colourful villages cling to rugged cliff faces affording spectacular coastal views. Combining sightseeing in Florence with a relaxing break in Liguria is the ideal Italian holiday.
Inghams Italy recommends:
Where to stay? Hotel Degli Orafi, 4*
If this sophisticated hotel seems familiar to you it might be because it was the setting for the film A Room with a View. Occupying a 13th century Florentine building on the banks of the River Arno, the hotel has ready access to the sights of the city.
What to do?
As the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence can rightfully boast of its rich cultural heritage. A wealth of treasures are packed into this small city which holds its own against much larger cultural cities around the world.
The excellent art galleries of the Uffizi and the Accademia display world class collections of Renaissance Art. Highlights of the Uffizi gallery include The Birth of Venus by Botticelli and the Venus of Urbinoby Titian, while the Accademia is home to Michelangelo’s David.
Brunelleschi’s Duomo is a premiere example of Renaissance architecture and it dominates the city skyline. Climbing the adjacent Giotto’s Campanile, affords magnificent views of the cathedral dome, across the city and beyond to the Tuscan countryside.
As you would expect from a city that was home to both Gucci and Roberto Cavalli, Florence has an excellent sense of fashion. Spending an afternoon shopping in the high-class boutiques and arcades is surely a must, before indulging your taste buds in one of the many elegant bars, cafés and restaurants.
Ligurian Riviera, 7-nights
Where to stay? Hotel Jolanda, 3* Plus
The elegant rooms in this welcoming 3-star hotel are stylish yet traditional, affording a comfortable retreat. Ideally located in the centre of the laidback harbour town of Santa Margherita, it’s perfect for exploring the length of the Ligurian coastline.
What to do?
Genoa, the regional capital of Liguria has a rich maritime history. Relicts of Genoa’s maritime past, including exhibits on Christopher Columbus can be explored in the Galata Museo del Mare – Genoa’s maritime museum.
The winding, maze like streets of Genoa’s old town reward exploration. The stunning Via Garibaldi, today a UNESCO World Heritage Site,dates back to the 16th century and is lined with grand palaces. We highly recommend the magnificent Palazzi dei Rolli with its richly decorated interiors.
For a taste of the opulent Italian Riviera head to San Remo, Italy’s version of Monte Carlo. Known by many as the ‘City of Flowers’ for its stunning summer decorations, the city has long been the haunt of Europe’s elite boasting a glitzy casino and opulent, grand villas.
Exploring the coastline is a must for any visitor to Liguria. Accessed either by boat or a cliff hugging, 19th century railway line, the remote yet iconic Cinque Terre is the highlight of any visit to this region.
The Cinque Terre is made up of five, colourful fishing villages which perch dramatically on the cliff edge. You’ll find yourself snapping hundreds of photographs of this UNESCO World Heritage Site to show to friends and family back home.
How to get around?
Despite the rugged terrain and location in the far north west of Italy, Liguria is fantastically well connected with the rest of the country. We recommend taking the train from Florence’s central Santa Maria Novella station, through the glorious Tuscan countryside before the train winds up the coast to Santa Margherita.
Our Inghams Italy multi-centre itineraries are tailored to meet your requirements. If you’ve seen something above that you’d like to do differently, then please contact one of our personal Travel Consultants on 01483 345 707.
We will personalise your Italian holiday to suit you.