Cheap Seats: Next Month — June 6-8
Florence, Italy: 143.11 pounds round trip
Fly Meridiana from London Gatwick to Florence.
This extremely popular tourist destination in Tuscany has plenty to offer to both art and shopping enthusiasts.
Start at the Galleria dell’Accademia, where you might encounter a bit of a wait to get in — the admission line often stretches a few blocks. Inside, visitors can view Michelangelo’s iconic sculpture “David” as well as his unfinished work, “Slaves.”
More of Michelangelo’s works, including his only panel painting, can be seen at the popular Uffizi Gallery, where you can find a masterpiece in almost every room. Popular works housed there include Sandro Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus,” an elegant look at the goddess of love, and Leonardo da Vinci’s “Annunciation,” complete with its illusion of depth.
Make a visit to the Museo Nazionala del Bargello, whose main attractions include bronzes and marbles by Giambologna and Michelangelo and a vast collection of works by Donatello, and the Gothic Cathedral S. Maria del Flore, with its marvelous dome.
Visit the square in front of the cathedral to have a caricature done, to hear local musicians play or just to enjoy watching people. Go to the Pitti Palace, where tourists can see lavishly decorated rooms, a costume gallery and a modern art museum.
To shop for famous fashion brands such as Roberto Cavalli, Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo, head to via Tornabuoni and via della Vigna Nuova. For a chance to haggle, visit one of the city’s open-air markets selling leather goods or clothes.
Tourists with any energy left after a day of sightseeing or shopping can visit one of Florence’s many dance clubs, which really start pumping around 2 a.m.
Three months — Aug. 1-3Valladolid, Spain: 71.96 pounds round trip
Fly Ryanair from London Stansted to Valladolid.
Valladolid offers weekend tourists plenty to do, all within walking distance. Begin at the tourist information center to get a map that highlights the sights.
The old quarter has many beautiful buildings. Among them is the unfinished cathedral, a highlight of which is the 1551 altar piece. From the cathedral complex, you can visit the Diocesan Museum, with various carvings from several churches and other works attributed to artists such as Gregorio Fernandez and Juan de Juni.
A half-block south of the cathedral is the Cervantes House, now a museum. Once home to Miguel de Cervantes, author of “Don Quixote,” it now uses furniture and possessions to show how noble families in the 17th century lived. You also can visit the Christopher Columbus House Museum in the building where the navigator died in 1506. It has various pieces and documents related to the discovery of America.
Farther from the city center is the National Museum of Sculpture and the Oriental Museum. The sculpture museum holds religious works from the Middle Ages to the 18th century. The Oriental Museum contains 14 rooms of Chinese and Philippine art.
Return to the city center for wine and food at one of the bars, pubs and cafes along Calle del Paraiso and Calle de Vincente.
Airfare prices include taxes and are courtesy of each airline’s Web site. Prices were verified as of Monday afternoon when Stripes UK went to press. Deals are not guaranteed to be available; restrictions may apply.