I TA LY
I T A L Y F O R
D I S C E R N I N G
N O V E M B E R
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T R AV E L L E R S
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november 2019 – december 2020
short breaks & tailor–m ade holidays CITIES: VENICE • FLORENCE • ROME • MILAN • genoa • ASSISI • PERUGIA • PISA • SIENA • turin • BOLOGNA • VERONA • padua • mantua parma • lucca • NAPLEs • ravenna • MODENA • FERRARA • vicenza • trieste • urbino • LAKES: COMO • GARDA • MAGGIORE • ORTA COUNTRYSIDE: PUGLIA • TUSCANY • UMBRIA • le marche • veneto • basilicata • south tyrol • COAST: AMALFI COAST • LIGURIAN RIVIERA ISLANDS: SICILY • SARDINIA • CAPRi • elba • ISCHIA
SOUTH TYROL MERANO
EMILIA ROMAGNA PARMA
ALASSIO SAN REMO
FERRARA SANTA MARGHERITA MODENA BOLOGNA PORTOFINO R RAVENNA N IVIE R A RAPALLO LUCCA MONTECATINI TERME FORTE DEI MARMI VIAREGGIO FLORENCE
NAPLES SORRENTO AMALFI
SARDINIA 100 kms
AEOLIAN ISLANDS PALERMO SAN VITO LO CAPO TRAPANI MARSALA
FOR DISCERNING TRAVELLERS
4 WATERLOO COURT • 10 THEED STREET • LONDON SE1 8ST Tel: 020 7593 2288 • email@example.com • www.kirkerholidays.com
Thank you for your interest in our holidays to Italy.When we launched the first brochure in 1986, the world was a very different place – however, our business continues to grow and – in spite of the advent of the worldwide web and our own wonderful website year – discerning travellers still relish the opportunity to speak to an expert before booking their holiday. Kirker clients enjoy delegating the smooth-running of their holiday to the Kirker reservations team – and we can assure you that we will do our utmost to ensure that you have a relaxing, hassle-free experience before, during and after your holiday. This year's Italy brochure has once again been fine-tuned to enhance the range of recommended hotels.Whether you are looking for a characterful pensione, a stylish city-centre palazzo, or a grand villa in the heart of the countryside, we are delighted to feature over 200 hotels that have all met our strict criteria for style, comfort and location. For 2020 we have added new properties in the cities of Venice, Rome and Milan, in Sicily, Puglia and on the shores of Lake Como, as well as in Lucca and Forte dei Marmi in Tuscany. We strongly recommend one of our tailor-made itineraries combining two or more destinations – including first class rail between city centres (or car hire) and Kirker transfers to ensure that you glide effortlessly from one hotel to the next. Whether you wish to stay in two cities or prefer to combine a city with a few nights in a relaxing countryside hotel, we would be very pleased to help create a personal itinerary that provides the perfect balance.We have included a number of suggested itineraries to help inspire you, but please do speak to our expert team for personal advice. As all discerning travellers are aware, it can be tricky to know exactly which hotel to choose, or which city or region to head for next. Our responsibility is to use our extensive local knowledge to ensure that every holiday suits your exact requirements. Kirker's expert consultants have many years of first-hand experience and would be delighted to suggest their own favourite destination, a recommended hotel or the best local restaurant. For inspiration consult the map opposite, visit our website www.kirkerholidays.com where you can read recent destination reports or call 020 7593 2288 to speak to one of our experts. All holidays also include the Kirker Concierge service to assist with bookings for a delicious dinner at a recommended restaurant, opera, ballet or concert tickets, timed entrance to museums to avoid the queues, or perhaps a private walking tour with an expert local guide? If you are planning a holiday to mark a special birthday or anniversary, life is far too short not to celebrate in style – so don’t forget the elegant Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train, which winds majestically through the Alps; it is the ultimate indulgence. Many of our clients enjoy our complimentary entrance tickets for the Doge’s Palace, Guggenheim or Accademia in Venice; the Borghese or Vatican in Rome and the Uffizi or Bargello in Florence – if you have a particular exhibition in mind, please just ask the Kirker Concierge who will ensure that our pre-booked tickets enable you to avoid the lengthy queues. Whatever your travel plans for the coming months, we would be delighted to hear from you – please contact one of our experts on 020 7593 2288. A telephone call is probably the best way to start, it is often far easier than surfing websites and our personal advice could well make the difference between a great holiday experience and an endurance test. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING
COMMERCIAL & PRODUCT DIRECTOR
WANDERLUST MAGAZINE – HIGHLY COMMENDED TOP TOUR OPERATOR 2018 CLASSIC FM – 25TH ANNIVERSARY ‘SILVER TRAVELLER’ AWARD WINNER 2017 COMUNE DI VENEZIA – LION OF ST. MARK GOLD AWARD FOR TOURISM 2016 SUNDAY TIMES TRAVEL MAGAZINE – WINNER ‘BEST VALUE TRAVEL COMPANY’ 2016
DESTINATIONS TOWNS & CITIES
Forte dei Marmi
South Tyrol â€“ The Dolomites
The Cinque Terre
Santa Margherita Ligure
Como & Cernobbio
Mazara del Vallo
San Vito Lo Capo Peninsula
Punta San Vigilio
Torri Del Benaco
KIRKER – HOLIDAYS FOR DISCERNING TRAVELLERS Kirker guide notes We have prepared some useful Guide Notes giving invaluable information on restaurants, bars, museums, shopping, markets and sightseeing which will be sent to you with your travel documentation – please do ask us if you would like a personal restaurant recommendation, our Kirker Concierge would be delighted to book a table on your behalf.
kirker hotels Our featured properties cover a range of styles, from family-run pensioni to the finest luxury hotels. For each hotel description we retain editorial control and are therefore able to provide you with a balanced and unbiased view. To help you choose the hotel best suited to your needs, please speak to one of our expert consultants who would be delighted to share their first hand experience of the hotels and destinations. If you would like to view photographs of our hotels, please visit www.kirkerholidays.com. However, please remember that website photographs can sometimes provide a seductive picture that may have been taken through rose-tinted spectacles – speaking to one of our experts is a better way to help you find the hotel that perfectly suits your needs.
Private transfers Our holidays always include transfers by private vehicle on arrival and departure. It is a very civilised and relaxing way to travel between the airport or station and your hotel. No taxi queues, no fare negotiation – just a warm welcome and a smooth journey to your chosen hotel. Holidays to rural destinations tend to include car hire; however, private transfers can always be provided if preferred.
kirker concierge We aim to offer a service that is complete from start to finish, whether you would like us to recommend and book a restaurant for a celebration dinner, arrange private guided tours, organise wine-tasting or cookery courses, we will take full responsibility for the smooth running of every aspect of your holiday.
Kirker tailor–made You may choose to visit two or more destinations in one holiday. Fly into one airport and back from another – why not combine air travel with rail? We thoroughly recommend longer itineraries combining a few days in a city followed by a stay in one of our countryside properties. Our brochure includes a wide range of suggeted itineraries but please do call us if you have specific requirements. We would be delighted to help you create the perfect tailor-made holiday. We take immense pride in creating carefully crafted holidays and although we are not necessarily the cheapest, we do aim to offer exceptional value for money and rely on our clients for repeat business and recommendations for our future success.
Many of our destinations include pre-booked tickets to popular museums including the Uffizi in Florence, the Borghese Gallery in Rome and the Doge’s Palace in Venice.You will find details of special offers at many of our hotels throughout the brochure, giving you complimentary nights or room upgrades. We speak to our contacts to negotiate the very best offers and prices every time we receive an enquiry.
Opera & concerts The Kirker Concierge is able to book tickets for your chosen performance or provide information on performances in any Kirker destination. Prices include the local agent’s handling fee plus £10 per ticket administration charge and so will be higher than the face value. Call 020 7593 2286 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Speak to an expert Our sales team has many years of experience and we make regular visits to the hotels and destinations that we feature. Clients often comment that they have seen a tempting photograph on a hotel’s website but would prefer to speak to someone with experience who knows the property, because they need to find out what it is really like.
KIRKER CULTURAL TOURs & music holidays Our programme of escorted Cultural Tours & Music Holidays includes a range of Italian itineraries that will appeal to a wide variety of tastes and interests, and is perfectly suited to those who enjoy travelling as part of a small group of like-minded companions, accompanied by one of our expert lecturers. Whether you wish to learn more of the history and art of a particular region, experience one of our exclusive Kirker Music Festivals or enjoy an opera performance, we are confident you will find something that will whet your appetite. Escorted cultural holidays for 2020 include itineraries to Sicily, Puglia, Rome, Emilia Romagna, the Italian Lakes, Umbria, Genoa and Naples. Music holidays include short breaks in Milan with a performance at La Scala,Venice including La Fenice tickets and a summer break in Lucca with three performances at the Puccini Opera Festival.We also offer our own exclusive music festivals on Lake Como and on the island of Ischia. Please look out for the panels throughout this brochure or call our Cultural Tours team on 020 7593 2284 for more information. Full daily itineraries for each of the holidays are available on our website www.kirkerholidays.com.
VENICE Venice is an unfathomable experience. This glorious city, built on an archipelago of more than 100 islands, traversed by 200 canals, spanned by 400 bridges, continues to rise above the waters of the lagoon and the flowing tide of visitors. With over 20 hotels, from the traditional favourites to smaller family-run discoveries, no one offers a wider choice than us. Our unique Kirker Guide Notes will lead you to some excellent restaurants off the beaten track. 1
This famous hotel is made up of two contrasting parts; a beautiful 18th century palazzo directly on the Grand Canal and a larger, more modern part which faces the pretty Campo San Moise, close to St. Mark’s Square and La Fenice. Essentially two hotels in one, the original palazzo is recommended for Kirker clients looking for the highest levels of personal service and the most luxurious rooms in Venice – they are decorated with the finest fabrics, gilt mirrors, carved stucco ceilings and Murano glass chandeliers with many looking out across the Grand Canal to the beautiful basilica of Santa Maria della Salute. Innovative cuisine is served in the award-winning gastronomic restaurant, ‘De Pisis’, with a terrace set against the backdrop of the Grand Canal. Guests staying in the palazzo part of the hotel take breakfast at ‘Settimo Cielo,’ an exclusive top-floor terrace and lounge with magical views over the lagoon. All guests have access to a jacuzzi and health spa. 3 night price from £1,198 per person low season, £2,598 per person high season.
Baglioni Hotel Luna
Ideally located a stone’s throw from the entrance to the Grand Canal and Piazza San Marco, The Luna is the city’s most historic and oldest hotel. Formerly a convent, a private palace and a shelter for the Knights Templar, the palazzo dates from the 12th century. Although recently completely renovated, many original features remain, including ornate stucco walls and frescoed ceilings attributed to pupils of Tiepolo. There are 118 sumptuous bedrooms and a wonderful gastronomic restaurant, ‘Canova’, serving exquisite Venetian dishes. Breakfast is served in the magnificent former ballroom. If you are interested in combining Venice with other destinations in Italy, please refer to page 26 for our gastronomic tailor-made holidays featuring Baglioni’s collection of hotels. 3 night price from £898 per person low season, £1,648 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 10 November – 19 December, 7 January – 13 February, 24 February – 9 April: 3 nights for the price of 2; 20 December – 6 January, 14 – 23 February, 10 April onwards: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving up to £290.
what’s included Return flights to Venice Return water taxi transfers Accommodation including breakfast Guaranteed entrance ticket to the Doge’s Palace (Guggenheim or Accademia tickets if preferred) Kirker’s Guide Notes to restaurants, museums and sightseeing The services of the Kirker Concierge to book opera tickets, expert local guides or a table for dinner Prices are based on sharing a double room (supplements for single rooms and suites on request). All quotations are tailor-made on date availability; speak to an expert on 020 7593 2288 for advice and the latest prices.
water taxi transfers included (See page 9)
The grand dame of Venice, the famous Danieli dates back to the 14th century. It consists of three adjoining palazzi and is located right on the waterfront, just a few steps from St. Mark’s Square and overlooks the lagoon, San Giorgio Maggiore island and the iconic church of Santa Maria della Salute. Guests enter into a grand atrium hall which leads to a magnificent staircase and a vast lounge with a sumptuous painted ceiling. Many rooms have a lagoon view as does the spectacular ‘Terrazza Danieli’ where buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. There are 221 bedrooms decorated in the grand traditional Venetian style. 3 night price from £1,498 per person low season, £1,869 per person high season.
This 15th century landmark has recently completed a sympathetic restoration that has enabled the hotel to introduce the latest 21st century technology without compromising its traditional style. The property reopened in 2013 with an Acqua di Parma spa and remains a good choice for those who seek exceptional service. It is located on the Grand Canal, 10 minutes’ walk from St. Mark’s Square. The comfortable lounges are decorated in the Grand Venetian style and have all been beautifully restored, as have the gastronomic restaurant ‘Club de Doge’ and atmospheric ‘Bar De Longhi’ with their Grand Canal terraces. There are 61 bedrooms and 21 suites. 3 night price from £1,796 per person low season, £2,638 per person high season.
Belmond Hotel Cipriani
The most famous hotel in Venice, the Cipriani is part of the exclusive Belmond Hotel Group. It has beautiful gardens, terraces, a tennis court and an enormous heated open-air seawater swimming pool with poolside bar and restaurant. Located on the Giudecca island, which is five minutes’ from St. Mark’s Square by the hotel’s private launch (24 hour service). The hotel has a gastronomic restaurant (jackets required for gentlemen at dinner) with tables outside in the summer, the less formal and extremely popular ‘Cips’ restaurant, a piano bar and a fitness centre with sauna, Turkish bath and massage. Hotel open 20 March – 8 November. 3 night price from £2,378 per person low season, £2,836 per person high season.
museum tickets All Kirker clients receive guaranteed entrance tickets to Doge’s Palace, Accademia or Guggenheim. The stunning ‘Palazzo Ducale’ was the residence of the Doges and is the richest symbol of Venetian cultural, military, political and economic history.The tickets will allow you to avoid the lengthy queues and gain access to the Museo Correr and the National Archaeological Museum. If you have visited the Doge’s Palace before, we would be delighted to provide tickets to the Guggenheim with its modern art collection or the Accademia Gallery instead.
This historic palazzo on the Grand Canal dates from the 15th century. It opened in 2007 after a restoration that uncovered an extraordinary collection of architectural features. These, together with some magnificent works from important artists, give guests a fascinating glimpse of five centuries of Venetian history. With only 42 bedrooms, a large proportion of the hotel is made up of wonderful public spaces including grand marble staircases and beautiful frescoed halls. The rooms combine traditional Venetian decoration with some contemporary touches and overlook the Grand Canal, the rooftops or the small ‘campi’. There is an excellent restaurant, ‘L’Alcova’, on the canal, an atmospheric bar and a panoramic roof terrace. The location is good – opposite the famous Rialto Market and the service is excellent. 3 night price from £826 per person low season, £1,398 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 10 November – 19 December, 6 January – 13 February: 3 nights for the price of 2, saving £142; 20 – 26 December, 14 – 19 February, 24 February – 30 April, 19 July – 27 August: 3 nights for the price of 2 for arrivals on a Monday or Tuesday OR 4 nights for the price of 3 all week, saving up to £220; 1 May – 18 July, 28 August onwards: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving up to £298.
San Clemente Palace Kempinski
The San Clemente Palace is located in the Venetian lagoon with wonderful views of the city. The main building dates from the 17th century when it was a thriving monastery but the beautiful church with its frescoed walls can be charted as far back as 1131. Restored and reopened in 2014, the imposing main building surrounds four large courtyards and has vast corridors, several restaurants and 205 bedrooms. The beautiful tree filled park has a large summer swimming pool, two tennis courts and plenty of space to relax and unwind. The island is 15 minutes from St. Mark’s Square from where the hotel operates a complimentary shuttle service. Hotel open 16 March – 15 November. 3 night price from £1,268 per person low season, £1,397 per person high season.
The Centurion is located on the Grand Canal, a few steps from the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute and two contemporary art museums, the Guggenheim and the new Punta della Dogana Gallery. Behind a magnificent Gothic façade you’ll find a stylish modern hotel with bold, designer furnishings blending with classical architecture. The 50 bedrooms are all individually furnished with bold colours and modern art; there is an atmospheric courtyard and a restaurant with a terrace on the water’s edge. The Salute vaporetto stop is close by as is a traghetto gondola ferry that crosses regularly to Santa Maria del Giglio. 3 night price from £798 per person low season, £1,298 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 10 November – 19 February, 24 February – 26 March: 3 nights for the price of 2; 27 March – 30 April, 5 July – 27 August: 3 nights for the price of 2 in deluxe rooms; 1 May – 4 July, 28 August onwards: 4 nights for the price of 3 for Sunday or Monday arrivals in deluxe rooms, saving up to £240.
THE KIRKER VENICE WALKING TOUR One of the most recent introductions to our programme, the Kirker Venice Walking Tour, takes place every Tuesday morning and is offered exclusively for any of our clients whether they are aficionados or first time visitors.The two hour tour with an experienced guide costs just £10 per person (winter) £20 (summer) and is a wonderful way to see Venice from the perspective of a local expert. Participants range from just two to a maximum of 15.
Small, luxurious and located almost next door to the Danieli, the Londra is managed by our great friend Alain Bullo and is now a member of Relais & Châteaux. It is one of our favourite hotels in Venice and Kirker clients have always been especially well looked after. It has a bar, a comfortable lounge, a restaurant, the ‘Do Leoni’ with a terrace overlooking the lagoon and 53 bedrooms which are amongst the finest in the city. All Kirker rooms have spectacular lagoon views at no extra charge. Supplement for junior suite with lagoon view from £90 per room, per night. All the public areas of the hotel were completely renovated recently and it is looking better than ever. Hotel closed 7-31 January. 3 night price from £996 per person low season, £1,586 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER all year: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving up to £298.
Overlooking the lagoon and just a few minutes’ walk from St. Mark’s Square, the Metropole is a famous and atmospheric hotel, decorated and furnished in traditional style with over 2,000 antiques. Facilities include a beautiful lounge where afternoon tea is served, an intimate bar, a delightful garden and the superb ‘Met’ restaurant, (tables must be booked well in advance). There are 74 individually furnished and extremely comfortable bedrooms. 3 night price from £798 per person low season, £1,198 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER all year: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving up to £260.
10 Nani Moncenigo
We are delighted to feature this wonderfully restored hotel located by a small canal in Dorsoduro, one of the quietest and most characteristic districts of Venice. San Trovaso church is opposite and the Accademia Gallery is just a short walk away. Occupying a beautiful 15th century palazzo, the exterior and interior are impeccable examples of Gothic Venetian architecture, with vaulted windows, intricate Murano chandeliers, noble salons, frescoes and distinctive ‘Terrazzo’ floors. There are just 26 bedrooms, each beautifully decorated with rich fabrics and period furniture. The latest in-room technology is available but is discretely hidden to preserve the feeling of authenticity. The peaceful garden is a welcome haven and is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy aperitifs and canapes in the warmer months. 3 night price from £628 per person low season, £976 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 2 January – 7 February: 3 nights for the price of 2, saving £88; 26 February – 31 March, 1 – 28 August: 4 nights for the price of 3 for deluxe rooms, saving up to £178.
Ideally located between St. Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge, the Splendid’s contemporary design offers clients an alternative to the traditional Venetian decoration typically found in the city. Although large (165 bedrooms) the personal service and cosy public areas give it the feel of a much smaller boutique property. All rooms have comfortable beds and luxurious bathrooms; many overlook a small side canal. ‘Le Maschere’ offers a modern take on traditional Venetian recipes and the wonderful roof terrace is the perfect spot for a predinner drink. Our good friend Salvatore Pisani and his team ensure Kirker clients are especically well looked after. 3 night price from £659 per person low season, £1,198 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 25 November – 26 December, 2 January – 2 April: 3 nights for the price of 2 for Sunday, Monday,Tuesday or Wednesday arrivals, saving £89; 3 April onwards: 4 nights for the price of 3 for Sunday Monday,Tuesday or Wednesday arrivals, saving up to £210. Kirker clients booking up to 30 days prior to arrival receive a complimentary upgrade to a deluxe room (offer valid all year).
Venice hotels continued overleaf
VENICE 12 Monaco & Grand Canal
The Monaco is one of Venice’s most famous hotels. The entrance leads into a stylish lobby from where a grand staircase takes you up to the beautiful restored 18th century former Venetian theatre, complete with original fresco ceilings. The décor is contemporary and comfortable and combines traditional Venetian elegance with modern design. Located Just 50 yards from St. Mark’s Square, the Grand Canal flows directly in front of the adjoining original wing. Breakfast and dinner are served in the hotel’s canal-side restaurant or on the terrace in fine weather. The 92 bedrooms have recently been renovated; several in the original wing have outstanding views of the Grand Canal – prices available on request. 3 night price from £648 per person low season, £1,238 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER all year: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving up to £260.
13 Ai Cavalieri
Located in the quiet, residential, Castello district, yet only five minutes’ walk from both the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Square, Ai Cavalieri is a beautifully restored 16th century palazzo with a wealth of historical features including 18th century frescoes, beamed ceilings and Murano glass chandeliers. The 32 sumptuous bedrooms are richly decorated in traditional Venetian style, and with canals on two sides, the majority have memorable views. There’s an elegant breakfast room and a stylish cocktail bar with a large terrace. 3 night price from £618 per person low season, £948 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 2 January – 7 February: 3 nights for the price of 2, saving £88; 26 February – 31 March, 1 – 28 August: 4 nights for the price of 3 for deluxe rooms, saving up to £178.7
14 Liassidi Palace
Recently, the trend amongst Venice hoteliers has been to restore derelict Palaces to their former glory and open them as luxury boutique hotels; and the Liassidi Palace is a fine example of this. Located in the authentic Castello district of Venice, a short walk from St. Mark’s Square, the entrance is through a courtyard filled with lemon and jasmine trees where drinks are served in summer. Each of the 26 bedrooms combines traditional Venetian style with some modern twists. 3 night price from £598 per person low season, £1,068 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 10 November – 27 March: 3 nights for the price of 2, saving £70; 28 March – 10 April, 29 June – 31 August: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving £98.
15 Palazzo Stern
This is a beautiful 19th century Moorish palazzo directly on the Grand Canal with some beautifully restored architectural features including an ornate staircase, stained glass windows and a former chapel decorated with mosaics. There are 24 bedrooms and all are well furnished in Venetian style – the six junior suites have either full frontal views or side views of the Grand Canal. Unusually for a Venetian 4 star hotel, there is a garden terrace overlooking the water – this is the perfect place to take breakfast or to relax with a drink whilst life on the Grand Canal passes by. There is also a rooftop terrace with an outdoor jacuzzi which can be reserved privately. The hotel is located opposite the Palazzo Grassi; the Ca’ Rezzonico vaparetto stop is next door. 3 night price from £728 per person low season, £1,038 per person high season.
16 Locanda Vivaldi
This former palazzo of the composer Antonio Vivaldi is now restored as a beautiful boutique hotel, right on the waterfront and just five minutes’ walk from St. Mark’s Square.The 28 bedrooms are very well furnished, bathrooms have either a special jacuzzi shower or bath.There is a large roof terrace with magnificent views of the lagoon – light meals are served here in fine weather. 3 night price from £698 per person low season, £1,068 per person high season.
17 Palazzo Sant’Angelo
The Sant’Angelo, with its excellent location between the Rialto and Accademia Bridges, is housed in a grand Venetian palazzo. The building has been lovingly transformed into a charming boutique-style hotel with just 28 bedrooms, some of which overlook the Grand Canal. All the rooms are decorated in a rich, traditional Venetian style and have luxurious Italian Carrara marble bathrooms with hydromassage baths. The hotel has a small lobby and a cosy bar. 3 night price from £598 per person low season, £1,038 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 10 November – 19 February, 24 February – 26 March: 3 nights for the price of 2, saving up to £140; 27 March – 30 April, 5 July – 27 August: 3 nights for the price of 2 in deluxe rooms; 1 May – 4 July, 28 August onwards: 4 nights for the price of 3 for Sunday or Monday arrivals in deluxe rooms, saving £188.
18 Ruzzini Palace
This fine boutique hotel is ideally situated on the grand square of Campo Santa Maria Formosa. It is an attractive 16th century residence that combines historical architectural characteristics with stylish, contemporary furnishings. There are just 28 bedrooms and the deluxe and suite categories are particularly impressive – high ceilings, frescoes, exposed beams, original Venetian mosaic floors and great views of a small canal or the Campo create a lasting impression on visitors. 3 night price from £598 per person low season, £1,039 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 10 November – 31 March: 3 nights for the price of 2, saving £72; 19 July – 31 August: 4 nights for the price of 3 for Sunday or Monday arrivals, saving £112.
VENICE 19 Ca’ dei Conti
This attractive hotel is located in the heart of Venice, just a five minute stroll from St. Mark’s Square. The entrance is by private footbridge across a small canal, not far from the Bridge of Sighs. Formerly a patrician Venetian palace, the Ca’ dei Conti has been transformed into a boutique hotel with 35 rooms. All bedrooms are decorated in rich fabrics with elegant Venetian furniture in the classic 18th century style. Public areas include a breakfast room, two halls for relaxing or enjoying a drink, plus a small outdoor terrace. 3 night price from £658 per person low season, £976 per person high season.
A truly delightful hotel, located about five minutes’ walk from St. Mark’s Square. Many of the rooms overlook the enchanting garden where breakfast and drinks can be enjoyed in summer. There is a small lounge and all 44 bedrooms are furnished with original antiques. Owned and run by the same Venetian family for over 70 years, this is one of the city’s most sought after hotels. 3 night price from £698 per person low season, £968 per person high season.
SPECIAL OFFER all year: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving up to £128.
A hotel of great character and charm, Locanda La Corte dates back to the 16th century and is set around a delightful courtyard where breakfast is served in warm weather. It has just 12 attractive and spacious rooms, decorated with Venetian fabrics and furniture, set on two floors (no lift) and an excellent restaurant specialising in Venetian cuisine. The hotel is located in the Castello district of central Venice, close to the beautiful square of San Giovanni e Paolo, a seven minute walk from the Rialto or St. Mark’s Square. 3 night price from £576 per person low season, £895 per person high season.
20 American Dinesen Located overlooking a picturesque canal in one of the most evocative parts of old Venice, just two minutes’ walk from the Accademia Bridge, the American Dinesen is a delightful hotel with just 27 recently renovated bedrooms decorated in the traditional Venetian manner. It is owned and run by the charming Sutera family who have been welcoming Kirker clients for over 30 years. As well as a comfortable lounge and an attractive breakfast room, there is a small terrace on the second floor – a peaceful spot for an aperitif. 3 night price from £639 per person low season, £968 per person high season.
23 Locanda La Corte
SPECIAL OFFER 7 January – 7 February: 3 nights for the price of 2 for Sunday or Monday arrivals, saving £60; 1 March – 9 April, 1 July – 25 August: 4 nights for the price of 3 for Sunday or Monday arrivals, saving £79.A truly delightf
SPECIAL OFFER 10 December – 7 February, 26 February – 5 March: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving £75.
VENICE LIDO Excelsior
21 Pensione Accademia
This famous pensione is housed within a grand 17th century palazzo. It stands at the confluence of two small canals in the tranquil Dorsoduro quarter, a few steps from the Grand Canal and only five minutes’ walk from the Accademia Bridge and Gallery. Owned by the Salmaso family for over 60 years, the staff offer outstanding service which sees many guests return time after time – early booking is essential. The lounge bar and 29 bedrooms are decorated with antique furniture and have original terrazzo floors. The delightful garden is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy breakfast or an aperitif. No lift. 3 night price from £739 per person low season, £998 per person high season.
transfer arrangements PRIVATE WATER TAXI TRANSFERS (Included for 5 star hotels): On arrival at Venice Marco Polo Airport you will be met and escorted along the moving walkway (approx. 8 minutes) to the pier to board your water taxi which will whisk you across the lagoon to your hotel or to the nearest landing stage. For the journey back, you will be met at your hotel and taken across the lagoon to the airport pier by private water taxi and escorted along the moving walkway to the terminal. If you prefer not to use the moving walkway, we can pre-book a private car transfer for the short distance between the terminal building and the pier for a supplement of £26 per person each way. SHARED WATER TAXI TRANSFERS (Included for 4 and 3 star hotels): On arrival at Venice Marco Polo Airport you will be met and directed via the moving walkway (approx. 8 minutes) to the airport pier to board your water taxi. You will then be taken by shared water taxi to your hotel or the nearest landing stage. As this is a shared service you may have to wait a few minutes for a boat to arrive and porterage from the terminal to the hotel is not included. At the end of your stay the transfer will operate in reverse. (Please note that this service operates between 08.00hrs and 18.00hrs, so guests arriving or departing outside these times will need to upgrade at a supplement to the private transfer). Supplement for private water taxi: £56 per person each way.
Unveiled in 1908, the Excelsior quickly became one of the most eminent hotels of Europe and to this day, maintains an air of sophistication. The property was renovated in 2018 and has some superb facilities, including its own extensive private beach, swimming pool, gastronomic restaurant and large terraces. It is a good option for those wanting a seaside location with the attractions of Venice a short boat ride away (a complimentary shuttle service operates throughout the day to St. Mark’s Square). All 197 bedrooms look over a stylish inner courtyard, the sea or have views of the distant sights of Venice. 3 night price from £1,168 per person low season, £1,498 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER for bookings made by 31 March 2020: 4 nights for the price of 3 OR 7 nights for the price of 5, saving up to £560.
F L I G H T
I N F O R M A T I O N
Direct flights from the UK to Venice Marco Polo: Gatwick, Heathrow, London City: British Airways; Belfast, Bristol, Edinburgh, Gatwick, Glasgow, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester: Easyjet Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds Bradford, Manchester: Jet 2; Bristol, Stansted: Ryanair; Dublin: Aer Lingus Direct flights from the UK to Treviso: Dublin, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Southend: Ryanair Business Class Supplement: British Airways Club Europe from £280 return
OPERA at LA FENICE La Fenice is one of the world’s most historic opera houses. Originally built in 1790 it has twice burned down, in 1836 and again in 1996. It reopened in 2003 and has been sensitively restored to retain its original appearance.Tickets are hard to come by as most are sold to subscribers – however, we are able to source ours from recommended local agents and will arrange delivery direct to your hotel. Prices include the local agent’s handling fee plus just £10 per ticket administration charge and so will be higher than face value. Please contact the Kirker Concierge on 020 7593 2286 for details of the performances, prices and availability. We operate a series of escorted tours throughout the year which include performances at La Fenice and three guided walking tours in the company of our tour lecturer. For further details, please call 020 7593 2284.
VENICE SIMPLON–ORIENT–EXPRESS For those who wish to celebrate a special occasion in style, or if you simply would like to travel between Venice and London in a unique and luxurious way, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is the ultimate choice. From the moment you board the train, you take a step back in time to a bygone era when discerning travellers sought to travel in elegant style.Today, guests can still rely on the highest levels of personal service, with delicious cuisine served in a stylish dining car, combined with a private sleeper cabin and civilised bar carriage where you can meet other like-minded travellers.The handsome livery of the Belmond British Pullman train and the immaculate Wagons-Lits of the Continental train combine to provide you with a unique and unforgettable experience.Throughout the journey you will be attended by your cabin steward, and you will enjoy outstanding food prepared by expert chefs – all meals are included at no extra cost.
London to Venice
Venice to Prague
Istanbul to Paris
Venice to London
Budapest to London
Venice to Budapest
Prague to London
journeys The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is more than just a train; every journey feels like a special occasion and transports passengers back to an era when embarking on a journey was a glamorous and stylish affair which required finedining and high fashion. Begin in London Victoria and arrive in Venice the following afternoon, or travel from Venice in the morning and arrive by British Pullman into Victoria the next day. Whichever way you choose to travel Kirker will arrange private water taxi transfers in Venice, accommodation at one of our carefully selected hotels, and a one-way flight to complete the journey.
Venice simplon–orient–express 2020 venicedepartures London to Venice: 22, 29 March; 2, 9, 16, 19, 23, 30 April; 10, 14, 17, 21, 24, 31 May; 4, 7, 14, 18, 25, 28 June; 2, 9, 16, 23 July; 6, 13, 20 August; 10, 17, 20, 27 September; 4, 8, 11, 18, 22, 25 October; 1, 5, 12 November. Venice to London: 21, 28 March; 1, 8, 15, 18, 22, 29 April; 13, 16, 20, 23 May; 3, 6, 10, 17, 24, 27 June; 1, 8, 15, 22 July; 5, 12, 19, 25 August; 16, 19, 23, 26 September; 10, 21, 24 October; 4, 11 November.
2020 ALTERNATIVE JOURNEYS Orient-Express also operates the following additional routes in 2020. For tailor-made quotations, please speak to one of the experts in the Kirker reservations team on 020 7593 2283. London to Berlin:
Berlin to London:
Venice to Prague:
27 May; 14 October
Prague to London:
30 May; 17 October
Venice to Budapest*: 28 October
6 May; 30 September;
Budapest to London*: (*including two nights in Vienna)
9 May; 3, 31 October
Paris to Istanbul**:
Istanbul to Paris**: 4 September (**including overnight stays in Bucharest and Budapest)
VENICE SIMPLON–ORIENT–EXPRESS THE CABINS The original 1920s and 1930s carriages formed part of the express trains which traversed Europe in the early 20th century ‘golden age’ of rail travel. Each has been lovingly restored by expert craftsmen, with gleaming livery and immaculate marquetry. The sleeping cars consist of comfortable banquette seating, with a window table and private washbasin concealed behind elegant oak doors. Whilst you are dining, your steward will transform the cabin into comfortable upper and lower berths with crisp damask sheets and fine blankets. Each carriage has its own dedicated steward, available 24 hours a day, and there is a mosaic-tiled lavatory at the end of the car. For additional comfort and extra space, we highly recommend reserving a Cabin Suite, which is formed of two interconnecting cabins. This offers additional space during the day, and can be converted to two lower berths at night. Alternatively, the three extravagant new Grand Suites offer spacious accommodation with private en suite bathrooms and double beds – prices on request.
RECOMMENDED VENICE HOTELS We have selected some of our favourite hotels in Venice below, but we feature a range of over 20 different properties in the city – from charming pensioni to grand palazzos – please speak to a Kirker expert for advice on the perfect hotel to suit your requirements.
The beautiful 18th century wing of this famous hotel has magnificent views across the Grand Canal to the basilica of Santa Maria della Salute, and the most luxurious rooms in Venice – see page 6. Price from £3,398 per person (2 nights Venice, 1 night VSOE).
Located right on the waterfront; just a few steps from St. Mark’s Square, this is our favourite hotel in Venice and Kirker clients have always been especially well looked after. Our rooms have magnificent views of the lagoon – see page 7. Price from £3,296 per person (2 nights Venice, 1 night VSOE).
THE JOURNEY Enjoy a delicious lunch in one of the train’s elegant dining cars and watch the spectacular scenery as you climb into the Austrian Alps. Dinner is served in the restaurant cars, after which you may retreat to the atmospheric bar car with its baby grand piano. Retire to your cabin which has been transformed into sleeping berths by your cabin steward. Wake to breakfast in your cabin as the train arrives in Paris. A delicious brunch is served in the restaurant cars. Disembark in Calais for the journey to Folkestone by luxury coach. Enjoy afternoon tea as you pass through the Kent countryside on the British Pullman train arriving into Victoria at approximately 6pm.
DINING One of the highlights of your journey is the delicious cuisine – all meals are included in the price (although drinks are extra). Chef Christian Bodiguel and his expert team take fresh ingredients on board throughout the journey and create varied menus which belie their compact kitchen. Breakfast is served in your cabin at the time of your choice, and includes fresh patisserie and fruits. For lunch and dinner – an occasion for which guests are encouraged to dress in glamorous 1920s style – you can choose to dine in one of the three elegantly restored restaurant cars: Côte d’Azur: Built in 1929 and decorated with Lalique glass panels. Etoile du Nord: Built in England with a lining of intricate marquetry. L’Oriental: Originally a Pullman kitchen car, finely decorated with black lacquer panels. After dinner, you may enjoy a cocktail in the stylish piano bar – or perhaps a glass of champagne in the Art Deco champagne bar.
American Dinesen This charming, family-owned hotel is located in the atmospheric Dorsoduro area, close to the Accademia Gallery. It has just 27 bedrooms, a comfortable lounge and a small terrace – see page 9. Price from £2,998 per person (2 nights Venice, 1 night VSOE).
what’s included FOR VENICE TO LONDON HOLIDAYS: Flight to Venice where a Kirker representative will meet you at the airport A water taxi transfer to whisk you across the lagoon to your hotel Complimentary entrance tickets to the Doge’s Palace, the Accademia Gallery, or the Peggy Guggenheim Accommodation with breakfast in Venice – prices above include two nights but longer stays are recommended On departure, a private water taxi to take you through the canals to Santa Lucia station where you will board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express to find a complimentary bottle of chilled champagne waiting for you in your private cabin One night on board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express with all meals included Kirker’s unique Venice Guide Notes The services of the Kirker Concierge
VICENZA, PADUA & TRIESTE PADUA On the train line that links Venice with Milan,Verona and Bologna, Padua makes an excellent addition to a tailor-made holiday.The Scrovegni Chapel (entrance included for Kirker clients) with its wonderful frescoes by Giotto rivals da Vinci’s Last Supper and the Museo Civico agli Eremitani with its remarkable collection of artefacts from Padua’s pre-Roman history should not be missed.The city has two major markets and excellent shopping around the Prato della Valle, the enormous public square.
Villa la Rotonda
Majestic Toscanelli Set in the heart of Centro Storico, the old part of Padua, this hotel is unique in its location, adjacent to the remarkable Renaissance squares of Piazza Delle Erbe, Dei Signori and Della Frutta where the market is held. The 32 bedrooms are comfortably furnished in either Baroque Venetian or a more quaint 19th century English style. Breakfast is a lavish array of pastries, cakes and cured meats and cheeses – a perfect start for a day’s sightseeing. There are plenty of local restaurants to choose from in the area and the Morosi family will be happy to recommend establishments specialising in the local Veneto cuisine. 3 night price from £564 per person low season, £619 per person high season.
TRIESTE Trieste has a long and fascinating history; first as a busy Roman port on the Adriatic; then as an important trading centre as part of the Austro Hungarian Empire when the city epitomised grand Belle Epoque style. It is now a popular place for Italians who enjoy the great culture and excellent cuisine – it is perfect for a highly civilised short break. Key highlights include the Miramare Castle and gardens, the history of James Joyce (who stayed here), the world-renowned Illy coffee factory, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Jewish Museum and the largest synagogue in Europe. Savoia Excelsior Palace
This 18th century stately residence is set in the beautiful natural environment of Colli Berici, yet only a 10 minute drive from Vicenza. The renowned restaurant, ‘La Loggia’, with its portico opening onto the garden, serves delicious cuisine, based on the superb cooking traditions of the Veneto region. There is a large indoor swimming pool, 52 comfortable bedrooms, many antiques and a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. This is a great location for wine enthusiasts – the barrier effect of the surrounding highlands gives the Berici area a mild climate that is ideally suited to the vine. 3 night price from £439 per person low season, £576 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 10 November – 31 March, 1 July – 31 August: 3 nights for the price of 2, saving £60.
