France, Italy, Greece, Vatican City
France – Paris, VersaillesItaly – Rome, Appian Way, Pompeii, NaplesGreece – Athens, Delphi
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
The most memorable family vacations combine education and fun, thrills and discoveries, which you have in abundance during your customizable family-friendly tour of France, Italy and Greece. Venture into the dark catacombs for insight into rich heritage and wander through ancient streets once covered in volcanic ash. Discover your favorite gelateria and sample delectable chocolates for a taste of local charm. Witness the hidden details of the Parthenon and listen for the lingering voice of the...
Paris – Arrive in Paris with a Sunset Cruise along the Seine River
Paris is a riot of color and culture changing between neighborhoods from the calm Bohemian ambiance of Montmartre to lush foliage of Tuileries Gardens and clamoring thrills of the Latin Quarter. The family arrives at Charles de Gaulle Airport where your private transfer greets you. You find the aroma of chocolate, pastries, and coffee emanating from the quiet cafes before fading beneath the scent of delicious roasted chicken coated with rosemary. Relax in the comforts of your luxurious accommodations before stepping down onto the banks of the Seine River for a fantastic introduction to Paris in the form of a River Cruise.
As the sunlight fades over the city, you understand how Paris became known as the City of Lights. From the elegant windows in the boat, you can view the Eiffel Tower soaring above Champs de Mars. The iconic structure of Paris was completed in 1889 as the gateway into the World’s Fair. The bells of Notre-Dame de Paris clang in the towers. The kids are fascinated by the gargoyles added to the structure in the 13th century. The decorative elements also had a function, producing streams of water during the rains instead of allowing the water to fall off the edges of the roof like torrents.
Paris – Relish Time in Luxembourg Gardens and Musee d’Orsay
In the morning, the aroma of chocolate and buttery croissants fills the dining room. After breakfast, the family sets out to visit the Luxembourg Gardens, which were first established in the 17th century. The former palatial gardens have a specific French style, which contains geometric lines, shapes, and blossoming flowers. Trees shade the winding paths for a serene, welcoming ambiance adorned with more than 100 statues and trickling fountains. Local children and their parents play with boats on the large pond known as the Grand Bassin. Ducks also flitter about the water around the traditional wooden toy boats first used in the pond in 1927. The custom in Paris is called P’tits Voiliers with each participating child using a small stick to help guide the boats across the water.
In the afternoon, the family continues to the Musee d’Orsay, a gallery displaying the masterful works of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists who worked mainly between 1848 to 1914. The kids marvel at the large main gallery. The museum is located inside the former Gare d’Orsay railway station retaining a sense of the Beaux-Arts architectural style. Your kids fawn over the idea of walking over Paris. A model of the city’s streets is situated under a tile floor, allowing the family to walk around favored buildings and popular streets before beginning a scavenger hunt of your favorite artists. You discover the breathtaking work Degas’s Dancers, drawn with pastel depicting a group of ballerinas resting.
Paris – Venture to Notre-Dame de Paris and the Louvre Museum
The kids are excited for another exploration of Paris. You make your way to the Ile de la Cité in the morning to visit the famous cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris. The structure looks larger in the daylight than when you had seen it from the river during your first night in Paris. The spire reaches 300 feet tall, and the elegant flying buttresses create a massive, tiered arc supporting the weight of the structure’s heavier upper-levels. A small park known as Jean XXIII Square offers a sensational view of the forest of flying buttresses wrapping around the chancel.
The remarkable beauty of the cathedral leads you inside where the rose windows glow with sensational color from the stained-glass dating back to the mid-13th century. Approximately 400 steps lead to the top of the spiral where the kids can view the gargoyles face-to-face. The frightening, yet fantastical figures have inspired artists and authors, including Victor Hugo, who published The Hunchback of Notre-Dame in 1831. Beyond the gargoyles, the family has a sensational view of Paris with the Eiffel Tower rising over the historic streets in the distance.
In the afternoon, you reach the entrance to the Louvre Museum for another scavenger hunt through the fascinating display of over 35,000 works of art spanning antiquity to the early modern period. Masterpieces of the European artwork set the family off on an elaborate hunt for special images from Egypt, the Roman Empire, Islamic traditions, and the various European Renaissances. You reach the Venus de Milo, a stunning work from ancient Greece sculpted between 130 and 100 BC. The statue stands six feet eight inches tall and captures the grace and beauty of the goddess of love.
