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May 1, 2015

Rooms with a view: 12 stunning settings in Tuscany, Italy JESS@FriendsTravel.com

Filed under: Florence,FriendsTravel.com,Italy,Tuscany,WINES of Tuscancy — tuscanyfriends @ 1:16 am

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#ItalyTravelReservations  JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365

Florence, Siena and Montepulciano are just a few of the stunning cities that define the beautiful region of Tuscany. The Tyrrhenian Sea borders its western coast, and nearly two-thirds of the area is comprised of rolling hills. Between the historic centers, nature reserves and a dominant arts and culture scene, it’s no wonder Tuscany remains a top travel destination. For a scenic setting where the views are exquisite — both outside and in — these 12 hotels are the best.

1. Saturnia Tuscany Hotel #ItalyTravelReservations  JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365

The chateau-style Saturnia Tuscany Hotel is one of the most romantic properties in Tuscany, thanks to its spectacular views, rustic rooms and saltwater pool overlooking the hillside. The on-site restaurant receives good reviews and the spa has two hot tubs and both a hot and dry sauna. We recommend upgrading to a room with a terrace.

2. Il Pellicano #ItalyTravelReservations  JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365

Il Pelicano is a luxurious, 50-room property perched along a hillside overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. Rooms are spacious with pretty, contemporary decor in neutral tones. Other features include an outdoor pool with sea views, a two-Michelin star Mediterranean restaurant and a gorgeous man-made private beach. A spa, free breakfast and tennis courts are additional perks.

3. Etruria Resort & Natural Spa  #ItalyTravelReservations  JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365

About an hour from Siena, Etruria Resort & Natural Spa is a former villa built in 1800 that was inhabited by a noble family of Montepulciano until the mid-1900s. Rooms have classically elegant furnishings, but the real stand out is the on-site spa; the dramatic space has a waterfall whirlpool, a Kneipp path, waterbeds, a sauna and a salt cave where you can breathe iodine. Though the location is a little isolated, it makes for gorgeous vistas of the countryside.

4. Grand Hotel Villa Cora  #ItalyTravelReservations  JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365

Though many hotels made this list for their setting amidst rolling hills and vineyards, the Grand Hotel Villa Cora fits the bill for its absolutely stunning interior. The luxury property has sumptuous decor throughout – the Hall of Mirrors has striking frescoes and gold details, while the White Hall has an intricate marble fireplace and elegant chandelier lighting. The 46 guest rooms are equally impressive; some feature frescoed ceilings, four-poster beds, chic marble bathrooms and pretty city views.

5. Agriturismo Fattoria Lavacchio  #ItalyTravelReservations  JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365

Complete with vineyards, olive groves, a winery and horse stalls, the mid-range Agriturismo Fattoria Lavacchio provides a quintessential Tuscany retreat. The 25 rooms are simple but cozy, there’s a large outdoor pool and the on-site restaurant serves farm-to-table cuisine. Ceramics classes, truffle hunting and wine tastings are just some of the activities offered.

6. Hotel Capo d’Uomo  #ItalyTravelReservations  JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365

Sure, the rooms here are dated and there are fees to use the chairs at the beach, but the main draw of Hotel Capo d’Uomo is its ideal location overlooking the sea. Most rooms have balconies with gorgeous views, and there’s a pretty garden area and free quality breakfast buffet. It’s not a great pick for families, but budget-minded couples will appreciate the romantic atmosphere.

7. Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa  #ItalyTravelReservations  JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365

The Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa is an upscale resort with amazing panoramic views of Serchio Valley mountains and forests. The location is remote, but there’s plenty to do on-site – there are two swimming pools, sports activities and three restaurants. The 180 rooms are elegantly finished and all have marble bathrooms, flat-screen TVs and minibars.

