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"Would recommend it to anyone"
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. We could not have asked for a better trip.
Benvenuto a Roma - what was once the Capital of the World is today a vibrant city filled with Italian zest for life and centuries of celebrated history. Enjoy some free time to explore before joining your fellow travellers and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and orientation drive to kick off your unforgettable European adventure.
We venture to the centre 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. Imagine the thunderous roar of thousands of exhilarated spectators cheering their chosen chariots to victory. 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.
We travel into the scenic Tuscan hills to medieval Siena with its honey-stone façades. View the Piazza del Campo, where the exhilarating Palio horse race takes place, and see ornate medieval palaces and the 14th-century marble Duomo. Spend some free time seeking out your favourite hand-painted ceramics to take home as souvenirs. Continue to Florence, the Cradle of the Renaissance, where we will spend the next two nights. Tonight we 'Connect With Locals' during a special Be My Guest dinner at a magnificent Tuscan villa that once featured as a famous film location.
The extraordinary art and architecture of Florence are celebrated during our guided walking tour with 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 674-year-old Ponte Vecchio bridge, the only bridge over the River Arno that the fleeing German army did not destroy during World War II, then admire panoramic views of the iconic cityscape from Piazzale Michelangelo. Learn about the quality and workmanship of two of this city's historic industries during demonstrations of Florentine leathercraft and 18-carat gold. Later, you'll have time to explore the city on your own. Consider a visit to the Uffizi Gallery or wander through the Boboli Gardens of Pitti Palace - the choice is yours.
We travel to Pisa today and to the Square of Miracles to view the famous Leaning Tower and Italy's largest Baptistery. Cross the Apennine hills and 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 the Queen of the Adriatic. Consider joining an Optional Experience and explore the labyrinthine canals of Venice by gondola before dinner at your hotel.
'Dive Into Culture' and witness first-hand the centuries-old tradition of Venetian tradition glassmaking on Giudecca Island. Take to the water and cruise by private launch to the gateway of Venice, St. Mark's Square. Join your Travel Director to see the iconic and unexpected highlights of the city - the ornate Doge's Palace and Bridge of Sighs, St. Mark's Basilica and the Campanile with its five bells. The rest of the day is yours at leisure or consider joining an Optional Experience to the island of Burano for a delicious traditional meal that would make any Italian mamma proud.
We travel through the Italian Lake District bound for Switzerland this morning and enjoy some free time for lunch in the laidback lakeside town of Como, which for centuries has served as the crossroads between Central Europe and the Mediterranean. We continue through Alpine landscapes, past Lugano and through St. Gotthard tunnel into central Switzerland, where we'll spend the next two nights in the medieval lakeside city of Lucerne in one of Trafalgar's 'Stays With Stories' - the Grand Hotel Europe.
Enjoy an orientation of Lucerne with your Travel Director. You'll see the Lion Monument and pay tribute to the Swiss Guards who lost their lives during the French Revolution, before heading to 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. Shop for luxurious Swiss chocolate or consider joining an Optional Experience to one of the surrounding mountains to admire panoramic views.
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.
Join a Local Specialist this morning for a guided tour along the grand Champs Élysé es and Place de la Concorde. Visit the 13th-century church of St. Severin and enjoy a stroll through the Latin Quarter. This evening, we join our fellow travellers and Travel Director for a Farewell Dinner celebrating the end of our European adventure.
Travelling 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.
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.
We bid a fond farewell to our companions and the city of London today, marking the end of a memorable holiday. Transfers are available to purchase. Conditions apply.
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.
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.
Adult Price: €81
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.
Adult Price: €61
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!
Adult Price: €33
Enjoy an insight into the world of Michelangelo and his masterpiece, David. We visit 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 reservations and entrance prepayments. If you decide to cancel this optional, a 50% cancellation fee will be incurred.
Adult Price: €47
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.
Adult Price: €65
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.
Adult Price: €70
Join us for a scenic cruise by private water taxi along Venice's Grand Canal. You’ll admire the magnificent palazzi, as well as catching a glimpse of the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark's Square. Later on, you'll glide gracefully on a gondola along Venice’s dreamy, narrow waterways.
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.
Adult Price: €72
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!
Adult Price: €34
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. Occasionally, this optional may be offered as a Lunch for CHF68.00.
Adult Price: CHf99
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.
Adult Price: CHf112
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 farm where you’ll savour local drinks and snacks.
Adult Price: CHf67
One of the oldest and most elegant revue theatres in Paris, Nouvelle Eve is a hidden gem, where you’ll meet the Director and two of the cast members before enjoying a four-course dinner with wine. You will then experience unparalleled Parisian entertainment – including the world-famous Can-Can.
Adult Price: €139
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 and involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. Cancellation within 24 hours will incur a 50% cancellation fee.
Adult Price: €65
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.
Adult Price: €38
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