Tour: HA - 2013 (HA) - 2013 / 2014

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Visit the Roman Forum, where Roman legions marched in triumph
Visit the Roman Forum, where Roman legions marched in triumph
Arc de Triomphe in Paris
Tower of London on a sunny day
The Eiffel Tower in Paris
Buckingham Palace in London
Delightful Tuscan countryside
Pisa at sunset

Itinerary

DAY 1Arrive in London, England

Welcome to London! Uniformed Globus Hosts are available to help you make the most of your stay.

Pomp-and-ceremony in London Marvel at the architecture of the infamous Big Ben in London Ride the iconic double decker bus in London London’s Tower Bridge over the River Thames 
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DAY 2London

Morning guided sightseeing includes all the famous landmarks: the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben beside the River Thames, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and more. Highlights are a visit to ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL (except on Sundays) and the ceremonial pageantry of the Changing of the Guard, if held. (Breakfast)

Westminster Abbey – the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English monarchs Overlooking The Houses of Parliament along the north bank of the Thames River 
Changing of the Guard

Changing of the Guard


"Changing the Guard dates to Henry VII (reigned 1485-1509) and was designed to show military discipline as well as ceremony. The tall bearskin hats were introduced in the 18th century to make the soldiers look taller and thus more frightening, and they were adopted for ceremonial use in 1832. The ceremony we know today started in the late 1800s and involves real soldiers who fulfill all military duties, guarding the Queen being just part of their service."
Houses of Parliament

Houses of Parliament


"Big Ben may be the most famous feature of the Houses of Parliament, but equally impressive is the hammerbeam ceiling of Westminster Hall. The Hall dates back to 1097 and, at that time, the roof was supported by pillars. During the reign of King Richard II (14th century), however, it was replaced by the hammerbeam roof seen today. This roof – its beauty and sustainability – is even more impressive when you know its history. It was built with beams made from trees that were ancient at the time, reputedly acorns, dating back to the 6th century (or earlier). If only these walls (beams, rather) could talk!"
Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace


"Amid the splendor of modern cities it’s hard to imagine what places looked like before they became what we know today. In a previous incarnation, the ground where Buckingham Palace now stands was a mulberry garden cultivated by King James I as food for silkworms. The silk industry he hoped to nurture never materialized, and eventually a roadhouse was built there, followed in due course by the Blake House, Goring House and Arlington House.Originally known as the Buckingham House, built as a townhouse by the Duke of Buckingham in 1709, the estate was acquired by King George III in 1762."
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DAY 3London–Brussels, Belgium–Amsterdam, Holland

Meet your Tour Director and traveling companions, and transfer to the railway station to board the high-speed EUROSTAR TRAIN to Brussels, Belgium. From here, a comfortable drive will bring you to Amsterdam, Holland. Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite Tonight, join the locals during a welcome dinner with wine or beer at the lively Haesje Claes restaurant. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Boats along the beautiful canals of Amsterdam Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world during the Dutch Golden Age Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands Enjoy the lovely canals of Amsterdam 
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DAY 4Amsterdam

A Local Guide shows you the 700-year-old capital, including Dam Square with the Royal Palace, and the Rijksmuseum. The highlight is a CANAL CRUISE to see the patrician mansions and gabled façades. Next, visit a major DIAMOND CENTER. You may wish to join an optional excursion to visit a cheese farm, a clog maker, a working windmill, and have dinner in the pretty fishing village of Volendam. (Breakfast)

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DAY 5Amsterdam–Rhineland, Germany

On the way to Germany, pass the Dutch region best known as the locale of A Bridge Too Far. Highlight of the day is a romantic RHINE CRUISE past castle-crested cliffs, terraced vineyards, and half-timbered towns. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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The beautiful Rhine Valley

A Short Wine Guide


"Historically, Germany’s wine has suffered with an “inferiority complex” fueled by the reputation of wine powerhouses France and Italy. And in modern times, they’ve tacked of “how to compete with a Bordeaux or a Chianti” by improving quality, while keep prices reasonable. Finally, German vintners are starting to reap the rewards. The world famous Riesling region, centered on the Rhine and its tributaries and in eastern Germany near Dresden, is the biggest success story to come out of Germany’s 13 wine growing regions. White grapes form 80 percent of the harvest, but reds are on the rise, as well as the general reputation of German wines."
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DAY 6Rhineland–Lucerne, Switzerland

