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Rome to Paris Overview
Uncover the best of Italy, Switzerland and France
Put your finger on the pulse of Europe's beating heart on this memorable tour through Italy, Switzerland and France. From ancient wonders on the bustling streets of Rome, to high fashion in Milan, traditional folklore in the Swiss Alps and champagne tours in Reims - this trip truly captures the spoils of Europe. Travel through the charming hillside villages of the Cinque Terre, get close to nature amid the grandeur of Lucerne and fall in love with romantic Paris - each day brings a fascinating new discovery.
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Arrive in the Italian capital and absorb its irresistible aura and energy. Explore the sacred halls inside St Peter’s Basilica, visit the Vatican museums or throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain to pave the way for your return to Rome.
See the landscape transform from Romanesque cities to rolling hills and olive groves on a train journey to Tuscany. Cycle alongside the scenic Serchio River, glimpse Michelangelo's David in Florence, marvel at the La Torre de Pisa, then head back to cosy apartments in Lucca at day’s end.
Travel by train, bound for La Spezia (approx 3 hrs). Cinque Terre ('Five Lands') is an area famed for the beauty of its coastline and its picturesque villages. Before the advent of the railway, its ancient systems of hillside footpaths were the villages' only link to the outside world. Walk along the famous path of the Cinque Terre. Olive groves and vineyards cover the mountains that plunge into the sea - the vistas here are breathtaking. If you're feeling energetic, walking the entire path (12 km, approx 5 hrs) will give you the best taste of the villages and countryside. However, you can jump on a train between any of the villages or to get back to our base whenever you want. Please note that some sections of the Cinque Terre path can be quite difficult with challenging uphill stretches, narrow paths, steep cliffs and foot bridges. Appropriate footwear (trainers or light hiking shoes) are required for this day. Cinque Terre path sections: - Riomaggiore to Manarola is easy and takes 25 minutes on a paved path. - Manarola to Corniglia is easy and takes about 50 minutes on a partly paved and partly rocky path. - Corniglia to Vernazza is medium level difficulty and takes about 1.5 hours on a rocky path. - Vernazza to Monterosso is more challenging and takes about 2 hours on a rocky path. Important note for 2014 departures. During October 2011 this region was hit by record flooding and serious mudslides, particularly Monterosso and Vernazza which were evacuated and closed for access. In addition, in the summer of 2012 a number of coastal walking paths were closed due to rockslides. Local authorities have since indicated that the restoration and repair work should be complete by summer 2014 and many walking routes will be re-opened, however, please be aware that there may be delays.
Stroll through ever-fashionable Milan and marvel at its magnificent Duomo. Travel by train to pristine Stresa, which boasts magnificent views of the Alps. Board a ferry and head out to explore the beautiful Borromean Islands - perhaps taking in the hanging gardens of the romantic palatial residence on the shores of serene Lake Maggiore.
Farewell Italy and travel into the resplendent alpine landscape of Switzerland. In free time, enjoy a boat tour on placid Lake Lucerne, learn the story behind the emotive Lion Monument or take a ride on the world's steepest cogwheel railway to the summit of Mt Pilatus.
Visit the spectacular Trummelbach Falls while taking in staggering mountain views. Head to the Schilthorn peak for an authentic James Bond experience or work up an appetite for traditional Swiss treats, like fondue, on an optional mountain biking adventure.
Travel by train through the Swiss capital of Bern and cross the border into Dijon, France. Embark on an odyssey of indulgence in a region renowned for boeuf bourguignon and mustard. Take a day trip to Beaune, where Burgundy's best wines are produced, and scour the countryside on two wheels.
Raise a glass in Reims, a city steeped in history and renowned for its bubbles and royal intrigues. Visit champagne caves for an insight into the drink's effervescent magic. While here, be sure to check out the elaborate Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Reims, a sacred place where French kings were once crowned.
Stroll along the Seine and be enchanted by Paris, a city that has inspired artists and lovers throughout the ages. Enjoy free time to explore and discover the myriad of tourist attractions in Paris. Peruse the art-filled corridors of the Louvre or visit Sacre Coeur in vibrant Montmartre. Indulge in more fine French cuisine before saying 'au revoir' to this romantic destination.
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