Where you'll stay in Florence
Hotel Loggiato dei Serviti
We have a special relationship with the Hotel Loggiato dei Serviti, in the heart of Renaissance Florence. It is a historic building in Piazza della Santissima Annunziata, one of the ancient squares much loved by the Florentines, in the oldest and most authentic part of the city. The hotel looks out over the calm and well-ordered façade of the Ospedale degli Innocenti, the Foundlings Hospital designed by Bill’s hero Filippo Brunelleschi (creator of the Cathedral dome) and is the first example anywhere of classical Renassiance architecture. It was begun in 1419, commissioned by the powerful Silk Guild.
The hotel itself was built in 1520 as a lodging house for pilgrims to the church of Santissima Maria Annunziata, and its arcades and columns echo the sublime design of Brunelleschi’s ospedale. It is so authentically Florentine that the producer of A Room with a View, James Ivory, stayed here whenever he visited the city.
For more information about the hotel, visit their website at www.loggiatodeiservitihotel.it
In the centre of the square is the bronze equestrian statue of Ferdinando I, Duke of Tuscany, made by Giambologna in 1603. As Bill takes you for an aperitivo on Wednesday night, he’ll tell you all about the square – you might like to take a look at the plinth beneath the Grand Duke and see if you can count the bees! Bill will tell you why they’re important for parents with unruly children!
The hotel couldn’t be better located for tour visit to Renaissance Florence: it’s only a few minutes’ walk to the cathedral square, with Brunelleschi’s awe-inspiring dome, Giotto’s bell-tower and the stunning octagonal baptistry. And five minutes away are the Convent of San Marco, with entrancing frescoes by Fra Angelico and the Galleria dell'Accademia which houses the original of Michelangelo's extraordinary David, perhaps the best-wnown staute in the world which you’ll see on Thursday. The Piazza della Signoria, the Uffizi gallery (Friday visit) and Ponte Vecchio are a walk of less than 15 minutes from the hotel.
The 'Florence add-on package'
The price of £GBP 725 per person is based on four people taking the 'Florence add-on' package. If there are fewer than four people, the cost will increase slightly (to allow for the taxis and the tour guide.)
What's included and what is not
- Return coach fares Pisa Aeroporto/ Florence
- Taxis to and from Florence train station to hotel
- Three nights' standard single room with en suite bathroom in the 3-star Hotel Loggiato dei Serviti, with continental breakfast
- Tourist tax
- Eight hours' services of professional tour guide Freya Middleton and her team
- Advice on other places to visit/free evening concerts etc.
What's not included:
- Flights to Pisa
- Lunches and dinners in Florence
- Entrance fees to museums and other venues
'Florence Add-on' Booking enquiry
The three-day Watermill Florence Add-on package can be booked at the same time as a creative holiday at the Watermill:
- To enquire about, or book, one of our Painting holidays and the Florence Add-on, please use our
Painting holiday enquiry form
- To enquire about, or book, one of our Knitting holidays and the Florence Add-on, please use our
Knitting holiday enquiry form
- To enquire about, or book, one of our Italian Language holidays and the Florence Add-on, please use our
Language holiday enquiry form
- To enquire about, or book, one of our Yoga and Meditation retreats and the Florence Add-on, please use our Yoga holiday enquiry form
- To enquire about, or book, one of our Writing courses and the Florence Add-on, please use our
Writing course enquiry form
For our UK guests:
You can book your own flights (there are good connections from Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, East Midlands, Birmingham, Leeds/Bradford, Manchester and Bristol and an increasing number of other UK airports).
Or, to make life easier, you can use the services of our Personal Travel Adviser, Jan Handley, who will fix everything for you at very competitive prices. There is absolutely no obligation to use her, but if you would like her help, her UK phone number is 0844 8716162 (freephone) or +01964 626360 (local call charge) [From outside the UK. Dial +44 844 8716162 or +44 1964 626360] and her email address is email@example.com. We have found that many travel agents these days are not very helpful and are often tied to big tour operators. Jan will give you personal service.
For our USA and Canada guests:
We have asked Amy Furie, Director of Leisure/Travel Consultant for New Act Travel, Los Angeles, California, to act for us and our guests. Her office number is 1-310-201-0808 and her Direct Line is 1-310-284-5134. Her email address is Amy.firstname.lastname@example.org Amy has been in the travel business for more than 20 years. She says: “I have traveled extensively over the years and continue to travel to extend my knowledge of our vast world we live in.”
You might also like to fly in to Pisa on the Tuesday and see the Leaning Tower and other Pisa sights before leaving for Florence. Jan or Amy can also help book a Pisa hotel.
On the Wednesday you take the train from Pisa Aeroporto station. (We'll have sent you the coach tickets in advance.)
Bill or Lois will meet the coach which leaves Pisa Aeroporto at 1318 hrs, and arrives at Firenze SMN station at 1418 hrs, and take guests to their hotel by taxi.
There are earlier and later coaches and we can also meet these coaches by arrangement.
A handling charge of £75 per person will be levied on all cancellations. In addition, if you have to cancel four to eight weeks before departure, a charge of 40% of the total price is payable; at two to four weeks, 60%; at one to two weeks, 80%; at less than one week, 90%. We highly recommend that you take out travel insurance that includes provision for you.
The small print
While every effort will be made to make you booking at the hotels indicated above, they may not be available and we will book you into accommodation of a similar, if not higher, standard.
We will book the hotel in your name and the responsibility for your comfort and care during your stay rests with the hotel itself
The venues we mention for your tours are usually open but may occasionally be closed for national holidays or for reasons beyond our control. An alternative venue will be arranged if necessary.