Le Marche joins Kirker’s Italy programme for 2019
Specialist tour operator for discerning travellers, Kirker Holidays (www.kirkerholidays.com) has launched the latest edition of its Italy brochure, filled with suggestions for sublime short breaks and tailor-made itineraries. Encompassing classic city, coast and countryside stays, and featuring a range of hand-picked accommodation – from charming pensioni to luxurious five-star palazzi – the new brochure is testament to Kirker’s continued passion for Italy, which began back in 1986 and continues unabated.
NEW for 2019, Kirker has added Le Marche, a picturesque region of rolling hills, historic towns and pretty villages that stretches from the Adriatic through undulating farmland to the jagged mountain range of Monti Sibillini. One of Italy’s best-kept secrets, there’s much to discover here, including wonderful works of art: the Italian Renaissance painters Lorenzo Lotto and Carlo Crivelli both had strong associations with Le Marche, and Urbino’s handsome Palazzo Ducale is home to important pieces by Pierro della Francesco, Uccello and Raphael.
Kirker’s featured hotels in Le Marche include the four-star San Domenico (three nights from £638 pp*), a former 14th century convent directly opposite Palazzo Ducale in Urbino; the four-star Gallery (three nights from £498 pp*) in the heart of Recanati; and, in Ascoli Piceno – known as the ‘piccola Siena’ for its spectacular architecture – the four-star superior Residenza 100 Torri (three nights from £578 pp*), which offers a delightful home-from-home, less than five minutes’ walk from Piazza del Popolo. Head a few miles inland and Castello di Monterado (three nights from £549 pp*) boasts wonderful views of the Cesano valley and the distant Adriatic, as well as richly decorated public rooms and a lovely swimming pool, set in an elegant garden.
Also NEW for 2019, Kirker has expanded its collection of properties in Venice, Turin, Puglia, the Amalfi Coast, Emilia-Romagna, Sardinia and Sicily, including:
In VENICE: the four-star deluxe Nani Moncenigo, a wonderfully restored 15th century palazzo, located by a small canal in Dorsoduro (one of the quietest and most characteristic districts of the city) and just a short walk from the Accademia Gallery. Three nights from £648 pp*. Kirker short breaks to Venice include guaranteed entrance tickets to the Doge’s Palace, Accademia or Guggenheim, and return water taxi transfers.
In TURIN: set around a large, cloistered courtyard, the four-star NH Collection Piazza Carlina is set on an elegant square in the heart of Turin, five minutes’ walk from the River Po and the Museo Egizio. Three nights from £588 pp*. Kirker short breaks to Turin include a 72-hour Torino Card, giving complimentary access to over 160 cultural sites and free use of the city’s overground public transport system.
On the AMALFI COAST: with a wonderful cliff-top position and panoramic views across the Gulf of Naples, the four-star superior Corallo (three nights from £548 pp*) is a perfect option for visitors keen to be close to Sorrento but slightly removed from its often-bustling centre, whilst the five-star Grand Hotel La Favorita (three nights from £578 pp*) is a great choice for those seeking a quiet corner in the heart of the town.
In EMILIA-ROMAGNA: the four-star superior Annunziata (three nights from £698 pp*) is ideally situated to explore the enchanting walled city of Ferrara – the 14th century Castello Estense is virtually next door, whilst the four-star superior Palazzo Bezzi (three nights from £698 pp*) offers a refined and contemporary ambience, just 100 metres from Ravenna’s Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo.
In EASTERN SICILY: explore the ancient city of Syracuse during a stay at either the four-star deluxe Ortea Palace (three nights from £898 pp*) – a contemporary luxury hotel alongside the bridge to Ortigia island – or the four-star superior Algilà Charme Hotel (three nights from £749 pp*), just a ten-minute walk from Ortigia’s wonderful cathedral.
In SARDINIA: Kirker’s selection of Sardinian accommodation now includes the five-star deluxe L’Ea Bianca (three nights from £1,186 pp*), a modern airy boutique hotel with oriental-inspired interiors in the north of the island, and the four-star superior Cala Cuncheddi (three nights from £876 pp*), just moments from the beautiful beach at Capa Ceraso. In unspoilt southern Sardinia, surrounded by pine and juniper trees, and overlooking the bay of Campulongu, lies the four-star superior Stella Maris (three nights from £898 pp*), while the four-star La Britta (three nights from £668 pp*) in Arbatax, eastern Sicily, provides the perfect base from which to explore the Golfo dei Orosei National Park, enjoy a boat trip to the ‘Grotta del Bue Marino’ or take a relaxing train journey through stunning scenery on the narrow gauge lines of the ‘Trenino Verde’.
*Prices are based on two people sharing and include flights (London) or Eurostar, transfers, accommodation with breakfast, Kirker Guide Notes where appropriate and the services of the Kirker Concierge.
