Featured holiday In the footsteps of Michelangelo holiday Italy

6 nights/7 days
This is a holiday based on the work of Michelangelo. Follow in his footsteps and explore his work in both Florence and Rome, spending three nights in each city, perhaps re-discovering famous pieces you have seen before but also witnessing new masterpieces in both cities.
Included in your Expressions holiday
  • Accommodation in a double or twin room on bed and breakfast
  • Scheduled flights with British Airways London to Italy return, economy
  • Private luxury car transfers in Florence and Rome
  • First class rail travel from Florence to Rome
  • Concierge service and Expressions Holidays regional helpful hints

Luxury holiday in the footsteps of Michelangelo

This is a 6-night two-centre holiday in Florence and Rome, based on the life and works and following in the footsteps of Michelangelo. Michelangelo Buonarroti, sculptor, painter, poet and architect, is often thought of as the archetypal Renaissance man and his work ranks amongst the most famous in existence. His influence on Western art has been profound. With this holiday you can follow in the footsteps of Michelangelo and explore his work in both Florence and Rome, perhaps re-discovering famous pieces you have seen before but also witnessing new masterpieces in both cities.

Highlights

Stay in a hotels in the centre of Florence and Rome • First class rail between Florence and Rome included • Book a private guide in Florence and Rome for extra insight • Add extra nights in either city


Holiday price guide Sample prices are per person based on two people sharing a double or twin room for 6 nights.

From about

£1,680 Five-star hotels

Holiday Code FHIT04

The prices displayed here are a guide only. Each holiday price will be tailor-made at the time of booking to reflect all actual costs including up-to-date special offers.

Luxury holiday in the footsteps of Michelangelo

Arrive by air either into Pisa or Florence. Private transfer from the airport to your hotel in the centre of Florence. We suggest the Hotel Helvetia and Bristol because of its history and location.

Throughout the city of Florence there are numerous associations with Michelangelo from the Piazza San Marco, opposite the former Medici garden, where he served his apprenticeship to the Casa Buonarroti, where drawings and works from his youth are displayed to the Piazzale Michelangelo, where a statue of Michelangelo was erected in 1875. However, the principle locations, buildings and items in Florence are the Accademia, housing David, Prisoners, Pieta di Palestrina and St Matthew. The Church of San Lorenzo houses the Medici tombs and Michelangelo’s allegorical statues of Dawn and Dusk, Night and Day. His Florentine Pieta or the Deposition of Christ, a work he started at the age of 72, is housed in the Opera dell Duomo. In the Bargello are several sculptures including Bacchus and Brutus, whilst in the Uffizi is his only Florence painting, the Doni Tondo. Spend the two full days here in Florence tracing the footsteps of this great artist. Michelangelo’s tomb, by Vasari, is actually in Santa Croce.

Let us know what time you want to leave Florence, allowing for more time in that city or in Rome. We include a transfer to the station, first class rail travel from Florence to Rome (journey time about 2 hours) and then a private transfer from the station to your hotel in Rome. We suggest the Hotel Inghilterra because of its central location not far from the Spanish Steps.

In Rome the most obvious place to visit is St Peter’s with the Dome, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and the Pieta. Other works by Michelangelo in Rome include diverse items such as the Porta Pia in the Aurelian walls, the Palazzo Farnese, the statue of Moses in the church of San Pietro in Vincoli, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in the church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, the Capitoline Hill and the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli built inside the frigidarium of the Baths of Diocletian. Truly a broad scope of work illustrating the genius of Michelangelo.

Time for further exploration in Rome today before your flight home.

Holiday price guide Sample prices are per person based on two people sharing a double or twin room for 6 nights.

From about

£1,680 Five-star hotels

Holiday Code FHIT04

The prices displayed here are a guide only. Each holiday price will be tailor-made at the time of booking to reflect all actual costs including up-to-date special offers.

