Attention 2020 Travelers! Enrollments received by December 1 get a $250 discount.
Accommodations in centrally-located three-star or four-star hotels. Rooming on a triple basis. Double rooms: $280 per person.
Round-trip transportation on scheduled airline. Deluxe touring motorcoach.
All breakfasts. All dinners. Dinner with music on Day 8.
Services of a specially-trained passports Tour Director throughout.
Entrances and activities as noted on itinerary.
passports provides and pays for a Post Departure Travel Protection Plan that includes coverage for Trip Interruption, Trip Delay, Baggage Loss or Delay, Medical Expense and Evacuation and more.
Optional Seine River cruise
Paris City Sightseeing, Excursion to Versailles, RER train to Paris: Local Guide
Visit to Notre-Dame Cathedral
Eiffel Tower Level Two: Optional Eiffel Tower Summit, Optional Dinner on the Eiffel Tower
Departure transfer, TGV train Paris-Nice, Arrival transfer
Tour director-led walking tour along the Promenade des Anglais
Excursion to Monaco and Èze: Fragonard perfume factory in hilltop village of Èze
Panoramic view of Monaco from Moyenne Corniche Road, Sightseeing stop in Pisa
Guided walking tour in Florence: Local guide, Visit to the Accademia, Visit to the nave of Florence's Duomo, Visit to the church of Santa Croce and its Pazzi Chapel, Stop at Leonardo's Leather Workshop
Rome City Sightseeing: 24-hour public transportation pass in Rome, Local Guide, Visits to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, Visit to the Pantheon, Visit to the Vatican Museums, Headset receiver for the Vatican sites, Visit to the Sistine Chapel, Visit to St. Peter's Basilica, Stroll on Piazza Navona
Dinner with music
Weeks, or even months of preparation come to fruition at last as you board your airplane bound for Europe and the glittering jewel at her heart, Paris, the "City of Light." Bienvenue!
Settle into your hotel, then set out to explore one of the world's most beautiful capital cities.
You may want to head to Montmartre, Paris' highest hill and its most celebrated bohemian district. Artists still flock to the charming Place du Tertre, as they did when Toulouse-Lautrec painted the French Cancan dancers at the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret. Visitors enjoy panoramic views of the city as they make their way to the Sacré-Coeur, the white-domed basilica that anchors the Parisian skyline.
See Paris transformed into a wonderland like no other during a cruise along the River Seine.
Set out on a coach tour of the city in the company of a local guide. On the Right Bank of the River Seine, see Napoléon's Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Elysées, the Place de la Concorde, and the exuberant Opéra Garnier. On the Left Bank, discover the Eiffel Tower, the Invalides, the Latin Quarter and Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
A full-day local guide, well-educated and specially-trained on the history and culture of Paris and its surroundings, will accompany your group.
Enjoy a bit of relevant French history today at the palace where the Sun King, Madame de Pompadour and Queen Marie-Antoinette all come to life. In this ultimate example of Baroque architecture, you will marvel at the lavish decoration, abundant gilding and exuberant ornamentation, particularly in the Royal Apartments of Louis XIV and in the Hall of Mirrors. Imagine the sense of self-importance that must have inflated the egos of these kings and queens.
Then, take a stroll around the Main Gardens.
Return to Paris using the efficient RER transit system.
Cross the River Seine to get to the boat-shaped island known as the Ile de la Cité, the very heart of the ancient city which the Romans called Lutetia. There, visit Notre-Dame de Paris. This cathedral has presided over centuries of glorious and somber French history, from its construction in the Middle Ages to its desecration during the French Revolution, and the coronation of Napoléon Bonaparte in 1804 (the 35-year-old upstart crowned himself emperor, with the Pope and all of Europe watching). Admire its bas-reliefs, statuary, gargoyles and remarkable rose windows.
Take an elevator to the deuxième étage of the most famous cast iron structure ever built, la Tour Eiffel, for an unforgettable panorama of Paris.
Availability permitting, you'll ascend to the third level of the tower.
Enjoy a three-course dinner at the restaurant 58 Tour Eiffel.
Today, there's the excitement of a ride on a Train à Grande Vitesse (no clickety-clacks on these smooth rails), from Paris all the way to Nice. Time flies aboard the streamlined cars which, inside, look and feel like an airplane.
