Full buffet breakfast daily; 2 special three-course dinners at a local restaurant in Rome and Paris
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Day 1 ARRIVE IN ROME, ITALY
Welcome to Rome! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions and leave the hotel for a welcome dinner with pasta and wine at Mino restaurant.
Day 2 ROME
Guided sightseeing of the Eternal City starts with a visit to the VATICAN MUSEUMS and SISTINE CHAPEL with Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings and The Last Judgment, followed by a visit to monumental ST. PETER’S SQUARE and BASILICA to admire Michelangelo’s Pietà. Then, enjoy views of other major sites as you drive to the Roman Forum to visit the amazing COLOSSEUM, where gladiators once fought. An optional walking tour with a Local Guide is available to further explore famous sites for those who wish to see it all.
Day 3 ROME–FERRARA–VENICE ISLAND
In Ferrara, walk through the impressive Este Castle to the marble cathedral and browse through the attractive little shops. Continue to the Adriatic coast and arrive in Venice, a powerful magnet for romantics and art lovers from all over the globe. Tonight is your chance to join an optional evening featuring a private water-taxi ride along the Grand Canal, followed by a traditional dinner at one of Venice’s fine restaurants.
Day 4 VENICE ISLAND
Start sightseeing in style by PRIVATE BOAT and meet your Local Guide. Highlights of your walking tour are magnificent ST. MARK’S SQUARE and the byzantine BASILICA, lavish DOGES’ PALACE and the BRIDGE OF SIGHS. Also watch a skilled GLASSBLOWER fashion delicate objects in an age-old traditional manner. Later, you may wish to join an optional cruise to colorful Burano Island.
Day 5 VENICE ISLAND–FLORENCE
Drive across the wooded Apennine Mountains into Tuscany and arrive in Florence, “Cradle of the Renaissance.” Meet your Local Guide, and visit the ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS with Michelangelo’s celebrated David. Continue your walking tour through the historic center and stand in awe in front of the magnificent cathedral, admire Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry’s heavy bronze “Gates of Paradise,” and sculpture-studded SIGNORIA SQUARE. Afterwards, you may wish to shop for Florentine leather goods and gold jewelry, sold by the ounce.
Day 6 FLORENCE–CINQUE TERRE–GENOA
Drive through the valley of the Arno River to La Spezia on the Mediterranean Coast, for an exciting excursion to CINQUE TERRE, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, including a BOAT RIDE (weather permitting) with a Local Guide. The name dates back to the 15th century and is derived from five little medieval villages standing on stony spurs along five miles of the rocky coastline: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso. From here, head for Genoa, birthplace of Christopher Columbus.
Day 7 GENOA–ÈZE, FRANCE–FRENCH RIVIERA
Your Local Guide will introduce you to this amazing city, that played an important role in maritime trade for many centuries. Follow the coast towards France, then leave the highway for the panoramic Moyenne Corniche and stop in Èze. Visit the Fragonard perfume factory, beautifully located with breathtaking views of the blue Mediterranean Sea. Hear about the fascinating tradition of the art of PERFUME-MAKING, before arriving in Nice. An optional outing is available tonight to Monte Carlo.
Day 8 FRENCH RIVIERA. EXCURSION TO ST. PAUL DE VENCE
A highlight visit this morning to the picturesque hilltop town of St. Paul de Vence. Explore the many art galleries and enjoy the magnificent view, or relax at a café, where you may see the locals play pétanque (bowling). Return to your hotel for a lazy afternoon.
Day 9 FRENCH RIVIERA–PARIS
Transfer to the railway station and board the high-speed TGV TRAIN to Paris. This evening, dinner has been included at a local restaurant, where you can try out specialties like escargots (snails), soupe à l’oignon (onion soup), and boeuf bourguignon (beef Burgundy), followed by a drive for a first impression of the French capital.
Day 10 PARIS
Discover the city with a Local Guide and admire its most renowned sites: the Opéra, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysées, and more. During your SEINE CRUISE enjoy spectacular views of Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower. To enhance your stay, you may wish to join an optional excursion to the lavish baroque Palace and Gardens of Versailles, built by the Sun King, Louis XIV. Tonight, dinner and a lively cabaret show at one of Paris’ nightclubs might just be the ticket!
Day 11 PARIS–LONDON, ENGLAND
Travel by EUROSTAR TRAIN to London, arriving in the afternoon. Why not take in a West End show tonight?
Day 12 LONDON
Sightseeing with a Local Guide includes the most famous landmarks and a visit to ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL, Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece built between 1675 and 1708. Optional excursions are available.
Day 13 LONDON
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.