Road to Rome - Insight Vacations

Road to Rome (Winter 2017-18)

Duration: 12 days Visiting: England, France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Italy

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Menu
  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
  • Accommodation
  • Reviews
  • Dates & prices

Proverbially, all roads lead to Rome. This one includes grand views from the Eiffel Tower, the atmospheric canals of Venice and the art of Renaissance Florence, all of which are a delight whether travelling in autumn, winter or spring.

  1. Day 1

    Eurostar to Paris

    After a warm welcome from your Tour Director, transfer to London’s St. Pancras Station to board the high-speed Eurostar. Your comfortable two-hour rail journey takes you via the historic Channel Tunnel to Paris. Alternatively, join at the Paris hotel. Join your Tour Director for an orientation, passing the imposing façades of the Louvre. During your time in Paris, see the obelisk in the Place de la Concorde and drive along the Champs-Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe. In the evening, get together with your fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception and an opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.

  2. Day 2

    Paris, the 'City of Light'

    Meet your Local Expert who will take you on a walking tour of the bohemian Latin Quarter. Explore the myriad of streets situated on the left bank of the Seine, before continuing to the Notre Dame Cathedral, a masterpiece of French Gothic architecture. Later, ascend to the viewing platforms of the Eiffel Tower for spectacular panoramas of the city. The rest of the day is at leisure.

  3. Day 3

    Beautiful Burgundy and Lucerne

    Journey through the Burgundy wine region, before passing the Jura Mountains and crossing into Switzerland. Arrive in glorious lakeside Lucerne and enjoy a traditional Swiss supper of hearty specialties at a local restaurant.

  4. Day 4

    Lucerne’s Lake and Lion

    Join your Tour Director to see the covered Chapel Bridge and stirring Lion Monument. Embark on a spectacular journey, by cable car and cog-wheel railway, to the summit of Mount Pilatus for expansive mountain views over Lake Lucerne. Admire the panorama of snow-capped peaks, before descending back to terra firma. There is time set aside to shop for fine watches and chocolate in Lucerne.

  5. Day 5 - Relaxed Start

    Lucerne to Innsbruck

    (Relaxed Start) Start the day with a journey to the heart of the Alps and visit the Principality of Liechtenstein. Spend some time in its tiny capital, Vaduz, with its castle located on a hillside overlooking the city. Drive into Austria and continue through the Arlberg Tunnel to mountain-ringed Innsbruck. Your orientation will show you the 14th century houses of the Old Town, the impressive Imperial Palace and the delightful Golden Roof.

  6. Day 6

    The Dolomites to Venice

    Leave Innsbruck and travel across the impressive Europa Bridge and through the Dolomites into Italy. Follow the Adige River through spectacular scenery to glorious Venice, known for over a thousand years as 'La Serenissima'.

  7. Day 7 - Relaxed Start

    The Magic of 'La Serenissima'

    (Relaxed Start) In the morning, prepare to embrace this most romantic city. Your hotel is only steps away from St. Mark's Square, dominated by its magnificent basilica and overlooked by the great Clock Tower. Also in the square stands the immense Campanile and Doge's Palace which is connected to the prisons by the Bridge of Sighs. While here, visit an arts centre to watch one of the few remaining craftsmen blow Venetian glass. A visit to Venice would be incomplete without a gondola serenade. Glide along the atmospheric canals, exploring the intimate and hidden parts of this unique city while musicians set the mood with traditional songs. Enjoy a free time in the afternoon.

  8. Day 8

    Pisa and Florence

    Head into the wild Apennines and on to the peaceful landscapes of Tuscany. Stop to see the incredible Leaning Tower of Pisa with a Local Expert, from which Galileo is said to have conducted experiments on velocity and gravity. Also see the splendid cathedral and baptistry, decorated with mosaics and designs in solid marble. Your journey then continues to Renaissance Florence.

  9. Day 9 - Relaxed Start

    Florence Sightseeing

    (Relaxed Start) Walk with your Local Expert to the marble-clad cathedral and baptistery, where Ghiberti’s 'Gates of Paradise' have been recreated in all their glory. Next stop is Signoria Square, an open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces, to spend time gazing at statues such as Neptune and David, along the front of the Palazzo Vecchio. After a demonstration of leather-work, there is free time to shop.

  10. Day 10

    Orvieto and the Eternal City of Rome

    Stop in the Umbrian hilltop town of Orvieto – its cathedral is one of Italy’s most celebrated buildings. Immerse yourself in the flavours and culture of the region at Zeppelin Restaurant, where you join a master chef for a fascinating live cooking demonstration, followed by lunch and a glass of the Orvieto Classico wine - a magical culinary experience! Continue to Rome, where you can perhaps start the evening with a ‘passeggiata’ (traditional evening stroll)?

