Very good service. Will use again.
Everything was just as Nicole planned for us. The car hire was especially convenient. Avis, was located right at the airport. My husband and I have been customers of DialAFlight for many years, and we have travelled to many places. Nicole has always booked our flights and made the travel arrangements for us. We can guarantee that she will respond to any issue you may have, any here in the world, with prompt efficiency!
Thank you Lucy! We had an amazing trip
Great job Ian, always helpful
Zac did an amazing job rebooking flights at very last minute!
Dexter was very good. This is my first time using you and I shall most certainly use your service again.
Please don’t book ancillary services linked to BA. I would rather pay full fare. Their car hire relationship with Avis is a disaster; after waiting an hour for service and the promise of another hour's wait we switched to Europcar and we were on our way in 20 mins. Thanks to your team for getting a refund from Avis.
Adam Sui is simply wonderful!
London City can still be a problem with going through security, even though had nothing suspect in rucksack. Took ages to get it checked, ended up running for my flight. Had flown down from Edinburgh so I had already gone through security.
Once again Sebastian helped me with my holiday plans very successfully
The hotel was really excellent - great rooms and very friendly staff, very well situated to visit the major towns and little villages nearby. A car is essential. Worth noting that flying into Florence is not necessarily a good idea and Pisa may be a better choice depending on where people are staying
Brilliant idea and good advice to book the hotel at T5 Heathrow. A perfect hotel for us.
Excellent as always. Thank you Helen and team.
Very helpful personalised service.
An excellent holiday, with good liaison with Philippa. Lovely hotel in Florence in a super location. If hiring a car, please ask if we want automatic or manual. I was expecting an automatic!
DialAFlight and Tristan were as usual the epitome of excellence
Always more than helpful and ready to sort out problems and questions at any time
Our last minute changes due to covid were handled smoothly and professionally by Manny. Using DialAFlight made a stressful situation far less so.
I will not book a flight any other way from now. It was a really good experience.
Wayne was absolutely amazing in understanding exactly what our requirements were. He delivered a first class service.
As always Raj did a fantastic job especially when BA decided to delay our flight by a day! He always comes up trumps and sorts things out without any fuss.
Always a fantastic service
Really efficient service from Nathan, thank you. Florence was a dream escape. Private car pick up was extremely comfortable and timely with lots of local info from our drivers. Loved the retained 15th century features in the bedroom and elsewhere. A fabulous memorable escape to a different world - and one which Covid-wise, felt safer than England!
Excellent, efficient support from Tristan.
It is bad that Vueling cancelled our flight out with three hours notice for a reason they had known for 24 hours. But that was not your fault.
We always use DialAFlight and recommend our friends to do the same
Would highly recommend to my friends and family. Jasper was very helpful throughout booking and in the run up to my holiday. Will use again.
A very good service and team so helpful and friendly. However Vueling they left all the passengers luggage in Florence third flight that day and ruined all the passengers holiday, mine and my friend's included..
Here's a game to play on the plane. You have one last holiday and it's for a month. It won't cost you a thing but you have to go somewhere you've been before. That honeymoon hotel in Sri Lanka might loom large, perhaps the beach resort in Jamaica would be perfect, or the heavenly spot in the Maldives could do the trick.
My wife and I play the game on the way home from Tuscany - and are hard-pressed to think beyond the place we've just left. We stayed at the Castello di Casole hotel, a ravishing hill-top converted castle within striking distance of Siena, San Gimignano and Florence. In other words, culture of the highest order on your doorstep, where going nowhere at all is also a tantalising option.
We're talking Tuscany Classico: lush undulating countryside, a patchwork of greens, ochres and violets broken up by thick hedges and narrow tracks lined with immaculate cypress trees.
Many of the tracks you can see from the castle's terrace - with its fabulous infinity swimming pool and huge terracotta pots laden with olive trees - lead to villas that are part of the hotel's 4,200-acre estate, now owned and run by Belmond.
An American firm acquired it in 2005 and set about a massive restoration.
There are 41 suites (plus a two-storey penthouse) in the main building and dotted about what amounts to a private hamlet, with its own church and crypt built by the Bargagli family in the 19th century. The spa is in the granary, with treatment rooms in the former cellars. At one time, the castle was owned by Italian director Luchino Visconti (Death In Venice). Perhaps he, like us, spent hours staring into the distance - front row seats in the Ritzy Naturale.
It's truly special at night, when the main courtyard becomes a village square, complete with fountain, stone benches and al fresco dining. Children play hide and seek while their parents pile plates with some of the best cooking in the region.
What you forget about Tuscany is that the Etruscans were here long before the Romans. Hence the exquisite hilltop towns that once were fortresses designed to repel outsiders and are now communities keen to welcome visitors armed with euros.
On our second night, we ask the concierge to book us dinner somewhere cheap and cheerful nearby. He chooses Osteria del Borgo in the tiny village of Mensano, which, as it happens, we could see from our room.
Slow-cooked wild boar is the speciality here, but it's the sort of restaurant where you let the waiter (in this case the brother of the chef) decide what you should eat. A triumph.
We visited the dramatic hilltop town of San Gimignano, with its skyline of medieval towers, including the stone Torre Grossa and the 12th century Duomo di San Gimignano with famous frescoes by Ghirlandaio. But be warned, the walled town is one of Tuscany's biggest draws and it can get extremely busy - it's well worth a visit but try to avoid peak times. The priority of those medieval town planners wasn't car parking spaces.
We enjoyed a venture to beautiful Arezzo, where on the first Sunday of the month, the town centre becomes one huge antiques market. We buy a heavy marble font that raises eyebrows as we check in for the flight home at Pisa airport.
We also make the pilgrimage to Siena, where, because it is a few weeks before the annual Palio (the bareback horse race around the plaza), medieval pageantry is brewing nicely, including a hostile-looking marching band that drums its way through the narrow streets carrying heavy flags.
Most of all, we love sleepy Casole d'Elsa, which you can also see from the hotel. It has a butcher and grocer - and manages a perfect balance between visitors and full-time residents.
What strikes us about Tuscany in peak season is how if you avoid the superstar towns, there's space for everyone and, with fierce planning laws governing development, it's remarkably unspoilt.
First published in the Daily Mail - March 2020
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