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"Local flavor and culture"
The excursions were exceptional! Even the little treats, such as the "strawberry stop" showed us that Guisseppe really wanted us to experience the local flavor and culture.
Settle into the passionate embrace of fiery Madrid, your launch pad to an epic journey through Spain, France and Italy, filled with unforgettable flavours and soul-stirring encounters. Join your fellow travellers and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and orientation drive past some of Madrid's most iconic sites.
We join a Local Specialist this morning for a sightseeing tour of the Spanish capital, during which we'll see the Royal Palace, the official residence of the Spanish royal family and the Cervantes Monument. Enjoy an afternoon on your own exploring the world's best collection of Spanish art at the Prado Museum. Or consider joining an Optional Experience to the imperial city of Toledo.
We venture to the pretty banks of the Ebro River and to mystical Zaragoza, whose centuries of heritage have been shaped by the Romans, Moors and Christians. Spend the day delving into this city's history and art. View the Basilica del Pilar, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, wander along the ancient Las Murallas and explore the city's ancient Roman ruins.
Journey through the lush green and golden landscapes of Catalonia to Penedés, one of the most ancient wine-producing areas in Europe. Here we'll 'Connect With Locals' over a Be My Guest lunch at the family run Giro-Ribot winery and learn about the tradition of Spanish sparkling wine. We arrive in Barcelona this afternoon, venturing up Montjuïc with a Local Specialist. See the monument to Christopher Columbus and vibrant Las Ramblas, before stopping at Antonio Gaudí's unfinished masterpiece, La Sagrada Família.
Enjoy a full free day to explore the indelible sights, sounds and flavours of Barcelona. Indulge in the fantasy world of Gaudí around every turn, stroll through the hidden lanes and peaceful squares in the city's Gothic Quarter or consider joining an Optional Experience to visit the hilltop monastery of Montserrat to see the mystical Black Madonna, the patron saint of Catalonia.
We journey via the foothills of the Pyrenees into France, visiting the UNESCO-listed Pont du Gard. We arrive in the Provençal city of Avignon later this afternoon, where we'll view the Gothic Papal Palace and bridge made famous in the song - Sur le pont d'Avignon.
Our journey takes us through the picture-perfect wheat and lavender fields of Provence, immortalised in the works of van Gogh and Cézanne. We'll 'Dive Into Culture' in the Provençal town of Lourmarin, visiting the popular Friday market selling local produce such as wine, olive oil, herbes de Provence and saffron. This evening, we arrive in Nice, on the sun-kissed shores of the French Riviera. We dine at our hotel tonight.
Kick back and enjoy a well-deserved day at leisure on the glorious French Riviera. Soak up the holiday atmosphere or perhaps join an Optional Experience to the nearby hilltop town of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, one of the oldest medieval towns on the French Riviera. The experience includes a delicious dinner at a traditional restaurant that serves authentic Provençal cuisine.
Visit the Principality of Monaco, where you will have an opportunity to view the cathedral where Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly were married. We cross the border into Italy and journey through Pisa and its Square of Miracles, where we'll see the Leaning Tower that bears its name. This evening, we arrive in the Renaissance capital of Florence where we will stay for the next two nights.
Join your Local Specialist this morning for a sightseeing tour of magical Florence. View the multi-coloured Duomo and 674-year-old Ponte Vecchio. Then, walk through what was once the political hub of the city, the Piazza della Signoria, a veritable open-air treasure trove featuring wonderful sculptures and palazzi. Spend the rest of the day on your own exploration of Florence's iconic and unexpected sights. Indulge in a delicious gelato or wander up the stone steps to the Piazzale Michelangelo for spectacular views of Florence's skyline.
Journey through the rolling hills of Tuscany and Umbria, past the hilltop villages of Orvieto and Orte, before arriving in Rome, the Eternal City - our home for the next two nights.
This morning, we'll visit the centre of Christianity and see the imposing St. Peter's Basilica, where Michelangelo's sorrowful Pietà has been admired by millions. We venture into ancient Rome with a Local Specialist and explore the remnants of Roman rule, enjoying views of the Colosseum and Circus Maximus. On your final afternoon, enjoy some free time to indulge in la dolce vita. Perhaps, sit on the Spanish Steps, visit the Vatican Museum and admire the exquisite frescoed ceiling in the Sistine Chapel or toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain to secure your speedy return to Rome. This evening marks the end of a magnificent journey through southern Europe. Join your fellow travellers and Travel Director for an unforgettable Farewell Dinner.
For now it's a fond farewell to Rome and your newfound friends as your holiday through Spain, France and Italy comes to an end. Airport transfers are available. 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.
Visit the ancient capital of Spain, which sits above the River Tagus and is home to the nation's principal cathedral and El Greco's famous views. Learn about Moorish and Jewish cultures, and how the area is famed for the production of Damascene work: intricate inlaid gold jewellery and craftwork.
Adult Price: €45
This evening you'll have the chance to admire the elegance of Madrid's new city, with its wide, tree-lined avenues and decorative fountains, before experiencing the traditional flavour of the old city. We'll see where the locals come together and have a chat over their aperitifs, before enjoying a delicious dinner.
Adult Price: €61
Join an Optional Experience to the enchanting and mystical mountain of Montserrat, with its breathtaking views and spectacular scenery. There we will visit the Benedictine monastery where the Black Madonna can be seen.
Adult Price: €40
Come and experience the passion and spirit of Spain at a spectacular flamenco evening. This modern interpretation of Spain's most famous entertainment is one of the best shows in town, and we’ve even included dinner and drinks.
Adult Price: €86
First to the medieval hill top town of St. Paul to visit this artists’ paradise. We'll continue along the Riviera, travelling on the Basse, Moyenne and Grande corniche roads with their spectacular views, to a local restaurant, for a delicious meal including drinks.
Adult Price: €83
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
With our Local Specialist, you'll discover the many delights that Rome has to offer by wandering through the labyrinth of narrow streets and beautiful squares. Developed over many centuries, they've created an amazing legacy for us today.
Adult Price: €33
This easy-going evening in Rome begins with a beautiful drive to see amazing city sights. We arrive at one of our favourite restaurants, where you'll enjoy a warm welcome and delicious dinner of local cuisine with drinks and music.
Adult Price: €62
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
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
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