Our prices include ● Scheduled flights with British Airways London to Pisa or Florence, returning from Rome to London, economy
● Three nights’ bed and breakfast in a Classic double room at the Hotel Helvetia and Bristol, Florence
● Three nights’ bed and breakfast in a Superior double room at the Hotel Inghilterra, Rome
● Private car transfer Pisa or Florence airport to Florence hotel and back to station
● Private car transfer Rome station to Rome hotel and back to airport
● First class rail travel from Florence to Rome
● Concierge service and Expressions Holidays regional helpful hints

Holiday price guide Sample prices are per person based on two people sharing a double or twin room for 6 nights.

From about

£1,680 Five-star hotels

Holiday Code FHIT04

The prices displayed here are a guide only. Each holiday price will be tailor-made at the time of booking to reflect all actual costs including up-to-date special offers.

Our prices include • Scheduled flights with British Airways London to Pisa or Florence, returning from Rome to London, economy
• Three nights’ bed and breakfast in a Classic double room at the Hotel Helvetia and Bristol, Florence
• Three nights’ bed and breakfast in a Superior double room at the Hotel Inghilterra, Rome
• Private car transfer Pisa or Florence airport to Florence hotel and back to station
• Private car transfer Rome station to Rome hotel and back to airport
• First class rail travel from Florence to Rome
• Concierge service and Expressions Holidays regional helpful hints

The journey and how you get there There are British Airways flights to Pisa from London Heathrow every day, with more than one flight a day. There are also flights from London City Airport to Florence. From Pisa, the journey time by private car transfer to Florence takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Florence airport is about 4 kms from the city centre and a private car transfer to your city centre hotel takes about 20 minutes. Rome Fiumicino airport is about 45 minutes by car from the centre of the city.

Luxury holiday in the footsteps of Michelangelo

Expressions Holidays includes these hotels in Florence and Rome for this holiday.
Hotels included in this tour
Florence
Hotel Helvetia Bristol

Helvetia & Bristol is a charming boutique 5-star hotel in an excellent central location. Exquisite fine-dining cuisine and luxurious accommodation make it an ideal spot to recuperate after enjoying the delights of Florence.

Classic double room

Rome
Hotel Inghilterra

Hotel d'Inghilterra is a luxury 5-star hotel in an excellent central location. Ornate architecture, fine dining and grand interiors exude luxury in this exquisite gem making it an ideal haven amid the bustle of Rome.

Superior double room

From about Sample prices are per person based on two people sharing a double or twin room for 6 nights.

Holiday Code FHIT04

Luxury holiday in the footsteps of Michelangelo

About Tuscany

An Expressions tailor-made holiday in Tuscany allows you to appreciate its classical landscape of rolling hills and vineyards dotted with olive and cypress trees, its misty green-grey mountains that are never too far distant, and hill-top towns of rich brown and gold stone houses. This combines with the beauty of the works of art contained in the towns and villages throughout Tuscany to create an inspirational union of the spirit and the senses. There is an intrinsic comfort in the supposed contrast between the delicacy of a Botticelli and the heartiness of Ribollita soup, yet both are typical of this fascinating region. As birthplace of the Renaissance, the impact of Tuscan and particularly Florentine traditions and culture on European heritage is fundamental to our way of life. In addition to the obvious attractions of the scenery of Chianti and the art cities of Florence and Siena, there are the less well-known regions south of Siena with its moon-like landscape of hills, the patchwork vineyards of Montalcino, the coastal marshlands of the Maremma, the spas of Montecatini and Saturnia, the islands of Elba and Giglio, and the Casentino with the source of the Arno and abundant mushroom crops. Wherever you travel on holiday in Tuscany, you will be inspired by the beauty of your surroundings and the way of life, which is quintessentially that of Italy too.

Highlights of Tuscany

Famous vineyards producing wines of Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Alabaster is produced in Volterra. Gold and silver are worked in Florence and the Ponte Vecchio is lined with jewellery shops. Marbled paper and stationery is a speciality of Florence. Ceramics and hand-painted majolica from raw terracotta from Impruneta to the glazed pottery of Siena are to be found throughout Tuscany. Lucca has traditionally produced silk and hand-woven fabrics. Leather goods including shoes, handbags and belts are to be found from market stalls to designer shops such as Gucci and Ferragamo. Interesting markets include the Mercato dell' Antiquariato which sells furniture from antiques to bric-a-brac in Arezzo on the first weekend of every month, in Pisa on the second weekend and in Lucca on the third weekend. The 'wild' Maremma is known for its long-horned white cattle and cowboys (butteri) and natural springs including Saturnia.

