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Welcome to London
Enjoy your overnight stay in London.
Depart from London by Eurostar for Paris
Meet your Tour Director at 07:30 and after a warm welcome, 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. In the afternoon, 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 Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe. Get together for a Welcome Reception and an opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.
Paris, the 'City of Light'
Meet a local foodie for a behind the scenes look into life in Paris. Try some local delicacies in a pâtisserie, boulangerie, fromagerie and chocolatier on a gourmet walking tour off the beaten track. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Beautiful Burgundy and on to Lucerne
Journey through the Burgundy wine region, before passing the Jura Mountains and crossing into Switzerland. Arrive in glorious lakeside Lucerne and choose from a selection of restaurants for your Dine Around Evening.
Lucerne’s Lake and Lion
Join your Tour Director to see the covered Chapel Bridge and stirring Lion Monument. Embark on an exhilarating journey to the summit of a Swiss mountain where you will meet a Swiss Mountain Ranger to learn about the local wildlife. Admire the panorama of snowcapped peaks, before descending back to terra firma. There is time set aside to shop for fine watches and chocolate in Lucerne.
From Lucerne to Oberammergau
Start the day with a journey to the heart of the Alps, passing through the Principality of Liechtenstein. See its tiny capital, Vaduz, with its castle located on a hillside overlooking the city. Continue to Oberammergau in time to take your premium seats and witness the world famous Passion Play, re-enacting the passion of Christ. After a break for dinner, the performance continues into the evening.
Innsbruck, the Dolomites to the Queen of the Adriatic
Head for Innsbruck, where your orientation will show you the 14th century houses of the Old Town, the impressive Imperial Palace and the delightful Golden Roof. Cross the impressive Europa Bridge as you journey south. Continue through the magnificent Dolomites via the Brenner Pass and follow the Adige River through spectacular scenery to glorious Venice, where your hotel puts you right in the heart of the splendour.
Venice and the Magic of 'La Serenissima'
(Relaxed Start) Wake up close to St Mark's Square, dominated by its magnificent basilica. Also in the square stands the 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. Meet a gondolier and learn the about this age old tradition. In your free afternoon, why not try it out for yourself with a gondola serenade through the canals?
Journey through Tuscany to Pisa and on to 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 baptistery, decorated with mosaics and designs in solid marble. The journey then continues to Renaissance Florence.
(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 and spend time gazing at statues such as Neptune and David along the front of the Palazzo Vecchio. Take a drive through the Tuscan hills to the home of the Italian Renaissance diplomat and writer, Nicolo Machiavelli including a special opening of his private office where he wrote ‘The Prince ‘. In Machiavelli’s cellar, enjoy a tasting of wines made from the vineyards surrounding the home over a delicious lunch.
Hilltop 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. 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! Once in Rome, perhaps start the evening with a ‘passeggiata' (traditional evening stroll).
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 special VIP entrance, together with behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase - a marvel of Renaissance architecture, normally off-limits to the general 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 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.
Departure transfers arrive at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at 07:00 and 09:30.
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.