This Grand 19th century hotel was built when the city was a key part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire – it is now fully renovated and the best hotel in town. With 144 comfortable rooms, spacious public areas decorated in Belle Epoque style and an excellent location overlooking the marina and port, adjacent to Piazza dell’Unita d’Italia where many of Trieste’s museums are located, you can achieve everything on a discerning traveller’s wish list within easy walking distance. There is a bar and an excellent restaurant. Our prices are based on flights to Venice and return private car transfers (80 minutes’ drive). You can fly direct to Trieste from Stansted if you prefer. Why not consider a two-centre holiday combining Trieste with Venice or Ljubljana? Prices and recommendations available on request. 3 night price from £698 per person low season, £798 per person high season.
what’s included Return flights Car hire for Vicenza (private transfers available at additional cost). Return private transfers for Padua and Trieste Accommodation including breakfast The services of the Kirker Concierge Prices are based on sharing a double room (single on request). All quotations are tailor-made and fluctuate depending on departure date; speak to an expert in our reservations department on 020 7593 2288.
The province of the Veneto is a treasure trove of historic towns and beautiful landscapes.The region’s capital, Vicenza, is a major cultural centre and one of Italy’s loveliest small cities, thanks to Andrea Palladio whose works dominate the cityscape and the surrounding countryside.Vicenza is 40 miles west of Venice.
F L I G H T
I N F O R M A T I O N
Direct flights from the UK to Venice Marco Polo: Gatwick, Heathrow, London City: British Airways Belfast, Bristol, Edinburgh, Gatwick, Glasgow, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester: Easyjet; Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds Bradford, Manchester: Jet 2; Bristol, Stansted: Ryanair; Dublin: Aer Lingus Direct flights from the UK to Verona: Gatwick: British Airways; Edinburgh, Gatwick, Manchester: Easyjet; Southampton: Flybe; Birmingham, Bristol, Gatwick, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle: TUI (summer only) Belfast, Birmingham, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Stansted: Jet 2; Luton: Wizz Air; Dublin, Birmingham, Stansted: Ryanair; Dublin: Aer Lingus Direct flights from the UK to Trieste: Stansted: Ryanair Direct flights from the UK to Ljubljana (for Trieste): Gatwick, Stansted: Easyjet
TURIN Turin is known as a vibrant commercial centre, however, it offers a richly rewarding short break experience and deserves much more attention.It is home to one of Italy’s most beautiful cathedrals, an important opera house and, of course, the famous Turin Shroud.This was the seat of the House of Savoy, the Italian Royal Family and is a city of palaces, piazzas, churches and colonnaded streets. It has a wonderful setting on the banks of the River Po, with the Italian Alps in the distance.Turin has over 40 museums including Museo Egizio, home to the most important collection of Egyptian antiquities outside Cairo.The city has Europe’s largest outdoor food and vegetable market and some great restaurants.Turin is easily accessible by rail – it is on the TGV main line from Paris to Milan. Basilica di Superga
Grand Hotel Sitea
MONTCALVO – PIEMONTE
Opened in 1925, this traditional 4 star hotel is located in the historical centre, a few minutes from the via Roma and close to Piazza San Carlo and Piazza Castello. It is proud of its long history of providing excellent service and hospitality and the atmosphere is calm and relaxed. The restaurant ‘Carignano’ (closed on Sundays) with its Empire-style decoration is famous for traditional Piemontese cuisine. Guests can enjoy a cocktail in the ‘American’ bar or in the small courtyard garden during the summer. There are 114 bedrooms tastefully decorated in classical style. 3 night price from £598 per person low season, £668 per person high season.
This small village sits in the vineyard-covered hills of Monferrato, 80 kilometres east of Turin and is the perfect base to discover the food, wine and culture of Piemonte. The town of Asti is 20 kilometres away and, with its ancient churches and Gothic cathedral, is one of the region’s leading art cities. Alba, the gastronomic capital of the region can be reached in 40 minutes.The region makes a great extension to a holiday on the lakes of Maggiore and Orta.
Opened in 2006 in time for the Winter Olympics The Golden Palace has an excellent location, close to the Piazza San Carlo with its Belle Epoque grand cafés. Behind a modern stone façade, the hotel tastefully combines contemporary design with Art Deco furnishings and also celebrates Turin’s Olympic links. The ‘Winner’ restaurant offers delicious Piemontese and Italian cuisine, while the ‘Time’ bar is the perfect venue for cocktails and a light snack which are served outside on the terrace in fine weather. The 195 bedrooms are furnished with light, contemporary colours. The hotel’s spa offers a range of treatments and a small indoor swimming pool. 3 night price from £649 per person low season, £698 per person high season.
NH Collection Piazza Carlina
Set around a large, cloistered courtyard, this historic building is ideally located on an elegant square in the heart of Turin. There are narrow streets around the hotel full of art and antique shops; the River Po and the Museo Egizio are five minutes’ walk away and the Museo del Cinema is close by. The style is a blend of contemporary furnishings and 17th century architectural features. All rooms are light and spacious and many have views of the city and the surrounding hills; however the very best views are those from the two rooftop terraces with their aromatic herb gardens and the fifth floor gym. Buffet breakfast is served in the cloister overlooking the courtyard; lunch and dinner are taken in the gastronomic restaurant. 3 night price from £588 per person low season, £648 per person high season.
torino card For Forall allour ourclients clientstravelling travellingtotoTurin, Turin,wewearearedelighted delightedtotoinclude includea 72 a 72hour hourTorino TorinoCard Cardwhich whichgives givescomplimentary complimentaryentrance entrancetotoover over160 160 cultural cultural sites sites including museums, monuments, fortresses and and Royal Royal Residences Residences in inTurin and Piedmont.The card also gives free free use use of of the the city’s city’s overground overground public transport system and reductions on on the the prices prices of of guided tours, theatre, concerts and the famous famous ‘ChocoPass’. ‘ChocoPass’.
Locanda Sant’ Uffizio
This historic villa dates from the 18th century and stands in a beautiful restored 17th century Benedictine monastery, this elegant and peaceful retreat sits amongst extensive parkland and vineyards close to the village of Montcalvo. There are 41 bedrooms in the original building and these are all elegantly decorated in traditional style with stone floors and antique furniture. Some have balconies and others have original frescoes. There are a further 13 bedrooms in the ‘Munfrà’ building which are decorated in a contemporary style. A Michelin-starred restaurant serves delicious local specialities; there is a cosy lounge bar with a fireplace whilst in the summer, breakfast, light lunches and drinks are served on the hotel’s terrace, sheltered by lemon and orange trees. There is a large summer swimming pool, a tennis court and a spa with sauna, steam bath and ice cascade. Mountain bikes are available and the hotel can recommend walks in the surrounding countryside. 3 night price from £598 per person low season, £648 per person high season.
what’s included Return flights Return private car transfers (hire car for Piemonte) The ‘Torino Card’ Accommodation including breakfast. The services of the Kirker Concierge Prices are based on sharing a double room (supplements for single rooms on request). All quotations are tailor-made; speak to an expert in our reservations department on 020 7593 2288 for the very latest prices.
F L I G H T
I N F O R M A T I O N
Direct flights from the UK to Turin: Gatwick: British Airways, Easyjet; Dublin, Stansted: Ryanair Birmingham, Edinburgh, Manchester, Stansted: Jet 2 (winter only)
THE DOLOMITES – SOUTH TYROL The South Tyrol, Italy’s northernmost region and traditionally known for its skiing, is becoming popular in the spring and summer as visitors come to experience warm hospitality, fresh mountain air and spectacular scenery.This is a culturally diverse region where the Italian, German and Ladin languages are spoken and offers exceptional cuisine – a Northern Italian menu with an Alpine twist, enjoyed in a typical rustic mountain ‘rifugio’ or one of the many Michelin-rated restaurants. Our featured hotels are within two and a half hours’ drive from Verona,Venice or Innsbruck and prices include car hire; however if you prefer, we can arrange private transfers from any airport or Bolzano station. Castel Fragsburg
Formerly a 17th century hunting lodge,the Castel Fragsburg occupies a stunning private park and perches on a bluff overlooking Merano, the vineyards of the Alto Adige valley and the dramatic peaks of the Dolomites. The wisteriaclad Loggia and terrace offer a breathtaking panorama all the way to Bolzano, 35 kilometres away. On entering the beautiful, wood-panelled reception, the sense of history is apparent, as it is in the 20 sumptuous bedrooms – each has a balcony or terrace and a memorable view. The service offered by Alexander Ortner and his team is exceptional and the cooking in the famous Michelinstarred restaurant is worth the journey alone. There is a summer swimming pool and a spa. The surrounding countryside is perfect for walking and cycling. The spa town of Merano is close by, as is Trauttmansdorff Castle with its wonderful botanical gardens. 3 night price from £896 per person low season, £998 per person high season.
Park Hotel Laurin, Bolzano
The capital city of South Tyrol, Bolzano is well worth a stay in combination with one of our recommended countryside properties. Highlights include the renowned archaeological museum, the pink sandstone cathedral and the colonnaded arcades of via dei Portici. The Laurin is located in the heart of the town, close to the train station and lies within manicured gardens. Defined by its Art Nouveau architecture and extensive collection of 20th century art, there are numerous sculptures and paintings on display as well as wonderful frescoes in the Laurin Bar. The hotel has 100 comfortable bedrooms, an elegant restaurant (light dishes are served outside in the park from May to September), and an outdoor heated swimming pool. 3 night price from £678 per person low season, £776 per person high season.
Located in the charming village of San Cassiano in the Alta Badia mountain region, Rosa Alpina is run by the third generation of the Pizzinini family. This is a luxurious hotel where, in the summer, nature lovers are attracted by the pristine landscape of the Fanes nature reserve. A member of Relais & Châteaux, the property is renowned for its culinary excellence. One of Italy's most famous chefs, Norbert Niederkofler offers guests a memorable gastronomic experience in his 2 star Michelin restaurant (open every evening except Tuesday). There is a more informal option on the terrace offering grilled meats and pizzas fresh from the wood fired oven, while guests can enjoy fondues in the traditional ‘Stube.’ The 54 rooms are decorated in a refined Alpine style, either south facing or looking north towards the main village street and dramatic Dolomite peaks. Facilities include a yoga studio, an award-winning spa, an indoor family pool and an adults-only wellness area with a second pool. There is a cinema room, a relaxing library and a lively piano bar. Hotel open December – April, June to September. 3 night price from £1,098 per person low season, £1,226 per person high season.
Since the 1960's, the Wieser family has welcomed guests at this friendly Alpine hotel. A short drive from San Cassiano and 45 minutes to Cortina via the Falzarego mountain pass, this is a good base for those who wish to explore by car or on foot - the hotel team will recommend walks which include a stop at one of the many mountainside rifugi for a typical lunch. The 51 wood panelled rooms, most of which have a balcony, face either the Badia valley or the jagged peaks of the Conturines and Lavarella Mountains. There is a range of dining options, including the Michelin starred ‘La Siriola,’ where dishes are paired with fine wines from the wine cellar (a popular venue for an intimate fondue evening). ‘Ristorante Salares’ is dedicated to guests on half-board, while ‘Wine Bar Siriola’ offers local and Mediterranean dishes. The sun terrace is open for lunch and has outstanding views. There is an indoor pool, a spa, sauna and Turkish bath. 3 night price from £736 per person low season, £898 per person high season.
Approximate driving times:Venice – San Cassiano 2 hr 45 mins Innsbruck – San Cassiano 2 hrs Bolzano – San Cassiano 2 hrs Bolzano – Merano 45 mins Verona – Merano/Bolzano 2 hrs Innsbruck – Merano 2 hrs 15 mins
F L I G H T
Rail journey times:Verona – Bolzano Bolzano – Merano Bolzano – Innsbruck (via the Brenner pass) Venice – Bolzano (via Verona)
1 hr 25 mins 40 mins 2 hrs
I N F O R M A T I O N
Direct flights from the UK to Venice Marco Polo - see page 9 Direct flights from the UK to Verona - see page 12 Direct flights from the UK to Innsbruck: Bristol, Luton, Manchester (December to April), Gatwick: Easyjet Gatwick, Heathrow: British Airways (December to April)
VERONA Verona is well known for its summer opera festival held in the magnificent Roman Arena, but it is also one of Italy’s most elegant destinations at any time of the year. Once a thriving Roman city,Verona now offers excellent restaurants, atmospheric streets, an archaeological museum, and boutique shops including delicatessens selling Veneto’s finest food and wines – all perfect ingredients for a short break.The new and impressive AMO museum tells the story of how an opera develops, from the libretto and music to a fully staged performance, using a wealth of material from the Arena’s own archive. The cognoscenti will stay for four nights and include lunch in Padua (just 20 minutes by rail) to see Giotto’s frescoes at the Scrovegni Chapel, a day trip to Lake Garda (25 minutes), or perhaps an additional few days in Venice or Milan? As ever, the Kirker Concierge will book the best local restaurants, expert guides and opera tickets. Due Torri Located next to the beautiful Gothic church of Sant’Anastasia at one end of the city’s pedestrianised main street, the Due Torri is only a minute from the River Adige and two from the AMO (opera museum). Both the central Piazza Erbe and Roman Arena are close by. This is Verona’s ‘grand dame’ and has hosted guests for over 700 years. A recent renovation has been completed without compromising the sense of history – there is a spectacular collection of antique porcelain, silverware, fans, glassware and Chinese lacquer work. The 89 bedrooms are decorated in traditional 19th century style and all are spacious. The panoramic rooftop terrace is the perfect place to enjoy an aperitif and the magnificent views of the city’s red roofs and surrounding hills. There is a seasonal grill restaurant on the top floor and a gastronomic restaurant on the ground floor beneath a mediaeval arcade. 3 night price from £628 per person low season, £1,198 per person during opera season. SPECIAL OFFER 10 November – 31 March, 1 – 31 October: 3 nights for the price of 2, saving up to £168.
verona opera festival 2020 13 JUNE – 5 september Cavalleria rusticana by Mascagni & I Pagliacci by Leoncavallo:
13, 19, 26 June; 3, 8, 17, 23 July; 8, 13, 22 August
Aida by Verdi:
20, 25 June; 5, 10, 14, 18, 24, 30 July; 2, 5, 9, 12, 20, 29 August; 1, 5 September
Turandot by Puccini:
27 June, 11, 16, 31 July; 14, 26 August; 3 September
Nabucco by Verdi:
4, 9, 15, 25 July; 6, 11, 19, 28 August; 4 September
La traviata by Verdi:
1, 7, 15, 21, 27 August; 2 September
Prices range from £25 for unnumbered steps to £188 for the best stalls seats.We charge the price we pay plus a reservation fee of £10 per ticket. For further information on the various ticket categories, please call us on 020 7593 2288.
F L I G H T I N F O R M AT I O N – S E E P A G E 1 2
One of the city’s best 4 star hotels, the Accademia is located in a 17th century building facing the pedestrian via Mazzini, a three minute walk from Juliet’s balcony and the Roman Arena. Elegantly furnished throughout, there are 95 comfortable bedrooms decorated in keeping with the building’s heritage, as are the elegant lounge and bar which feature antique furniture and tapestries. Although there is no restaurant there are excellent cafes and trattorie just steps from the door. 3 night price from £658 per person low season, £998 per person during opera season.
Located on the Corso Porta Nuova, ten minutes’ walking distance from the Arena, this is a family-run property which has been renovated in a contemporary style and has a good collection of modern art. The 27 rooms are furnished to a high standard and have designer bathrooms (shower only). 3 night price from £598 per person low season, £726 per person during opera season.
Relais Fra’ Lorenzo (a superior country house hotel) Nestled in the Torrecille hills above Verona, this charming, restored palazzo has the feel of a quiet country cottage and offers a peaceful alternative to a stay in the city. Hidden away from the mountain road, the gates open to reveal a large lawn which acts as the perfect afternoon sun-trap and provides unforgettable panoramic views over the entirety of Verona. There are only seven bedrooms and three apartments all of which feature elegant furnishings and original beamed ceilings. This homely impression continues into the bar and lounge area where a selection of light dishes are available for lunch and dinner. Amongst the ancient olive trees in the gardens you’ll find a salt-water swimming pool. On foot, it is 10 minutes to Ponte Pietra and the city walls and a further 20 minutes to Piazza Brà – a taxi is recommended for the journey back up to the Relais. 3 night price from £598 per person low season, £876 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 10 November – 15 March: 4 nights for the price of 3; 16 March – 14 May, 16 September – 31 October: 5 nights for the price of 4; 15 May – 15 September: 7 nights for the price of 6, saving up to £130.
what’s included Return flights to Verona Return private car transfers Accommodation including breakfast Kirker’s Guide Notes to restaurants, museums and sightseeing The services of the Kirker Concierge to book opera tickets, expert local guides or a table for dinner Prices are based on sharing a double room (single on request). All quotations are tailor-made; speak to an expert in our reservations department on 020 7593 2288 for the latest prices.
ITALIAN LAKES One of Europe’s most treasured scenic gems, the Italian lakes are fed by the meltwaters of the mighty Alps and spread out onto the vast plain of Lombardy, a region rich in history. Figured prominently in the ‘Grand Tour’ their shores are still lined with the ornate and palatial villas and mansions of that era. And yet, despite its tip of the hat to visiting plutocrats and aristocrats this is also a down-to-earth region where fishermen and farmers, peasants and artisans have left an equally indelible mark.The landscape is dotted with a series of spectacular glacial lakes, which are framed by steep mountains and picturesque villages, all within a short distance of the great cities of Milan and Verona.The climate here rivals those of Italy’s Mediterranean and Adriatic coasts; the quality of light and the clean fresh air add to the experience. TO
TO ZURICH GE
Lake Magg iore
TREMEZZO C o m o LENNO BELLAGIO
PELLA ORTA SAN GIULIO
Lake Iseo BRESC
KIRKER TAILOR–MADE: THREE SUGGESTED ITINERARIES Whether you are flying in to Verona for Lake Garda or to Milan for Como, Maggiore or Orta, we can highly recommend extending your stay with a few nights in either city before travelling onwards to the lake shore. Equally, why not combine a stay on two contrasting lakes, such as Como and Maggiore, or Maggiore and its little sister Orta? We have prepared several itineraries below as inspiration, but each holiday can be tailored to your preferences – please speak to an expert to discuss your personal requirements. Prices include flights, seven nights’ accommodation with breakfast, private car transfers throughout as well as Kirker Guide Notes and the services of the Kirker Concierge to book expert local guides, a table for dinner, an opera, concert and museum tickets. orta & maggiore Tiny in comparison to Como and Maggiore to the east, Lake Orta remains perhaps the most picturesque and unspoilt of the Italian Lakes. The Hotel Casa Fantini on its western shores is one of our favourite retreats on the lakes and offers warm hospitality and wonderful views of Isola San Giulio from its 11 bedrooms. After a few days here, a 45 minute transfer will whisk you to the historic Grand Hotel des Iles Borromees in nearby Stresa on Lake Maggiore, from where you can explore elegant gardens and the famous Borromeo Islands set to a backdrop of majestic alpine scenery. Price from £2,096 per person low season, £2,198 per person high season to include return flights to Milan Malpensa, private car transfers, three nights’ accommodation with breakfast at the Casa Fantini on Lake Orta and four at the Grand Hotel des Iles Borromees on Lake Maggiore.
verona VENICE, & lake garda FLORENCE & ROME – The charming Roman city of Verona is famous THE CLASSIC ITALIAN for its summer opera festival (21 June – 6 TRILOGY September 2019) but is a fascinating Fly to Venice all andyear back fromwith Rome and stay two destination round wonderful nights in Venice, two nights in Florence and two architecture, excellent restaurants, museums, nights in Rome. Holiday Stay includes private markets and boutiques. at theflights, Due Torri, a transfers, rail from between the three cities, historicfirst-class hotel dating the 14th century accommodation with takes breakfast before a short drive you –toand the aauthentic complimentary dinner in each property harbour town of Gardone Riviera on the Low seasonshores price (typically travelStay January – April, western of Lake for Garda. at the July – August): per person Grand Hotel£1,898 Fasano and explore the picturesque lakeside towns villages by ferry. High season price (typically Mayand – June, September – Price from £1,598 per person low season, £2,098 October): £2,498 per person per person high season to include return flights to Complimentary nights applicable for Baglioni Verona, private car transfers, three nights’ multi-centre holidays: accommodation with breakfast at the Due Torri in Venice: nights theGrand price Hotel of 2 for staysinto 18 Verona3and four for at the Fasano April, 28 July – 29 August Gardone Riviera. Florence: 3 nights for the price of 2 for stays to 11 April, 28 July – 29 August
milan & lake como The perfect combination of style, culture and relaxation, Milan and dramatic Lake Como make for a classic two-centre holiday. Start with three nights staying at the Carlton Baglioni in the centre of Milan, from where you can visit the Duomo, the Brera Gallery and Leonardo’s masterpiece, The Last Supper, and perhaps take in an opera performance at La Scala – ask the Kirker Concierge for schedules and tickets. Then transfer to the unspoilt lakeside village of Lezzeno on Lake Como, for four nights at Il Palazzo del Vice Re, a luxurious and private residence with just six bedrooms. Price from £1,698 per person low season, £1,998 per person high season to include return flights to Milan, private car transfers, three nights’ accommodation with breakfast at the Carlton Baglioni in Milan and four at Il Palazzo del Vice Re on the shores of Lake Como.
ITALIAN LAKES lake maggiore Framed by soaring Alpine peaks, Lake Maggiore sweeps majestically from northern Italy into southern Switzerland. Stresa and Pallanza, on the Italian western shore are recognised as two of the most beautiful towns on the lake, with lush gardens and fine old villas. From both towns you can take a steamer to visit the famous formal gardens on the Borromean islands.
Villa & Palazzo Aminta
Privately-owned and run, this is a very personal ‘boutique’ style property, built in the 19th century. Located a few steps from the water’s edge and about two miles along the main road from the centre of town (a free minibus operates during the daytime). The Villa Aminta is impeccably furnished in classical style, with a beautiful salon which leads to the gastronomic restaurant, ‘Le Isole’, which has a superb view of the surrounding mountains and the lake. There is a second restaurant ‘I Mori’ for more intimate dining. You will also find a private tennis court, an outdoor summer swimming pool (although lake swimming is possible) and sun terraces. The 68 bedrooms are decorated with great taste; many have wonderful views of Lake Maggiore and of the islands. Prices include dinner each evening at ‘Le Isole’. 3 night price from £998 per person low season, £1,139 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 3 April – 21 May, 4 October – 1 November: 7 nights for the price of 6, saving £175; 1 – 31 August: 5 nights for the price of 4, saving £218.
PALLANZA Grand Hotel Majestic
The Borromean islands, viewed from Stresa
STRESA Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees
This grand, imposing hotel has a great position in the centre of Stresa, set in its own extensive park and overlooking the lake. Since 1861 it has welcomed distinguished guests from around the world. Now travellers come to appreciate the Belle Epoque atmosphere and style, the magic of a past rich in tradition and history, whilst at the same time enjoying modern facilities. The hotel has subtropical gardens, a large summer swimming pool and a spa with a small indoor pool. There is an excellent restaurant; meals are served both in the ‘Il Borromeo’ or on the lakeside terrace. All 153 bedrooms are classically furnished with intricate chandeliers, brocade fabrics and wall tapestries. 3 night price from £986 per person. SPECIAL OFFER 1 May – 18 October: 7 nights for the price of 6, saving £148.
The Regina has a wonderful lakeside location and is 100 yards from the town centre. The ground floor décor is grand, Belle Epoque style, with Empire furnishings, high ceilings (with intricate carvings) and elaborate chandeliers. Dinner is served in the main dining room or in the gastronomic ‘Charleston’ restaurant and a piano is played in the more contemporary bar on most evenings. The 165 bedrooms are comfortably furnished and many have lake views. On the top floor there is a small fitness centre and a jacuzzi. The hotel’s beautiful garden has a tennis court, squash court and an open-air summer swimming pool. 3 night price from £768 per person low season, £886 per person high season.
VILLAS & GARDENS OF COMO & MAGGIORE a six night kirker cultural tour Our Cultural Tours programme is designed to appeal to clients who enjoy travelling with like-minded companions. One has to go far to find a more perfect and peaceful landscape than the shores of Lake Como and Lake Maggiore.Tranquil, serene and timeless, the mountains that fringe the waters provide a dramatic backdrop as do the countless pristine villas and gardens.This six night tour costs from £2,548 per person and departures on 6 May and 3 June. For further details or to request a copy of our Cultural Tours & Music Holidays brochure, call 020 7593 2284.
This delightful hotel has a regal setting on a private promontory on the shores of the lake, close to the pretty town of Pallanza. Built in 1870 as one of the residences of the noble Borromeo family, it is set in formal gardens with wonderful views of the mountains, the water and the picturesque island of San Giovanni. Recently renovated, it has 80 bedrooms, many with lake views and balconies. Light meals and drinks are served on the panoramic terrace that runs the entire length of the hotel and the ‘La Beola’ gastronomic restaurant offers freshly caught fish and other delicious dishes. There is an indoor swimming pool, a tennis court and a small private beach. The town and ferry port are ten minutes’ walk away. Hotel open 18 April – 5 October. 5 night price from £829 per person low season, £898 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 10 April – 21 May, 13 September – 3 October: 5 nights for the price of 4, saving £118; 22 May – 12 September: 7 nights for the price of 6, saving £140.
LAKE ORTA Just eight miles long and two miles wide, Orta is among the most picturesque of the Italian Lakes. Camilias, azaleas, rhododendrons, wisteria, hydrangea and gardenia decorate the water’s edge.The spires and towers of numerous churches and the atmospheric morning mist add a sense of romance and mystery. Casa Fantini
Few visitors to Lake Orta venture beyond the town of Orta San Giulio, but we recommend you head to the village of Pella on the western shores and you’ll discover one of the best hotels to open in the region for many years. The ‘old house’ with its rustic bar and two sumptuous suites leads to a beautiful modern structure, home to a delightful lounge and nine bedrooms, each with a terrace looking out across the gardens to Isola San Giulio. Plenty of activities can be arranged including guided nature walks in the hills above the village, private boat tours and photography classes.You can board the ferry to discover more of the lake or simply relax in the beautiful Italian garden with its stylish summer swimming pool or join the locals as they stroll along the ‘lungolago,’ the promenade which is the village’s focal point. Light dishes are served throughout the day and evening meals are prepared to order. From Pella, you can reach both the resort of Stresa on Lake Maggiore and Milan’s Malpensa airport in 45 minutes. Hotel open 1 March – 31 October. 3 night price from £1,298 per person low season, £1,496 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 1 March – 30 April, 1-31 October: 4 nights for the price of 3 for Sunday or Monday arrivals, saving £198.
ITALIAN LAKES lake garda The largest of the Italian Lakes, Garda, is popular with visitors from all over Europe who come to swim in the clear waters and enjoy the atmosphere.The northern half of the lake occupies a steep glacial valley and is flanked by dramatic, precipitous cliffs. In contrast, the glacial plains around the south end of the lake have created a fertile agricultural area, which has been highly prized for growing crops, in particular vines, for thousands of years. Our hotels include a selection in beautiful towns such as Sirmione, Gardone Riviera and Torri del Benaco and a delightful property on the quiet eastern shores.Verona is a 30 minute drive (a little longer in the busy summer months) from the lake shore and so a holiday combining culture and relaxation is well worth considering.
Villa del Sogno
This pretty town is situated on the western shores of the lake. Sheltered by the mountains, it is blessed with a wonderful, subtropical climate. As well as cafés and boutiques, there are attractive parks and botanical gardens. Gardone Riviera has been popular since the 19th century and it has retained much of its original character. Grand Hotel Fasano and Villa Principe
Originally built as a hunting lodge for the Austrian Imperial family the Grand Fasano is situated directly on the lake shore in a beautiful private park. The elegant public rooms are furnished in the original style; there is a restaurant, ‘Il Fagiano’ and breakfast and lunch can be taken outside on the terrace. Facilities include a new spa and wellness centre with indoor swimming pool, water sports and a golf driving range (the hotel can arrange green fees at two excellent courses nearby). There is an outdoor swimming pool in the gardens and a small pebble beach 200 metres away (there is a 9 Euro charge for sunbeds – payable locally). The 75 bedrooms, many with balconies or terraces, are located either in the main building or in the Villa Principe. The town of Gardone and its ferry port are 15 minutes’ walk away. 3 night price from £748 per person low season, £889 per person high season.
MALCESINE On the northeast shore of the lake, where the dramatic mountain scenery is at its most spectacular, Malcesine is a popular destination for sailing and windsurfing due to the reliable wind, channelled by the cliffs on either side of the lake. The well preserved old town boasts a Venetian fortress and a maze of cobbled streets and a rotating cable car which takes passengers up to the panoramic peak of Mount Baldo from where the lake stretches out below. Bellevue San Lorenzo
Set high on the hillside above the town in its own private park, the Bellevue San Lorenzo is a boutique, privately-owned hotel. The original house was built at the end of the 19th century and is now complemented by a couple of additional villas housing a selection of rooms; some decorated in a traditional style and others more modern. There is a highly recommended restaurant, a state-of-the-art spa and an outdoor infinity swimming pool with panoramic views of the cliffs opposite dropping sharply into the lake. This is the perfect location for a relaxing break away from the hustle and bustle of the town below. 3 night price from £749 per person low season, £846 per person high season.
This charming hotel has a splendid location on the hillside above the resort of Gardone Riviera which is 15 minutes’ walk away. From its elevated position, it has wonderful views of Lake Garda through cypress, lemon and olive trees. The superb terrace is the best place to take in this majestic view – perhaps over a morning coffee or a pre-dinner aperitif. The Villa was built in 1904 in a neo-classical style by a Viennese silk manufacturer and the rich woods, antiques and paintings give it a distinctly Austrian flavour. The 31 bedrooms retain much of the original character and some have terraces overlooking the lake and the gardens – home to a summer swimming pool and a tennis court. There is a delightful bar and a good restaurant which opens out onto the terrace. 3 night price from £788 per person low season, £886 per person high season.
Grand Hotel Gardone
Built in 1881, this iconic landmark is the grand dame of Gardone Riviera. Over the years, distinguished guests have included Winston Churchill who painted the surrounding landscapes and many writers and poets who sought inspiration from the wonderful lakeside setting. The elegant building stretches along the lake shore and has 167 bedrooms which are furnished in classical style; all have balconies and wonderful lake views which can also be enjoyed from the swimming pool and restaurant terrace. 3 night price from £698 per person low season, £839 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 12 April – 16 May, 26 September – 18 October: 5 nights for the price of 4, saving £98.
We can highly recommend the Villa Cordevigo for those who love Italian wine, good food and warm hospitality. Located in the heart of the Veneto, close to Lake Garda, the 100 hectare estate was acquired by the Delibori and Cristoforetti families (leading names in Veneto wine production) in 2002, since then they have transformed the property into a handsome country hotel. There are 23 sumptuous bedrooms housed in a 16th century Venetian villa and each is decorated with a wonderful collection of period furniture and paintings. There is a chapel dating from the 1400s, a summer swimming pool, an impressive spa and chef Giuseppe D’Aquino’s excellent Michelin-starred restaurant, ‘Oseleta’. There is an additional, less formal restaurant open in the summer months. The Roman city of Verona is a fascinating destination for a day trip, Bardolino on the shores of Lake Garda can be reached in 15 minutes, Monte Baldo – known as the ‘garden of Europe’ – and the vineyards of Bardolino, Soave and Valpolicella are on your doorstep, as are castles and ancient Romanesque churches. Bicycles are available for guests. Prices include return private transfers or car hire if preferred. 3 night price from £698 per person low season, £826 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 27 March - 30 April, 1 October - 24 December: 4 nights for the price of 3; 1 – 31 May: 5 nights for the price of 4 for Sunday or Monday arrivals, saving up to £124.
ITALIAN LAKES PUNTA SAN VIGILIO An hour’s drive from Sirmione, along the eastern shore, brings you to the headland of Punta San Vigilio which is perhaps the most romantic setting on Lake Garda. It is home to one of our favourite Italian hotels, Locanda San Vigilio. Locanda San Vigilio
SIRMIONE The mediaeval town of Sirmione is situated at the end of a long peninsula and is made up of a maze of narrow streets that are limited to traffic. It has elegant villas and a wealth of historical features including the impressive 13th century Scaliger Castle, the church of San Pietro in Mavino and Santa Maria Maggiore with its beautiful 15th century frescoes. Villa Cortine
This splendid villa, with its Palladian-style façade, stands in an extensive park at the tip of the Sirmione peninsula. The hotel is reached through the tiny, narrow streets of Sirmione. The Villa Cortine is a luxurious haven; an imposing gateway leads you through the private grounds to the villa, built at the beginning of the last century. Here you will find spacious lounges with stunning frescoes, mosaics and decorated ceilings, a bar and an elegant dining room. There are 47 bedrooms, a summer swimming pool, a tennis court bordered by tall cypress trees and exotic gardens and a private bathing platform on the lake with an attractive alfresco restaurant. 3 night price from £998 per person low season, £1,298 per person high season.
Olivi This attractive hotel is set in a quiet residential area, five minutes’ walk from the bustling centre of Sirmione. At the front of the hotel there are trees and gardens and a large outdoor swimming pool with sun terrace. There is a lobby bar, a breakfast room and an elegant restaurant. In summer, dinner is also served outside on the terrace and light snacks are also served at lunchtime at the poolside bar. It has 50 bedrooms; some with a balcony and views through the trees towards the lake. The Olivi reopened in April 2013 with a brand new spa which features a thermal swimming pool – charges apply for the use of the spa. Prices include half-board. 3 night price from £726 per person low season, £926 per person high season.
Continental This comfortable hotel has a peaceful location on the Sirmione peninsula. It overlooks the western shore of Lake Garda and is a short stroll from the hustle and bustle of the town centre. The waterfront sun terrace is the perfect place to relax – there is a private jetty with sun loungers and the uninterrupted lake views are superb. There is a swimming pool, or you may prefer to swim off the jetty. The 57 bedrooms are spacious and simply furnished; many have balconies with views over the garden or the lake. The 1960’s architectural style of the building is not to everyone’s taste, however, the service is excellent and the relaxed atmosphere makes this a pleasant place to stay. The restaurant is open for lunch or dinner and opens out on to a terrace in fine weather. 3 night price from £698 per person low season, £896 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 14 – 27 March, 26 September – 30 October: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving £130.
Entered through a line of ancient cypress trees, the Locanda has been a hotel since the 16th century and has just 14 atmospheric bedrooms in the main building, each decorated with antique furniture and paintings. There are peaceful lounges, a bar and the large terrace plus an à la carte restaurant that has wonderful views of the lake. A cobbled lane leads to a tiny harbour and their trattoria where light meals are served at lunchtime. There is a swimming pool and guests can bathe in some of the lake’s clearest water at the beautiful Baia delle Sirene just a short walk away. 3 night price from £948 per person.
TORRI DEL BENACO A quieter alternative to some of the busier resorts, this pretty town sits on the eastern shore of Lake Garda, about 45 minutes from Verona. A 14th century castle built by the powerful Scaliger family overlooks the neat, cobbled streets of the historic old town and the small harbour with its colourful fishing boats.Torri del Benaco makes an excellent base for exploring the lake. Gardesana
This privately-owned hotel occupies a prime spot in the centre of town, opposite the castle and overlooking the mediaeval harbour. The 34 comfortable rooms are clean and furnished in traditional style with views of the harbour and some have small private balconies. The hotel has two restaurants; the ‘Ristorante Torri’ with a terrace on the harbour front and the first floor ‘Lounge Bar’ where breakfast is served. Both offer a range of regional cuisine in the evenings with fresh fish from the lake a speciality. In the summer months, open-air concerts are sometimes held in the small piazza by the hotel. 3 night price from £578 per person low season, £649 per person high season.
SALÒ A five minute drive along the lake from Gardone Riviera is the smart harbour town of Salò.The town flourished under Venetian rule in the 1500s, but it came back into the spotlight in the 20th century when it served as the capital of Mussolini’s short-lived Italian Social Republic.Today it is a sophisticated resort town with an array of popular restaurants, which line the lakefront promenade. Bellerive
The elegant Bellerive is located just a few minutes’ walk from the centre of Salò and overlooks the small marina. The spacious rooms are simply furnished in a contemporary style and there are six apartments in the adjacent villa, which are perfect for families. A delicious breakfast including freshly baked cakes and pastries is served in the restaurant ‘100km’, which is also open for lunch and dinner. The restaurant terrace opens directly onto a small garden and there is a wonderful outdoor swimming pool for the summer months. 3 night price from £688 per person low season, £898 per person high season.
Italian Lakes hotels continued overleaf
ITALIAN LAKES lake como The most beautiful and dramatic of the Italian lakes, Como has inspired poets and composers for centuries. Tranquil, still and timeless, the mountains that fringe the crystal waters provide a dramatic backdrop as do the many villas that stretch up the hillside from the lake shores.We offer some luxurious hotels, with food and comfort to match the wonderful views, as well as delightful family-run properties.
COMO & CERNOBBIO Villa Balbianello, Lake Como
The charming town of Como is the meeting place for the whole lake community with regular ferry and hydrofoil departures to the romantic towns of Tremezzo, Menaggio and Bellagio and yet is only one hour by train from Milan. Cernobbio, a village just five kilometres away, is the home of one of Europe’s greatest hotels. Villa d’Este, Cernobbio
TREMEZZO With fine views across calm waters to Bellagio,Tremezzo is an attractive, small resort with a good selection of cafés and restaurants and is well served by the frequent ferries.The grand 17th century Villa Carlotta has one of the finest gardens in Italy.
One of the best hotels in Europe, the Villa D’Este comes very highly recommended. Consisting of two magnificent villas – the Cardinal’s Building and the Queen’s Pavilion – set 150 yards apart in spectacular gardens with fountains and terraces at the water’s edge. All the luxurious bedrooms have marble bathrooms and a blend of classical and antique furnishings. Public rooms include the ‘Veranda’ restaurant (jacket and tie required for gentlemen at dinner), the ‘Grill Restaurant’ (smart casual) and a sun deck as well as a magnificent lounge and piano bar. Sports facilities include eight tennis courts, a squash court, jogging track, windsurfing, sailing, canoeing, water skiing, a golf simulator, a beauty centre plus both indoor and outdoor swimming pools. It has 152 rooms including 67 junior suites (special prices available on request). Hotel open 9 March to 14 November. 3 night price from £1,468 per person low season, £1,998 per person high season.
Grand Hotel Tremezzo
Kirker clients staying from 12 March – 19 April, 26 – 30 April, 4 October – 14 November receive a guaranteed room upgrade from classic to executive double.
SPECIAL OFFER 13 March – 30 April, 11 October – 7 November: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving up to £248.
Albergo Terminus, Como
This famous hotel adjoins the beautiful Villa Carlotta with its museum and botanical gardens and offers some of the best views on Lake Como. For over 100 years it has welcomed guests who today enjoy this spectacular location. Just a few steps from the lake, the hotel offers a relaxing private park plus two outdoor swimming pools (one floating on the lake) a private beach and clay tennis court. The exclusive T spa has a panoramic indoor infinity pool with jacuzzi and wonderful lake views. The 90 bedrooms are furnished in classic style with parquet flooring. Elegant public rooms include a panoramic bar, a billiard room, lounge, three snack bars and two restaurants, ‘La Terrazza’, the gastronomic restaurant with its spectacular mountain and lake views and ‘L’Escale Fondue & Wine Bar’ for more informal dining. 3 night price from £1,368 per person low season, £2,048 per person high season.
