European Highlights with Quintessential Italy (4870) - 2016

16 Day Tour from London to Paris

European Highlights with Quintessential Italy
The beautiful Austrian landscape
The beautiful Austrian landscape
Saint Peters Square in Rome
Enjoy the gorgeous views of Rome
Lucerne, Switzerland at night
Enjoy the beautiful architecture in Rome
Visit the world famous Roman Forum
Assisi is a town in the province of Perugia, Italy
Enjoy some time exploring the beautiful Innsbruck
Venice is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world

Vacation Overview

Cover the heartland of Europe on this exciting multi-country adventure with focus on colorful Italy. Begin with one night 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 enchanting canals and impressive St. Mark’s Square. Visit Assisi to admire Giotto’s frescoes in St. Francis’ Basilica, then to Rome, where you’ll encounter iconic landmarks, like the Colosseum and Roman Forum. On the way to Sorrento, visit Montecassino and Pompeii to see the remains of the city destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Spend two nights in Sorrento and sail to the jet-set island of Capri. Heading north to Florence, stop in beautiful 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 the introduction of a Local Guide and free time to discover the “City of Light” on your own.

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Individual headsets

Inside visits and special features:
Shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description including admission charges where applicable.

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


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 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-life 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

Take advantage of an included excursion to Pisa this morning and enjoy the sights of the SQUARE OF MIRACLES with its Leaning Tower. In the afternoon back in Florence, a Renaissance gem and city of the Medicis. Join 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.” 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 Po River, through the Lombardy plains, and into Switzerland for an overnight in charming Lugano. (B)

Day 13Lugano–Lucerne Area

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, CHAPEL 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 the Lucerne area. (B)

Day 14Lucerne Area–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

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

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 Catalonia Brussels (ST) or Park Inn (ST)
ULM AREA Arcadia (ST) at Günzburg
VENICE AREA Poppi (ST) at Mira or Holiday Inn (ST) at Marghera
ROME Holiday Inn Express San Giovanni (ST)
SORRENTO Central Park (ST) at Massalubrense
FLORENCE Meridiana (ST)
LUCERNE AREA Ibis Styles (ST) or Ibis (ST) at Kriens
PARIS Campanile Porte d'Italie (ST)

Buffet breakfasts daily; 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.


Years of Experience: 10 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.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on the European Highlights with Quintessential Italy:

  • La Grand-Place, Brussels
  • Palace and Park of Versailles
  • Upper Middle Rhine Valley
  • Archaeological Site of Pompeii
  • Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco
  • Historic Centre of Florence
  • Historic Centre of Rome
  • Venice and its Lagoon
  • Piazza del Duomo Pisa
  • Historic Centre of Rome - various properties Vatican City

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