Cultural highlights of Tuscany

As birthplace of the Renaissance, Tuscany contains a wealth of treasures: Giotto`s Campanile and Brunelleschi`s Dome in Florence, the Tombs of Galileo and Michelangelo in Florence`s Santa Croce, Botticelli`s `Birth of Venus` and `Primavera` and the portraits of the Duke and Duchess of Urbino by Piero della Francesca in the Uffizi, Michelangelo`s `David` in the Accademia, the architecture of the Piazza della Signoria in Florence, `The Tuscan Maremma` painting by Giovanni Fattori in the Palazzo Pitti in Florence, the Piazza del Campo in Siena, `The Legend of the Cross` frescoes by Piero della Francesco in Arezzo, `The Creation` fresco by Bartolo di Fredi in the Collegiata in San Gimignano, Romanesque church of the Collegiata in San Quirico d`Orcia, 14th Century Fortezza of Montalcino, Renaissance masterpiece of the church of Madonna di San Biagio at Montepulciano, the abbey-church of Sant`Antimo, mediaeval Lucignano and the towers of San Gimignano, the Etruscan Museum in Cortona.  

Festivals in Tuscany

Many of Tuscany`s festivals resound with the flamboyance of the Renaissance and keep Tuscans and visitors alike in touch with the region`s rich history. Others are linked to Tuscany`s hearty traditions of eating and drinking. The most famous is Siena`s Palio which takes place on 2 July and 16 August each year. Others include the Sagra del Tordo (Festival of the Thrush) in Montalcino on the last Sunday in October when there is an archery contest and charcoal-grilled thrush are a delicacy. In Florence, Calcio in Costume (a football match played in mediaeval costume) takes place in June. Pisa has the Giocco del Ponte (Game of the Bridge), a mock battle in Renaissance dress also held in June. Viareggio celebrates Carnival on Shrove Tuesday with a huge display of flamboyant floats. In May and August Massa Marittima holds the Falcon Contest.  

Gastronomy in Tuscany

Simple country food is at the heart of Tuscan cooking. Regional dishes include Bruschetta (bread or ciabatta toasted and rubbed with garlic, olive oil and salt), Ribollita (bean, cabbage and bread soup), Pasta with hare or wild boar sauce, Porcini mushroom and truffle dishes, Bistecca all Fiorentina (thick cut of sirloin and fillet beef), Cantucci (almond and honey biscuits) served dipped in Vin Santo, Panforte (chocolate, nut and spice cake). Pecorino cheese made from sheep's milk. Local wines include the white Vernaccia di San Gimignano and the Bianco di Pitigliano. Famous reds include Chanti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino and the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Vin Santo made from semi-crushed grapes left for several months is an excellent dessert wine.

Luxury holiday in the footsteps of Michelangelo

About Florence

An Expressions tailor-made holiday to Florence is one of the ‘must see’ places of all art lovers. Florence is the centre of the Renaissance movement and the Uffizi Gallery houses a phenomenal collection of painting from this era, as does the Accademia, home to Michelangelo’s statue of David. However, it is the atmosphere of the city which is overwhelmingly Renaissance as everywhere you turn there is yet another reminder of the period either artistic or architectural and this creates a superb museum like ambience to the historic centre. All the sites are easily reached on foot from the Ponte Vecchio to the Church of Santa Maria Novella, to the Accademia, to the Duomo and it is by visiting on foot that you can soak up the amazing atmosphere of the city.

Highlights of Florence

The markets in Florence are great for browsing for leather bags and shoes, but be prepared to haggle the price, as these markets are now really geared up for tourists and you can end up paying more than you need to. Fiesole can be reach by train or bus and has lovely views of the city. The Boboli gardens are an enchanting place to spend a few lazy hours and can be reached on foot over the other side of the River Arno from the main sites. Hire a car and visit Siena, Lucca, San Gimignano, Chianti, Montepulciano, Perugia and many more fascinating mediaeval towns nearby.