A delightful, small, privately-owned property located on the waterfront in the heart of the fine town of Como. Ferries depart from close by to all parts of the lake making this an excellent place to stay for those looking to explore. Recently refurbished, the hotel has a lounge and a large hall (with painted ceiling and antique furniture). The most attractive bar, where delicious café-style meals are served, leads on to a terrace with views of the lake and the surrounding hills. The 40 bedrooms are all well furnished – our prices are based on superior rooms. 3 night price from £748 per person low season, £968 per person high season.
LENNO A quiet village on the western shores of the lake, overlooking Bellagio, Lenno is a short drive from both Villa del Balbianello and Villa Carlotta.There are a number of lakeside bars and restaurants and ferries connect Lenno with Bellagio, Como and many other towns on the lake. San Giorgio
what’s included Return flights Return private car transfers Accommodation including breakfast Kirker’s Guide Notes to restaurants, museums and sightseeing The services of the Kirker Concierge to book opera tickets, expert local guides or a table for dinner Prices are based on sharing a double room (supplements for single rooms and suites on request). All quotations are tailor-made; speak to an expert in our reservations department on 020 7593 2288 or see your travel agent for an immediate availability check and the very latest prices.
With extensive views out across the water to Bellagio and sitting in an extensive park which runs down to the lakeshore and a small private beach, the family-owned San Giorgio dates back to 1920 when the new building joined a 17th century farmhouse. The owners and staff effortlessly create a welcoming atmosphere which is more akin to staying in a private home. The restaurant serves traditional homemade dishes with a notable emphasis on locally sourced produce. During fine weather, all meals are taken on the terrace overlooking the garden and lake beyond. The 33 bedrooms are comfortably furnished in traditional style. An underpass takes guests to the ‘mountain’ garden behind and the clay tennis court; a lakeside footpath leads directly to the centre of the village and the ferry terminal. 3 night price from £668 per person low season, £779 per person high season.
ITALIAN LAKES MOLTRASIO
The lakeside village of Moltrasio with its beautiful villas and gardens is a few minutes’ drive from both Cernobbio and Como.The public ferry connects Moltrasio with Como in 20 minutes and Bellagio in 35 minutes.
We believe that everyone ought to visit Bellagio at least once in a lifetime. It is that perfect small town which has just the most wonderful views across the lake to the Villa Carlotta and spectacular mountains that sweep down to the water’s edge.
Grand Hotel Imperiale
This lake front hotel has been a local favourite for many years. The main hotel building, in late Art Nouveau style, is home to the elegant bar and ‘Cascata’ restaurant, while modern extensions house the small spa with indoor swimming pool. The 121 bedrooms have all recently been renovated and are spread throught the various buildings. The hotel recently acquired the villa on the lake side, across a quiet road from the main hotel building. The villa holds the gastronomic ‘Imperialino’ restaurant, snack bar and outdoor summer swimming pool with its wonderful views across the lake to the town of Torno, as well as having 11 bedrooms. The public ferry terminal is just a short walk from the hotel. 3 night price from £738 per person low season, £1,068 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 19 March – 8 April, 18 October onwards: 3 nights for the price of 2; 25 April – 19 May, 27 September – 17 October: 4 nights for the price of 3; 20 May – 26 September: 7 nights for the price of 6, saving up to £175.
LEZZENO A pretty fishing village on the eastern shores, just five miles south of Bellagio, Lezzeno attracts a small fraction of the visitors that descend on its famous neighbour. Il Palazzo del Vice Re, Lezzeno (a luxury private residence) We were delighted to receive an invitation to this wonderful, aristocratic palace, and knew instantly that it would appeal to discerning clients wanting an authentic experience off the beaten tourist track– ‘living with the locals’ is how the staff describe the atmosphere. There are just seven bedrooms arranged over three floors (no lift), offering accommodation from two to five people; five overlook the lake and the largest have kitchens. Light dishes are served on request throughout the day, either on the elegant courtyard with its ancient wishing well or in the lounge; dinner or picnics can be arranged on request, as can wine tasting, pizza and risotto making. The delightful sun terrace, 50 metres from the property has comfortable loungers and a small private rocky beach for lake bathing. Guests can explore the shore by private boat, canoe or paddleboard, or travel further afield from Lezzeno’s ferry stop which is 10 minutes’ walk away. 3 night price from £959 per person low season, £1,079 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 30 March – 30 April, 1 – 31 October: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving £128.
THE KIRKER MUSIC FESTIVAL ON LAKE COMO A Six NIGHT ESCORTED HOLIDAY For our exclusive Kirker Music Festivals, we prepare a special programme of music exclusively for Kirker clients and engage international musicians of the highest calibre. Beautiful locations are a key feature of these holidays, hence the choice of the shores of Lake Como.We stay at the Grand Hotel Imperiale and enjoy six concerts featuring cellist Bjørg Lewis, violinist Jonathan Stone, pianist Sholto Kynich and mezzo-soprano Ema Nikolovska. We will visit the gardens of Villa Balbianello and have lunch at the fabled Hotel Villa d’Este.The holiday departs on 7 June 2020 and costs from £2,897 per person. Call us for further details or to request a copy of our Cultural Tours & Music Holidays brochure.
Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni
To enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner on the terrace of the Villa Serbelloni, admiring the spectacular panoramic views of Lake Como with its picturesque villages and distant snow-capped mountains, is simply one of life’s greatest experiences. Situated in the beautiful town of Bellagio and surrounded by woods and splendid gardens, the Villa Serbelloni is a privately-owned, traditional luxury hotel. There is a bar, a large lounge and the food is excellent both in the contemporary gastronomic restaurant ‘Mistral’ and the locally inspired ‘La Goletta’. A separate building houses the comprehensive spa and there are two tennis courts, a squash court and a large open air swimming pool – the hotel’s tiny private beach is close to the pool. In addition there is an attractive indoor swimming pool. There are 85 bedrooms; supplement for deluxe room with lake view available on request. Hotel open 8 April – 29 October. 3 night price from £1,268 per person low season, £1,568 per person high season.
Owned and run by the fourth generation of the Ketzlar family, the Florence is the oldest hotel in Bellagio and is located directly overlooking the lake. There is a bar, an excellent restaurant (tables outside under the trees at the water’s edge in summer – restaurant closed in October) plus a large lounge and a small spa. The 33 bedrooms are delightfully furnished with considerable style and many have fine lake views. Hotel open on 1 April – 31 October. 3 night price from £846 per person low season, £948 per person high season.
Hotel Du Lac On the waterfront in the heart of Bellagio, the Hotel Du Lac has, for 50 years, been owned by the same charming English lady – Signora Leoni who now runs it with her son. The hotel’s restaurant, with its open air terrace overlooking the lake, serves Italian specialities. The 45 air-conditioned rooms are simply but comfortably furnished. Drinks are served in the bar, or throughout the day on the ground floor terrace, whilst sun worshippers can admire the spectacular mountain and lake views from the roof garden. The Du Lac runs a shuttle service to the Bellagio Sporting Club which is one kilometre outside the town. The club has a swimming pool, tennis courts, a bar and a restaurant. 3 night price from £846 per person low season, £928 per person high season.
F L I G H T
I N F O R M A T I O N
Direct flights from the UK to Milan Linate airport: Heathrow, London City: Alitalia, British Airways; Gatwick: Easyjet Dublin: Aer Lingus Direct flights from the UK to Milan Malpensa airport: Heathrow: British Airways; Bristol, Edinburgh, Gatwick, Luton, Manchester: Easyjet; Birmingham, Manchester: Flybe; Bristol, Dublin, Liverpool, Manchester, Stansted: Ryanair; Dublin: Aer Lingus Direct flights from the UK to Milan Bergamo airport: Gatwick: British Airways; Belfast, Bristol, Dublin, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Manchester, Southend, Stansted: Ryanair Direct flights from the UK to Verona (for Lake Garda): Gatwick: British Airways; Edinburgh, Gatwick, Manchester: Easyjet; Southampton: Flybe; Birmingham, Bristol, Gatwick, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle: TUI (summer only); Belfast, Birmingham, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Stansted: Jet 2 Luton: Wizz Air; Dublin, Birmingham, Stansted: Ryanair; Dublin: Aer Lingus
MILAN The mighty city of Milan, population two million and rising, is for many the region’s spiritual centre.The official capital of Italy may be Rome, but any Italian will tell you that all the really serious decisions that affect the everyday lives of ordinary citizens are taken in Milan: what will be the fashionable colour this year? Which way will hemlines go? Some even hold that this bustling metropolis is the ‘secret capital’ (‘la capitale morale’) of all Italy. All the big corporations and banks are based here and the people who live in the city love to spend their hard-earned cash. No wonder, then, that there are so many excellent designer shops, elegant boutiques and bustling markets, and that the restaurants and cafés are among the best in Europe.The Duomo is a Gothic marvel of white marble adorned with belfries, gables and statues; La Scala is the world’s most revered and important opera house and there are many fine museums.The Kirker Concierge can obtain tickets to the Pinacoteca di Brera, a 17th century palace displaying the country’s greatest art collection, and also to Leonardo’s masterpiece, ‘The Last Supper’ which is housed in the Dominican convent adjoining the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie.Visitors will find a city that is exciting, colourful and vibrant – ideal in combination with a relaxing holiday on one of the lakes, or perfect for a weekend break. Palazzo Parigi
Architect and owner Paola Giambelli created this beautiful property in collaboration with legendary designer Pierre Yves Rochon, inspired by the elegant palace-hotels of Paris and the distinctive Milanese neo-classical style. The five year project was completed in 2013 and the result is an elegant and intimate hotel decorated throughout with antique furniture, paintings and sculptures. The gracious lobby is filled with flowers and light and leads to a sweeping marble staircase beneath a magnificent Venetian chandelier. The intimate bar and café with its winter garden is the perfect spot for afternoon tea or an aperitif before heading for dinner at the renowned gastronomic restaurant. In fine weather, guests can venture in to the leafy private garden to enjoy breakfast. All 98 bedrooms are beautifully designed and have floor to ceiling windows and balconies with city views. The entire 3rd floor is dedicated to the most wonderful spa which has a swimming pool, large sun terraces and themed treatment rooms. The location is excellent – just steps from the Pinacoteca di Brera and the 18th century Indro Montanelli public gardens. 3 night price from £1,498 per person low season, £1,998 per person high season.
Four Seasons Milan
This former 15th century monastery has been converted into a stylish hotel that entirely complements the fashionable location; on the exclusive Via Gesu, close to all those expensive designer shops and in the heart of the city’s most historic quarter. The 118 luxurious bedrooms (many overlook the peaceful, cloistered courtyard) reflect the casual elegance that is the hallmark of Four Seasons hotels. Each has fine fabrics and opulent marble bathrooms. Delicious breakfasts and dinners are served in the ‘La Veranda’ restaurant or alfresco in the warmer months, whilst cocktails and light meals are available throughout the day in ‘Il Foyer’. In the basement you’ll find an elegant spa offering a range of restorative treatments and an indoor swimming pool. 3 night price from £1,698 per person low season, £1,958 per person high season.
BRERA GALLERY ENTRANCE All Kirker clients visiting Milan will receive a timed entrance ticket to the Pinacoteca di Brera, one of Italy’s most important galleries. It houses an impressive collection of Italian art from the 13th to the 20th centuries with notable masterpieces by Raphael,Veronese, and Bellini.
Grand Hotel et de Milan
One of the city’s finest historic residences, Grand Hotel et de Milan is housed in a 19th century mansion and has been owned by the Bertazzoni family for three generations. Giuseppe Verdi lived here for many years and Maria Callas was another celebrated guest. The central location makes this a perfect base to explore the heart of the city – the Quadrilatero d’Oro, or Fashion District is opposite and La Scala and the Duomo are a few minutes’ walk away, as is the Brera artistic quarter. Elegantly furnished with Italian marble, original parquet floors and numerous antiques from the family’s collection, there are 73 bedrooms decorated in Liberty, Art Deco or Neo-classical style. The cosy Don Carlos restaurant has paintings and sketches from La Scala Theatre Museum and serves Mediterranean cuisine; ‘Gerry’s Bar’ is a popular after-theatre venue. 3 night price from £1,098 per person low season, £1,148 per person high season.
Located between via della Spiga and via Senato, Milan’s two principal fashion streets, this classical mansion is perfectly situated for exploring the city. The Duomo, Pinacoteca di Brera and La Scala are only 10 minutes’ walk away. Unlike many of the new, designer hotels that have opened in Milan recently, the Carlton Baglioni retains an intimate atmosphere, with rich brocade fabrics and antique furnishings that decorate the 92 comfortable bedrooms. The famous ‘Baretto’ gastronomic restaurant and the ‘Terrazza’ and ‘Caffè Baglioni’ which overlooks the interior garden are also decorated in the same classic style. A small spa has recently been added. If you are interested in combining Milan with Florence, Rome or Venice, please refer to page 26 for our gastronomic tailor-made holidays featuring Baglioni’s collection of hotels. 3 night price from £1,098 per person low season, £1,218 per person high season.
what’s included Return flights Return private car transfers Accommodation including breakfast Timed entrance to the Brera Gallery Kirker’s Guide Notes to restaurants and sightseeing The services of the Kirker Concierge Prices are based on sharing a double room (supplements for single rooms on request). All quotations are tailor-made; speak to an expert in our reservations department on 020 7593 2288 for the very latest prices.
This charming, privately-owned, boutique hotel offers classic style and friendly service on Via Santo Spirito, between Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga. Despite being in the heart of Milan’s most fashionable shopping district, the Manzoni offers quiet respite in homely surroundings. The 47 comfortable rooms offer elegant surroundings with parquet floors, wood panelling and marble bathrooms. The hotel’s intimate restaurant serves Milanese specialities, while the bar, in a small internal courtyard, is popular with locals for aperitivo cocktails. A small wellness area includes a Turkish bath and gym. 3 night price from £936 per person low season, £988 per person high season.
La scala OPERA PROGRAMME Tosca by Puccini:
10, 12, 16, 19, 22 December; 2, 5, 8 January
Roméo et Juliette by Gounod:
15, 18, 21, 26, 30 January; 2, 13, 16 February
Il trovatore by Puccini:
6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 23, 26, 29 February
Il turco in Italia by Rossini:
22, 25, 28 February; 13, 15, 17, 19 March
This stylish hotel is ideally located overlooking Piazza Fontana, a short walk from the Duomo, via Montenapoleone and La Scala. A member of Starhotels who own Kirker favourites the Splendid in Venice and the Savoia Excelsior in Trieste, it is decorated in contemporary style reflecting Milan’s fashion roots and has three contrasting restaurants and a wellness centre. With 330 bedrooms, this is a relatively large hotel by our standards; however we believe it is a great choice for our clients as it offers an outstanding location, quiet and comfortable bedrooms, value for money and excellent, personal service. 3 night price from £798 per person low season, £867 per person high season.
Salome by Strauss:
8, 11, 14, 18, 21, 25, 27, 31 March
Pelléas et Mélisande by Debussy:
4, 7, 10, 14, 18, 21, 24 April
Tannhäuser by Wagner:
23, 26, 30 April; 3, 7, 10 May
L'amore dei tre re by Montemezzi:
17, 20, 23, 26, 29 May; 4, 10 June
Fedora by Giordano:
3, 6, 9, 13, 17, 22, 25, 30 June
De La Ville
Un ballo in maschera by Verdi:
20, 23, 26 June; 2, 7, 10, 13, 16 July
La traviata by Verdi:
11, 14 July; 12, 14, 17, 20, 22, 25 November
Il viaggio a Reims by Rossini:
1, 3, 5, 8, 10, 12, 15, 17, 22, 25 September
Semele by Händel:
17, 19, 22, 23, 26, 28, 30 October
With its position midway between the Duomo and La Scala, the Hotel De La Ville has the perfect location for a comfortable short break in Milan. The 108 bedrooms have been fully renovated in both classic and contemporary style. The lobby and the ‘Visconteo’ bar have also been completely refurbished, giving them a contemporary look. The restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine with an extensive selection of wines. The wellness centre, the top floor heated swimming pool with its transparent dome and the solarium with views of the cathedral’s spires offer an oasis of relaxation. 3 night price from £746 per person low season, £819 per person high season.
la scala, milan a four night kirker cultural tour La Scala, Milan is, for most opera lovers, the world’s most important house. As well as a stalls ticket for one performance, this escorted holiday includes visits to the wonderful La Scala Museum, the Brera Gallery, Casa Verdi and Leonardo’s ‘The Last Supper’ at Santa Maria delle Grazie.This is an exceptional experience for everyone with an interest in opera and those who perform it. Four night holidays depart on 12 March, 29 June and 18 November and cost from £1,855 per person. For further details or to request a copy of our Cultural Tours & Music Holidays brochure, call 020 7593 2284.
TAILOR-MADE GASTRONOMIC HOLIDAYS WITH BAGLIONI HOTELS If you are considering combining Milan with Venice, Rome or Florence – all easily reached by high-speed Italo train, then we recommend staying in Baglioni’s collection of hotels. Clients staying staying in in aa combination combination ofof three two or or more more ofof their their properties properties receive receive a complimentary gastronomic dinner in each hotel, plus exclusive free-night offers. If you are also considering the Tuscan coast, they also have a beautiful hotel in the elegant town of Punta Ala which is the perfect spot to relax. Please see page 26 for further details or call our reservations team for advice and tailor-made quotations.
la scala ballet PROGRAMME Sylvia by Delibes:
17, 18, 21, 29, 31 December; 3, 11, 14 January
Serata van Manen-Petit by Beethoven:
24, 25, 28, 31 January; 1, 5, 7, 8 February
Madina by Vacchi:
22, 24 March; 1, 2, 9, 16 April
Romeo and Juliet by Prokofiev:
29 April; 5, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15 May
Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky:
24, 27 June; 3, 4, 6, 8, 9 July
La Dame aux camélias by Chopin:
18, 19, 23, 24, 26, 29, 30 September
The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky:
3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 16, 20 October
First category tickets cost from £240 (opera) £110 (ballet). We charge the price we pay plus £10 per ticket. Call the Kirker Concierge on 020 7596 2286 for availability.
F L I G H T
I N F O R M A T I O N
Direct flights from the UK to Milan Linate airport: Heathrow, London City: Alitalia, British Airways; Gatwick: Easyjet Dublin: Aer Lingus Direct flights from the UK to Milan Malpensa airport: Heathrow: British Airways; Bristol, Edinburgh, Gatwick, Luton, Manchester: Easyjet; Birmingham, Manchester: Flybe; Bristol, Dublin, Liverpool, Manchester, Stansted: Ryanair; Dublin: Aer Lingus Business Class Supplement: British Airways Club Europe from £280 return
TAILOR–MADE ITALY Italy’s extraordinarily diverse culture has evolved over several thousand years with influences from many other Mediterranean civilisations who found the country’s natural resources, strategic location and spectacular landscape irresistible.The popularity of our two and three-centre holidays has grown significantly – in particular, we are enthusiastic promoters of holidays that combine a city with a visit to a countryside, lakeside or seaside hotel.The right balance of culture and relaxation in one itinerary makes a unique holiday experience, whether your interest lies in art, history, architecture, beautiful lanscapes or delicious food and wine.
Typical rail journey times:Venice – Verona Venice – Bologna Venice – Milan Venice – Florence Venice – Rome Venice – Trieste Florence – Bologna Florence – Perugia
1 hr 10 mins 1 hr 30 mins 2 hrs 25 mins 2 hrs 10 mins 3 hrs 20 mins 1 hr 35 mins 40 mins 2 hrs 10 mins
Florence – Siena Florence – Rome Florence – Milan Florence – Naples Bologna – Milan Bologna – Ravenna Milan – Turin Rome – Bari Rome – Lecce
1 hr 30 mins 1 hr 20 mins 1 hr 40 mins 2 hrs 30 mins 1 hr 1 hr 20 mins 45 mins 4 hrs 5 hrs 20 mins
Rome – Naples Rome – Bologna Rome – Milan Rome – Bari Genoa – Milan Bari – Lecce Verona – Bolzano
1 hr 10 mins 2 hrs 15 mins 3 hrs 4 hrs 1 hr 30 mins 1 hr 30 mins 1 hr 40 mins
ITALY BY RAIL For those who prefer to travel by rail, Kirker’s team of Italy experts would be delighted to help you to plan a tailor-made itinerary which combines efficient Kirker transfers and reserved tickets on a high-speed train.To reach Italy by train we recommend travelling by Eurostar to Paris and then taking a connecting train to Milan, where you stay at one of our recommended hotels in the centre of the city – home to exceptional art, music and restaurants. From Milan, head to nearby Lake Como or Maggiore, or continue with Italy’s excellent network of trains onwards to Venice, Florence and Bologna, or further south to Rome and Naples. We have selected some of our favourite tailor-made rail holidays below, but for a personal quotation please contact a Kirker expert. All prices include Eurostar and rail tickets as described, private transfers, accommodation with breakfast, Kirker Guide Notes to restaurants and sightseeing and the services of the Kirker Concierge to book opera, ballet and concert tickets or make a reservation at a recommended restaurant as required.
ITALY’S GASTRONOMIC HEART: BOLOGNA, PARMA & RAVENNA Emilia-Romagna is the cultural, geographic and gastronomic heart of Italy. Travel by train with an overnight stop in Milan and spend five nights in Bologna, where you will enjoy revered culinary delicacies, historic universities, Renaissance art and ancient monuments. This is also the perfect base from which to visit the fascinating nearby cities of Parma, home of parmigiano and prosciutto, and Ravenna where you will find seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Highlights: ● Delicious cuisine in Bologna’s delicatessens and restaurants; ask the Kirker Concierge for tips ● An expert-led walking tour in the historic centre of Bologna ● Tasting authentic parmigiana e prosciutto and visit the vast Palazzo Farnese in Parma ● Dazzling mosaics in Ravenna, the last capital of the Western Roman Empire Price from £1,946 per person (low season) or £2,376 per person (high season) for seven nights including two nights in Milan and five nights staying at the Hotel Corona d’Oro in Bologna.
THE ITALIAN LAKES The Italian Lakes offer some of the most spectacular scenery in Italy as the plains of Lombardy meet the foothills of the Alps – and both Como and Maggiore are within an hour of Milan. To visit the region by train, travel by rail via Paris to Milan and spend the night in the city before you are met by your Kirker driver for the transfer to the lakes the following morning. We particularly recommend Lake Maggiore where you can enjoy the spectacular scenery from the comfort of the lakeside Grand Hotel Majestic, in the charming small town of Pallanza and adjacent to the glorious gardens of the Villa Taranto. Highlights: ● Spectacular Alpine scenery on one of the most picturesque of the Italian Lakes ● A night in Milan before and after Lake Maggiore ● Explore the lake by ferry, from Stresa and Pallanza in the south, to Ascona and Locarno in Switzerland ● Visit the gardens and villas of the famous Borromoe Islands
THE GRAND TOUR OF ITALY: MILAN, VENICE, FLORENCE & ROME
Price from £1,898 per person (low season) or £1,998 per person (high season) for seven nights including two nights in Milan and five nights staying at the Grand Hotel Majestic on Lake Maggiore.
Combine Italy’s great cultural cities in this ten night holiday travelling by rail to Rome returning by air (or ask about a return journey by rail). Travelling to Milan via Paris you will spend the first night in Italy’s style capital, before continuing by rail to Venice. Enjoy the art and architecture of La Serenissima for three nights and then head onwards to Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, for a further three nights at one of Kirker’s favourite hotels in the historic centre. Finish in Rome or ask about extending to include a stay in Naples or the spectacular Amalfi Coast. Highlights: ● Venice’s romantic canals, beautiful churches and elegant palazzi ● Renaissance art and architecture in Florence, city of the Medici ● The grandeur of the Roman Forum and the Colosseum ● The spectacular Pantheon, the most complete ancient building in the world Price from £2,246 per person (low season) or £3,045 per person (high season) for ten nights including one night in Milan and three nights each in Venice, Florence and Rome at favourite Kirker hotels.
GASTRONOMIC TAILOR–MADE HOLIDAYS We have teamed up with our friends at Baglioni who have luxurious hotels in Venice, Florence, Rome and Milan and in the elegant resort of Punta Ala in southern Tuscany. If you combine three of their hotels (or two if Florence and Punta Ala) in one tailor-made holiday, you will receive a complimentary dinner in each. The Baglioni Hotel Luna was the first hotel to open in Venice and offers beautifully renovated bedrooms in true Venetian style, a stone’s throw from St. Mark’s Square; the Baglioni Hotel Regina in Rome is a renowned Art Deco palace on the Via Veneto; the historic Relais Santa Croce is an intimate hotel close to Florence’s Arno river; the Baglioni Hotel Carlton is a classic mansion located close to Milan’s Duomo, Brera Gallery and La Scala opera house, and the Baglioni Resort Cala del Porto in Punta Ala offers a relaxing alternative to the cities – the perfect place to end your journey. All holidays will include high-speed rail, private car or water taxi transfers on arrival and departure as well as the usual Kirker extras such as entrance to the Doge’s Palace in Venice, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the Brera in Milan and the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel in Rome. Complimentary dinners will be included on one evening in each destination and the Kirker Concierge is on hand to recommend and book restaurants on other nights as well as organise private walking tours and opera and concert tickets.
SUGGESTED ITINERARIES We have several recommend itineraries listed below; however, please call us and we would be happy to tailor-make an itinerary to suit your personal requirements. Each of the hotels offer Kirker clients exclusive complimentary nights at certain times of the year. VENICE, FLORENCE & ROME Fly to Venice and back from Rome and stay two nights in Venice, two nights in Florence and two nights in Rome. Holiday includes flights, private transfers, first-class rail between the three cities, accommodation with breakfast – and a complimentary dinner in each property Low season price (typically for travel January – April, July – August) from: £2,459 per person High season price (typically May – June, September – October) from: £2,948 per person Complimentary nights applicable for Baglioni multi-centre holidays: Venice: 3 nights for the price of 2 for stays to 29 April, 12 July – 27 August Florence: 3 nights for the price of 2 for stays to 8 April, 26 July – 2 September Rome: 3 nights for the price of 2 for stays to 30 April, 26 July – 9 September
Cala del Porto, Punta Ala
FLORENCE & VENICE,COAST THE TUSCAN FLORENCE &ofROME Discover the wonderful city the Medicis– THE CLASSIC before heading to Punta Ala onITALIAN the Tuscan Coast for peaceful relaxation. Fly to Pisa and stay three TRILOGY nights in Florence and three nights in Ala Fly to Venice and back from Rome andPunta stay two on the in Tuscan Coast. Holiday nights Venice, two nights inincludes Florenceflights and two from local airport, carflights, transfer, car nightsyour in Rome. Holidayprivate includes private hire and accommodation with breakfast – and transfers, first-class rail between the three cities,a complimentary dinner in each property. accommodation with breakfast – and a The Cala del Porto in Punta Alaproperty is open from 7 complimentary dinner in each May until 3price October. Low season (typically for travel January – April,
VENICE, MILAN & florence The unique beauty of Venice combines perfectly with stays in the thriving cities of Milan and Florence. Fly to Venice and back from Florence and stay two nights in each city. Holiday includes flights, private transfers, first-class rail between the cities, accommodation with breakfast and complimentary dinners. Low season price (typically for travel January – April, July – August): £2,498 per person
July August): person Low –season price£1,898 (typicallyperMay, June & September) from: £1,989 per person High season price (typically May – June, September –
High season price (typically May – June, September – October): £2,959 per person
October): £2,498 per personJuly & August) from: High season price (typically £2,147 per person Complimentary nights applicable for Baglioni
Complimentary nights applicable for Baglioni multi-centre holidays: Venice: 3 nights for the price of 2 for stays to 29 April, 12 July – 27 August Milan: 3 nights for the price of 2 for stays all year (except 28 August – 3 October)
multi-centre holidays: Complimentary nights applicable for Baglioni Venice: 3 nights for the price of 2 for stays to 18 multi-centre holidays: April, 28 July – 29 August Florence: 3 nights for the price of 2 for stays Florence: 3 nights for the price of 2 for stays to to 26 July – 2 September 11 April, 28 July – 29 August Punta Ala: 3 nights for the price of 2 for stays Rome: 3 nights for the price of 2 for stays to 30 7 May – 21 June, 7 September, 3 October April, 28 July – 4 September
Relais Santa Croce, Florence
Florence: 3 nights for the price of 2 for stays to 8 April, 26 July – 2 September
LIGURIAN RIVIERA Stretching between Monaco and Tuscany and with a dramatic backdrop of the Alps and the Apennine mountains, Liguria is one of the most beautiful coastal regions in Italy. With many parts still relatively undiscovered, visitors find it easy to move off the beaten track and explore hill towns, ancient fishing villages, pastel-coloured villas and beautiful gardens as well as the unspoilt beaches lapped by the clear Ligurian Sea. Noble Genoa, a city with a rich maritime history, stands at the central point of the Riviera, with coastal resorts fanning out to the east and west.There is an extensive network of ferries and trains connecting all points of interest and so the region is perfect for a tailor-made holiday combining several destinations.
GENOA CAMOGLI PORTOFINO
RAPALLO SANTA MARGHERITA LIGURE
MONTEROSSO AL MARE
Cin Ter que re
LA SPEZIA POTOVENERE
price of 6, saving up to £170.PORTOFINO
Approximate driving times:-
Rail journey times:-
On Italy’s pine and flower-filled rugged northwest coastline lies Portofino, the prettiest port on the Mediterranean. The Splendido, on the hillside above the village and the Splendido Mare are expensive but when you are sitting on the terrace enjoying your dinner, you will appreciate why the good things in life don’t always come cheap!
Genoa – Portofino 50 mins Genoa – Santa Margherita Ligure 45 mins Genoa – Comogli/Rapallo 40 mins Genoa – Alassio 1 hr 15 mins Genoa – San Remo 1 hr 50 mins Pisa – Portovenere 1 hr 30 mins Pisa – Portofino 1 hr 50 mins Nice – San Remo 1 hr 10 mins Nice – Alassio 1 hr 40 mins
Genoa – La Spezia Genoa – Alassio Genoa – Pisa Genoa – Milan Genoa – Nice Genoa – Turin Genoa – Rome Nice – Alassio Nice – San Remo
Belmond Hotel Splendido
Perched high on a hillside above Portofino, one of the Mediterranean’s most picturesque and unspoilt villages, the Belmond Splendido is one of the world’s greatest hotels and offers impeccable service and a relaxed, informal atmosphere. Lovely terraced gardens are filled with pine trees and olive groves; there is a tennis court, a large open-air heated seawater pool and a sauna. The restaurant, with its outdoor terrace and spectacular views across the bay to the castle of St. George must be one of the most beautiful in the world. The 70 bedrooms are decorated in modern Mediterranean style, with many of them overlooking the sea. The village is just 10 minutes’ walk away. Hotel open 9 April – 1 November. 3 night price from £1,369 per person low season, £2,258 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 11 April – 9 May, 21 September – 2 November: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving £360.
Belmond Splendido Mare
1 hr 30 mins 1 hr 20 mins 2 hrs 30 mins 1 hr 40 mins 3 hrs 1 hr 45 mins 4 hrs 20 mins 1 hr 40 mins 1 hr
Enjoying the prime location in Portofino, right on the colourful Piazzetta, the Splendido Mare overlooks the famous harbour with its luxury yachts, fishing boats, restaurants and boutiques. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served either in the ‘Chuflay’ restaurant or outside on the waterside terrace. Many of the 14 bedrooms have glorious sea views and all are beautifully furnished. All the facilities of the Belmond Splendido are available to guests; a 5-seater electric car ferries clients between the two hotels every half hour or so (journey time five minutes). Hotel open 19 June – 18 October. 3 night price from £1,098 per person low season, £1,798 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 19 April – 9 May, 21 September – 13 October: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving £258.
what’s included Return flights to Genoa or Nice Return private car transfers Accommodation including breakfast The services of the Kirker Concierge Prices are based on sharing a double room (supplements for single rooms on request). All quotations are tailor-made; speak to an expert in our reservations department on 020 7593 2288. Portofino Ligurian Riviera hotels continued overleaf
LIGURIAN RIVIERA SAN REMO
Located at the heart of Riviera dei Fiori, on the western end of Liguria, San Remo is one hour from Nice airport and under two from Genoa. It has been a popular seaside resort since the 1800s.There is a long sandy beach and plenty of restaurants and shops, but it also has a fascinating old town made up of steep streets, covered alleys and atmospheric squares.
This pretty seaside village lies at the base of Monte di Portofino, 30 minutes east of Genoa and is similar in style to ones found further south in Cinque Terre. The town benefits from a preservation order that helps to protect its heritage – it remains under the main tourist radar and is a more down-to-earth alternative to the more glamorous resorts on the Ligurian Riviera.
Cenobio dei Dogi
The Grand Dame of San Remo, the Royal has been a favourite of the aristocracy and celebrities since 1872. It sits in a private, subtropical park, a short walk from the casino. Clients have complimentary use of a private beach located down 100 steps from the main hotel and across the road (there is also a sweeping, sloping pathway if you prefer to avoid stairs). Classically furnished throughout, there are grand public rooms and 126 bedrooms, many with balconies and sea views. The main restaurant, ‘Fiori di Murano’, also has lovely sea views and is open for lunch and dinner (gentlemen are required to wear a jacket for dinner). There is an additional summer restaurant for alfresco dining and a pool bar where light lunches are served. There is a large heated seawater swimming pool open from April to October and a luxurious spa. 3 night price from £869 per person low season, £1,098 per person high season.
This lovely hotel is the former summer home of the Genovese Doges and there is no doubt that they used their influence when deciding on its wonderful position. It stands at one end of Camogli’s small bay and the views across to the village and out to sea are spectacular. There are 106 simply furnished bedrooms that overlook the sea or the gardens and a restaurant that offers good food and splendid views. There is an additional summer restaurant overlooking the small private pebble beach and a seawater swimming pool. Ferries operate to Portofino, Santa Margherita or Cinque Terre in the summer months. 3 night price from £598 per person low season, £749 per person high season.
SPECIAL OFFER 10 February – 5 July, 19 August onwards: 7 nights for the
ALASSIO Lord Byron loved Alassio and many wealthy Britons followed in his footsteps in the 19th century, building splendid Art Nouveau villas, lush gardens and the magnificent promenade which stretches for over three miles to Laigueglia. Alassio has one of the best town beaches in Italy with fine sand and clear water, as well as great seafood restaurants and narrow cobbled streets.The town can be reached by train in less than two hours from both Nice and Genoa and the journey, hugging the Riviera, is one of the most scenic you’ll find. La Meridiana
Located three miles above the town, La Meridiana is a delightful, privatelyowned hotel set amongst ancient olive trees and pine woods and offers a wonderful, rural escape. The charming owners, Edmondo and Alessandra Segre, have been looking after guests for over 30 years and have created a sophisticated and charming retreat with just 25 beautifully decorated bedrooms, restful gardens and a lovely summer swimming pool. A member of Relais & Châteaux, the hotel is renowned for its cooking and offers delicious Ligurian specialities and a superb wine list in the two restaurants; the gastronomic ‘Il Rosmarino’ and the less formal ‘Il Bistrot.’ As well as exploring the castles and markets of the ancient villages in the vicinity, there are a number of activities at guests’ disposal including golf and horse riding, cycling, tennis and sailing. The hotel offers a beach package for 50 euros per person to include transportation to and from the hotel, sunbeds and parasols in a private beach club, plus a beach kit containing towels and sun lotion (advance booking essential). 3 night price from £829 per person low season, £968 per person high season.
what’s included Return flights to Genoa or Nice Return private car transfers Accommodation including breakfast The services of the Kirker Concierge
Cenobio dei Dogi
Italy’s most important maritime centre and the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, Genoa was once ruled by powerful Doges for five hundred years.Their legacy is apparent today in the historic centre with its magnificent palaces built for powerful families which stand side-by-side with humble alleyways known as carruggi. Grand Hotel Savoia
One of Genoa’s leading hotels, the Grand Savoia dates from the early 20th century. It enjoys a commanding position in the centre of the city, close to via Balbi which leads to via Garibaldi, lined with imposing and majestic palazzi which were once the homes of rich and powerful merchants. The very grand Palazzo dei Principe Doria Pamphili is one of the finest renaissance palaces in Italy and is just a few minutes’ walk from the hotel. There is an elegant restaurant, ‘Ristorante Novecento’ and a more informal trattoria serving delicious Genovese dishes. The 115 bedrooms are comfortably and traditionally furnished. The spa offers a wide range of services and there is a gym and fitness centre. The rooftop solarium on the seventh floor provides wonderful views out over the port of Genoa, reminding guests of the city’s rich maritime history. 3 night price from £498 per person low season, £536 per person high season.
LIGURIAN RIVIERA RAPALLO Five miles along the coast from Portofino, Rapallo is a pretty harbour town with a distinctive castle on a rocky outcrop in the sea. It is popular for its great swimming, shopping, bars, seafood restaurants and its distinctly Italian atmosphere.The furnicular ride up the hill to the large Sanctuary of Montallegro with its marble façade and wonderful views is a must. Excelsior Palace Overlooking the colourful marina and just 500 metres from the centre of picturesque Rapallo and its beach, the Excelsior Palace is the grandest hotel in town. The 130 bedrooms are comfortably furnished and decorated in warm Mediterranean colours. The ‘Lord Byron’ restaurant offers panoramic coastal views and serves excellent Ligurian dishes. There are spacious lounges; cocktails and after dinner drinks can be enjoyed in the ‘Yachting Bar’. Across the road from the hotel (connected by pedestrian tunnel) is the private Beach Club with its cabanas, parasols and entrance to the sea by swimming pool style steps, here you’ll find the ‘Eden Roc’ summer restaurant. The Hotel has two swimming pools – one outdoor (open June to September) and one indoor. 3 night price from £598 per person low season, £869 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER all year: 7 nights for the price of 6, saving up to £198.
SANTA MARGHERITA LIGURE Santa Margherita is a lively, little known resort with an elegant piazza and harbour. It is dominated by its castle which overlooks the port. A train journey in either direction is a must – west to Genoa or east will take you to Rapallo and the magnificent scenery of the Cinque Terre. Grand Hotel Miramare
A hotel since 1903, the distinctive, white, Liberty-style building is decorated with frescoes and overlooks the Gulf of Tigullio and the promenade that leads in to Santa Margherita. Today, old fashioned service and traditional style blend with some contemporary touches. The doors open onto the gardens and the seawater swimming pool from where you can enjoy the wonderful views under the shade of date palms; the views from the restaurant are equally memorable. There are 75 bedrooms, many have balconies and sea views; a health spa, a small private beach across the road and a summer children’s club. 3 night price from £698 per person low season, £1,068 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 29 March – 17 April, 1 October – 22 December: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving £120; 1 – 31 May, 1 – 30 September: 7 nights for the price of 6, saving £160.
