Cosmos

Focus on Italy & Paris with Extended Stay in London (4875) - 2014

17 Day Tour from London to London


Focus on Italy & Paris with Extended Stay in London
The Ponte Vecchio at night
The Ponte Vecchio at night
Orvieto, perched high atop a volcanic rock
Saint Peters Square in Rome
Pisa at sunset
The Lion Monument or the Lion of Lucerne, is a sculpture in Lucerne, Switzerland
St. Marks Square
Lucerne, Switzerland
Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy
Enjoy the gorgeous views of Rome
TOUR FOR 8+ PEOPLE

Vacation Overview

Cover the heartland of Europe on this exciting multi-country adventure. Begin in London, then cross the English Channel by ferry and board a motorcoach bound for Brussels. A comfortable ride on the German Autobahn takes you south into Bavaria with an overnight in the lovely Ulm area on the banks of the Danube. Cross through Tyrolean Austria over Fern Pass to reach the magical Italian city of Venice with its canals and St. Mark’s Square. Visit Assisi to admire Giotto’s frescoes in St. Francis’ Basilica, then continue to Rome, where you’ll encounter iconic landmarks like the Colosseum and Roman Forum. On to Montecassino and to the ruins of Pompeii. Spend two nights in Sorrento and sail to the jet-set Isle of Capri. On the way to Florence, stop in Orvieto to see its distinctive cathedral. Spend two nights in Renaissance Florence and see the city’s many highlights—like Signoria Square and the Duomo—on the included walking tour. Have your cameras ready at the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and visit the Piazza Maggiore in Bologna before crossing into Switzerland to beautiful Lake Lugano for an overnight. See more of Switzerland on the way to Lucerne, and spend two nights in Paris with guided sightseeing and free time to discover the “City of Light” on your own. Head back to the English Channel for your return ferry ride to England and a final overnight in London.

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Headsets throughout the tour

Sightseeing:
Visits to Innsbruck, Venice, Assisi, Montecassino, Sorrento, Capri, Orvieto, Pisa, Bologna, Lugano, Lucerne

Scenic Highlights:
Fern Pass, Europa Bridge, Dolomites, Venetian plains, Tuscany, Swiss Alps

Guides:

Host service in London. Local Guides for city sightseeing in Rome, Pompeii, Florence, Paris. Professional Tour Director while touring


Day 1Arrive in London, England

Check into your hotel. Then, enjoy an afternoon in the lively British capital. Uniformed hosts are available to help you make the most of your time.

Day 2London–Brussels, Belgium

Leave London in the early morning and head through the lush English countryside to the Channel port, where you embark on your ferry for the Continent. Here, meet your Tour Director and board your luxury coach for the drive to Brussels. (B)

Day 3Brussels–Rhineland, Germany–Ulm Area

A comfortable journey on the German Autobahn, traveling south into the Rhineland and past Stuttgart into Bavaria with its woods, farms, and pretty villages. Break up the journey with an optional Rhine cruise, gliding past the famous Lorelei rock. (B,D)

Day 4Ulm Area–Innsbruck, Austria–Venice Area, Italy

Drive south this morning into Austria by way of Fern Pass into the Tyrol and on to its capital, Innsbruck. Continue by way of the Europa Bridge into Italy and enjoy the enchanting views of the mighty Dolomites. Descend into the valley on to the Venetian plain; then, travel eastwards to the Venice area for an overnight. (B,D)

Day 5Venice Area

Venice is more like a marvelous film set than a real live city, with its criss-crossing canals, gondolas and water buses, arched bridges, palaces, and busy little piazzas. The included orientation starts with a boat ride and is followed by some time at leisure to enjoy this unique city, and a chance to watch Venetian glassblowers fashion their delicate objects as they did centuries ago. Don’t miss the optional gondola trip, gliding along the picturesque canals with a local troubadour to serenade you. (B)

Day 6Venice Area–Assisi–Rome

An interesting drive southward, cutting across the Po plain, then through the gentle Umbrian hills to Assisi, where St. Francis was born in 1182. Visit the world-famous basilica with its beautiful frescoes by Giotto, then head for Rome. (B)

Day 7Rome

The ”Eternal City”—a city steeped in history, vibrantly alive and exciting, and absolutely unique! Included sightseeing with a Local Guide starts in St. Peter’s Square, followed by a visit to the Roman Forum and the mighty Colosseum. (B)

Day 8Rome–Montecassino–Pompeii–Sorrento

Deeper into the south today, making a first stop in Montecassino to view the monastery and abbey perched high above the valley. The monastery was the home of the Benedictines, founded in 529 and destroyed four times over the past centuries. The last time it was laid to ruin was in 1944 during the great Battle of Montecassino. Next is another great sight. Time stopped for the rich, aristocratic town of Pompeii with the terrible eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. Your Local Guide will bring the town back to life by explaining the remains of the luxurious villas, temples, theater, and forum. Just a few more miles to Sorrento, where you'll stay for the next two nights. (B)

