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ALP tours - Update on Florentine Interlude-

November 24, 2016 22:50

A Florentine Interlude

This Tuscan tour has now been scheduled for the 16th – 20th July.

In July there is an evening flight back to London on the Monday night so from the point of view of our tour there is no need to stay another (5th) night. But you may have the time and want to enjoy a longer break and of course I can arrange whatever you want. However as I am ever mindful of all of our finances, and very nervous of the current exchange rate with the euro… in the interests of saving money (about £100 per person) I am assuming a very full day on the Monday and a return home from Pisa that evening.

Our hotel will be a beautiful boutique hotel which is in a restored 18th century building. Every room is different. All mod cons. are there including free internet… and courtesy bicycles if you are feeling energetic.

Draft Itinerary:

THURSDAY: Rendezvous at hotel. You can be met at whichever airport you choose to arrive at. (Pisa with British Airways or Ryan Air or Florence with Meridiana Airways) and escorted to our hotel. However it is very easy to get from either airport to Florence Central by train from either airport.

The tour will start officially in mid/late afternoon at the hotel with a short introductory talk on the history of Florence and we will then visit the Academia Gallery (David by Michelangelo). Walking on to the city centre we will discover the unexpected presence of Jewish history from the 15th to the 20th centuries in some of the most famous landmarks - in the Duomo area with the famous Baptistery’s Golden Door and its Tanachic stories and the Piazza della Republica where the ghetto once stood.
In the evening we will go for supper to the kosher restaurant ‘Ruth’s’

FRIDAY: After breakfast (hotel breakfast buffet, supplemented with kosher items) we will walk to the beautiful Synagogue and the Jewish Museum; continuing to the Ponte Vecchio area, the Via dei Guidei (the Jews Street) where Jews first settled and the Piazza della Signoria. After a short lunch break we will visit the Uffizi Gallery - with masterpieces by Botticelli, Leonardo and Michelangelo. You will then have some free time to continue to explore the museum and/or stroll around Florence and prepare for Shabbat.

Shabbat commences at 7.35pm on the 17th July.

Shabbat services and Shabbat dinner will be at the Synagogue and we will have the opportunity to meet some of the community.

SHABBAT: 8:45 am at the Synagogue – Shacharit – After the davening there is a Kiddush and we will have our lunch here before a leisurely walking tour to the S. Croce area and the city centre. You will then be at leisure until later when we will return to the Synagogue/Ruth’s restaurant for Seudat Shelishit – evening meal and the end of Shabbat. (8.44pm on the 18th July)

SUNDAY: A full day tour to Siena and Pitigliano. In Siena we visit the city highlights, such as Piazza del Campo and the Duomo, the wonderful synagogue (18th C.) and the former ghetto. We hope to meet members of local Jewish Community and will have our (packed) lunch in the synagogue’s dining room. In the afternoon we visit the fantastic Jewish site of Pitigliano. It is a lovely small walled city in southern Tuscany called “The Little Jerusalem”, because of its Jewish ghetto. It is a long drive, but worth it.
Dinner will again be at Ruth’s restaurant.

MONDAY: A day tour to Lucca, known in Jewish literature through the Kalonymus family and a beautiful little Tuscan town protected by massively thick 16th-century walls, Livorno (Leghorn) and Pisa. The grandiose famous synagogue, of Livorno was destroyed in WW2 but it has an incredible Jewish history and Livorno still has a lively Jewish Community. We will visit the Jewish Museum in the remains of the old synagogue and then visit the modern synagogue and (hopefully) meet the archivist Dr Bedarida. We will enjoy brunch at the local kosher eatery ‘Dr.KEBAB’ and continue to Pisa. Pisa is wonderful city and very few Jewish visitors know that that the Jewish Cemetery is adjacent to the Piazza dei Miracoli, unbelievably close to the Leaning Tower which we will visit but not climb. We hope also to visit the Synagogue but at time of writing it is under restoration and has restricted access. Here too we hope to meet members of the Jewish Community before returning home or to Florence.

In the evening return to London from Pisa airport.

Included in the price: (which will be around €1,000 per person sharing):
Services of professional guide
Luxury coach for visits out of Florence
All meals - breakfast from hotel buffet supplemented with kosher items
All entry charges
Accommodation in standard rooms at Hotel Cellai ( http://www.hotelcellai.it/en )
Gratuities at hotel and restaurant

We have a very advantageous price at the hotel. but I have to confirm the rooms before 28th March to get this price. So I would ask you to e mail me for a booking form and let me have your booking form as soon as possible together with a deposit of £200 (or €200) per person. £100 is non refundable and is required to secure the rooms. Please make sure that you have insurance cover from the time you send me the deposit.

A stage payment of £500 (or €500) will be required by the 28th April
Final balance payment will be required by the 25th May

The final cost (for 4 nights) will be around €1000 per person sharing and the single supplement will be approximately €130

Not included: International fares or transfers to/from hotel.
Prices of flights (at time of writing) from London are below.
Transfers can be arranged if requested.

Flights from London:

British Airways
BA2602 from Gatwick leaves at 11.40am and arrives at Pisa at 2.50pm

Ryanair
FR582 leaves from Stansted at 11.20am and arrives at Pisa at 2.30pm

Meridiana Airways
IG3536 from Gatwick departs at 9.45am and arrives at Florence airport at 12.45pm

Flights to London

Meridiana flights from Florence airport are:
IG3531: departs 0755 arrives Gatwick at 0900
IG3535 departs 1810 and arrives Gatwick at 1915

Ryanair flights from Pisa
FR583 departs at 1455 and arrives at Stansted at:1615
FR589 departs at 2215 and arrives at Stansted at 23.30

British Airways flights depart from Pisa
BA2601 departs at 1205 and arrives at Gatwick at 1315
BA2603 departs at 1535 and arrives at Gatwick at 1645
BA2605 departs at 2125 and arrives at Gatwick ar 2235

Flight costs (internet prices)
Meridiana flights cost approx £175
Ryanair flights cost (current offer for our dates): £63
British Airways flights cost from: £119

NOTES:
•Ryanair has a late night flight and if as we are traveling in July BA does as well, so there is a possibility of returning on Monday night instead of Tuesday. NB one can now book single sector flights at no extra cost, so traveling out with one airline and returning with a different one is quite easy to do and can be cost effective too!

•The cost of Monday night dinner and Monday night hotel accommodation will be around £100

Aviva Preston
ALP tours
avivapreston@hotmail.com
aviva@winnock.co.uk

16th March 2009

November 24, 2016 22:50

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