F L I G H T
I N F O R M A T I O N
Direct flights from the UK to Genoa: Gatwick: British Airways; Stansted: Ryanair Direct flights from the UK to Pisa (additional transfer costs apply): Heathrow: British Airways; Bristol, Gatwick, Luton, Manchester: Easyjet Birmingham, East Midlands, Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Newcastle: Jet 2; Dublin: Aer Lingus; Dublin, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow Prestwick, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool, Stansted: Ryanair Direct flights from the UK to Nice (For San Remo and Alassio): Gatwick, Heathrow, London City: British Airways Dublin, Cork: Aer Lingus; Dublin, Stansted: Ryanair Birmingham, Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Stansted: Jet 2 (March – October only); Belfast, Bristol, Edinburgh, Gatwick, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Newcastle, Stansted: Easyjet
THE CINQUE TERRE A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Cinque Terre is a rugged stretch of coastline comprising the villages of Monterosso al Mare,Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.The area is virtually inaccessible by car and protected from mass tourism.The small, picturesque town of Portovenere is the best base from which to explore the five villages. Although there is a train that heads up the coast from nearby La Spezia (it is often crowded and, in summer, uncomfortably hot), the ferry service from Portovenere allows visitors to experience the beauty of the coastline and disembark at each village along the way. An unlimited day pass costs 25 euros. Grand Hotel Portovenere
Formerly a Franciscan convent, this charming hotel has been recently renovated and stands in a prime position overlooking the town of Portovenere with views out over the Gulf of La Spezia and Palmaria Island. The 43 comfortable bedrooms are decorated in typical Mediterranean style and the majority overlook the sea and the marina. The restaurant is excellent and has a wonderful panoramic terrace where you can enjoy delicious seafood and exceptional views. The sandy beach is 10 minutes’ walk away along the promenade (a free shuttle by tuk-tuk is available if preferred). Charges apply for the use of sunbeds, towels and parasols. The ferry departure point for the Cinque Terre is located in front of the hotel. 3 night price from £879 per person low season, £1,038 per person high season.
LIGURIA & THE CINQUE TERRE A SEVEN NIGHT KIRKER CULTURAL TOUR Our Cultural Tours programme is designed to appeal to clients who enjoy travelling with like-minded companions and will be of particular interest to anyone who is curious about art, architecture and history. Our new tour has been planned to introduce the region and its main city Genoa to new visitors. A great maritime centre which was ruled by powerful Doges for five hundred years, Genoa became one of the wealthiest cities in Europe.We will explore the rugged coastline and go to the area known as le Cinque Terre, there will also be time to relax and enjoy the pretty harbour town of Rapallo overlooking the Gulf of Tigullio, where we stay.Tours depart on 24 April and 27 September and cost from £2,192 per person. For further details or to request a copy of our Cultural Tours & Music Holidays brochure, call 020 7593 2284.
FLORENCE There could be no better setting, on the banks of the River Arno, for the birthplace of the Renaissance than Florence, the city of Michelangelo, Botticelli, Da Vinci, Giotto, Boccaccio, Dante and their patrons, the Medici family.The city’s palaces and churches are full of glorious paintings and sculpture, and just walking the streets one encounters breathtaking vistas at every turn. And yet Florence is today much more than a museum. It is worldrenowned for the quality of its fashion, leather, fine paper, modern art, sculpture and food. Our Kirker Guide Notes will help you find quieter secrets and some special trattoria and restaurants, not found in other ‘official’ handbooks. All holidays include a guaranteed timed entrance to the Uffizi so you can avoid the lengthy queues. 1
Belmond Villa San Michele
Owned by the Belmond Group, the Villa San Michele is nestled on the hillside below the small town of Fiesole and is one of our favourite hotels in Italy. Under the watchful eye of the manager, Emanuele Manfroi, service is sublime and its location overlooking the city below is breathtaking.The 15th century former monastery has a famous façade attributed to Michelangelo and a beautiful loggia terrace – dinner here is one of life’s great pleasures (jackets required for gentlemen). We can highly recommend the cooking classes with Executive Chef Alessandro Cozzolino – further details on request.There are 45 bedrooms located either in the main building or amid roses and lemon trees of the terraced gardens and a beautiful heated outdoor summer swimming pool. A courtesy shuttle bus runs regularly to and from the Duomo. No lift. Hotel open 30 March – 9 November. 3 night price from £1,298 per person low season, £1,998 per person high season.
Shelley described the view of the River Arno from the Ponte Vecchio as “the most vibrant and elegant that I have ever seen” and you have the same breathtaking vista if you book a riverside room at the Lungarno. Following a comprehensive renovation, it is now restored as one of the most luxurious in the city, offering sumptuous rooms and outstanding levels of service. Of the 65 bedrooms, 40 have views of the Arno and the Ponte Vecchio from their floor to ceiling windows; these same views can be enjoyed from the intimate lounges and the terrace of the bar. The Michelin-starred restaurant ‘Borgo San Jacopo’ serves traditional Florentine cuisine with an innovative, modern touch. 3 night price from £998 per person low season, £1,698 per person high season.
The Savoy Hotel stands on the Piazza della Repubblica, in the centre of Florence. Its traditional Italian exterior reflects the turn-of-the-century period in which it was built – but there are many Rocco Forte individual touches to lift this hotel above the norm. Following a comprehensive renovation in 2018, the public rooms and the 80 large bedrooms blend contemporary style with typically Florentine colours. Fine meals are served both in the restaurant ‘Irene’ and alfresco on the terrace overlooking the bustling piazza; there is also a bar and a large gym. 3 night price from £1,198 per person low season, £1,548 per person high season.
UFFIZI GALLERY ENTRANCE All Kirker holidays to Florence include a timed entrance ticket to the Uffizi Museum (closed Mondays). We can include entrance tickets for the Accademia or Bargello Galleries if you prefer.
Helvetia e Bristol
A Kirker favourite for over 30 years, the location of this characterful, traditional hotel is perfect – in the very heart of Florence, very close to Palazzo Strozzi and Piazza della Rebubblica. It is a small and beautifully restored Palazzo with just 67 bedrooms including some beautiful suites and each is furnished in traditional Florentine style. The hotel has a fashionable bar and a fine restaurant, ‘Hostaria Bibendum’ – breakfast, lunch and dinner can all be enjoyed outside on the street-side terrace in fine weather. It is now a member of Starhotels, a privately-owned Italian company who also have two other Kirker favourites; the d’Inghilterra in Rome and the Splendid in Venice. 3 night price from £1,048 per person low season, £1,398 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 10 November – 30 April, 12 July – 10 September: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving up to £290.
Villa La Massa
As Florence flourished during the 16th century, wealthy families commissioned the building of impressive countryside residences.Villa La Massa, with its noble architecture and idyllic location on the banks of the Arno is an impressive example. A recent renovation has restored it to its original splendour giving guests a fascinating insight into the lifestyles enjoyed by Florentine aristocrats at the time of the Renaissance. It is set in 22 acres of peaceful gardens, close to the village of Candeli and just 15 minutes’ drive from Florence – a complimentary shuttle service operates to the Ponte Vecchio – and offers exactly the right balance for those looking to combine culture and relaxation. The 41 bedrooms, spread across the main house and several other villas are decorated in traditional Florentine style with local fabrics and antiques. Run by our good friend, Stefano Venturi, there is a summer swimming pool in the gardens, a riverside restaurant, a tennis court, a new spa and bicycles for guests to explore the surroundings. Hotel open 25 March 28 November. 3 night price from £948 per person low season, £1,348 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 25 March – 3 May, 12 July – 6 September, 27 September – 28 November: 3 nights for the price of 2, saving £230; 4 May – 11 July, 7 – 26 September: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving up to £258.
what’s included Return flights to Florence Return private car transfers Accommodation including breakfast Kirker’s Guide Notes to restaurants, museums and sightseeing A guaranteed entrance ticket to the Uffizi Gallery The services of the Kirker Concierge Prices are based on sharing a double room (supplements for single rooms and suites on request). All quotations are tailor-made; speak to an expert in our reservations department on 020 7593 2288.
The Four Seasons is made up of a 15th century Renaissance palazzo and a 16th century former convent, either side of a wonderful 10 acre park. As you would expect, the quality of the accommodation, cuisine and service is exceptional. It is located 15 minutes’ walk from the Duomo and has 117 sumptuous bedrooms decorated with silk, velvet, marble and antique furniture. The opulent Michelin-starred ‘Il Palagio’ restaurant serves contemporary Tuscan cuisine whilst more rustic dishes are on offer at the seasonal ‘Al Fresco’ brasserie by the summer swimming pool. The luxurious spa is housed in an ochre-yellow pavilion and offers a wide range of restorative treatments. 3 night price from £1,298 per person low season, £2,098 per person high season.
Relais Santa Croce
The Palazzo was built in the early 1700s by Marquis Baldinucci who was the treasurer to the Pope and a recent restoration has returned it to its original splendour – the frescoes are spectacular, especially in the Sala della Musica. It has a quiet location, close to the Arno and just 50 metres from Santa Croce Basilica. The Duomo is less than 10 minutes’ walk away. All 24 bedrooms are extremely comfortable and are beautifully decorated with a combination of period furniture and designer elements; many overlook the Florence skyline. The elegant ‘Guelfi e Ghibellini’ restaurant combines traditional Tuscan recipes with contemporary flair. The hotel shares the building with the famous ‘Enoteca Pinchiorri’ which has three Michelin stars. If you are interested in combining Florence with Venice, Milan, Rome or the Tuscan Coast, please refer to page 26 for our gastronomic tailor-made holidays featuring Baglioni’s collection of hotels. 3 night price from £876 per person low season, £1,488 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 10 November – 8 April, 26 July – 2 September: 3 nights for the price of 2, saving £198; 9 April – 25 July, 3 September – 31 October: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving £225.
Antica Torre di via Tornabuoni 1 (a boutique residence)
We are delighted to feature this beautiful property which dates from the 13th century and stands on via Tornabuoni, a few minutes’ walk from the Duomo. It is considered to be one of mediaeval Florence’s most historic ‘tower houses’ and has preserved many architectural characteristics, including two magnificent roof terraces where you can enjoy breakfast or an evening aperitif whilst taking in the panoramic views of the city. Dinner is also served here in the warmer months. The renovated rooms in the Palazzo Gianfigliazzi, where Kirker clients will be accommodated are some of the most stylish and comfortable in Florence. Our great friend Maria Rita Bellini and her team offer exceptional personal service and a ‘home-from-home’ atmosphere. 3 night price from £688 per person low season, £1,248 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 10 November – 9 April, 1 July – 31 August: 3 nights for the price of 2, saving up to £148; 10 April – 30 June, 1 September onwards: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving £198.
11 Santa Maria Novella
SPECIAL OFFER 10 November – 2 April: 3 nights for the price of 2, saving £98.
12 Degli Orafi 8
Grand Hotel Villa Cora
This elegant villa was built in 1868 and reopened in 2010 as a stylish hotel combining elegant furnishings with personal service. It has a peaceful setting in its own grounds behind the Boboli Gardens, just 10 minutes’ drive from central Florence. There are 30 rooms in the main villa and 14 in the ‘villino’ Eugenia which also houses the spa. Rooms overlook the large heated swimming pool or the gardens and are beautifully furnished with restored period furniture and art from the family’s eclectic private collection. The roof terrace has panoramic views of the city and is the perfect spot for an aperitif prior to dining in the restaurant. A free shuttle operates from 9am to 9pm, stopping at key points in the city. 3 night price from £736 per person low season, £1,198 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 10 November – 27 March: 3 nights for the price of 2, saving £148.
Over the last four years, the Piazza Santa Maria Novella has undergone significant change. Many of the buildings, including the beautiful church have been restored and the square itself is now virtually traffic free. As well as a fantastic location, only five minutes’ walk from the Duomo and the prestigious Via Tornabuoni shopping street, we think this fine hotel is the city’s best traditional four star. All 71 bedrooms are impeccable and beautifully furnished using fine fabrics and rich colours; all have very impressive marble bathrooms. We highly recommend the rooms facing the piazza. The hotel has several comfortable lounges and a small roof terrace also overlooking the piazza. 3 night price from £598 per person low season, £986 per person high season.
This beautiful hotel is housed in one of Florence’s most attractive ancient residences, with parts dating back to the 12th century Holy Agostino Padri Convent. It is located a few steps from the Uffizi Gallery overlooking the River Arno, just 100 metres from the Ponte Vecchio in the heart of the historical centre. All 42 rooms are delightfully furnished in the grand, Florentine style, many with wonderful river and city views. A full buffet breakfast is served in a spectacular first floor room, which has a marvellous hand-painted ceiling dating from the 18th century. On the fifth floor there is an attractive bar and terrace with panoramic views of the city and Florentine hills across the river. 3 night price from £598 per person low season, £968 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 10 November – 4 March: 3 nights for the price of 2, saving £90; 2 August – 6 September: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving £120.saving £90; 1 August – 1 September: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving £120.
the KIRKER florence walking TOUR 9
This 19th century villa sits just below the famous Villa San Michele on the edge of the town of Fiesole. It benefits from wonderful, panoramic views of Florence and is a perfect base to explore the rural surroundings. Access into the city is easy as a regular bus service operates from outside the hotel. There are 32 bedrooms and our prices are based on deluxe rooms which are beautifully furnished in classical style and have city views. The service offered by Cristina Gori and her team is excellent – we were particularly impressed by the intimate restaurant where superb Tuscan cuisine is served. There is a large terrace, ideal for an aperitif or for alfresco dining and a small summer swimming pool. 3 night price from £638 per person low season, £896 per person high season.
A recent introduction to our programme, the Kirker Florence Walking Tour takes place every Sunday morning and is offered exclusively to our clients.The two hour tour costs just £10 per person (winter) and £20 (summer) and is a wonderful way of seeing Florence from the perspective of a local expert. Starting at Piazza della Repubblica, the walk takes in the Loggia del Mercato Nuovo, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza Pitti, the Basilica di Santo Spirito and Ponte alla Carraia.
Florence hotels continued overleaf
FLORENCE 15 Brunelleschi
One of the oldest buildings in Florence, the Brunelleschi stands in a quiet courtyard in the centre of Florence, a few steps from the Duomo. The Pagliazza Tower dates back to the 6th century and was once home to Filippo Brunelleschi, architect of Florence’s famous dome. Roman and Byzantine remains found in the base of the tower are on display in the basement museum. The tower now houses the intimate gastronomic ‘Santa Elisabetta’ restaurant on the first floor and the ‘Osteria Pagliazza’ next to the lobby, as well as the most attractive bedrooms; all of these display exposed original stonework. There is a cosy bar and generous breakfast room. The 96 rooms have recently been renovated to a high standard using expensive fabrics and furniture. 3 night price from £698 per person low season, £1,278 per person high season. Piazza Santa Maria Novella
One of Florence’s most stylish boutique hotels, L’Orologio is located on the majestic Piazza Santa Maria Novella. The contemporary design takes its inspiration from watchmakers, with each floor dedicated to a famous brand. Paintings and photographs of the owner’s extensive collection of vintage wristwatches are on display in the public areas and in each of the 50 elegant bedrooms, some overlooking the piazza or towards the Duomo. The impressive top floor breakfast room offers the best view of Santa Maria Novella through floor-to-ceiling windows. There is an atmospheric bar on the ground floor and a fitness centre and sauna. 3 night price from £598 per person low season, £1,026 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 10 November – 2 April: 3 nights for the price of 2, saving £95.
Sister hotel to the Santa Maria Novella and the L’Orologio, the Balestri reopened in January 2015 following a complete renovation. It is located in the heart of the Santa Croce district, 400 metres from the Ponte Vecchio and close to The Uffizi Gallery. The views from the rooms at the front are exceptional, particularly at night, and take in the river, Piazzale Michelangelo and the hills of San Leonardo. The 50 bedrooms are decorated in a simple contemporary style with dark oak floors and comfortable beds – rooms on the 5th floor are decorated in a more glamorous style and share a roof terrace with wonderful city views. Our prices are based on rooms with Arno views. An excellent breakfast is served in a ground floor room with tall arched windows overlooking the river. 3 night price from £598 per person low season, £998 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 10 November – 2 April: 3 nights for the price of 2, saving £110.
16 Rosso 23
With its frescoed façade, Rosso 23 is one of the most attractive of the buildings that overlook Piazza Santa Maria Novella. Opened in 2009 under the same ownership as the Santa Maria Novella and L’Orologio on the same square, the stylish entrance hall is shared with another sister hotel, the Garibaldi Blu; a grand stone staircase leads to 43 comfortable and well-furnished bedrooms, mostly using shades of red that give the hotel its name. Our prices are based on superior rooms overlooking Piazza Santa Maria Novella. 3 night price from £568 per person low season, £829 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 10 November – 2 April: 3 nights for the price of 2, saving £68.
17 Pitti Palace
This famous hotel is in a fabulous location, just a few steps from the southern end of the Ponte Vecchio. The breakfast room, American bar and terrace on the 6th floor all have wonderful views over the rooftops towards the Duomo so guests are assured of a memorable start and finish to a day in Florence. There are 87 bedrooms which have recently been renovated, with modern amenities added to the classical decoration. 3 night price from £598 per person low season, £839 per person high season.
TAILOR-MADE GASTRONOMIC HOLIDAYS WITH BAGLIONI HOTELS If you are considering combining Florence with Venice, Rome, Milan or the Tuscan Coast, then we recommend staying in Baglioni’s collection of hotels. Clients staying in a combination of two or more of their properties receive a complimentary gastronomic dinner in each hotel, plus exclusive free-night offers. Please see page 26 for further details or call our reservations team for advice and tailor-made quotations.
F L I G H T
I N F O R M A T I O N
Direct flights from the UK to Florence: London City: British Airways; Gatwick, Luton: Vueling Edinburgh, Manchester, Stansted: British Airways (summer only) Direct flights from the UK to Pisa (additional transfer costs apply): Heathrow: British Airways; Bristol, Gatwick, Luton, Manchester: Easyjet Birmingham, East Midlands, Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Newcastle: Jet 2 Dublin: Aer Lingus; Dublin, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow Prestwick, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool, Stansted: Ryanair Direct flights from the UK to Bologna (additional transfer costs apply): Heathrow: British Airways; Gatwick: Easyjet; Bristol, Dublin, Edinburgh, Luton, Manchester, Stansted: Ryanair; Dublin: Aer Lingus Business Class Supplement: British Airways Club Europe £260 return Bologna from £235
TUSCANY & UMBRIA The charm and beauty of Tuscany and Umbria has to be seen to be believed; gravity-defying hill towns merge with fertile valleys lined with cypress trees, vineyards and olive groves. Combined with mouth-watering wine and food, this is one of the most spectacular regions in Italy.Whilst Tuscany is the more well known region, and offers the most iconic views, Umbria is a charming contrast – more rustic and authentic. Located in the best rural settings as well as the key towns, our carefully-selected hotels range from delightful, privately owned havens, to historic manor houses presiding over ancient wine estates. Approximate driving times:FORTE DEI MARMI
MONTECATINI TERME CAPANNOLI
FLORENCE GREVE IN CHIANTI 8
GAIOLE IN CHIANTI
Lake Trasimeno 13
35 mins 2 hrs 15 mins 1 hr 1 hr 20 mins 1 hr 30 mins 1 hr 20 mins 1 hr 10 mins 2 hrs 15 mins 1 hr 30 mins 1 hr 50 mins 2 hrs 30 mins
Rail times:Pisa – Lucca/ Capannoli Montecatini Terme – Florence Florence – Perugia Florence – Siena Perugia – Assisi
30 mins 1 hr 2 hrs 10 mins 1 hr 30 mins 20 mins
Pisa – Capannoli/Lucca Pisa – Siena Pisa – Florence Pisa – Piombino Florence – Siena Florence – Gaiole in Chianti Florence – Casole d’Esla Florence – Assisi / Todi Pisa – Punta Ala Florence – Perugia Rome – Assisi
CASTIGLIONE DELLA PESCAIA
TO ROME TO ROME
KIRKER TAILOR–MADE: THREE SUGGESTED ITINERARIES The rolling countryside of Tuscany and Umbria covers a vast region, and to appreciate its many contrasts we highly recommend a holiday which combines two or more destinations in one tailor-made itinerary, perhaps beginning in a city before retreating to a countryside hotel for a few days of relaxation.We have prepared several itineraries below as inspiration, but each holiday can be tailored to your preferences – please speak to an expert to discuss your personal requirements. The itineraries include car hire for all countryside properties. However, private car transfers can always be provided if preferred.The Kirker Concierge is available to book expert local guides, recommended restaurants, wine tasting, cookery courses and opera or concert tickets. FLORENCE & THE CHIANTI COUNTRYSIDE
PERUGIA & THE UMBRIA COUNTRYSIDE
TUSCAN COAST & COUNTRYSIDE
The cradle of the Italian Renaissance, Florence is home to some of the world's greatest art and architecture. Stay for three nights at our favourite small hotel, the Antica Torre and take advantage of Kirker's timed entrance tickets to see the new Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael rooms at the Uffizi Gallery. Then collect a hire car for the drive into the Chianti countryside where you can unwind for four nights at the Castello La Leccia – an idyllic retreat which offers wonderful views and warm hospitality. Price from £1,398 £1,798 per person person low low season, season, £2,198 per person high £1,979 high season season toto include include return flights to Florence, Florence, aa private private car car transfer transferon on arrival, car hire for five five days, days,entrance entrance tickets ticketstoto the galleries of your choice choice in in Florence, Florence,three three nights’ accommodation with with breakfast breakfast atat the the Antica Torre and four at at the the Castello Castello La La Leccia. Leccia
The fascinating yet little visited city of Perugia is the capital of Umbria and a major centre of mediaeval art.You will discover vast Etruscan city walls, countless historic buildings, grand piazzas and picturesque streets from your central base, the Brufani Palace. Then escape into the heart of the Umbrian countryside for a relaxing stay at the Villa di Monte Solare, a restored patrician villa and farmhouse set amongst olive groves and vineyards. We highly recommend a detour to nearby Assisi to see the magnificent Giotto frescoes in the Basilica di San Francesco. Price from £1,049 per person low season, £1,236 per person high season to include return flights to Florence or Perugia, car hire, three nights’ accommodation with breakfast at the Brufani Palace and four at the Villa Monte Solare.
The unspoilt coastline of southern Tuscany offers sandy beaches, Etruscan ruins and picturesque villages. Head inland and you will discover the essence of Tuscany – vineyards, sweeping views and historic hill towns. An 80 minute drive south from Pisa will take you to the Torre Mozza, a restored 16th century watchtower right on the water’s edge. Spend three nights here before driving to the Relais la Suvera for four nights. This is the ideal base to discover Siena, Colle di Val d’Elsa and San Gimignano. Perhaps stay in the charming walled city of Lucca for a couple of nights at the end of your holiday. Price from £1,458 per person low season, £1,986 per person high season to include flights to Pisa, car hire, three nights’ accommodation at the Torre Mozza and four at Relais La Suvera.
TOWNS OF TUSCANY SIENA
An independent republic in the 13th and 14th centuries, Siena is a mediaeval oasis steeped in history, art, mystery and tradition and is our favourite town in Tuscany. It is situated on the ridge of three hills in the heart of the high Tuscan plateau, 40 miles south of Florence and is encircled by huge ramparts.The competitive spirit of the ‘Palio’ horse races held in the wonderful Piazza del Campo in July and August has ensured that young Siennese stay on in their beautiful city.Tickets and prices available from the Kirker Concierge.We can include a hire car if you wish to visit the vineyards of Chianti, the towers of San Gimignano and Pisa and the walled city of Lucca.
The small village of Capannoli makes an ideal stop for a couple of nights before or after a stay in rural Tuscany. It is 20 minutes’ drive southeast of Pisa. It is also a convenient base for those wishing to attend Andrea Bocelli’s July performance at the Teatro del Silenzio in nearby Lajatico. Asilo Masi
(an historic residence)
Over the years, Garibaldi, Puccini, Mascagni and Bocelli have all enjoyed the warm hospitality of Asilo Masi, a historical mansion standing opposite Saint Bartholomew Abbey in the centre of the village. It is now owned by the Countess Cristina Gotti Lega and has just seven beautifully furnished bedrooms, an elegant lounge and library with a complimentary open bar and a small, tranquil garden with a jacuzzi pool for the summer months. The Countess is an accomplished cook and will happily arrange dinner on request or provide cooking classes. 3 night price from £759 per person low season, £839 per person high season.
VIAREGGIO A popular seaside resort since the late 19th century when wealthy travellers visited as part of their ‘Grand Tour’, Viareggio has great beaches and an elegant promenade flanked by Art Nouveau architecture. Principe di Piemonte This grand hotel with its imposing 1920s façade has a great seafront location, close to many boutique shops and family-run restaurants.The public areas are decorated in exquisite Art Deco style with mosaic tiled floors, stained glass panelling and Murano glass chandeliers. The 106 bedrooms are classically furnished; there is an acclaimed, two-star Michelin restaurant, ‘Piccolo Principe’ on the fifth floor and a less formal option, ‘Regina’ on the ground floor with a veranda overlooking the sea. The hotel has a gym and spa facilities and a rooftop heated swimming pool with panoramic views. 3 night price from £498 per person low season, £898 per person high season.
Grand Hotel Continental
The palazzo was built in 1600 by Pope Alexander Vll as a wedding gift to nobleman Giulio de’ Gori and is the grandest palace to be found in the historical centre of Siena, situated a few steps from the famous Piazza del Campo and the cathedral. An impressive, traditional lobby leads to a covered courtyard, now a stylish and contemporary restaurant serving delicious light dishes and more hearty Tuscan cuisine. Guests will also enjoy the wine bar which was carved out of the limestone base of the Mediaeval tower at the heart of the building. There is a stunning first floor salon with outstanding 17th century hand-painted ceilings and walls. Many of the 69 spacious bedrooms and suites also have original frescoes, combined with the latest comforts. 3 night price from £839 per person low season, £1,198 per person high season.
Pensione Palazzo Ravizza
A Renaissance Palazzo located in a quiet square only five minutes’ walk from the cathedral. Transformed into a pensione in the 1920s, it has remained in the same family ever since. Antique furnishings and frescoed ceilings help to create an atmosphere of simple elegance. Attractive public rooms include a bar and a lounge and the hotel has a delightful shady garden with lovely views of the Tuscan hills. All 38 characterful bedrooms have air-conditioning. No TV. Hotel closed 1 January – 28 February. 3 night price from £739 per person low season, £798 per person high season.
SPECIAL OFFER 1 February – 3 April, 11 October onwards: 3 nights for the price of 2; 4 April – 3 July, 23 August – 10 October: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving up to £112.
MONTECATINI TERME Famous for its thermal waters, this was a fashionable destinations in Europe at the start of the 20th century. It still has an elegant atmosphere with grand, well preserved architecture and beautiful thermal spas. It is half way between Pisa and Florence and makes a good stopover for clients heading into rural Tuscany. Torretta The Simoncini family own and run this excellent 4 star hotel and take great pride in offering warm hospitality and excellent service. They are experts in giving guests the right advice when it comes to choosing from the myriad of treatments available at the Terme di Montecatini. The hotel is located in a tranquil part of the town, a short walk from the Parco del Terme and has a lovely swimming pool and jacuzzi in a shady, walled garden. There are 59 comfortable bedrooms, a relaxing lounge and a restaurant serving tasty local cuisine. Snacks and drinks are available by the pool during the day. 3 night price from £498 per person low season, £589 per person high season.
TOWNS OF TUSCANY LUCCA
FORTE DEI MARMI
Virtually traffic-free and with a convivial atmosphere, Lucca was the birthplace of Giacomo Puccini and is one of the most charming of all the smaller cities in Italy. Its historic quarter is still encircled by Renaissance city walls with the elegant Piazza San Michele at its heart.You will find tempting shops, mediaeval churches, museums, galleries and sprawling antiques markets.
Forte dei Marmi is one of the most stylish resorts on the Tuscan coast. Just half an hour by car from both Pisa and Lucca, the town has enjoyed celebrity status and attracts a flashy crowd in July and August. Outside of high summer you can enjoy a relaxing atmosphere, take a leisurely bike ride or enjoy fresh seafood under the shade of umbrella pines. Byron
San Luca Palace
A wonderfully welcoming 4 star hotel, located in a mediaeval square dating from 1540, at one end of via San Paolino. This is a great base from which to explore Lucca – The Duomo di San Martino, Piazza dell’Antifeatro, Piazza Napoleone, Piazza San Michele, the Museo Nazionale di Villa Guinigi and the train station are all within easy walking distance. The manager, Claudio Tongiorgi and his team provide attentive service designed to make guests feel at home. There are 26 modern, spacious and comfortable bedrooms including suites and junior suites and a popular bar lounge. An excellent buffet breakfast is served every morning and snacks are available throughout the day. 3 night price from £648 per person low season, £798 per person high season.
Opened in 2017, Palazzo Dipinto is located within the mediaeval city walls, a few steps from Piazza San Michele. Formerly a 13th century palace, the building has been beautifully converted into a stylish hotel offering contemporary design and excellent, personal service – Roberto Lombardi and his team are always on hand to share their knowledge of this unique and beguiling city. There are just 19 bedrooms and all combine modern furniture with original features such as wooden beams and exposed brick. Public rooms have the same design yet further evidence of the buildings history can be found in the underground Roman excavations. In the summer, breakfast is served outside in the picturesque Piazza del Palazzo Dipinto. 3 night price from £598 per person low season, £698 per person high season.
This elegant hotel is located in the heart of the town, a short walk from the beach. Our good friend Salvatore Madonna and his excellent, charming team offer superb service and help to maintain the hotel’s intimate atmosphere, akin to that of a private villa. Decorated throughout in a range of cool Mediterranean colours and designer furnishings, this exclusive property has just 29 bedrooms. Rooms at the front overlook the sea whilst rooms at the back have views of the Apuan Alps and the shaded gardens which are home to a swimming pool and the summer terrace of chef Cristoforo Trapani’s ‘La Magnolia’ Michelin-starred restaurant. Here you will enjoy delicious regional cuisine and a fantastic selection of world-class wines. The hotel has access to two beach clubs which are both within close proximity and are bookable at an additional fee. The best way to get around the town is by bicycle and the Byron has a number of them available for guests. Hotel open 1 April – 26 October. 3 night price from £839 per person low season, £1,436 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 1 April – 30 June, 8 September – 26 October: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving up to £280.
PUNTA ALA The coastal Maremma region of Southern Tuscany attracts many tourists, particularly in the summer months; however there are still areas that remain relatively undiscovered. In contrast to the nearby seaside towns of Follonica and Castiglione della Pescaia, Punta Ala is a stylish and sophisticated resort, off the beaten tourist track.
THE PUCCINI OPERA FESTIVAL The annual Puccini Opera Festival takes place in July and August in the beautiful surroundings of Torre del Lago, close to Lucca. If you would like to visit the festival as part of an independent holiday, the Kirker Concierge is available to book tickets as well as transfers from your hotel. For those who prefer an escorted holiday, we will be operating a five night tour to the festival as part of our 2020 programme of escorted music holidays. For further details please call us on 020 7593 2284.
PISA Pisa is one of Italy’s great, aristocratic cities with its handsome Duomo and elegant Baptistry. Although the city is best known for the astonishing Leaning Tower, most visitors remember a stylish university town with a vibrant atmosphere and excellent restaurants.
Baglioni Hotel Cala del Porto
Set in pristine gardens with wonderful views out over the marina towards the island of Capraia and beyond to Elba, Cala del Porto is a member of the Baglioni Hotels Collection and Relais Châteaux and has just 38 bedrooms furnished in typical Tuscan style. It is a great place to enjoy relaxation, warm Tuscan hospitality and excellent Mediterranean cuisine. As well as a wellness centre and a summer swimming pool, the hotel has two private sandy beaches which are reached in a couple of minutes by complimentary shuttle (charges apply for loungers and parasols). There are three restaurants; ‘Belvedere’ at the hotel, ‘La Spiaggia’ (open for lunch only) and ‘La Vela’ by the beaches, and all offer locally caught seafood fresh from the Tyrrhenian Sea. Punta Ala is 90 minutes’ drive from Pisa; alternatively, guests can take the train to Grosseto or Follonica from where private car transfers can be arranged. 3 night price from £1,068 per person low season, £1,398 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 7 May – 21 June, 7 September – 3 October: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving up to £208.
NH Pisa Located close to the city’s main shopping streets and a 20 minute walk from Piazza dei Miracoli, this modern hotel is an excellent base for a short stay in Pisa. It is opposite the central station and therefore very convenient for train connections to Florence and other destinations in Tuscany. There are 100 spacious bedrooms furnished in both classical and contemporary style and a lounge bar serving light snacks throughout the day. 3 night price from £539 per person low season, £698 per person high season.
what’s included for the towns of tuscany Flights to Florence or Pisa Return private car transfers Accommodation including breakfast The services of the Kirker Concierge
TUSCANY COUNTRYSIDE 1
The position of Le Fontanelle on a hillside overlooking one of the most peaceful and unspoilt valleys in Chianti is wonderful – it is one of the most serene environments that we have come across and is the perfect place to unwind and to experience exceptional service. The restoration of this estate lasted seven years and the result is an understated and hugely appealing hotel. The botanical gardens offer plenty of space and with just 25 bedrooms in the main hotel and nine in a separate annexe 400 metres away, the property never feels crowded. Rooms are spacious and comfortable; some have private gardens that make the most of the valley views. There is a super gastronomic restaurant and an alfresco restaurant serving light lunches. Additional facilities include indoor and outdoor swimming pools. The hotel is located just 15 miles north of Siena and 70 miles from Florence. Highly recommended. 3 night price from £998 per person low season, £1,098 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 9 April – 14 May, 1 – 31 October: 4 nights for the price of 3; 15 May – 30 September: 6 nights for the price of 5, saving up to £230. Kirker clients staying a minimum of 4 nights in deluxe room and junior suites receive a complimentary welcome dinner.
Belmond Castello Di Casole
Located close to the hill town of Casole d’Elsa, 45 minutes from Siena and 50 from Florence, this is Tuscany’s most luxurious retreat. The hotel stands at the top of a 4,000 acre estate and has wonderful views of the surrounding countryside and the distant towers of San Gimignano. Parts of the original castle date back to the 10th Century and the renovations have carefully preserved the sense of history. Although the 39 spacious suites are sumptuously furnished, their wrought iron beds and white linen give them a touch of rustic simplicity. Dining options include the gastronomic ‘Tosca’ restaurant and the low-key ‘Pazzia’. There is a magnificent infinity swimming pool, an extensive spa and a wide range of activities available. Hotel open 27 March – 10 November. 3 night price from £1,798 per person low season, £2,398 per person high season.
Owned by the Moretti family, L’Andana is located in the Maremma region of southern Tuscany near the beaches of Castiglione della Pescaia. Pisa airport is one and a half hours away and Rome Fiumicino can be reached in two hours. Set at the foot of lush green hills with views out towards the island of Elba, this tranquil oasis which has been restored and renovated to palatial charm was once the hunting lodge of the Duke Leopold in the 16th century and is set in 1,200 acres of olive groves, vineyards and fruit orchards. Renowned chef Enrico Bartolini has recently arrived at L'Andana from Milan where his restaurant ‘Mudec’ won two Michelin stars. His dishes include many ingredients grown in the hotel's own garden. All 33 rooms are beautifully decorated using terracotta Italian silks, modern and antique furniture and have plenty of rustic charm. Facilities include an ESPA spa, a swimming pool, tennis court and a three hole pitch and putt golf course. 3 night price from £998 per person low season, £1,338 per person high season.
6 Borgo San Felice
The pretty hilltop hamlet of San Felice lies in the heart of Chianti, 15 kilometres from Siena. It dates back to as early as 714AD and now the whole hamlet has been converted into a luxury hotel. It is also one of Chianti Classico’s leading wine estates. The 43 rooms are all decorated in traditional Tuscan style and are spread throughout the hamlet whether in the main palazzo or in the numerous mediaeval townhouses. The hotel is a member of Relais & Châteaux and its ‘Poggio Rosso’ restaurant serves fine cuisine using the best local produce. Leisure facilities include an outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, pitching green and spa. 3 night price from £1,039 per person low season, £1,146 per person high season.
ISLAND OF ELBA Elba is 10 miles off the coast and is reached by ferry from Piombino. Known for its 150 beaches and abundance of nature, it has a fascinating past. Napoleon’s legacy is clear following his exile here in 1814 but much evidence remains of occupation from the Etruscans and the Romans. It lies inside the Parco Nazionale Arcipelago Toscano and has been well protected from mass tourism. Hermitage This fine resort is located on the beautiful sandy beach of Biodola Bay, five miles from Portoferraio and sits within a private park. Built in the 1950s in a style designed to blend in to the natural, evergreen surroundings, the hotel is still owned and run by the same family and offers superb service, a peaceful atmosphere and a wide range of facilities.The 117 bedrooms are located in the main building and in a series of cottages dotted throughout the park; all are furnished in Mediterranean style and have a balcony or terrace overlooking the gardens or the sea.The private beach to the front has golden sand and clear waters.There is a sailing school, walking trails, tennis courts, a nine-hole golf course, three salt-water swimming pools, a spa and four restaurants offering everything from fine dining to light, poolside lunches. 3 night price from £1,098 per person low season, £1,498 per person high season.
The highlight of the Tuscan coastline that stretches south from Pisa is undoubtedly the Argentario Peninsula. It is a dramatic rocky outcrop with crystal clear waters and is home to one of Europe’s best loved luxury hotels.This glamorous hideaway sits in terraced grounds and has 50 bedrooms located in the main building and several villas hidden amongst ancient olive and cypress trees. The emphasis is on total relaxation in elegant surroundings – take a stroll (or the lift!) to the private beach or enjoy the heated swimming pool with its majestic sea views or have a restorative treatment in the thalassotherapy spa. Porto Ercole is a short drive away and there are Etruscan and Roman ruins nearby. 3 night price from £1,049 per person low season, £1,498 per person high season.
II Falconiere Relais
Located close to the beautiful town of Cortona where the regions of Tuscany and Umbria meet, Il Falconiere is perfectly situated for visiting Siena, Arezzo, Assisi and Perugia which are all within a 45 minute drive. The original buildings of this 17th century manor house have all been recently renovated and now form part of this small luxurious hotel. There are just 22 rooms, all beautifully restored with frescoed walls and original furniture. The Michelin-starred restaurant serves imaginative cuisine using local and regional produce. The pasta is homemade, olive oil is pressed from homegrown olives and grapes come from the hotel’s vineyard. Wine tastings and cooking classes with chef Silvia Regi Baracchi are popular and highly recommended. There is also a lovely terrace in the garden where guests can enjoy afternoon tea. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool where light lunches are also served and an Etruscan spa with a mineral-rich indoor pool. 3 night price from £749 per person low season, £928 per person high season.
Hidden away along the coast from Portoferraio, this privately-owned hotel is located within its own park. It has a relaxed atmosphere, perfect for those seeking tranquillity and is also a good base for discovering the island, given its central position.The property is made up of a 1970s-style main building in the heart of the park which houses the majority of the 75 bedrooms and the restaurant.We recommend the characterful bedrooms, some with original frescoes, in the beautiful 19th century Tuscan villa which stands directly by the beach. Sun loungers on the sandy beach and by the swimming pool are free for guests. 3 night price from £946 per person low season, £1,168 per person high season.
