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Proverbially, all roads lead to Rome. This one includes grand views from the Eiffel Tower, the atmospheric canals of Venice and the art of Renaissance Florence.
Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
Check into your hotel, then there is time to relax, explore or shop
An included half day sightseeing tours of London’s West End shows you all the major sights - Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace. Your Tour Director is also on hand today for help and advice.
After a warm welcome from your Tour Director, transfer to London's St. Pancras Station to board the high-speed Eurostar. Your comfortable two-hour rail journey takes you via the historic Channel Tunnel to Paris. Alternatively, join at the Paris hotel. Join your Tour Director for an orientation, passing the imposing façades of the Louvre. During your time in Paris, see the obelisk in the Place de la Concorde and drive along the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe. Get together for a Welcome Reception and an opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.
Meet your Local Expert who will take you on a walking tour of the bohemian Latin Quarter. Explore the myriad of streets situated on the left bank of the Seine, before continuing to the Notre Dame Cathedral, a masterpiece of French Gothic architecture. Ascend to the viewing platforms of the Eiffel Tower for spectacular panoramas of the city. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Journey through the Burgundy wine region, before passing the Jura Mountains and crossing into Switzerland. Arrive in glorious lakeside Lucerne and enjoy a traditional Swiss supper of hearty specialties at a local restaurant.
Join your Tour Director to see the covered Chapel Bridge and stirring Lion Monument. Embark on an exhilarating journey by funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of the stunning Stanserhorn. On a clear day, in addition to the beautiful mountains and surrounding hills, there are views as far as Alsace and the Black Forest in Germany. Admire the panorama of snow-capped peaks, before descending back to terra firma. There is time set aside to shop for fine watches and chocolate in Lucerne.
Start the day with a journey to the heart of the Alps to visit the Principality of Liechtenstein. Spend some time in its tiny capital, Vaduz, with its castle located on a hillside overlooking the city. Drive into Austria and continue through the Arlberg Tunnel to mountain-ringed Innsbruck. Your orientation will show you the 14th century houses of the old town, the impressive Imperial Palace and the delightful Golden Roof.
Leave Innsbruck to travel across the impressive Europa Bridge and through the Dolomites into Italy. Follow the Adige River through spectacular scenery to glorious Venice, known for over a thousand years as 'La Serenissima'.
In the morning, prepare to embrace this most romantic city. Your hotel is only steps away from 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 prisons by the Bridge of Sighs. While here, visit an arts centre to watch one of the few remaining craftsmen blow Venetian glass. A visit to Venice would be incomplete without a gondola serenade. Glide along the atmospheric canals, exploring the intimate and hidden parts of this unique city while musicians set the mood with traditional songs. Enjoy a free afternoon.
Head into the wild Apennines and on to the peaceful landscapes of Tuscany. Stop to see the incredible Leaning Tower of Pisa with a Local Expert, from which Galileo is said to have conducted experiments on velocity and gravity. Also see the splendid cathedral and baptistry, decorated with mosaics and designs in solid marble. The journey then continues to Renaissance Florence.
Walk with your Local Expert to the marble-clad cathedral and baptistery, where Ghiberti’s 'Gates of Paradise' have been recreated in all their glory. The next stop is Piazza della Signoria, still the political heart of Florence and an open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces. Spend time gazing at statues such as 'Neptune' and 'David' along the front of the Palazzo Vecchio. The area around Santa Croce Basilica is famous for the quality of its luxury goods of gold and leather. After a demonstration of leather-work, there's free time to shop or continue sightseeing. In the evening, why not make the most of warm summer evenings and venture into the Tuscan countryside to taste the fine rustic dishes with some local Chianti wine.
Stop in the Umbrian hilltop town of Orvieto; its cathedral is one of Italy's most celebrated buildings. Immerse yourself in the flavours and culture of the region at Zeppelin Restaurant. Join a master chef for a fascinating live cooking demonstration, followed by lunch and a glass of the Orvieto Classico wine - a magical culinary experience! Once in Rome, perhaps start the evening with a ‘passeggiata' (traditional evening stroll).
Join a Local Expert for an in-depth visit to the Vatican Museums, full of priceless art collected over the ages by the Popes. In order to avoid the crowds, Insight has arranged special VIP entrance, together with behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase - a marvel of Renaissance architecture, normally off-limits to the general public. Next, head to the Sistine Chapel to admire Michelangelo's famous ceiling. Next door in St. Peter's Basilica, view another masterpiece by Michelangelo, the Pietà, as well as the splendid dome, completed after his death. Cross the River Tiber to see the Colosseum, still echoing with the ghostly cries of gladiatorial combat and overlook the Forum. Later, there is time for last-minute shopping or sightseeing at your leisure. In the evening, enjoy an elegant four-course dinner with unlimited local wine at a Roman restaurant. As you dine, you'll be serenaded with a private performance of popular songs and arias from some of Italy's best-loved operas.
Departure transfers arrive at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at 07:00 & 09:30.
11 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 1 Highlight Lunch (HL); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 1 Restaurant Dinner (RD), 1 three-course table d'hôte Dinner (DW) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.
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 or the UK.
The currency for most countries you will visit in Europe is the Euro (€). Several exceptions apply on this trip including the Pound (£) in Great Britain 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.
