Touring Tuscany

Fancy escaping the tourist drag and discovering the real Tuscany? The Tuscan Route, a brand new nine-night experience from the Italian Hospitality Collection, is inspired by South Africa’s famed Garden Route. Guests wind their way through Tuscany’s gentle hills, along cypress-lined roads, in a classic Italian car. Overnight stays are planned en route at the group’s three historic thermal spa hotels – Fonteverde, Bagni di Pisa and Grotta Giusti – following in the footsteps of VIPs of yesteryear, including Gustav of Sweden, George IV of England and Mary Shelley. Located in villas formerly occupied by the Medici family, the Grand Duke of Tuscany and the 19th-century poet, Giuseppe Giusti, respectively, each of the properties features original frescoed hallways and ceilings, Tuscan terracotta and marbled floors. During their time at the hotels, guests can bathe in the healing waters and enjoy spa treatments and thermal mud applications. And a carefully selected roster of pit-stops throughout the road trip – a visit to artisan chocolatiers, Slitti; a tour of shoe-maker Lucio Picone’s artisan workshop; a food and wine pairing at Avignonesi Winery; a willow basket weaving lesson on the banks of the river Serchio and a hot air balloon trip over Pisa – have been designed to give an insight into Tuscan life.

Prices from €10,888, based on two people sharing a deluxe double room. The price includes vintage Italian car hire, three nights at each hotel on a half-board basis, and nine spa treatments per person, split across the hotels (