TUSCANY COUNTRYSIDE 7
Castel Porrona Relais
10 Borgo Scopeto Relais
Located in the wine region of Montecucco, a typically beautiful Tuscan landscape of olive groves, cypress trees and vineyards, this intimate hotel opened in 2016. A sensitive restoration of the ancient hamlet of Porrona ensures that a history dating back to the 11th century has been maintained and, thanks to the two dozen locals who share the village, an air of authenticity prevails. The 24 luxurious rooms are laid out in several wisteria-clad buildings (the turreted castle is sold only for exclusive use). Although rooms are darker than you might expect, the rich fabrics and antique furnishings are typical of mediaeval Tuscany and offer a welcome respite from the heat of summer. The ‘Il Chiostro’ restaurant serves typical Tuscan cuisine in the intimate dining room or outside in the garden. There is a stylish heated swimming pool overlooking the countryside and a spa offering Moroccan-inspired hammam, sauna, wine therapy baths and treatments. The excellent team offer superb, personal service and can arrange cooking classes, horse riding and winery visits. The beaches of Castiglione della Pescaia and Marina di Grosseto are an hour’s drive away; Montalcino can be reached in about 40 minutes. 3 night price from £798 per person low season, £1,198 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER all year: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving up to £290.
Set against a dramatic backdrop of rolling countryside and overlooking the city of Siena, this property was home to the Sozzini family for many centuries and is the perfect place to escape to for peace and tranquillity. The 58 bedrooms are scattered among eight buildings, all of which offer spectacular views and are decorated in warm colours. ‘La Tinaia’ serves a variety of cuisine alongside olive oil produced on the estate and wines from their own vineyard. Tours of the winery and private tastings can be arranged upon arrival. In the grounds of the hotel are two outdoor swimming pools, two tennis courts and a small wellness centre offering a wide range of treatments. Scopeto Relais offers great value for money and is perfectly situated for discovering many important Tuscan towns. Hotel open 1 April – 31 October. 3 night price from £618 per person low season, £948 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 1 – 30 April, 15 – 31 October: 3 nights for the price of 2 for Sunday and Monday arrivals OR 4 nights for the price of 3 all week; 1 – 31 May, 1 – 14 October: 4 nights for the price of 3; 1 June – 30 September: 6 nights for the price of 5, saving up to £158.
11 Albergo Villa Marta
A beautifully restored 19th century hunting lodge,Villa Marta is located in the countryside, just three miles from Lucca and is recommended for those looking to combine sightseeing (Lucca, Pisa and Pietrasanta are all close by) with relaxation. The Renaissance style garden has plenty of shady spots and an attractive summer swimming pool; bicycles are available and the hotel regularly organises painting and cookery classes – the restaurant inspires you to learn some of the chef ’s secrets. There are 15 bedrooms and the decoration is understated, whilst paintings by local artists add touches of colour. 3 night price from £576 per person low season, £698 per person high season.
12 Torre Mozza Castel Porrona Relais
Castello la Leccia
Opened in 2012, Castello La Leccia is a beautifully restored ancient hamlet situated two kilometres south of Castellina in Chianti and 45 minutes from Florence. It has a spectacular position at the end of an avenue of cypress trees and has panoramic views of the Val d'Elsa, taking in Siena, San Gimignano and the Alps. The 12 elegant suites are decorated with great flair and have extremely comfortable king size beds, separate sitting areas, luxurious bathrooms and the latest technology. All have wonderful views of the surrounding vineyards, olive groves and summer swimming pool. The restaurant serves a light lunch and an à la carte dinner by the Italian Garden. The wine cellars have been restored and the estate is once again producing Chianti Classico. 3 night price from £749 per person low season, £829 per person high season.
Villa di Piazzano (a superior country house hotel)
Located right on a sandy beach, Torre Mozza is a 16th century watchtower commissioned by the wealthy Appiani family who wanted to keep a close eye on the transportation of precious minerals from the nearby island of Elba. Restored and reopened in 2015, it is now a unique and intimate hotel with just eight suites mixing original features such as exposed stone and wooden beams with contemporary design, modern art and marinethemed sculptures. Although air-conditioned, many guests prefer leaving the windows open and enjoying the cooling breeze and the sound of the waves breaking on the tower below. There is a roof terrace with panoramic views and a jacuzzi (roof terrace only available for private hire – charges apply), a small veranda overlooking the beach to one side and a restaurant serving delicious seafood and fine local wines. A private area of the beach is designated for hotel guests – sun beds and parasols are available at no additional charge. Service is laidback yet attentive and the staff can help to arrange cooking classes, yacht cruises and guided vineyard tours. One hour 20 minutes’ drive from Pisa, the area is famous for its marine parks, Etruscan ruins and picturesque villages. No lift. 3 night price from £728 per person low season, £896 per person high season.
Set in the Chiana valley, the Villa di Piazzano is an elegant retreat offering a genuinely warm and welcoming atmosphere. Owned and run by Alessandra Wimpole, it is an early 16th century hunting lodge. The 13 traditionally furnished bedrooms all overlook the valley and the tranquil gardens where there is a large summer swimming pool. A one bedroom cottage has recently been added and is a good option for longer stays. A simple lunch is served in the garden on request and Alessandra’s mother prepares a delicious evening meal which is accompanied by wine from the neighbouring vineyard. This is the perfect base from which to explore Tuscany and Umbria. The wonderful Etruscan hill town of Cortona is a 10 minute drive away. 3 night price from £648 per person low season, £798 per person high season.
UMBRIA TOWNS OF UMBRIA ASSISI Assisi is a peaceful Umbrian town located on the slopes of Monte Subasio. It has a rich religious heritage with many churches filled with fine artworks and Franciscan relics. Most were built using pink stone which gives the town its distinctive appearance.The Basilica di San Francesco with its famous Giotto frescoes is a mediaeval masterpiece. Nun Assisi Relais
This beautiful former monastery has a quiet setting on one of the highest points of the historical centre, 15 minutes’ walk through the atmospheric streets to the Basilica of St. Francis. It has been meticulously renovated and combines original features with a contemporary minimalist design. The 15 bedrooms are light and comfortable and most have wonderful views over the secluded courtyard garden. The delightful subterranean spa is built into the ruins of a 1st century Roman amphitheatre and features a series of pools of different temperatures carved into the rock (free of charge for guests – no children under 12). The restaurant serves traditional Umbrian cuisine with a contemporary twist and has a cloister for alfresco dining. 3 night price from £896 per person low season, £998 per person high season.
PERUGIA A major centre of mediaeval art, Perugia is the capital of Umbria and is one of the country’s most beautiful hill towns.There are numerous ecclesiastical and secular buildings dating from the Middle Ages and vast Etruscan city walls which give some idea of the splendour of that age and Perugia’s historical significance go as far back as the 6th century BC. Many of the town’s finest buildings surround Piazza IV Novembre, the grand square at the heart of the town, including the Prior’s Palace, the Great Fountain and the cathedral. A number of picturesque streets, featuring mediaeval houses and vaulted passageways lead off the square. Brufani Palace
Located in the centre of Perugia and with more than a century of history, the Brufani Palace is a real symbol of exclusivity in the city. Spacious halls and public areas have high painted ceilings and original parquet floors that have been carefully restored. Great stone fireplaces, grand chandeliers, and, in the 94 bedrooms, valuable antique furniture and precious fabrics transmit an immediate sense of warmth, elegance and refinement. Experience the true flavours of Umbria in the ‘Collins’ restaurant, or enjoy a drink on the charming square, Piazza Italia. A characteristic feature of the hotel is the panoramic terrace with spectacular views of the city and surrounding countryside and the swimming pool situated under the ancient mediaeval vaults. 3 night price from £549 per person low season, £776 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 1 November – 30 April, 20 July – 31 August: 3 nights for the price of 2, saving £90.
FOR FLIGHT INFORMATION SEE PAGE 32 FOR FLORENCE & PISA AND PAGE 45 FOR ROME
Villa di Monte Solare
UMBRIA COUNTRYSIDE 13 Villa di Monte Solare (a superior country house hotel) Located close to Lake Trasimeno, Monte Solare is an ancient patrician villa and farmhouse that sits amongst olive groves, vineyards and woods. The 28 rooms are situated in the villa itself as well as in the outhouses which surround the beautiful Italian garden and all are furnished in a classical Italian country house style. The hotel’s restaurant serves excellent cuisine and its cellar has the largest collection of Umbrian wines in the world. The spa offers a range of massages and beauty treatments. There are two outdoor swimming pools for use by the guests (depending on which building they are staying in) and a tennis court. Throughout the year, the hotel runs courses in cooking and winetasting; details on request. 3 night price from £556 per person low season, £658 per person high season.
14 Relais Todini
Located 30 miles south of Perugia, Todi is a perfectly preserved hill town with three sets of walls – Etruscan, Roman and mediaeval – leading to the central Piazza del Popolo. The Relais Todini is five miles from the town and is Umbria’s most luxurious countryside hotel. It is an elegant manor house dating from the 14th century and is reached via a sweeping drive lined with cypress trees. It sits on top of a hill and has wonderful panoramic views of the surrounding countryside which can be enjoyed from the 12 luxurious, classically furnished bedrooms. The restaurant is one of the region’s finest and offers traditional Umbrian recipies in elegant surroundings. There is a summer swimming pool, a small spa and there are a range of activities available including cooking classes, wine-tasting, hiking and mountain biking. 3 night price from £679 per person low season, £746 per person high season.
UMBRIA – THE ESSENCE OF ITALY a seven night kirker cultural tour Our Cultural Tours programme is designed to appeal to clients who enjoy travelling with like-minded companions and will be of particular interest to anyone who is curious about art, architecture and history. Perugia, the capital of Umbria and one of the finest cities in Italy is the centre from which we explore this fascinating region with its historic art towns perched on hilltops with wonderful views of the rolling.We will visit the most important of these towns including Orvieto, Arezzo and Assisi.Works by some of Italy’s most important artists will be viewed, including frescoes by Giotto, Lippi and Piero della Francesca.This tour costs £1,998 per person and departs 18 May and 1 September 2020. For further details or to request a copy of our Cultural Tours & Music Holidays brochure, call 020 7593 2284.
BOLOGNA Italy’s richest ‘secret,’ Bologna is often overlooked in favour of Florence, yet it remains one of our favourite cities.The compact centre is a delight to explore and our hotels are within easy walking distance of wonders such as the leaning towers, dozens of spectacular churches, 14th to 17th century palaces lining the city’s long, arcaded streets, and of course, the famously unfinished Basilica of St. Petronius.The National Picture Gallery is a treasure-house of art from the Bologna School; among its paintings, you will find Rafael’s ‘Ecstasy of St. Cecilia’ and masterpieces by the Carracci brothers and Guercino. But for some, the greatest pleasure of Bologna is its food, and the city is generally regarded as Italy’s top gastronomic destination – the Kirker Guide Notes will help you discover some outstanding restaurants.The beautiful Teatro Communale, produces operas at the highest international levels – the Kirker Concierge will be able to acquire tickets for you. Grand Hotel Majestic
Grand, traditional and located opposite San Pietro cathedral, the Majestic is just two minutes’ walk from Piazza Maggiore. Set in an historical building, the opulent interiors feature white Doric columns and marble floors and it is splendidly furnished throughout with antiques and an impressive art collection. It has an excellent gastronomic restaurant, ‘I Carracci’, with a stunning frescoed ceiling by the brothers of the same name. It is one of the finest in the city and serves a seasonal menu of local dishes accompanied by superb wines. The adjacent piano bar and spacious lounges are perfect for a pre-dinner drink while there are two small terraces on the first floor for summer days. There are 109 beautiful bedrooms which are furnished in classic Italian style. A small gym and wellness area have recently been added. 3 night price from £876 per person low season, £998 per person high season.
Owned and run by the Orsi family since 1967, the Commercianti has the perfect location for clients wishing to stay in the very heart of the city. It stands on a quiet street yet is right next to the Basilica of San Petronio and just one minute from Piazza Maggiore. Housed in an 11th century building which was once the university’s law school, exposed wooden beams are reminders of its mediaeval past. The 35 bedrooms are all decorated with antique furniture from the family’s private collection and have comfortable beds and marble bathrooms; a few even have a small balcony facing the side of the basilica. An excellent breakfast is served in the Sala del Pozzo, which features a vaulted ceiling and a well from the early Middle Ages. Regular exhibitions by local artists in the public areas add a contemporary twist. 3 night price from £598 per person low season, £876 per person high season.
SPECIAL OFFER 3 January – 29 February, 13 July – 30 August: 3 nights for the price of 2; 1 March – 12 July, 31 August onwards: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving up to £130.
The Corona d’Oro offers style and elegance in the very centre of Bologna and has rightly gained an excellent reputation as one of the city’s best places to stay. It is only 100 metres from the city’s distinctive mediaeval towers and a short walk from Piazza Maggiore. Parts of this attentively restored historical inn date back to the 13th century and, although offering every modern comfort, the character has been retained; architectural features such as 15th and 16th century frescoes, a wooden portico outside, the beautiful atrium lounge which serves aperitivo drinks in the evening and the vaulted basement room where a delicious breakfast is served, 35 well-appointed bedrooms blend classical and contemporary features with plenty of natural light. The hotel also provides bicycles for guests to use, an ideal way to explore the compact city centre. Michele Piazzolla and his team offer excellent personal service. 3 night price from £592 per person low season, £896 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 1 December – 28 February, 1 – 31 August: 3 nights for the price of 2, saving £130.
Run and owned by our good friends the Orsi family, the Novecento is located on Piazza Gallilei, a pretty square near to the Piazza Maggiore and the Basilica di San Petronio and is ideally placed for exploring the beautiful old town. Behind the traditional façade lies a distinctive contemporary interior in Viennese Secession style with a beautifully lit reception, lounge and bar and just 25 individually furnished bedrooms. On the same square the Orsi family also own two self-catered apartments decorated in a modern style; please ask for more details. 3 night price from £598 per person low season, £876 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 3 January – 29 February, 13 July – 30 August: 3 nights for the price of 2; 1 March – 12 July, 31 August onwards: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving up to £136.
FOR BOLOGNA FLIGHT INFORMATION SEE PAGE 41
This charming small hotel is also owned the Orsi family and is located just a few steps from Piazza Maggiore, one of Italy’s most beautiful mediaeval squares and across the street from the antique clock tower which gave the property its name. The hotel is traditionally furnished and the 29 bedrooms contain original pieces from the family collection. The first floor breakfast room faces the clock tower. Several bicycles are available for the use of guests. 3 night price from £586 per person low season, £849 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 3 January – 29 February, 13 July – 30 August: 3 nights for the price of 2; 1 March – 12 July, 31 August onwards: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving up to £130.
bologna welcome card All Kirker clients to Bologna receive a 72-hour card giving free entrance to the city’s top ten museums including the Archeological Museum, the Music Library Museum, the Municipal Art Collection and the Contemporary Art Museum. The card also provides entrance to the panoramic terrace of San Luca Sanctuary and a two-hour guided walking tour which includes visits to the Santa Maria della Vita Sanctuary and Teatro Anatomico.
what’s included Return flights Return private car transfers Accommodation including breakfast A 72-hour Bologna Welcome Card Kirker’s Guide Notes to restaurants, museums & sightseeing (Bologna only) The services of the Kirker Concierge
EMILIA–ROMAGNA Emilia-Romagna in the fertile Po River Valley is the gastronomic heartland of Italy. Prosciutto crudo from Parma, aged balsamic from Modena, Parmigiano Reggiano, ragu from Bologna, truffles, salami, tortellini – so many delicious flavours await in markets, cafés and restaurants accompanied by wines form Malvasia,Trebbiano, Barbera and Sangiovese vines. Powerful Renaissance families such as Este, Farnese and Bentivoglio ruled and patronised the region’s city states and today their wealth and vision are evident in the majestic architecture and spectacular art collections on display. This wonderful region can easily form part of a tailor-made itinerary. The spectacular Mediopadana station, designed by Santiago Calatrava, is located between Parma and Modena with direct Italo connections to Bologna, Milan, Rome and Naples. Parma, Ferrara and Bologna lie on the rail line from Venice to Florence; Ravenna, Faenza and Mantua are also well served by rail. Please speak to our reservations team.
Parma was the seat of the immensely powerful Farnese family, whose patronage allowed art and music to flourish and today visitors can enjoy the great cultural legacy left by them.Their former palace houses the great Teatro Farnese and the art gallery renowned for its paintings by Correggio. Giuseppe Verdi is one of the city’s famous sons and the 19th century Teatro Regio hosts the annual Verdi Festival in October.The city also has a gastronomic reputation that’s renowned throughout the world. Fly to Bologna, return private car transfers included.
The impressive architecture reflects the ambitions of the Gonzaga family, in particular the Palazzo Ducale and the Palazzo Te. Renaissance art is in abundance; the Gonzagas were patrons to a number of well known artists including Andrea Mantegna and the architect Giulio Romano. Mantua is an impressive example of how Italian cities evolved from the 13th century through to the unification of Italy in the late 19th century. Fly to Verona, return private car transfers included.
Palace Maria Luigia A member of the privately-owned Sina Hotel Group, the Palace Maria Luigia is located in the historic centre of the city with a wide range of monuments and churches, all within easy walking distance. The hotel has 102 comfortable bedrooms, which are decorated in both a traditional and contemporary style and a central lounge and bar which are pleasant places to relax. In the summer, the outdoor patio is a charming place to have an aperitif before dining in the hotel’s restaurant ‘Maxim’s’. The restaurant is well reputed in this, the gastronomic heartland of Italy and serves seafood, fish and home made pasta based on traditional Emilian recipes. 3 night price from £679 per person low season, £768 per person high season.
PARMA, CREMONA & MANTUA a five night kirker cultural tour Our Cultural Tours programme is designed to appeal to a broad range of clients who enjoy travelling with like-minded companions and will be of particular interest to anyone who is curious about art, architecture and history.We will explore this relatively unknown corner of northern Italy from our base in Parma, a city of great historic importance. It is synonymous with the very best food and produce in Italy and a number of fine lunches and dinners are included. Musically, too, the region has the finest credentials; Giuseppe Verdi was born in the small farming village of Roncole and Arturo Toscanini was born in Parma itself.The five night holiday costs £1,738 per person and departs 22 April and 14 September. Please note this tour runs consecutively with our tour to Ravenna, Urbino and Ferrara and can be combined as a 10 night tour of northern Italy’s art cities. For further details or to request a copy of our Cultural Tours & Music Holidays brochure, call 020 7593 2284.
Casa Poli An elegant hotel furnished in a modern, minimalist style, the Casa Poli’s central location, near to the Piazza Bordoli, is ideal for exploring this fascinating city. The 27 bedrooms are individually furnished and the hotel is unusual in that it has an internal ‘garden’ or patio area where you can have breakfast or an aperitif in the summer months. Alternatively, there is a lounge bar. Mantua provides a wide selection of restaurants serving local specialities and a stroll through the mediaeval streets at dusk is a lovely way to build up an appetite. 3 night price from £698 per person low season, £786 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER for all departures: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving up to £110.
MODENA Despite being a thriving commercial centre and the home of Ferrari and Maserati as well as balsamic vinegar, Modena remains a quiet town with a rich architectural and artistic heritage.The atmospheric old quarter is dominated by the magnificent cathedral which is one of the best examples of Romanesque architecture. No visit to Modena is complete without a visit to The Palazzo Ducale, the old royal palace of the Estensi family or the 18th century Palazzo dei Mesei. Fly to Bologna, return private car transfers included. Canalgrande Housed in a wonderful neo-classical building, the Canalgrande exudes old world charm and is decorated with frescoes, gilt-framed portraits and impressive chandeliers, evident in many of the 68 simply furnished rooms. The leafy terrace is the perfect spot for an alfresco breakfast and it leads to a tranquil, flower-filled garden. The location is perfect – just 400 metres from the Duomo. 3 night price from £739 per person low season, £798 per person high season.
A picture-perfect walled city that came to prominence between the 13th and 15th centuries when the powerful Este dynasty were anxious to display their wealth to neighbouring city states. Highlights include the magnificent Castello Estense; the fine picture collection of Palazzo Diamanti; the mediaeval cathedral; the allegorical frescoes at the Palazzo Schiafanoia and the Casa Romei. Fly to Bologna, return private car transfers included.
This fascinating city has no less than eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is a haven for historians and art lovers. Ravenna was the last capital of the Western Roman Empire and has the finest collection of early Christian and Byzantine mosaics to be found anywhere in Italy. Beautifully preserved, they adorn the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia and many of the city’s basilicas and churches.The Ravenna National Museum is situated in the vast complex of San Vitale and is well worth a visit. Fly to Bologna, return private car transfers included. Palazzo Bezzi
Castello Estense, Ferrara
The Palazzo Bezzi is 100 metres from the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo with its extraordinary collection of mosaics, and a short walk to the MAR Art Museum and the historic heart of Ravenna. An 18th century palazzo with a pale cream façade, the decoration throughout is refined and contemporary, both in the public areas and the 32 stylish and light-filled bedrooms. Breakfast is served in the quiet internal garden in fine weather – a pleasant place for an aperitif, as is the panoramic roof terrace with its solarium and magnificent views over the city’s rooftops and monuments. Additional facilities include a wellness centre with sauna and steam room and a lounge bar with a billiards table. 3 night price from £698 per person low season, £776 per person high season.
This enchanting city has so many architectural highlights and the Annunziata is ideally situated to explore them. The 14th century Castello Estense is virtually next door; Teatro Communale, the cathedral and the Museum of Natural History are also close by. This historic townhouse has been carefully restored into a family-owned boutique hotel offering modern design, high levels of personal service and a nod to the art which is so prevalent in the city – the hall, library and breakfast room display a great collection of paintings by young artists. There are 27 light and comfortable bedrooms, a bar serving light snacks throughout the day and a small fitness centre. Situated in a traffic-free part of the city, bicycles are offered free of charge to guests – the perfect way to explore Ferrara. 3 night price from £698 per person low season, £766 per person high season.
what’s included Return flights Return private car transfers Accommodation including breakfast The services of the Kirker Concierge to book opera tickets, expert local guides or a table for dinner All quotations are tailor-made; speak to an expert in our reservations department on 020 7593 2288 for advice and the latest prices.
RAVENNA, URBINO & FERRARA a five night kirker cultural tour Our Cultural Tours programme is designed to appeal to clients who enjoy travelling with like-minded companions. Ravenna was the last Western capital of the Roman Empire before it moved to Constantinople, leaving behind the most dazzling mosaics and Byzantine architecture. In Urbino in Le Marche we discover an idealised city state created by the duke of Urbino, and in Ferrara we will learn more about the powerful d’Este family.The five night holiday will be led by Andrew Allen and departs 17 April and 9 September.The cost is £1,847 per person. For further details or to request a copy of our Cultural Tours & Music Holidays brochure, call 020 7593 2284.
Rail journey times:Bologna – Ravenna Bologna – Modena Bologna – Ferrara Bologna – Parma Bologna – Florence Bologna – Rome Bologna – Venice Verona – Mantua
1 hr 20 mins 30 mins 30 mins 55 mins 35 mins 2 hrs 1 hr 20 mins 45 mins
F L I G H T
Venice – Ferrara Parma – Modena Mantua – Modena Ferrara – Ravenna Milan – Parma Milan – Mediopadana Mediopadane – Rome Mediopadane – Naples
1 hr 30 mins 1 hr 15 mins 1 hr 15 mins 1 hr 10 mins 1 hr 2 hrs 30 mins 3 hrs 30 mins
I N F O R M A T I O N
Direct flights from the UK to Bologna: (for Bologna, Ravenna, Parma, Ferrara & Modena): Heathrow: British Airways; Gatwick: Easyjet; Bristol, Dublin, Edinburgh, Luton, Manchester, Stansted: Ryanair; Dublin: Aer Lingus Direct flights from the UK to Verona (for Mantua): Gatwick: British Airways; Edinburgh, Gatwick, Manchester: Easyjet; Southampton: Flybe; Birmingham, Bristol, Gatwick, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle: TUI (summer only) Belfast, Birmingham, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Stansted: Jet 2; Luton: Wizz Air; Dublin, Birmingham, Stansted: Ryanair; Dublin: Aer Lingus
LE MARCHE Surrounded by more well-known neighbours including Umbria and Tuscany, the rolling hills, historic towns and picturesque villages of Le Marche remain remarkably unexplored.The region stretches from the Adriatic through undulating farmland to the jagged mountain range of Monti Sibillini and, away from the coast, is one of Italy’s best kept secrets. Countless hill towns dot the landscape and even the smallest has a church or an art gallery of some importance. Lorenzo Lotto and Carlo Crivelli had strong associations with Le Marche and a number of their works remain there to be discovered.
Surrounded by rolling countryside, this quintessential Renaissance hill town is home to the handsome Palazzo Ducale that once hosted one of the most prestigious courts in Europe.You will need time to view the interior and wonderful art collection including works by Piero della Francesco, Uccello and Raphael.The adjacent Oratory of San Giovanni Battista has important frescoes, and the imposing Duomo has a collection including Barocci’s ‘Last Supper.’
The home of poet Giacomo Leopardi, singer Beniamino Gigli and the artist Lorenzo Lotto, the charming town of Recanati has a cultural heritage which belies its small size. Located, 30 minutes south of Ancona and 20 minutes from Macerata, its honey-coloured buildings include art galleries, museums, churches and a beautifully atmospheric main square.
San Domenico Formerly a 14th century renaissance convent, this comfortable hotel is perfectly located for exploring Urbino – the Palazzo Ducale is directly opposite the hotel’s entrance. Although dwarfed by its neighbour, this is an imposing building and a stay here gives guests the opportunity to step back in time. Breakfast is served in the cloister loggia overlooking the courtyard and the 32 bedrooms are quiet and simply furnished in traditional style. 3 night price from £638 per person low season, £788 per person high season.
LE MARCHE COUNTRYSIDE Castello di Monterado (a luxury country residence) Located a few miles inland and close to the charming hilltop hamlet of Monterado, this elegant 18th century palace has been carefully restored. Surrounded by beautiful gardens and picturesque countryside, the views of the Cesano valley and the distant Adriatic are wonderful. High vaulted ceilings, intricate chandeliers, impressive frescoes and period furniture help to main the sense of history and the welcoming owners provide a friendly and convivial atmosphere. There are just 12 bedrooms in the main hotel including some magnificent suites, and six apartments in a separate building which sleep up to four guests each. The richly decorated public rooms include a cosy library, a billiards room and a breakfast room. There is a lovely swimming pool in the elegant Italian garden, and a short walk from the castle itself the restaurant ‘La Tavernetta sull'Aia’ is open for lunch and dinner. 3 night price from £549 per person low season, £768 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 27 March – 28 May, 4 – 31 October: 4 nights for the price of 3; 29 May – 2 July, 30 August – 3 October: 7 nights for the price of 6, saving up to £95.
Built in the 17th century as a palace for Count Percivalli, the Gallery is located in front of San Flaviano cathedral and a few steps from the civic museum which houses some magnificent works by Lorenzo Lotto. Renovated in a contemporary style, the hotel offers excellent service and 68 comfortable bedrooms, many with views of rolling hills and the Apennine Mountains. Under the watchful eye of chef Maria Antoinetta, the ‘Café Opera,’ Recanati’s finest restaurant, serves a modern interpretation of regional cuisine. 3 night price from £498 per person low season, £579 per person high season.
ASCOLI PICENO Known as the ‘piccola Siena’ for architecture reminiscent of its more famous Tuscan sister, Ascoli Piceno is situated at the southern borders of Le Marche.The exquisite square is often described as the most perfect in Italy thanks to its proportions and its glistening travertine paving.The 12th century Duomo, Teatro Ventidio Basso and the archaeological museum are well worth visiting, as are the local restaurants. For those looking to explore beyond the normal tourist trail, we highly recommend including a stay here as part of a tailor-made holiday. Residenza 100 Torri
Located in the heart of the town, opposite the contemporary art museum and less than five minutes’ walk from Piazza del Popolo, this is a delightful, familyrun property. The former stable block of a 13th century patrician palazzo and an old factory have been painstakingly restored to create a boutique hotel that combines luxurious contemporary furnishings with original features including exposed stone walls, wooden beams and antique furniture. The result is a harmonious home-from-home where you can expect high levels of comfort and personal service. There are just 14 bedrooms, several lounges and a winter garden with a pyramid glass ceiling. 3 night price from £578 per person low season, £688 per person high season.
F L I G H T
I N F O R M A T I O N
Direct flights from the UK to Bologna: (for Urbino): Heathrow: British Airways; Gatwick: Easyjet; Bristol, Dublin, Edinburgh, Luton, Manchester, Stansted: Ryanair; Dublin: Aer Lingus Direct flights from the UK to Rimini, Ancona & Pescara: Stansted: Ryanair Additional regional departures via Munich with Lufthansa
ROME As they go about their business, Romans are possessively proud of their historic city which has an unforgettable majesty, rich with the relics of 2,000 years of history. It retains many buildings and monuments from the Republic and Empire, some in amazingly good order, such as the Pantheon and the Colosseum. Rome is also a great treasure house of Baroque architecture containing masterworks by Bernini, Borromini and da Cortona.The sheer volume of art, sculpture and architecture on display is extraordinary, as is the array of restaurants. Our Kirker Guide Notes will help you find some of the best and most atmospheric ones, many of which are off the beaten tourist track. 1
With its spectacular location at the top of the Spanish Steps and distinguished history, the Hassler is the most iconic luxury hotel in the city. Owned and run by master hotelier Robert E. Wirth, this fine, traditional property offers old school service and attention to detail. Grand lounges lead to the Palm Court Garden, a wonderful open-air courtyard that is perfect for a light lunch or an aperitif before heading to the outstanding Michelin-starred ‘Imàgo’ restaurant on the sixth floor which has panoramic views of the monuments of Rome and the Borghese Gardens. There is a spa and 96 bedrooms which are beautifully decorated with a rich collection of art and antiques. From 10am to 6.30pm, a complimentary electric minivan is available to drive guests down to Piazza di Spagna and the main shopping streets. 3 night price from £1,268 per person low season, £1,476 per person high season.
In the heart of the city, close to the Spanish Steps, the Eden Hotel has been a Kirker favourite for over 30 years. Reopened in April 2017 after a complete restoration, there are 98 bedrooms, sumptuously furnished in the same distinctive style, but with contemporary touches. The award-winning top floor ‘La Terrazza’ restaurant continues to offer the finest cuisine and is perfect for celebrating a special birthday or anniversary in style. In addition ‘Il Giardino’ now offers informal, all-day dining with the same magnificent views. 3 night price from £1,398 per person low season, £1,698 per person high season.
Located in the heart of Rome, next to the Piazza del Popolo, Sir Rocco Forte’s De Russie has the unique advantage of being set around a large, quiet courtyard and terraced garden which seems to converge with those of the Villa Borghese. A hotel since 1816 when Picasso and Cocteau are believed to been among the earliest guests, the 122 rooms have been reimagined in a clean, contemporary style. Lunch, dinner and drinks are served in the intimate bar and restaurant or outside in the summer months. A wonderful health spa offers hydrotherapy, beauty treatments and a gym (additional charges payable locally). 3 night price from £1,268 per person low season, £1,798 per person high season.
ALL KIRKER CLIENTS ARE OFFERED GUARANTEED ENTRANCE TICKETS TO EITHER THE VATICAN MUSEUM AND SISTINE CHAPEL OR THE VILLA BORGHESE.
Villa Borghese:This elegant villa in the Borghese Gardens was founded by Cardinal Scipione and contains a wonderful collection of classical sculptures and Renaissance art. Highlights include works by Titian and Lotto as well as Canova’s sculpture of Pauline Bonaparte (closed Mondays). Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel: Although best known for Michelangelo’s work in the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms, there is much more of interest including the Etruscan Museum, the Tapestries Gallery and the Vatican’s own important art collection (closed Sundays).
At the top of the Spanish Steps, Sir Rocco's latest Italian hotel is one of the most stylish new openings in Rome for many years. There are 104 rooms with views over the rooftops of Rome and contemporary interiors inspired by the era of the Grand Tour, which have been designed by Olga Polizzi in collaboration with Italian designer Tommaso Ziffer. Michelin-starred chef Fulvio Pierangelini has created menus influenced by the cuisine of the Roman Empire for the elegant Mosaico restaurant, whilst Da Sistina offers more informal Roman trattoria dining. There is also a stylish rooftop bar and the Grand Tour theme recurs in the inventive cocktail bar taking flavours from the Venetian spice route and the Sicilian-inspired spa with five treatment rooms. 3 night price from £998 per person low season, £1,598 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 10 November – 28 February: 3 nights for the price of 2 for bookings made by 30 November 2019, saving £299.
Gran Melia Villa Agrippina
This stylish property offers great facilities, especially for the warm summer months and is well located just five minutes’ walk from the Vatican and close to the atmospheric streets of Trastevere. A ten minute walk across the river takes you to Campo dei Fiori. Although dating back many centuries, the villa has been completely restored as a cool, contemporary urban resort. There is a wonderful heated outdoor swimming pool and a spa with outdoor jacuzzi. We had the opportunity to stay recently and were very impressed with the relaxed atmosphere, attentive service and excellent cuisine – there are several dining options, both formal and informal. 3 night price from £768 per person low season, £1,098 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 10 November – 31 March, 21 July – 2 September: 3 nights for the price of 2; 1 – 30 April: 4 nights; 4 nights for the price of 3, saving up to £198.
De La Ville
This is one of the most stylish and fashionable hotels in Rome and combines classical architecture and Art Deco furnishings with some wonderful designer elements – it should appeal to both the older and younger generations. It is located on the via Veneto and is a 15 minute walk to many of the city’s most popular sites. It has a less corporate feel than many of its rivals. The ‘Brunello’ restaurant serves modern Mediterranean cuisine and is highly regarded and there is a small spa and fitness centre.The 103 comfortable and spacious bedrooms will appeal to lovers of Art Deco style. If you are interested in combining Rome with Venice, Florence and Milan, please refer to page 26 for our gastronomic tailormade holiday featuring Baglioni’s collection of hotels. 3 night price from £1,048 per person low season, £1,276 per person high season.
Rome hotels continued overleaf
Grand Hotel De La Minerve
A magnificent mansion dating from the 1600s, this fine hotel has one of the best locations in Rome: in the heart of the historical city centre, overlooking the 2,000 year old Roman Pantheon. The grand hall is covered with a wonderful liberty style stained glass roof with a picture of Minerva at its centre; coffee and tea are served here, whilst traditional Italian cocktails are available from the adjoining ‘Cupole’ bar. The ‘Minerva Roof Garden’ restaurant on the top floor has spectacular views of the city’s historic landmarks; breakfast, lunch and dinner are served here while the adjacent terrace bar is the perfect place to end a summer day. The 135 bedrooms are comfortable and decorated in classical style. 3 night price from £738 per person low season, £1,198 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 10 November – 31 March, 19 July – 5 September: 3 nights for the price of 2 for Saturday or Sunday arrivals, saving £160; 1 – 30 April, 1 – 18 July: 4 nights for the price of 3 for Sunday arrivals, saving up to £226.
This boutique hotel is perfect for those seeking stylish accommodation and a remarkable location amongst the ruins of Imperial Rome. The villa and gardens of the Domus Aurea are opposite and the Colosseum is virtually next door. It has just 17 bedrooms that combine classical style with designer elements. The Michelin-starred ‘Aroma’ rooftop restaurant is the perfect spot for breakfast, drinks or dinner as you look past the Colosseum and the Forum towards the Vittorio Emmanule monument. There are some good local restaurants nearby and the Via Del Corso is a 15 minute walk. 3 night price from £998 per person low season, £1,359 per person high season.
Opened in 2017, the location and historical significance of this unique hotel is truly breathtaking. A former Papal residence, it forms part of Borromini’s 17th century church of Sant’ Agnese in Agone and is right on Piazza Navona, overlooking the Fountain of the Four Rivers by Bernini. There are just 18 spacious bedrooms (most can comfortably accommodate up to four guests); some have views of the piazza and several displaying frescoes by Pietro da Cortona and Francesco Cozza. On the ground floor there is an atmospheric courtyard and on the rooftop you’ll find a panoramic bar and an excellent restaurant with a terrace adjacent to the church’s ornate bell tower – breakfast, lunch and dinner are served here and the views are spectacular. 3 night price from £688 per person low season, £948 per person high season.
This popular hotel has been providing Kirker clients with outstanding service for over 30 years and has the best location of any in Rome – it is close to the bottom of the Spanish Steps adjacent to Via Condotti, the city’s most fashionable shopping street. A favourite of Hemingway and Mark Twain, it has been described as among the 20 most charming hotels in the world. The 88 bedrooms are all different; some are furnished with antiques and others in a more contemporary style. There are several small and cosy lounges, the intimate ’Bond’ bar and a restaurant, which has a terrace for alfresco dining. 3 night price from £729 per person low season, £1,198 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 10 November – 6 March: 3 nights for the price of 2, saving £159; 7 March onwards: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving £218.
13 The Inn at The Spanish Steps
Opened in 1870, the Bernini Bristol has recently undergone a major restoration. It has a great location at the foot of the via Veneto, right on the Piazza Barberini. Public rooms are grand and decorated with antique tapestries and Venetian glass chandeliers. The 127 bedrooms are furnished in two contrasting styles – some modern and others classical (please advise at time of booking if you have a preference). There is an excellent bar and rooftop restaurant with a large terrace where you can experience wonderful views over the rooftops to St. Peter’s. Fitness centre with gym, steam room and sauna. 3 night price from £798 per person low season, £998 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER all year: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving up to £224.
10 Villa Spalletti Trivelli
11 Eitch Borromini
This beautiful patrician villa is perfectly located in the heart of the city, opposite the Quirinale Palace, yet has a remarkable oasis-like atmosphere. It is decorated with exquisite furniture, tapestries and paintings from the Spalletti Trivelli family’s collection. Maria Merra and her team deliver exceptional service and there are just 12 exquisite bedrooms decorated in a classical style. The elegant drawing room has a complimentary bar, as does the rooftop terrace with its open air jacuzzis. There is a wellness centre and a splendid Italian garden. 3 night price from £1,098 per person low season, £1,348 per person high season.
what’s included Return flights Return private car transfers Accommodation including breakfast Kirker’s Guide Notes to restaurants, museums and sightseeing Vatican Museum or Borghese Gallery tickets The services of the Kirker Concierge
With its wonderful location on Via Condotti, Rome’s most exclusive shopping street, this small, boutique property is perfect for clients looking for a stylish, intimate property in the heart of the city. Formerly a stately 18th century townhouse, it has been renovated to a high standard with contemporary design blending with classical furnishings, antiques and frescoes. The top floor lounge is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy afternoon tea – pre-dinner drinks and canapés are served here each evening. In fine weather, breakfast is served on the roof terrace with its views of the city’s rooftops. As well as the 22 bedrooms in the main house, there are a further 30 rooms and apartments in several buildings around Piazza Spagna with breakfast served in each location. 3 night price from £788 per person low season, £1,098 per person high season.
