England, France, Italy, Switzerland
London, Paris, Lucerne, Venice, Florence, Rome
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Your hand-crafted 10-day Europe tour will take you to England, France, and Italy to reveal the majesty of historic cities, the splendor of local culture, and the individual wonderment of their varied pasts. From snowcapped peaks to the Tower of London, The columns of the Doge’s Palace to the romance of the Eiffel Tower, you can find charm and enchantment in every day of your European vacation.
London – Reaching the Best
London is a city with unparalleled energy emanating from unrivaled culture, brimming from around the River Thames. It is a city of Shakespeare and royalty, castles and dungeons, bridges and Dickens. Parliament borders the gentle current of the river. The Tower Bridge crosses the waterway and stands tall over the passing ships below. In spring, the daffodils grow in Hyde Park and bring a plethora of color to the manicured trees and grassland.
You arrive in the vibrant city and are whisked to your luxurious hotel located in the heart of London. In the afternoon, locals enjoy a pint at the local pub. Cobblestones streets lead up to historic doors of pubs with classic names, including The Grenadier, which once offered sustenance to the Foot Guards regiment. The history around the city is palpable, emanating from classic buildings to ancient streets. If the walls of the city could talk, the stories of London would be unimaginable in a city already filled with a mesmeric past and captivating present.
London – Free to See London
In the morning, you wake up to the herbaceous aroma of freshly brewed tea accompanying a full English breakfast. The comforts of sausage, bacon, and eggs are only the tip of the iceberg to begin your day. After your meal, the day is yours to enjoy London at your whim and pleasure, venturing out to discover the majesty of Buckingham Palace and the grace of Westminster Abbey. When the breeze blows through the city, it rustles the trees and flowers blossoming across Kensington Gardens making the Peter Pan statue dance in the sunlight.
Much of the city’s wonderment can be seen from the walkways, from the Gothic allure of Parliament to the shimmering glass carousels of the London Eye. In the city center, the aroma of steaming hot pasties drifts along the cobblestones streets. You walk along the Millennium Footbridge, a suspension bridge crossing the River Thames. The bridge spans 1,066 feet to connect the Tate Modern to the banks of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
St. Paul’s Cathedral was erected between the 17th and 18th centuries with a dome rising to a height of 278 feet. The classical western portico has paired columns between two dramatic towers. The upper section of the columns hints at the size of the nave behind the walls.
Paris – Tale of Two Modern and Cultural Cities
In the morning, the quiet streets begin to bustle once again. The city fills with locals on the metro venturing to work, and iconic black cabs wind through the street. You can hear Big Ben chime at the quarter of the hour, its deep toll rippling over Parliament. After breakfast, you watch the modern high-rises and graceful historic domes of London fade behind the rolling green hills of the countryside.
When you reach Dover, you find the famous White Cliffs pronounced against the azure waters of the English Channel. The steep coastline offers the unique feeling of tranquil isolation, and it once acted as a sign of homecoming for homesick sailors. These are the same cliffs mentioned in Shakespeare’s King Lear. The seaside breeze sweeps across the tight grass. The chalk and pure limestone walls reach a height of 350 feet above sea level. You can hear the waves crashing against the rocks below. The unfettered beauty of the English countryside is embracing. You continue over the Channel by ferry to Calais, and quickly find the charm of Paris, the City of Lights.
Paris – Parisian Brilliance
Paris feels remarkably different than London. From the moment you arrive, the aroma of sweet pastries and decadent cuisine have spilled out of every door. In the morning, you find people lingering at sidewalk cafes enjoying a rich espresso watching locals and visitors stroll by. Your guide meets you at your luxurious hotel located in the heart of Paris and leads you through a fabulous tour of the city to experience the endless artistic wonders around the City of Lights.
The Champs Elysees embodies the Parisian wide avenue. Cobblestone paves the sidewalk and streets. London Plane trees line the walkways providing slivers of shade and sporadic herbaceousness. The street is more than one mile in length and 230 feet in width, connecting the Place de la Concorde and the Place Charles de Gaulle, where you can see the decorative frame of the Arc de Triomphe. The elegance of the avenue stems from its surrounding lush parks and bordering palaces, including the Grand Palais. Restaurants and boutique shops open their doors to passersby creating an opulent portrayal of Parisian glamor. When walking down the boulevard, you no longer have to imagine the extravagant past and present of the city but can open your eyes and experience it.
