FRANCE & ITALY | PARIS, SOUTH DE FRANCE, TUSCANY & ROMA
13 DAYS / 11 NIGHTS
DAY 1: USA – FRANCE
- Fly overnight to Paris.
DAY 2: PARIS
- Bienvenue en France! Upon arrival in Paris, your Forum tour manager will greet you at the airport and remain with you throughout your tour. Transfer by private motorcoach to your hotel and drop off your bags.
- This afternoon, stroll down the most famous avenue of the capital, the Champs-Elysées. Climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe to admire the view then see the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
- You will walk through le Trocadéro and view “la Ville Lumière” from the third floor of the Eiffel Tower.
Afterwards, board a glass-topped Bateau Mouche and enjoy a refreshing cruise on the Seine River.
Have dinner at a local restaurant.
Enjoy a night stroll of the illuminated Paris before night accomodation at your hotel.
DAY 3: PARIS
- This morning, discover the Musée du Louvre. It is the second largest museum in the world and welcomes millions of visitors annually. Its famous collection includes nearly 35,000 works of art, including the exemplary Mona Lisa.
- Later, visit the gothic Cathédrale Notre-Dame. Climb the towers to experience the view as well as to catch a glimpse of the famous gargoyles.
- Free time for lunch.
- Next see Sainte Chapelle, a masterpiece of Flamboyant Gothic architecture that boasts one of the most extensive 13th-century stained glass collections in the world.
- Your tour manager will take you to the Latin Quater to visit the Sorbonne University, the most famous French university.
- Discover the Palais du Luxembourg, home to the Senate, the upper house of the French Parliament.
- Dine in the Latin Quarter before returning to your hotel for night accommodation.
DAY 4: PARIS
- Enter the Celestin’s district and come discover the training area of the cavalrymen of the French Republican Guard that was constructed in 1895 and still in use today.
- Visit the Musée d´Orsay to see its extensive collection of 19th and 20th century art.
Later in the afternoon, head up to the highest point in Paris, Montmartre (known locally as La Butte). Climb the steps to reach the Sacré-Cœur, Montmartre’s hilltop church and most famous landmark.
Enjoy dinner in Montmartre and overnight accommodation in Paris.
DAY 5: PARIS – AVIGNON
- After breakfast, a coach will transfer the group to the train station to board a high speed TGV train to Avignon.
Transfer to your hotel in Avignon and drop off your bags.
- Get ready for an city stroll with your tour manager. Old Avignon is a walled medieval city shaped like a rhombus and bordered on two sides by the mighty Rhône. Its fortified ramparts run unbroken for 4.5km.
- You will see the “Pont Saint Benezet”, an 800 year old bridge.
- Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
- Night accommodation in Avignon.
DAY 6: AVIGNON
- Visit the impressive Palais de Papes, a Gothic masterpiece that is a former Papal residence.
- Enter the Petit Palais, a vast cobbled square that now contains a world class collection of Italian Renaissance painting.
- Next, visit the Parc Rocher des Doms, where on a clear day you should be able to see as far as Mont Ventoux (1,909m), the tallest mountain in Provence.
- Finally you will enter the Musée Angladon. Occupying the former home of the heir to the Parisian couturier and collector Jacques Doucet, this museum exhibits paintings by Picasso, Degas, Derain, Modigliani, Van Gogh, Manet, Cezanne and Sisley.
- Dinner and night accommodation in Avignon.
DAY 7: AVIGNON – AIX-EN-PROVENCE – NICE
- After breakfast, head to Aix-en-Provence.
- Open the doors of Cézanne’s studio and enter the artist’s private world. Discover the house where he began painting. See some of his works in the space dedicated to him in the Granet Museum.
- Have some free time for lunch and to do a bit more exploring in the pedestrian historical center of Aix.
- Drive to Nice on the French Riviera.
Dinner and overnight accommodation in Nice.
DAY 8: NICE
- This morning after breakfast, discover the Parc de la Colline du Château. The city’s original site, the Castle Hill, once boasted a reputedly impregnable citadel.
- Next visit the central square of Place Rossetti and the Baroque Cathédrale de Sainte-Réparate.
- See how the famous “bonbons niçois” are made at the Confiserie Florian.
- Visit the National Marc Chagall Museum, desgined in part by the artist himself where you can see a beautiful exhibit of his iconic work and the stained glass installation he made.
- Dinner and overnight accommodation in Nice.
DAY 9: NICE – PISA
- Your private motorcoach will drive you to Pisa (Italy), about 4 hours away from Nice. The impressive leaning bell tower is just one of the many monuments you can find in this charming city. Follow your Italian tour manager for an introduction to the city.
- The Cathedral Square contains the principal religious monuments of the city – the Cathedral, the Baptistery and the cemetary.
- Enter the leaning tower of Pisa, emblem of the city. Built between the XII and the XIV century, this tower leans because the ground gave way during its construction.
- Dinner and night accommodation in Pisa.
DAY 10: PISA – FLORENCE
- After breakfast, drive to Florence, in the heart of Tuscany. Upon arrival, meet your local guide for a visit of the Galleria Degli Uffizi, one of the finest art mueums in the world.
- Walk to il Ponte Vecchio and browse the jewellery shops along this famous bridge.
- After lunch, see Florence’s famous Cathedral: Il Duomo and Ghiberti’s famous bronze doors of the Baptistery.
- Next, enter the Galleria Dell’Accademia, containing Michelangelo’s monumental figure of David.
- Visit the Loggia del Mercato Nuovo, famous for leather goods.
- Enjoy dinner with your group in a local restaurant. Night accommodation in Florence.
DAY 11: FLORENCE – ROME
- Board your motorcoach and continue on to Rome.
- While in Rome travel as the Romans do, by foot and metro!
- Your tour manager will take for a walking tour. Your first stop will be the Panteon on Piazza della Rotonda, an ancient building perfectly preserved and converted into a church in the 7th century.
- Wander through some of the main streets and squares of Rome, and discover La Piazza Navona, la Fontana di Trevi, la Piazza di Spagna, il Campo di Fiori and la Bocca della Verita.
- Dinner and night accommodation in Rome.
DAY 12: ROME
- After breakfast at your hotel, you will meet your local guide and head to the Colosseum – a masterpiece of classical architecture where fights between men and beasts, gladiatorial contests, races and mock naval battles took place. An ingenious system of ramps and trap doors provided access to the arena.
- Next, visit the remains of the Foro Romano (Roman Forum), the focal point of the Roman world and one of the greatest archeological sites in the world today.
- This afternoon, take a guided tour of the Vatican City. Visit the Musei Vaticani and view Raffael’s amazing murals and see the Gallery of Tapestries. Finish off your tour with the Sistine Chapel. Wander under the newly renovated ceiling and feast your eyes on Michelangelo’s awe-inspiring mural of the Last Judgement.
- Next, enter Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Renaissance church in the Vatican City.
Later in the afternoon, walk to the nearby Castel Sant’Angelo if time permits.
- Tonight, enjoy an entertaining dinner show at Tanagra Caffe Concerto.
- Night accommodation in Rome.
DAY 13: DEPART
- After breakfast, transfer to the airport in Rome to catch your flight back to the USA.