14 The Inn at the Roman Forum
(an historical townhouse) This beguiling hotel is the only one in the city which houses Roman ruins inside – a passageway from the reception leads to a cryptoporticus, a stone gallery with engravings dating back 2,000 years. The location is perfect for those wanting to discover ancient Rome as it is just steps from the church of Santi Quirico e Giulitta and the Roman Forum. The Inn has just 14 sumptuous bedrooms and a top floor breakfast lounge leading to a terrace which has wonderful views over the rooftops. Order a pre-dinner drink here and enjoy a complimentary buffet every evening from five until eight o’clock. An additional 15 rooms have been added in the surrounding houses on the same quiet streets and all have been individually furnished to a high standard. 3 night price from £788 per person low season, £1,098 per person high season.
15 Dei Mellini
The Dei Mellini is very well located in a quiet street a few steps from the river; the Vatican is 20 minutes’ walk away whilst you can reach the Piazza Navona and the Pantheon in 15 minutes. Facilities include a bar which also serves light meals, lounge and a large rooftop terrace. The 80 bedrooms are comfortable and stylishly furnished. 3 night price from £638 per person low season, £768 per person high season.
ROME 16 Donna Camilla Savelli
We are delighted to feature this tranquil hotel in the heart of the Trastevere district. A former convent, the property was designed by Borromini in the 17th Century and features a beautiful church adjoining the hotel. The 78 rooms are a blend of the antique and the modern; executive rooms feature exposed beams and antique features. The spacious rooftop terrace has spectacular views of the city and breakfast is served in a peaceful cloistered garden with a Baroque fountain as its centrepiece. This is the perfect base for exploring this popular Roman neighbourhood, famous for its lively local restaurants. The hotel is also closer to the historical centre than you might imagine; a 15 minute walk takes you over the river to the Campo dei Fiori. 3 night price from £739 per person low season, £826 per person high season.
17 Capo d’Africa
Located just five minutes’ walk from the Colosseum and close to the Forum, the Capo d’Africa is truly in the heart of ancient Rome. All 65 bedrooms in this restored 19th century townhouse are furnished with great taste in a very comfortable contemporary style. In the lobby, the attractive bar serves drinks and light snacks throughout the day, whilst a full buffet breakfast is available in the breakfast room on the third floor where you will also find a large summer terrace and solarium. There are several cafés and restaurants in the immediate vicinity. 3 night price from £739 per person low season, £839 per person high season.
The location of this comfortable hotel is perfect for exploring the historic centre of Rome. At the foot of Palatine Hill and overlooking the Roman Forum, the Circus Maximus, Piazza Venezia and the Colosseum are a short walk away. The famous ‘Bocca della Verità’ in the church of St. Maria in Cosmedin is also close by. A former Franciscan convent, the building dates from 1625 and many historical features remain; although the style of furnishings is modern and contemporary, particularly in the 72 spacious bedrooms. After a busy day’s sightseeing there are plenty of places to relax, including a lounge bar, a panoramic roof terrace and a peaceful courtyard garden where lunch and dinner are served in fine weather. 3 night price from £658 per person low season, £829 per person high season.
19 Marcella Royal Located on via Flavia, five minutes’ walk from via Veneto, this welcoming 4 star hotel offers comfortable accommodation and value for money. The highlight of a stay at Marcella Royal is the ‘Sala Panorama’ on the top floor with its open air terrace. Here you can enjoy breakfast, a cocktail or a light snack whilst taking in the magnificent views of the city’s rooftops from St. Peter’s to the Castelli Romani. There are 85 bedrooms; those reserved for Kirker clients are the renovated rooms on the second and fourth floors, or the spacious, external facing rooms on the fifth and sixth floors. 3 night price from £598 per person low season, £748 per person high season.
FRASCATI The town of Frascati is 20 kilometres east of Rome, in an area rich in vineyards and grand private villas, the most impressive of which is the Villa Grazioli. Park Hotel Villa Grazioli The Villa was built in 1580 by Cardinal Carafa who chose the site for its tranquillity and its wonderful views of the city. Much of the original decoration has been restored and the public rooms are spectacular, with vaulted ceilings and intricate frescoes. The highlight is a stunning gallery, painted from floor to ceiling by Pannini in 1736. The 58 bedrooms are simply furnished, many have terracotta tiled floors and beamed ceilings; there are 12 bedrooms in the main villa and the remainder in the ‘Limonaia’ and ‘Paggeria’ buildings reached by an underground passageway. There is a restaurant with a terrace overlooking the park and a summer swimming pool. Rome is easily accessible in 40 minutes – a shuttle bus operates to Frascati station. This is a popular wedding venue so we recommend avoiding weekend stays. 3 night price from £596 per person low season, £668 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER valid for all departures: 3 nights for the price of 2 saving up to £98. Kirker clients staying 4 nights of more receive a complimentary 3-course dinner (excluding drinks).
ESCORTED CULTURAL HOLIDAYS TO ROME Our Cultural Tours programme is designed to appeal to clients who enjoy travelling with like-minded companions and will be of particular interest to anyone who is curious about art, architecture, gardens and history.We have two tours to Rome in 2020; ‘The Grandeur of Rome’ is a seven night holiday departing on 23 March and 2 November which explores the glorious sites from Rome’s imperial peak as well as the great architectural and artistic achievements of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. ‘Villas & Gardens around Rome’ is a five night holiday departing 18 May and 28 September, based in Frascati. Many of Europe’s greatest gardens are visited including Ninfa and La Landriana. For further details or to request a copy of our Cultural Tours & Music Holidays brochure, call 020 7593 2284.
F L I G H T
I N F O R M A T I O N
Direct flights from the UK to Rome Fiumicino: Gatwick, Heathrow, London City: British Airways; Heathrow: Alitalia Bristol, Gatwick, Luton: Easyjet Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Newcastle: Jet 2 Gatwick: Vueling; Liverpool: Blue Air; Dublin: Aer Lingus Direct flights from the UK to Rome Ciampino: Dublin, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow Prestwick, Manchester, Stansted: Ryanair Business Class Supplement: British Airways Club Europe from £250 Gatwick; £280 Heathrow
SOUTHERN ITALY: THE AMALFI COAST, BASILICATA & PUGLIA Stretching east from the glamourous resorts that cling to the Amalfi Coast as far as the ‘heel’ of the Italian peninsula’s familiar boot shape, the Mezzogiorno, or ‘midday’ region of Italy has much to offer the inquisitive traveller. Blessed with a warm Mediterranean climate and renowned for a relaxed, slower pace of life than the more industrious north, the region has significant archaeological sites and some of the country’s oldest cities including Lecce, a Baroque masterpiece, Matera with its wonderful collection of cave dwellings and Naples, an enthralling city, which has been reborn over the last decade.
KIRKER TAILOR-MADE: THREE SUGGESTED ITINERARIES We highly recommend holidays that include two or three destinations – there is no better way to experience contrasting landscapes, cultures and cuisine – and this is especially true of Southern Italy. Away from the Amalfi Coast, a hire car is recommended; however, every Kirker itinerary can include private transfers if preferred. As a guideline, we have prepared three recommended itineraries below but each holiday can be tailor-made to your specific requirements. The Kirker Concierge is available to book expert local guides and recommend our favourite restaurants. BASILICATA: MATERA & MARATEA Despite its wonderful unspoiled landscapes and fascinating ancient history, Basilicata remains one of the most undiscovered and authentic regions of Italy. Fly to Bari on the east coast and drive inland to Matera (45 minutes), a UNESCO World Heritage site and European Capital of Culture for 2019, thought to be one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. A scenic three-hour drive south west through the Appenine Mountains takes you to the beautiful hillside town of Maratea – the ‘Pearl of the Tyrrhenian’ and the perfect base to explore pristine coastal scenery. The drive from here to Naples airport takes two and a half hours – you might wish to stop at the magnificent Ancient Greek temples at Paestum. Price from £1,589 per person low season, £1,998 per person high season to include flights to Bari and back from Naples, car hire, accommodation with breakfast for four nights at Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita in Matera and three nights at La Locanda Della Donne Monache in Maratea.
THE AMALFI COAST: NAPLES, CAPRI & POSITANO
PUGLIA – THE HEEL OF ITALY: MATERA, LOCOROTONDO & LECCE
Staying for three nights in Naples you’ll have time to explore nearby Pompeii and Herculaneum and to visit the magnificent Archaeological Museum where many of the most impressive finds from both sites are exhibited. A 50 minute ferry journey will then take you across the Gulf of Naples to the famous isle of Capri for three nights – the atmosphere of this tiny, yet spectacularly beautiful island is best appreciated in the warm evenings after the daytrippers return to the mainland. Finally, cross by ferry to Positano, perhaps the most dramatically situated town in Italy, for a further three nights. Price from £2,492 per person low season, £3,498 per person high season to include return flights to Naples, private car transfers, ferry tickets, accommodation with breakfast for three nights at Grand Hotel Parker’s in Naples, three nights at the Caesar Augustus in Capri and three nights at the Poseidon in Positano.
With private car transfers throughout, this itinerary combines unique Matera, just across the border in Basilicata, with two of Puglia’s most beautiful towns. Start with three nights in Matera discovering cave dwellings and rock churches before moving on to Locorotondo for three nights. Experience the traditional Puglian lifestyle in this white-washed town with its unique spiral streets and relaxed atmosphere before heading south to Lecce for four nights. The ‘Florence of the South,’ this is one of the best preserved Baroque towns in Italy, renowned for its elegant palaces and churches carved from honey-coloured stone. Price from £1,998 per person low season, £2,498 per person high season to include flights to Bari and back from Brindisi, private car transfers throughout, accommodation with breakfast for three nights at Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita in Matera, three nights at Sotto Le Cummerse Albergo Diffuso in Locorotondo and four nights at the Patria Palace in Lecce.
BASILICATA The region of Basilicata lies between Campania to the north, Calabria to the south and Puglia to the east and is a wonderfully unspoilt area, off Italy’s well-trodden tourist track. Few visitors venture here but those who do are awarded with an unspoilt landscape and beautiful coastlines.
The hilltop town of Bernalda, only 20 minutes from the sandy beaches of the Ionian Sea and surrounded by wild countryside, is the perfect spot to experience an Italy untouched by mass tourism.The cave dwellings of Matera are 40 minutes away. The drive from Bari or Brindisi is one hour 40 minutes; Naples is three hours away.
The pretty town of Maratea is defined by narrow streets and alleys and has over forty churches.The journey by car from Naples airport takes three hours.There is a train station in Maratea that can be reached in four hours from Rome and two hours from Naples.
Francis Ford Coppola has restored this 19th century palazzo in the hometown of his grandfather. Lovingly and thoughtfully renovated with the help of French designer, Jacques Grange, it offers an authentic Italian experience where guests can enjoy privacy, luxurious design, aromatic gardens and superb service just a few steps from the town centre. The cinema salon, open kitchen, complimentary bicycle hire and in-room bar all contribute to the homely atmosphere which the hotel has successfully strived to create. There are two garden rooms and seven beautiful suites of varying shapes and sizes – all have sumptuous bathrooms, original marble and tiled floors and frescoed ceilings. Guests can experience the traditional cooking of Basilicata in the Palazzo's large, welcoming kitchen and for those who wish, the local chefs give daily, hands-on classes demonstrating how to prepare typical regional dishes. 3 night price from £998 per person low season, £1,338 per person high season.
La Locanda Della Donne Monache
MATERA A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993, the Sassi of Matera (ancient cave houses and churches) need to be seen to be appreciated. Breathtaking, remarkable, awe inspiring are just a few ways to describe the hamlet which dates back to the stone and bronze age.Walking along the stone streets, well-travelled and worn from centuries of use, you can truly feel the presence of those who have walked before who literally dug these dwellings out of rock. It is an ancient, mysterious place, shrouded in history. Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita
La Locanda Della Donne Monache
The Civita hotel is located in the oldest part of the Sassi quarters, overlooking the spectacular Murgia park and its rock-hewn churches. The hotel comprises 18 caves and an ancient church, now used as a bar and breakfast room, spread over different levels which have been renovated in full respect of the local heritage. The sympathetic restoration reveals the original features and materials of the individual caves. A truly unique experience, the caves offer a respectfully minimalistic approach which integrates modern technology and design with an atmosphere which evokes the cultural and human history of the Sassi of Matera. 3 night price from £598 per person low season, £896 per person high season.
what’s included Return flights Car hire Accommodation including breakfast and the services of the Kirker Concierge to book expert local guides Prices are based on sharing a double room (supplements for single rooms and suites on request). All quotations are tailor-made; speak to an expert in our reservations department on 020 7593 2288 for the latest prices.
This restored 18th century convent is located in the heart of Maratea and is framed by the terracotta roofs of the old mediaeval village. It was originally occupied by the Visitandine nuns and the many historical features that remain make a fascinating contrast with the contemporary art that has been collected by the owners. Each of the 27 bedrooms reflects the character of the property and is designed to make the most of the abundant natural light. The view from the hotel’s restaurant, gardens and swimming pool are also wonderful both by day and by night. The shops and restaurants around the main square of Maratea are a few minutes’ walk away and the hotel operates a shuttle to a lovely local beach where the sea water is crystal clear. Those with mobility issues should beware that there are a number of steps around the hotel and the path to the village centre is steep. In the summer months a shuttle takes guests to Maratea Beach which is four miles away (complimentary sunbeds and parasols). 3 night price from £598 per person low season, £698 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 15 May – 4 June, 21 September – 5 October: 4 nights for the price of 3; 5 June – 23 July, 7 – 20 September, 1 – 31 July: 7 nights for the price of 6, saving up to £82.
F L I G H T
I N F O R M A T I O N
Direct flights from the UK to Naples: Gatwick: British Airways Bristol, Edinburgh, Gatwick, Liverpool, Luton, Stansted: Easyjet Dublin, East Midlands, Exeter, Manchester, Stansted: Ryanair Belfast, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Stansted: Jet 2 Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, East Midlands, Luton, Manchester: Thomsonfly (summer only) Dublin: Aer Lingus Direct flights from the UK to Bari: Gatwick: British Airways, Easyjet; Dublin, Liverpool, Stansted: Ryanair; Luton: Wizz Air Direct flights from the UK to Brindisi: Heathrow: British Airways (summer only); Gatwick: Easyjet; Manchester, Stansted: Ryanair Business Class Supplement: British Airways Club Europe from £199 return
PUGLIA The ‘Heel’ of Italy has a rich history and over the years has played host to the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Normans and Spanish and, as a result, has many archaeological sites, castles and historic towns. Many of the hotels are converted masserias – fortified, walled farmhouses that were built to defend against invading forces.The region is highly fertile and vegetables are the cornerstone of the cuisine. For those who prefer not to hire a car, we can recommend a tailor-made holiday using a combination of private transfers and local trains – further details on request.
CENTRAL PUGLIA The UNESCO protected Valle d’Itria is a verdant region of vineyards, vegetable farms and olive groves and is characterised by the trulli; the distinctive, bee-hive shaped houses that are unique to central Puglia. As well as archaeological sites such as Egnatia and the spectacular limestone Castellana Caves, there are many exquisite, whitewashed hill towns to explore. Masseria Torre Maizza
One of Puglia’s many ancient masserie,Torre Maizza was acquired by Rocco Forte and reopened in May 2019 after a full renovation. Designed by Olga Polizzi, the 40 bedrooms combine the group’s signature contemporary style with a collection of local objets d’art.There are verdant gardens, a wonderful swimming pool with a colonnaded terrace, a nine-hole golf course and a small Aveda spa. The rooftop bar with its wonderful views over the surrounding countryside is perfect for an aperitif at sunset before experiencing classic Puglian cuisine in the intimate restaurant with its garden pergola. Located 10 minutes from the fishing village of Savelletri and under an hour from Bari, the resort is perfect for guest looking for luxurious accommodation and faultless service. A shuttle service (or a short bike ride) takes you to a beautiful beach where complimentary sun loungers and a restaurant serving the freshest of seafood await. 3 night price from £998 per person low season, £1,576 per person high season.
Masseria Torre Coccaro
Built in the 16th century as a watch tower, the Coccaro is 10 minutes’ drive from the town of Fasano. The restoration has preserved all of the Masseria’s rustic character and it is a very atmospheric place to stay. The 33 bedrooms have flagstone floors and antique furnishings; many have fireplaces and all have a terrace or balcony overlooking the farm. There is a wonderful, gently sloping summer swimming pool, two restaurants serving delicious Adriatic fish accompanied by organic produce from the farm and an Aveda Spa with small indoor pool (charge payable locally). The hotel runs a shuttle bus to its private sandy beach which is 10 minutes away. 3 night price from £849 per person low season, £1,178 per person high season.
One of the few hotels in Puglia with direct access to a sandy beach, Canne Bianche is located close to Torre Canne. Recently opened, the architecture of the building reflects the typical light-filled, whitewashed houses that define the region and makes the most of the wonderful Adriatic views. There are 55 bedrooms, all with a spacious balcony or terrace, two restaurants, a saltwater swimming pool and a wide range of facilities including a spa (free entrance for Kirker clients), a seasonal kids’ club and a cookery school. The wonderful ‘White City’ of Ostuni is 20 minutes’ drive away, while Alberobello, famous for its Trulli houses, can be reached in 30 minutes. 3 night price from £598 per person low season, £928 per person high season.
MARTINA FRANCA The region’s main town since the Middle Ages, Martina Franca lies at the heart of the Valle d’Itria and has a beautifully preserved old town encircled by its ramparts.With over 20 palaces and 15 churches there is much fine architecture to admire in both Baroque and Rococo styles.The villages of Alberobello and Locorotondo are close by and the drive to both the Adriatic and Ionian coasts takes just 30 minutes. Villa San Martino This small, privately-owned hotel is located a few minutes’ by taxi from the old town and sits amongst mature gardens. There are just 23 bedrooms and all are decorated with local antiques and custom-made silks and damasks. Some are in the main villa and others are in the annexe by the beautiful swimming pool. There is an Oriental style wellness centre and a restaurant serving variations on typical regional cuisine. 3 night price from £598 per person low season, £696 per person high season.
LOCOROTONDO Taking its name from the alleyways which wind in concentric circles up the hill to the central piazza, Locorotondo is a pretty town in the heart of the Valle d’Itria. Unspoilt, friendly and laidback, it is completely whitewashed save for the odd brightly coloured letter box or the elaborate façade of a Baroque palace. Often overlooked in favour of Alberobello, its more famous neighbour, this is a wonderful place to spend a few days and experience the traditional lifestyle of the region. Sotto Le Cummerse Albergo Diffuso ‘Albergo Diffuso’, meaning a scattered or spread-out hotel, refers to an increasingly popular form of accommodation whereby guests stay in a series of apartments dotted throughout a characterful town, and experience living in close contact with residents rather than tourists. Apartments have been converted from historic, often abandoned buildings and this has revived many historic villages and small towns throughout the country. The 14 renovated, air-conditioned, studio-apartments of Sotto Le Cummerse are situated in the charming alleys of Locorotondo, amongst the simple cafés and craftsmen’s workshops and offer guests a unique opportunity to become immersed in the traditions of the town and the idiosyncrasies of the locals. Each apartment (some sleeping up to four guests) has a kitchenette and is spacious and comfortable and furnished in typical Puglian style. Breakfast is included each morning and is served in the new breakfast room within the town where you will also find ample free parking. 3 night price from £568 per person low season, £618 per person high season.
PUGLIA SOUTHERN PUGLIA With the Adriatic Sea to the east and the Ionian Sea to the west, the Salentine Peninsula is home to many of Italy’s best sandy beaches and clearest waters.The region also has some beautifully preserved towns such as Taranto, Otranto, Gallipoli and Lecce, a Baroque masterpiece. Masseria Monte Lauro (a superior country house hotel) This renovated, whitewashed masseria is just a few kilometers from the historic port of Otranto and one hour from Brindisi airport; the sandy beaches of the Baia dei Turchi are a short drive away. It is ideal for couples as well as families and has 29 bedrooms, located in the farmhouse or adjoining buildings which are simply furnished in a Mediterranean style. The swimming pool is a central feature and the owner’s dogs and cats add to the friendly and informal atmosphere. Good food is also a feature with home made cakes available at breakfast and the Masseria’s home grown fruit and vegetables featuring on the daily changing dinner menu which is served on the candlelit terrace. 3 night price from £679 per person low season, £798 per person high season.
LECCE Known as the ‘Florence of the South’, Lecce thrived from the 16th to the 18th century when it was embellished with shining limestone monuments in Renaissance, Rococo and Baroque styles.With so many beautifully preserved, there is an extraordinary collection of architecture to enjoy including the delicate modelling on the façade of the basilica. La Fiermontina
Located in the quiet streets of the old town, 500 metres from the Santa Croce basilica, La Fiermontina is an urban resort offering a calm, oasis-like atmosphere. The building dates from the 17th century and whilst traditional features such as limestone walls and tiled floors remain, the architectural style is very much contemporary and minimalist. Decorated throughout with modern art, there are just 16 bedrooms featuring designer furnishings and state-of-theart technology. Unusually for a hotel in the old town, La Fiermontina has a peaceful garden with a swimming pool, ancient olive trees and bronze sculptures from the family’s private collection. The restaurant serves traditional Pugliese cuisine with a modern touch, either in the elegant dining room or outside in a shaded courtyard. 3 night price from £849 per person low season, £1,068 per person high season.
Bari/Brindisi – Martina Franca 1 hr 20 mins Bari – Locorotondo 1 hr 10 mins Brindisi – Otranto 1 hr 20 mins Bari – Otranto 2 hrs 30 mins Bari/Brindisi – Fasano (Torre Coccaro) 50 mins Brindisi – Lecce 35 mins Bari – Lecce 2 hrs
Bari – Lecce Bari – Martina Franca Bari – Locorotondo Bari – Fasano Bari – Rome Bari – Bologna Taranto – Naples
1 hr 30 mins 1 hr 40 mins 1 hr 30 mins 40 mins 4 hrs 5 hrs 30 mins 4 hrs 15 mins
what’s included Prices quoted include return flights Car hire (private transfers available on request) Accommodation including breakfast Kirker’s Guide Notes to restaurants, museums and sightseeing and the services of the Kirker Concierge Prices are based on sharing a double room (supplements for single rooms and suites on request). All quotations are tailor-made; speak to an expert in our reservations department on 020 7593 2288 for the very latest prices.
Built by the architect Mauro Manieri in the 18th century, the Patria Palace has a wonderful location in a small square opposite the elaborate Baroque façade of the Santa Croce basilica. A former palace, orphanage and aristocratic mansion it is now a comfortable hotel with 60 bedrooms decorated in Liberty style; many with original frescoes. The hotel’s restaurant ‘Atenze’ is acknowledged as among the best in the region and serves delicious local cuisine. There is a small lobby bar, while the summer roof terrace has spectacular views of the rooftops of the city. 3 night price from £619 per person low season, £678 per person high season.
F L I G H T
Approximate driving times:-
I N F O R M A T I O N
Direct flights from the UK to Bari: Gatwick: British Airways, Gatwick, Manchester: Easyjet; Dublin, Liverpool, Stansted: Ryanair; Luton: Wizz Air Direct flights from the UK to Brindisi: Heathrow: British Airways (summer only); Bristol, Gatwick: Easyjet; Manchester, Stansted: Ryanair Business Class Supplement: British Airways Club Europe from £199
PUGLIA – A LAND OF CONQUEST A SIX NIGHT CULTURAL TOUR Our Cultural Tours programme is designed to appeal to clients who enjoy travelling with like-minded companions and will be of particular interest to anyone who is curious about art, architecture and history. Puglia was the remote corner of the peninsula that the Normans conquered in the 11th century. As they established themselves and their influence grew, great churches appeared; built in a hybrid style combining architectural influences from France, ancient Rome and Lombardy. Our tour is based in Martina Franca and Lecce.We also include a visit to Matera in neighbouring Basilicata.This six night tour departs 17 May and 11 October and costs £1,992 per person. For further details or to request a copy of our Cultural Tours & Music Holidays brochure, call 020 7593 2284.
THE AMALFI COAST, CAPRI & ISCHIA This is the jewel in the crown of Italy’s beautiful scenery; picturesque towns cling to the rugged coastline, the azure waters glisten in the plentiful sunshine and a holiday spirit puts a smile on the faces of visitors and locals alike. The region is rightly famous for its wonderful seafood but it is the numerous ancient sites that make the Amalfi Coast so unique. Pompeii, Herculaneum, the exquisitely decorated Villa Oplontis, the wonderful Archaeological Museum in Naples where all the best finds are displayed and Paestum, a green and reflective site with its collection of wonderful Greek temples. Private tours can be arranged to all of these sites – further details on request. Approximate driving times:Naples – Sorrento Naples – Ravello Naples – Amalfi or Positano Naples – Paestum
1 hr 10 mins 1 hr 1 hr 20 mins 2 hrs
Ferry times:Naples – Capri Naples – Ischia Capri – Amalfi Capri – Positano
Grand Hotel Parker’s
The history of Naples dates back to the 9th century BC, when the Greeks founded ‘Neapolis’. Today, traditional pizzerias and superb restaurants can be found, as can an acclaimed opera house, beautiful monuments and some wonderful museums. A visit to the Capodimonte with its extensive collection of paintings and sculptures and a trip to the National Archaeological Museum are highly recommended. Naples is great for a short break or a place to stay for a few days at the beginning of a longer, tailor-made itinerary.
50 mins 1 hr 50 mins 30 mins
Located at the beginning of Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 20 minutes’ walk from Piazza Plebiscito, the Royal Palace and San Carlo Theatre, this elegant hotel has been welcoming guests since 1870. Beautifully decorated throughout in Liberty style, it has a spa and 82 bedrooms (we recommend deluxe rooms with wonderful sea views – supplements available on request). ‘George’s’ rooftop restaurant and the 6th floor ‘Bidder’s Bar’ both have spectacular views of the Gulf of Naples. 3 night price from £498 per person low season, £798 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 1 November – 15 March, 1 July – 31 August: 3 nights for the price of 2, saving £98.
naples art card
Grand Hotel Vesuvio Opened in the late 19th century, this landmark, Belle Epoque property was the hotel of choice for the rich and famous. It was rebuilt after World War II and is once again the most prestigious address in town. Located on the waterfront overlooking the harbour and close to the Royal Palace, it combines the style of a bygone age with the amenities of a modern luxury hotel. Many of the 160 bedrooms overlook the sea and have balconies or terraces. The ‘Caruso’ roof garden restaurant with its stunning panoramic views of the bay serves dinner alfresco in the summer months. There is a relaxation centre, with a small indoor swimming pool. 3 night price from £698 per person low season, £842 per person high season.
Grand Hotel Santa Lucia
A great base for exploring the historical heart of Naples, this fine Libertystyle hotel was built in 1900 by the famous architect, Giovan Battista Comencini. It overlooks Castel dell’Ovo and is 15 minutes’ walk from Teatro San Carlo. There is a stylish restaurant, an atmospheric bar and 95 bedrooms. Kirker clients will be accommodated in deluxe rooms which have balconies and wonderful views out over the Bay of Naples. 3 night price from £598 per person low season, £798 per person high season.
All Kirker clients visiting Naples recieve a complimentary Naples Art Card, which includes entrance to three attractions of your choice, from a selection of over twenty – including the Castel Sant d’Elmo, the Teatro San Carlo Opera House, and the mafnificent Archaelogical Museum. In addition, the card includes travel on the public transport network including the Funicular and the Circumvesuviana railway.
the bay of naples A SIX NIGHT CULTURAL TOUR Our tour to the Bay of Naples will be based at the Santa Lucia hotel and led by Archaeologist Karina Mitens. Pompeii, Herculaneum and the Villa Oplontis are included along with a visit to the wonderful Museum of National Antiquities. The six night tours depart on 19 April and 6 November and costs from£2,169 per person. For further details call 020 7593 2284.
THE AMALFI COAST, CAPRI & ISCHIA SORRENTO
Grand Hotel La Favorita
An hour’s drive south of Naples, this civilised town was first chosen as a resort by the Romans but it was the second half of the 19th century that saw it develop into the tourist haven that it remains today. Elegant hotels were built on the cliffs, which rise vertically from the sea 50 metres below, and on the hills overlooking the town and played home to tzars and queens, writers, philosophers and musicians.The views from our hotels and numerous vantage points are magnificent – right across the Bay of Naples towards Vesuvius. Ferries run to Amalfi, Positano, Capri and Ischia from the harbour below the town.
A great choice for those looking for a central location, La Favorita is positioned in a quiet corner of the town centre, close to the Villa Comunale garden and five minutes’ walk from the main shopping streets. Decorated throughout in classic Mediterranean style, there are 85 bedrooms and a wonderful roof terrace with a large swimming pool and magnificent views of the Bay of Naples and Vesuvius. The roof terrace also has a bar and a seasonal restaurant, and there is a further restaurant on the ground floor overlooking the lemon trees of the hotel’s terraced gardens. 3 night price from £698 per person low season, £998 per person high season.
This popular hotel is located in its own private park and is close to Museo Correale di Terranova and a short stroll from Piazza Tasso, the heart of the town centre. There are 114 bedrooms decorated in traditional style and many have exceptional views of the Bay of Naples; a view shared from the pool and the hotel’s extensive terraces. The main restaurant is highly regarded and serves regional cuisine in elegant surroundings. In addition there is a less formal restaurant by the summer swimming pool which is surrounded by shady palms and citrus trees. There is a private bathing platform at sea level open from mid-May to mid-October that has a snack bar, sun loungers and parasols – access is by lift from the gardens. Hotel open 25 March – 31 October. 3 night price from £748 per person low season, £1,198 per person high season.
Located in the heart of its own oasis-like gardens, just two minutes’ walk to the city centre, this grand, traditional hotel is Sorrento’s finest five star property. The hotel’s handsome buildings command spectacular views over the harbour and across the Bay of Naples to Vesuvius’ iconic silhouette which has featured prominently in every Grand Tour for some 200 years. Today, discerning travellers can relax in style enjoying the extensive public rooms, atmospheric bar with large panoramic terrace, the outstanding Michelinstarred ‘Terrazza Bosquet’ restaurant (reservation essential), a spa and gym – and 92 comfortable rooms (we highly recommend upgrading to a sublime sea view). A delicious buffet breakfast is included for all Kirker clients. The large outdoor summer swimming pool has an excellent bar and restaurant and the hotel’s private lift connects with the Marina Piccola below, where boats depart for Capri and Ischia. 3 night price from £998 per person low season, £1,498 per person high season.
A small, immaculate and very comfortable hotel located on the cliffs above Sorrento, with great views of the town. The Bel Air has a comfortable lounge, a restaurant, an attractive bar and a summer swimming pool with sun terrace. There are 48 bedrooms and all have a sea view and balcony. Hotel open 25 March – 31 October. 3 night price from £688 per person low season, £898 per person high season.
Maison La Minervetta
(a deluxe boutique hotel)
Located 10 minutes’ walk from the centre of Sorrento in a spectacular location perched on the cliff overlooking the fishing boats in the harbour below, this excellent hotel is run by Eugenia and her architect husband Marco. Decorated with an eclectic mix of objects and paintings collected from around the world, the hotel has established an excellent reputation. The Minervetta has succeeded where many ‘design’ hotels have failed because the owners personally oversee every aspect and together with their charming staff, they have created a relaxed, homely environment. There are just 12 bedrooms, all with sea views. The terrace offers wonderful views across to Sorrento and beyond to the Bay of Naples. The hotel’s plunge pool and sun terraces are accessed by a lift and steps. 3 night price from £698 per person low season, £898 per person high season.
SPECIAL OFFER 1 – 30 April, 1 – 31 October: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving £245; 1 May – 30 September: 7 nights for the price of 6, saving £360.
Built in 1750 and a hotel since 1920, the Bellevue Syrene is now a member of Relais & Châteaux and is impeccably maintained and beautifully decorated with a clever combination of antiques and contemporary design. Located in the centre of Sorrento, the hotel has a restaurant and a club lounge where complimentary drinks and snacks are served all day. The gardens and terraces of the hotel have fabulous views of the bay and all 49 bedrooms overlook the sea. A lift connects the hotel with a private jetty below – ideal for sea bathing. 3 night price from £898 per person low season, £1,368 per person high season.
what’s included Return flights Return private car transfers Accommodation including breakfast Kirker’s Guide Notes to restaurants, museums and sightseeing The services of the Kirker Concierge to book expert local guides Prices are based on sharing a double room. All quotations are tailor-made; call us on 020 7593 2288 for advice and the very latest prices.
Sorrento hotels continued overleaf
THE AMALFI COAST, CAPRI & ISCHIA SANT’AGNELLO DI SORRENTO
For those who prefer to be slightly away from the hustle and bustle of Sorrento but who still want to experience the same mesmeric views, Sant’Agnello is a quieter town with a slower pace of life. It’s a 45 minute walk to the centre of Sorrento, or two minutes on the Circumvesuviana train which also runs to Pompeii and Naples.
Nestled in the hills inland from the coast, Ravello is a quiet village with spectacular views. Once the second city of the Amalfitan Republic, it has a cathedral, fine mediaeval art, two glorious public gardens and a summer concert programme.
Grand Hotel Cocumella
Originally a 16th century monastery, this fine hotel is located on the cliff edge overlooking the Bay of Naples and is surrounded by tranquil gardens. It is just one kilometre from Sorrento – the hotel operates a shuttle bus to and from the town centre. A renovation has recently been completed and it now offers 35 comfortable bedrooms decorated with antique furniture, yet with all the modern amenities you would expect. Nestled in the gardens you’ll find the tennis court and, in the shade of orange trees, the lovely large swimming pool. A private lift operates to sea level where there is a sun deck and bathing platform. There is a gastronomic restaurant, a grill restaurant on the terrace with wonderful sea views and a wellness centre with gym, treatment rooms, sauna and hammam. Hotel open 1 April – 30 October. 3 night price from £739 per person low season, £1,068 per person high season.
Belmond Hotel Caruso
The Caruso family purchased the property in the late 1800s and within years it was attracting guests from all over the globe, drawn by its idyllic location and luxurious surroundings. Regular guests included Greta Garbo, Humphrey Bogart and Jackie Kennedy. Part of the famous Belmond Hotel Group, it is located high up in the heart of Ravello, with breathtaking views of the Amalfi coastline and the Mediterranean. The 50 bedrooms are all beautifully decorated. The outdoor swimming pool, poolside restaurant and bar and the ‘Belvedere’ restaurant are all located in the wonderful landscaped gardens at the front of the hotel. The ‘Belvedere’ gastronomic restaurant also has wondrous views of the garden and the coast from its summer terrace. Hotel open 9 April – 1 November. 3 night price from £1,198 per person low season, £1,998 per person high season.
With its wonderful cliff-top position, Corallo offers exceptional service and value for money and is a great option for travellers who prefer to be a little removed from Sorrento’s often bustling centre. Recently completely renovated, the hotel has 53 light and comfortable bedrooms, many with balconies and outstanding views of the Gulf of Naples. These same panoramic views can be experienced from the terraces, the excellent restaurant and the small infinity swimming pool. Guests can pay 9 euros to use the elevator, dressing rooms and sunbeds of la Marinella private beach and sundeck which is located below the hotel. A complimentary shuttle connects the Corallo with the centre of Sorrento from 8 am to 11 pm (1 May – 30 September only). 3 night price from £548 per person low season, £749 per person high season.
Palazzo Avino AMALFI COAST TAILOR-MADE We highly recommend holidays that combine two or more locations in one tailor-made holiday, particularly to the Amalfi Coast where there is such contrast between each destination. A typical itinerary is shown on page 46; however we offer complete flexibility so please speak to one of our expert consultants who will be able to provide a holiday that matches your particular requirements. Our Concierge is always on hand to provide advice on the best ways to visit historical sites such as Pompeii, Herculaneum or Paestum, perhaps with an expert local guide, and recommend and book our favourite restaurants.
Originally built in the 12th century, this is a beautifully renovated hotel, just five minutes’ walk from the centre of Ravello, 1,000 feet above sea level with spectacular views towards the Amalfi coast. Set in terraced gardens, the hotel (formerly known as Palazzo Sasso) has a large, open-air heated swimming pool and a rooftop sun terrace with two jacuzzi pools. There are 43 bedrooms, Michelin restaurant (dinner only) and an informal grill on the terrace. In 2009 the hotel introduced ‘Clubhouse by the Sea’, a beautiful waterside villa offering a salt water pool, living rooms, lush gardens and a small restaurant serving pizza and sea food. A path leads through the gardens to stone steps that descend to the sea. A shuttle runs to the villa throughout the day. Hotel open 3 April – 18 October. 3 night price from £1,139 per person low season, £1,598 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 3 – 30 April, 8 – 18 October: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving £230.
F L I G H T
I N F O R M A T I O N
Direct flights from the UK to Naples: Gatwick: British Airways; Bristol, Edinburgh, Gatwick, Liverpool, Luton, Stansted: Easyjet; Dublin, East Midlands, Exeter, Manchester, Stansted: Ryanair; Belfast, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Stansted: Jet 2; Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Doncaster Sheffield, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Gatwick, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle: TUI (summer only) Dublin: Aer Lingus
A pleasant, family-run hotel, the Rufolo is located just 40 metres from Ravello’s picturesque main square. It has just 34 bedrooms, a summer swimming pool, spacious terraces, gardens and a panoramic restaurant. The hotel overlooks the famous Villa Rufolo, home of the annual Ravello Music Festival. Our prices are based on superior rooms with sea view. 3 night price from £748 per person low season, £898 per person high season.
THE AMALFI COAST, CAPRI & ISCHIA AMALFI Once the most important trading port in southern Italy, Amalfi is today a small attractive town with a fine beach, good cafés, restaurants and shops and wonderful views of the sea and the hills behind. Santa Caterina
POSITANO The colourful buildings of this remarkable town cascade down a vertiginous hill to the sea. Once a hideaway for writers, it is now a fashionable resort with a beach and hundreds of painted villas, smart boutiques and excellent waterside fish restaurants. Le Sirenuse
Located in the centre of picturesque Positano, Le Sirenuse – formerly the home of a local nobleman and now one of the most sought-after hotels on the Amalfi Coast – is small, immaculate and very luxurious. The hotel is beautifully furnished and has an excellent restaurant, small summer swimming pool with sun terrace and wonderful views of the town and the bay. It has 58 airconditioned bedrooms, all with colourful tiled floors. A new spa has opened and offers treatments using Aveda natural products – there is also a sauna and steam bath. Supplement for deluxe room with balcony and sea view available on request. Hotel open 19 March – 23 October. 3 night price from £998 per person low season, £1,498 per person high season.
Built into the hillside of Positano, the Poseidon is an extremely comfortable and stylish hotel – and our favourite property in the town. The relaxing atmosphere and charming staff make this one of our favourite hotels on the Amalfi Coast. There is a fabulous terrace with a swimming pool overlooking the town and the sea (breakfast is served outside in summer) a spacious bar and lounge, a restaurant and an extensive fitness and beauty centre offering Shiatsu, mud treatments and hydromassage. This hotel is ideal for families and all 50 air-conditioned rooms have balcony or terrace and partial sea view. Hotel open 21 April – 23 October. 3 night price from £849 per person low season, £1,098 per person high season.