Lucerne – Climbing Mountains
The scent of buttery croissants and homemade raspberry jam fills the air at breakfast time. After your meal, you meet your transfer, wave goodbye to the enchanting city of Paris, and depart for the Burgundy countryside. Vineyards crisscross the landscape, reaching far along the hillsides. Medieval towns look as though they have stepped directly out of storybooks, filled with old world charm. The hills turn into the mountains and the mountains turn into the Swiss Alps taking you to Lucerne, Switzerland. The crisp alpine air is pure around you. The scenery is captivating, ranging from the encompassing mountain peaks to the quaint village of Old Town overflowing with an enchanting fairytale quality.
Lake Lucerne shimmers with opal. Old Town dates back to the Middle Ages with timber constructed homes and an elegant 14th century covered bridge crossing the water. Paintings decorate the supporting wooden pediments. On the bridge, you can hear the water lapping at the columns. Overhead the radiant colors of refurbished medieval artwork come to life. The entire bridge spans 558 feet. It feels somewhat like a museum, walking through a long hall to witness the remarkable artwork adorning history. The boards were cut from spruce and maple. City council members sponsored different panels connoted by their present coat of arms.
Venice – Mountains Lakes and Lagoons
In the morning, you can see the lingering peak of Mount Pilatus overlooking the city at 6,981 feet above sea level. A cable car takes people from the city to the mountain base where the entire plateau opens up to a majestic panorama. In the morning, the scent of decadent hot chocolate filters through the air and blends with the open chocolate shops around the city. The charm of Old Town Lucerne stays with you, but your view of the city fades behind the mountains. You travel through Gotthard Pass at an average elevation of 6,909 feet above sea level. Jade grass runs to the banks of cobalt lakes. Rugged mountaintops rise out of rolling hillsides.
You cross into Italy and find the quaint and glamorous appeal of Lake Como awaiting your arrival. Stones pave the lakeside streets hinting at the city’s Roman origins, along with remnants of the Porta Pretoria, Roman gate. The Gothic cathedral harkens back to a 14th-century opulence with delicately carved pinnacles decorated with images of Pliny the Elder, Pliny the Younger, and Roman residents. Polychrome paintings and gilded lining decorate the altar. The faint aroma of myrrh wafts along the nave. The history and beauty of the cathedral add to the splendor of the lakeside city. You continue your transfer away from the Alps and arrive in the famed city of Venice.
Florence – Images of a Renaissance
In the morning, you wake up to a view of the Grand Canal. Gondolas drift underneath your window. Other gondolas are moored to a small dock alongside cobblestone streets. The stunning Byzantine domes of St. Mark’s Cathedral tower over the lagoon, along with the Campanile Bell Tower standing at 323 feet tall. At breakfast, you indulge in the combination of sweet brioche and slightly bitter espresso to start your day. The sound of water lapping against the stone streets and walls of the city is faint, but always present. Your guide leads you on a private boat through the canal.
The Campanile is 39 feet wide and houses five bells in the logia. It was erected in the 16th-century and is topped with a golden weathervane in the image of Archangel Gabriel. The juxtaposition of the rustic-red tower against the pearled columns of the Doge’s Palace is striking. The bulbous domes and gilded crosses decorating the cathedral provide another pristine example of the cities past opulence and current connection to its lavish history. After lunch, you venture through the Apennine Mountains to settle into the Renaissance city of Florence.
Rome – Best of the Renaissance
Wake up in the iconic historic district of Florence, centered inside the remains of the old city wall. Cobblestones pave the streets and surround the graceful Florence Cathedral known as the Duomo. The Arno River quietly rushes against the lower levels of the city near the Uffizi Gallery. The Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in the city, arches over the water and houses historic gold and silver shops, family operated for hundreds of years. The sweet aroma of creamy gelato spills out of local gelaterias at all hours of the day. Your guide escorts you into the city to explore the famous Renaissance artwork, from sculptures to architecture, all around the city.
