France, Italy, Spain, Monaco, Vatican City
Madrid, Barcelona, Montjuïc, Avignon, Lourmarin, Nice, Cannes, Monaco, Pisa, Florence, Orte, Rome, Vatican City
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
The marvels of European culture are at your fingertips during your custom-tailored tour for seniors through Spain, France, and Italy. From the Royal Palace of Madrid to St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, you will discover indelible grandeur accompanied by expert guides and emphasized by luxurious accommodations. Witness magnificent landmarks, embrace spectacular artworks, and traverse antiquated streets for a mixture of charming authenticity and enchanting exploration.
Madrid – Arrive in Spain’s Charming Capital with an Introductory Tour
The fast-paced city of Madrid will spark with gorgeous greenery that lines the central parks and grand boulevards, which lend quiet retreats for locals that course through the modern metropolis. The city represents the authentic contemporary life of Spain that is packed with mesmerizing energy and captivating cultural attractions. Your flight will land at Madrid Barajas International Airport, where your private transfer will meet you upon arrival and escort you to the luxurious ambiance of your centrally located hotel. Your guide will meet you in the hotel lobby eager to introduce you to the fabulous culture and remarkable heritage of Madrid.
Boutique shops and antique movie theaters will line the street, filling it with diverse styles of the twentieth-century architecture. Your guide will offer a contextual history of the boulevard that will recount the importance of its construction as a vision of Spain’s future. The iconic cupola of the Metropolis Building stands above the street at 148 feet tall and shines with 30,000 leaves that were crafted from 24-carat gold.
Madrid – Explore the Spanish Royal Palace and Prado Museum
The scent of fresh churros will fill the dining room at breakfast, accompanied by the refreshing aroma of coffee mixed with milk, which is known in Spain as café con leche. Your guide will meet you in the hotel lobby and lead you through a vibrant pulse of the city that originates from life in the cafés and madrilleños that fill the streets en route to work. Your fascinating exploration of Madrid will begin at the Royal Palace, which is a remarkable feat of engineering that spans 1.45 million square feet.
Your guide will provide a fantastic balance between the history of the palatial grounds, the cultural significance of the royal family, and the impressive décor that shapes the enchanting and extravagant ambiance that has been spread across 3,000 rooms. The palace’s eighteenth-century grandeur stands on the foundations of a ninth-century Moorish fortress. The Grand Staircase will draw you in with over 70 steps that have been carved from a single piece of marble. The epic fresco adorning the ceiling illustrates the Spanish royal family as the protectors of Catholicism and greater Spain with images that feature celestial images of recognizable family members at the time.
Discovering the Prado Museum with your guide will take you into one of the world’s premier galleries with a collection of more than 7,000 paintings, featuring European masters between the twelfth to the nineteenth centuries. The stunning collection of artwork will span more than 100 rooms and will easily mesmerize visitors with works of Velázquez, Goya, and El Greco. Your guide will provide a remarkable highlighted tour of the museum, covering a selection of stunning works that include The Annunciation by Fra Angelico. The intricate work was commissioned in the fifteenth century and depicts the archangel Gabriel with wings that resemble a rainbow tapestry.
Barcelona – Travel to Barcelona to View the Barri Gotic and Montjuïc
In the morning, you will board the high-speed train bound for Barcelona for a scenic ride through the Spanish countryside. The Mediterranean climate, casual sunny lifestyle, and historic heritage shape Barcelona’s indelible allure. The vibrant culture along La Rambla emanates from locals enjoying the shops or lounging at the cafés. Hidden plazas will fill with the sounds of Spanish guitars and the aromas of quintessential Catalan cuisines will drift through the doors of the Mercat de la Boqueria. Your private transfer will meet you at the train station and escort you to your charming hotel in the heart of the unique city before you will traverse the preserved medieval ambiance of the Gothic Quarter.
The dazzling architecture will look frozen in the Middle Ages as it has been untouched by contemporary architecture. You will wander through the tiny arcades, listening to your footsteps echo against the cobblestones. The melodies of Spanish folksongs will travel between the charming squares. Your guide will take you to the various monuments of the quarter including the Catedral de Santa Eulalia, which was constructed in the thirteenth century with a Romanesque design. The elaborate façade resembles a church from a storybook with vertical buttresses and soaring spires that reach 295 feet tall.
You will continue your discovery of Barcelona at Montjuïc, the hilltop neighborhood that overlooks the skyline of the city. The scenic district was named after the historic Jewish cemetery in the area and continues to attract visitors with expansive parks, a remarkable castle, and the Museum of Catalan Art. The collection inside the museum ranges from the eleventh to the thirteenth centuries. In the evening, your guide will show you the stunning fountains known as the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc in the plaza that leads to Palau Nacional. The water will glow with sensational colors as the fountains dance to the music that splashes down in the colossal pool.