For discerning travellers keen to combine two or more destinations into a tailor-made holiday that’s sure to tick all the boxes of even the most ardent Italophile, the new brochure also features an array of NEW multi-centre itinerary suggestions, including:
- 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. After a few days on its western shores, head to Stresa, on Lake Maggiore, from where you can explore elegant gardens and the famous Borromees Islands. Seven nights cost from £1,738 pp (two sharing), including return flights to/from Milan Malpensa, private car transfers, three nights’ accommodation with breakfast at the five-star deluxe Casa Fantini on Lake Orta and four at the five-star superior Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees on Lake Maggiore.
- Florence & The Tuscan Coast: Marvel in the wonderful city of the Medicis before heading to Punta Ala on the Tuscan Coast for peaceful relaxation. Six nights cost from £1,749 pp (two sharing), including flights to Pisa/from Heathrow, private car transfer on arrival, car hire for the remainder of the holiday, three nights’ accommodation with breakfast at the five-star superior Relais Santa Croce and three at the five-star superior Baglioni Hotel Cala del Porto, plus a complimentary dinner in each property.
- Italy’s Gastronomic Heart – Bologna, Parma & Ravenna: Discover revered culinary delicacies, historic universities, Renaissance art and ancient monuments on a week-long stay in Italy’s cultural, geographic and gastronomic heart, Emilia-Romagna.Seven nights cost from £1,448 pp (two sharing), including flights to/from Bologna, private transfers, two nights’ accommodation with breakfast at the four-star Palace Hotel Maria Luigia in Parma, three at the four-star superior Hotel Corona d’Oro in Bologna and two at the four-star Palazzo Bezzi in Ravenna.
- Perugia & the Umbrian Countryside: Explore the fascinating yet little-visited city of Perugia (capital of Umbria), with its countless historic buildings, grand piazzas and picturesque streets, before retreating to the beautiful surrounding countryside for a relaxing stay at a restored patrician villa and farmhouse, set amongst olive groves and vineyards. Seven nights cost from £918 pp (two sharing), including return flights to Florence or Perugia, car hire, three nights’ accommodation with breakfast the four-star deluxe Brufani Palace in Perugia and four at the Villa di Monte Solare, a superior country house hotel close to Lake Trasimeno.
- Basilicata – Matera & Maratea: UNESCO World Heritage Site and European Capital of Culture for 2019, Matera is thought to be one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. Enjoy its many charms during this week-long holiday in the historic Basilicata region, which also features a scenic three-hour drive through the Appenine Mountains to the beautiful hillside town of Maratea, the ‘Pearl of the Tyrrhenian’. Seven nights from £1,389 pp (two sharing), including flights to Bari/from Naples, car hire and four nights’ accommodation with breakfast at the four-star superior Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita in Matera and three at the four-star superior La Locanda Della Donne Monache in Maratea.
Also NEW for 2019 in Italy are three escorted Cultural Tours & Music Holidays:
- Venice, Veneto & Prosecco: Join prosecco expert Neil Phillips for an exclusive tour of Italy’s most famous sparkling wine region that includes visits to three vineyards (where the Kirker group will enjoy exclusive access, specially-prepared menus and tutored prosecco tastings), two days in Venice (including a walking tour with a local food expert) and visits to the historic towns of Vicenza and Padua. Departing 25 March & 14 October, the price is from £2,496 pp (two sharing), including flights to/from Venice, five nights’ accommodation with breakfast (two in Venice, three in Asolo), three dinners, one lunch, all sightseeing with entrance fees, and the services of the tour lecturer and a Kirker tour escort.
- The Villa Medici Giulini Collection – The Progress of the Piano’ with Melvyn Tan: Exclusive to Kirker clients, this five-day music festival is based in Lombardy at the villa of Fernanda Giulini, home to a matchless collection of historical keyboard instruments. Admire these beautiful pieces as Melvyn Tan brings them to life during a series of talks and recitals, and enjoy visits Monza Cathedral and the elegant Villa Cicogna, as well as a boat trip on nearby Lake Como. Departing 7 May, the price is from £1,947 pp (two sharing), including flights to/from Milan, four nights’ accommodation with breakfast in the heart of the Brianza countryside, four dinners, two lunches, talks and concerts as described, all sightseeing, entrances and gratuities, and the services of the Kirker Tour Leader.
- Teatro San Carlo, Naples and a visit to La Mortella: From your base at the four-star superior Grand Hotel Santa Lucia in the historical heart of Naples, enjoy visits to the city’s two great museums: the Capodimonte and the National Archaeological Museum, as well as an unforgettable performance at the Teatro San Carlo, the world’s oldest opera house in continuous use. This five-day holiday also includes a day trip to the beautiful island of Ischia, where a guided tour of the garden at La Mortella (created by Sir William and Lady Walton) and a musical concert are among the highlights. Departing 30 May & 19 September, the price is from £1,698 pp (two sharing), including flights to/from Naples, four nights’ accommodation with breakfast, three dinners, one lunch, opera tickets (stalls) and synopsis, all sightseeing, entrances and gratuities, and the services of the Kirker Tour Leader and a local guide.
For more information on tailor-made short breaks and holidays to Italy during autumn/winter 2018 and beyond, call Kirker Holidays on 020 7593 2283 or visit www.kirkerholidays.com.
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