Road to Rome

Autumn, Winter, Spring & Christmas Markets

Discovery Trip

Road to Rome (Winter 2019 2020)

Duration: 13 days Visiting: England, France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Italy

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

Menu
  • 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 London.

    Welcome to London. After checking into your hotel, the afternoon is free to enjoy a city that is famous for its pomp and pageantry. Perhaps relax with a walk along the Serpentine in Hyde Park or window shop in the elegant boutiques of Knightsbridge? Alternatively, you may want to stroll along the Thames to the iconic Tower Bridge and Tower of London.

  2. Day 2

    London to Paris by Eurostar.

    Meet your Travel Director at 07:30 and after a warm welcome, transfer to London’s St. Pancras Station to board the high-speed Eurostar. Your comfortable rail journey takes you via the Channel Tunnel to Paris where you can spend the afternoon as you please. 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 River 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. Later, join your Travel Director at the local restaurant Bofinger in the heart of Paris for a fabulous Welcome Dinner.

  3. Day 3

    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?

  4. Day 4

    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.

  5. Day 5

    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.

  6. Day 6 - 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.

  7. Day 7

    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.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    The Magic of La Serenissima.

    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 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?

  9. Day 9

    Tuscany, Pisa and Florence.

    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. On return to 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.

  10. Day 10

    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.

  11. Day 11

    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.

  12. Day 12

    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.

  13. Day 13

    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

  • Christmas Markets: Embrace the magic of Christmas time in Europe. Select departures will give you the opportunity to explore local markets and shop for yuletide delicacies.
  • Eurostar: Relax on the smooth, high-speed Eurostar train from London via the historic Channel Tunnel.
  • 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.

Accommodation

 

Park Plaza Victoria

London (Central) - England

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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