Member

Symphony World Travel - Kingswood

29th October 2019

Italy – A tale of three cities

 I have just returned back from a truly amazing 3 centre city break in Italy, and I would like to share my experience with you. 

We arrived in Venice and were met by private transfer, which sped us from the airport to our private water taxi to take us to the hotel. This was an amazing experience, travelling up the Grand Canal, seeing the sights and smells of Venice. The day was warm, so we were able to have the opportunity of having the split roof open. We arrived at the hotel. The Sina Centurion which is a 5 star.

Sina Centurion Palace Hotel, Venice

This hotel sits on the Grand Canal, with fantastic views. It has a long history, built in the 1500’s in a fantastic position. You can exit the hotel either by canal in a water taxi or on foot through the small lanes and bridges over the side canals. We visited the Guggenheim collection which is only 8 minutes from the hotel. Shopping is boutique and eclectic. We visited St Mark’s square at sunrise, no crowds, fantastic architecture and history. 

We then took the train from Venice to Florence. This was so easy; the signed platforms and information were in both Italian and English. We travelled business class, comfy leather reclining seats with tables and power points. There is a snacks and drinks service that comes through the carriage, and the journey time is just 2 hours. 

On arrival into Florence, we were collected by private transfer and whisked away to our hotel the Sina Villa Medici. What a wonderful hotel, only 10 minutes from the main area of Florence. This hotel features an outdoor pool, open May – September, and a spa. The hotel rooms are large and have views of the garden or pool area, some have baloneys and others have full windows. The restaurant is in the heated conservatory, which can be open in the summer. The conservatory is built around the paulowina tree which dates back to 1500 and the food here is fantastic. 

Florence is a must, with fascinating history, great food and buzzing cafes all only a short walk away. You must visit the Santa Maria Novella pharmacy, the oldest in Italy, again started by nuns back in 1500.

Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy, Florence

The small side streets, with prosecco bars, cafes and an assortment of shops keep you busy. I would recommend that you skip the queue for the main attractions, Uffizi gallery and the Cathedrals and take a walk along the river to Ponte Vecchio. 

We took the train to Rome in business class, again hassle free, and relaxing. 

On arrival into Rome, we were taken to our hotel the Sina Bernini Bristol, a hotel in the centre on Rome. The hotel is grand and is 150 years old. All the rooms are different, and marble is a feature in this hotel. The roof top terrace is a must, have a glass of prosecco looking over the city. The restaurant is on this floor, and the kitchen is open, so you can see the chefs working. They also feature a chefs table. 

You simply have to visit Rome with the Trevi fountain, Spanish steps and you can’t forget about the Vatican, Coliseum and Roman forum. There is so much history, interesting small side streets, buzzing cafes and lots of shopping. 

By Sue Manuel
29th October 2019