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Welcome to the Queen of the Adriatic, known for its unique waterscapes and rich cultural heritage. Transfers depart from Venice Airport and journey to the hotel by water taxi at 11:00 and 13:00. What better way to start your dream holiday than in true Venetian style? Join your Travel Director at 18:00 for a Welcome Dinner at the magical La Fenice restaurant. Savour a cocktail at twilight whilst being serenaded by an ensemble of talented musicians, and admire the tranquillity of St. Mark's Square long after the day-trippers have gone to their mainland hotels. Return to your hotel by a small canal in the quiet, peaceful authentic Cannaregio neighborhood.
In the morning, prepare to embrace this most romantic city. Your hotel is located on the renowned Grand Canal. Visit St. Mark's Square, dominated by its magnificent basilica and overlooked by the great Clock Tower. Also in the square stands the immense Campanile and Doge's Palace which is connected to the ancient prisons by the Bridge of Sighs. Join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience as you witness the skill of glassblowers on a visit to a traditional arts centre. The rest of the day is free, perhaps shop in the small arcades?
Head into the Apennine Mountains and the peaceful landscapes of Tuscany. Meet your Local Host for a guided tour through the house of the Italian Renaissance diplomat and writer, Nicolo Machiavelli, with an included special opening of his private office where he wrote 'The Prince'. Visit the Italian garden with views of the Florence Cathedral and the historic cellar, which has a secret underground tunnel connecting the cellars to the oldest restaurant in Italy. Savour a tasting of wines made from the vineyards surrounding the home, accompanied by delicious samples of local Tuscan fare. Your journey continues as you follow the course of the Tiber to your hotel in the Eternal City of Rome.
With your Local Expert, visit the Vatican Museums. Insight provides special priority entry to avoid the crowds and gives you behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase, normally off-limits to the public. Inside the Sistine Chapel, admire Michelangelo's famous ceiling. Continue inside the cavernous St. Peter's Basilica, mother church of the Catholic faith, to see another Michelangelo masterpiece, the Pietà, as well as the splendid dome. Leave Vatican City to cross the Tiber and stand outside the Colosseum, imagining yourself back in the days of the gladiators. The afternoon is at leisure.
Meet chef Lorenzo at his family farm in Umbria. Learn the secrets of the 'black diamonds' as you join a truffle hunting walk and tasting, followed by an aromatic lunch. Continue on to your hotel in Florence.
With your Local Expert, view the multi-coloured marble cathedral, bell tower and baptistery adorned by Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise. You also visit the open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces in Piazza della Signoria and see the area around Santa Croce Basilica, famous for the quality of its luxury goods.In the afternoon, enjoy free time to explore the Renaissance capital. Perhaps take the opportunity to visit the Tuscan town of Pisa and see the Leaning Tower?
Head north towards the Italian Lake District via Lake Lugano. Continue into the heart of the Swiss Alps, passing through the Saint Gotthard Tunnel, one of the longest road tunnels in the world, before travelling alongside towering mountains and past rushing torrents, down to scenic Lake Lucerne. Upon return to Lucerne, see the town's proud Lion Monument, carved into a limestone cliff and dedicated to the heroic Swiss Guards who died defending King Louis XVI during the French Revolution. Then, take some time to stroll across the covered Chapel Bridge and see the baroque Jesuit Church.
In the morning, embark on a scenic journey by funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of the stunning Mount Stanserhorn. Breathe in the pristine mountain air and, on a clear day, witness views as far as Alsace and the Black Forest in Germany. Explore Mount Stanserhorn with Insight Choice. Choose to walk along beautiful scenic pathways for a chance to see marmots and other native animals. Alternatively, join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience and hear a conservation talk by a Swiss ranger. With the day free, there is plenty of time for shopping for delectable chocolate and glamorous Swiss watches in the traffic-free Old Town. Perhaps venture into the countryside for a delightful horse-drawn carriage ride and meet the local farmers? At night, you are offered a fine selection of restaurants to choose from for your Dine-Around Evening.
Journey through the rural French countryside of Burgundy, famous for its vineyards and wines, to arrive in the vibrant City of Light. During your time in Paris, see the impressive Eiffel Tower, the magnificent Notre-Dame Cathedral and the imposing facades of the Louvre. Discover the banks of the Seine with its many romantic bridges, see the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and drive along the Champs Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe. With the evening free, there are countless opportunities to enjoy the lively atmosphere of this glittering city. Why not visit one of the world-famous cabaret shows?
Start your day with an Insight Choice. Choose to shop in quaint boutiques like a true Parisian with your Local Expert. Alternatively, join an avid foodie to explore small shops and sample local treats and delicacies. In the evening, indulge in refined French cuisine during your Celebration Dinner at the iconic restaurant La Coupole, frequently visited by the French entertainer Josephine Baker.
Bid farewell to your travelling companions as your journey comes to an end. Transfers arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport at 08:00 and 11:00.
Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.
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