Romantic Europe From Paris to Rome

France, Italy

Tour Highlights

This marvellous one-way tour captures the pure essence of the French expression “Joie de Vivre” and the Italian “Dolce Vita”! 
We begin with a stay in the most romantic of all cities; Paris, then wind our way through the historic heart of Europe, to the place where all roads lead … Rome!

Of course this is just the beginning; for beyond the grandeur of the Champs de Elysée and the iconic Coliseum we include the following highlights:

   •  Annecy – An Alpine lake village with canals and an old town dotted with exquisite pastel houses. 

   •  Lyon – This is the Gastronomy capital, known for “Bouchons” (a traditional Lyonnais restaurant), its “traboules” (covered passageways) and silk manufacturing.

   •  Nice – The capital of the French Riviera and the very definition of old world decadence.

   •  Monaco / Monte Carlo – home to the world’s most famous auto race, Grand Casino, and rich and famous   

   •  Sestri Levante - a coastal town with a fairy-tale tradition, once visited by Hans Christianits Andersen 

   •  Verona – Juliet’s famous balcony.

   •  Cinque Terre – One of Italy’s most charming and breathtaking natural and cultural Wonders 

   •  Lake Garda – We stay near Italy’s largest lake, which has inspired many artists with its extreme beauty!

   •  Venice – This legendary city is built on innumerable narrow canals, with maze-like alleys, small romantic squares and limitless opportunities for exploration.

   •  Pisa – Of Leaning Tower fame.

   •  Florence – The birthplace of the Renaissance, capital of Tuscany and home to Michelangelo’s “David”, Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” and Da Vinci’s “Annunciation”.

   •  Vatican City – This is not only the seat of the Roman Catholic Church, but the site of Michelangelo’s masterpiece - the breathtaking “Sistine Chapel”. 

We’ll also discover the charms of smaller towns along the way. Added highlights include 4 high-speed train trips   (2 in each country) which reach speeds of 400 km/h. 

* Those joining any of our tours to Europe must be able to walk fairly long distances and climb stairs easily.

Tentative Itinerary

We depart for Paris with Air Canada.
Upon arrival we enjoy a walking tour of Luxembourg Gardens prior to hotel check in. Our Welcome Dinner is in a typical brasserie.
On our city tour we see the iconic Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the luxurious Champs Elysees, Arc de Triomphe and so much more. Included are visits to Notre Dame Cathedral, the historic artists’ quarter of Montmartre and Sacre Coeur. This evening we enjoy an illuminated cruise along the Seine River.
We travel aboard the high-speed TGV train - the world’s fastest rail journey! Upon arrival in Lyon (Gastronomic Capital of France), we enjoy a walking tour in the Vieux Lyon exploring arched passageways, and we’ll indulge in a tasting of specially selected gastronomic delights! Tonight we dine at one of Lyon’s famous “Bouchon” restaurants.
We drive to the alpine town of Annecy. Our walking tour takes us through its Vieille Ville (old town) with cobbled streets, winding canals and pastel-colored houses. We’ll see the medieval Château d’Annecy - once home to the Counts of Geneva, and enjoy a relaxing cruise before returning to Lyon.
Our train ride travels through several scenic regions – the Alpes and Provence before we end in the beautiful Cote d’Azur (the French Riviera). Upon arrival in the elegant resort city of Nice we begin our city tour that takes in the Promenade des Anglais, Cimiez quarter, Old Town with its Cours Saleya (flower) market and pedestrian streets lined with tantalizing shops and cafes.
A day at leisure to enjoy Nice’s pedestrian streets or lively waterfront. Perhaps visit a museum devoted to artists like the revered impressionist Matisse, or the pioneer of modernism, Marc Chagall.
We drive along the scenic Mediterranean coast to Monaco where we visit the historic centre, see the Changing of the Guards and visit the Prince’s Palace. After some free time here, we visit Monte Carlo and later continue to Sestre Levante
We travel by coach and train to Cinque Terre - five villages that cling dramatically to the cliffs along the rocky coastline. We will visit the villages of Riomaggiore and Manarola, followed by a boat ride to Vernazza for some free time. A short train ride takes us to Monterosso - one of the most impressive of the villages. After our visit, we return to Sestri Levante.
We visit the city of Verona, where our guided tour will show us the Roman Arena and Juliet’s balcony. After some free time we proceed to the picturesque Lake Garda area.
All aboard the ES high- speed train for our full-day visit of Venice - one of the world’s most alluring cities with its stunning architecture, mysterious passageways and of course, the canals. The best way to absorb this city’s unusual sights, and its unique Byzantine atmosphere is on a boat ride across the lagoon, which we will enjoy before our walking tour, taking in St. Mark’s Square, the Bridge of Sighs and the Doges Palace. There will be free time to explore (perhaps an optional Gondola ride) before returning by train to our hotel.
We travel to Pisa to view the iconic Leaning Tower and take a walking tour of the Duomo and Baptistery. Then we proceed to Florence - the Cradle of the Renaissance - for a 2 night stay.
Florence is home to many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture. Our walking tour will include visits to the multi-coloured marble Santa Croce Basilica, the Duomo with its terracotta-tiled dome, Signoria Square, and a lovely stroll across the Ponte Vecchio medieval stone bridge. The afternoon is free to explore, or visit museums such as the Uffizi with Da Vinci’s “Annunciation”, or the Galleriia dell’ Accademia with Michelangelo’s “David”. Or you may want to shop for leather goods or just relax in one of the elegant cafes.
We board the “Frecciarossa” high-speed train and within a few hours we’re in Rome. Upon arrival we’ll visit St. Peter’s and the Vatican, and admire the artistic masterpieces commissioned by the Popes. See the famous Tapestry Gallery and Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel masterpieces.
Our touring of Ancient and Modern Rome continues today seeing the Roman Forum, the Coliseum, the Arch of Constantine, Circus Maximus; Spanish Steps, the spectacular Trevi Fountain and much more. Our Farewell Dinner tonight will be at a local Trattoria!
Arrivederci Italia! We fly home from Rome.

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