Road to Rome

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Discovery Trip

Road to Rome - start Paris, Winter 2019 2020

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

Prices from US${{lowPrice | number:0}}

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

One of our best-selling itineraries, this is an iconic journey of Europe's bucket-list favourites: Paris, Swiss mountains and lakes, Venice and Rome. You'll return home with little doubt of Europe's almighty magnificence. As any good traveller knows, meeting the locals along the way is what makes for great stories, which is why we've packed the itinerary with plenty of interpersonal experiences.

  • Venture beyond the tourist trails, as you embark on a gourmet walking tour of Paris alongside a local food expert.
  • Ascend Mount Stanserhorn in Switzerland where a Swiss Ranger shares in-depth knowledge on the wonders of Europe's highest climbs.
  • Join Chef Lorenzo in Italy, for an interactive cooking class in the majestic hilltop town of Orvieto where you'll learn how to make fresh pasta from scratch.

  1. Day 1

    Welcome to Paris.

    Welcome to Paris, enjoy time at leisure to settle into your hotel. During your time here you will see the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Place de la Concorde, the Champs Elysées and Arc de Triomphe. At 17:00 join your Travel Director at a local restaurant in the heart of Paris for a fabulous Welcome Dinner.

  2. Day 2

    Paris, the City of Light.

    Split into small groups for a more personal experience and meet your Local Expert, an avid foodie, as you head into areas where Parisians go about their daily lives. Indulge in local delicacies as you explore boutique shops such as a patisserie, boulangerie, fromagerie and chocolatier. With the afternoon free, there are countless opportunities to enjoy the lively atmosphere of this glittering city, perhaps join an Optional Experience to see the Paris cabaret?

  3. Day 3

    Beautiful Burgundy and Lucerne.

    Journey through the Burgundy wine region and pass the Jura Mountains and crossing into Switzerland. Arrive in glorious lakeside Lucerne. There there is a variety of restaurant options for your Dine-Around Evening. Choose your dining experience from a selection of hand-picked local restaurants, each offering its own unique cuisine and ambience.

  4. Day 4

    Lucerne’s Mountains, Lake and Lion.

    Embark on a spectacular journey to the summit of stunning Mount Pilatus for expansive mountain views over Lake Lucerne. Take in the pristine mountain air and witness a panorama of snow-capped peaks. 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 delectable chocolate and glamorous Swiss watches in the traffic-free Old Town.

  5. Day 5 - Relaxed Start

    Liechtenstein to Innsbruck.

    Start the day with a journey to the heart of the Alps to 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 Travel Director 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 to travel across the impressive Europa Bridge and through the Dolomites into Italy. Amongst the hills of Conegliano Veneto, stop at Carmina where meticulous viticulture and manual harvesting produce distinguishable prosecco. Savour a tasting of these sparkling wines and learn how to make the perfect Bellini. Continue through spectacular scenery to the romantic city of Venice, Queen of the Adriatic. In the evening, long after the day-trippers have returned to their mainland hotels, enjoy the quiet atmosphere of the islands with dinner at a local restaurant.

  7. Day 7 - Relaxed Start

    The Magic of La Serenissima.

    In the morning, prepare to embrace this most romantic city. Head to 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 ancient prisons by the Bridge of Sighs. Witness the skill of glassblowers and learn how the Venetian gondola is made on a visit to a traditional arts centre. The rest of the day is free, perhaps shop in the small arcades?

  8. Day 8

    Tuscany, Pisa and Florence.

    Stop at the Il Poggio organic farm for a guided walk through the vineyards and olive trees, learning about the production of olive oil and wine. On the veranda, take in beautiful views of the rolling Tuscan hills as you taste the farm's freshly produced wines and olive oil, in addition to an authentic Italian meal prepared with locally-sourced ingredients. Explore the nearby town of Pisa with a Local Expert and see the baptistery with its intricate marble facade, the colonnaded bell tower lurching behind the cathedral and of course the famous Leaning Tower. Afterwards, travel to Florence.

  9. Day 9

    Florence Sightseeing.

    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. The next stop is Piazza della Signoria, still the political heart of Florence and an open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces. Spend time gazing at statues such as Neptune and David along the front of the Palazzo Vecchio. The area around Santa Croce Basilica is famous for the quality of its luxury goods of gold and leather and there's free time to shop or continue exploring.

