Your Travel Package Includes
Inside visits and special features:
Shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description including admission charges where applicable.
Visits to Montecatini, Venice, Verona, Monte Carlo, Grasse, Avignon, Bordeaux, Biarritz, Bilbao, Pamplona, Valencia, Cuenca, Aranjuez
Emilia-Romagna region, Po Valley, Italian & French Rivieras, Loire Valley, Landes region, Basque Country
Local Guides for city sightseeing in Rome, Florence, Parma, Milan, Lyon, Paris, Amboise Castle, Barcelona, Madrid; professional Tour Director while touring
Touring by private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach; canal boat ride in Venice
Listed below or equivalent. Rooms with private bath or shower, hotel taxes, porterage, tips and service charges
ROME 5anta Costanza (F) or Holiday Inn Express 5an Giovanni (5T), MONTECATINI Astoria (F) or Grand Hotel du Park et Regina (5T), VENICE AREA Antony Palace (F) at Marcon or Poppi (5T) at Mira, MILAN Holiday Inn Garibaldi 5tation (F) or Holiday Inn Express (5T) at Malpensa, CANNES AREA Ibis (5T) at Mouans 5artoux or Holida Inn (F) at Cannes, LYON Lyon Ouest (5T) or Parkest (5T) or Metropole (F), PARIS Campanile Porte d’italie (5T) or Ibis La Villette (5T), BORDEAUX Mercure Centre
Meriadeck (5T), BILBAO Holiday Inn (F), BARCElONA Porta Fira (F), VALENCIA Ab – Acteon (F), MADRID Rafaelhoteles Ventas (5T)
Buffet breakfasts (B) daily; 7 dinners (D)
Day 1, Sun. ARRIVE IN ROME, ITALY.
Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore this ancient capital. In the afternoon, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.
Day 2, Mon. ROME.
Rome, the “Eternal City,” is a city steeped in history, vibrantly alive and exciting, and absolutely unique! Included sightseeing with a Local Guide starts in St. Peter’s Square, followed by a visit to the ROMAN FORUM and iconic COLOSSEUM. (B)
Day 3, Tue. ROME-FLORENCE-MONTECATINI.
Travel to Florence, “Cradle of the Renaissance” and city of the powerful Medici dynasty. The included walking tour with a Local Guide features most of the city highlights. You will see Piazza Santa Croce, beautiful Piazza Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio, Loggia dei Lanzi, and the impressive Piazza del Duomo with its cathedral housing the Giotto Campanile, and the magnificent East Door of the Baptistry, known as the “Gate of Paradise.” Later, a short drive delivers you to the spa town of Montecatini for an overnight. B,D
Day 4, Wed. MONTECATINI-PARMAVENICE AREA.
This morning, by way of Cisa Pass, head for Parma in the Emilia-Romagna region, made famous by its ham and parmesan cheese. Included sightseeing with a Local Guide introduces you to the city’s hidden treasures. Later, continue into the farmland of the Po Valle for two overnights in the Venice area. (B)
Day 5, Thu. VENICE AREA.
Venice is more like a marvelous film set than a real-life city, with 15 criss-crossing canals, gondolas and water ouses. arched bridges, palaces, and quiet little oiezzes. The included orientation starts with 3 BOAT RIDE to ST. MARK’S SQUARE and is ~ollowed by time at leisure and a chance toatch Venetian GLASSBLOWERS fashion their aelicate objects as they did centuries ago. Don’t miss out on the quintessential Venice experience: an optional gondola ride along the rcturesque canals with a local troubadour to serenade you. (B,D)
Day 6, Fri. VENICE AREA-VERONA-MILAN.