Paris – Enjoy the Palace of Versailles and a Chocolate Tasting Excursion
The prestige of the Palace of Versailles emanates from the gilded halls, lavish apartments, and remarkable gardens of a complex encompassing 87,728,720 square feet making it the world’s largest royal domain. You travel to the outskirts of Paris to visit the sensational palace with the kids excited about visiting the home of an actual king. The gardens developed under the reign of King Louis XIV in the 17th century with the overall palace embodying the height of royal decadence in France. The entire family becomes enchanted by the Hall of Mirrors, a gallery reaching nearly 240 feet long and decorated with 17 arches, gilded statues, sparkling chandeliers, and 373 mirrors.
The light shines through the tall windows reflecting against the glass and causing the entire room to glow with lavishness beneath the decadent vaulted ceilings painted with illustrations of France’s military prowess. From the Main Palace, you step onto the patio overlooking the vastness of royal gardens featuring large pools and fascinating fountains. The kids love seeing the water shoot from the mouth of the dragon spouting over 88 feet in the air. You return to Paris to partake in a playful family chocolate tasting tour arriving at a chocolaterie in Saint Germain. The scent of buttery pastries stirs through the shop as the clerk offers the family individual macarons, a confection made with almonds and flavored with a variety of natural ingredients including delicious chocolate.
Paris – Stroll through the Parisian Catacombs and Montmartre
After breakfast, the family meets the tour guide and ventures into the depths of Parisian history located within the famous catacombs of Paris. The winding network of tunnels was created in the 18th century and host the remains of six million Parisians whose bones were once transferred from the overcrowded and unhygienic cemeteries inside Paris to beneath the layers of the city. The catacombs stretch for over a mile long within a network of narrow corridors dug out of the limestone. The cool air contrasts the warm day. The kids are captivated by the idea of moving skeletons and discovering the spectacle of millions of bones assembled across the catacombs in elaborate symmetrical piles. The ceilings are low to the ground and your guide translates the French poems about mortality accompanying the galleries.
You emerge from the depths beneath Paris to visit the hillside neighborhood of Montmartre. The Bohemian ambiance lingers in the streets emanating from a history of supporting artists like Toulouse-Lautrec and Vincent van Gogh. The opulent basilica of Sacré-Coeur crowns the hilltop with three bulbous domes, the tallest of which reaches 272 feet tall representing Romanesque and Byzantine styles resembling a decorative cake. The scents frankincense and myrrh drift through the nave. Artists capture the cobbled lanes and winding narrow alleys of the neighborhood in the spirit of the Belle Époque painting, sketching, and drawing the 18th-century buildings, crepe stands, and charming cafes.
Rome – Travel to Rome for an Introductory Gelato and Monuments Tour
At breakfast, the kids retell the stories of their time in the catacombs attempting to craft the ultimate ghost story for Paris. You indulge in the refreshing flavors of a frothy cappuccino accompanied by a flaky chocolate brioche. Your private transfer greets the family in the hotel after breakfast and escorts you to the airport for your brief flight to Rome. Travel by private escort from Fiumicino Airport to Rome’s historic city center to enjoy the comforts of your luxury accommodation before meeting your private tour guide.
The wonders of Rome are at your fingertips with an exciting exploration of history and flavor during a stunning gelato and monuments tour. Your guide is eager to introduce the famous tastes of the city’s best gelaterie, alongside the most remarkable highlights in Rome’s city center until arriving at Piazza Navona. You reach a gelateria filled with the scent of freshly baked cookies. The staff use quality ingredients from around Italy in which delighted costumers can taste the impeccable flavor in every bite. You sample the lemon and notice the sweet tartness stemming from lemons sourced from Sicily and around the Amalfi Coast.
The kids sample the Moroccan chocolate finding a sensationally rich flavor of which they are happy to sample more. You take your gelato into Piazza Navona for deeper insight into the 15th-century design. The piazza was built over an ancient stadium and hosts a stunning fountain crafted by Gian Lorenzo Bernini situated beneath a towering Egyptian obelisk. The water feature is known as the Fountain of the Four Rivers and contains four allegorical figures representing the world’s major rivers known at the time, which included the Danube, Ganges, Nile, and Rio de la Plata.
Rome – Tour the Fascinating Wonders and Allure of Ancient Rome
Before stepping into the audience of the Colosseum, the kids participate in a gladiatorial class learning the secrets of being a gladiator. The wear tunics and train with their instructors, waving their swords and banging their shields. The learn what it took to be a gladiator in Ancient Rome earning a certificate of completion at the end of the experience. You reach the Colosseum and immediately notice the captivating size of the walls reaching over 187 feet tall.
