The Versilia Coast is a favourite holiday destination of Italy’s rich and famous. Your holiday base, Marina di Pietrasanta, has excellent beaches and a backdrop of the Apuan Alps. Your holiday includes three contrasting excursions: to the mighty Florence of Dante, Boccaccio and Machiavelli; to the stunningly beautiful ‘Gulf of Poets’ of Byron and Shelley; and a circular trip by coach and rail through the Apuan Alps and Serchio valley, with an afternoon in the wonderful walled city of Lucca.
- 7 nights half board at Marina di Pietrasanta, on the Versilian coast
- Excursion to Florence
- Excursion to the scenic Gulf of Poets
- Train trip through the Apuan Alps with a visit to Lucca
- Return flights including transfers
Day One: Flight to Pisa and a short transfer to your hotel for seven nights half board accommodation in Marina di Pietrasanta.
Marina di Pietrasanta: the more modern beach resort is 3km from the old town of Pietrasanta, and has shops, bars, restaurants and pier. The resort centre is 700m from your hotel, and there is a regular bus service which stops near the hotel to Viareggio and beyond.
Days Two to Seven: At leisure on the coast, with three included excursions. You have an included full day trip to Florence where your guide will show you some of the masterpieces including the Cathedral, Piazza della Signoria, and Santa Croce – where Galileo insisted to the end that the earth moved around the sun, rather than vice-versa. You will also have free time for shopping and sightseeing. Florence is 68 miles away: you will cover the last few miles by local train to get right into the city centre.
The second trip takes you into the nearby Apuan Alps – the ‘marble mountains’ – and Lucca. You take the motorway to Aulla (32 miles), where there is time to explore, before catching the train down the valley to the exquisite walled town of Lucca (journey time 2 hours). In Lucca there is free time for lunch, and then a guided walking tour of the main sights. In the late afternoon, you travel back to your hotel by coach (25 minutes). Please note that if for any reason the train is not operating, the excursion will concentrate on Lucca rather than the valley.
The other included excursion takes you 40 minutes north to the azure ‘Gulf of Poets’, a glorious bay of verdant hills and colourful coastal villages, of ancient towns huddled around and beneath their castle. It is a coast rich in history, art, wildlife: the ‘Gulf of Poets’ so named because so many writers came and sang its praises – Dante and Petrarch, George Sand and D. H. Lawrence, Byron and Shelley (who died while sailing from Livorno to the Gulf). You travel by coach to Portovenere, the ‘Port of Venus’, on the west side of the Gulf (40 miles). Ferry timetable and weather permitting, you cross back to the east side of the Gulf by boat to meet your coach and continue to the hotel.
There is also the chance to join an optional excursion to Torre del Lago Puccini, just half an hour south of your resort. Puccini called this area “paradise” – he converted an old watchtower by the lake to a villa, now a museum: the town has added ‘Puccini’ to its name in his honour.
Day Eight: Transfer to Pisa airport and your flight home.
Please note: there is a local tourist tax of 1.50 euros per person per day. It is not included in the price of the holiday and will be payable by hotel guests directly to the hotel.
A Walking Holiday in this area is also available. Details elsewhere on our website and in our Walking Holidays brochure.
Hotel Joseph 3*, Marina di Pietrasanta
The Hotel Joseph, recently-refurbished, offers spacious lounge areas, lift, bar, restaurant, terraces, and outdoor pool area with terrace and fine views of the Versilia Coast. There is a wellness centre, with treatments available (charges apply). Bedrooms are in two adjacent buildings, and have shower, wc, safety deposit box, fridge, and wifi. Twin rooms also have balcony.