  11. Day 11

    Papal and Imperial Rome

    Join a Local Expert for an in-depth visit to the Vatican Museums, full of priceless art collected over the ages by the Popes. In order to avoid the crowds, Insight has arranged your special VIP entrance, together with behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase - a marvel of Renaissance architecture and normally off-limits to the general public. Next, head to the Sistine Chapel to admire Michelangelo’s famous ceiling. In St. Peter’s Basilica, view another masterpiece by Michelangelo, the Pietà, as well as the splendid dome, completed after his death. Cross the River Tiber to see the Colosseum, still echoing with the ghostly cries of gladiatorial combat and overlook the Forum. Later, there is time for shopping or sightseeing at your leisure. In the evening, enjoy an elegant four-course dinner with unlimited local wine at a Roman restaurant. As you dine, you'll be serenaded with a private performance of popular songs and arias from some of Italy's best-loved operas.

  12. Day 12

    Arrivederci Roma

    Departure transfers arrive at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at 07:00 and 09:30.

Highlights

 

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

  • Paris: Venture with a Local Expert through the Latin Quarter, along the Seine and continue on to the Notre Dame Cathedral, a masterpiece of French Gothic architecture.
  • Florence: Walk with your Local Expert to the cathedral, see the ‘Gates of Paradise' and open-air gallery of Signoria Square.
  • Rome: After VIP fast-track entry into the Vatican Museums and privileged access to the Bramante Staircase, witness Michelangelo's genius in the Sistine Chapel with your Local Expert.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Eurostar: Relax on the smooth, high-speed Eurostar train from London via the historic Channel Tunnel to Paris.
  • Christmas Markets: Prepare to be dazzled by the wonders and magic of Christmas, with market stalls featuring local handicrafts and delicious, seasonally-festive treats like Glühwein. On selected departures, there is free time to explore in some of the cities visited.
  • Paris: Ascend to the viewing platforms of the Eiffel Tower and enjoy glorious panoramas.
  • Mount Pilatus: Take a spectacular journey to the summit of Mount Pilatus for expansive mountain views.
  • Venice: To the tune of accompanying musicians, you will be serenaded through the atmospheric canals by gondola, past water-lapped doorways and Rococo palaces.
  • Pisa: See the incredible Leaning Tower with a Local Expert, as well as the Duomo and baptistery.

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Paris: See Notre Dame Cathedral, the façades of the Louvre Museum, the Place de la Concorde. Drive along the Champs-Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe.
  • Lucerne: View the emotive Lion Monument and see the covered Chapel Bridge and Jesuit Church.
  • Liechtenstein: Visit the tiny capital of Liechtenstein, Vaduz.
  • Innsbruck: See the Golden Roof and Imperial Palace.
  • Venice: Cruise, with commentary, to St Mark's Square. See the Doges' Palace, Bridge of Sighs and St Mark's Basilica.
  • Tuscany: Enjoy a short tutorial about Chianti wines.
  • Orvieto: Visit the pleasant Umbrian hilltop town.
  • Rome: Visit St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City. See the mighty Colosseum and overlook the Forum.
  • Scenic Drives: Burgundy, Jura Mountains, Arlberg, Inn Valley, the Dolomites, Apennines & Tuscany.

AUTHENTIC REGIONAL FLAVOURS

  • Lucerne: Enjoy a traditional Swiss supper of hearty specialties at a local restaurant.
  • Orvieto: At a restaurant in the medieval heart of Orvieto, explore the art of Italian cooking with Chef Lorenzo and master the art of making fresh pasta by hand. Follow this with lunch and a glass of Orvieto Classico wine.
  • Rome: Savour a four-course Celebration Dinner complete with wine, to the rich tremolo of some of Italy's best-loved opera.
  • Included Quality Dining: 11 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Highlight Lunch (HL), 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 1 Restaurant Dinner (RD), 1 Three-course table d'hôte Dinner (DW) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee. Departures on tour for Christmas and New Year's Eve will enjoy festive Highlight Dinners which will replace an included meal.

STAY AT THE BEST ADDRESSES

  • Paris: The Pullman Paris Centre Bercy is located in the heart of the Bercy Village pedestrian quarter and a few steps from the River Seine.
  • Lucerne: The modern Renaissance Lucerne Hotel, is a converted centuries-old city palace. Located only minutes to Lake Lucerne, it offers tastefully furnished rooms with ornamental ceiling decoration and warm interiors.
  • Innsbruck: Located in the city centre of Innsbruck, the Hotel Grauer Bär is a short stroll from historic Old Town. From the breakfast room and the spa area, enjoy panoramic views over the roofs of Innsbruck and the surrounding Tyrolean mountain scenery.
  • Venice: The outstanding Starhotels Splendid Venice, is perfectly positioned in the centre of Venice Island - only a stone's throw away from all the sights and walking distance to St. Mark's Square.
  • Florence: The Una Hotel Vittoria, is located in the historic district of San Frediano and is walking distance from the city centre.
  • Rome: Hotel Romanico Palace is a centrally located hotel in the Veneto area. It boasts a spectacular roof garden affording incredible views.

OUR FIVE-STAR SERVICES

  • Our highly-skilled Insight Tour Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend in a foreign land.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat touring coach, with extended Business Class legroom and on-board restroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included; you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus, we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi.
  • From time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish - a local tidbit representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
  • Charged transfers from London Heathrow/Gatwick Airports can be booked through Insight Vacations. Complimentary transfers to Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport are available at scheduled times on the last day of your escorted journey. Should your flights not coincide with complimentary transfers, charged transfers are available on arrival and departure days or when additional accommodation is booked through Insight Vacations. Alternatively, please make your own way from/to the airport.