  10. Day 10

    Hilltop Orvieto and Rome.

    Stop in the Umbrian hilltop town of Orvieto, located on a rock pedestal overlooking a vineyard-covered plain; its cathedral is one of Italy’s most celebrated buildings. Immerse yourself in the flavours and culture of the region and learn about the secrets of Italian food culture as you join Chef Lorenzo for a fascinating live cooking demonstration. Your magical culinary experience ends with a delicious Highlight Lunch accompanied by Orvieto Classico wine. Once in Rome, perhaps start the evening with a 'passeggiata' - a 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. To avoid the crowds and maximise your time, Insight has arranged special VIP access to the Vatican Museums. Your Local Expert will guide you through the halls of artwork and take you behind the scenes to view the Bramante Staircase, a marvel of Renaissance architecture normally not open to the public. Next, head to the Sistine Chapel to admire Michelangelo’s famous ceiling. Next door 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 last-minute shopping or exploring at your leisure. In the evening, enjoy an elegant four-course Celebration Dinner with 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.

    Your travels through Europe come to an end after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at 07:00 and 09:30.

Highlights

 

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES

  • Venice: Witness the ancient skill of glassblowing and watch artisans create delicate works of art.
  • Venice: Learn how the Venetian gondola is made on a visit to a traditional arts centre.
  • Vatican City: Enjoy VIP fast-track entry into the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, as well as exclusive access to the Bramante Staircase that is usually not open to the public. During your visit to St Peter's Basilica, see Michelangelo's 'Pieta' and Bernini's intricately carved Papal Altar.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Paris: See the many attractions Paris has to offer such as Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, facades of the Louvre, the River Seine and its romantic bridges, the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and enjoy a drive along the Champs-Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe.
  • Lucerne: View the emotive Lion Monument and walk the covered Chapel Bridge to see the Jesuit Church.
  • Mount Pilatus: Enjoy a spectacular journey to the summit of Mount Pilatus to witness a panorama of snow-capped peaks as you take in the pristine mountain air.
  • Innsbruck: Walk the narrow streets of the Old Town, lined with medieval houses and arcades, to see the Golden Roof and Imperial Palace.
  • Vaduz: Admire the Royal family’s residence, Vaduz Castle, which overlooks the capital and is surrounded by year-round snow peaked mountains.
  • Venice: With your Travel Director cruise to St. Mark's Square and see the Doge's Palace, Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark's Basilica.
  • Pisa: With a Local Expert, see the famous Leaning Tower in the Square of Miracles, and the 11th century cathedral and baptistery.
  • Florence: Join a Local Expert to view the multi-coloured marble cathedral, bell tower and baptistery, adorned by Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise. Visit the political heart of the city, Signoria Square. See the area around Santa Croce Basilica, famous for the quality of its luxury goods.
  • Florence: Enjoy watching the masters at work as you visit a leather workshop.
  • Orvieto: Visit this pleasant Umbrian hilltop town.
  • Rome: See the mighty Colosseum and Roman Forum as well as other medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered through the city.
  • Scenic Drives: Throughout your journey, enjoy the scenery as you pass the areas of Burgundy, Arlberg, the Inn Valley, the Tauern Mountains, Tuscany and Umbria.

AUTHENTIC DINING

  • Paris: Join your Travel Director and fellow guests at the local restaurant Bofinger in the heart of Paris for a delightful Welcome Dinner, served with wine.
  • Paris: Meet a local foodie for a behind-the-scenes look into Parisian life. Try some local delicacies in a pâtisserie, boulangerie, fromagerie and chocolatier on a gourmet walking exploration off the beaten track.
  • Lucerne: Choose from a selection of fine restaurants on your Dine-Around Evening.
  • Veneto: Delight in a delicious local prosecco tasting, the result of diligent work by the vignerons at a local winery. You will even learn how to make the ideal Bellini.
  • Tuscany: Visit Il Poggio to learn about organic olive and grape farming as you enjoy a tasting, complimented by stunning views.
  • Orvieto: At a restaurant in the medieval heart of Orvieto, explore the secrets 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 with wine to the rich tremolo of some of Italy’s best-loved opera.
  • Dining Summary: 11 Breakfasts (B), 2 Lunch with Wine (LW), and 4 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