The Colosseum was named for a former massive statue of Nero that once stood near the entrance, however, the sensational size of the structure has enthralled visitors from around the world for two millennia. Layers of the original pilasters and arches remain on the northern side of the structure along with Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian columns. The interior could hold up to 50,000 spectators beneath 240 masts supporting awnings to shade the stands. Your guide points down into the labyrinth beneath was once the center stage. The walls are two-stories tall and once hid training gladiators and exotic animals bound for the games.
Rome – Visit Vatican City and Enjoy a Special Roman Style Cooking Class
The sovereign state of Vatican City encompasses 110 acres within the city of Rome hosting a permanent population of fewer than 1,000 citizens. The state has been an enclave for the Roman Catholic Church since the 14th century but officially became an independent principality in 1929 after an accord between the Pope and Mussolini. The stunning oblong shape of St. Peter’s Square sits in the shadow of the remarkable dome of St. Peter’s Basilica designed by Michelangelo. Bernini designed the pillars extending from the edges of the church and wrapping around the piazza stylized to resemble open arms welcoming pilgrims in.
Inside the acclaimed Vatican Museums, you set out on another scavenger hunt with the kids, in which they search for certain characters or images after arriving at the Sistine Chapel. The kids search the ceiling painted between 1475 and 1481 under the patronage of Pope Sixtus IV. The eight windows cast stunning light over the upper walls. Michelangelo retells the stories of Genesis on the ceiling, where you find the epic capturing of the Creation of Adam. In the late afternoon, you meet your private chef for a remarkable cooking class providing delicious insight into the special cuisine of Rome. Your instructor teaches the family how to craft two different past doughs, one with egg, and one without. You sample the fresh flavors of local, seasonal produce before shaping delectable ravioli stuffed topped with traditional Pecorino cheese.
Rome – Traverse the Appian Way, Aurelian Walls, and Baths of Caracalla
The morning in Rome fills with the aroma of fresh flowers emanating from corner stalls and the vibrant market of Campo de’ Fiori. The family travels outside the historic walls of Rome to reach the old road known as Via Appia Antica, which ran from the imperial capital to the southeastern port at Brindisi by 190 BC. A portion of the road is now protected as a regional park encompassing over 38 miles. The antique road is also where the true story of Spartacus took place when 6,000 rebel slaves were crucified in 71 BC.
You ride bikes along the long stretch of road reaching the underground catacombs at San Callisto. The burial grounds were founded in the 2nd century AD and hosted 16 popes, as well as numerous martyrs over a millennium. The body St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music, was moved to the Basilica de Santa Cecilia in Trastevere in the 16th century replaced by an elegant contoured sculpture of the saint. The catacombs encompass four floors with ceilings 70 feet tall overtaking a total of nearly 90 acres.
Upon returning to the center of Rome, you stop at the Aurelian Walls, the ancient boundary of the city erected between 271 and 275 AD. The walls were built with brick and enclose Rome’s Seven Hills encompassing 3,500 acres with square towers built every 97 feet. At the Baths of Caracalla, you find the stunning ruins of a 3rd century AD complex once comprising baths, gyms, libraries, shops, and gardens attended by up to 8,000 people a day.
Rome – Discover the Ancient Ruins of Pompeii and the National Museum
Travel to the former port-side metropolis of Pompeii in the morning for a full day trip exploring the wonders of Naples. The famous buried city of Pompeii was left untouched for millennia after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in the 1st century AD hermetically sealing the city and upwards of 2,000 residents. Excavators first discovered the site in the 16th century with archeologists continuing safer, more elaborate digs today along the more than 160-acre city. The main plaza was known as the Forum and remains the center of the city surrounded on all sides by political, communal, and religious buildings representing the bustle of daily life.
The tall colonnade atop a nearly 10-foot tall base reflects the Temple of Jupiter. The kids point to the remaining Ionic columns once sustaining the Temple of Apollo. You visit the Forum Olitorium, an unfinished warehouse during the eruption that now stores archeological finds, such as a large collection of pottery, amphora, and a number of human casts. You can see the tangible devastation of the eruption within the expressions of the people trapped in the pumice stone protecting their faces.
Continue to the amphitheater that once held up to 1,500 people for remarkable views of Mount Vesuvius in the background, as well as images of Atlas carrying the world on his shoulders. After exploring Pompeii, you enter the marvelous collection of objects on display in the National Archeological Museum of Naples. The galleries were established in the 18th century with a collection comprising 3,000 artifacts. The family stands in awe over the size, scope, and age of the Farnese Hercules, which was crafted in the 3rd century AD standing approximately 10.5 feet tall.