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 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.
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.
In Austria you’ll find more hearty cuisine, but nothing beats the desserts. Try delicious treats like Viennese Sachertorte (dense chocolate cake) and apple strudel.
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.
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.
Adult Price: € 162.00
Why not enjoy an evening of excitement and glamour and a glass of champagne at a dazzling French cabaret show? Depending on availability it might be dinner with wine and cabaret at the world famous Moulin Rouge – the original Parisian cabaret – immortalized by the award winning film!
Adult Price: € 37.00
Discover the bohemian quarter of Montmartre with your local expert. Walk through the historic lower area before ascending by funicular to the Place du Tertre, a favourite haunt of Toulouse Lautrec, Picasso, and Utrillo. Browse for original art or ask a local street artist to capture your likeness in minutes - a great souvenir to take home. Close by you can appreciate the view from the steps of Sacré-Coeur Basilica.
Adult Price: € 139.00
Dinner with wine included at one of the most prestigious cabaret shows in town! Enjoy an evening of exciting acts, stunning tableaux and wonderful entertainment - including, of course, the world famous Can-Can. A Parisian night that you will never forget!
Adult Price: € 38.00
The City of Light really lives up to its name when the monuments, buildings and bridges are lit up in all their glory. First, a specially designed sightseeing boat takes us for an unforgettable cruise along the Seine and beneath famous bridges to appreciate the Left and Right Banks and the Île de la Cité & St Louis. Then, with a Local Expert, we'll enjoy an illuminations tour, when the rubies & diamonds of the Champs Élysées and the Eiffel Tower are at their magnificent best.
Adult Price: CHF 49.00
Widely considered to be the loveliest of the mountain lakes, much of the shoreline of Lake Lucerne can only be fully appreciated from the water. Admire the spectacular homes of the fortunate few, privileged to live on its scenic shores, as we cruise gently by. Two drinks will be served during the trip.
Adult Price: CHF 67.00
In a typical rural community, meet local farmers for a delightful horse-drawn ride. Clip-clop your way through bright green pasture, where the angular spire of a traditional white church shoots skyward and rickety old wooden storehouses still dot the landscape. Call in at a local farm where a wonderful spread of homemade drinks and snacks is served.
Adult Price: € 67.00
Enjoy a lively evening including dinner, featuring dancers in national costume, yodelling and entertainment typical of the life, crafts and traditions of the Tyrolean people. Two drinks are included.
Adult Price: € 54.00
Venice can be Europe's most romantic city in the evening, offering dramatic landscapes with buildings that dazzle as the sun sets and the lights go on. Sit back and take it all in as private water taxis whisk you to the centre of it all, Piazza San Marco, where we have seats reserved outside a famous Venetian cafe, in front of a live orchestra and in view of those illuminated St Mark's sights. Our private water taxis will also take us the length of the Grand Canal, under the Rialto Bridge and back to our hotel, having seen Venice at its most magical.
Adult Price: € 70.00
Leave the hustle of St Mark's Square behind on a delightful private cruise around the islands of the Venetian lagoon. Alight at the island of Burano, a photographer's paradise, famous for its candy coloured houses, artisan lace makers and leaning bell tower that would give Pisa a good run for its money. Enjoy a superb meal sampling the local specialities with wine included. An excursion not to be missed!
Adult Price: € 34.00
St Mark's Square, tick, the Rialto, tick, Grand Canal, tick... To only experience Venice's big set pieces is to miss out on a hidden world full of surprises! Join a Local Expert for a fascinating walk through some of the lesser known quarters of Venice. The back lanes and ‘campi’, small squares, where tourists seldom tread are full of history and great places to sample local life.
Adult Price: € 65.00
A fabulous dinner of Tuscan specialities awaits you. We drive into the hills surrounding Florence for a delicious typical Florentine meal complete with Chianti wine, music and lots of fun! An evening to remember. Viva Italia!
Adult Price: € 35.00
A wonderful excursion to Tuscany's most famous hill-top town! Visit San Gimignano, considered a medieval Manhattan, due to its towers which dominate the skyline. Soak up the unique atmosphere of this ancient gem which has remained intact since the 14th century and today is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Adult Price: € 49.00
Tonight enjoy a pizza dinner in a typical Roman restaurant before rounding off the evening with a sparkling illuminations tour of Rome's floodlit ancient monuments, classical buildings, palaces and churches. Marvel at the 'wedding cake' Victor Emmanuel Monument, the Forum, mighty Colosseum and Campidoglio.
Adult Price: € 52.00
With our local expert, We'll explore the glorious history of the Roman Empire. Enjoying priority reserved entrance ahead of the crowds, we'll hear tales of deadly gladiatorial combat inside the mighty Colosseum. Then, we'll walk in the footsteps of Roman soldiers and gaze over the incredible ruins of the forum, once the centre of political, religious and social life, while hearing tales of the mighty Roman Empire. Truly an incredible vision as history comes alive!
Adult Price: € 33.00
With our local expert, let's take a “passeggiata” (stroll) to enjoy the backstreets and secrets of pedestrian Rome. Be amazed at sights such as the fascinating Pantheon and the beauty of 17th-century fountains and beautiful Piazzas. Come and enjoy the Rome of the Romans.
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