It was a very nice long weekend. Many thanks for organising the flights and hotel.
Always found Cody very knowledgeable
Once again excellent service from Guy and DialAFlight team.
All good, thank you
As usual Jordan arranged everything perfectly. Thanks once again.
Lloyd and Chloe were amazing!
Small blip - H10 Marina in Barcelona is adjacent to a building at the back which had very loud music coming from a bar. Moved rooms to the front and then much better
I can not praise DialAFlight more highly. Spencer has been so incredible, professional , caring and helped me through a most stressful situation to get me and my husband back to the UK as fast as possible from Taiwan having received the news that my father had died. I cannot think of a better organisation to manage and book my flights
As always your arrangements were perfect. Conrad and all went very smoothly
The hotel chosen for us in the centre of Malaga by Cody was perfect. A beautiful hotel
They couldn’t do enough for us. They even did my boarding passes on my way back as I couldn’t print them off. I will always book with you. Many thanks
All went well as usual.
You organised an excellent holiday where everything ran very smoothly. We will use you again.
Amazing! Takes all the stress out of booking flights and sorting problems if they arise
I have already recommended you
Outstanding service throughout as expected from previous experience. I would recommend DialAFlight to anybody looking for timely professional and friendly help with travelling
Great service, prices and communication Had a great weekend in Berlin. Accommodation was lovely - a kettle in the room would have been nice for the first thing cuppa but that’s it! Recommend DialAFlight 100%
Robert is amazing
Exceptional service throughout
Darryll Hansford was, as usual, very helpful in organising this cruise
Hotel staff were universally excellent.
For me, best travel company to deal with
Looking forward to the next trip
Particular thanks to Jerry
Another lovely holiday.
Another excellent trip with DialAFlight, thank you Finn and team!
The personal care with even the most simple bookings is excellent
Exceptional service delivery as always which is why we have used you since 2015! The Pulitzer Hotel in Amsterdam was superb!
Another brilliant trip, as always. Thanks for sorting this one out and at such short notice. We will be back soon
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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