Optional experiences

Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations. The Optionals and pricing listed here are a guideline only and subject to change.

Accommodation

 

Pullman Paris Centre Bercy

Paris (Central) - France

The Pullman Paris Bercy Centre is conveniently located in Bercy village in the 12th arrondissement, amongst leafy patios. It offers a vibrant atmosphere and gastronomic-bistro inspired restaurants.

Hotel Grauer Bar Innsbruck

Innsbruck (Central) - Austria

Located in the city centre of Innsbruck, the Hotel Grauer Bär is a short stroll from historic Old Town. From the breakfast room and the spa area, enjoy panoramic views over the roofs of Innsbruck and the surrounding Tyrolean mountain scenery.

Starhotels Splendid Venice

Venice (Central) - Italy

The outstanding Starhotels Splendid Venice, is perfectly positioned in the centre of Venice Island - only a stone's throw away from all the sights and walking distance to St. Mark's Square.

UNA Hotel Vittoria Florence

Florence (Contemporary) - Italy

This hotel is located in the historic district of San Frediano.

Hotel Romanico Palace Rome

Rome (Contemporary) - Italy

Located in the heart of Rome, the luxurious Hotel Romanico Palace offers easy access to all the historical sites of the Eternal City.

GUEST REVIEWS & EXPERIENCES

Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on 7787 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 31 January, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We got a taste of a lot of things with a few added extras that made us feel special.

    Service: Overall, our trip was great. Our tour guide Gary was exceptional.

  • 29 January, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Well planned and loved two nights accomadation at most stops.

    Service: The way everything was sorted out in a timely manner by our guide.

  • 15 January, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We got what we had hoped for, which was the highlights. I thought it was well paced, having only one one-nighter. Gave us a great taster as we were first-timers to Europe.

    Service: Our guide, Gary was professional, knowledgeable and nothing was too much trouble. We were very happy.

  • 15 January, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Great tour good selection of countries. Appropriate pace and time in cities.

    Service: Cultural experience and locations were as advertised.

  • 23 December, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Very knowledgeable tour leader who was able to make the history of the areas come to life.

    Service: Both the tour leader and the driver were excellent. They did everything possible to make the tour enjoyable for everyone even locating an alternate excursion when the weather was against us.

  • 23 December, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The included and optional activities were excellent. We didn’t have to wait in lines to buy tickets, everything was organised smoothly and we could pack in a lot of activities each day. Local experts/guides were all fantastic and were a real highlight of the trip.

    Service: Excellent itinerary and optional activities, very good accommodation, seamlessly organised and comfortable coach. Would definitely recommend Insight.

  • 14 December, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: too much on the last day. need to add more time in Rome

    Service: great director and driver, would use them again

  • 06 December, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Covered all the areas of interest

    Service: Tour guide's commentary and knowledge, friendly attitude.

  • 03 December, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Just perfect, tour director was also perfect. Wouldn't change a thing. Also everyone except us was given the option to fly to London before our trip, and did. Also others were offered extentions on the end of the trip like Spain etc... ans also did. Why were we not offered other trips before and after our trip when we booked? This was our first time doing this and would of been nice to get the options.

    Service: Customer service was great, the whole trip was fantastic, until we got to Florence. Up till this point every Hotel was perfect, but almost everyone in our group agreed that this hotel was a total disaster. The room were awful and no one wanted to even be in their rooms. Also half of the staff were great and the other have seemed miserable. There were not many people who liked the meal we were served there either. This was truly the only blemish on the whole trip, but it was a BIG one.

  • 28 November, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: There was the right balance of seeing the sights, with free time, and the local tour guides were exceptional

    Service: The best way to express our experience with Insight, they exceeded our expectations, from the accommodations, to food, local tour guides, but most of all our tour director and driver (Peter and Lupo) I had high expectations coming into it, and they were continuously exceeded.

  • 28 November, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Gave us just enough in each country which in turn had us thinking when and where we would return to tour more in depth.

    Service: Whole trip was awesome. Had a hotel change prior to trip. Was informed of change in a timely manner through AAA. Had no issues with the change. The transition into the new hotel was seamless.

  • 27 November, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We were kept busy the entire tour.

    Service: The entire experience was fabulous we have not traveled with your company in the past. Our tour guides and drivers were excellent. Peter and Lola were friendly and approachable. Peter spent time with an elderly guest until she had to leave the tour it became too difficult to continue. Lola kept us entertained throughout the entire trip. we had a few hiccups during both tours but the TG's made it work. The drivers Lupo and Hadel can maneuver the coaches as if they were small cars and parked in tight places with ease. They made us feel safe and comfortable. Thank you so much for the adventure. We have already recommended your company to other friends.

NB: Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Note prices displayed reflect available discounted rates (i.e. Early Payment Discount, Last Minute Deals). All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.