Cultural highlights of Florence

The Duomo, The Battistero, Uffizi Gallery, Accademia Gallery, the mausoleum of the Medici family in the Medici Chapel, Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Pitti, The Piazza della Signoria.

Festivals in Florence

There are a wide range of fashion shows held in Florence in January, which can make finding hotel availability difficult during the show period. Otherwise, Florence holds any wonderful festivals throughout the year including the Scoppio del Carro or the explosion of the cart on Easter Sunday, which is really a firework display, but the atmosphere is tremendous. Calcio in Costume in June is a fun spectacle and a slightly different take on ‘Calcio’ or football! Alternatively, in September there is the Festa della Rificolana where children carrying candlelit lanterns converge on the Piazza della Santissima Annunziata to celebrate the eve of the birth of the Virgin Mary. The most notable festival in the area however, is of course the Palio in Siena, just south of Florence and easily reachable by train, which takes place in July and August. Early booking is essential.

Gastronomy in Florence

Florence is famous for its food, namely Bistecca alla Fiorentina and many grilled meats and game dishes, but of course it is the centre of the Chianti wine producing region and thereby has access to some of the most prestigious wines from Chianti and the hearty reds of Southern Tuscany. Olive oil is also in abundance here and is used with everything, from cooking to dipping and even tasting!

Luxury holiday in the footsteps of Michelangelo

About Rome

An Expressions tailor-made holiday to Rome is a trip to the capital city of Italy and, as the capital city of the Roman Empire, a place which was widely regarded as the birth place of western civilisation. The city has a unique atmosphere of any in Italy, due to its huge wealth of sites to see, dating back not just from the Roman era, but from mediaeval and Renaissance periods as well and you could spend a lifetime visiting all the historical and architectural sites the city has to offer. Most visitors come to Rome to see the foundations of the Roman Empire in the form of the Colosseum, The Forum Romanum and the Circus Maximus, to name but a few. However, visitors nearly always allow time for a visit to the Vatican Museum and the Basilica of St Peter, even if they choose not to visit any other non-Roman historical sites! The variety of places to visit in Rome can be over whelming and it is best to plan in advance what you wish to see within the time you have and stick to it, rather than planning whilst you are there. The historic centre is perfectly manageable on foot as it is in fact quite compact. However, there is a comprehensive metro system that runs around the historic centre, rather than through it (for obvious reasons), with its intersection at the main Rome Termini station. The two lines of the metro are easy to navigate and can be a swift and inexpensive way of reaching monuments or museums which are further away from each other.

Highlights of Rome

If the monuments, museums and historical sites become too overwhelming then Rome is also the perfect place for a spot of retail therapy, particularly shoes and clothes. The Apian way just outside the city is where a large proportion of the Roman catacombs are, as well as the baths of Caracalla. There are also numerous famous gardens in and around Rome namely the Borghese Gardens, The Gardens of Villa Doria Pamphili, Villa Torlonia, Villa Ada and the Park of Aqueducts.

Cultural highlights of Rome

The Colosseum, The Forum, The Pantheon, Circus Maximus, Domus Aurea, Trajan’s Market, The Vatican Museum, The Basilica of St Peter, The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, The Capitoline Museum, The Borghese Gallery.

Festivals in Rome

The Estate Romana is a festival which lasts throughout the summer months and encompasses many cultural activities including concerts and street performances. The Noantri Festival is at the beginning of July and has its roots in early Christianity. The statue of the Vergine del Carmine is carried through the streets of the Trastevere district of Rome and there is much feasting and merriment. There are numerous arts and antiques fairs which take place in the autumn in Rome and the city attracts a wide range of musicians and art collections throughout the year.

Gastronomy in Rome

The gastronomy of Rome is hearty but simple, based on numerous ways of cooking fresh vegetables, particularly artichokes and courgettes (zucchini), salt cod, hearty soups and meat sauces and various pasta shapes and tomato sauces, particularly using garlic and chilli. The most famous wines of the area are the Frascati wines, however the area to the south also produces excellent Cesanese wines.

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