Athens – Fly to Athens to Explore the National Archeological Museum
The aroma of freshly brewed espresso emanates from the doors of Antico Caffé Greco, the oldest café in Rome, which first opened in 1760. After breakfast, your private transfer escorts you to the airport for your flight to Athens. The city remains a symbol of the beginnings of Western Civilization with a history dating back more than 3,000 years. The center of Athens wraps around the renowned Acropolis amid layers of millennia-old landmarks, mythology, and Byzantine churches. You travel by private transfer from the airport to the city center and spend time relaxing in the comforts of your luxury hotel located in the center of Athens.
You enter the National Archeological Museum with your private guide to experience one of the most important collections of Greek antiquity. The museum first opened in 1829 inside a neo-classical architectural design. One of the most famous pieces on display in the gallery is the Mask of Agamemnon, a gold veneer from Mycenae crafted between 1550 and 1500 BC reflecting the face of the Mycenean king Agamemnon made famous in the Iliad, Homer’s epic poem about the Trojan War.
Athens – Enjoy Contemporary and Ancient Athens and a Cooking Lesson
The specific decadent and sweet flavor of Greek coffee revitalizes your senses before you step out into the contemporary pace of Athens with your private guide. The family is excited to explore the layers of history in the ancient city effortlessly displayed in the Syntagma Square metro station. Your guide points out human remains, ancient streets, and former artwork uncovered when excavating the space for the underground railway. You return to the more contemporary view of the city at the Hellenic Parliament overlooking the public space of Syntagma Square.
The Presidential Guards, known as Evzones, and dressed in traditional uniforms reflecting the influence of Cretan mountain fighters, stand fast beneath the pink façade of the building. Guards stand in the square 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even on holidays. You continue the Acropolis, the crown jewel of Athens’s incredible history and home to the Parthenon. The hill stands a nearly 512 feet above sea level and supports a stunning collection of ancient Athenian religious artifacts in the form of three major temples. Roman additions showcase the unraveling depths of history as you reach the top of the hill.
The kids marvel at the marble work decorating the Parthenon. The majestic temple was erected between the 5th and 4th centuries BC as a sacred shrine to the cult of Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom and Warfare. 136 Doric columns supported the structure with fluted embellishments. The upper reaches of the temple were made thinner creating an optical illusion of a perfectly balanced building from all directions rather than appearing top-heavy. The kids point out the images decorating the metopes, including the relief depicting the birth of Athena who sprung from the head of her father Zeus. In the evening, the family attends a fun cooking class learning the art of making traditional savory and sweet Greek dishes like tiropita and loukoumades.
Athens – Wander the Ancient Paths of Delphi on a Full Day Tour
Ancient Greeks believed the city of Delphi to be the center of the world and the home of the infamous Oracle of Delphi. After breakfast, the family ventures north into the mountainous terrain to reach the stunning city located at 1,942 feet above sea level on Mount Parnassus and overlooking a lush coastal plain and verdant valley. Rich monuments of important deities once gilded the city reflecting the importance of Delphi as the center of the Hellenistic religious world and the fundaments of Hellenic emphasis on the Greek city-state. You travel the Sacred Way, the main road leading to the entrance of the Sanctuary of Apollo. Votive monuments originally decorated the roadway erected in tribute to the gods by various Greek cities.
The bases of many monuments have survived the millennia, as well as the scattered columns once supporting a colonnade. Engineers of the impressive theater utilized the natural contours of the mountainside to create 35 rows supporting up to 5,000 spectators. The venue hosted musical contests dating back to the 6th century BC and maintains a stunning view over the entire city. At the Temple of Apollo, the kids sit enraptured by the tales of the Oracle and her power to bring down empires. The foundations of the powerful religious center remain with a history dating back to an archaic 6th century BC temple supporting old Doric columns dating back to the 4th century BC.
Athens – Depart for Home
The scents of roasted meats and grilled vegetables drift through the narrow streets of the Plaka, Athens’s oldest neighborhood. The low-hanging doorways and marble-lined walkways reflect the depth of history from which the district sprang. The slopes of the Acropolis rise out of the historic center of the community while the narrow lanes lead to the outskirts of the ancient neighborhood where the Temple of the Olympian Zeus stands. The preserved pillars reflect the largest temple in Greece and once boasted 104 Corinthian columns. After breakfast, your private transfer greets the family at the hotel and escorts you to Athens International Airport for your flight home.