Barcelona – Follow in the Footsteps of Antonin Gaudi
Your guide will meet you once again in the hotel lobby, ready to lead you on a magnificent tour of Barcelona through the eyes of Antonin Gaudi, who is the architect who helped shape the image of the city with unusual, yet charming designs. The tour will take you through the surreal facades of La Pedrera and the dreamy aesthetic of Park Güell before you will reach the quintessential edifice of the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia and its 18 spindly towers. The majestic structure has been under construction since 1883 and retains the surrealist Art Nouveau vision of Gaudi's original design.
Your guide will take you around the lavish exterior to view the intricate statues that adorn the different naves. The portal of the Passion possesses statuary and depicts suffering, death, and resurrection. The interior contains immense space, which will create a sense of openness that will be electrified by the sparkling, stained-glass windows. The colorful ceiling will shimmer with pastel hues and vaults that resemble smooth stalactites.
Avignon – Venture to the Pont du Gard and Visit the Papal Palace
Your private transfer will meet you at the hotel in the morning after breakfast and will take you through the Pyrenees and into France where you will stop to view the extraordinary Pont du Gard. The three-tiered structure was built in 19 BC as part of a 31-mile channel transporting water to Nîmes. Your guide will offer context on the remarkable engineering, including the strength of the arches that support the overall structure as it stands at 160 feet tall. The rural location of the aqueduct will offer a lovely view of the French countryside that is accentuated by fresh air, the sound of rushing water from the Gard River, and the marvelous design
When you arrive in Avignon, you will reach the tender heart of France’s Provence region. You will enjoy a fascinating tour of the city with your guide as you explore the seat of papal power and the remaining legacy of ecclesiastical architecture. The relaxing ambiance will sweep across the cobbled lanes and touch the circling ramparts and medieval bridge that crosses the trundling river waters. The leafy plazas will juxtapose the celebrated restaurants that are known for producing luxurious, modern dishes that are inspired by traditional flavors. You will start your discovery of Avignon at the Papal Palace, known as Palais des Papes and was constructed in the fourteenth century during the reign of Pope Clement V. The architecture will resemble a fairytale castle in which you can visit 25 rooms, including the Grand Tinel. The Saint-Martial chapel contains stunning frescoes along the walls that show the life of the saint with some of the vivid colors that have been preserved from 1345.
Nice – Discover the Provencal Lavender Fields and Culture
In the morning, your private transfer will take you to the majestic village of Lourmarin. You will travel through the vineyards, olive groves, and almond trees of Southern France, capturing the picturesque scenery for which Provence is known. Boutique shops will line the cobbled lanes and lead to fifteenth-century castle walls. On Fridays, the central plaza holds a popular market that fills the town with local vendors who sell delicious wine and luscious olive oil.
You will love stepping back in time wandering the streets that are lined with Mediterranean architecture. Before arriving in Nice, you will travel through the celebrated lavender fields of Provence that have been immortalized by impressionist painters like Van Gogh and Cézanne. The gentle breeze will carry an herbal aroma through the landscape, which may linger on your clothing until it fades beneath the semi-sweet scent of the Mediterranean Sea upon reaching Nice.
Nice – Enjoy a Free Day Visiting the French Riviera at your Leisure
Your free day along the French Riviera will offer plenty of time to discover the glamour of the seaside, the luxuries of the culture, and the charm of nearby villages at your preferred pace and will provide you with an entire day for strolling along the golden sands of the Baie des Anges. The renowned seaside hosts the Promenade des Anglias, which divides the sandy beaches from the lavish shops, luxurious restaurants, and charming cafés of Old Town. You will have the chance to stroll through the labyrinthine alleys and cobblestone streets that will be filled with the aromas of decadent chocolates and fresh pastries. The Musée Dufy will display the works of Raoul Dufy, and the Nice Cathedral will shine with splendid architecture.
An easy train ride southwest of the city will take you to Cannes, which is the glamorous city known for its exclusivity and seaside glitz along the Côte d’Azur. Private beaches and luxury yachts will wade in the marinas and embody the sophistication of the fashionable culture\. Leafy palm trees will line the boulevards, and subtropical flowers will decorate the gardens across the cityscape. You can explore the gorgeous ambiance by walking along the palm-lined boulevard of La Croisette, which hosts magnificent examples of French Art Nouveau design. You will take the opportunity to sit in a café, sip a frothy cappuccino that is dusted with chocolate, and enjoy the view of the sandy shoreline along the beachfront promenade.