S op in Verona, medieval setting of Shakespeare’s omeo and Juliet. See Juliet’s house and balcony, and stroll around the picturesque market square. “hen, on to vibrant Milan, hub of Italy’s economic “‘1iracle and the capital of fashion. Enjoy a short oty sightseeing tour with a Local Guide. (B)
Day 7, Sat. MILAN-ITALIAN RIVIERAONTE CALRLO-CANNES AREA, FRANCE.
n early start this morning as you journey south with views of the Italian Riviera. En -oute. visit Monte Carlo in the Principality of onaco, the second-smallest and most densely oopulated country in the world, before arriving the Cannes area. (B)
Day 8, Sun. CANNES AREA.
This morning, visit PERFUMEFACTORY in Grasse. Later, maybe join optional excursion to the picturesque hilltop town of St. Paul de Vence, one of the oldest edteval towns on the French Riviera. (B)
Day 9, Mon. CANNES AREA-AVIGNON-LYON.
Firrst, head to Avignon today for an included visit the magnificent PALACE OF THE POPES(audio- uide included). Then, on to Lyon, a UNESCO orld Heritage Site, for an overnight. (B,D)
Day 10, Tue. LYON-PARIS.
Start the day h included guided sightseeing of Lyon, a zommercial, industrial, and banking powerhouse rthe past 500 years. Then, travel through e picturesque Burgundy vineyards and fields oward Paris, the French capital and “City of ht.” Tonight, don’t miss the optional cabaret ting-a true Parisian spectacle! (B)
Day 11, Wed. PARIS.
Included sightseeing with a local expert takes in many of the must-see Parisian sights: the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Opera, La Sorbonne, Madeleine, the Pyramid near the Louvre, the Invalides, and Champs Elysees, Optional excursions to other famous Parisian sights are also available. (B)
Day 12, Thu. PARIS-AM BOISE-BORDEAUX.
Start the day by motoring south along the Loire River to Amboise for a visit with a Local Guide to its splendid 11th-century CASTLEthat was a favorite of French kings. Continue through the Cognac Region and head towards Bordeaux on the banks of the Garonne. (B,D)
Day 13, Fri. BORDEAUX-BIARRITZ-BILBAO, SPAIN.
Leave the Landes region. Visit Biarritz, an ancient fishing village turned trendy seaside resort, before crossing the border into Spain. Overnight in the Basque capital and port town of Bilbao. (B,D)
Day 14, Sat. BILBAO-PAMPLONABARCELONA.
Depart Bilbao this morning and stop in Pamplona, capital of the ancient Kingdom of Navarra, before reaching Barcelona, Catalonia’s lively and beautiful capital. (B,D)
Day 15, Sun. BARCELONA.
This morning’s included sightseeing with a Local Guide features a drive around Montju”ic to see the Olympic Stadium and a great panoramic view of the port and city. You arrive at the city center’s Plaza Catalunya and to Paseo de Gracia to marvel at Gaudi’s architectural masterpieces in the Houses Batll6 and Mila. (B)
Day 16, Mon. BARCELONA-VALENCIA.
Pass through fragrant orange groves and charming seaside resorts past Tarragona and on to Valencia, known for having hosted the America’s Cup in 2005. Join the optional excursion and drive along wide avenues lined with fig and palm trees, and along the old quarter’s narrow streets past fine gothic houses and typical patios. (B)
Day 17, Tue. VALENCIA-CUENCA-ARANJUEZMADRID.
Leave the coast and head inland, stopping in the historical towns of Cuenca and Aranjuez, situated on the Castilian Plain. Travelon to Madrid, the Spanish capital, with time to enjoy a relaxed evening. (B)
Day 18, Wed. MADRID.
This morning, the optional trip to Toledo is very rewarding! The splendid setting of this old walled city above the Tagus was made famous in EI Greco’s painting-even now, it’s like a great open-air museum of Spanish history and art. Later, join the included Madrid city sightseeing. Not only because it’s the capital of Spain but also because it is situated 2,180 feet above sea level, the Spaniards say it’s the nearest thing to Heaven. (B,D)
Day 19, Thu. MADRID.
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)