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European Dream

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Active
Florence, Italy
Tour Style: First Class
11 Days from $2,336 per person

Brush up on your photographic skills – you're going to need them on this fast-paced jaunt through Europe's celebrity cities of Rome, Florence, Venice, Paris and lesser-known Lucerne. Get snap-happy sightseeing at such highlights as the Vatican City, Eiffel Tower and the Duomo, people watch in the piazze and marvel at a multitude of picture-perfect landscapes.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Ciao Roma! Welcome to the Eternal City – once home to gods and goddesses, emperors, senators and slaves. On arrival to Rome Fiumicino Airport transfers will operate at 9.30am, 12.30pm and 3.30pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the hotel. Explore the city's bustling boulevards and labyrinthine lanes before meeting your fellow travelers and Travel Director at a Welcome Reception. This evening we meander through the streets of Rome during an orientation drive revealing some of the city's most celebrated treasures.

    meal(s):WR
    hotel:Grand Tiberio
  3. The Holy See takes center stage today as we join a Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour that will see us visit the 17th century St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City and witness Michelangelo's sorrowful Pietà, a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture. We cross the Tiber into Ancient Rome to delve into what was once the largest empire in the world and view such ancient sites as the imposing Colosseum where brave gladiators and slaves duelled to their deaths. The afternoon is yours at leisure to explore the picturesque piazze of Rome. Sit on the Spanish Steps and shop up a storm on Via Condotti or perhaps join an Optional Experience to see the exquisite frescoed ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
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  4. We travel north into the vineyard-clad hills of Tuscany and along the valley of the River Arno. Stopping for an authentic Be My Guest lunch at an unforgettable castle, we enjoy local wine, a delicious meal and olive oil flavors before venturing to Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance. Join a Local Specialist for an enchanting encounter with one of the world's cultural centers, admiring the exquisite architecture and artistry around every turn. View the magnificent marble Duomo and Piazza della Signoria, the political hub of Florence before arriving at your hotel.
    meal(s):BB, BG
    hotel:Grand Mediterraneo
  5. The romantic island city of Venice is our destination today. We take to San Marco's waters, cruising the canals with views of the imposing St. Mark's Basilica and ornate Doge's Palace before experiencing a Cultural Insight into the fine, centuries-old art of Venetian glassblowing. The afternoon is yours to explore narrow calle in search of a cozy bacaro where you can enjoy delicious Venetian cuisine washed down with a Campari spritz or two. Or venture to the enchanting canal-side setting of St. Mark's Square – the sounds of talented buskers, seagulls and lapping water the perfect backdrop for a brilliant sun set over the Grand Canal.
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    hotel:Novotel Venezia Mestre Castellana
  6. We depart Venice, traveling across the lush green Veneto plains and north into the picturesque Italian and Swiss Lake Districts via Como and Lugano. Meandering through the spectacular alpine landscape along the winding St. Gotthard route, we arrive in Switzerland and the laidback lakeside city of Lucerne, most famous for its solid wooden Chapel Bridge and the poignant Lion Monument, a memorial to Swiss Guards who were massacred in Paris in 1792 while guarding Louis XVI. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure, ambling through the cobblestone streets of Old Town lined with beautifully painted façades or perhaps join an Optional Experience ascending one of the surrounding mountain peaks for panoramic views of the surroundings.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Grand Europe Authentic Accommodation
  7. From Lucerne, we head into France and through the rolling vineyard-clad hills of Burgundy, one of the country's largest wine-producing areas, en route to Paris where we'll spend the next two nights. The City of Light is yours to explore this evening. Wander up grand boulevards and along the scenic Seine, stumble upon a cozy salon to grab a bite to eat and sip wine while watching the beautiful people of Paris, or consider attending one of the city's famous colorful cabaret shows.
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    hotel:Renaissance La Defense
  8. Join a Local Specialist today and ascend to the second level of the iconic Eiffel Tower to get a bird's-eye view of the golden dome of Les Invalides, the Tuileries gardens and the glinting tip of the Louvre Pyramid in the distance. See the Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde, with its turbulent past spanning centuries before joining your Travel Director and fellow travelers at a memorable Farewell Dinner.
    meal(s):BB, FD
  9. Pass the tragic Somme battlefields en route to Calais from where we set sail across the English Channel to Dover and travel through Kent to London.
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    hotel:Hilton Kensington
  10. Join a Local Specialist today to see the sights of London. View Big Ben, the imposing Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace, after which you have an afternoon at leisure to soak up the dynamic atmosphere of this capital city that combines centuries-old heritage with modern verve.
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  11. Time to bid farewell to London and your fellow travelers as your memorable European vacation comes to an end. Airport transfers are available. Conditions apply.
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30 Day Refund Guarantee

