From its exciting cities to its spectacular scenery, Europe has it all, and on this European tour, you'll see its highlights. You'll spend the night in London, Lucerne, Bergamo, and Venice; two nights each in Paris and Rome; and three nights in beautiful Sorrento. You'll enjoy sightseeing with local experts who will bring the cities and their sights alive, including the Eiffel Tower in Paris, where you’ll ascend to the second floor for great views; the Lion Monument in Lucerne, commemorating the Swiss Guards killed during the French Revolution; Signoria Square in Florence, the center of the city's political life since the 14th century; the Sistine Chapel in Rome, home to Michelangelo’s famous ceiling paintings; and Sorrento’s Cloister of St. Francis Church, with its mix of architectural styles. Among many other fun experiences included, you'll ride a funicular in Bergamo, walk through the narrow streets of Bergamo Alta, participate in a pasta party in Venice, take a private water-taxi ride through the Grand Canal, and enjoy a locally produced limoncello in Sorrento.It is not just the cities you will see on this European tour; you will also see some of Europe's beautiful scenery. Admire views of castles and vineyards on the way to the Swiss Alps; enjoy a drive past the beautiful Fontainebleau Forest in France; take an exciting drive along the St. Gotthard highway, which leads straight through the Swiss Alps and the Swiss-Italian lake district; and cross the Apennine Mountains between Venice and Florence. Like all Globus tours of Europe, you will have VIP access to the must-see attractions. This means you will spend your time inside the attractions, such as the Colosseum in Rome, rather than outside in long lines. Although the tour is fast-paced, you’ll experience the cities and all its highlights. It's a dream vacation!The Monograms portion of your tour in Sorrento includes travel by high-speed train (first class) from Rome to Sorrento, transfers from/to stations, guided sightseeing, and services of an expert Local Host.
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DAY 1Arrive in London, England
Welcome to London! Uniformed Globus Hosts are available to help you make the most of your stay.
DAY 2London–Paris, France
Meet your Tour Director and traveling companions, and head for the railway station to board the high-speed EUROSTAR TRAIN to Paris. Time to start exploring this magnificent city, and later, you may wish to join an optional dinner at a local restaurant to try out local specialties, followed by a drive through the “City of Light.” (Breakfast)
Morning guided sightseeing of the world capital of chic and style features the Opéra, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysées, and more. For a bird’s-eye view, take the elevator to the second floor of Paris’ most famous landmark: the EIFFEL TOWER. An optional excursion is available to the magnificent Louvre Museum with the famous Mona Lisa, and tonight, dinner and show at the Moulin Rouge may just be the ticket! (Breakfast)
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.”
Imagining Paris without the Eiffel Tower is like London without Big Ben or San Francisco without the Golden Gate Bridge. But no sooner had the architect Gustav Eiffel beaten his 700 competitors in the design competition for the 1889 Centennial Exposition, celebrating a century since the French Revolution, than a vocal outcry began to halt construction of the edifice. Three hundred famous French artists and writers signed a petition in the newspaper “Le Temps” denouncing Eiffel’s radically modern design as “useless and monstrous,” a blight upon the elegant fabric of the City of Light. Others critics were even more vicious, describing the proposed tower as a “tragic street lamp,” a gymnasium apparatus…incomplete, confused and deformed,” “a giant ungainly skeleton,” “a half-built factory pipe,” “a carcass” and even “a hole-riddled suppository.” Nature-lovers argued that it would disturb the flight patterns of Parisian birds. Even as the iron lattice began to rise, Parisians continued to refer to it by the less-than-flattering nickname, “the metal asparagus.” Of course, no sooner had the tower opened in 1889 than the rabid criticism evaporated.
DAY 4Paris–Lucerne, Switzerland
Leave Paris, drive past Fontainebleau Forest, and enter Burgundy. Enjoy views of castles and vineyards on your way to the Swiss Alps and to picturesque Lucerne. Your walking tour includes Thorwaldsen’s emotional LION MONUMENT, dedicated to the fallen Swiss Guards who protected the Royal House of France during the French Revolution. Walk through the Old Town and cross the CHAPEL BRIDGE to the Jesuit Church. Tonight is your chance to yodel and blow an alphorn during an optional Swiss folklore dinner party. (Breakfast)
“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.”
DAY 5Lucerne–Bergamo, Italy
In the morning, you may wish to climb Mount Pilatus by cable car and shop for Swiss watches and chocolate. Then, have your cameras ready during an exciting drive along the St. Gotthard highway, which leads straight through the Swiss Alps and the Swiss-Italian lake district to the Italian border and arrive in Bergamo, where dinner at a local restaurant awaits you. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Cross the Apennine Mountains on your way to Florence, “Cradle of the Renaissance.” A guided walking tour features the cathedral and the Baptistry’s “Gate of Paradise,” and a visit to sculpture-studded SIGNORIA SQUARE. Then, continue through the Chianti vineyards and olive-clad Tuscan Hills to Rome, the “Eternal City.” Upon arrival, dinner with wine awaits you at one of Rome’s lively restaurants. (Breakfast, Dinner)
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."
Enjoy Globus’ unique guided sightseeing, including inside visits to all highlights of religious and ancient Rome: the VATICAN MUSEUMS and SISTINE CHAPEL with Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings and The Last Judgment, monumental ST. PETER’S SQUARE and BASILICA to admire Michelangelo’s Pietà, the amazing COLOSSEUM, and the ROMAN FORUM, where Roman legions marched in triumph. For those who wish to see it all, an optional walking tour with a Local Guide is available to further explore famous sites like the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and more. (Breakfast)
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. "
"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."
"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."
This morning, travel by high-speed TRAIN (first-class) to Naples, then transfer to beautiful Sorrento. Your Local Host can help you make the most of your stay. (Breakfast)
Enjoy a morning guided walking tour through the OLD TOWN. Take pictures of Mount Vesuvius, and visit the cloister of St. Francis Church before tasting locally produced LIMONCELLO. (Breakfast)
Your Local Host will have many suggestions for your day at leisure. (Breakfast)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning (the nearest airport is Naples). (Breakfast)
High-speed Eurostar train; motorcoach; private water-taxi in Venice; Italian high-speed first-class train; Free Wi-Fi available on your motorcoach and in most hotel lobbies.
Full buffet breakfast daily; 3 special three-course dinners with wine in Bergamo, Venice, and Rome
With Globus, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.
Years of Experience: 18 years
Discover Europe with me and enjoy the safety, excitement, value, and fun of an organized European vacation. With many years of experience in tour guiding, I know how to travel smart and hassle-free. I will show you as we skip the lines and get the maximum value out of our time. You will discover more hidden treasures, different cultures, and natural wonders.
|Four Ways Globus Eliminates the Hassles
Skip the lines and get special treatment at the must-see attractions.
We’ve done the work to find just the right hotels in just the right locations.
Take your heads out of the guidebook and let expert guides make every destination fascinating.
Leave the navigating to us – and just sit back and enjoy the ride. Learn how Globus is reducing transportation-related energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on the European Highlights with Sorrento:
- Historic Centre of Florence
- Historic Centre of Rome - various properties Vatican City