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 one of Rome’s lively restaurants.
Day 2 ROME.
Guided sightseeing includes inside visits to the VATICAN MUSEUMS and SISTINE CHAPEL with Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings and The Last Judgment, and monumental ST. PETER’S SQUARE and BASILICA to admire Michelangelo’s Pietà. Then, drive to the Roman Forum and marvel at the amazing Colosseum, where gladiators once fought. 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.
Day 3 ROME–FLORENCE.
A pleasant drive through the Tuscan hills brings you to Florence, “Cradle of the Renaissance.” Follow your Local Guide for a visit of the ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS with Michelangelo’s celebrated David. Admire the magnificent cathedral, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry’s heavy bronze “Gate of Paradise,” and visit sculpture-studded SIGNORIA SQUARE. Time to check out the enticing shops selling Florentine leather goods and gold jewelry on Piazza Santa Croce before joining [LF] a PIZZA PARTY at Finisterrae restaurant.
Day 4 FLORENCE–VENICE.
Arrive in Venice, city of romantics, and enter in style by PRIVATE BOAT. Visit ST. MARK’S SQUARE. Admire the byzantine basilica, the Clock Tower, lavish Doges’ Palace and the Bridge of Sighs. Also watch a skilled GLASSBLOWER fashion delicate objects in an age-old traditional manner. Then, you may wish to join an optional gondola ride. A PASTA DINNER has been prepared for you at Rossopomodoro restaurant, followed by an exciting ride by [LF] PRIVATE WATER-TAXI through the Grand Canal as a proper arrivederci on your last night in Italy.
Day 5 VENICE–BELLINZONA, SWITZERLAND–LUCERNE.
Leave the flat Po area and enter the Swiss Alps. Stop in Bellinzona and [LF] ride the elevator to the COURTYARD of Castelgrande, part of the fortifications dating back to the Middle Ages and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, enjoy a spectacular panoramic view and a light lunch to try out local specialties and the delicious Merlot wine for which the area is famous. Then, admire the towering majesty of the Swiss Alps and St. Gotthard on the way to picturesque Lucerne.
Day 6 LUCERNE.
During your walking tour, admire Thorwaldsen’s emotional LION MONUMENT and the ornate patrician houses lining the cobblestone streets of the Old Town. Cross the famous covered CHAPEL BRIDGE to the Jesuit Church. Of course, you will taste CHOCOLATE PRALINES from Läderach Chocolatier Suisse, one of Switzerland’s most famous chocolate-makers. Shop for Swiss watches or knives, and to make the most of your stay, choose from our optional activities: climb Mount Pilatus by cable car or take a cruise on the fjord-like lake. Why not sign up for a folklore party with yodeling and alphorn blowing for a first-hand impression of Alpine merrymaking?
Day 7 LUCERNE–PARIS, FRANCE.
Say auf Wiedersehen in Basel and cross the border into France. On your way to Paris, drive past the vineyards of Burgundy with views of beautiful castles and past Fontainebleau Forest. An optional excursion is available to try out local specialties in one of Paris’ lively restaurants, followed by a drive through the “City of Light.”
Day 8 PARIS.
Discover the world capital of chic and style with a Local Guide and admire its most renowned sites: the Opéra, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysées, and enjoy a relaxing SEINE CRUISE with spectacular views of Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower. (On Sundays, the sightseeing may take place in the afternoon.) Join an optional excursion to the lavish baroque Palace and Gardens of Versailles. Tonight, an optional evening out for dinner and show at the Moulin Rouge may be the best way to say au revoir, Paris.
Day 9 PARIS–LONDON, ENGLAND.
Board the high-speed EUROSTAR TRAIN for a smooth ride to London, arriving in the afternoon. Why not take in a West End show tonight?
Day 10 LONDON.
Morning sightseeing with a Local Guide includes all the famous landmarks: the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben beside the Thames River, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and more. Highlights are a visit to ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL, Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece built between 1675 and 1708. Afternoon at leisure. Optional excursions are available to the Tower of London or to Windsor Castle, and later, maybe enjoy dinner, followed by a cruise on the Thames River.
Day 11 LONDON.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.