On Site at MLT: Selling Northern Italy

Northern Italy is a region of contrasts in terms of beauty, art, architecture, fashion and culture. Travel Agent is on location in Minneapolis attending MLTUniversity. Here’s a look at what MLT Vacations can offer your clients headed to Venice, Florence, Pisa and Milan

Venice, the land of canals and more than 400 bridges, is like staying in one giant outdoor museum. It is home to museums, cathedrals and world renowned art. Some of the top landmarks are the Campanile di San Marco, St. Mark’s Basilica and the Bridge of Sighs. With MLT Vacations, travelers can book a variety of optional tours, from private gondola rides to tours of Murano, Burano and Torcello. 

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When booking with MLT, here are some top accommodations to consider. The Hotel Bonvecchiati is a 3.5-star, classic-style hotel. It is part of St. Mark’s Square and offers a variety of rooms, including a restaurant with a covered outdoor area.

The Hotel Colombina is a four-star hotel, again with all of its rooms varying in style. It is located right on the canal and even has a water taxi entrance. The hotel has its own rooftop terrace with views of St. Mark’s. 

The Hotel Savoia & Jolanda is another four-star option with outdoor patios and free Wi-Fi. Good to know: Junior Suites have Jacuzzis. 

Hotel Carlton sits on the Grand Canal and is a 3.5-star hotel. It has two separate restaurants, one of which is on a terrace and is open April-October. The rooms overlook the canal and there are 11 rooms dedicated to the accessibility challenged.

From Venice hop a two-hour train ride to Florence, which is definitely a walking city, as it is pretty restrictive to cars. Some of the top landmarks include the Uffizi, Duomo and the Ponte Vecchio. Shoppers come to Florence to check out the leather, shoes, San Lorenzo market’s crafts and street vendors. Optional tours with MLT include a tour of Siena & San Gimignano, which takes travelers out to the Chianti region of Tuscany for a wine tasting. 

Accommodations to consider include the Hotel Degli Orafi, which was built in the 13th century. This 4-star hotel is housed in a former medieval tower. It is great for leisure, family and business travelers and sits on the bank of the Arno. It is within walking distance of many of Florence’s attractions and has a rooftop terrace with views of the city. 

The Plaza Hotel Lucchesi is also on the Arno and is a four-star hotel. It is sporting a new reception and bar area, as well as a redone third and fourth floor. Floors one and two will be done by 2015. There is a rooftop bar as well that is newly opened. Good to know: 60 of the 95 rooms have views of either the Arno or the Duomo.

The Hotel Brunelleschi is a charming hotel that combines old world Italy with modern touches. It is a four-store property and includes an outdoor eating area, a first floor bar and a lobby area that was built into a former medieval church. There are three themed suites and a rooftop terrace.

Luxury travelers have certainly heard of the Hotel Savoy, A Rocco Forte Hotel. This five-star hotel’s main selling point is the view over the piazza. It has one restaurant, with a separate dining area for families and groups.

Travelers to Pisa have heard of it for one specific reason: its iconic Leaning Tower. And while that is a main selling point of the destination, there is so much more than that. The Duomo of Pisa, for example, is a beautiful example of architecture that is often overlooked in favor of the tower, which in reality was built just as a bell tower. 

A great four-star option for your clients in Pisa is the Relais dell’Orologio. This hotel has a bar, courtyard and gardens. Off the patio is the restaurant and a Jacuzzi. Deluxe rooms are housed in a tower that used to hold medieval knights.

For something outside the city, look into the Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa, a four-star hotel with views of the surrounding mountains. it has 108 rooms, a salon, spa and wellness center. There are also sports activities held on property including soccer, horseback riding and tennis. 

Finally Milan is one of the major cultural centers of Italy. It is home to the Last Supper painting by Leonardo Da Vinci, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, La Scala Opera House and some of the most high-end shopping in the world.

When visiting Milan, check your clients into the Boscolo Milano, a five-star contemporary hotel with 154 rooms and nine themed suites. There is also a spa, restaurant and a bar lounge.

Visit www.mltvacations.com.