Day 9Sorrento. Boat Trip to Capri

Visit this legendary island, surrounded by rocky coastline, where the crashing sea has formed awe-inspiring caves. The town, with its pretty piazzetta, maze of streets, fashionable boutiques, and smart restaurants, is a mecca for the jet set. An optional island tour is available. (B,D)

Day 10Sorrento–Orvieto–Florence

This morning, retrace part of the route, bypassing Rome for a stop in Orvieto to visit its black basalt and yellow limestone cathedral, an excellent example of Italian Gothic architecture. Next, enjoy the extraordinary beauty of the Tuscan countryside. Overnight in Florence. (B)

Day 11Florence. Excursion to Pisa

This Renaissance gem and city of the Medicis will keep you enthralled for the entire day. Traffic is banned in part of the historic center, so visitors can wander at leisure and admire the city’s timeless beauty in relative peace and quiet. Don’t miss the included walking tour with a Local Guide, which features most of the city highlights. You will see Piazza Santa Croce; beautiful Piazza Signoria; Palazzo Vecchio; Loggia dei Lanzi; and, to top it off, Piazza del Duomo and its cathedral with the Giotto Campanile, and the magnificent East Door of the Baptistry, known as the “Gate of Paradise.” In the afternoon, take advantage of an included excursion to Pisa and enjoy the sights of the “Square of Miracles” with its Leaning Tower. This evening, dine at a local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 12Florence–Bologna–Lugano, Switzerland

This morning, drive northeast to Bologna, the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region. Stop awhile to see the twin medieval towers and lovely Piazza Maggiore. Journey northwards across the mighty River Po, through the Lombardy plains, and into Switzerland for an overnight in charming Lugano. (B)

Day 13Lugano–Lucerne

Some truly magnificent Alpine scenery this morning as you travel into the very heart of the Swiss Alps. Once through the St. Gotthard Tunnel you start your descent to Lucerne, perhaps rightly considered the most Swiss-looking city in the whole confederation. Today’s visit takes in the impressive city walls, a covered wooden bridge, ornate patrician houses lining cobblestone streets, and the Lion Monument, a masterful stone sculpture in honor of the heroic Swiss Guard of Louis XVI. A grand selection of optional activities completes the day: a cruise on the fjord-like lake; a funicular and cable-car ride to the 6,227-foot summit of Mount Stanserhorn; and, of course, time to shop for that very Swiss watch. Continue to your overnight hotel in Lucerne. (B)

Day 14Lucerne–Paris, France

Enjoy vistas of green pastures and attractive chalets with rustic timbering and luxuriant flowers. Then, into France, on the highway past some of its most famous vineyards, to Paris. Arrive in time to enjoy the optional cabaret show. (B)

Day 15Paris

One full day to explore the city that’s known throughout the world for its fashions, art and museums, delicious food, and joie de vivre. Included sightseeing with a local expert shows off many of the best-known Parisian sights: La Sorbonne, Arc de Triomphe, Opéra, Madeleine, the Eiffel Tower, the Pyramid near the Louvre, the Invalides, and Champs Elysées. Optional excursions are also available. Maybe celebrate the success of your tour with a French farewell dinner. (B)

Day 16Paris–London, England

Relax and let the countryside whiz by on the road north to the coast, where you board your Channel ferry. Through Kent, return to London for an evening arrival. (B)

Day 17London

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

Transportation:
Scheduled transatlantic flights and airport transfers in London and Paris if Cosmos issues the air tickets. Round-trip transportation between London and the Channel ports; on the Continent, private first-class air-conditioned motorcoach. Cross-Channel ferry; canal transfer boat in Venice; boat transfer to Capri


LONDON Novotel London West (F)
BRUSSELS HC Brussels (ST)
ULM area Arcadia (ST) at Günzburg
VENICE AREA Holiday Inn (F) at Marghera
ROME Residenza Parco Tirreno (F)
SORRENTO Central Park (ST) at Massalubrense
FLORENCE Meridiana (ST)
LUGANO Acquarello (ST) or Ibis (ST)
LUCERNE Ibis Styles (ST)
PARIS Ibis (ST) at Issy les Moulineaux

Buffet breakfasts; 4 dinners, including a special dinner at a local restaurant in Florence


With Cosmos, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.

LEO ZAAL

Years of Experience: 9 years

I've lived in several countries, so it's my pleasure to introduce you to "My Europe." You'll become familiar with the diversity of breathtaking scenery, as well as the fascinating culture, history, architecture, and cuisine. It's my aim to provide you an enjoyable, informative, hassle-free, memorable, and satisfying travel experience.

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As recommended by Budget Travel