STAY AT THE BEST ADDRESSES

  • Paris: The Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel is located on the Left Bank of the Seine River near the Latin Quarter and Saint-Germain-des-Pres. Recently renovated, this modern property offers luxurious bedding in all rooms.
  • Lucerne: The Hotel Astoria is sat in the middle of all Lucerne has to offer, with magnificent mountains and astonishing culture.
  • Florence: The UNA Hotel Vittoria is located in the historic district of San Frediano.
  • Rome: 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.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
  • 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. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • You may purchase arrival transfers from London Heathrow and Gatwick airports on arrival days, or when additional nights accommodation has been booked through Insight Vacations. If your departure flights are as per the itinerary end dates, departure transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way to the airport. 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.

Prices and availability of Optional Experiences are subject to change.

Moulin Rouge Cabaret and Dinner

Enjoy dinner and cabaret, including wine and champagne, at the world-famous Moulin Rouge – the original Paris Cabaret. Immortalized by the award-winning film of the same name, this Parisian institution features 60 dancers and entertainers and over 1000 costumes!

Adult Price: EUR 165.00

Code: PAR0002

Seine Cruise And Illuminations

The City of Light really lives up to its name when the monuments, buildings and bridges are lit up in all their glory. First, a specially designed sightseeing boat takes us for an unforgettable cruise along the Seine and beneath famous bridges to appreciate the Left and Right Banks and the Île de la Cité & St Louis. Then, with a Local Expert, we'll enjoy an illuminations tour, when the rubies & diamonds of the Champs Élysées and the Eiffel Tower are at their magnificent best.

Adult Price: EUR 38.00

Code: PAR0006

Montparnasse Tower & The Right Bank

Take the fastest elevator in Europe to the Panoramic Observation Deck for unbeatable views of the Eiffel Tower and all of the city’s iconic monuments (without any queues). The highest rooftop terrace in Paris offers a breathtaking 360-degree view with all of Paris at your feet! Then, with our Local Expert, explore some hidden gems on the Rive Droite of the city, taking in a delightful stroll across the iconic River Seine to see Notre Dame Cathedral.

Adult Price: EUR 38.00

Code: PAR0019

Lake Lucerne Cruise and Drinks

Widely considered to be the loveliest of the mountain lakes, much of the shoreline of Lake Lucerne can only be fully appreciated from the water. Admire the spectacular homes of the fortunate few, privileged to live on its scenic shores, as we cruise gently by. Two drinks will be served during the trip.

Adult Price: CHF 49.00

Code: LUC0005

Carriages & Countryside

In a typical rural community, meet local farmers for a delightful horse-drawn ride. Clip-clop your way through bright green pasture, where the angular spire of a traditional white church shoots skyward and rickety old wooden storehouses still dot the landscape. Call in at a local farm where a wonderful spread of homemade drinks and snacks is served.

Adult Price: CHF 67.00

Code: LUC0001

Tyrolean Evening & Dinner

Enjoy a lively evening including dinner, featuring dancers in national costume, yodelling and entertainment typical of the life, crafts and traditions of the Tyrolean people. Drinks are included.

Adult Price: EUR 67.00

Code: INN0002

Gondolas and The Grand Canal

Join us for a scenic cruise by private water taxi along Venice's Grand Canal. You’ll admire the magnificent palazzi, as well as catching a glimpse of the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark's Square. Later on, you'll glide gracefully on a gondola along Venice’s dreamy, narrow waterways.

Adult Price: EUR 70.00

Code: VEN0006

Hidden Venice

To only experience Venice's big set pieces -- St Mark's Square; the Rialto; the Grand Canal -- is to miss out on a hidden world full of surprises! Join a Local Expert for a fascinating walk through some of the lesser known quarters of Venice. The back lanes and ‘campi’, small squares, where tourists seldom tread are full of history and great places to sample local life.

Adult Price: EUR 34.00

Code: VEN0002

Burano Excursion & Meal

Leave the hustle of St Mark's Square behind on a delightful private cruise around the islands of the Venetian lagoon. Alight at the island of Burano, a photographer's paradise, famous for its candy coloured houses, artisan lace makers and leaning bell tower that would give Pisa a good run for its money. Enjoy a superb meal sampling the local specialities with wine included. An excursion not to be missed!

