Italy, France & Spain

Italy, France & Spain
Retrace the steps of battle-ready gladiators on ancient Roman streets, visit indulgent resort towns on the sparkling Mediterranean Côte d’Azur, and join the colorful chaos and excitement on Barcelona’s mile-long pedestrian Las Ramblas.
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Day 1 Start tour
Day 2 Ciao Rome
Meet your tour director and check into hotel
Rome city walk
Spanish StepsTrevi FountainPantheonPiazza Navona
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 3 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 4 Rome--Florence
Travel to Florence
Orvieto visit
Italian pizza dinner
Day 5 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 6 Florence--Côte d'Azur
Nice tour director-led sightseeing
Vieux NicePromenade des Anglais
Details: Travel to Côte d'Azur via 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.
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.
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 7 Côte d'Azur--Provence
Monaco & Èze tour director-led sightseeing
Prince’s PalaceParfumerie visit in Èze
Travel to Provence
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.
Day 8 Provence--Barcelona
Travel to Barcelona
Paella dinner
Details: Provence tour director-led sightseeing
Lush lavender fields, olive groves, terra-cotta roofs, and ochre walls lit by golden sunlight...your Tour Director will guide you through the splendor that is Provence. Explore legacies of the Roman Empire like the Pont du Gard aqueduct, a sophisticated work of engineering that is intact after more than 2,000 years, and visit the Nîmes amphitheater. Built by the Romans nearly 2,000 years ago, it was once the site of gory gladiator and animal combat, and is still used today for performances and bullfights (some things never change).
Details: Pont du Gard visit
A true masterpiece of ancient architecture, the Pont du Gard aqueduct is one of the most beautiful Roman constructions in the region. Discover more about this startling monument as you follow the course of its history through the ages.
Day 9 Barcelona landmarks
Barcelona guided sightseeing tour
Gaudí’s Sagrada FamíliaMontjuïc HillPark Güell visit
Barcelona city walk
Mercat de la BoqueríaLas RamblasColumbus Monument
Details: Barcelona guided sightseeing tour
See brilliant Barcelona, a city of graceful Gothic churches, wrought-iron balconies and wide, grand avenues filled with outdoor cafés. Throughout the city, daringly innovative buildings sit side-by-side with the medieval past. A licensed, local guide will show you some of the high points of this architectural showcase. First stop: the pointy spires of the La Sagrada Familia (Church of the Holy Family), a half-finished church complex that became the obsession of Barcelona's famously eccentric architectural genius, Antoni Gaudí. Then step back to the past with a journey up to Montjuïc (Hill of the Jews). See the fortress built atop an ancient Jewish cemetery. Site of numerous battles to control Barcelona, this hill was also the location of the 1992 Olympics.
Details: Barcelona city walk
Flowers, pedestrian boulevards, and decorative pavement make Barcelona a great walking city, and your Tour Director will show you where to stroll. See the Mercat de la Boquería, where the bright colors of fruits and vegetables, spices, fresh seafood and meat -- not to mention about a hundred different types of cheese -- vie for space in the market stalls. In the city center you'll see the Monument a Colom, a towering statue of Christopher Columbus. Gaze at the city stretched out before you, the mountains in the distance, and the Mediterranean Sea at your back. Then it's on to the best walk in the city, Las Ramblas, a mile-long pedestrian street that offers up the carnival of urban Barcelona. Have your palm read or browse through the strip's famous open-air shops. Enough walking for one day? Pull up a chair, order a café con leche, and watch the parade of street performers from your seat.
Details: Tapas dinner
Tapas purportedly originated when bartenders set a small plate (''tapa'') over patrons' glasses of sherry and wine to keep the flies out. The bartenders starting piling the plate with cold cuts, olives, or salad, and the bite-size snack was born. (We're unsure how they kept the flies out of the cold-cuts... maybe that's how the sandwich was invented?) Over time these working-class snacks have become more elaborate, with each region adding its own specialties and cooking techniques to create unique tastes and combinations.
Day 10 End tour

  • Or
  • Day 10 Start extension to Madrid
    AVE train to Madrid
    Madrid city walk
    Puerta del SolPlaza MayorPlaza de España
    Details: Madrid city walk
    Life in Madrid is centered around talking, toasting and tapas-eating. In a walk through this crowded and social city, your Tour Director will help you get to know the lay of the land. Then stroll over to the Puerta del Sol, the bustling city center. Next, you'll relax at the Plaza Mayor, a grand square where every sort of human drama has taken place—trials of faith, public burnings of heretics, royal marriages, the canonization of saints, and countless balls and bullfights. End at the Plaza de España for a stop at an outdoor café.
    Details: Prado visit
    Visit the Museo del Prado, home of works by Spain's great masters, including Francisco Goya, Diego Velázquez, and El Greco. Please note that on some occassions the Prado could be substituted for the Reina Sofia Museum, featuring works from Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí among others.
    Day 11 Madrid landmarks
    Madrid guided sightseeing tour
    Calle MayorGran VíaCibeles FountainPuerta de AlcaláColumbus SquareRoyal Palace visit
    Details: Madrid guided sightseeing tour
    Get a taste of Spain's cultural, political and economic center with a tour led by a licensed local guide. See Madrid's mix of traditional and modern as you visit the Royal Palace, an 18th-century masterpiece. The enormous Baroque palace currently has more rooms (2,800) than any other European palace, but it was originally supposed to be four times as large. The palace is dripping with porcelain, jeweled clocks, amazing ceiling frescoes—the most magnificent, in the Throne Room, was done by the Venetian artist Tiepolo when he was in his seventies. Next take a look at the Neoclassical architecture of the Prado Museum and the Puerta de Alcalá triumphal arch, built to honor Carlos III’s entry into Spain.
    Details: Flamenco evening
    Originating from gypsy music and dance in Southern Spain, flamenco dancing has become a Spanish institution. Dancers use intricate footwork and elaborate arm gestures to convey the mood of the music, which can range from lamentation to celebration. Learn about the history of Flamenco, watch dancers perform and give it a whirl yourself!
    Day 12 End tour
    Map of Italy, France, & Spain 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
    • Guided sightseeing tours with high-tech headset as per itinerary
    • Tapas Dinner
    • Flamenco evening on extension
    • 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.
    Please select a postal code
    2935.00 total fee
    Basic Options


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