France – Switzerland – Italy – Vatican City – Monaco
06 Nights – 07 Days
France – Switzerland – Italy – Vatican City – Monaco
Day 1 Paris – Lucerne
Meet at the Gar Du Nord train station at 08:30. After boarding the luxury coach in Paris sit back & enjoy a scenic journey across classic French countryside en-route to mountainous Switzerland. We will pass through Basel which is located at the point where the Swiss, French & German borders meet before arriving at the picturesque lakeside city of Swiss Alps. Once in Lucerne we will visit famous landmarks including Chapel Bridge, the Water Tower & some wonderfully preserved Baroque & Gothic architecture followed by some free time to shop or take pictures.
Day 2 Lucerne – Milan – Venice
Head south from Lucerne through spectacular Switzerland & into Northern Italy where your first stop will be Milan, fashion capital of the world. Your city tour will introduce you to the iconic sights, including Gothic cathedral, Duomo. You’ll see one of the earliest shopping malls, the 19th Century Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, where one can wander among the boutique shops and take lunch in one of the sophisticated cafes. After enjoying the many delights of Milan, you’ll head to another vintage Italian city: Venice
Day 3 Venice – Rome
Spend the morning in the company of a knowledgeable local guide as you explore Venice, the most magical of cities. Begin with a water bus ride to San Marco island, a memorable crossing of the lagoon that gives you a real taste of the city’s charm as you approach the dreamy spires and distinctive waterside buildings. Once on the island you will be led around some of Venice’s best known locations, beginning in the Piazzo with the Basilica di San Marco, a stunning piece of Byzantine architecture. You will see the legendary Bridge of Sighs which appears on many a postcards or pictures of Venice and connects the old prison to the interrogation rooms in the Doge’s Palace. Afterwards you will have a chance to see some traditional Murano glassblowers; their exquisite creations make excellent souvenirs. Of course the ultimate Venice activity is to ride through the warren of waterways on a gondola, and for most people this optional excursion is a must. Step aboard, relax & enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Transfer to Rome in the afternoon.
Day 4 Rome – Vatican – Arrezzo
Your day in Rome starts with a visit to the smallest country in the world. The Vatican City, which lies at the heart of the Italian capital. Here you will marvel at St. Peter’s Basilica, home to the Pope and arguably the most significant site in Christianity. The exquisitely beautiful Basilica has been present here for almost 1700 years and contains a bewildering collection of paintings, frescoes & designs crafted by some of humanity’s most famous artists, which you can explore. Alternatively you can choose to add on the optional Sistine Chapel tour to view Michelangelo’s famous painted ceiling. Next you will see the famous Trevi fountain, the lavish Baroque showpiece where people flock to throw coins into the water – an action which is said to ensure that you’ll return to the city again one day. After lunch take a step even further back in time as you visit Italy’s unrivaled Roman relics. An optional guided tour of the Colosseum, built in AD 72, is highly recommended. History comes to life as you imagine yourself experiencing gladiatorial combat inside the spectacular amphitheater. Alternatively you can walk at your leisure around the outside to admire the facade of this ancient wonder. After the Colosseum, get up close to the nearby Arch of Constantine, which dates back to the fourth century AD, then spend some free time enjoying Rome sampling the rich & creamy delights of ‘gelato’ (Italian ice cream). Next, you can visit the magnificent Basilique Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiti near Piazza della Repubblica before transferring to Arezzo in the late evening.
Day 5 Arrezzo – Florence – Pisa – Genoa
Your voyage of cultural discovery continues as you get to know Florence, the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and home to some fabulous architecture and fine art. To begin the day you will enjoy a guided walk around Florence’s many highlights including the Ponte Vecchio over the Arno, the Piazza del Duomo and Campanile Tower. Next you can see a demonstration of the traditional craft of leather working at close quarters in a local workshop and you will have the opportunity to purchase some of the high-quality leather items for which the city is famous. You’ll pass the Uffizi Gallery which contains one of the most notable collections in Florence. You will have free time to see the city further to shop or to watch the world go by from an alfresco cafe before traveling on to your next destination, Pisa. Here be sure to have your camera ready to get a shot of the iconic Leaning Tower, the famous bell tower in ‘Square of Miracles’ which also contains the centuries old Cathedral & Baptistery.
Day 6 Genoa – Monaco – Cannes – Avignon
A breath taking drive along one of Europe’s most famous stretches of Mediterranean coastline awaits while we say ‘Arrivederci!’ to Italy & ‘Salut’ to Monaco. This small principality enclaved in France is chic & beautiful, home to the famous Formula 1 Grand Prix. A walking tour takes you to the Grand Prince’s Palace where you will have some free time to soak up the refined atmosphere before continuing on to view the 1920s courthouse, the Cliffside Oceanographic Museum and the Cathedral where Grace Kelly is buried. We then travel a little further to visit the famous Fragonard Perfume Factory. Here you will be taken on a fascinating guided tour around this working factory. Next it’s Nice, where you will stop for lunch to sample some excellent local cuisine and warm hearted hospitality. Your journey continues to Cannes where many a movie star has enjoyed the sweet smell of success. Be sure to take the opportunity to snap some photos of the Palais des Festival, home to the city’s annual international film festival before transferring to the hotel.
Day 7 Avignon – Paris
Take a well-earned rest today as you travel through great views of the rural charms of the French countryside on the journey back to Paris, where the tour finishes.