ArtTrav supports Passports with Purpose, an annual blogger-led fundraiser. This year, thanks to some great sponsors, I’ve put together the prize I’d want to win: Select Italy has arranged for three nights at Antica Torre di via Tornabuoni 1 (one of Florence’s best hotels); I’ve added a multi-course dinner, a classic 500 tour, my digital guides and some down-time in a spa. Please read below to find out how you can win this prize with your 10$ donation to PwP.

About PwP

Passports with Purpose is a charity founded by (female!) travel bloggers who, every year since 2008, have raised awareness and money to fund something worthy in the world. Travel bloggers participate by getting companies they know to donate prizes and promoting that prize on their blog. Anyone can enter this “sweepstakes” with a 10$ (USD) entry and can bid multiple times on multiple prizes. All that money goes to charity: this year, we’re rasing $115,000 that will go to BuildOn, a charity that builds schools in Mali, Africa. PwP’s organizers personally supervise the carrying out of this task and pass 100% of donations on to charity. You have a great chance of winning in the random prize draw. Please look at their website for full rules and information.

Last year I teamed up with Gloria aka Casina di Rosa to offer four nights in her apartment rental in Pisa. I also bid on a number of prizes, and won one too (a go-pro camera – I have yet to do something extreme enough to merit it). The prize I most wanted to win was a Provence prize pack assembled by a blogger who had thought of everything a visitor would need, so I’m “stealing” her idea this year.

Florence Prize description

1) 3 nights at Antica Torre di via Tornabuoni 1, Florence with Select Italy

How’s that for a breakfast room?

Select Italy has generously sponsored a three night stay at Antica Torre di via Tornabuoni 1. This four star boutique hotel in central Florence is currently ranked 2nd on TripAdvisor in Florence. It’s located on the city’s prestigious luxury shopping street, which is close to everything, making it perfect to stop in between museums or shopping. It has a rooftop terrace with an impressive panoramic view, and it’s known for its personal service.

One of the things I love about this hotel is that it’s a 13th century tower house, one of the few remained so intact in the city, so it is an authentic Early Renaissance home. In the 19th century it was the favoured residence of various English intellectuals who lived here during their Grand Tour voyages.

The hotel owners declare that they are proud to support Passports with Purpose by offering this stay – adding PwP as one of the many charities that they support throughout the year.

Grand Deluxe Romantic room (not necessarily the room you’ll get)

Note: winners will be put in direct contact with Select Italy in order to pick a date based on their availability. Prize EXPIRES DECEMBER 2014. The hotel has only 19 rooms, so you’ll want to book early. The 3 night stay will be in a Deluxe Room with buffet breakfast, tea coffee and fresh fruit during the whole stay [Value: rooms start at 250 euro per night]

2) 4-course meal for two at Ristorante Accademia

Our friends at  Ristorante Accademia want to make sure you experience good Tuscan food, so have offered their Wine & Dine menu. A fabulous four course meal – starter, pasta, main and dessert, each course with a specially paired wine chosen by a qualified sommelier. The menu is an opportunity to try something a little different, and you will love it (of course, they can accommodate any special requests and alterations to the menu).

Ristorante Accademia  is small family-run restaurant. The owners are originally from the Abruzzo region of Italy (famous for its cuisine as well as its earthquakes!) and Nonna Lina still passes by daily to provide critical feedback. Accademia is also social – they’ve been serious about social media since 2010, which comes naturally to them, since they’re a big, social family. [Value: 100€]

3) 500 touring club classic car tour

Cruise around the Tuscan countryside in a classic Fiat 500 and sample some brilliant wine (not too much!) – no wonder they’re listed on TripAdvisor as the number one activity in Florence! We’re talking about the original wine tasting tour with the 500 touring club! You’ll learn how to drive this adorable car (you have to know how to drive stick first though), get some awesome photo opportunities, and stop in a Renaissance villa for wine tasting and a light lunch. I’ve done this tour myself and knew I had to share it with this year’s winner, so thank Andrea and Beppe (the owners) for offering! [Value: 190€]

Please note: these tours run from March 1 to December 1 every year, since the cars need a rest (and so does their owner). If you claim your prize in another period, I’m afraid that no substitute can be offered for this part of the prize pack – it’s just too unique!

4) Relax at the spa at Klab Conti

With all this eating, drinking, and museum going, you’re going to need to relax. That’s why I’ve arranged to get you into the spa at Florence’s most central fancy gym. Klab Conti (one of their three locations, at via dei Conti, 7 in the San Lorenzo area) is tucked between the Duomo and the Medici Chapels – a perfect combination of art and fitness.

Klab is pleased to support Passports with Purpose by offering a day pass for two people to access their exclusive spa area, which includes water jet pools, sauna, bio-sauna, chromotherapy and hammam as well as a beautiful relax area. [value: 60€]

Please note: come equipped with bathing suit, flip flops, bathing cap and cover-up. The gym is open daily from 7am to 10:30pm, saturday and sunday from 10am to 8pm

5) Copies of my 3-day Florence itinerary and Uffizi Art History Guide

With only three days in the city – though I hope you’ll decide to stay longer – you’ll need a perfectly planned itinerary. Luckily I have written a 3-day art and culture itinerary for Florence, published with Unanchor. And you’re likely to hit up the Uffizi Gallery as well, so I’ll outfit you with a copy of my new Uffizi Art History Guide, which is available as a Kindle ebook or as an iphone app. Combined, these two guidebooks should help you have a beauty-filled and enjoyable learning experience that you’ll remember for a lifetime.

In sum: this is a fabulous prize, and I’d like to extend a special thanks to all the sponsors, who all replied immediately and positively to the opportunity to support PwP in this way.

Andrea from Select Italy was very convincing and is responsible for arranging the hotel, and he could not have done a better job. I think this 3 night prize pack would be a great luxury long weekend if you live in Europe; if you’re coming from abroad, consider combining it with a week in a villa in Tuscany with Select Italy, as they have some gorgeous properties on offer (seriously, I could not pick a single photo to represent them all, just go look), and hey, they’re nice people.

Ready to donate 10$ for every chance to win this awesome prize? Right – click here!


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