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European Splendor

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Active
St. Peter's, Rome
Tour Style: First Class
14 Days from $3,173 per person

From Michelangelo to Shakespeare, Europe's greatest works are on display as you trace the footsteps of illustrious visionaries. Marvel at the Pietà and sweep your eyes over panoramic views from la tour Eiffel. Explore the highlights of Rome, Florence, Venice, Lucerne and Paris with a few masterpieces in between.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. 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. 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. Soak up the sights and sounds of this magnificent city before joining your fellow travelers and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and orientation drive through the exciting cityscape to kick off your unforgettable European adventure.

    meal(s):WR
    hotel:Cardinal St. Peter
  3. We venture to the Center 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. 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.
    meal(s):BB
  4. 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 biannual Palio horse race takes place, ornate medieval palaces and 14th century marble Duomo. 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.
    meal(s):BB, BG
    hotel:Cosmopolitan Concept
  5. The extraordinary art and architecture of Florence is celebrated during our guided walking tour in the company of a Local Specialist. 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.
    meal(s):BB
  6. 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.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:NH Laguna Palace
  7. 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.
    meal(s):BB
  8. 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.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Post Weggis
  9. 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.
    meal(s):BB, D
  10. 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.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Melia La Defense
  11. 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 travelers and Travel Director for a Farewell Dinner celebrating the end of our European adventure.
    meal(s):BB, FD
  12. Traveling north through France past the bloody 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.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Park Plaza County Hall
  13. Centuries of history are celebrated this morning as we join a Local Specialist to view Big Ben, the imposing Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, with a history spanning over a thousand years. This afternoon we have time to delve into the rich heritage and modern verve of one of the world's most cosmopolitan cities. Spend the rest of the day shopping in trendy Knightsbridge, wander up the tree-lined mall from Trafalgar Square to Buckingham Palace or relax under the leafy trees of Hyde Park, watching busy Londoners go by their day-to-day.
    meal(s):FB
  14. We bid a fond farewell to our companions and the city of London today, marking the end of a memorable vacation. Transfers are available to purchase. Conditions apply.
    meal(s):FB
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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.

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Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.
  • Definite Departure
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18 Apr 18 1 May 18 checkmark $3,575$3,218pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
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13 Jun 18 26 Jun 18 checkmark $3,750$3,375pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Call 1-877-622-9109
20 Jun 18 3 Jul 18 checkmark $3,750$3,375pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
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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: $1,020 p.p.

Triple Room Discount: $90 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $107 per person.

Airport transfers: On arrival to 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 you can combine a cruise with a more in-depth guided vacation 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.

Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the Land Only 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
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips

Meal Summary

12 nights, 12 hot buffet breakfasts, 4 dinners , 1 dinner, On-trip transport, .

Included Highlights

Be My Guest

  • Eight generations and plenty of stories to tell. Enjoy a traditional dinner with the Landi family at their home near Florence, set within a garden of oak trees against the backdrop of Tuscan vineyards and olive groves

Cultural Insight

  • Witness the exquisite craft of glassblowing on Giudecca Island, 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 of Rome, Florence, Paris, London
  • Orientation of Siena, Pisa, Venice, Lucerne
  • Visit St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, the Eiffel Tower in Paris
  • 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, the White Cliffs of Dover
  • See the Colosseum in Rome, Vineyards of Burgundy, the Somme Battlefields in France

Reviews

Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Everything went very smoothly and the whole experience from questions answered before the trip to each day's experiences on the trip was more than we could have expected. Our GET travel advisor Barbara Gardner was very helpful to respond to every question and concern and our Trafalgar tour guide, Debra Lane was just terrific. Her knowledge of all the places visited and guidance every step of the way right down to where to find the bathrooms was great. We could not have asked for a better trip.
Response from Grand European Travel:
That is fantastic to hear. Thank you so much for sharing your feedback. 
Friday, June 2, 2017
Vacation : This purchase provided highlights of all the main attractions in six major European cities. I don't know a better way for a first time European traveler to see so much in a short time. For us, it was a once in a lifetime trip.
  • U.S. citizens traveling to Europe must have a current passport 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 countries in the Schengen Area and the UK.

  • While Italy is most famous for pizza and pasta, few travelers are aware of just how varied the country’s culinary offering actually are. 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.

     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.

    English specialties include 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. 

  • The currency for most countries you will visit in Europe is the Euro (€).  Several exceptions apply including the Pound (£) in Great Britain, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the Swiss Franc (CHF) in Switzerland. 

    While it’s a good idea to bring some money for when you first arrive, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate 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.

     

  • 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. A few important items to bring include sturdy walking shoes and a waterproof jacket with a hood. 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.

  • Tipping through-out Europe is less common or generous than it is in the United States.  Some countries will add a service charge of up to 15%, so be sure to check your bill before leaving extra.  In most places it is appropriate to leave a few euros or between 5% and 10% for exceptional service.  Keep in mind you will likely want to leave cash on the table to ensure your server receives it.  

    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

Swiss Folklore Evening And Dinner

Adult Price: 99 CHF

Tonight we’ll enjoy a tasty Swiss meal, including the famous Swiss cheese fondue, in a typical restaurant. While enjoying dinner, you can also join in a lively folklore show which includes yodelling, flag-throwing and Alpine horn-blowing. Two drinks are also included.

Alpine Farm & Carriage Ride

Adult Price: 67 CHF

A chance to get to know the Swiss, you’ll meet local farmers and enjoy a delightful countryside tour in horse drawn carriages. Soak up the stunning scenery as we trot around a typical rural community, en route to a working farm where you’ll savour local drinks and snacks.

Mount Pilatus And Lake Cruise

Adult Price: 112 CHF

We’ll ascend by cog-wheel train to Mount Pilatus’ summit, where you’ll have time to explore, admire the views, and breathe the pure air. Then, we’ll descent by cable-car to enjoy a scenic lake cruise. On certain departures this Optional may be operated in reverse.

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.

Versailles Palace And Gardens

Adult Price: € 65

Built for the Sun King, Louis XIV, the Palace of Versailles was the envy of every European ruler. Your Local Specialist will take you through the State apartments and famous Hall of Mirrors, with free time to stroll the symmetrical tree-lined gardens. Please note: this optional is subject to availability.

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

Lagoon Cruise to Burano with Food and Drinks

Adult Price: € 70

Join us as we discover the Venetian Lagoon by private boat. You will enjoy a delicious meal with a selection of drinks on the fishermen's island of Burano, famous for its multi-coloured houses - a real photographer's paradise.

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.

Hidden Venice & St. Mark's Basilica

Adult Price: € 34

Experience magnificent St. Mark’s Basilica and its glittering gold mosaics the best way possible - with VIP entrance and a Local Specialist! Then delve into the city’s labyrinth of back alleys and canals, bridges and secret squares - enchanting neighbourhoods that you would never find on your own, all explained and brought to life by a true Venetian!

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