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European DiscoveriesDiscovery Trip
Experience the essence of Europe as you travel through bustling Rome and Paris, stopping off in Renaissance Florence, the colourful ocean-side villages of the Cinque Terre and the glittering snow-capped peaks of Switzerland. Explore local life as you enjoy small-group dining in Lucerne and cross paths with locals who are passionate about sharing Europe’s rich heritage, culture and traditions with you.
Welcome to the Eternal City of Rome.
Rome is one of the world’s most historic cities, filled with classical antiquities, medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches. Transfers to your hotel depart Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:30. Then this extraordinary city is yours to discover. At 18:00, join your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and enjoy the opportunity to mingle and get to know your fellow travellers.
Rome with the locals.
Rome is about art, antiquity, piazzas and pizzazz, and your morning walking tour with a Local Expert includes this in abundance. Toss a coin into the spectacular Trevi Fountain and see the best-preserved monument from the Roman period - the Pantheon, before enjoying free time to do as the Romans do, in Piazza Navona. Perhaps join a tour inside the Colosseum, the scene of many gladiatorial contests, and see the Roman Forum?
VIP Vatican and Florence.
Start the day with your Local Expert they introduce you to the grandeur of the city, starting with the Vatican State, the richest community in the world. Visit the Vatican Museums, full of priceless treasures collected by the Popes. Insight provides 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 the general public. Once inside the Sistine Chapel, admire Michelangelo's famous ceiling. Next door, visit St. Peter's Basilica to admire Michelangelo's emotive 'Pieta' and see Bernini's intricately carved Papal Altar. Your travels continue with a drive to the Chianti Hills, to arrive at the city of Florence. A Local Expert will accompany you to the Duomo, where the Gates of Paradise adorn the baptistery. Continue to Piazza della Signoria, the political heart of the city. Lined with fountains and statues, it acts as an open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces. Take time to gaze at Neptune and David as you explore the historic city center.
The Cinque Terre and Italian Riviera.
The famous Italian Riviera and the Cinque Terre are a highlight of your journey. Explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Italy’s most beautiful landscapes. With a Local Expert, appreciate the views as you approach one of the picturesque fishing villages by boat (weather permitting). Please note that the cruise is weather dependent. Spend time exploring the old medieval quarter or the popular sandy beach. Savour authentic Italian cuisine as you dine for lunch at Ristorante Da Ely in Cinque Terre. Continue by train to Levanto, then on to your resort in Rapallo.
Across the Alps to Lucerne.
Pass Milan as you head north for the Italian Lake District via Lake Lugano. Continue into the heart of the Swiss Alps, passing through the Saint Gotthard Tunnel, one of the longest road tunnels in the world. Travel alongside towering mountains and past rushing torrents, down to scenic Lake Lucerne, where you are leisure for the rest of the afternoon.
Lucerne’s Lakes, Mountains and Lion.
In the morning, embark on a scenic journey by funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of the stunning Mount Stanserhorn, where you will meet a Swiss ranger and learn about the local wildlife. Take in the pristine mountain air and, on a clear day, witness views as far as Alsace and the Black Forest in Germany. Upon return to Lucerne, see the town's proud Lion Monument, carved into a limestone cliff and dedicated to the heroic Swiss Guards who died defending King Louis XVI during the French Revolution. Then, take some time to stroll across the covered Chapel Bridge and see the baroque Jesuit church. The rest of the day is at leisure to shop for fine watches and delectable chocolates. Tonight, enjoy a fine selection of restaurants to choose from for your Dine-Around Evening.
Sights and delights of Paris.
In the morning, travel through the Burgundy region to the City of Light. During your time in Paris, see the impressive Eiffel Tower, the magnificent Notre-Dame Cathedral and the imposing facades of the Louvre. Discover the banks of the Seine with its many romantic bridges, see the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and drive along the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe. With the evening free, there are countless opportunities to enjoy the lively atmosphere of this glittering city. Why not visit one of the world-famous cabaret shows?
The food and flavours of Paris.
Meet an avid foodie and explore neighbourhoods where Parisians go about their daily lives. In small groups, indulge in local delicacies in a pâtisserie, boulangerie, fromagerie and chocolatier. In the evening, savour refined French cuisine during your Celebration Dinner at the iconic restaurant La Coupole, frequently visited by the French entertainer Josephine Baker.
Au revoir Paris.
Your discovery of Europe comes to an end after breakfast. Transfers arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport at 08:00 and 11:00.
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.
The K Boutique Hotel/Hotel Mediterraneo, Rome.
Florence (Contemporary) - Italy
Hotel Londra is an elegant hotel situated right in the heart of Florence.
Rapallo (Historic) - Italy
Lucerne (Heritage) - Switzerland
Renaissance Lucerne Hotel is a modern property in a centuries-old city palace, minutes to Lake Lucerne, and offers tastefully furnished rooms with ornamental ceiling decoration and warm interiors.
Paris (Contemporary) - France
The Le Méridien Etoile is centrally located in the 17th arrondissement and just a short drive from key sights such as the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysées. Contemporary, yet comfortable furnishing bring about a homely sense throughout the hotel and guest rooms.