DAY 1 - ARRIVE ROME (2 NIGHTS)
Benvenuto a Roma - what was once the Capital of the World is today a vibrant capital filled with Italian zest for life and centuries of celebrated history. Soak up the sights and sounds of this magnificent city before joining your fellow travellers and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and orientation drive through the exciting cityscape to kick off your unforgettable European adventure.
Welcome Reception Hotel: Cardinal St Peter
DAY 2 - ROME SIGHTSEEING
We venture to the centre of Christianity and the great square that bears the name of the first 'Bishop of Rome', St. Peter. Join your Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour that includes a visit to St. Peter's Basilica, where we will have an opportunity to see Michelangelo's sorrowful Pietà hewn from the most perfect block of Carrara marble. We cross the Tiber River to see the ancient sites of Rome, including the mighty Colosseum and Circus Maximus - imagining the thunderous roar of thousands of exhilarated spectators cheering their chosen chariots to victory. This afternoon we have time to explore the city on our terms. Perhaps toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain to secure your return to Rome or embark on an Optional Experience to visit the Colosseum and the Vatican.
DAY 3 - ROME - SIENA - FLORENCE (2 NIGHTS)
We travel into the scenic Tuscan hills to medieval Siena with its honey-stone façades and cobblestone streets. View the Piazza del Campo where the biennual Palio horse race takes place, and see the ornate medieval palaces and 14th century marble Duomo before meandering through the city centre in search of hand-painted ceramics to take home as souvenirs. Then join your companions for an authentic Be My Guest meal in the picturesque Chianti countryside. This evening, we arrive in Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance, where we will spend the next two nights.
Buffet Breakfast/Be My Guest Diningr Hotel: Cosmopolitan Concept
DAY 4 - FLORENCE SIGHTSEEING
The extraordinary art and architecture of Florence is celebrated during our guided walking tour in the company of a Local Specialist who will share the tales of the de'Medici family and their quest to create one of the world's cultural capitals. We'll view the exquisite marble Duomo and visit Piazza della Signoria with its palazzi and magnificent art, including a replica of Michelangelo's David statue. View the 400-year-old Ponte Vecchio bridge, the only bridge over the River Arno that the fleeing German army did not destroy, and admire Piazzale Michelangelo from panoramic views of the iconic cityscape. This afternoon is yours to explore the city on your terms. Visit the Uffizi Gallery to see the masterpieces of Michelangelo, da Vinci and Botticelli, wander through the Boboli Gardens of Pitti Palace or shop for high-quality leather and gold for which the city is famous.
DAY 5 - FLORENCE - PISA - VENICE (2 NIGHTS)
We travel to Pisa today and to the Square of Miracles to view the famous Leaning Tower and Italy's largest Baptistery, before crossing the Apennine hills and the flat Veneto plains to the island city of Venice. The rest of the day is yours to relax and soak up the sights and sounds of Italy. Consider joining an Optional Experience and meander through the labyrinthine canals of Venice by gondola before dinner at your hotel.
Buffet Breakfast/Dinner with wine Hotel: NH Laguna Palace
DAY 6 - VENICE ORIENTATION
Take to the water and cruise by private launch to the gateway of Venice, St. Mark's Square - the winged lions of Venice are never far as you join your Travel Director in an exploration of the city sights, including the ornate Doge's Palace and Bridge of Sighs. Stand in the bustling square admiring St. Mark's Basilica and the Campanile with its five bells that all have a special purpose. Enjoy a fascinating Cultural Insight into fine centuries-old tradition of Venetian tradition glassmaking on Giudecca Island, before spending the rest of the day getting lost in Venice or joining an Optional Experience to the island of Burano for a delicious traditional meal that would make any Italian mamma proud.
DAY 7 - VENICE - LAKE COMO - LUCERNE (2 NIGHTS)
En route to Switzerland this morning, we travel through the picturesque Italian Lake District and enjoy some free time for lunch in the laidback lakeside town of Como, which for centuries has served as the crossing point between Central Europe and the Mediterranean. Journeying through the picturesque alpine scenery, we pass Lugano and meander along the winding St. Gotthard route into central Switzerland, arriving in legendary Lucerne.
Buffet Breakfast Hotel: Post Weggis
DAY 8 - LUCERNE ORIENTATION
Enjoy an orientation of Lucerne to see the poignant Lion Monument, commemorating the heroism of the Swiss Guards during the French Revolution and the solid wooden Chapel Bridge, lined with pretty pink, white and purple blooms. Spend the rest of the day at leisure ambling past the beautifully painted façades in the Old Town, shopping for luxurious Swiss chocolate or joining an Optional Experience to one of the surrounding mountains to admire panoramic views of this region.
DAY 9 - LUCERNE - PARIS (2 NIGHTS)
We cross the French border and what remains of the Maginot Line, journeying through the rolling vineyard-clad hills of Burgundy, one of France's most prominent wine regions. Arriving in Paris later this afternoon, we have the evening at leisure to wander up grand boulevards and admire the vibrant cityscape of one of Europe's most sophisticated cities.
Buffet Breakfast Hotel: Melia La Defense
DAY 10 - PARIS SIGHTSEEING
Join a Local Specialist this morning for a guided tour along the grand Champs Élysées and Place de la Concorde. Enjoy panoramic views of the beautiful Paris skyline from the second level of the iconic Eiffel Tower from where you'll view the golden dome of Les Invalides, landscaped Tuileries Gardens and grand boulevards stretching out symmetrically in all directions. This evening, we join our fellow travellers and Travel Director for a Farewell Dinner celebrating the end of our European adventure.
Buffet Breakfast/Farewell Dinner
DAY 11 - PARIS - LONDON
Travelling north through France past the tragic World War I battlefields of the Somme, we catch our ferry from Calais to Dover, watching as we approach the famous White Cliffs that bear the town's name. We continue to London, the final stop in our epic exploration of Europe, and say farewell to newfound friends before preparing to return home.
# WHAT'S ALWAYS INCLUDED
- City tour of Rome, Florence and Paris
- Orientation of Siena, Pisa, Venice and Lucerne
- See the Colosseum in Rome, Vineyards of Burgundy and the Somme Battlefields in France
- View the ancient sites of Rome, Piazza del Campo in Siena, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, scenic Lake Como, the Lion Monument in Lucerne, spectacular Alpine scenery of Switzerland, the Chapel Bridge in Lucerne and the White Cliffs of Dover
- Visit St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and the Eiffel Tower in Paris
- Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing
- Daily breakfast and an average of 50% of evening meals
- Luxury air-conditioned coach with WiFi
- The services of a London Travel Agency Local Host
- Ferry across the Channel from Calais to Dover
- Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
- Hand-picked Insider Experiences
- Optional Experiences and free time
- All porterage and restaurant gratuities
- Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
- An expert Travel Director and separate Driver
- All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
- Airport transfer service is available. Conditions apply.
Travel from Rome to London, Visit three great Italian cities - Rome, Venice and Florence, Lake Lucerne in Switzerland, Paris for a trip up the Eiffel Tower. Admire the Champs Elysées, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame and the Louvre Museum, plentiful sights and unique cultures in European historic capital cities and London ...
- Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted