Insight VacationsAn Art Lover's Taste Of Europe
Tour Europe’s finest art galleries and exhibits on an artistic tour de force, curated by Local Experts. Feast your eyes on the masterpieces of Degas at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, feed your soul with the works of Michelangelo at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and pause to admire the talents of Van Gogh at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. When in Rome, take a VIP tour of the Vatican Museums with exclusive and fast track access to skip the lines. Marvel at Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel and admire the normally off-limits Bramante Staircase, before basking in the awe of the almighty Pantheon. As a grand finale, indulge your senses with a wine tasting in Tuscany.
- 13 Breakfast (B)
- 6 Dinner with Wine (DW)
- 1 Lunch with Wine (LW)
- Paris: Join your Travel Director and fellow guests at a local restaurant in the heart of Paris for a delightful dinner, served with wine.
- Lucca: Visit a traditional steam bakery and sample Buccellato, the sweet raisin bread typical of the region.
- Lucca: Indulge in a wine tasting and olive oil tasting with light lunch. Featuring a selection of local wines matched with fresh bread, extra virgin olive oil, pecorino cheese, bruschetta and cold cuts.
- Umbria: Learn how to make a tasty local dish at a cooking demonstration in Umbria. Discover the ingredients, flavors and methods used in traditional recipes, and add new culinary skills to your repertoire.
- Rome: Enjoy a Welcome Dinner with your fellow travellers at a uniquely Roman local restaurant.
- Rome: Enjoy a Highlight Dinner of delicious Italian cuisine and wine, accompanied by the rich tremolo of some of Italy's best loved songs.
- Vatican: Gain priority access into the Vatican Museums and admire the famous Bramante Staircase. Witness the genius of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel and view the splendid dome of St. Peter's Basilica.
- Stanserhorn: Embark on a spectacular journey to the summit of Mount Stanserhorn and appreciate unrivalled views of snow-capped peaks. Meet a Swiss ranger and learn about the local wildlife and flora over a conservation talk. Learn about the conservation of the local ecosystem and local fauna from a Swiss ranger. Hear about what it takes to preserve the wildlife throughout the year and in all weather. This experience advances UN Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life On Land. Alternatively, walk along beautiful scenic pathways for a chance to see native animals like marmots.
- Perugia: Meet Marta, a recipient of a TreadRight Foundation grant. Learn how she offers employment opportunities for local women and alongside her weavers, preserves the ancient craft of loom-weaving in an artisan workshop.The workshop is owned by women and actively empowers women and girls through its education and training programs. Marta, and her students help to safeguard the unique patterns while contributing to the protection of Umbria’s cultural heritage. Laboratorio Guidetta Brozzetti advances UN Sustainable Development Goal 5: Gender Equality and UN Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable Cities & Communities.
- : Visit Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica • Galleria Borghese • Uffizi Gallery • Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie to see "The Last Supper" • La Scala Opera House • Top of Mount Stanserhorn • Ateiler des Lumières• Louvre Museum at night • Musée d’Orsay • Rijksmuseum • Van Gogh Museum.
- : Orientation Tour of Beaune • Orientation Tour of Paris.
- : See Ghent.
- Milan: Explore Italy's renowned fashion capital with your Local Expert. See the magnificent facade of Milan Cathedral, La Scala Theatre and the glass-vaulted shopping arcade of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, lined with luxury boutiques.
- Milan: A renaissance masterpiece and one of the world’s most iconic paintings, Leonardo da Vinci’s fresco of "The Last Supper" is housed in the refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Painted in 1495-98, the colossal artwork remains a fascinating spectacle, surrounded by mysteries and legends.
- Amsterdam: Explore the Rijksmuseum, the Dutch national museum and largest art museum in the Netherlands, with a local art historian. Witness famous works by Van Gogh, Vermeer, and Rembrandt.
- Amsterdam: Home to the world's largest collection of Van Gogh paintings and drawings, the Van Gogh Museum showcases the famous artist’s masterpieces in a magnificent permanent exhibition. Follow Van Gogh’s development as an artist and discover his ideas and ambitions through the many paintings, drawings and letters, and enjoy works from his contemporaries.
- Ghent: Frequently listed as one of the top cities to visit in Europe, Ghent offers a quirky cultural cocktail of modern urban life, and fascinating medieval architecture. Stroll along the Lys River to the historic city centre and discover one of Europe’s finest panoramas of water, spires and centuries-old grand houses.
- Paris: The Orsay Museum is renowned the world over for its rich collection of art. It houses the largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist work from such acclaimed artists as Monet, Degas, Renoir, Cezanne and Van Gogh.
- Paris: Paris’s first all-digital Art Museum, Ateiler des Lumieres opened in its doors in 2018. See works and artistic visions of great masters reimagined in large-scale, full color digital installations, along with contemporary art and exhibitions, creating links between eras and adding dynamism to artistic practices. The multi-sensory digital exhibits create a deep and immersive experience that engages all the senses.
- Paris: The biggest and best-known museum in the world, The Louvre was once palace to the kings of Fra...
AmsterdamCosmopolitan Amsterdam is most famous for its narrow, gabled houses lining the canals. Interesting attractions include the medieval weighhouse, Royal Palace on Dam Square, and New Church. Its most glamorous industry is the diamond trade. Not too far from Amsterdam are the flower centers of Aalsmeer, the picturesque fishing villages of Volendam and Marken, cheese markets at Edam and Gouda, and historic Haarlem, the main center of the bulb-growing industry. Enjoy the city’s sights from a glass-topped sightseeing boat which passes characteristic gabled houses and negotiates picturesque arched bridges. Facing Dam Square, the Royal Palace was built in 1648 and is still officially the royal residence, although the royal family resides in The Hague. The marbled Citizens Hall with inlaid maps of the world is worth seeing. One of Amsterdam’s most visited sites is historic Anne Frank House. Rijksmuseum, the city’s most prestigious museum, houses the largest collection of Dutch paintings in the world. Van Gogh Museum houses a striking collection.
Destination Guide Paris
ParisParis, world capital of art and culture, gathers some of the most famous museums and monuments in the world. Like all the world's great capitals, Paris lives at a fast pace, by day, by night and especially at rush hours. Bear in mind that museums and monuments are often less crowded during the week. Sights that should not be missed include: The Louvre and the Musee d'Orsay. Visit any of the many others according to your tastes and interests: the Musee Picasso, Musee Rodin, Musee Carnavalet, Musee Marmottan and the Arab Institute are just a few. Essential Paris monuments are the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe or the Grande Arche de la Defense.
Destination Guide Lucerne
LucerneWithout a doubt one of the prettiest towns in Switzerland, Lucerne lies in the heart of the country on famous lake of Lucerne. Dotted with Renaissance and Baroque fountains, colorful paintings on the gables and commanded by the exquisite wooden bridge, the Kapellbrücke and Wasserturm, the 13th century octagonal water tower, Lucerne's character is pure charm. Spectacular views and sights abound from almost every vantage point in and around Lucerne. The Old Town Hall is a fine example of a Renaissance building while the City Wall, built between 1350 and 1405 stands proud above the city. A stroll along the quay leads past the modern health resort and onto the largest, most important Transport Museum in Europe and the only Planetarium in Switzerland. The famous Lion Monument and Glacier Garden make for remarkable viewing as do the mountain peaks surrounding the city. A short drive from town takes visitors to some of the most breathtaking landscapes on earth, and a short drive from Viewaldstätter Lake leads to nearby winter resorts and many more lakes.
Destination Guide Milan
MilanMilan is a city that arouses extreme feelings, just like the city lifestyle. A frenetic, restless rhythm is part of both work and leisure, so much so that it is difficult to stay unmoved and not get overwhelmed by all the cultural and social stimulus. Maybe for this reason, Milan makes itself indispensable, because it is impossible to feel so alive and full of energy when you are away from the city. Milan is always one step ahead: a laboratory of artistic experiments and a building site for social behavior that is continuously changing. City full of contradictions, ancient and modern, trends and counter-trends, fashion and underground, middle class and working class, but always simply “cool”.
Destination Guide Florence
FlorenceThe creative explosion of the Italian Renaissance happened right here, leaving petite Florence more art treasures than most national capitals. View the masterworks of local heroes like Michelangelo and Botticelli, visit countless unforgettable basilicas, then climb up into Brunelleschi's soaring dome to watch the sun set among cypress-clad Tuscan hillsides.
Destination Guide Umbria
UmbriaUrbino was once Italy’s greatest seat of learning and is now better known as a pleasant Renaissance hilltown in the center of the Umbria region – a favorite destination recently discovered by Italy afficionados. Nestled among its skyline of soaring domes and towers is the Ducal Palace and its splendid gallery of art that is not to be missed. Housed here are many of the finest works of the artists Piero della Francesca, Titian, and hometown favorite Raphael, whose childhood home is also open for viewing.