Stop in the lush valleys and pine-clad hills of the BLACK FOREST, renowned for its cuckoo clocks. Hear about the art of WOODCARVING from a local woodcarver, Adolf Herr. On the Swiss border, admire the thundering RHINE FALLS, then continue to picture-book Lucerne. Tonight is your chance to enjoy an optional Swiss Folklore Party. (Breakfast)

The Lion Monument or the Lion of Lucerne, is a sculpture in Lucerne, Switzerland The Chapel Bridge in Lucerne, Switzerland The Black Forest in southwestern Germany Lucerne, Switzerland 
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DAY 7Lucerne–Liechtenstein–Innsbruck, Austria

Admire Thorwaldsen’s LION MONUMENT, walk through the Old Town, and cross the famous covered CHAPEL BRIDGE to the Jesuit Church. Time to shop for Swiss watches or climb lofty Mount Pilatus. On your way to Austria, stop in the Principality of Liechtenstein, then drive through Austria’s most famous ski area. In Innsbruck, walk through the Old Town and take pictures of Emperor Maximilian’s GOLDEN ROOF. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Enjoy some time exploring the beautiful Innsbruck A church on an Austrian mountaintop The Austrian countryside The gorgeous rolling hills of the Austrian countryside 
Lion Monument

Lion Monument


“The Lion of Lucerne” (Lowendenkmal) is a compelling statue in the north section of Old Town dedicated to the 42 members of the Swiss Guard who were assigned to protect Louis the XVI, Maria Antoinette and their family at the Royal Palace. When the Tuileries was stormed on August 10, 1792 by rioting Parisians at the start of the French Revolution, the king ordered the soldiers to lay down their arms. They were subsequently slaughtered by the crowd and the royal family was captured. Louis had made a big mistake. In 1821 Danish sculpture Berthel Thorwaldsen finished the sculpture, a 30-foot likeness of a wounded and dying lion with a broken lance in its heart and his paw resting atop the fleur-de-lys shield of the Bourbon king. The Latin inscription translated “To the bravery and fidelity of the Swiss.”
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DAY 8Innsbruck–Venice, Italy

Across spectacular Brenner Pass to Italy. Enter Venice in style by PRIVATE BOAT to ST. MARK’S SQUARE and admire the Byzantine basilica, lavish Doges’ Palace with its Bridge of Sighs, and watch skilled GLASSBLOWERS fashion their delicate objects. You may wish to join an optional gondola ride, and later, a special dinner with wine awaits you at one of Venice’s lively restaurants. (Breakfast, Dinner)

St. Marks Square Venice is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world 
The Bridge of Sighs in Venice

Bridge of Sighs


"The world’s most poetically-named bridge, Il Ponte dei Sospiri, the Bridge of Sighs, was built in 1614 so that prisoners of the Venetian state could be transferred in secret from the Doge’s Palace to the so-called Nuovi Prigioni, or New Prisons. The wistful name was actually conceived by the English poet Lord Byron in the early 1800s that imagined the horror of prisoners taking their last glimpse of Venice before going underground to captivity. "
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DAY 9Venice–Rome

A scenic drive across the Apennine Hills and through vine- and olive-clad Tuscany brings you to the “Eternal City.” (Breakfast)

Tuscany is known for its landscapes and its artistic legacy See the vineyard covered hillsides of Tuscany 
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DAY 10Rome

Morning guided sightseeing features visits to the VATICAN MUSEUMS and SISTINE CHAPEL, ST. PETER’S SQUARE and BASILICA, the COLOSSEUM and the ROMAN FORUM, where Roman legions marched in triumph. To make the most of your stay, join our optional Roman Highlights excursion and see the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, and the sites and squares of medieval Rome made famous in the movie Angels and Demons. (Breakfast)

Enjoy the gorgeous views of Rome Saint Peter St. Peters Basilica in Vatican City The Sistine Chapel is world famous for Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings 
The Roman Forum

The Roman Forum


"Visitors can be a little confused by the Roman Forum; at first glance, it is a rather lifeless array of marble fragments. But we must remember that in ancient times, this space was far more than the temples and monuments whose ruins we can explore today. It was filled with bustling, noisy life as the popular crossroads of the city – the predecessor, in fact, of the modern Italian piazza. Every morning at dawn, average Romans would escape their cramped, dark apartment blocks (called insulae, or “islands”) and spent their days outdoors. "
The statue of Laocoön and His Sons can be seen at the Vatican Museums

