Hop on board a raft and float down the Arno, admiring the architectural beauties of the city from a very different perspective.
At Belmond Villa San Michele, we are constantly searching for new adventures for our guests, leading to different, interesting ways to discover the city and its wonderful surroundings. Our latest fun offering is to have our guests climb on board a raft trailing down the Arno and Sieve rivers. Get ready to experience two incredible itineraries- you don’t need any rafting skills, you just need to feel like doing something new and amusing!
Under the Old Bridge
Imagine having Florence for yourself – taking in spectacular views of the most significant buildings of the city without having to make your way around swarms of tourists. Not possible, you think? At Belmond Villa San Michele we can make it happen! Just get in the game and be ready to paddle.
Hop on board a raft and float down the Arno, admiring the architectural beauties of the historical city center from a very different perspective. Your journey begins with a bit of a thrill gliding down the San Niccolò weir, after which you are then invited to enjoy the peacefulness of the river, all while contemplating the lovely façades of the buildings perched alongside it.
The 2 km itinerary will take you under four of the most beautiful bridges that cross the city (there are seven in all), giving you the chance to observe- from a most unique point of view- the National Library, the San Niccolò Tower, the Uffizi Gallery, the Vasarian Corridor and, last but not least, the intriguing passage under the arches of the Old Bridge (Ponte Vecchio).
The tranquillity of the Arno river will allow you to take astonishing, unparalleled pictures of the city!
Ettore and Zeno, your rafting guides, will take very good care of you during your trip. With a sincere passion for water sports, the duo has been rafting the Arno since 2010, offering unforgettable experiences to their guests. Both of them agree that passing under the Ponte Vecchio is an unsurpassed and truly memorable experience, despite the numerous times they’ve crossed the arches. Among their most favourite memories under the bridge was helping a guest to plan a wedding proposal to his girlfriend. Ettore and Zeno had organized two rafts for the journey, and as they were arriving under the Old Bridge, they left the two sweethearts by themselves on one raft where he popped the question. Obviously she said yes!
The rafting trip along the Arno river is available from March through November and can be booked with a minimum of 4 persons. To make the most of your trip, you may opt for a guide, who will explain the importance of the Arno and its historical significance in the city of Florence.
Discovering the Sieve River and its beauties
If instead you are looking for a real rafting experience, all while enjoying the picturesque scenery of Tuscany, a full day excursion along the Sieve River is not to be missed.
On the shore in Rufina, you will be taught by Ettore and Zeno all the rafting techniques and safety precautions you will need to know during your trip. Then, departing along a trail that eventually will lead you to Pontassieve, you will explore the most unusual surroundings and landscapes of the Tuscan countryside from which you will experience, especially going through certain parts of the river, a kaleidoscope of emotions.
The peaceful, relaxing areas of the Sieve River will allow you to float along, enjoying the beautiful panoramic views and encountering river fauna and flora. Upon request, Ettore and Zeno will be delighted to arrange a stop in your journey to point out the rich nature that is surrounding you and also to indicate where you will be able to observe the beautiful herons.
And then… are you ready to rock?
The rapids will ensure that you experience the true and typical adrenaline – rush of real river rafting. With the help of our rafting experts, you will be paddling hard down the river past overhanging trees and rocks. Fun and excitement are guaranteed!
After all that hard work, a revitalizing swim in the crystalline waters of the Sieve will refresh you and a tasty picnic by the river shore will definitely recharge your batteries while you flash back to all the fun memories from the descent!
The excursion along the Sieve is available from March to June and from September to November, with a minimum of 4 persons.
Notes to Editors
For more information please contact:
PR Belmond Villa San Michele
For high-res images: www.belmondpress.it and www.belmond.com/media-centre
About Belmond Ltd.
Belmond Ltd is a global collection of exceptional hotel and luxury travel adventures in some of the world’s most inspiring and enriching destinations. Established almost 40 years ago with the acquisition of Belmond Hotel Cipriani in Venice, the Company owns and operates 46 unique and distinctive hotel, rail and river cruise experiences in many of
the world’s most celebrated destinations. From city landmarks to intimate resorts, the collection includes Belmond Grand Hotel Europe, St. Petersburg; Belmond Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro; Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa, Riviera Maya; and Belmond El Encanto, Santa Barbara. Belmond also encompasses safaris, six luxury tourist trains
including the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, three river cruises and ‘21’, one of New York’s most storied restaurants.
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