8. Hotel Garden  #ItalyTravelReservations  JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365

About a 15-minute drive from Siena’s main square, Hotel Garden is an upper-middle-range hotel with 125 rooms that have somewhat dated décor. As its name suggests, the property is surrounded by lush garden grounds with walkways and benches. A large outdoor pool, free breakfast buffet, on-site restaurant and tennis court round out the amenities.

9.  Four Seasons Hotel Florence  #ItalyTravelReservations  JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365

Combining luxury with history, the Four Seasons Hotel Florence is located in the 500-year-old Palazzo della Gherardesca. Outdoors, guests get exclusive access to the 11-acre Giardino della Gherardesca, one of the city’s largest private gardens; indoors, the lobby is filled with classic statues, bas reliefs along the walls and gorgeous frescoed ceilings. All rooms are large and opulent, but for a real splurge, the Royal Suite is indeed fit for a king and queen.

10. Hotel Posta Marcucci  #ItalyTravelReservations  JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365

Located in the spa town of Bagno Vignoni, the 36-room Hotel Posta Marcucci is a family-owned property providing a quaint, homey retreat. Its best features are the spring-fed thermal outdoor pool and the spa – containing hydro-massage, a Finnish and bio-saline sauna and a Turkish bath. The on-site restaurant serves a buffet lunch and four-course dinner, and drinks are available in the lobby bar.

11. Hotel Hermitage — Portoferraio  #ItalyTravelReservations  JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365

Located on the island of Elba, Hotel Hermitage — Portoferraio provides a good value for the price and is an especially solid option for families with kids. The hotel’s private beach is sandy and lovely; there are two large outdoor pools, golf and tennis facilities and four restaurants (one specifically for kids). Rooms are fairly bland, but many have terraces with gorgeous sea views.

12. Castello delle Quattro Torra  #ItalyTravelReservations  JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365

The family-run Castello delle Quattro Torra isn’t your average bed and breakfast, as it’s an authentic medieval castle located on a quiet hilltop. A short drive from Siena, the three rooms are all uniquely styled: The Tower Room has a spiral staircase to connect the two floors, while the Blue Room has exposed wood beams, and the Apartment has its own kitchen. For an intimate atmosphere, free breakfast and unique experience, this property is a top pick.

#ItalyTravelReservations  JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365

Italy Tuscany Castello di CasoleItaly Tuscany Castello poolside_breakfast3Italy Tuscany countrysidePienza country side - Val d'Orcia, Tuscany, Italy

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December 20, 2010

Italy Venice, Ferrara, Florence, and Rome Friends Travel LLP JESS Kalinowsky

11 Day Slow and Easy Italy<br>Venice, Ferrara, Florence, and Rome <br>A Budget Travel Magazine Exclusive From  $1499
Tour Number

11 Day Slow and Easy Italy
Venice, Ferrara, Florence, and Rome

From $1499
RT Air, Breakfast daily, trains between cities, 2 Nights Venice, 1 night Ferrara, 4 Nights in Florence, 2 Nights In Rome, Free Uffuzzi Museum Tour Florence, Free walking tour of Rome (The squares of Rome), Fuel Surcharge
Add on airfare available from any city in the USA
Although some of our trips are for specific dates, they can usually be arranged for your dates, just ask.
JESS Kalinowsky Professional Travel Consultant
ITALY@FriendsTravel.com 24/7/365

December 19, 2010

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August 7, 2008

WINES OF TUSCANY with FriendsTravel.com


Self Drive

$ 2399 per person *

Discover the hidden beauty of Tuscany as you drive through stunning landscapes dotted with cypress trees, olive groves and famous vineyards. Along the way, enjoy five pre-arranged wine tasting tours, olive oil tasting and a hands-on cooking course.


Ø 6 nights in Tuscany at Hotel Casafrassi

Ø Daily breakfast at the hotel

Ø 3 meals at the hotel

Ø 1 cooking course followed by lunch at the hotel

Ø 1 wine and olive oil tasting at the hotel

Ø 7 day car rental including insurance

Ø 4 local wine tastings including visits of the wineries

Ø Hotel tax and service charges

Prices are based on double occupancy land only and are valid through October 31, 2008.

