Day 1 London, England.
Welcome to London! Your Local Hosts will help you maximize your stay in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world.
Day 2 London.
Morning guided sightseeing includes all of London’s famous landmarks. Drive past the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben; Westminster Abbey, where Prince William and Kate Middleton were married; Whitehall’s mounted horseguards; the Prime Minister’s Downing Street; and Piccadilly Circus. Take photographs of the London Eye, the giant Ferris wheel situated on the riverbank, and the Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe. Visit ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL (except on Sundays). Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece with its world-famous dome is an iconic feature of London’s skyline, and the awe-inspiring interior holds fascinating stories about its history. The final highlight is the ceremonial pageantry of the Changing of the Guard (if held).
Day 3 London.
Consider your Local Host's suggestions for your day at leisure. Maybe an afternoon at the 900-year-old Tower of London, still guarded by the famous Beefeaters, would be to your taste.
Day 4 London–Paris, France
. Travel by HIGH-SPEED EUROSTAR TRAIN (Standard class) to Paris.
Day 5 Paris.
Morning guided sightseeing takes you to NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL, where Napoleon was crowned emperor in 1804, to admire its amazing 13th-century, stained-glass Rose Window. Pass the Latin Quarter, Les Invalides, the Opéra, Place de la Concorde, and Arc de Triomphe. Drive by the Seine River with its beautiful bridges, and stop to take photos of the iconic Eiffel Tower from one of the best panoramic viewing points. Also enter the world’s most visited museum, THE LOUVRE with its modern glass pyramid, to see Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and other treasures (Louvre replaced with Seine cruise on Tuesdays).
Day 6 Paris.
Today, you may want to immerse yourself in France’s famous cuisine—like its local cheese (over 400 varieties), onion soup, coq au vin (a classic chicken dish), pastries, crêpes, pain au chocolat, and much, much more! Your Local Host can help you organize your day.
Day 7 Paris–Venice, Italy.
Travel by AIR to Venice on selected flights.
Day 8 Venice.
Morning guided sightseeing, with headset, features ST. MARK’S SQUARE and BASILICA with its exceptional gold mosaics. Visit DOGES’ PALACE and the evocative BRIDGE OF SIGHS. Watch skilled GLASSBLOWERS fashion their delicate objects in the age-old manner, and learn why glass-making was so important in Venetian history. ENTRANCES to Marciana Library, and the Correr and Archaeological Museums are included; ask your Local Host for details.
Day 9 Venice.
Your Local Host will have ideas for your day, such as the best places to shop for Murano glass items and Carnival masks.
Day 10 Venice–Florence.
Travel by HIGH-SPEED TRAIN (First class) to Florence.
Day 11 Florence.
Morning guided sightseeing, with headset, includes a visit of the ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS, with Michelangelo’s original David. Walk through Cathedral Square; sculpture-studded Piazza della Signoria, the center of the city’s political life since the 14th century; and Santa Croce Square. Also admire medieval Ponte Vecchio, the arched, stone merchant bridge spanning the Arno River. (On Mondays, included guided sightseeing will take place the following day.)
Day 12 Florence.
Today your Local Host will have many options for your day at leisure.
Day 13 Florence–Rome
. Travel by HIGH-SPEED TRAIN (First class) to Rome.
Day 14 Rome.
Your morning guided sightseeing, with headset, is rich in religious and ancient history. Visit the VATICAN MUSEUMS to see its amazing treasures. In the SISTINE CHAPEL, where the Conclave is held to elect new popes, view Michelangelo’s The Last Judgment and his famous ceiling paintings. Also on the agenda today, see monumental ST. PETER’S SQUARE and BASILICA, built in 313 AD above St. Peter the Apostle’s tomb and home to Michelangelo’s masterpiece Renaissance sculpture, the Pietà. Cross the Tiber River and continue your immersion in history at the iconic COLOSSEUM, built for 50,000 spectators, and the ROMAN FORUM, where the oldest structures of the ancient city are located. (On Sundays, included guided sightseeing will take place the following day.)
Day 15 Rome.
Follow the ancient Roman advice carpe diem (seize the day) and ask your Local Host for suggestions. You may want to ensure your return to the “Eternal City” by throwing a coin into Trevi Fountain.
Day 16 Rome.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.