Vatican Museums


"In the early 1500s, Rome was full of neglected ruins from the days of the ancient Empire, which still contained artworks buried amongst the rubble. The Renaissance had seen a sudden growth of interest in all things classical, and the popes – cultivated men who were in touch with the intellectual currents of the day – were the richest art collectors in Italy. They began offering substantial cash rewards for any sculptures, until Rome was scoured by freelance treasure hunters on the hunt for pagan masterpieces. The most dramatic discovery occurred in 1506, when a Roman father-and-son team of excavators reported a promising find near the ruined Baths of Titus. The artist Michelangelo himself excitedly hurried over to help with the work, followed by the pope’s official agent, Guiliano da Sangallo. When the excavators brushed away the dirt of 1,000 years, they found an enormous marble sculpture, perfectly intact, of a muscular Trojan hero being attacked by giant snakes. Guilano cried out in amazement, “This is the very Laocoön described by (the ancient Roman author) Pliny!” The sculpture was carted off to the Vatican Museum."
Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain


"Rome is one of the most filmed cities on earth, with its signature set location being the Fontana di Trevi, or Trevi Fountain, a romantic, 85-foot-high baroque masterpiece depicting the god of the sea, Neptune, and his Tritons. Not surprisingly, the best time to visit Fontana di Trevi is late at night, when the crowds have gone, the din of Rome’s traffic has died and floodlights dance magically on the water. In fact, the whole centro storico takes on a calm, timeless aspect after dark, and it is well worth stretching your legs after dinner on your own Fellini-esque promenade."
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DAY 11Rome–Florence–Tuscany

Arrive in Florence, “Cradle of the Renaissance.” You may wish to shop for gold and leather for which the city is famous. Today’s highlight is a Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite WINE TASTING, accompanied by a light lunch with bruschetta and local specialties, in one of Florence’s attractive restaurant. Then, follow your Local Guide for a pleasant walk to admire the magnificent cathedral, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry’s heavy bronze “Gate of Paradise,” and sculpture-studded SIGNORIA SQUARE. Take pictures of the Ponte Vecchio before continuing to the peaceful spa resort of Montecatini for your overnight stay. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

The Ponte Vecchio at night Visit stunning Florence and the Ponte Vecchio 
La Piazza Della Signoria

La Piazza Della Signoria


"What’s the best vantage point to ponder the most illustrious town square in Florence, the Signoria? An outdoor table in the venerable Caffè Rivoire – preferably over a delicious, if not painfully expensive cioccolata con pane, a dark and mud-thick hot chocolate. Late at night, when the crowds have gone, you can search the long shadows and imagine that very little has changed here since the 1400s. The Signoria is the most elegant sculpture garden in Europe. Masterpieces include the splendid Neptune Fountain by Ammannati, Hercules and Cacus by Bandinelli and a precise copy of Michelangelo’s David, all strategically poised in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. This grand public space has been the centerpiece of Florence since the 15th Century, the golden age when the city was established as the most beautiful in Europe. Eminent merchants in their ostentatious finery met here to discuss business in the midst of Florence’s raucous daily life."
Ponte Vecchio

Ponte Vecchio


"As the Nazis retreated from Florence during the Second World War, they blew up all of the bridges across the River Arno except one – the Ponte Vecchio. It was evidently saved on Hitler’s personal orders. This was where he had met the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in 1938, cementing the “pact of steel” alliance. The Führer had been so impressed by the elegant “Old Bridge,” which had graced the spot since being built in stone in 1345, that he decided to save it. The German army instead blew up all of the ancient buildings on either side, so that the bridge could not be used by the Allies, but the Ponte Vecchio itself was salvaged for posterity."
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DAY 12Tuscany–Pisa–Nice, France

Marvel at the amazing Leaning Tower in Pisa, then enjoy spectacular views of the Italian and French Rivieras on your way to Nice. Tonight, an optional outing is available to famous Monte Carlo. (Breakfast)