All services are subject to availability at time of reservation.

For Reservations please contact: TUSCANY@FriendsTravel.com



July 29, 2008

WINES OF TUSCANY with FriendsTravel.com Under The Tuscan Sun.


Self Drive

$ 2399 per person *

Discover the hidden beauty of Tuscany as you drive through stunning landscapes dotted with cypress trees, olive groves and famous vineyards. Along the way, enjoy five pre-arranged wine tasting tours, olive oil tasting and a hands-on cooking course.


Ø 6 nights in Tuscany at Hotel Casafrassi

Ø Daily breakfast at the hotel

Ø 3 meals at the hotel

Ø 1 cooking course followed by lunch at the hotel

Ø 1 wine and olive oil tasting at the hotel

Ø 7 day car rental including insurance

Ø 4 local wine tastings including visits of the wineries

Ø Hotel tax and service charges




Prices are based on double occupancy land only and are valid through October 31, 2008.

All services are subject to availability at time of reservation.

Copy and paste the info into a email and tell us your preferred travel dates,

and if you prefer to fly First Class, Business Class or Coach.

Please advise the names of each traveler as they appear on your passports.

June 26, 2008

“Caterina de’ Medici school of Tuscan cooking” with FriendsTravel.com

If it were necessary to prove to the world that an italian kitchen and a Tuscan wine cellar are compulsory cultural stops, Caterina de’ Medici would have been the person best suited to the task. She was born into the Cafaggiolo branch of the Medici family on 13 April, 1529, and was the daughter of Lorenzo II. Caterina was well educated and developed a taste for parties, gaiety and sophistication, as well as the “pleasures of the table”. At the age of fourteen, she became Queen of France. When she left Italy, she took not only money and her trousseau, but also several cooks and sommeliers who had been chosen from among the noble families. This was the first and perhaps the most important contribution, to the world, as regards knowledge of both Tuscan cuisine and wine.

Today a new cooking school, “Caterina de’ Medici school of Tuscan cooking”, which is dedicated to diffusing the Mediterranean diet and improving the quality of life of those seeking the best things in life, is open.


  • The course programDuration of course: 6 days

  • Lessons: – six 3-hour morning lessons (8.00 am – 11.00 am)
    Lessons: – two 3-hour afternoon lessons
    Lessons: – one 3-hour evening lessons: wine tasting

  • Teachers: Chef Rossella Rossi, member of the “Italian Gastronomic Academy”, and her staff

  • Sommelier: Massimo Sottani, registered with the Italian Association of Sommelier

NOTE: No more than 15 partecipants and no fewer than 12 may partecipate in the course.


The restaurant “Giovanni da Verrazzano”, situated in the town of Greve in Chianti, is one of the best restaurants in Tuscany. It offers traditionai Tuscan cooking with excellent “Chianti Classico Gallo Nero” wine.
Its kitchen is very large and clean.
The participants in the course will take part in the preparation of some typical dishes.
One special lesson will be dedicated to Tuscan sweets; another one will explain “culinary marria-ges”, that is, which food should be served which wine, and vice versa! This lesson will be taught by an official sommelier, during a special dinner.
A trip to an italian supermarket is also on the agenda. An interpreter will help both the chefs and the “students” during the lessons.

At the end of the course, the participants will prepare a Gaia Dinner. Guests from the town of Greve in Chianti, for example the Mayor, will also take part. During the Gaia Dinner each “student” will receive a certificate of participation from a Representative of the Tourism Department of Greve in Chianti.

Cordon d’Oro of “Italian Gastronomic Academy”

FriendsTravel.com will make you First Class, Business Class, or Coach air travel arrangement, all of your hotel and local arrangement in Italy. Pre and Post cooking school trips available.

JESS Kalinowsky will take care of all of your arrangements.


