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Italy, Sicily and MaltaSpecial Interest Trip
Arrive in Italy.
Welcome to Rome! On arrival complimentary transfers are provided to your hotel, departing the airport at 09:30, 12:30 & 15:30. Later, meet your Travel Director for a Welcome Dinner in a local restaurant.
The day is devoted to the Eternal City. Join a Local Expert for an in-depth visit to the Vatican Museums, with Insight’s special VIP entry to avoid the crowds and behind-the scenes access to the Bramante Staircase, a marvel of Renaissance architecture normally off-limits to visitors. Visit the Sistine Chapel where the Popes are elected to admire Michelangelo’s famous ceiling. Continue to St. Peter’s Basilica to wonder at another of his works and stand beneath the dome which was completed after his death. During a guided walking exploration of Rome, toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain, see the Pantheon and enjoy free time in Piazza Navona.
Galleria Borghese and free time.
A highlight for art lovers today with a visit to the Galleria Borghese, which houses a substantial part of the Borghese collection of paintings, sculptures and antiquities, begun by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, the nephew of Pope Paul V who reigned from 1605 to 1621. The rest of the day is yours to explore on your own before joining for dinner at a local restaurant this evening.
Orvieto and onto Florence.
Travel into the heart of Italy to the hilltop town of Orvieto, located on a rock pedestal overlooking a vineyardcovered plain. Here, take in the flavours of the region, learn about the ingredients and Italian food culture when you join a local chef for a fascinating cooking demonstration, followed by lunch and a glass of the Orvieto Classico wine - a magical culinary experience! Continue through the idyllic landscapes of Umbria and Tuscany to Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance.
With a Local Expert, visit the Uffizi Gallery, one of the oldest and most famous art museums in Europe. You’ll enjoy works by Michelangelo, Botticelli and Raphael amongst other masterpieces. Then embark on a sightseeing trip to see the multi coloured marble cathedral, bell tower and baptistry, adorned by Ghiberti’s ‘Gates of Paradise’. This evening is free for you to enjoy the ambience of this timeless city.
Florence to Milan.
We travel to Lucca where we indulge in a wine and olive oil tasting with light lunch before heading to the fashion capital Milan. This evening, we are treated to a dinner of local flavours.
This morning, visit the Church of Santa
Maria delle Grazie with a Local Expert. It
is an outstanding work of architecture
and is perhaps even more famous for its
connection to Leonardo Da Vinci’s fresco
of ‘The Last Supper” which is preserved
inside its refectory* (dining hall). The
Church is one of Renaissance Arts most
important testimonies and has therefore
been included as a UNESCO World
Heritage site. Later, visit the La Scala
Opera House in Milan regarded as one of
the leading opera and ballet theatres in
*Tickets to view “The Last Supper” are included but strictly subject to availability. The possibility of entrance will only be known 2 months prior to departure.
Milan to Basel.
Farewell Italy and travel into the mountains of Switzerland. We experience one of the greatest scenic highlights Europe has to offer! We climb to the top of Mt Stanserhorn by old-timer railway and the world's only Cabrio cable car. At the peak, there's time to enjoy glorious views of the central Alpine chain, explore the hiking trails or just relax at the panoramic terrace before descending.
Foundation Beyeler Museum.
This morning, explore Basel with your Travel Director, concluding with a visit to the Foundation Beyeler Museum. In 1997, the Foundation opened a museum designed particularly to house the private collection of Ernst and Hildy Beyeler. The collection houses over 300 pieces of art including works by Cezanne, Picasso, Rousseau, Mondrian, Klee, Ernst, Matisse and Newman. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy Basel at your leisure.
Basel to Paris.
Travelling into the Burgundy wine region of France, we stop in the walled town of Beaune. After an orientation with your Travel Director continue onto the French capital, Paris. This evening, enjoy a typical French style dinner.
The Best of Paris.
This morning on your orientation of Paris, see the Eiffel tower, the facades of the Louvre, the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and enjoy a drive along the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe. We visit Paris’s first digital art Museum, Atelier des Lumieres. With state-of-the-art visuals and audio, artists’ works become an immersive and panoramic show. Then there is free time to explore Paris at your leisure. This evening, we visit the renowned Louvre Museum at night, offering a totally different perspective. Formerly a royal palace, the Louvre has embraced the history of France for eight centuries and features works admired across the globe, including the Mona Lisa, the Winged Victory of Samothrace, and the Venus de Milo.
Join your Local Expert to visit the Musee d’Orsay. The former Gare d’Orsay of Beaux-Arts architecture is now one of the largest museums in Europe and home to the largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world. Be enthralled by the works of Monet, Manet, Degas, Cezanne, Van Gogh, amongst others. This afternoon, perhaps join an optional experience to Monet’s garden in Giverny to see the inspiration of some of his most famous works before heading back to Paris. Dine tonight at a local Parisian restaurant.
Paris to Amsterdam.
Travel into Belgium today and make a stop in the canal city of Ghent. Its centre is known for medieval architecture such as the 12th-century Gravensteen Castle and the Graslei, a row of guildhalls with their beautiful façades reflected in the River Lys. Relax at a café terrace, shop for Belgian chocolate or simply take in the atmosphere. Continue on to the Dutch capital, Amsterdam, a vibrant metropolis and still a living museum of the 17th Century.
Admire world famous masterpieces in the Rijksmuseum. Among the collections are masterpieces by Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Johannes Vermeer. Then onto the Van Gogh Museum, home to the largest collection of Van Gogh paintings and drawings in the world. This evening, enjoy dinner while cruising through the canals and celebrate our time on this extraordinary journey.
Your journey comes to an end after breakfast. Complimentary transfers to the airport depart at 08.00 and 10.00am.
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.
Prices and availability of Optional Experiences are subject to change.
Rome (Historic) - Italy
The magnificent Kolbe Hotel Rome traces its origins to a 15th century convent. After a skillful restoration, today it is a luxury hotel located in the heart of the city.
Milan (Contemporary) - Italy
The chic designed Crowne Plaza Hotel Milan City is centrally located and offers minimalist rooms with a comfortable feel.
Paris (Central) - France
Amsterdam (Central) - Netherlands