We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.
  • Definite Departure
  • Festive Celebrations
  • 2019 Departures
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
8 Apr 18 18 Apr 18 checkmark $2,595$2,336pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
6 May 18 16 May 18 checkmark $2,795$2,516pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
20 May 18 30 May 18 checkmark $2,795$2,516pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
3 Jun 18 13 Jun 18 checkmark $2,795$2,516pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
24 Jun 18 4 Jul 18 checkmark $2,795$2,516pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
1 Jul 18 11 Jul 18 checkmark $2,795$2,516pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
8 Jul 18 18 Jul 18 checkmark $2,750$2,475pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
15 Jul 18 25 Jul 18 checkmark $2,750$2,475pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
5 Aug 18 15 Aug 18 checkmark $2,750$2,475pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
19 Aug 18 29 Aug 18 checkmark $2,750$2,475pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
2 Sep 18 12 Sep 18 checkmark $2,795$2,516pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
9 Sep 18 19 Sep 18 checkmark $2,795$2,516pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Call 1-877-622-9109
16 Sep 18 26 Sep 18 checkmark $2,795$2,516pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
23 Sep 18 3 Oct 18 checkmark $2,725$2,453pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Call 1-877-622-9109
30 Sep 18 10 Oct 18 checkmark $2,725$2,453pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
7 Oct 18 17 Oct 18 checkmark $2,725$2,453pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Call 1-877-622-9109
2019 Departures
28 Oct 18 7 Nov 18 $2,375pp Request Quote Book Now
2019 Departures
11 Nov 18 21 Nov 18 $2,375pp Request Quote Book Now
2019 Departures
25 Nov 18 5 Dec 18 $2,375pp Request Quote Book Now
2019 Departures
13 Dec 18 23 Dec 18 $2,395pp Request Quote Book Now
Festive Celebrations
2019 Departures
20 Dec 18 30 Dec 18 $2,595pp Request Quote Book Now
Festive Celebrations
2019 Departures
27 Dec 18 6 Jan 19 $2,650pp Request Quote Book Now
2019 Departures
6 Jan 19 16 Jan 19 $2,395pp Request Quote Book Now
2019 Departures
20 Jan 19 30 Jan 19 $2,375pp Request Quote Book Now
2019 Departures
3 Feb 19 13 Feb 19 $2,375pp Request Quote Book Now
2019 Departures
17 Feb 19 27 Feb 19 $2,375pp Request Quote Book Now
2019 Departures
3 Mar 19 13 Mar 19 $2,375pp Request Quote Book Now
2019 Departures
17 Mar 19 27 Mar 19 $2,375pp Request Quote Book Now
2019 Departures
31 Mar 19 10 Apr 19 $2,395pp Request Quote Book Now
  • Festive Celebrations: Christmas and/or New Year Celebrations have been arranged for these departures.
  • 2019 Departures: are subject to change of itinerary, price, discount and hotels.

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $520 p.p.

Triple Room Discount: up to $90 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $57 per person.

Airport transfers: On arrival at Rome Fiumicino Airport transfers will operate at 9:30 am, 12:30 pm and 3:30 pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the hotel.

Cruise Connection: This trip starts or ends in a popular cruise port, so a cruise can be combined with a more in-depth guided experience in Europe.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment

Meal Summary

9 nights, 9 hot buffet breakfasts, 1 lunch (Be My Guest), 2 dinners, On-trip transport, .