- Enjoy the exciting flavors of chocolate in Paris with a private excursion during which the family can find old and new confectionary favorites
- Sample the fantastic tastes of gelato while wandering the historical marvels of Rome for a fun and flavorful exploration
- Witness the sensational Cradle of Western Civilization from atop the summit of the Acropolis in Greece, home to the famous Parthenon
- Traverse Catacombs in Paris and on the outskirts of Rome for a distinctive view of historic burial practices and the beginnings of the Christian religion
- Participate in fantastic scavenger hunts inside world-class museums finding celebrated artwork and memorable moments with the kids inside the Louvre, d’Orsay, and Vatican museums
- Take part in the gladiatorial games in Rome by watching the children have fun training like true warriors before visiting the Colosseum
- Wander the excavated roads of Pompeii for a tangible view of how Mount Vesuvius buried the ancient port city under pumice and lava in 79 AD
- Discover the opulence of Versailles as a family by wandering through the lavish halls and exploring the massive gardens home to sensational fountains
Share in the treasures of Europe during your two-week family tour of France, Italy, and Greece. The majesty of the past decorates your time in Paris, Rome, and Athens as you unravel the beauty of historical monuments and ancient ruins combined with vibrant contemporary culture. Enjoy the multitude of sensory indulgences with cooking classes and delicious confections while inspiring the kids with images from storybooks, history books, and movies. The vivid curiosities of history emerge from media and step into tangible reality for a fantastic family-friendly discovery of art, architecture, and heritage supporting the wonders of Western Europe.
Your European adventure begins in Paris, France. The marvels of the city ignite the dreams of the family by exploring the fascinating monuments, palaces, and galleries scattered around the classic streets. Cruise on the Seine River for opulent views of the city’s highlights, from Notre-Dame de Paris to the Eiffel Tower. Explore the trails of the Luxembourg Gardens before embarking on a delightful scavenger hunt through the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art in the Musee d’Orsay. Explore the colorful windows, soaring nave, and dramatic gargoyles of Notre-Dame and the captivating, historic artwork on display in the Louvre Museum during which the whole family can appreciate the works of masters. Venture deep into the history of Paris in the catacombs, sample the artisan flavors and techniques of celebrated chocolatiers, and traverse the lavish décor of Versailles from the galleries to the fountains in the expansive garden.
Continue your family tour in Rome during which the family uncovers the fascinating daily lives of the ancient republic and empire. The Eternal City is stuffed with masterpieces accounting for more than 2 million notable artistic achievements able to enchant adults and children alike. Let the sweet flavors of gelato act as an introduction to the city by visiting both delicious gelateria and the monuments of the city. The kids can venture into the lives of gladiators with a training class before you discover the Colosseum and Roman Forum.
Traverse the galleries of the Vatican Museum for another fun scavenger hunt looking through the displays of antiques from Egypt, the Etruscans, and ancient Greece, as well as artworks by Italian masters. A cooking class offers kids a voice in the kitchen by finding the best flavors of traditional Roman cuisine and traversing the Appian Way offers access to ancient catacombs, historic walls, and stunning preserved baths. Take a day outside of Rome to wander the streets of Pompeii and the galleries of the National Archeological Museum in Naples.
Three nights in Athens provide the family with pristine views of the beginnings of Western Civilization and the birth of democracy. Using Athens as a base, the family can witness the stunning collections on display in the National Archeological Museum hosting famous artifacts like the Mask of Agamemnon. Discover the ancient world of Athens when visiting the Acropolis, home of the Parthenon, and learning more about the delicious tastes of Greek cuisine with a family-friendly cooking course making traditional dishes. A day trip outside of Athens brings light to the remarkable legend of the Oracle at Delphi when visiting the ruins of the city once considered by ancient Greeks as the center of the world.
Zicasso offers a variety of France, Italy, and Greece vacations. Be sure to browse the trips reviews for France, Italy, and Greece.
$3,719 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.
Reviews of Zicasso's Referral Service
4.87 stars based on 6963 reviews
"My wife and I just got back from our 10-day honeymoon in...
Reviewed By Joe M.
"Laurence covered every detail, we were so thankful."
Reviewed By Clint J.
"Each day was perfectly planned by Eric"
Reviewed By Mark F.
"So much attention to detail and lovely hospitality I could...
Reviewed By Laura M.
"We were free to totally enjoy ourselves and was a completely...
Reviewed By Susan S.
"Our travel planner was great at suggesting and setting...
Reviewed By Sherry Y.
Get Weekly Inspiration and Expert Advice on Travel
during the COVID and post-COVID era