Your journey to the continent begins today. Join your Travel Director and fellow travellers, travelling south through the pretty Kent countryside to Dover. Board your ferry to Calais and leave the chalky White Cliffs behind. Arriving in Paris, you'll have time to explore the 'City of Lights' on your own. The French capital glows bright both day and night, but consider an Optional Experience on the Seine at this evening to make your introduction even more special.
Put the joy in joie de vivre when you embark on a full day to delve into the highlights of Paris. Your sightseeing tour conducted by your Travel Director will take you past the Champs Élysées, the Arc de Triomphe and the 'Iron Lady' herself, the Eiffel Tower. Relish the afternoon to do as you please. That could mean channelling your inner Parisian and sitting in a leafy park with a baguette and some cheese and wine, or consider a visit to the Louvre where you can view the wry smile of the Mona Lisa. Tonight, colourful Can-Can girls will entice you with their remarkable outfits should you choose to join an Optional Experience cabaret show.
Au revoir Paris. The Burgundy wine region and beyond beckons. Head through vineyards and valleys as you journey to Lucerne where a brief orientation will see you view the 14th-century Chapel Bridge spanning the Reuss River. Visit the poignant Lion Monument, hewn from rock to honour the brave Swiss Guards who died defending King Louis XVI during the French Revolution. There's plenty of time later to shop for all your Swiss souvenirs.
With your head in the clouds, you'll journey via the scenic St. Gotthard Pass into Italy. On your journey south, the soul-stirring landscapes of the Italian lakes stretch ahead as you venture to Venice, the 'Queen of the Adriatic'. The Winged Lion of St. Mark stands guard over the city. There's no better way to see the sights than gliding gracefully through its canals on a gondola - an Optional Experience that captures the essence of Venice like none other.
Your love affair with Venice continues this morning as you cruise by private launch to St. Mark's Square and view the city's iconic sights, including St. Mark's Basilica, the Doge's Palace and Piazza San Marco. Stand in the centre of the square and capture the historic panorama which Napoleon once called 'the drawing room of Europe'. The exquisite art of glassblowing for which Venice is justifiably famous follows next. You'll see master craftsmen engaged in the centuries-old craft that their forefathers passed down from generation to generation. Consider an opportunity to visit the colourful fisherman's island of Burano for an optional meal with drinks or spend the afternoon exploring Venice on your own before heading to Florence.
No expense was spared to exalt the glory of Florence through art and architecture and you'll see first-hand how this city paved its way to a modern age. Explore the treasures left behind by the Medici dynasty and famous artists like Da Vinci and Michelangelo during an orientation tour which includes a visit to Santa Croce Square, where some of the most famous sons of the Renaissance are buried. Enjoy time to shop for souvenirs or the city's famous gold and leathercraft before departing for Rome, the 'Eternal City'.
There's no better way to see Rome than to dive right in, which is what you'll do when you meet your Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour that begins in Vatican City. The dome of St. Peter's Basilica looms over the expansive St. Peter's Square - the impressive backdrop for time spent learning about the world's smallest country. See Michelangelo's mournful Pietà up close and consider an Optional Experience that will reveal the artistry and heritage of the famous Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums. Continue to Ancient Rome, to view the mighty Colosseum, followed by time to explore on your own or perhaps join a light-hearted evening revealing all the flavours that would make any Italian mamma proud.
Get your final fix of Rome before you prepare for your return journey. There's nothing like securing your swift return to the Italian capital by tossing a coin into the Trevi Fountain. Say arrivederci to your newfound friends and take a transfer to Fiumicino Airport as the curtain closes on an epic journey from London to Rome. Find out more about your free airport transfer at costsavertour.com/freetransfers.