Benvenuto a Roma - what was once the 'Capital of the World' is today a vibrant city filled with Italian zest for life and centuries of celebrated history. Enjoy some free time to explore before joining your fellow travellers and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and orientation drive to kick off your unforgettable European adventure.
We venture to the centre of Christianity and the great square that bears the name of the first 'bishop of Rome', St. Peter. Join your Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour that includes a visit to St. Peter's Basilica, where we will have an opportunity to see Michelangelo's sorrowful Pietà hewn from the most perfect block of Carrara marble. We cross the Tiber River to see the ancient sites of Rome, including the mighty Colosseum and Circus Maximus. Imagine the thunderous roar of thousands of exhilarated spectators cheering their chosen chariots to victory. This afternoon there is time to explore the city on your terms. Perhaps toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain to secure your return to Rome or embark on an Optional Experience to visit the Colosseum and the Sistine Chapel.
We travel into the scenic Tuscan hills to medieval Siena with its honey-stone façades. View the Piazza del Campo, where the exhilarating Palio horse race takes place, and see ornate medieval palaces and the 14th-century marble Duomo. Spend some free time seeking out your favourite hand-painted ceramics to take home as souvenirs. Continue to Florence, the 'Cradle of the Renaissance', where we will spend the next two nights. Tonight we Connect With Locals over dinner for a special Be My Guest experience at a magnificent Tuscan villa that once featured as a famous film location.
The extraordinary art and architecture of Florence are celebrated during our guided walking tour with a Local Specialist. We'll view the exquisite marble Duomo and visit Piazza della Signoria with its palazzi and magnificent art, including a replica of Michelangelo's David statue. View the Ponte Vecchio bridge, the only bridge over the River Arno that the fleeing German army did not destroy during World War II, then admire panoramic views of the iconic cityscape from Piazzale Michelangelo. Learn about the quality and workmanship of two of this city's historic industries during demonstrations of Florentine leathercraft and 18-carat gold. Later, you'll have time to explore the city on your own. Consider a visit to the Uffizi Gallery or wander through the Boboli Gardens of Pitti Palace - the choice is yours.
We travel to Pisa today and to the Square of Miracles to view the famous Leaning Tower and Italy's largest Baptistery. Cross the Apennine hills and flat Veneto plains to the island city of Venice. The rest of the day is yours to relax and soak up the sights and sounds of the 'Queen of the Adriatic'. Consider joining an Optional Experience and explore the labyrinthine canals of Venice by gondola before dinner.
Dive Into Culture and witness first-hand the centuries-old tradition of Venetian glassmaking. Take to the water and cruise by private launch to the gateway of Venice, St. Mark's Square. Join your Travel Director to see the iconic and unexpected highlights of the city - the ornate Doge's Palace and Bridge of Sighs, St. Mark's Basilica and the Campanile with its five bells. The rest of the day is yours at leisure or consider joining an Optional Experience to the island of Burano for a delicious traditional meal that would make any Italian mamma proud.
We travel through the Italian Lake District bound for Switzerland this morning and enjoy some free time for lunch in the laid-back lakeside town of Como, which for centuries has served as the crossroads between Central Europe and the Mediterranean. We continue through alpine landscapes, past Lugano and through the St. Gotthard tunnel into central Switzerland, where we'll spend the next two nights in the medieval lakeside city of Lucerne.
Enjoy an orientation of Lucerne with your Travel Director. You'll see the Lion Monument and pay tribute to the Swiss Guards who lost their lives during the French Revolution, before heading to the solid wooden Chapel Bridge, lined with pretty pink, white and purple blooms. Spend the rest of the day at leisure ambling past the beautifully painted façades in the Old Town. Shop for luxurious Swiss chocolate or consider joining an Optional Experience to one of the surrounding mountains to admire panoramic views.
Cross the French border and what remains of the Maginot Line, journeying through the rolling vineyard-clad hills of Burgundy, one of France's most prominent wine regions. Arriving in Paris later this afternoon, we have the evening at leisure to wander up grand boulevards and admire the vibrant cityscape of one of Europe's most sophisticated cities.
Join a Local Specialist this morning for a guided tour along the grand Champs Élysées and Place de la Concorde. View Notre Dame Cathedral and enjoy a stroll through the Latin Quarter. This evening, we join our fellow travellers and Travel Director for a Farewell Dinner celebrating the end of our European adventure.
For now, it's time to say a fond farewell to our newfound friends and Travel Director at the end of an unforgettable journey. Find out more about your free airport transfer at trafalgar.com/freetransfers.