Archive - Italy RSS Feed

Relax in the Spas of Montecatini Terme on VBT’s new Lucca to Pisa Biking Tour

Terme tettuccio
One of the highlights of VBT’s new Cycling Italy’s Middle Ages: Lucca to Pisaare the two days spent in and around the town of Montecatini Terme. One of the most famous things to do in Montecatini Terme is visit the town’s spas as it is considered the capital of natural hot springs in Italy. The healing properties of the thermal springs in the town have been known for centuries but it wasn’t until the late 1700’s that baths were constructed under the order of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Pietro Leopoldo. He also ordered proper channels for the disposal of the thermal water as unconfined springs had created vast marshes where many hotels and spas in present day Montecatini are built.

After the completion of the thermal baths, many tourists began to flock to the town in order to “take the waters.” ByTerme di Redi the early 20th century celebrities began to frequent Montecatini—including Vivaldi and Puccini,  who even  composed parts of La Boheme here—and shops, restaurants, nightclubs and a casino soon followed. Of course the main reason everyone comes to Montecatini is that these waters actually have proven health benefits. A hydro-mineral basin that lies around 60 meters below the ground pumps out a chloride-sulphate-sodium water type that is also bacteriologically pure. Research conducted over the years has concluded the waters at Montecatini Terme have the best effect on one’s digestive and metabolic systems. Current day-spas have added many modern elements like massage, mud pack treatments and hydrotherapy in order to make Montecatini an all-around health spa retreat.

Terme excelsiorDuring your stay with VBT we’ll meet for a cocktail at the Terme Tettuccio, the heart of the Terme complex which dates back to the 1920’s, during our first night. The Terme is a complex of 9 buildings, each with its own character, staff and range of treatments. To enjoy the hot natural thermal springs, the easiest and quickest way is to access the Thermal Pool in the Terme Redi building, which is walking distance from our hotel. The thermal pool is fed with Leopoldina thermal water at 91°, excellent for rheumatic troubles and vascular disease. A vast range of both relaxing treatments with thermal water and esthetic treatments are available at the Terme Excelsior, also within walking distance from our hotel.

These are just some examples of the authentic cultural experiences you’ll have while on our new  Cycling Italy’s Middle Ages: Lucca to Pisa ​tour. Visit the www.termemontecatini.it to get familiar with the range of spa packages offered during your stay. To read more about our Italian vacations, please click here.  If you would like to reserve a vacation or speak with one of our Tour Consultants, please call 800-245-3868. They are available Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm EST and Saturdays from 10:00am to 3:00pm EST.

Discover the Art of Tuscany with VBT

Florence OverlookTuscany is deeply rooted in the Italian Renaissance and consequently, is home to vast troves of amazing Renaissance art whether in the form of Italian paintings, sculptures or adorned architecture. A vital component to any VBT vacation is the immersion in local culture that we facilitate on tour through home-hosted meals, lectures from local experts, cooking classes, visits to wineries and olive oil mills and of course, museums. With 5 vacations throughout Tuscany, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the finer side of Italian culture with VBT.  Here are some examples of the art you’ll find on our various Tuscan tours.

Florence: The starting point of 4 VBT Tuscan vacations including The Tuscan Coast and Italy: The Quiet Pathways of Tuscany​
Best known as the creative center of the flurry of productivity and inspiration that defined the Renaissance, Florence is Duomo Florencethe starting point for 4 out of 5 of our vacations in Tuscany and we also offer a pre-trip extension there as a chance to really get to explore the delights of this amazing city before starting your biking or walking tour. Visiting Florence museums is a must and if you choose to go on our pre-trip extension be sure to take our “Glory of Tuscany: Florence and the Accademia Gallery” tour that is tailored especially for VBT travelers. First you’ll visit the Accademia Gallery, where you’ll spend time enjoying a closer look at its many treasures, including Michelangelo’s sculptural masterpiece, David. A guided walking tour of the city concludes the Glory of Tuscany tour.
During your second day in Florence we also suggest going to the DavidUffizi Gallery—purchasing tickets ahead of time is strongly recommended—to view Botticelli’s epic paintings, Primavera and Birth of Venus, as well as works by Caravaggio, Raffaello and Rembrandt. If you can’t get enough, a short walk across the Ponte alle Grazie bridge over the Arno river will bring you to the Pitti Palace—the largest museum complex in Florence. It features several museums, including the Palatine Gallery which boasts more than 500 Italian paintings by acclaimed Renaissance artists like Raphael and Titian.

Tuscany by the Sea biking vacation
Orvieto Piazza Duomo
This popular vacation begins in the town of Orvieto, which was an important Etruscan city. After the Etruscan splendor, which was at its peak between the 4th and 6th centuries BC a period of decadence and exile followed. In fact, in 264 BC the Romans destroyed the city and nothing was left but ruins. Today you can see the collection of archaeological finds at Museo Faina, which includes more than 3,000 coins, Etruscan relics, and attic vases—all in a beautiful noble building facing the Duomo. You can also admire the Duomo’s fascinating façade from a museum balcony. We also highly recommend visiting the Duomo & San Brizio Chapel as well. It dates back to the Renaissance and features beautiful frescoes by Luca Signorelli.

Tuscan Hill Towns by Bike
The hotel we stay at in Siena is a restored monastery in the complex of San Niccolo’ Church, in the quietest part of the IMG_3180-Lcity. During our stay we’ll attend a presentation on the Italian Renaissance and the history of Siena by a local art historian, who will then join the group for dinner in a local restaurant. The whole city of Siena, built around the Piazza del Campo, was created as a work of art that blends into the surrounding landscape. Throughout history, the residents preserved their city’s Gothic appearance, which was developed between the 12th and 15th centuries. During this period, the work of Duccio, the Lorenzetti brothers and Simone Martini influenced the course of Italian and, more broadly, European art.

Cycling Italy’s Middle Ages: Lucca to Pisa​
VinciOn Day 6 of this tour we’ll ride on winding, gently rolling roads through the Valdinievole valley to Vinci—birthplace of the renowned artist Leonardo Da Vinci. There we will spend time at the Castello dei Guidi, a former castle-home that now functions as a museum dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci. We’ll visit the museum and learn about the incredible inventions of the genius.

These are just a few examples of the authentic cultural experiences you’ll have while on tour with VBT in Tuscany. To read more about our Italian vacations, please click here.  If you would like to reserve a vacation or speak with one of our Tour Consultants, please call 800-245-3868. They are available Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm EST.

Page 5 of 23« First...«34567»1020...Last »