Sprawled across seven legendary hills, romantic and beautiful Rome was one of the great centers of the ancient world. Although its beginning is shrouded in legend and its development is full of intrigue and struggle, Rome has always been and remains the Eternal City.
Rome enjoyed its greatest splendor during the 1st and 2nd centuries when art flourished, monumental works of architecture were erected, and the mighty Roman legions swept outward, conquering all of Italy. These victorious armies then swept across the Mediterranean and beyond to conquer most of the known world. With Rome's establishment as capital of the western world, a new ascent to glory began.
Today's Rome, with its splendid churches, ancient monuments and palaces, spacious parks, tree-lined boulevards, fountains, outdoor cafes and elegant shops, is one of the world’s most attractive and exciting cities. Among the most famous monuments is the Colosseum. As you walk its cool, dark passageways, imagine the voices that once filled the arena as 50,000 spectators watched combats between muscled gladiators and ferocious animals.
Stop to see the remains of the Forum, once the city's political and commercial center. In later times, Rome's squares were enhanced with such imposing structures as the Vittorio Emanuele Monument and grandiose fountains like the Fontana di Trevi. Join the millions who stand in awe of Christendom’s most magnificent church and admire the timeless masterpieces of Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel.
Rome jars the senses and captures the soul. Grasp all you can during the short, precious time you have available in the Eternal City. With so much to see and do, a day or two will only allow you a sampling of the city's marvelous treasures.
Caution: As in many big cities and tourist destinations purse snatching and pickpocketing is common. Valuable jewelry and excess cash are best left in a safety deposit box in your hotel.
Shopping For most visitors shopping for beautiful Italian leather articles, designer shoes, fashions for men and women, linens, knitwear, silk scarves and ties is a favorite pastime. Except for tourist-oriented shops, the majority of stores are closed on Sundays. Some of the department stores, such as Rinascente, open in the late afternoon on Sundays.
Cuisine Rome's choice of restaurants is mindboggling as is the variety of cuisine. Whether your meal is at a top-rated restaurant or a rustic trattoria, you can be sure that you will enjoy your food, especially when accompanied by wines from the hill towns surrounding Rome.
Other Sights Rome's attractions are endless, and depending on how much time you have at your disposal a careful selection has to be made about what to see. Be aware of horrendous traffic conditions and major construction work all around the city in preparation of Jubilee 2000, the Holy Year. Some of the sights not to be missed:
Piazza Venezia - This busy square is easily recognized by its imposing Vittorio Emanuele II Monument. The white marble structure was inaugurated in 1911 as a symbol of Italy’s unification.
The Forum - Once the civic heart of ancient Rome, today the remains include a series of ruins, marble fragments, isolated columns and some worn arches.
Colosseum - No visit to Rome is complete without a stop at this awe-inspiring theater, which is among the world’s most celebrated buildings. Here ancient Rome flocked to see gladiatorial contests and numerous other spectacles.
Trevi Fountain - Take a stroll to Rome's famous fountain. A spectacular fantasy of mythical sea creatures and cascades of splashing water, the fountain is one of the city's foremost attractions. Legend has it that visitors must toss a coin into the fountain to ensure their return to Rome.
St. Peter's Square - Part of Vatican City, this square created by Bernini is considered one of the loveliest squares in the world. Twin Doric colonnades topped with statues of various saints and martyrs flank either side of the square. In the center stands an 84-foot obelisk, brought from Egypt in 37 A.D.
St. Peter's Basilica - At the head of the square stands Christendom's most magnificent church, which was begun in 1452 on the site where St. Peter was buried. Throughout the following 200 years, such Renaissance masters as Bramante, Michelangelo, Raphael and Bernini worked on its design and created an unparalleled masterpiece. Of special note are Michelangelo's Pieta and the bronze canopy over the high altar by Bernini. The immense dome was designed by Michelangelo.
Vatican Museum - To see this museum's immense collection would take days. As you enter, there are special posters that plot a choice of four color-coded itineraries. They are repeated throughout the museum and are easy to follow. It is a good idea to pickup a leaflet at the main entrance and concentrate on exhibits of major interest. Of course, the Sistine Chapel is a must. Most likely you may have to wait in line to enter.
Valid Date RangesPrices are per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability and change without notice. Prices reflect land only accommodations, airfare is additional. Blackout dates/seasonal supplements may apply. Itinerary and map subject to change. Tour prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Prices displayed reflect available discounted rates such Early Payment Discount or Red Hot Deal (discounts are not combinable). Discounts may be withdrawn at anytime, book early to confirm space.
All fares are quoted in US Dollars.