The Duomo was erected in the 15th-century. The cathedral is most noted for its marvelous dome designed and constructed under the leadership of Brunelleschi. Polychrome marble panels create a vivacious exterior of pink bordering green. The dome stands a total of 375 feet above the city street and remains the largest brick dome in the world. Giotto designed the façade with Gothic elements, including the large rose window in the center, with two smaller windows flanking the central portico. The cathedral shows its opulence with grace, adorned with saintly statues and a single bell tower.
Rome – Eternal City Light
Rome has a distinctly different atmosphere than Florence. The city feels more spread out, but also older. The main boulevards feel wider and more open. However, hidden streets and walkways lead to ancient, narrow passages where ivy decorates building facades, and orange trees grow in small piazzas. The aroma of fresh espresso is strong and inviting. Your guide meets you at the hotel and escorts you through the city that has been shaped by its Roman roots many times over.
St. Peter’s Basilica crowns St. Peter’s Square. An obelisk stands at the center of the piazza in the shadow of the incredible dome. The dome dominates the Roman skyline and creates a unique view of the treasured building from anywhere in the city. The church was consecrated in the 17th-century and houses the tomb of Saint Peter directly below the altar. Marble tile paves the immaculate interior. Even the air vents are delicately embroidered with the Vatican coat of arms. Decorating the north aisle of the first chapel is Michelangelo’s Pieta, depicting the body of Jesus in Mary’s lap, carved out of Carrara marble. The masterwork shows specificity of character and emotion inside the inspiring walls of one of the holiest Catholic domains in the world.
Rome – Ciao a Roma
Rome is a city that will always call you back, a place where one more visit is never enough. The hills around the city glisten gold in the rising sunlight. The aroma of sweet brioche drifts along the hidden, narrow streets near the historical center. You can see the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica watching over the entire cityscape.
After breakfast, your private transfer meets you at the hotel and escorts you to the Fiumicino Airport where you will board your flight home. The wonders of Europe have shown you tumultuous histories and unparalleled beauty, taking you on an unforgettable journey from London to Rome.
- Discover the captivating histories of London set in the Tower of London, Parliament, and along the streets of historic neighborhoods
- Experience the seaside splendor of the White Cliffs of Dover
- Witness the romantic architecture of the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe
- Enjoy the fairytale ambiance of Old Town Lucerne, where you can cross a medieval bridge and find the moving Lion Monument
- Explore the treasured city of Venice on a private cruise to see sensational St. Mark’s Square
- Revel in the Renaissance ambiance of Florence, from the marbled façade of Santa Croce to the traces of the city mentioned in Dante’s Divine Comedy
- Relish a guided tour of Rome that takes you into the maze-like underbelly of the Colosseum and the masterpieces decorating St. Peter’s Basilica
The elegance of European cities rises out of the effortless blend of past and present, connecting contemporary culture to cultural heritage. Your 10-day tour of England, France, and Italy provides you with endless history and constant wonder, taking you on a fabulous route from London to Rome. Your exploration begins with your arrival in London, the capital of Britain and the once powerful British Empire. Your time in the city is at your leisure to sightsee and experience the history of Westminster Abbey and the Globe Theater.
The following day, your guide leads you out of London, venturing to Dover where you visit the extraordinary White Cliffs. Travel by ferry over the English Channel, arriving in Calais and continuing onward to Paris. Once in Paris, your guide leads you on a half-day tour, taking in the remarkable Eiffel Tower and Champs Elysees. The remainder of the day is yours to relish the City of Lights.
Journey through the sensational Burgundy countryside and make your way along the Swiss Alps arriving in Lucerne. Quaint Old Town shows you the decorative nature of the culture and the fairytale quality of the mountains. The following day, you traverse the Alps, visiting the Italian city of Lake Como, and settling in the charming Venice Lagoon. Your guide leads you on a private cruise through the Grand Canal to St. Mark’s Square. Visit a Venetian craftsman to see the local art of glassblowing. After lunch, you make your way to the Renaissance city of Florence, in the heart of Tuscany.
Your guide leads you around the historic center where church spires and magnificent domes add to the skyline. Once in Rome, your guide leads you on a half-day tour through the incredible, ancient sites, discovering the strength of the Colosseum and the wonders of St. Peter’s Basilica. The following day, your private transfer escorts you to the airport for your flight home. Look back on the city and see St. Peter’s Basilica’s lingering silhouette.
$3,995 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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