France & Italy

France & Italy
Get a bird’s eye view of Paris from the iconic Eiffel Tower, gaze out over the sparkling Mediterranean Sea on the Côte d’Azur, marvel at the masterpieces from Renaissance Florence, and climb the famous Spanish Steps in Rome.
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Day 1 Start tour
Day 2 Bonjour Paris
Meet your tour director and check into hotel
Paris city walk
Île de la CitéNotre Dame Cathedral visitÎle St. LouisLatin Quarter visit
Dinner in Latin Quarter
Details: Paris city walk
This city was made for walking. Stroll grand boulevards with sweeping views of the city, pristine parks with trees planted in perfect rows, and narrow streets crowded with vendors selling flowers, pastries and cheese. Then head to the Île de la Cité, a small island in the Seine, to see Notre Dame Cathedral.
Details: Louvre visit
The world's largest art museum, the Louvre is housed in a Medieval fortress-turned-castle so grand it's worth a tour itself. You walk through the 71-foot glass pyramid designed by I.M. Pei and added in 1989, and step into another world--one with carved ceilings, deep-set windows, and so many architectural details you could spend a week just admiring the rooms. The Mona Lisa is here, as well as the Venus de Milo and Winged Victory (the headless statue, circa 200 BC, discovered at Samothrace). The Louvre has seven different departments of paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures and antiquities. Don't miss the Egyptian collection, complete with creepy sarcophagi, or the collection of Greek ceramics, one of the largest in the world. (Please note the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays.)
Day 3 Paris landmarks
Paris guided sightseeing tour
Arc de TriompheChamps-ÉlyséesEiffel TowerChamp de MarsÉcole MilitaireLes InvalidesConciergerieTuileriesPlace VendômeOpera House
Optional  Versailles guided excursion  $80
State ApartmentsHall of MirrorsGardens of Versailles
Details: Paris guided sightseeing tour
What's that huge white arch at the end of the Champs-Élysées? The Arc de Triomphe, commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 after his victory at Austerlitz. Your licensed local guide will elaborate on this, and other Parisian landmarks. See some of the most famous sites, including the ornate, 19th-century Opera, the Presidential residence, the ultra-chic shops of the Rue du Faubourg St-Honoré, and the gardens of the Tuileries. You'll pass the Place de la Concorde, where in the center you’ll find the Obelisk of Luxor, a gift from Egypt in 1836, and the Place Vendôme, a huge square surrounded by 17th-century buildings. Spot chic locals (and tons of tourists) strolling the Champs-Élysées. Look up at the iron girders of the Eiffel Tower, built for the 1889 World's Fair to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution. See Les Invalides (a refuge for war wounded), the École Militaire (Napoleon's alma mater), and the Conciergerie (the prison where Marie Antoinette was kept during the French Revolution).
Details: Seine River cruise
See the city from the water on an hour-long cruise along the River Seine. The Seine cuts right through Paris, dividing the city in half. See the Eiffel tower rising up on the Left Bank, the walls of the Louvre on the Right Bank. A guide will point out other monuments and architectural marvels as you pass, many of which are illuminated by clear white light at night.
Day 4 Paris--Côte d'Azur
Travel to Nice on the TGV (Europe’s fastest train)
Day 5 Monaco, Èze & Nice
Monaco & Èze tour director-led sightseeing
Prince’s PalaceParfumerie visit in Èze
Nice tour director-led sightseeing
Vieux NicePromenade des Anglais
Details: Monaco & Èze tour director-led sightseeing
On the Mediterranean coast, five miles from the Italian border, lies the tiny, glittering independent state of Monaco. Ruled by the Grimaldi family since the 13th century, Monaco is the epitome of French Riviera glamour. Your Tour Director will lead you on this brief adventure. Charles III opened a casino in the 1850’s to avert financial straits; needless to say, his plan worked--so well, in fact, that Monaco is a nearly tax-free state. Drop in on Prince Rainier (OK, see his house, the Palais du Prince), and visit a parfumerie in nearby Èze, where rich scents are made from local flowers such as jasmine, rose, and lavender.
