DAY 1 ARRIVE IN ROME, ITALY
At 5 pm, meet your Tour Director and travel companions for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. D
DAY 2 ROME
ROME Guided sightseeing includes the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Square and Basilica, and the Colosseum. Free afternoon.
LEGENDARY LIVES Stand in awe and wonder amid one of mankind’s greatest artistic achievements in the Sistine Chapel. Hear how in 1508, a young Michelangelo was commissioned by Pope Julius II to decorate the chapel’s ceiling – a request not welcomed by the 33-year-old sculptor. Michelangelo’s 4-year project was indeed one of physical pain and psychological distress, while painting from scaffolds high above the sanctuary floor. Nevertheless, he created what is considered the most famous ceiling in the world, depicting the Creation of Adam in striking fresco style. B
DAY 3 ROME-FLORENCE
FLORENCE Guided sightseeing includes Michelangelo’s masterpiece, David, at the Academy of Fine Arts. See Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry’s heavy bronze Gates of Paradise, and Signoria Square. Free time to browse.
174 mi / 280 km.
ART & ARCHITECTURE Those lucky enough to visit the Tuscan capital are witness to some of the world’s most magnificent art Home to a wealth of Rennaissance masterpieces, Florence is famous for Michelangelo’s Marble Masterpiece, David, standing ready for battle in the Academy of Fine Arts. Outside, the Piazza del Duomo and Signoria Square offer spectacular sights of Florentine Gothic and Renaissance art, architecture, and monuments. B
DAY 4 FLORENCE-VENICE
VENICE Take a private boat ride, followed by an orientation walk, including, St. Mark’s Square, the Bridge of Sighs, and a glassblowing demonstration. Free time to browse before dinner at a local restaurant followed by a private water-taxi ride through the Grand Canal.
174 mi / 280 km.
LOCAL TASTES Indulge in the tastes and traditions of true Italian cuisine in the home of seafood, pasta, and wine in Venice. A cruise on the Grand Canal is the perfect grand finale! Buon appetito!
DAY 5 VENICE-BELLINZONA, SWITZERLAND-LUCERNE
BELLINZONA Take the elevator to the Courtyard of Castelgrande and enjoy a light lunch with local specialties and Merlot wine for which the Ticino area is famous. Scenic drive through the Swiss Alps and St. Gotthard en route to Lucerne.
342 mi / 550 km.
HISTORIC SPOTS Ride the elevator to the Courtyard of Castelgrande, high on the hills above Bellinzona. Part of the fortification dates back to the Middle Ages and it is today a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy spectacular panoramic views and try out local specialties and the delicious Merlot wine for which the area is famous. B, L
DAY 6 LUCERNE
LUCERNE Walking tour includes the Lion Monument and the Chapel Bridge. Free time this afternoon and evening.
PICTURE PERFECT Serenity is found in a gaze across the stunning panoramas of the Swiss Alps above the lovely city of Lucerne. Spend time at leisure with a stroll through its magnificent medieval architecture and peaceful alpine lake. B
DAY 7 LUCERNE-BASEL-PARIS, FRANCE
BASEL Board the high-speed TGV train to Paris. Free time this afternoon and evening.
404 mi / 650 km.
PICTURE PERFECT Gliding across the French countryside at warp speed is an experience to write home about. Pass by the rows of vineyards on your way from Basel to Paris and get in the mood for the wine and song awaiting in the City of Light. B
DAY 8 PARIS
PARIS Free time this morning. Guided sightseeing this afternoon includes orientation drive and Seine River cruise. Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
CITY SIGHTS As the song goes, we love Paris in the springtime; we love Paris in the fall - but no matter the season, we fall in love anytime we visit the most romantic city in the world. From the tranquility of the Seine River to the tempting treats in a corner café, your hearts are set on sharing France’s captivating City of Light any time you please. B, D
DAY 9 PARIS
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.