Tuscan Cooking School

Wedding and or Honeymoon in Italy with FriendsTravel.com


1st Day – Arrival at VENICE Airport and transfer by private car with assistant/interpreter and private motorboat to the Hotel Danieli 5***** in Venice next to San Marco’s square. Spare Time in Venice – Dinner at disposition.

2nd Day – After breakfast guided visit of Venice: San Marco’s square, the Rialto and the Sospiri bridge and the gondola tour on the Canal Grande. Reserved lunch at a typical Venetian restaurant. Afternoon excursion to Murano’s island. World famous Murano Glass. Dinner at a typical restaurant on the Canal Grande.

3rd Day – After breakfast transfer to Piazzale Roma with private motorboat and departure for Florence with private car with assistant/interpreter. Lunch during the journey. Arrival in Florence and accommodation at the Grand Hotel Villa Medici.
Afternoon at disposition. Dinner at a typical Florentine restaurant.

4th Day – City tour in the morning with specialized tourist. Visit at Santa Maria Novella’s Church, the Cathedral, the Baptistery and the Palazzo Vecchio. Reserved lunch at a typical Florentine restaurant. After lunch excursion to Pisa in limousine with private driver and assistant/interpreter. Visit at the Piazza dei Miracoli and the Cathedral with specialized tourist guide. Return to the hotel and candle light dinner at a restaurant.

5th Day – After breakfast transfer to Rome with private car and assistant/interpreter. Accommodation at the Hotel Excelsior 5***** in Via Veneto.
Lunch at a typical restaurant. City tour with specialized tourist guide: Via Condotti, Piazza di Spagna, Pantheon, Fontana di Trevi, Piazza Navona. San Pietro. Dinner at a typical Roman restaurant.

6th Day – Transfer to Naples with private car and assistant/interpreter, with stop at Pompeii and visit at the archaeological site with specialized tourist guide. Lunch at a typical restaurant in Vico Equense
Arrival at Naples and accommodation Hotel Vesuvio 4**** on the Lungomare Caracciolo.
City tour with specialized tourist guide: Piazza del Plebiscito, Palazzo Reale, Basilica of San Francesco, Teatro of San Carlo e Galleria Umberto I°
Dinner at a fantastic Naples restaurant on the seaside.

7th Day – Excursion at the romantic Capri island with private motorboat and assistant/interpreter. Tour of the island with specialized tourist guide and visit at the Grotta Azzurra.
Lunch at a typical Capri restaurant. Return to Naples in the late afternoon – Dinner a typical Naples restaurant.

8th Day – Transfer to the Fiumicino Airport in Rome with private car with assistant/interpreter. Check in at the airport. End of our services.

Services can be just for the two of you, or your entire Entourage!

Mom’s and Dad’s, Aunt’s and Uncle’s, kissing cousins, and every

Bob, Carol, Ted, or Alice you know. We can tailor your Italian Wedding of a lifetime to fit your every want, need or expectation. Then wisk you away on your Honeymoon of a lifetime.

EMAIL Wedding@FriendsTravel.com or Honeymoon@FriendsTravel.com

http://www.FriendsTravel.com will take care of EVERYTHING!

First Class, Business Class, or Coach Airfare for one and all, at our special rates.

JESS Kalinowsky will make sure everything is to your liking.

Wedding in Romantic Italy

June 25, 2008

FriendsTravel.com + FriendsTravel.net offering hundreds of choices.

We can fulfill all of your travel dreams

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Exotic tropical island vacations, Eco Tourism, luxury and adventure cruises, romantic getaways, honeymoon packages, safaris, and tours. FriendsTravel offers a wide selection of fine hotels, resorts and Spas, Just for YOU!

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Browse through our site (which is filled with the most comprehensive and up-to-date specials available) to see the wide variety of trips we offer and then contact us so we can help you narrow in on the perfect trip. We’re looking forward to making your next trip a memorable and enjoyable one, so contact us today and get packing! EMAIL






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