Details: Nice tour director-led sightseeing
The Côte d'Azur's largest city spills down the hillsides to pebble beaches that line the shore. Your Tour Director will show you around the narrow pedestrian streets and tiny squares of "Le Vieux Nice" (Old Town), which is sprinkled with old palaces and mansions. Stroll down the Promenade des Anglais, which runs parallel to the water. Backed by Nice's grand hotels, the Promenade was built in the 19th century for the British who flocked here en masse.
Day 6 Côte d'Azur--Florence
Travel to Florence
Italian pizza dinner
Details: Baptistery visit & see the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Stop in Pisa to see the famous leaning bell tower. It was already partly finished when builders realized that -- surprise! -- the ground beneath was too soft to support it. They tried to correct the tilt by putting a slight bend in the structure, but the extra weight just made it tilt more. Famous as it is, the leaning tower is just one component of Pisa’s Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles). Rising from an immaculate green lawn, the baptistery, duomo, and tower are fine examples of Pisan Romanesque architecture. All three are clad in intricately carved black and white marble, and on bright summer days their brilliance can be blinding.
Day 7 Florence landmarks
Florence guided walking sightseeing tour with Whisper headsets
Palazzo VecchioPiazza della SignoriaChiesa di Santa CrocePonte VecchioDuomo visitleather workshopGates of ParadiseGiotto’s Bell TowerDante's House
Optional  Siena guided sightseeing tour  $35
Piazza del CampoPalazzo PubblicoDuomoChurch of St CatherineFortezza Medicea
Details: Florence guided walking sightseeing tour with Whisper headsets
Immerse yourself in the charms of old-world Firenze, a red-brick splendor set in the rolling green hills of Tuscany. The birthplace and focal point of the Italian Renaissance, Florence still has the masterpieces to prove it. Brunelleschi’s elegant Duomo (dome) dominates the skyline, and around every corner is an architectural triumph filled with wall after wall of incomparable art. Your local licensed guide will take you to Giotto's Bell Tower and the aptly named Gates of Paradise, the bronze east doors of the Baptistery that spurred the burgeoning Renaissance. The boy guarding the Palazzo Vecchio with his slingshot is just a copy of Michelangelo’s David; the real statue is over at the Accademia. Don’t overlook the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli at the Chiesa di Santa Croce, and definitely don’t overlook Florence’s amazing leather goods. Check them out when you visit one of the area’s famed workshops.
Day 8 Florence--Rome
Travel to Rome
Rome city walk
Spanish StepsTrevi FountainPantheonPiazza Navona
Details: St. Francis of Assisi Basilica visit
Pope Gregory IX laid the first stone of the Lower Basilica the day after the canonization of St Francis, on July 17, 1228. Two years later the saint's body, that had been resting in the church of San Giorgio (the future church of St Claire's) was brought here in secret for fear of looting by tomb raiders and buried in the unfinished church. No date has been recorded concerning the start of works on the Upper Basilica, but it must have been after the abdication from the order of Brother Elia in 1239, who had hitherto directed the works on the Romanesque Lower Basilica. Both churches were consecrated by Pope Innocent IV in 1253.
Details: Rome city walk
Baroque-en hearted? Revive your spirits with a walk past Rome's most beautiful and unusual Baroque fountains. At the foot of the Spanish Steps, elegant cafes once favored by visiting Brits and Americans surround the central fountain. The water pressure here was so low that the artist had to sink the fountain into the ground to get any water going through it, so he went ahead and designed the fountain to look like a sinking ship. There's no shortage of water pressure at the nearby Trevi Fountain, a Baroque extravagance designed by master sculptor Bernini. At the Pantheon, you'll see the largest concrete dome ever constructed. An oculus, or hole, in the dome lets sunlight into the beautiful temple, dedicated to all the gods.