Covo Dei Saraceni
This impressive hotel rises directly from the sandy beach in the centre of Positano and is built into the rocky hillside. All 58 rooms are therefore at the front of the hotel, overlooking the town and the sea; each has a small balcony. The style is modern, bedrooms are simply furnished and decorated in light, Mediterranean colours. An open-air rooftop swimming pool and terrace will delight sun worshippers. Foodies will enjoy the traditional pizzas (cooked in a wood-burning oven) and local dishes served in the attractive restaurant with its plants and vaulted ceilings; there is also a snack bar on the ground floor. Supplement for junior suite with balcony or large terrace available on request. Hotel open 24 March – 2 November. During the summer months, boats depart for Amalfi and Capri from the harbour below the hotel. 3 night price from £1,048 per person low season, £1,268 per person high season.
A beautiful, elegant property located one kilometre from the centre of Amalfi, this traditional hotel is set in extensive terraced gardens high above the Mediterranean. The hotel has two excellent restaurants, one with panoramic views of the bay and the other by the seawater outdoor swimming pool (reached by a lift) located at sea level – perfect for a wood-fired pizza lunch in summer. There are also two bars, large lounges and a fitness centre. Buffet breakfast. There are 50 rooms in the main building and 17 attractive cottages set amongst the hotel’s private orange and lemon groves. Hotel open 21 March – 31 October. 3 night price from £846 per person low season, £1,448 per person high season.
Luna Convento Originally a convent dating from the 9th century and a hotel for over 180 years, the Luna Convento is located within walking distance of the centre of Amalfi and overlooks the entire bay. A beautiful flower-filled courtyard is the focal point and is surrounded by an ancient cloister which was founded by St. Francis of Assisi in 1222. All 43 bedrooms are furnished in traditional Mediterranean style and all overlook the sea. There are two restaurants and steps lead down to a seawater swimming pool across the road from the hotel. 3 night price from £749 per person low season, £898 per person high season.
Monastero Santa Rosa
Nestled into the Amalfi cliffs, Santa Rosa is a beautifully restored 17th century monastery overlooking the charming fishing village of Conca dei Marini. With Amalfi town a 15 minute drive away, this boutique residence is the epitome of tranquillity and relaxation. The hotel has 20 exquisitely furnished rooms and suites, all with a sea view; several deluxe rooms have a stone terrace. The idyllic Mediterranean gardens form four tiers and cascade towards the wonderfully sculpted infinity pool which blends seamlessly into the sea beyond. The carefully designed spa has every imaginable modern amenity and the restaurant terrace offers a breathtaking panoramic sea view. 3 night price from £1,168 per person low season, £1,498 per person high season.
what’s included Return flights Return private car transfers Accommodation including breakfast Kirker’s Guide Notes to restaurants, museums and sightseeing The services of the Kirker Concierge to book expert local guides Prices are based on sharing a double room (supplements for single rooms and suites on request). All quotations are tailor-made; speak to an expert in our reservations department, call us on 020 7593 2288 for advice and the very latest prices.
Amalfi Coast, Capri & Ischia hotels continued overleaf
THE AMALFI COAST CAPRI & ISCHIA CAPRI Capri remains one of our most favourite spots in the Mediterranean. Although tiny, its scenery is breathtakingly beautiful. Scented wild flowers, fig trees, tiny coves, fabulous villas, smart boutiques, the famous Blue Grotto and the Faraglione Rocks draw many visitors. Caesar Augustus
When the Romans established a private home on this site, they took immense trouble to choose the location. The Caesar Augustus is perched on the cliff, 300 metres above the sea and has spectacular views of the bay of Naples, particularly at sunset. A member of Relais & Châteaux and privately-owned, this is a delightful property where the emphasis is on personal service, comfort and outstanding cuisine. A delicious breakfast starts the day; lunch and dinner are served on the various terraces looking down to the sea and much of the produce comes from the hotel’s extensive terraced gardens, home to a very stylish infinity swimming pool. There are 45 bedrooms in the main hotel, plus 10 suites in the villa and all our furnished in traditional Mediterranean style. A 15 minute walk takes you to the town of Ana Capri with its artisan workshops, cafés and restaurants – don’t miss the 19th century Axel Munthe Museum at Villa San Michele with its beautiful gardens that hosts concerts in summer. 3 night price from £1,368 per person low season, £1,698 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 8 April – 14 May, 1 – 31 October: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving £270.
The Palace has become one of the finest hotels and spas in Italy, with its cool stone floors and luxurious white décor. Its spectacular location high up in Anacapri offers dramatic sea and mountain views. The Michelin-starred restaurant serves delicious cuisine and in summer, dining outdoors under the stars is a wonderful experience. There is a large outdoor swimming pool, although some suites have their own pools. The spa offers thalassotherapy treatments and an indoor pool. The hotel operates a shuttle service for the 10 minute journey to their ‘Il Riccio’ restaurant, where you can experience wonderful views, great food and sea bathing. It has 78 bedrooms. 3 night price from £1,298 per person low season, £1,496 per person high season.
This privately-owned boutique hotel sits on the hillside only a few minutes’ drive from Marina Grande, the main port. With just 21 rooms, this is perfect for clients looking for an intimate property with friendly, personal service. Each room is dedicated to a particular artist and has either a balcony or terrace with views of the gardens or out over the outdoor swimming pool to the Gulf of Naples. Capri was once a well-known hideaway for the rich and famous and none of this glamour is lost in the hotel’s modern and stylish interior. The ‘Ziqu’ restaurant offers alfresco dining, whilst the state-of-the-art spa provides a sauna, hydro-massage pool and a wide range of treatments. A complimentary shuttle operates regularly to the port and to Capri Town. 3 night price from £1,146 per person low season, £1,498 per person high season.
what’s included Return flights Return transfers by car and ferry/hydrofoil Accommodation including breakfast Kirker’s Guide Notes to restaurants, museums and sightseeing and the services of the Kirker Concierge
ISCHIA Volcanic in origin, Ischia is known as the Green Island because of its abundant vegetation, or as the Island of Good Health for its thermal springs. It is an oasis of breathtaking scenery with pretty coastal and hillside villages. Mezzatorre Hotel & Spa
Located in the north of the island near the small village of Lacco Ameno, the Mezzatorre has a superb setting amongst seven hectares of beautiful pine forest. The views from the panoramic restaurant and the hotel terraces over the Gulf of Naples and Vesuvius are sublime. The main building is in a restored 15th century watchtower and the other buildings housing the majority of the 59 bedrooms are located in the grounds. The main restaurant serves local and international cuisine and light lunches can be enjoyed by the heated seawater outdoor swimming pool. The spa offers treatments based around the island’s thermal springs and mineral-enriched mud. There is a tennis court and a bathing platform at sea level. Prices include half-board. 3 night price from £976 per person low season, £1,298 per person high season.
San Montano Resort & Spa The San Montano enjoys an unmatched location, high on Monte Vico above the small resort of Lacco Ameno, with panoramic views out across the Bay of Naples to Vesuvius and Capri from the hotel’s many terraces. There are 73 bedrooms, a restaurant, a comfortable bar and plenty of quiet spots dotted throughout the gardens. The hotel has two large outdoor swimming pools, one of which is heated by a volcanic spring and there is a string of small pools and jacuzzis, each at a different temperature from the next. A shuttle bus operates on request to a private beach and to the centre of Lacco Ameno from where you can catch the round-the-island bus service to Forio and to Ischia Porto with its fine range of shops and restaurants. The famous garden of La Mortella is located across the valley as is the Villa La Colombaia, where Luchino Visconti lived during the summer months. 3 night price from £728 per person low season, £1,098 per person high season.
the KIRKER ISCHIA MUSIC FESTIVALa seven night escorted holiday Our Music Holidays programme is designed to appeal to clients who enjoy travelling with like-minded companions. Departing on 13 October 2020, our exclusive festival is based at the 5 star San Montana and includes a series of six exceptional concerts which take place at La Mortella, the home of the late Sir William and Lady Walton. Musicians engaged for 2020 include the Castalian String Quartet. Prices from £2,396 per person. For further details or to request a copy of our Cultural Tours & Music Holidays brochure, call 020 7593 2284.
SICILY Sicily’s location at the crossroads between North Africa and Europe and the Middle East and the Atlantic has always been of great strategic importance, which has left this unique island with a fascinating history that charts the development of Western Civilisation.There is an extraordinary range of temples, theatres and churches which reflect Greek, Roman, Arab and Norman influences, as well as olive and lemon groves and Mount Etna which dominates the east coast landscape.Today, Sicilians are immensely proud of their island home and offer visitors world class hospitality, stylish hotels, excellent cuisine and outstanding local wines.The key to any great holiday to Sicily is to plan your itinerary carefully, book a local Kirker guide, and try not to pack too much in.There is so much to see and it is crucial to consult an expert for first-hand advice.
Approximate driving times Catania-Taormina 45 mins Catania-Syracuse 45 mins Catania-Mount Etna 1 hr Catania-Ragusa/Modica 2 hrs Taormina-Syracuse 1 hr 30 mins Taormina-Ragusa/Modica 2 hrs 30 mins Taormina-Agrigento 3 hrs Syracuse-Modica/Ragusa 1 hr 30 mins Syracuse-Agrigento 3 hrs Agrigento-Modica/Ragusa 3 hrs Palermo-Agrigento 1 hr 30 mins Palermo-Sciacca 2 hrs
Palermo-Mazara del Vallo/Menfi 2 hours Palermo-San Vito Lo Capo 2 hrs 10 mins Palermo-Cefalù 1 hr 20 mins Catania-Milazzo (for Aeolian islands) 1 hr 30 mins Taormina-Milazzo (for Aeolian islands) 1 hr
Ferries into Sicily from Italy, Sardinia and Malta Palermo – Naples 10 hrs 30 mins Catania – Naples 12 hrs Palermo – Civitavecchia (Rome) 14 hrs Palermo – Cagliari (Sardinia) 12 hrs Catania – Valletta (Malta) 4 hrs 15 mins Pozzallo (near Modica) – Valletta (Malta) 1 hour 45 mins
SUGGESTED ITINERARIES We have prepared several itineraries to highlight some of our most popular tailor-made holidays to Sicily. We offer complete flexibility and these are only a guideline so please call us to discuss your personal requirements. Whilst the itineraries include car hire, we can arrange private car transfers if preferred and the best local guides to accompany you on walking tours, driving excursions and visits to any of the archaeological sites. THE SICILIAN QUARTET
SOUTH EAST HILLS AND COAST
WEST COAST WONDERS
In Palermo, the island’s capital, you will have time to explore mediaeval streets and perhaps catch a performance at the magnificent opera house before heading south. Made famous by the Valley of the Temples, a stay in Agrigento is a must for anyone holidaying on Sicily. Syracuse’s cathedral on Ortigia Island and the Temple of Athena enclosed within are sites to behold and are worth the trip alone. Taormina is a classic seaside resort offering the added joy of a summer concert at the ancient Greek theatre. Price from £2,198 per person low season, £2,895 per person high season to include return flights to Palermo and back from Catania, AVIS car hire with driving maps, three nights in Palermo at the Federico II, one night in Agrigento at the Villa Athena, two nights in Syracuse at the Algilà Charme Hotel and three nights in Taormina at the Ashbee.
Exploring the Baroque hill towns of Sicily’s south east is a treat enjoyed by many more people following the success of the Inspector Montalbano television series. Modica, Noto and Ragusa Ibla all existed well before the 1693 earthquake which destroyed most of their ancient sites but the rebuilding has left steep, winding streets and church spires to rival anywhere in Tuscany. Syracuse combines the remains of ancient Neapolis, one of the largest cities of ancient Greece, with the mediaeval cobbled streets of Ortigia Island. Price from £1,598 per person low season, £1,898 per person high season to include return flights to Catania, AVIS car hire with driving maps, two nights in Ragusa at the Antica Badia, two nights in Modica at the Palazzo Failla and four nights in Syracuse at the Algilà Charme Hotel.
The long history and varied scenery of western Sicily encapsulate all that makes the island great. Palermo’s Norman and Baroque churches and street markets will prepare you for a combination of ancient ruins and the freshest seafood in Italy. The warring ancient towns of Segesta, Selinunte and Erice are all fascinating to visit and the Cala Marina and Giardino di Costanza will provide calm retreats. End your holiday at Agrigento, the most famous ancient site. Price from £1,798 per person low season, £2,698 per person high season to include return flights to Palermo, AVIS car hire with driving maps, four nights in Palermo at the Grand Hotel Villa Igiea three nights in Castellammare del Golfo at the Cala Marina, three nights in Mazara del Vallo at the Giardino di Costanza, two nights in Agrigento at the Villa Athena.
SICILY TAORMINA Taormina is a beguiling town in a commanding position high on Monte Tauro. In the shadow of Mount Etna’s imposing silhouette, it forms a balcony overlooking two sweeping bays, 250 metres below.The 4th century BC Teatro Greco, with its unparalleled view, is testament to the millennia of history in the town which has been a popular coastal resort since the 18th century and has beautiful monuments and exotic gardens. Teatro Antico,Taormina
Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo
Now owned by Belmond Hotels, the Timeo is Sicily’s finest deluxe property and certainly our favourite. The unique terrace has a restaurant offering guests delicious cooking and spectacular views over the Bay of Naxos with Mount Etna in the distance. Located next to the Greek Theatre, it is furnished throughout with beautiful antiques. There is a summer swimming pool set amongst the tiered gardens and an excellent bar where you can relax on the main terrace. The 71 beautifully furnished bedrooms are located either in the main building or next door in the Villa Flora. Clients can enjoy the private beach at the sister hotel, Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea. 3 night price from £1,098 per person low season, £1,496 per person high season.
Villa Belvedere This delightful hotel is owned and run by the charming Pécaut-Bambara family. Located close to the Botanical Gardens and a short walk from the centre of Taormina, it has been sympathetically renovated to retain its character and most of the 47 rooms overlook the terraced gardens. It has a summer swimming pool overlooking the Bay of Naxos with Mount Etna in the distance. This is the perfect hotel if you are looking for good value, character and a relaxing atmosphere. From April to October guests can enjoy an excellent buffet lunch and à la carte menu. 3 night price from £678 per person low season, £896 per person high season.
TAORMINA BEACH Grand Hotel San Pietro Dating back to the beginning of the last century, the San Pietro’s location, just below the town, is second to none – it has breathtaking views of the bay and is surrounded by flower-filled gardens.The 63 bedrooms are decorated with rich fabrics and classical furniture. In the summer months, guests can use a private beach club (hotel shuttle bus available), relax by the swimming pool or on the extensive outdoor terraces adorned with terracotta pots with orange and lemon trees and vines.The restaurant serves traditional cuisine with a contemporary twist. 3 night price from £1,028 per person low season, £1,298 per person high season.
The Ashbee Built in 1908 as a private villa, The Asbhee is named after its English architect who introduced the Arts and Crafts fashions to the local Sicilian architecture. Now a very comfortable hotel; modern touches have been introduced to the 25 rooms, some of which enjoy the views of the Straits of Messina. Guests can relax in the infinity swimming pool and panoramic terrace or enjoy the shade of the many citrus trees. Many of the fresh, Sicilian ingredients used at the ‘St. George Restaurant’ are grown on site. The rooftop bar is an ideal spot for enjoying a drink and taking in the sunset. Only a few steps from Porta Messina and the top of the Mazzaro cable car, this is a great base for exploring Taormina. 3 night price from £1,048 per person low season, £1,098 per person high season.
Hotels in the seaside resort of Taormina Beach hug the dramatic rocky coastline and provide a tranquil haven away from the main town centre.The public cable car takes 5 minutes and arrives just outside Porta Messina, one of the ancient entrances to the hilltop town. Belmond Villa Sant’ Andrea
Formerly the summer retreat of the Trewhella family, this famous hotel has an excellent location on the shore overlooking Mazarro Bay. The Belmond Group acquired the property in 2010 and the handsome building has been completely restored to its original splendour, whilst retaining the relaxed atmosphere of a private residence. Although many guests enjoy sea bathing from the private beach (small pebbles), a wonderful new heated swimming pool has been added. The hotel is surrounded by subtropical gardens and there is an excellent restaurant with a terrace where guests can sit in the shade of palm trees and enjoy the view across the bay. There are 71 elegant bedrooms overlooking the gardens or the bay. Lift, but not to all floors. Taormina town can be reached in a few minutes by cable car (or complimentary shuttle) where clients may use the facilities at the sister hotel Belmond Timeo. Hotel open 9 April – 1 November. 3 night price from £998 per person low season, £1,498 per person high season.
Grand Hotel Atlantis Bay NH Collection Taormina This fine hotel stands in an elevated position looking out over the town’s distinctive roof tops towards the Greek Theatre and the Bay of Naxos and is perfectly situated for those looking to explore the many enticing shops on the beautiful Corso Umberto I. Built in the early 20th century and with a great reputation for personal service, the hotel has 63 bedrooms decorated with bright colours and contemporary furnishings; many have balconies or terraces. A rich buffet breakfast and gastronomic dinners are served at the 7th floor ‘Zefiro’ restaurant with its exceptional views. Lunches by the summer swimming pool are inspired by the street food which is so typical of the region. Additional facilities include a gym and a relaxing spa. 3 night price from £678 per person low season, £1,098 per person high season.
In a truly unique position in the Baia delle Sirene, the Grand Hotel Atlantis Bay is built into the cliffs providing guests in all of the 83 rooms views of the sea from their private balcony or terrace. The hotel is decorated in Mediterranean style with maritime features playing on the seafront location. Guests can swim from a platform in the private bay or in the outdoor seawater swimming pool. The Restaurant offers fresh seafood and local flavours with wonderful views from the veranda, shared with the piano bar. Treatments are available in the recently added spa. The cable car to the centre of Taormina is only a few minutes away. 3 night price from £849 per person low season, £1,198 per person high season.
F L I G H T I N F O R M AT I O N – S E E P A G E 6 3
SICILY MOUNT ETNA Europe’s largest active volcano, Mount Etna dominates Sicily’s east coast and has played a major role in the island’s history.We recommend a half day excursion including cable car and 4X4 bus which takes the more adventurous travellers near to the summit – the surreal volcanic landscape is well worth the trip on a fine day. Less ambitious visitors can stop half way and enjoy the extraordinary panoramic views, or explore the lower slopes on foot or by bicycle.The fertile foothills are home to some outstanding vineyards where you will also find new ‘agriturismo’ properties offering excellent cuisine. Fly to Catania, our prices include car hire – private transfers can be provided if preferred. Villa Neri
On Etna’s eastern slope, close to the town of Linguaglossa, the Villa Neri is a beautiful modern hotel in a well-established estate, surrounded by vineyards, olive groves and oak trees; the ideal escape within 10 miles of Taormina. The 25 comfortable rooms are decorated with bold prints and some have balconies. The ‘Dodici Fontane’ restaurant is overseen by Elia Russo, who trained at the ‘Principe di Cerami’ restaurant in Taormina and is producing creative modern cuisine with ingredients grown on site. The spa with Turkish bath and sauna takes on the fresh citrus and spice theme of the hotel. Cycling paths are easily accessed and there are many picturesque walking trails nearby. 3 night price from £698 per person low season, £796 per person high season.
Monaci delle Terre Nere (a superior country house hotel) Lovingly converted into a boutique hotel on the lower slopes of Mount Etna, this estate was originally a Saint Anne’s monastery; the name ‘Monaci delle Terre Nere’ means ‘the monks of the black soil’. As well as the views to the peak of Etna to the west, several terraces face the Straits of Messina to the east, especially attractive in the early morning light. The focus is on organic products both in the bathrooms and the acclaimed restaurant, where most food is produced on the surrounding farm and the wine is mostly Sicilian; the chef is happy to offer cookery lessons to extol the virtues of their methods. The 20 bedrooms, spread over several small buildings, combine the natural rustic, technology-free charm with modern furniture. After walks through the estate and surrounding hills, guests can relax in the small infinity swimming pool. The hotel is a popular wedding venue, so we suggest Clients avoid staying on Friday or Saturday nights. 3 night price from £649 per person low season, £869 per person high season.
SICILY – AN ENIGMATIC ISLAND nine night kirker cultural tour Our Cultural Tours programme is designed to appeal to clients who enjoy travelling with like-minded companions and will be of particular interest to anyone who is curious about art, architecture and history. Sicily’s strategic importance has given it a violent, eventful and colourful history. Doric temples, Roman mosaics, elegant Norman architecture and a wealth of Baroque and Renaissance palaces and churches are a reminder of its great past.The tour includes four nights in Syracuse with visits to Taormina, Modica and Noto, followed by one night in Agrigento and four nights in Palermo with visits to Selinunte, Segesta and Monreale.Tours depart on 20 April, 20 September and 1 November and cost from £2,646 per person.To request a copy of our Cultural Tours & Music Holidays brochure, call 020 7593 2284.
KIRKER SICILY EXPERT IZZY WHITLEY REFLECTS ON HER RECENT VISIT TO TAORMINA AND THE EAST COAST:
“The natural starting point of an exploration of Sicily is its most famous and historic resort,Taormina.The old town centre is on the hillside of Monte Tauro, offering spectacular views over the bay and Mount Etna.The main reason to visit Taormina is the Greco-Roman amphitheatre – still frequently used for operatic and theatrical performances. In less than an hour’s drive you can be on Etna’s lower slopes for gentle strolls or a more ambitious climb, though a driver and guide for the day is highly recommended to explore the incredibly varied volcanic landscape. For the real naturalist there is the option to stay in one of our new hotels on the verdant slopes of the mountain and end the day with delicious ‘slow food’ sourced only from local farms. The next stop along the Ionian coast is the town of Syracuse. It was once one of the great powers of the Mediterranean and in the historic central island of Ortigia buildings from every period in the last 2,400 years sit side-by-side.The most fascinating of Syracuse’s sights is the UNESCO protected cathedral. It began life in the 5th century BC as a temple dedicated to Athena before being converted into a church by the Romans. Domes were added by the Arabs in the 9th century to turn it into a Mosque, before the Byzantines returned the building to Christianity and it was later enlarged by the Normans. Only a couple of miles from Ortigia is the extensive archaeological area of Neapolis. Once a bustling suburb of Syracuse complete with a large quarry, two amphitheatres and an enormous sacrificial alter, this is an absorbing site best explored with the aid of an expert local guide. Bordered by unspoilt sandy beaches and shallow, crystal-clear seas, the southeastern corner of Sicily around Syracuse is a region of breathtaking topography and postcard-perfect hilltop towns. Noto, Modica and Ragusa are three of the most typical; all were severely affected by the devastating earthquake of 1693, though each were rebuilt in different ways.The authorities in Noto for example started from scratch some eight kilometres away, with plenty of resources at their disposal to build a new town of stunning grandeur.Today the pedestrianised central street is flanked by cavernous Baroque churches and palazzi, most of them open to the public. The drive from Noto to Modica is an excellent opportunity to revel in Sicily’s stunning natural beauty.Winding between the olive and lemon trees, the ground suddenly falls away and the road becomes a bridge over a huge gorge, with the tight-knit town of Modica tumbling down both sides of the valley. As with Noto, Modica has its fair share of UNESCO protected sites, including the towering Duomo di San Giorgio, which rises majestically above the jumbled honeycoloured mass on the hillside. Ragusa is arguably the most spectacular of the three. Originally a typical hilltop hamlet, it was split in two by bitter disagreements about how to rebuild after the earthquake. The aristocracy restored the original town (Ibla) while the growing middle classes scaled the neighbouring hill and began building a new town (Upper Ragusa). Today, Ibla with its winding, maze-like alleyways is connected to Upper Ragusa by a sinuous road, though the more intrepid tourist can tackle the zizagging staircases. Sicily is an island of fantastic food, wonderful scenery and beguiling variety. We look forward to helping you plan your holiday to this unforgettable place.” Follow in Izzy’s footsteps with the following 11 day itinerary. Return British Airways flights London Gatwick to Catania, private car transfer on arrival to Taormina, AVIS car hire with driving maps. Accommodation including breakfast: three nights in Taormina at Villa Belvedere, two nights on Mount Etna in Monaci Delle Terre Nere, three nights in Syracuse at Grand Hotel Ortigia and two nights in Ragusa at Antica Badia. Price from £1,698 per person low season or £2,268 per person high season.
Sicily hotels continued overleaf
SYRACUSE The Corinthians were the first settlers on the intriguing island of Ortigia which forms the main part of this ancient city. Syracuse Cathedral has original Greek columns dating from the 5th century, the Temple of Athena within its massive walls and a handsome Baroque façade; it ranks as one of the most remarkable buildings in Sicily. The archaeological remains of the ancient Greek amphitheatre and caves of Neapolis, just two miles away, are some of the best kept on the island. Ortea Palace
Located on Ortigia Island, this traditional hotel has been extensively renovated and has an outstanding position overlooking the harbour.The rooftop restaurant offers panoramic views over the historical city centre. It has 40 well furnished rooms including features of the Regency style visible throughout the hotel. During the summer guests can use the private sandy beach, located just 15 minutes away via the hotel’s own boat (there is a small charge for this service). 3 night price from £698 per person low season, £846 per person high season.
Algilà Charme Hotel
This characterful hotel, just 10 minutes’ walk from the cathedral, is renowned for its personal service.The 54 rooms are full of classic touches, decorated with antiques and local art; some enjoy a glimpse of the sea from a private balcony.The faithful restoration of this old palazzo maintained many historic features including the stone work and the ancient fountain in the winter garden.The intimate restaurant uses fine local ingredients and traditional Sicilian recipes. 3 night price from £749 per person low season, £849 per person high season.
Grand Hotel Minareto
In a tranquil location, across the bay from Ortigia, Grand Hotel Minareto is 15 minutes’ drive from the centre, which can also be reached using the hotel’s private boat (charges apply).The resort is the only one inside the Plemmerio Marine Nature Reserve, so peaceful sunbathing and wonderful snorkelling off the secluded private sandy beach are guaranteed. Guests enjoy fabulous views from the gardens and terraces which are set amongst olive and lemon trees.There is a large outdoor swimming pool where light lunches are served in the summer, a spa, complimentary cycle hire for guests and a restaurant offering traditional Sicilian cuisine.The 96 arabesque bedrooms are dotted around the grounds and many look across the bay from private terraces. 3 night price from £739 per person low season, £896 per person high season.
Villa Favorita On an estate which has been producing olive oil since the 17th century, this collection of farm houses, built between almond and pine trees, now hosts a charming hotel.The best of the 36 classic Sicilian rooms have private balconies and enjoy views over the surrounding hills. Noto is visible in the distance, some two miles away, but the focus here is on escaping the city.There is a summer swimming pool in one of the courtyards and a traditional restaurant in another. 3 night price from £698 per person low season, £746 per person high season.
Masseria Della Volpe
Sitting alongside the bridge that connects Ortigia island with the rest of Sicily, the grand Post Office built in 1920 has been converted into a contemporary luxury hotel opened in 2018 following a lengthy restoration. Many of the 75 rooms offer views of the small marina and historic Ortigia and all are richly decorated in classic Italian style with splashes of bright colour. The rooftop restaurant serves fresh local cuisine and the bar terrace is the ideal place to while away an evening. A spa with an indoor swimming pool has recently opened (charges apply for guests). 3 night price from £898 per person low season, £1,076 per person high season.
Grand Hotel Ortigia
When the ancient town known as Neas to the Greeks, Netum to the Romans and which flourished as regional capital under the Arabs and Normans, was destroyed by the 1693 earthquake, the Spanish rulers of the time had to move the whole town some eight kilometres south.The resulting new town, with long straight avenues stretching down Mount Alveria, has one of the finest collections of Baroque churches and civic buildings in the world and is now an easily navigable World Heritage Site.
Situated in the heart of the Val di Noto, Masseria Della Volpe is a beautifully restored farmhouse offering warm hospitality and the perfect environment in which to relax and unwind. The hotel is set amongst fruit, olive and carob trees and has a strong focus on ecological sustainability. This is especially evident in the excellent ‘Codarossa’ restaurant where you can experience typical Sicilian cuisine prepared using the freshest organic produce. The 22 bedrooms are decorated with local works of art; many have balconies or terraces with spectacular views of the surrounding hills and the sea on the horizon. These same views can be enjoyed whilst relaxing by the lovely swimming pool. There is a tennis court and a small spa (free entrance for one hour per day). The ancient town of Rosolini is a 10 minute drive, Noto is 20 minutes away, Modica and Ragusa 40 minutes and the beautiful sandy beaches in the Vendicari Nature Reserve can be reached in 30 minutes. 3 night price from £598 per person low season, £849 per person high season.
MODICA Modica is a superbly atmospheric ‘town of a hundred churches’ and spreads up either side of a deep gorge with ancient buildings seemingly stacked one on top of the other. UNESCO protected, it has perfectly preserved Baroque architecture.The beautiful sandy beaches of Sampieri and Marina di Modica are a short drive away, as are the towns of Ragusa and Scicli. Fly to Catania, our price includes car hire and private transfers if preferred. Palazzo Failla
This elegant mansion is located in Upper Modica, a short walk from the sandstone church of San Giorgio and the imposing Castle of the Counts.The 10 bedrooms of this friendly and characterful property are furnished with antiques and many have restored original features such as Belle Epoque tiled floors and elaborately frescoed ceilings.The hotel owns the traditional ‘Locanda del Colonnello’ tratoria close by in a building which also houses some of the recently added bedrooms. Attached to the main building there is a small café bar – the perfect place to try the town’s famous chocolate. 3 night price from £578 per person low season, £638 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 7 January – 7 March, 1 – 30 November: 5 nights for the price of 4, saving £52.
SICILY RAGUSA A provincial capital for many centuries, Ragusa is the archetypal Sicilian hill town. Having been all but destroyed by an earthquake in 1693, the town was rebuilt in epic Baroque style, with stunning 18th century churches designed by Rosario Gagliardi, glorifying the cobbled streets of Ragusa Ibla, the oldest part of town.The towns of Piazza Armerina, Modica and Noto, restored to the tourist map by the Inspector Montalbano stories, are close, as is the 14th century Donnafugata Castle and several unspoilt sandy beaches. Fly to Catania or Comiso, our prices include car hire – private transfers can be provided if preferred.
AGRIGENTO Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples includes the remains of the most complete Greek temples outside mainland Greece.The unspoilt rocky scenery, punctuated with almond, cypress and olive trees, is the perfect backdrop to one of the most astonishing archaeological sites in Italy. The main city of Agrigento sits on the adjacent ridge, the location of the original Greek acropolis and is a fascinating tangle of mediaeval, Gothic and modern architecture. Fly to Palermo, price includes hire car. Villa Athena
In the heart of Baroque Ragusa, opposite the San Giovanni Battista Cathedral, this restored 18th century mansion reflects its surroundings perfectly.The 12 rooms and suites of the Antica Badia have kept their bold, classic style after a recent renovation which has added some modern comforts. A new spa offers guests a Turkish bath and sauna.There is a small courtyard bar and the hotel is surrounded by good dining options while Ragusa Ibla is a short drive away. 3 night price from £639 per person low season, £766 per person high season.
Locanda Don Serafino Built into the rocks in the 18th century this characterful house was converted by the La Rosa family into a boutique hotel in 2005.The rocks protrude into most of the 10 rooms and suites which have modern fittings and innovative layouts. In the hotel’s synonymous restaurant, 500 metres across town, local chef Vincenzo Candiano blends traditional local flavours and ingredients with a flair befitting his 2 Michelin stars. In Ragusa Marina, 22 kilometes away, the beach club and seafood specialist ‘Ristorante Da Serafino’ are available to hotel guests in summer. No lift. 3 night price from £639 per person low season, £698 per person high season.
what’s included Return flights Return private car transfers or car hire, depending on destination Accommodation including breakfast Kirker’s Guide Notes The services of the Kirker Concierge to book opera tickets or expert local guides Prices based on sharing a double room (supplements for single rooms on request). All quotations are tailor-made; speak to an expert in our reservations department on 020 7593 2288 for the latest prices.
Formerly a private residence, this 18th century palace is a unique property. Since undergoing extensive renovations including all rooms and public areas, the Villa Athena is the best hotel in Agrigento. The hotel is in a stunning location overlooking the Temple of Concordia and some of the 27 individually furnished, modern bedrooms, enjoy the temple view (supplements on request). The summer swimming pool is set in the garden amongst olive trees and gives guests the opportunity to relax within a stones’ throw of one of Italy’s most intriguing archaeological sites. There is a wonderful restaurant where you can experience alfresco dining that focuses on the best of traditional southern Sicilian cuisine and chef Salvatore Gambuzza runs cookery lessons for guests on request. Opposite the hotel entrance, on the site of an ancient Greek cistern, a modern spa has been added with jacuzzi, steam bath and gym. 3 night price from £768 per person low season, £1,098 per person high season.
Azienda Agricola Mandranova (a superior country house hotel) This typical Sicilian country house is located 15 miles southeast of Agrigento, three miles from the ancient town of Palma di Montechiaro and a short drive from the sea. Rustic and charming, it is a place to experience authentic Sicilian hospitality and to relax in a splendid natural setting. The Masseria has been restored to house nine traditionally furnished bedrooms in the main farm building and two separate conversions hold seven more contemporary rooms. The communal areas are in the main farmhouse, including the library and the excellent restaurant with its outdoor dining terrace. A highlight of a stay here is a cooking lesson with Silvia, the charming owner. It is a working farm surrounded by olive groves and produces some of Sicily’s best olive oil. In the autumn you can witness or even participate in the olive harvest itself. The ‘gebbia’, which for centuries was used for irrigation, has recently been converted into a small infinity swimming pool. This is the perfect base to spend time exploring the surrounding area at a relaxed pace. 3 night price from £688 per person low season, £729 per person high season.
Within easy reach of Agrigento’s historic centre, the Della Valle offers the opportunity to explore the town as well as the Valley of the Temples below. The outdoor swimming pool is set amongst the attractive Mediterranean gardens. Some of the 117 simple but comfortable rooms face the Temples. Two restaurants offer traditional Sicilian meals, one alongside the bar on the garden terraces in summer. A small spa has been added recently. 3 night price from £598 per person low season, £698 per person high season. Sicily hotels continued overleaf
SICILY WESTERN SICILY
Although it may look like the thin end of the wedge the west of Sicily is rich in history and has many of the most unspoilt natural areas of the island. Holidays will start in Palermo and can combine any of the destinations on this page.There are some excellent beaches on the south west coast but your holiday could be extended to the north coast areas, especially around San Vito Lo Capo. Please speak to one of our experts for a tailor-made itinerary.
The fishing village of Sciacca, famous for its February Carnival, is on the southwest coast of Sicily. It is well placed for discovering The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento and the Temple of Selinunte which are both just a 40 minute drive away. Palermo is just over an hour's drive and car hire is included in our prices (private transfers can be provided if preferred).
MAZARA DEL VALLO A sleepy fishing village until the arrival of the Arabs in the 9th century, the oldest part, still known as the Casbah, shows how important the town was to Sicily’s western neighbours. A fine Norman cathedral and the remains of several churches from similar eras attest to its adaptability and longevity.The town returned to the nation’s modern conscience in 1997 when the leg of a Roman statue was discovered in the sea by local fishermen who went on to collect one of the most significant finds from the Roman era.Visiting the display in the restored Sant’Egidio church is one of the highlights of any visit to the island’s west coast.
Verdura Golf Resort
Set on a private 230 hectare estate, covering over a mile of coastline and close to the town of Sciacca, the Rocco Forte Hotels’ state-of-the-art Verdura Resort opened eight years ago. Links golf enthusiasts will enjoy the three Kyle Phillipsdesigned courses which border the 2,000 metres of Mediterranean coastline – the excellent climate provides perfect conditions throughout the year. This is also a place to relax and enjoy the beautiful infinity pool, private pebble beach and world-class spa with its four thalassotherapy pools. The 203 bedrooms designed by Olga Polizzi are set in a number of single and two-storey buildings; all rooms are luxurious and spacious and have a terrace with a view towards the sea. The four restaurants make the most of the abundant natural resources of the island and whether you’re in the mood for a gastronomic candlelit dinner or a relaxed seafood lunch by the beach, the quality is exceptional. The resort’s facilities and space make it perfect for couples and families – as well as a children’s club in summer, there are tennis courts, bicycles, walking and running trails, water sports and a cooking school. 3 night price from £876 per person low season, £1,498 per person high season.
MENFI Giardino di Costanza Resort
Set in expansive parkland, the Giardino di Costanza has established itself as one of the island’s most tranquil resorts. It is located on the west coast, just one hour from Palermo and is close to the pretty fishing town of Mazara del Vallo and the remains of Selinunte. Car hire is recommended as there is so much to explore in the area – the surrounding region of Trapani is rich in cultural and historical sites and is blessed with picturesque countryside and a dramatic coastline, but many come here to simply relax, recharge and enjoy the superb facilities. There is an extensive spa with heated indoor swimming pool, sauna, plunge pool and jacuzzi and a large outdoor summer swimming pool in the courtyard. The 91 bedrooms are large and comfortable and have a balcony or a terrace. Excellent local and Mediterranean cuisine is served in the main restaurant, on the terrace in summer; the pool bar offers lighter meals during the day and there is a bar, lounge and an extensive wine and olive oil cellar. The hotel has a private beach club reached in 15 minutes by a regular shuttle service in the summer months. 3 night price from £698 per person low season, £798 per person high season.
MARSALA The Carthaginians built their most significant stronghold on the island in the 4th century, Lilybaeum. Sacked and taken by the Romans 150 years later, it became the launching point for General Scipio’s war against Hannibal. The Saracens would later change its name to Marsa Ali, Harbour of Ali, which morphed over time to its present name. Marsala is now synonymous with its local sweet wine, fortified by British trader John Woodhouse in the late 18th century to survive the journey home. The site of the main forum of Roman Lilybaeum is an interesting visit with two villas also open to explore. The adjacent wine cellars house a small but rich museum of maritime discoveries including a Punic warship. The town suffered heavy damage during World War II but there are some cobbled streets to explore and the cathedral with its Baroque façade has some original Norman features.
Situated amongst the vineyards of one of the island’s principal wine producing regions, Menfi is a great base from which to explore the archaeological sites at Agrigento and Selinunte.The attractive fishing towns of Sciacca and Mazara del Vallo are also close by, as are the excellent beaches of Porto Palo and Capparrina. Foresteria Planeta Estate
The Planeta family have over 500 years of wine producing experience. To showcase their wine along with olive oil and a wide range of produce, they have set up this fantastic gastronomic hideaway among their vines on the hills above Menfi. The 14 comfortable classic rooms, all with balcony and great views, along with the friendly, personal service make guests feel at home as soon as they arrive in this tranquil location. The creative meals in the contemporary Sicilian restaurant are served on a wide terrace taking in a panoramic view with the sea in the distance. Cookery courses are popular but the key, of course, is that wine and tasting sessions are available as well as talks given by visiting experts. The infinity pool looks out into the valley with its wonderful sunsets. The hotel has a shuttle to a house on the sandy beach at Porto Palo where their chef prepares lunch each day. 3 night price from £746 per person low season, £978 per person high season.
SELINUNTE One of Sicily’s most significant early settlements, Selinunte was destroyed by the rampaging Carthaginians after a war with rival Segesta in 409 BC. As the town was never properly rebuilt the remains are among the most complete in Sicily. The partial repairs of the eastern temples give a clear idea of their great size, while a walk through the acropolis area has surprises round each corner. There are golf buggies available to travel between the two areas or visitors can walk the hilly path. The site is easily visited from Sciacca, Menfi, Mazara del Vallo and on a full day from Palermo.