Adult Price: EUR 72.00

Code: VEN0003

San Gimignano Excursion

A wonderful excursion to Tuscany's most famous hill-top town! Visit San Gimignano, considered a medieval Manhattan, due to its towers which dominate the skyline. Soak up the unique atmosphere of this ancient gem which has remained intact since the 14th century and today is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Adult Price: EUR 36.00

Code: FLO0002

Dinner In The Tuscan Hills

A fabulous dinner of Tuscan specialities awaits you. We drive into the hills surrounding Florence for a delicious typical Florentine meal complete with Chianti wine, music and lots of fun! An evening to remember. Viva Italia!

Adult Price: EUR 65.00

Code: FLO0005

Piazzas & Fountains

With our local expert, let's take a "passeggiata" (stroll) to enjoy the backstreets and secrets of Pedestrian Rome. Be amazed at sights such as the fascinating Pantheon and the beauty of 17th-Century fountains and beautiful Piazzas. Come and enjoy the Rome of the Romans.

Adult Price: EUR 33.00

Code: ROM0004

Dinner In Rome And Illuminations

Begin with a delicious dinner with drinks included at a local 'ristorante'. Savour a selection of dishes freshly prepared in the Roman way accompanied by live music. Round off the evening with a sparkling illuminations tour of Rome's floodlit ancient monuments, classical buildings, palaces and churches. Your journey takes you past the famous Colosseum, Castel St Angelo, the Circus Maximus and more. A night not to be missed.

Adult Price: EUR 60.00

Code: ROM0008

Piazzas & Fountains

Enjoy a guided passeggiata with a Local expert through the cobblestoned streets of Rome. Visit the spectacular Trevi Fountain, toss a coin to secure your return to Rome. Venture into the heart of Ancient Rome to be amazed at Rome’s best preserved building, the Pantheon, then stroll on through charming squares and admire the city's unmissable monuments, including Bernini's Fountain of Four Rivers in the city’s most animated meeting point, Piazza Navona.

Adult Price: EUR 33.00

Code: ROM0021

Guided Visit to the Colosseum

With our local expert, step back in time to explore the glorious history of the Roman Empire. Admire the Arch of Constantine and tread in the footsteps of Gladiators and Roman Soldiers. Enjoy priority reserved entrance ahead of the crowds and once inside the mighty Colosseum hear tales of deadly gladiatorial combat and the mighty Roman Empire. Please note: This optional is subject to availability and involves reservations and entrance prepayments. If you decide to cancel this optional, a 50% cancellation fee will be incurred.

Adult Price: EUR 53.00

Code: ROM0003

Roman Dinner Party and Trevi Fountain

Enjoy an evening of delicious Roman cuisine with drinks and great Italian ambiance. Then visit the beautifully-restored Trevi Fountain to toss a coin over your shoulder and assure your return to the eternal city. The fountain is a true wonder, a breathtaking jewel of water and stone that is nestled between the palaces of this historic city. Immortalized in Fellini’s ‘La Dolce Vita’.

Adult Price: EUR 61.00

Code: ROM0018

Accommodation

 

Crowne Plaza Paris - Republique.

Paris (Traditional) - France

Located in the trendy 11th arrondissement of Paris, the Crowne Plaza Paris - Republique offers traditionally styled, comfortable rooms with included WiFi to stay in touch with friends and family.

Hotel Astoria

Lucerne (Contemporary) - Switzerland

This hotel is sat in the middle of all Lucerne has to offer, with magnificent mountains and astonishing culture.

Hotel Astoria

LUCERNE (Contemporary) - SWITZERLAND

The Hotel Astoria is sat in the middle of all Lucerne has to offer, with magnificent mountains and astonishing culture.

Hotel Grauer Bär, Innsbruck.

Hotel Grauer Bär, Innsbruck.

Starhotels Splendid Venice

Venice (Central) - Italy

Hilton Molino Stucky, The hotel is located in a magnificently restored 19th century granary on Giudecca Island, only minutes away from St. Mark’s Square by boat. Amenities include a roof top pool, spa and wellness centre and five different restaurants and bars. Excellent views from the roof bar. Wi-Fi – FOC public areas.

UNA Hotel Vittoria

Florence (Contemporary) - Italy

The UNA Hotel Vittoria is located in the historic district of San Frediano.

Kolbe Hotel

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. 

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