Included Highlights

Be My Guest

  • The Pazzi and de Medici feud is brought to light in this visit to the 12th century Castle of Trebbio where you will enjoy a traditional Tuscan buffet, explore the castle dungeons, and indulge in olive oil and wine tasting

Authentic Accommodations

  • Enjoy the elegance of yesteryear and sweeping lake vistas at the Grand Hotel Europe in Lucerne, where warm Swiss hospitality and a grand past spanning over a century guarantee an unforgettable stay

Cultural Insight

  • Witness the exquisite craft of glassblowing, a delicate tradition that generations of Venetian craftsmen have perfected over the centuries

Local Specialist

  • For included sightseeing in Rome, Florence, Paris and London

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in Rome, Florence, Paris, London
  • Orientation of Venice, Lucerne
  • Visit St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, the Eiffel Tower in Paris
  • View the Colosseum and other ancient sites in Rome, St. Mark's Basilica in Venice, Lion Monument and the Chapel Bridge in Lucerne, the Champs Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the White Cliffs of Dover
  • See the Tuscan countryside, the Vineyards of Burgundy, the Somme Battlefield in France

Reviews

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  • U.S. citizens traveling to Europe must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering these countries.

  • The currency in Italy and France is the Euro (€), in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF) and in London is the Pound (£). While it’s a good idea to bring some euros for when you first arrive, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate when you arrive in your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • One of the most enjoyable parts of traveling is sampling the cuisine. 

    While Italy is most famous for pizza and pasta, few travelers are aware of just how varied the country’s culinary offering actually are. In fact, each of the 20 regions has its own distinctive cuisine. Traditionally, lunch (pranzo) is the most substantial meal of the day. A full meal consists of antipasto (starter), a primo piatto (pasta, rice or soup), a secondo piatto (meat or fish) with a side, or contorno (vegetable or salad), then frutta (fresh fruit). Finish with espresso and maybe a limoncello or grappa.  Wine is usually served with the meal, accompanied by mineral water. Tap water is safe to drink, but not always tasty. We recommend you buy bottled mineral water. ‘Acqua non potabile’ means the water is not safe to drink. 

    Swiss cuisine is a flavorful blend of German, Italian, and French influences and a wide variety of regional offerings.  Specialty dishes include fondue and raclette (cheese dipping dishes), sausages and rösti (fried potato), bündnerfleisch (air-dried beef) and fondue bourguigon (cubes of steak with various sauces). Swiss pastries and desserts are excellent. There are also spirits made from fruit; the most popular are Kirsch, Pflümli and Williamine. And don’t miss out on the world-class selection of Swiss chocolate.

    The French have an ongoing love affair with food and wine. Meals are lovingly prepared and consumed leisurely through a bevy of appetizers and main courses, usually accompanied by a number of wines. Boeuf bourgignon (beef stew with wine, herbs and vegetables), coq au vin (chicken cooked with bacon in a white wine and herb sauce) and bouillabaisse (fish stew) are featured on many menus. Cheese lovers will not be disappointed with hundreds of varieties to choose from.  And no visit would be complete without a visit to a pâtisserie, with its delicate pastries you will definitely be tempted.

    Restaurants around London serve specialties such as fish and chips, Yorkshire pudding, sausages, stilton cheese, and scones with clotted cream. Culinary experiences to not to miss include a traditional pub meal, afternoon tea, and full English breakfast. 

  • We suggest bringing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. Keep in mind that your shoulders and knees should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • In Italy tipping is less common or generous as in the U.S. When dining out, it’s appropriate, although not required, to leave an extra euro or two for your waiter.

    A service charge is typically included in the bill at restaurants in Switzerland.  While there is no need to leave an additional tip, you can round up to the next franc for service if you choose.

    In France, a 15% service compris is included by law in the price of food and drink. Tipping in addition to this service charge is never expected, but always appreciated. If you’d like to leave something extra, keep in mind that even in the fanciest restaurants, people rarely tip more than 5-10%. A good rule of thumb is to leave an extra €1 for every €20 spent. Rather than adding gratuity to your credit card slip, leave coins in the tray where the check was presented to ensure that your waiter receives it.

