Buckle up Bambini – we're off on a grand adventure through Europe, launching our Family Experience in the 'Eternal City' of Rome. This evening we enjoy a Kickoff Party with our travel companions where we Dive Into Culture with a Family Fun experience and learn how to make a pizza that would make any Italian mamma proud.
Delve into the open-air museum that is Rome, joining a Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour that will see you rub shoulders with St. Peter and the thousands of pilgrims that flock to the impressive square that bears his name. See Michelangelo's famous Pietà statue in St. Peter's Basilica before crossing the Tiber into Ancient Rome. Imagine the once thunderous applause of excited spectators as they cheered their gladiators to victory inside the Colosseum, and the roar of chariots circling Circus Maximus.
Explore the medieval playground of Siena, strolling to the shell-shaped Piazza del Campo where you’ll imagine the fun and fanfare that the festive Palio bareback horse race brings to the city twice a year against the backdrop of colourful flags and emblems. You’ll journey to Florence this afternoon where the Cradle of Renaissance comes alive in ways you could never imagine. You’ll go back in time and learn how Florence drove innovation and imagination all those centuries ago, ending your captivating encounter with an important time in world history with a sweet and rich cioccolata calda, which will leave the whole brood wanting more. This evening we head to a real 12th-century castle in the Tuscan countryside to Connect With Locals for a Be My Guest dinner and unforgettable MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience. As you walk through its stony halls, you’ll be thrilled to learn about the plot hatched by the Pazzi family against the Medici rulers of Florence centuries ago. You’ll enjoy a delicious meal featuring homegrown produce in the magnificent grand hall and be inspired by the dedication and passion of your hosts, the Baj Macario family who are committed to running the estate in harmony with nature.
The treasures of the Medici family are on full display as we delve into the centuries of art, architecture and tumultuous history. Join a Local Specialist for a walking tour of the city. Visit the Piazza della Signoria, the hub of the city, and view the magnificent marble Duomo. Learn about the quality and workmanship of two of this city's historic industries at demonstrations of Florentine leathercraft and 18-carat gold. Then, spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure. Climb a tree or two in Boboli Gardens, tick off great masterpieces in Uffizi Gallery or see Renaissance history brought to life in the Palazzo Vecchio's Children's Museum. You could also join an Optional Experience to snap a selfie next to the Leaning Tower of Pisa before returning to Florence and pounding the pavements in search of the city's tastiest gelato.
Cross the Apennine Mountains to the city of Bologna where you will join a Local Specialist to view the city's Kissing Towers and Il Gigante, commonly known as Neptune's Fountain. Ditch your diet and indulge in the delicious flavours of what is widely regarded as the gastronomic capital of Italy – chase tortellini around your plate or twirl Spaghetti Bolognese like a local. This afternoon, we arrive in the island city of Venice. Spend a leisurely afternoon exploring with the family or enjoy an Optional Experience gondola ride through Venice's labyrinthine canals.
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. Dive Into Culture on your unforgettable MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience as you witness first-hand the centuries-old tradition of Venetian glassblowing. You’ll learn how the master craftsmen shape the molten glass to make the exquisite and delicate works of art that adorn homes all over the world and perhaps be inspired to buy your own souvenir as a reminder of this special visit. Then, join a Local Specialist for a Family Fun experience to learn about the great Venetian tradition of Carnival masks, with an opportunity to create your own colourful alter egos. This afternoon, consider a lagoon cruise to the colourful island of Burano, on an Optional Experience, for a mouth-watering meal.
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 St. Gotthard tunnel into central Switzerland, before arriving in Engelberg.
Walk across the flower-lined 14th-century wooden Chapel Bridge and into a land of lakes and lions. See the giant dying lion hewn from sandstone rock to commemorate the heroism of the Swiss Guards during the French Revolution. Ascend one of the magnificent surrounding mountains during an Optional Experience or spend the afternoon sampling the rich flavours of delicious Swiss chocolate.
From Switzerland, we cross the mighty Rhine River and into France, travelling through the Burgundy wine region to the 'City of Lights'. This evening, amble up grand boulevards and through tiny cobblestone lanes in search of the French treasures you'll have an opportunity to sample tomorrow.
Join a Local Specialist on a guided sightseeing tour which includes a drive along the Champs-Élysées with views of the magnificent Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. Now, take to the water for a leisurely cruise on the Seine River with spectacular views of the city's bridges and life on the river. This evening, we close the curtains on an epic family adventure through Europe, celebrating with our travel companions and Travel Director at a special Farewell Dinner.
Transfers are provided to Paris Gare du Nord station, where you'll board the Eurostar™ train to London. The journey time to London St. Pancras International is 2 hours and 20 minutes. On arrival in London you are transferred to your hotel.
Enjoy an English breakfast at the end of your holiday.