The Best of Italy & France - GIF
Number of Days: 11
Italy and France—two of the most beautiful countries in the world—are waiting for you on this Best of Italy & France tour. You'll spend two nights each in Rome, Venice Island, the French Riviera, and Paris, as well as a night in Florence and Genoa. You’ll enjoy the must-see attractions in each city on your guided sightseeing tours, including Rome’s Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, and the Colosseum, built in the 1st century AD and famous for its gladiator fights; St. Mark's Square and Basilica in Venice; the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, home to Michelangelo's celebrated David; and a Seine cruise in Paris. You'll stop in Ferrara, where you'll walk through the medieval Este Castle to the marble cathedral, built in the 1100s, and in St. Paul de Vence, a picturesque hilltop town where you can explore the art galleries and quaint streets.
On this Italy and France tour, you will also have special experiences that bring you inside the destinations. We've included special dinners in Rome and Paris, so you can try out local specialties, and we've included a stop in Èze, where you will visit a local perfume factory to learn about perfume making. A true highlight is the excursion to Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, including a boat ride (weather permitting) with a Local Guide. Also enjoy an exciting high-speed train ride on the famous TGV train (first class) from Nice to Paris.
From the vibrant cities to the peaceful, blue Mediterranean Sea, this holiday to Italy and France is sure to delight all of your senses!
DAY 1: ARRIVE IN ROME, ITALY.
Welcome to Rome! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and travelling companions and leave the hotel for a welcome dinner with pasta and wine at Mino restaurant. (D)
DAY 2: ROME.
Guided sightseeing of the Eternal City starts with a visit to the VATICAN MUSEUMS and SISTINE CHAPEL with Michelangelo's ceiling paintings and The Last Judgment, followed by a visit to monumental ST. PETER'S SQUARE and BASILICA to admire Michelangelo's Pietà. Then, enjoy views of other major sites as you drive to the Roman Forum to visit the amazing COLOSSEUM, where gladiators once fought. An optional walking tour with a Local Guide is available to further explore famous sites for those who wish to see it all. (B)
DAY 3: ROME-FERRARA-VENICE ISLAND.
In Ferrara, walk through the impressive Este Castle to the marble cathedral and browse through the attractive little shops. Continue to the Adriatic coast and arrive in Venice, a powerful magnet for romantics and art lovers from all over the globe. Tonight, is your chance to join an optional evening featuring a private water-taxi ride along the Grand Canal, followed by a traditional dinner at one of Venice's fine restaurants. (B)
DAY 4: VENICE ISLAND.
Start sightseeing in style by PRIVATE BOAT and meet your Local Guide. Highlights of your walking tour are magnificent ST. MARK'S SQUARE and the byzantine BASILICA, lavish DOGES' PALACE and the BRIDGE OF SIGHS. Also watch a skilled GLASSBLOWER fashion delicate objects in an age-old traditional manner. Later, you may wish to join an optional cruise to colourful Burano Island. (B)
DAY 5: VENICE ISLAND-FLORENCE.
Drive across the wooded Apennine Mountains into Tuscany and arrive in Florence, "Cradle of the Renaissance." Meet your Local Guide and visit the ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS with Michelangelo's celebrated David. Continue your walking tour through the historic centre and stand in awe in front of the magnificent cathedral, admire Giotto's Bell Tower, the Baptistry's heavy bronze "Gates of Paradise," and sculpture studded SIGNORIA SQUARE. Afterwards, you may wish to shop for Florentine leather goods and gold jewellery, sold by the ounce. (B)
DAY 6: FLORENCE-CINQUE TERRE-GENOA.
Drive through the valley of the Arno River to La Spezia on the Mediterranean Coast, for an exciting excursion to CINQUE TERRE, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, including a BOAT RIDE (weather permitting) with a Local Guide. The name dates back to the 15th century and is derived from five little medieval villages standing on stony spurs along five miles of the rocky coastline: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso. From here, head for Genoa, birthplace of Christopher Columbus. (B)
DAY 7: GENOVA-EZE, FRANCE-FRENCH RIVIERA.
Your Local Guide will introduce you to this amazing city, that played an important role in maritime trade for many centuries. Follow the coast towards France, then leave the highway for the panoramic Moyenne Corniche and stop in Èze. Visit the Fragonard perfume factory, beautifully located with breath-taking views of the blue Mediterranean Sea. Hear about the fascinating tradition of the art of PERFUMEMAKING, before arriving in Nice. An optional outing is available tonight to Monte Carlo. (B)
DAY 8: FRENCH RIVIERA. EXCURSION TO ST. PAUL DE VENCE.
A highlight this morning is a visit to the picturesque hilltop town of St. Paul de Vence. Explore the many art galleries and enjoy the magnificent view, or relax at a café, where you may see the locals play pétanque (bowling). Return to your hotel for a lazy afternoon. (B)
DAY 9: FRENCH RIVIERA-PARIS.
Transfer to the railway station and board the high-speed TGV TRAIN to Paris. This evening, dinner has been included at a local restaurant, where you can try out specialties like escargots (snails), soupe à l'oignon (onion soup), and boeuf bourguignon (beef Burgundy), followed by a drive for a first impression of the French capital. (B, D)
DAY 10: PARIS.
Discover the city with a Local Guide and admire its most renowned sites: the Opéra, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysées, and more. During your SEINE CRUISE enjoy spectacular views of Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower. To enhance your stay, you may wish to join an optional excursion to the lavish baroque Palace and Gardens of Versailles, built by the Sun King, Louis XIV. Tonight, dinner and a lively cabaret show at one of Paris' nightclubs might just be the ticket! (B)
DAY 11: PARIS.
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
Meals - Breakfast: 10 Lunch: 0 Dinner: 2
Transport - Touring by private, air-conditioned motor coach. Free Wi-Fi (where available)
Accommodation - First-Class or Superior First-Class with private bath or shower. Includes hotel taxes, porterage, tips and service charges
- Cinque Terre
- From $5,189 per person. Other dates may be available, contact us for details