You're on your way to the Côte d'Azur, famous for its sunny climate, the turquoise Mediterranean, and the vedettes de cinéma who inhabit the surrounding hills.
Enjoy a walking tour along the Promenade des Anglais, which is said to be Europe's most handsome boulevard (see the luxury yachts from the world over). Venture down the side streets into the Vieux-Nice.
Board your coach for an excursion today.
Discover the Principality of Monaco, a fabulous display of white buildings and winding roads set into steep hillsides. See the harbor, Monte Carlo and its Grand Casino, favored by the world's well-to-do, the Cathedral and the Prince's Palace, which Prince Rainier once shared with his bride from Philadelphia, Grace Kelly.
Stop in the picturesque village of Èze, perched atop a towering cliff high above the sea.
Visit Èze's Fragonard perfume factory and learn about the esoteric artistry of les "nez."
Enjoy a ride along the N7 road, a coastal road known as the Moyenne Corniche, which overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and provides superb panoramic views of the French Riviera coastline and the Principality of Monaco.
On to Italy, and Pisa!
This is the city whose navy once dominated the Western Mediterranean, before the Arno River silted up. Just north of the city center you'll discover the Campo dei Miracoli and its trio of remarkable Moorish-style religious buildings, the most famous of which is the Leaning Tower (now tilting nearly 13 feet from its vertical axis).
Proceed to Firenze, the "Jewel of the Renaissance." Never in the history of mankind has so much genius, in all its forms, been concentrated in one place as it was in Florence during the fifteenth century.
Get acquainted with the Medici family and the art of politics!
A local guide, well-educated and specially-trained on the history and culture of Florence, will accompany your group.
View a wealth of artwork from the 15th and 16th centuries at the Galleria dell'Accademia, including the best known of all Florentine treasures, Michelangelo's monumental David.
In the nave of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, better known as the Duomo, you will marvel at one of the largest cathedrals in the Christian world, consecrated in 1436. Within its striking walls, it houses precious masterpieces, notably Domenico di Michelino's 1320 painting Dante and the Divine Comedy.
Next on your program: the church that's the final resting place of luminaries such as Michelangelo, Machiavelli, and Galileo. Santa Croce is also famous for its art treasures, notably the Cappella dei Pazzi, a chapel attributed to Brunelleschi that's hailed as a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture.
Watch a craftsman demonstrate steps used in the manufacture of the world-renowned Florentine leather goods.
A trip down the autostrada takes you to the "Eternal City."
Proceed to your centrally-located hotel, settle in and get ready to explore your surroundings.
Plan a visit to the Trevi Fountain, one of Rome's most celebrated sights, which was the terminus of the Aqua Virgo aqueduct. Throw a coin over your right shoulder and into the spray to ensure your return to this wonderful city!
Set out on a sightseeing tour of Rome.
A full-day local guide, well-educated and specially-trained on the history and culture of Rome, will accompany your group.
Walk through the best known monuments of Ancient Rome, the Colosseo and the Foro Romano. Once the heart of a vast empire, the Forum was filled with extravagant buildings and crowded with people from all over the known world.
Inside the "Temple to All the Gods," you will understand why it has been called one of the better-preserved and most harmonious monuments of antiquity.
Discover outstanding masterpieces collected for the Vatican Museums since the early 1500s. You will see exceptional statues from antiquity, such as Laocoön and His Sons and the Apollo Belvedere, and stunning Renaissance paintings, notably in the Raphael Rooms with The School of Athens fresco.
Marvel at Michelangelo's Last Judgment and brightly-colored ceiling frescoes in the Cappella Sistina.
Enter the sanctuary recognized as the world's largest church. The Basilica di San Pietro also houses priceless works of art, in particular Michelangelo's Pietà and Bernini's Dove of the Holy Spirit.
Walk through the plaza built on the site of Domitian's Stadium. Lined with grand buildings and trendy cafes, this oblong square is adorned with statues and fountains, notably Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers.
Tonight, enjoy dinner while local singers and musicians entertain you with O Sole Mio, Volare and other favorite Italian songs.
Ciao, Europa! Statistics show that visitors do in fact return to Rome, although it may not have anything to do with coins in a fountain. Race the sun and arrive home later today, eager to share your discoveries with family and friends.
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