Day 9 Rome landmarks
Rome guided walking sightseeing tour with Whisper headsets
Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel visitSt. Peter’s Basilica visitColosseum visitPiazza VeneziaForum Romanum visit
Authentic trattoria dinner
Details: Rome guided walking sightseeing tour with Whisper headsets
Gods and gladiators, glory and gore. Ancient Rome lives on in its spectacular monuments, flavoring the frenetic present with tastes of the past. Don a space-age Whisper headset to get the inside scoop on the most spectacular, the Colosseum, a grisly battle arena that seated more than 45,000. An enormous retractable roof awning system kept spectators cool on sunny days. The nearby Forum provides a glimpse into everyday ancient life, with markets, meeting places, and temples all combined into one vast space. Move into Christian Rome at St. Peter’s Basilica, the triumphal Renaissance church flanked by rows of columns radiating outward like welcoming arms. Within the church Michelangelo’s masterpieces are on display, the “Pietà” in the main church and the recently restored ceiling frescoes and “Last Judgment” in the Sistine Chapel. Continue your trek through time at Piazza Venezia, site of the enormous monument to Victor Emmanuel II, Italy’s first king, and of the Palazzo Venezia, where Mussolini set up his headquarters and from whose porch his mother was said to eavesdrop on citizens below. (The Sistine Chapel is closed on most religious holidays and Sundays, except for the last Sunday in each month).
Day 10 End tour

  • Or
  • Day 10 Start extension to Sorrento
    Travel to Sorrento
    Details: Cameo workshop
    Cameos, oval in shape, consisting of a portrait in profile carved in relief on a background of a different color are often worn as jewelry, but in ancient times were mainly used for signet rings and large earrings, although the largest examples were probably too large for this, and were just admired as objets d'art. Stone cameos of great artistry were made in Greece dating back as far as the 3rd century BC. The Farnese Tazza (a cup) is the oldest major Hellenistic piece surviving. They were very popular in Ancient Rome, especially in the family circle of Augustus. Roman Cameos became less common in the years leading up to 300AD although production continued at a much-reduced rate right through the Middle Ages.
    Details: Pompeii guided excursion
    Stop to see the city where time stood still, literally. Once an important Roman city with 20,000 residents, Pompeii was frozen in time nearly 2000 years ago, when Mount Vesuvius erupted and buried the city under 30 feet of mud and volcanic ash. Forgotten for centuries after the eruption, Pompeii was discovered in the 1600’s and is now completely excavated. On your tour you will learn how Romans of all classes lived their lives--not only from large public structures, but from details like political graffiti, bars, and street signs.
    Day 11 Sorrento--Rome
    Travel to Rome
    Details: Capri & Blue Grotto excursion
    From the Bay of Naples the island of Capri is less than an hour away by boat. Weather permitting, you will take a boat to the Blue Grotto, where sunlight reflected from beneath the water bathes the cave in a silver-blue light.
    Day 12 End tour
    Map of France & Italy Educational Tour
    Tour Includes:
    • Round-trip airfare
    • 8 overnight stays (10 with extension) in hotels with private bathrooms
    • Full European breakfast daily
    • Dinner daily
    • Full-time services of a professional Tour Director
    • Guided sightseeing tours and city walks as per itinerary
    • Visits to select attractions as per itinerary
    • Seine Cruise
    • Guided sightseeing tours with high-tech headset as per itinerary
    • Tour Diary™
    • Note: On arrival day only dinner is provided; on departure day, only breakfast is provided
    • Note: Tour cost does not include airline-imposed baggage fees, or fees for any required passport or visa. Please visit our Fees FAQ page for a full list of items that may not be included in the cost of your tour.
    We are better able to assist you with a quote for your selected departure date and city over the phone. Please call 1.888.310.7120 to price this tour with your requested options.
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    3054.00 total fee
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