    Restaurants in London often include a service charge of 12.5 percent, especially for large groups.  If service isn’t included, it’s customary to leave 10-15 percent of the bill.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

Florence

Dinner, Wine And Music In The Tuscan Hills

Adult Price: € 64

Join us for a scenic drive through the beautiful Tuscan countryside. We will enjoy a meal at a charming restaurant where a selection of regional favourites is served, accompanied by a selection of local wines and live music. A truly unforgettable experience, with an atmosphere that is the essence of all things Tuscan.

Michelangelo's 'David' & Accademia

Adult Price: € 40

Enjoy an insight into the world of Michelangelo and his masterpiece, David. We have fast track entry to the Academy of Fine Arts and its Michelangelo collection, where you’ll learn all about the life and works of this immortal Renaissance genius through the expert commentary of our Local Specialist.

This optional involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. Cancellation within 24 hours will incur a 50% cancellation fee.

Lucerne

Mount Stanserhorn And Lake Cruise

Adult Price: 112 CHF

Take a scenic cruise with us across Lake Lucerne to Stans, and one of Switzerland's oldest mountain railways. Travelling by railway and Cabrio cable car, we'll reach 1900m (6300ft), where you’ll have free time to admire the stunning Alpine scenery and enjoy some refreshments. (On certain departures Optional may be operated in reverse, ending with the cruise.)

Paris

Nouvelle Eve Cabaret And Dinner

Adult Price: € 139

Join us for dinner with wine included at one of the most prestigious cabaret shows in town, where you’ll watch an evening of exciting acts, stunning tableaux and wonderful entertainment – including the world famous Can-Can. A Parisian night you’ll never forget.

Moulin Rouge Cabaret And Dinner

Adult Price: € 162

Enjoy dinner and cabaret, including wine and champagne, at the world-famous Moulin Rouge – the original Paris cabaret. Immortalized by the award-winning film of the same name, this Parisian institution features 60 dancers and entertainers and over 1000 costumes!

Notre Dame And Latin Quarter

Adult Price: € 33

A guided drive through Paris' bohemian Left Bank with our Local Specialist brings us to amazing Notre Dame to discover one of the world's most famous Cathedrals and the epitome of Gothic architecture. Afterwards, take a stroll through the delightful Latin Quarter, a medieval maze of winding cobblestone alleyways where you'll have free time to enjoy the sidewalk bistros, boutiques and hidden squares.

Seine Cruise And Paris Illuminations

Adult Price: € 38

Paris at night is a city transformed. Enjoy this superb 'City of Light' on a leisurely cruise along the River Seine. Afterwards, as we drive through this amazing city, we’ll stop at some vantage points for you to capture the fascinating sights on camera. In summer, this trip may take place before sunset.

Rome

Piazzas and Fountains of Rome

Adult Price: € 33

Starting with a lovely drive and continuing on foot, you'll discover hidden backstreets, piazzas and fountains of the 'Eternal City' with a Local Specialist. Along the way, you'll marvel at the timeless Pantheon, the best-preserved Roman temple in the world. Many additional highlights are revealed on this relaxed tour that also offers free time in a gorgeous Baroque square with street artists, trattorias and gelaterias!

Roman Evening with Dinner

Adult Price: € 61

Spend a light-hearted evening with us in Rome. Relax and enjoy typical Italian cuisine with drinks and music. Afterwards, we’ll enjoy a drive and provide a glimpse into how Romans enjoy their city.

Inside The Vatican & Colosseum

Adult Price: € 79

We skip the lines at the Vatican Museums for this tour that shows not just remarkable works of art collected and commissioned over the history of the Papacy, but also Michelangelo’s amazing ceiling frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. Later we hear fascinating tales of gladitorial combat and more on our visit to the Colosseum, again with time-saving VIP entrance.

This optional involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. Cancellation within 24 hours will incur a 50% cancellation fee.

Venice

Gondolas & Grand Canal

Adult Price: € 69

On arrival in Venice, a private boat will be waiting to take you to St Mark's Square, where you’ll enjoy a gondola ride while being serenaded by local musicians. Later, private water taxi's will take you along Venice's Grand Canal, where you’ll admire the magnificent palazzos and Rialto Bridge.

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