We traveled on a Delta Vacations package and flew Delta Comfort DTW-AMS and Air France Premium Economy CDG-DTW. I recommend both. Connecting through AMS at 600am-passport control took less than ten minutes. Connecting through CDG midday-passport control took about 15 minutes. I loved flying in to FLR Airport, small and from disembarkation to transfer took 15 minutes.
We stayed at Hotel Rivoli in Florence-great location next to Piazza S.M.Novella. Request Room 221 - this large corner room had with two chairs, table, desk, and fire place and a huge terrace. Kettles and coffee and tea in room along with a mini bar. The hotel is a five minute walk to train station.
The Benedetta Restaurant at the hotel was amazing - highly recommend the Octopus. This is also where they serve the complimentary morning breakfast-plentiful. Adorable courtyard with jacuzzi and outdoor seating. Small bar off of Check in and several “parlor rooms” on first floor. Spa-only has Sauna and Turkish Bath. They will arrange massages in room. Typical Italian Décor. Walls could use a redo, but nothing terrible. Each room is a little different. All staff amazing.
We did a Vernaccia of San Gimignano Wine Small Group Tour. The tour operator is We Like Tuscany and I highly recommend. Spent two hours in San Gimignano with guide - Tommy pointed out a few things, but basically let us go on our own. LOVE this city!! I will be going back here in better weather to stay a couple of nights.
Fugnano Winery-Fattoria di Fugnano-is where we went for wine tasting and lunch. Beautiful grounds-since it was rainy did not get to see much-and beautiful table set for us. They specialize in the Vernaccia grape that makes the white wines of Tuscany. They also make Chianti. We had a huge three course meal and plenty of wine! Jakub was our sommelier and very informative. You can purchase wine to have shipped to the States or buy and take with you along with Olive Oil.
We had some amazing meals while in Florence – happy to share my list!
In Rome we stayed at Romanico Palace which has an inviting front desk and large sitting area/bar in lobby. All rooms are decorated/painted in Trompe-l’oeil. It was beautiful. I recommend booking Deluxe room or above. The Classic are fine but small. Again, each room is a little different and we had a dressing area with couch.
Breakfast was on rooftop terrace and was enclosed. Again, plentiful breakfast and you could walk out on outside part of terrace to take pictures. The terrace on floor eight is open April through October, Wednesday through Sunday from 500pm to 1000pm. The Spa is small but feels like you are in a Roman bath. Again, Sauna, Bath, and meditating rooms only. Hotel is only a six minute walk to great shopping and restaurants.
We decided to do Hop On/Hop Off tour for a day in Rome. This was great way to get around with the short amount of time we had. There was a Kiosk across the street from our hotel to purchase and a three minute walk to the closest stop. Walks: Gladiator’s Gate: Special Access Colosseum Tour with Arena Floor-this was a three hour tour that got us on to the Arena Floor. This is the first time I experienced the Colosseum with floor access-highly recommend. This tour also took us to the Forum. Great guide and very easy to find the meeting point. We did have 25 in our group and it reminded me I definitely like the small group tours.
Again, I have a great list of Rome restaurants – just call me!