SICILY PALERMO The Sicilian capital is a lively city with mediaeval streets bustling with food markets, elegant architecture, Baroque churches and the beautiful Norman palace, including the unmissable Palatine Chapel.The Normans also left their mark in the wonderful mosaics of the cathedral at Monreale, located just seven kilometres from the city centre. Palermo makes a memorable starting point for a visit to the island. The Kirker Concierge will assist with opera tickets for performances at the magnificent Teatro Massimo.
Grand Hotel Wagner
The Grand Hotel Wagner is the result of recent renovation of a neo-classical Palermitan palace which was built in the early 20th century.The hotel has been furnished stylishly down to the last detail to recreate one of the city’s heydays. It is situated in the heart of the city, not far from the historical Massimo and Politeama Theatres and the pedestrian area of Via Principe di Belmonte where the best boutiques, bars and restaurants can be found.The interior of the hotel is decorated ornately with rich carpets, rare marble, old paintings and a rare antique fireplace. The downstairs wellness centre offers treatments and contains a sauna. 3 night price from £698 per person low season, £948 per person high season.
This classic early 20th century hotel in Palermo’s theatre district, well located for exploring the old and new attractions of the city, has recently been renovated in a style more fitting with the early 21st century.The 65 comfortable rooms all feature neutral colours and local art.The ‘Aromi’ restaurant serves classic Italian cuisine with a contemporary twist in keeping with the surrounding design. A wellness centre is due to be added in 2017. 3 night price from £598 per person low season, £679 per person high season.
Grand Hotel et des Palmes
Grand Hotel Villa Igiea
With wonderful views across the marina to the Bay of Palermo, this famous property is just 10 minutes’ ride from the heart of the city using the hotel’s summer shuttle service, and offers guests a tranquil haven in an idyllic setting. Built at the end of the 19th century, this is a masterpiece of Liberty style and still has much of the original furniture. The 113 rooms are well furnished and many face the marina. The gourmet ‘Cuvee du Jour’ restaurant produces creative Sicilian dishes and shares a large outside terrace with the more traditional ‘Donna Franca Floria’.You can relax in a quiet corner of the jasmine scented gardens, or enjoy a drink from the bar by the summer swimming pool. The hotel was purchased by Sir Rocco Forte last year and is closed for a first phase of refurbishment, reopening on 1 June 2020. It will close again in the Autumn, reopening in June 2021. 3 night price from £798 per person low season, £996 per person high season.
Designed in Art Nouveau style by master architect, Ernesto Basile, the Grand Hotel et des Palmes reflects the history of the streets around Teatro Massimo. The 98 rooms have been recently refurbished, mostly in a more contemporary style.The newly restored restaurant serves traditional Sicilian favourites in a formal ballroom setting.The bar and numerous sculptures in the lobby area are consistent with the hotel’s classic style. 3 night price from £578 per person low season, £698 per person high season.
MONREALE William II’s magnificent Norman cathedral stands on Mount Caputo, overlooking Palermo and Conca d’Oro Bay. Its elegant but unexceptional exterior does nothing to prepare the visitor for the splendours within, where dazzling mosaics depict scenes from the Old and New Testaments. Almost identical to Palermo’s Palatine Chapel in their Byzantine style but on a much grander scale, they are beautifully preserved and cover an area of over 6,000 square metres.Visitors should also take time to enjoy the spectacular cloister of the adjoining Benedictine abbey.
Sicily expert Ben Williams reflects on his recent visit to Palermo and the west coast: “ Using a central Palermo hotel as a base, it is easy to take in most of the main sites on foot.The highlight of any visit is the Norman Palace with the unsurpassed mosaics of the Palatine Chapel depicting biblical stories dotted with Norman leaders shown as saints.The only mosaics in Sicily or anywhere for that matter, in such good condition over such a large scale are those in nearby Monreale, an essential day trip from Palermo. In a busy city boasting Norman and Arabesque architecture, the largest opera house in Italy and the Baroque elegance of the Quattro Canti, the life of Palermo is found in its street markets, cafés and bars. A stay in Palermo offers the chance to visit the traditional central districts of Vucciria and Ballaro, each with an all-day market with fresh tuna and scallops from the bay and aubergines, lemons and capers from the surrounding fields; and a hub of activity at night when the excellent local wine comes into its own. As locals still frequent these markets this is a great opportunity to see the real Palermo. Sicily’s western end is all about beautiful coastal vistas and archaeological sites in the hilly interior.The San Vito Lo Capo peninsula sums this up perfectly, home to some of the country’s finest beaches, protected by the Zingaro nature reserve. Italians flock here in the summer for the beaches and the array of restaurants in the resort towns of San Vito
and Castellammare.The towns are also a great base to explore the ancient towns of Segesta and Erice; the latter was rebuilt several times and has fine cobbled streets and buildings from every century. Heading south, the fishing towns of Mazara del Vallo and Sciacca make for fascinating stops. Our hotels on page 60 are ideal bases to explore these sites and enjoy fine food and wine in comfortable surroundings.The remains of the temples and acropolis of Selinunte make for another essential visit of any western exploration. Situated an hour’s drive or so further along the southern coast of Sicily, Agrigento is an extraordinary provincial town, nestled into the hillside but with striking views towards the Mediterranean. Agrigento is of course renowned for the ancient city of Acragas, and the adjacent Valley of the temples.There really is nothing quite like walking down the main path lined with monumental Doric temples dating from the 5th and 6th century BC. A private expert guide will really bring the history to life.” See page 55 for details of our West Coast Wonders suggested itinerary, starting from £1,798 per person.
Sicily hotels continued overleaf
SICILY NORTH COAST The golden sandy beaches of Sicily’s north coast are the ideal tonic to the hustle and bustle of Palermo. Historic sites are dotted along the coast, testament to Sicily’s ageold position as a key trading island.Those exploring the Norman history of Palermo and Monreale will take particular pleasure in the cathedral of Cefalù and the many castles, including that at Castellammare del Golfo.
Monte Cofano forms the ridgeback of this picturesque peninsula. On the east coast, the Zingaro nature reserve is a haven for walkers among the many untouched coves. Castellammare del Golfo, at the southern end, was settled as a port by Segesta’s original inhabitants.The Norman castle is evidence of Castellammare’s lasting maritime importance. At the northern tip, San Vito Lo Capo has clear waters and a white sandy beach.
Sitting at the base of an impressive rocky outcrop in the Madonie Natural Park, Cefalù is thought to have originated in Ancient Greek times and has been inhabited by many different civilisations over the centuries.The imposing Norman cathedral, the main symbol of the city, dates back to the 12th century and has some stunning original mosaics similar to those at Monreale.The picturesque old town and the surrounding beaches are increasingly popular due to the easy access from both Palermo and Catania airports. Prices include flights to Palermo and private transfers.
Hotel Capo San Vito, San Vito Lo Capo
Relais Santa Anastasia
On one of Italy’s most beautiful beaches, the Capo San Vito brings Oriental bare foot luxury to Sicily’s north coast. The 34 large, elegant rooms are designed in modern style and many face the sea. The spa, accessed through the private Mediterranean garden, is the ideal place to relax with sauna and Turkish bath. The ‘Jacaranda’ restaurant combines Asian spices with traditional Sicilian recipes while the ‘Cous Cous Café’ serves light lunches on the beach. 3 night price from £668 per person low season, £898 per person high season.
This restored 12th century Benedictine abbey is set high in the Madonie hills surrounded by 450 hectares of rolling vineyards and olive groves, which provide an ideal backdrop to enjoy pleasant afternoon strolls. The 28 rooms and suites are very comfortably furnished with wooden floors and stylish decoration, whilst still retaining an air of the history surrounding the building. All of the food is grown on site and the restaurant, ‘La Corte dell’Abate’, is well known throughout Sicily. There is a large outdoor swimming pool with snack bar and a fitness and therapy centre. There is also a fishing lake below for the sole use of the guests and the hotel is happy to organise mountain biking or horse riding locally. The interesting 14th century town of Castelbuono is five kilometres away and well worth exploring; alternatively, you are only a 20 minute drive from Cefalù and from the beach which is visible in the far distance from some parts of the hotel grounds. A wide range of wine is produced on the estate and complimentary tours of the winery can be arranged. 3 night price from £598 per person low season, £749 per person high season.
SAN VITO LO CAPO PENINSULA
Cala Marina, Castellammare del Golfo
At the quiet end of the harbour of the same name, the Cala Marina is an ideal base for exploring the region at a slow pace. The 14 rooms are furnished in simple Italian style, many have balconies and those on the front of the hotel enjoy sweeping views of the marina to the Norman castle. The hotel’s waterfront terrace is open for guests in the evening. The hotel staff are happy to arrange excursions by boat to explore the Zingaro nature reserve. No lift. 3 night price from £548 per person low season, £678 per person high season.
ERICE & TRAPANI From its strategic hilltop location, the town of Erice has always enjoyed natural protection and thrived over three millennia.The cobbled streets which now weave through Erice are mostly from the 14th to 17th centuries. The architectural highlights are the Gothic exterior and wonderful sculpture inside the Matrice and the arabesque Basilica of San Giovanni Battista.The small section of historic city walls are worth visiting to enjoy the views north to Monte Cofano.To the west, the panorama takes in the coastline around Trapani, originally set up as Erice’s port and now a resurgent town in its own right; the two are joined by the public cable car service.
An historic townhouse on Corso Ruggero, 100 metres from the cathedral and only five minutes’ walk from the long stretch of beach, La Plumeria is a welcoming base for anyone wishing to explore Cefalù’s old town. The 10 comfortable rooms have been lovingly restored with traditional furnishings; most have a small balcony, while the top floor suite has a larger terrace overlooking the surrounding tiled roofs. The hotel’s courtyard is host to the charming ‘Il Cortile Pepe’ seasonal restaurant offering an intimate setting and typical local dishes. 3 night price from £588 per person low season, £798 per person high season.
what’s included SEGESTA One of Sicily’s earliest major settlements, Segesta was Hellenised after the Trojan wars.The unfinished Doric temple, still standing proudly among the otherwise untouched agricultural hills is the most complete example of that era. A shuttle bus takes visitors to the hillside Greek theatre, still in use in summer, with outstanding views over the valley to the sea at Castellammare del Golfo. Around the theatre are the remains of several mediaeval houses, a castle, a mosque and a church, as well as the ancient forum.
Return flights Car hire (private transfers available at additional cost) Accommodation including breakfast Kirker Guide Notes The services of the Kirker Concierge to book expert local guides (holidays to the Aeolian Islands include private transfers from Taormina to Milazzo and ferry tickets) Prices based on sharing a double room (supplements for single rooms on request). All quotations are tailor-made; speak to an expert in our reservations department on 020 7593 2288 for the latest prices.
SICILY THE AEOLIAN ISLANDS Dotted across the Tyrrhenian Sea, off the northern coast of Sicily, these seven tiny islands provide some wonderful wildlife and scenery due to their volcanic origins and unspoilt countryside.The islands can easily be reached by boat from northern Sicily, or from Naples. Prices include transportation to and from Catania airport.
SALINA Salina is by far the lushest of the Aeolian Islands with more than 400 different types of plants growing here.The island is most famous for the production of Malvasia, a delicious white wine that was traditionally only produced on Salina. Capofaro Resort
Located outside the main town of Santa Marina, perched on the cliffs of Salina, this is a fantastic boutique retreat. Owned by the prestigious Conte Tasca D’Almeria wine family, it is situated in the middle of seven hectares of working Malvasia vineyard and overlooks the lighthouse (or Faro) from which it takes its name. The style of the hotel is very relaxed and simple allowing the stunning views and amazing location to take centre stage. The Capofaro has an attractive bar and alfresco restaurant which is located right next to the infinity swimming pool. There are just 20 rooms, all with terraces. 3 night price from £998 per person low season, £1,346 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 1 May – 30 June, 1 September – 15 October: 4 nights for the price of 3, saving up to £194.
LIPARI The largest island of the archipelago, Lipari has spectacular views across to Vulcano to the south and Salina and Panarea from the north coast.The main town of Lipari has fortified walls and a largely reconstructed Norman cathedral. Mea On the hill above the main town and port of Lipari, the friendly and elegant Mea Hotel combines the Sicilian trademark mix of Roman and Moorish style in spacious surroundings. All of the 37 rooms have plenty of natural light from the generous private terraces facing the Tyrrhenian Sea or the gardens. The Mea’s large outdoor swimming pool, small plunge pool and surrounding terrace are ideal for relaxing and enjoying the views. The ‘Chimera’ restaurant specialises in the freshest seafood and offers a modern twist on traditional island recipes. The centre of Lipari town is a short walk down the hill or a free shuttle service is available which will also take guests to local black sand beaches. 3 night price from £789 per person low season, £948 per person high season. Ferries to the Aeolian Islands Milazzo – Salina Milazzo – Lipari Milazzo – Vulcano Palermo – Lipari Messina – Lipari Lipari – Naples Lipari – Vulcano Lipari – Salina
1 hr 45 mins 1 hr 45 mins 4 hrs 1 hr 6 hrs 30 mins 10 mins 25 mins
View of Salina from Vulcano
VULCANO The southernmost of the Aeolian Islands,Vulcano is renowned for its beautiful landscape. It has the largest volcanic plateau of the archipelago and is famed for its natural thermal waters and sulphur mud treatments. Therasia Resort Originally built in the 1960s, this hotel has been completely renovated by its new owners. The only 5 star hotel on the island, it has 94 rooms, all tastefully decorated and some with sea views and terraces with outdoor jacuzzis. There are two restaurants (one with a Michelin star) both serving regional Aeolian and Sicilian cuisine. The pièce de résistance, must be the wonderful infinity pool with spectacular views over Lipari’s famous Faraglioni Rocks. The hotel also has a wellness centre. 3 night price from £958 per person low season, £1,148 per person high season. SPECIAL OFFER 19 April – 5 July, 7 September – 19 October: 7 nights for the price of 6, saving up to £130.
KIRKER TAILOR–MADE: VOLCANOES & ISLANDS As with many Mediterranean islands, much of Sicily’s topography is formed by volcanoes. Mount Etna towers over the north east coast and shelters the seaside resorts around Taormina, providing refuge from the summer heat on its fertile slopes. A stay on Etna is a good base before exploring the Aeolian Islands with their many active volcanic cones. Lipari is the only permanently inhabited island in the archipelago and has traditionally been known for its pumice quarries which now play second fiddle to boutique wineries. Lipari’s southern neighbour,Vulcano offers the chance to bathe in volcanic sulphur baths or in the sea from the black sand beaches. Tours of both islands are highly recommended as is a boat trip to witness the perpetual eruptions of Stromboli. Returning by ferry to the main island, end the holiday with a wider view of Etna from Sicily’s oldest resort town, Taormina, where the Villa Belvedere provides all guests with a room facing the Ionian Sea. Price from £2,175 per person low season, £2,898 per person high season to include return flights to Catania, private transfers, ferry tickets, two nights at the Villa Neri, Mount Etna, two nights at the Mea, Lipari, three nights at the Therasia Resort,Vulcano and three nights at the Villa Belvedere,Taormina.
F L I G H T
I N F O R M A T I O N
Direct flights from the UK to Palermo (for Palermo, Sciacca, Agrigento, Trapani): Heathrow: British Airways (April to October); Gatwick, Liverpool, Luton: Easyjet Dublin, Manchester Stansted: Ryanair Direct flights from the UK to Comiso (for Ragusa, Modica, Agrigento, Syracuse and Taormina): Stansted: Ryanair Direct flights from the UK to Catania (for Taormina, Falconara, Syracuse, Aeolian Islands): Gatwick: British Airways, Norwegian Bristol, Gatwick, Luton, Manchester: Easyjet Gatwick, Manchester: TUI (summer only); Dublin: Aer Lingus
SARDINIA The second largest island in the Mediterranean, Sardinia has long been distinguished as having some of the clearest turquoise waters for swimming and snorkelling.The north is home to a coastline of pink granite and sandy coves and the south is where you will find long, gently shelving beaches. However, there is much more to this vast island than just the magnificent coastline. Inland, there are rugged mountain ranges and plenty to explore including Roman and Carthaginian ruins, Genoan fortresses and Pisan churches and some beautiful hilltop towns such as Nuoro, Lanusei or Baunei in the east.Wherever you choose to stay, all our featured properties have been carefully constructed to blend into the natural scenery and offer excellent service and an informal atmosphere where total relaxation is the number one priority.
NORTHERN SARDINIA The Costa Smeralda has some of Europe’s most luxurious resort hotels that have been attracting the rich and famous for decades. For a more authentic experience, we recommend a visit to the walled city of Alghero with its atmospheric old town, sandy beaches and Catalan and Gothic architecture. Fly to Alghero or Olbia; private transfers can be arranged if you prefer not to hire a car. Relais Villa del Golfo, Cannigione
Overlooking the picturesque Gulf of Arzachena, the Villa del Golfo is close to the village of Cannigione which can be reached on foot in about 20 minutes. Built in traditional Sardinian style, it has 59 bedrooms, each with a sea view and balcony or terrace (several have private pools – details on request). The restaurant ‘Miraluna’ has excellent views over the bay from its panoramic terrace. The hotel’s second restaurant, ‘La Colti farmhouse’ is a short drive away and serves organic specialities of the Gallura region. The hotel has a reading room with small library, a billiards room, a seawater swimming pool, a small spa with indoor pool, and a private beach deck just 150 metres away (15 euro charge for two sunbeds, one parasol and two beach towels). A complimentary shuttle service operates to two local beaches and a private yacht gives guests the opportunity to explore the fine beaches of the Maddalena islands for 150 euros per person including drinks and lunch. 3 night price from £798 per person low season, £998 per person high season.
Villa Las Tronas, Alghero
Set within pristine landscaped gardens that lead down to a sandy beach, this modern boutique hotel is filled with light and, with its Chinese cabinets, Japanese masks and Buddha heads, has an oriental feel. There are just 31 bedrooms decorated in a stylish, minimalist design and all have balconies and beautiful views out across Golfo di Arzachena. Service is excellent and facilities include a superb restaurant, a spa with a hydro-massage pool and a magnificent swimming pool in the gardens. There are plenty of quiet spots to relax and sunbeds and parasols are offered free of charge on the beach. The hotel owns several two and three bedroom villas which have been recently renovated and are tucked away in the hills above – prices available on request. Although a hire car is recommended, a complimentary shuttle service operates three times a day to the town of Baja Sardinia with its numerous shops and restaurants; glamorous Porto Cervo can be reached in 15 minutes and the journey to Olbia airport takes a little over half an hour. Prices include dinner each evening. 3 night price from £1,186 per person low season, £1,798 per person high season.
Located on a private promontory surrounded by spectacular gardens, a pleasant 20-30 minute stroll from the old town, this former royal residence is a tranquil haven offering panoramic sea views. The 25 bedrooms and suites are decorated in a traditional style with antique furnishings. The outdoor seawater swimming pool is set within the spacious gardens and there are also sea bathing platforms. There is an excellent spa with an indoor heated seawater swimming pool, sauna and steam room. The hotel’s restaurant is vegetarian; however there are many excellent fish restaurants in town. 3 night price from £849 per person low season, £976 per person high season.
This hotel’s wonderful seaside location rivals that of any of the luxurious 5 star resorts on the Costa Smeralda, yet it offers more charm and much better value for money. It is located in a secluded position, just eight miles south of Olbia airport and sits in flower-filled gardens that slope down to a private sandy beach. Designed in typical Sardinian style, the 70 bedrooms are housed in a series of cottages scattered amongst pine trees; each room is decorated in a rustic style and has recently been renovated. The restaurant has views out toward the nearby islands of Molara and Tavolara. There is a lovely seawater swimming pool, a tennis court plus water sports are available from the beach. 3 night price from £698 per person low season, £849 per person high season.
SARDINIA Gabbiano Azzurro, Golfo Aranci
Owned and run by the wonderful Da Tome family, Gabbiano Azzurro offers exceptional service and a great location, particularly for those who prefer not to hire a car. It is 20 minutes’ drive from Olbia airport and is located by Golfo Aranci, a town standing at the end of a promontory surrounded by crystal-clear waters and with 15 of the island’s best sandy beaches – one of which is right next to the hotel (charges apply for sunbeds in July and August). The hotel is made up of two buildings; one built in the 1960’s which has 80 bedrooms – all with balconies. The second section was completed in 2018 and offers seven suites which are among the most luxurious on the island. Five have private swimming pools on their roofs with magnificent panoramic views – prices available on request. There are two restaurants; the ‘Grill’ by the beach serving freshly caught fish for lunch and ‘Blu’ for a gastronomic dinner. In addition, the cocktail bar by the swimming pool serves light snacks throughout the day. 3 night price from £698 per person low season, £998 per person high season.
The picturesque headland of Capo Ceraso is just 20 minutes’ drive south of Olbia airport and has numerous coves and beaches, the best of which is Li Cuncheddi . Set in six hectares of grounds and just 30 metres from this beautiful, gently-shelved beach (there is no charge to use the hotel’s sunbeds and parasols), Cala Cuncheddi is constructed over three floors and, like much of Sardinia’s architecture, is designed to blend in to the natural topography. There are 80 bedrooms decorated in an elegant modern style and facilities include two restaurants, a spa with sauna, jacuzzi and small indoor pool, plus a large fresh-water swimming pool with wonderful sea view. Prices include dinner each evening. 3 night price from £876 per person low season, £1,198 per person high season.
SOUTHERN SARDINIA Away from the capital, Cagliari, the south of the island is quiet, unspoilt and beautiful.You’ll find long sandy beaches, dramatic mountain ranges and prehistoric sites. Fly to Cagliari; private transfers can be arranged if you prefer not to hire a car. Cala Caterina, Villasimius
Located on the south eastern corner of the island on a promontory that extends out towards Capo Carbonara, Cala Caterina is beautifully designed in the style of a Mediterranean villa with long shady colonnades and blends perfectly with the natural surroundings. There are 48 bedrooms with balconies or terraces; all have views of the gardens and several have glimpses of the sea through the trees. The chef creates a delicious four-course tasting menu each evening and cocktails are served on the wide terrace by the swimming pool. A short walk through manicured lawns takes you to the sandy beach. The popular resort of Villasimius with its marina is a short drive away and Cagliari airport can be reached in an hour and a quarter. No lift. 3 night price from £798 per person low season, £998 per person high season.
Stella Maris, Villasimius
Situated on a beautiful, gently shelved beach overlooking the bay of Campulongu and surrounded by pine and juniper trees, Stella Maris is a relaxed, family-run hotel offering great food and warm hospitality. Quirky, modern art adorns the public areas and the 58 bedrooms which are decorated with brightly coloured fabrics and overlook the gardens or the sea. The restaurant is renowned as one of the best in the area and serves typical southern Sardinian cuisine. Facilities include a split-level pool and complimentary sunbeds and parasols on the beach. The location is private and peaceful yet the town of Villasimius is only three kilometres away. Prices include dinner each evening. 3 night price from £898 per person low season, £1,168 per person high season.
OGLIASTRA – EASTERN SARDINIA The province of Ogliastra on the eastern side of the island stretches from the peaks of the Gennargentu mountain range down to the Tyrrhenian Sea and is often overlooked by tourists.This makes it perhaps the most natural and charming part of the island and is characterised by craggy rock formations, Bronze-Age tombs, national parks, steep cliffs and pristine coves where you will find crystal-clear water and underwater reefs offering exceptional snorkelling. La Bitta, Arbatax Located just to the south of the Golfo dei Orosei National Park, the town of Arbatax is the gateway to Ogliastra. From here you can take a boat up the coast to discover the ‘Grotta del Bue Marino’ or head inland on the unique ‘Trenino Verde.’ Located on the edge of town, the charming, family-owned La Bitta was established in 1968 and has always had personal service at its core. It overlooks Porto Frailis Bay and is 40 metres from its own private sandy beach where sunbeds and parasols are offered free of charge. The 63 bedrooms are all decorated in a traditional Mediterranean style; there is a swimming pool, a panoramic terrace, two restaurants (one buffet and one à la carte) and a wellness centre. 3 night price from £668 per person low season, £936 per person high season.
THE SARDINIAN QUARTET We can highly recommend a holiday which combines the distinctive coastlines of the north, east and south in one tailor-made itinerary.The itinerary below features four of our favourite hotels; however, if you would like to discuss alternative properties, combinations or durations, one of our experts would be delighted to tailor-make the perfect holiday for you. Begin in the historic walled city of Alghero with its outstanding architecture and atmospheric old town before heading east to the golden sandy beaches of Golfo Aranci. Here you can explore glamorous resorts such as Porto Cervo and the beautiful Maddalena Archipelago. Drive south to Arbatax, the gateway to the Ogliastra region with its national parks and stunning coastal scenery.Your final stay will be by the beautiful coastal resort of Villasimius, the ‘pearl’ of the south. Price from £2,598 per person (£3,980 in July and August) to include flight to Alghero and back from Cagliari, Avis car hire for the duration, 3 nights in Alghero at Villa Las Tronas, 4 nights in Golfo Aranci at the Gabbiano Azzurro, 3 nights in Arbatax at La Bitta, and 4 nights in Villasimius at the Cala Caterina.
what’s included Return flights Car hire or return private car transfers if preferred Accommodation including breakfast The services of the Kirker Concierge Prices are based on sharing a double room; speak to one of our experts on 020 7593 2288 for advice and the latest prices.
F L I G H T
I N F O R M A T I O N
Direct flights from the UK to Olbia: Heathrow: British Airways; Bristol, Gatwick, Luton, Manchester: Easyjet; Manchester: TUI Direct flights to Cagliari: Gatwick: British Airways; Heathrow: British Airways Charter (weekly service) Stansted: Easyjet; Manchester, Stansted: Ryanair Direct flights to Alghero: Stansted: Ryanair; Luton: Easyjet, Birmingham, Manchester: TUI (summer only)
KIRKER – HOLIDAYS FOR DISCERNING TRAVELLERS DEPOSITS & FULL PAYMENT
A responsible holiday company
If you are booking more than nine weeks prior to departure, a deposit will be required to secure your reservation. The amount of the deposit (a minimum of £200 per person) will be confirmed at the time of booking. Full payment is required no later than nine weeks before departure. We prefer payment by BACS transfer (call 020 7593 2285 or see your confirmation invoice for Kirker bank details) or by cheque made payable to Kirker Travel Ltd. Payment by debit or credit card can be made by calling us on 020 7593 2288.
As a member of ABTA and AITO we conform fully to Government legislation regarding the protection of clients’ money. Air holidays are protected under our ATOL licence, all other holidays are bonded by ABTA. In addition, in the event that your holiday is adversely affected by something beyond our control, we shall always endeavour to advise you in advance and take the appropriate action to minimise any disruption to your holiday. Booking your own flights and hotel online may appear to be cheaper, but remember that you may be leaving a lot to chance – what you might have planned as a holiday can quickly become an endurance test! We take full responsibility for every element of your holiday and provide you with a telephone number to contact us 24 hours a day in the event of a problem.
CANCELLATION CHARGES Cancellations made more than 56 days prior to departure: deposits forfeited. 56-43 days: 30% of the holiday cost or deposit (whichever is the greater). 42-22 days: 50% of the holiday cost. 21-8 days: 80% of the holiday cost. Within 7 days of the departure, on the departure date or after the holiday has commenced: all holiday costs forfeited. Any client who curtails their holiday will not receive a refund for unused accommodation, transportation or other services.
general information See your Independent Travel Agent – there is no better way to obtain unbiased advice. Hotel renovations All good hotels maintain their properties and bad hotels don’t! Occasionally, some necessary work may be taking place during your stay; whenever possible, we shall advise you prior to your departure. We are here to help If you experience any problems whilst you are abroad that you are unable to resolve with your hotel, you must telephone our London office or use the 24 hour emergency number supplied with your travel documents. Hotel check-in times Official check-in times do vary, however, they are usually from 14.00 or 15.00 hours. Check-out times are usually between 11.00 hours and noon. Hotel star ratings These are based on our opinion of each property and may differ from official categories. Hotel restaurants Not all hotel restaurants are open every day and some close during quieter periods – please ask us for specific details at time of booking. Hotel photographs Available on our website at www.kirkerholidays.com Late bookings We welcome late bookings – even on the day of departure Holiday prices All quotes are tailor-made for your specific requirements and may vary depending upon availability, exchange rate and demands. Prices quoted in this brochure are per person (based on two sharing a double room) and include flight, transfers, accommodation, breakfast, tax and service. Please note that local councils throughout Italy have now imposed a new tourist tax (‘Tassa di Soggiorno’) which guests are obliged to pay directly to the hotel upon check-out.The charge ranges from 2€ to 8€ per person per day, depending on destination and hotel star rating and will be added to your hotel extras bill.
the aito quality charter AITO is the Association for independent and specialist holiday companies. Our member companies, usually owner-managed, strive to create overseas holidays with high levels of professionalism and a shared concern for quality and personal service.The Association encourages the highest standards in all aspects of tour operating. EXCLUSIVE MEMBERSHIP: AITO sets criteria regarding ownership, finance and quality which must be satisfied before new companies are admitted to membership. All members are required to adhere to a Code of Business Practice which encourages high operational standards and conduct. FINANCIAL SECURITY: AITO members are required to protect money paid by customers to the member for any holiday sold under the AITO logo and to comply with UK Government Regulations in this respect. Members submit details of their bonding and guarantee arrangements to the Association on a regular basis. ACCURATE BROCHURES and WEBSITES: All members do their utmost to ensure that all their brochures and other publications, print or electronic, clearly and accurately describe the holidays and services offered. PROFESSIONAL SERVICE AND CONTINUAL IMPROVEMENTS: All members are committed to high standards of service and believe in regular and thorough training of employees. Members continually seek to review and improve their holidays.They listen to their customers and always welcome suggestions for improving standards. MONITORING STANDARDS: AITO endeavours to monitor quality standards regularly. All customers should receive a post-holiday questionnaire the results of which are scrutinised by the Association. RESPONSIBLE TOURISM: All members acknowledge the importance of AITO’s Responsible Tourism guidelines, which recognise the social, economic and environmental responsibilities of tour operating.Those demonstrating their achievements beyond the pure acceptance of this principle are recognised by the award of 2 to 5 star status. CUSTOMER RELATIONS: All members endeavour to deal swiftly and fairly with any issues their customers may raise. In the unlikely event that a dispute between an AITO member and a customer cannot be settled amicably, AITO’s low-cost Independent Dispute Settlement Service may be called upon by either side to bring the matter to a speedy and acceptable conclusion. Kirker Holidays is a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators. To contact the Association visit www.aito.co.uk or call 020 8744 9280.
I TA L Y 2 0 1 9 / 2 0 Kirker Holidays, 4 Waterloo Court, 10 Theed Street, London SE1 8ST Office hours: 09.00–18.00 (Mon-Fri), 09.00–16.00 (Sat) Reservations: 020 7593 2288 Fax: 020 7593 1461 Brochure requests: 020 7593 2282 Accounts/administration: 020 7593 2280 email@example.com www.kirkerholidays.com CONTACT DETAILS/TRAVEL AGENT’S STAMP Name:
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• Deposit: If you are booking more than 9 weeks prior to departure, a deposit of a minimum of £200 is required. The actual amount will be advised at the time of booking. • Full balance: must be paid 8 weeks prior to departure. • Payments: We prefer to be paid by BACS transfer (call 020 7593 2285 or see your confirmation invoice for Kirker Bank Details) or by cheque made payable to Kirker Travel Ltd. Payment by debit or credit card can be made by telephone on 020 7593 2288.
EXCURSIONS & SPECIAL REQUESTS
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On behalf of all persons on this booking form I have read and agreed the conditions of booking contained in this brochure. SIGNATURE
✂ ESSENTIAL INFORMATION AND CONDITIONS OF BOOKING All bookings are subject to our full booking conditions which appear on our website www.kirkerholidays.com. A copy of these can also be e-mailed or posted to you on request. By asking us to make your booking, you confirm you have had access to and agree to the full booking conditions which you should read. The booking conditions provide for the payment of cancellation charges if you cancel or fail to make payment when due. They also include limitations and exclusions of our liability to you. For international travel by air, sea or rail, our liabilities are limited and excluded as if we were a carrier within the applicable international convention or EU regulation (for example, the Montreal Convention, the EC Regulation on Air Carrier Liability and the Athens Convention). A surcharge may be payable in limited circumstances where certain costs increase after booking. Your contract will be with Kirker Travel Limited t/a Kirker Holidays. This contract comes into existence when we dispatch our confirmation invoice to the person who makes the booking or your travel agent. We hold an Air Travel Organiser's Licence issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (ATOL number 2450). When you buy an ATOL protected air inclusive holiday or flight* from us, you will receive a confirmation invoice from us (or via our authorised agent) confirming your arrangements and your protection under our ATOL. In the unlikely event of our insolvency the CAA will ensure that you are not left stranded abroad and will arrange to refund any money you have paid to us for an advance booking. *The air inclusive holidays and flights we arrange are ATOL protected providing either the person who pays for the booking is present in the UK when the booking is made or the first leg of any flight or flights we arrange for you commences in the UK. Kirker Travel Limited Registered Office: 4 Waterloo Court, 10 Theed Street, London SE1 8ST. Registration in England: 1985696 VAT Reg No. 805 1461 59
For further information, visit the ATOL website at www.atol.org.uk. We are also bonded with ABTA Limited (membership number V6595).This means that if your holiday does not include flights arranged by us, all monies you have paid to us for an advance booking will be refunded or if your holiday includes return travel and is already underway, you will be returned to the UK in the unlikely event of our being unable to provide your holiday due to our insolvency. ABTA members help holidaymakers to get the most from their travel and assist them when things do not go according to plan. We are obliged to maintain a high standard of service to you by ABTA’s Code of Conduct. For further information about ABTA, the Code of Conduct and the arbitration scheme available to you if you have a complaint (details in our full booking conditions), contact ABTA at 30 Park Street, London, SE1 9EQ or see www.abta.com We are also a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO). British citizens require a British passport in order to travel to the destinations we feature. This usually takes approximately 6 weeks to obtain unless you are over 16 and haven’t held a passport previously in which case you need to allow at least 6 weeks. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office publishes regularly updated travel information on its website www.fco.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo which you are recommended to consult before booking and in good time before departure. In the event of any flight delay or cancellation at your UK or overseas point of departure, the airline is responsible for providing such assistance as is legally required by the Denied Boarding Regulations.The ferry, tunnel or rail operator is similarly responsible in relation to any delayed or cancelled sea crossing or
international rail departure. Except where otherwise stated in our brochure or on our website, we regret we cannot provide any assistance in such circumstances other than information and advice to the extent we are in a position to do so. Data Protection For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998, Kirker Travel Limited is a data controller. Please be assured that we have measures in place to protect personal data held by us. This information will be passed to the relevant suppliers of your holiday arrangements.The information may also be provided to public authorities such as customs or immigration if required by them and to other third parties who need it to enable us to provide your holiday (such as credit card companies and banks), or as required by law. Certain information may also be passed on to security or credit checking companies. Other than in relation to government/public authorities (over whom we have no control), we will take appropriate steps which are intended to ensure that anyone to whom we pass your personal data for any reason agrees to keep it secure and only uses it for the purposes of providing their services. If we cannot pass personal data to the relevant suppliers or any other third party as applicable, whether in the EEA or not, we will be unable to fulfil your booking. In making your booking, you consent to personal data being passed on to the relevant suppliers and other third parties. When travelling outside the European Economic Area, controls on data protection may not be as strong as the legal requirements in this country. We would also like to store and use your personal data for future marketing purposes (for example, sending you a brochure or other marketing material) unless you have told us that you do not wish us to do so. Please note that from time to time Kirker may record telephone calls for staff training purposes only. Full details of our data protection policy are available on our website and on request. Publication date October 2019 ©2019 Kirker Travel Limited
OUR RANGE OF HOLIDAYS FOR DISCERNING TRAVELLERS Short Breaks
Holidays to 60 classic cities and relaxing rural locations throughout Europe and beyond. Our Short Breaks brochure features a range of over 500 selected hotels and we can create any tailor-made itinerary to two or more destinations. Each Kirker holiday is created to suit your personal requirements with travel by air, rail, Orient-Express, Eurostar or overnight sleeper combined with private guided tours, opera tickets, museum passes or a table at a Kirker recommended restaurant.
Spain offers a great climate and a wonderful range of music, art and architecture; all perfect ingredients for a wonderful short break. The Phoenicians, Romans and Moors all left behind an extraordinary legacy for you to explore. Experience this wonderful country by asking one of our experts to suggest a tailormade holiday, designed to reflect the diversity of this truly fascinating destination.
Our Southern Africa brochure features a range of short break options and longer tailor-made itineraries. As well as including the pick of hotels and guesthouses in outstanding locations such as the Cape Peninsula and the Garden Route, our programme includes game reserves, Zulu and Boer War battlefields,Victoria Falls, Botswana, Zambia and Mauritius.
Our comprehensive brochure covers India from Shimla in the North to Cochin in the South and has a broad choice of hotels from converted palaces to characterful homestays. The dedicated Sri Lanka section highlights the many attractions of this fascinating island which can be combined in a tailor-made tour. Call our experienced sales team for further guidance.
france Our France brochure features classic city breaks to Paris, Nice, Bordeaux, Monaco, Strasbourg, Cannes and Lyon and tailor-made holidays to Normandy, Brittany, the Loire Valley, Champagne, Burgundy, Provence, Languedoc-Rousillon and the idylic island of Corsica. We feature simple family-run hotels up to the grandest palaces and châteaux.
CULTURAL TOURS & MUSIC HOLIDAYS Our Cultural Tours programme is designed to appeal to a broad range of clients who enjoy travelling with like-minded companions and will be of particular interest to anyone who is curious about art, architecture, gardens, archaeology or history. Destinations include Italy, France, Russia, Greece and Albania. Our Music Holidays feature escorted visits to Europe’s leading festivals including Grafenegg, as well as a selection of our own festivals on land and sea.
Kirker Holidays, 4 Waterloo Court, 10 Theed Street, London SE1 8ST Office hours: 09.00–18.00 (Mon-Fri), 09.00–16.00 (Sat)
Reservations: 020 7593 2288 Brochure requests: 020 7593 2282 • Accounts/administration: 020 7593 2280 • Fax: 020 7593 1461 Telephone calls: please note that in order to manage and train the Kirker team to deliver the best possible telephone service, from time to time we record calls for internal training purposes only.
WANDERLUST MAGAZINE – HIGHLY COMMENDED TOP TOUR OPERATOR 2018 CLASSIC FM – 25TH ANNIVERSARY ‘SILVER TRAVELLER’ AWARD WINNER 2017 COMUNE DI VENEZIA – LION OF ST. MARK GOLD AWARD FOR TOURISM 2016 SUNDAY TIMES TRAVEL MAGAZINE – WINNER ‘BEST VALUE TRAVEL COMPANY’ 2016
Kirker has been promoting holidays to Italy since 1986, and your clients continue to tell us that they are captivated by the country’s extra...
Published on Dec 4, 2019
Kirker has been promoting holidays to Italy since 1986, and your clients continue to tell us that they are captivated by the country’s extra...