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Leaning Tower of Pisa

Pisa


"It was the most perfect experiment in the history of science. Holding both a cannon ball and a small musket ball, the 30-something Pisa native Galileo Galilei scaled the steps of his city’s famous Leaning Tower, and held them dramatically over the edge. Eight stories below, the town’s most learned scholars and priests were gathered as observers. They watched as the two balls dropped to the ground at the same speed – disproving, with a single stroke, the ancient idea that objects fall at different rates depending on their weight and size. This archaic concept, which had been espoused by the ancient Greek author Aristotle, had been accepted without question for more than 2,000 years, Galileo’s great innovation was to put it to a practical test of observation. Unfortunately, this famous story is probably not true. Galileo never wrote about it himself – it was recounted in a late biography penned by his secretary, Vincenzo Viviani. Most historians now believe that it was Galileo’s imaginative disciples who invented the Leaning Tower tale in order to make the theory so clear that even a child could understand it. "
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DAY 13Nice–Lyon

In the late morning, leave the Côte d’Azur and drive through the Provence region to Lyon, France’s capital during Roman days. Enjoy an orientation drive through the OLD TOWN, beautifully situated between the Rhône and Saône Rivers. Catch a glimpse of the city fortifications, the cathedral on Fourvière Hill, and the MURALES, examples of trompe l’oeil, started by a group of students in the ‘70s with the aim to bring art to ordinary people, not confined to galleries or museums. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Lyon, France See the seemingly never ending lavender fields in Provence Provence Lavender Fields 
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DAY 14Lyon–Paris

Board the high-speed TGV TRAIN, which will whisk you in two hours to Paris. Optional excursions are available to the magnificent Louvre Museum, and tonight to try out local dishes at one of Paris’ fine restaurants, followed by an illumination drive to explore the “City of Light.” (Breakfast)

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Louvre

Louvre


Today, a thick pane of bullet-proof security glass keeps artlovers a safe distance from the most famous painting in the world, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, Wife of Francesco Giacondo,” known in French as “La Joconde” and English as the “Mona Lisa.” But back in 1911, it was simply hung on the walls of the Musée du Louvre like any other canvas. That was until a former museum employee named Vincenzo Perrugia strolled into the gallery before opening hours on August 21, noticed the room was empty, took down the Mona Lisa and walked out of the Louvre with it under a painting smock. When the loss was finally noticed, the police were mystified. For two years, the whereabouts of the masterpiece was unknown, while French detectives made various wild guesses. (It had been stolen by the Germans. By anarchists. By evil geniuses. By lunatics.) They actually arrested the country’s top art critic, Guillame Apollinaire, then let him free. Then, out of the blue in 1913, an Italian art dealer in Florence was contacted by a man calling himself “Leonardo” who claimed to have the Mona Lisa and wanted to see it hang in the Uffizi, Italy’s top art museum. Although he found it hard to believe that the thief could be so reckless, the dealer tipped off the police and agreed to meet the strange Leonardo in a Milan hotel room. There, the nondescript fellow opened his suitcase, emptied out his socks and underwear, opened up a false bottom in the case to reveal the Mona Lisa – and was immediately arrested.
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DAY 15Paris

Discover the world capital of chic and style with a Local Guide and admire its most famous sights: the Opéra, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysées, and more. For a bird’s-eye view, take the elevator up to the second floor of Paris’ most famous landmark: the EIFFEL TOWER. To make the most of your stay, join an optional excursion to the lavish baroque Palace of Versailles, and tonight, a lively cabaret dinner show may be the best way to say, “Au revoir, Paris.” (Breakfast)

The Arc de Triomphe standing in the center of the Place Charles de Gaulle The Eiffel Tower in Paris 
French Fashion

French Fashion


There’s more than one way to conquer the world. The flabby, charismatic “Sun King,” Louis XIV, knew that he could impress the French people with his insanely lavish royal lifestyle, but he also wanted to make his mark on Europe. Throughout his 55 year rule in the 17th Century, he campaigned vigorously to establish Paris as the continent’s capital of style, promoting its gourmet food and wine, haute couture, cutting-edge perfumes, opulent furnishings and exquisite jewelry. Every new innovation required Louis’ personal imprimatur, making him the world’s first fashion dictator. Author Joan DeJean claimed in “The Essence of Style” that Louis’ devotion to elegance has shaped the culture of indulgence today – “Without the Sun King’s program for defining France as the land of luxury in glamour, there would never have been a Stork Club, a Bergdorf Goodman, a Chez Panisse or a Christophe of Beverly Hills.”
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DAY 16Paris

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

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