Florence – Traverse Monaco and the Remarkable City of Pisa
The enchanting royal principality on the French Riviera remains one of the most glamorous destinations in the world with seductive scenery that stems from the azure waters and elegant palm trees. The dramatic, rocky promontory lingers above the water and supports the antique streets of the thirteenth-century village referred to as Historic Monaco. You will explore the charms of the stunning city with your guide, passing through the sophisticated ambiance of the Monte Carlo district. The famous Place de Casino will boast a breathtaking view of the yachts that wade in the harbor, and the aromas of lavish contemporary cuisine will originate from the three Michelin-starred restaurants that are scattered around the neighborhood. Luxury boutiques will fill their windows with exuberant displays along Avenue de la Costa while the thirteenth-century complex of the Palais du Prince will offer a mixture of medieval architecture, elaborate panoramas, and a marvelous sense of the city’s dramatic past.
You will continue south to Italy in order to reach the fascinating city of Pisa, which is located in the renowned region of Tuscany. The architecture in the city center dates back to the eleventh century and reflects the dramatic rise of the maritime powerhouse before it fell to rival Genoa and then Florence. You will follow your guide to the Piazza dei Miracoli to view the renowned list of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The structure was built as a bell tower and used traditional Pisan and Gothic designs, beginning in 1173. The distinctive lean reaches nearly four degrees and creates a difference of approximately 12 feet between the base of the tower and the top. You can also explore the fascinating Campo Santo, which is a monumental cemetery that was built using sacred soil that was taken from the Golgotha during the Fourth Crusade. Sensational frescoes that were damaged during World War II will reveal the original sketches in red pigment that were crafted by the master artist.
Florence – Delight in a Guided Tour of Historic Churches and Museums
The distinct aromas of Florence will fill the streets in the morning and will reveal a soothing mixture of leather, fresh espresso, and flaky brioche. The magnificent history of the city center will reflect the splendor of the Renaissance and the drama of the Middle Ages with its massive churches and soaring spires that adorn the skyline. Your guide will lead you through this spectacular city that acts as an open-air museum, gathering some of Italy’s most fascinating artistic treasures. You will visit the resplendent Duomo and its renowned dome that stands more than 345 feet above the winding, cobbled lanes. The interior of the cathedral that is set beneath cupola will shine with vibrant colors and will feature images of the Final Judgement as it is supported effortlessly by strong stone columns that blend into the décor.
In the afternoon, you will visit the Uffizi Gallery where your guide will provide deeper insight into the history and artistry of Florence and greater Tuscany. The ambiance will complement the grandeur of the Medici family who constructed the palace as the magistrate’s office. . Your guide will show you some of the most famous works of art in the gallery including Botticelli’s Birth of Venus. The incredible painting that was commissioned by the Medici family combines Classical and Christian ideals that were common in the Renaissance.
Rome – Visit Charming Orvieto and Orte before Arriving in Rome
You will make your way to Orvieto with your private transfer in the morning where you will discover the quiet medieval town that is perched on a hilltop in the region of Umbria. The streets that lead to the remarkable town will create a welcoming atmosphere. The town will be decorated with vines and adorned with olive orchards alongside country lanes that are lined with cypress trees. Medieval piazzas and vibrant churches will enhance the cinematic beauty of the lavish, Gothic cathedral at the heart of town. You will follow your guide to hear more about the history of the city in connection to the cathedral’s wonder that originates from the dramatic rose windows and the unique features of the gilded, medieval mosaics. The artwork tells biblical stories from the life of Mary.
Before reaching Rome, you will continue to the town of Orte, which is perched on a towering bluff and overlooks the rushing waters at the confluence of the Tiber and Nera rivers. Your guide will point out the hidden references to history in the symbols of the popes that decorate the Town Hall in the form of coats of arms. Renaissance doorways will personify the wealth of certain families and their mansions in the heart of the city while portions of an antique aqueduct will tower above the streets.
Rome – Experience a Full Day Tour of Vatican City and Ancient Rome
Visiting Rome will take you on a journey into the past where you will traverse medieval, cobbled lanes that wind around and over the Tiber River and into a collection of old neighborhoods. Ancient life of the former empire derives from hidden catacombs and sporadic ruins while impressive churches capture the ways Romans have reused, rebuilt, and recycled their past over the millennia. Your tour of the Eternal City will start at Vatican City where you will see the remarkable dome of St. Peter’s Basilica that soars to heights of 448 feet above the square.
Before venturing into the galleries of the museum, you will visit the interior of the basilica where you will enjoy faint aromas of frankincense and myrrh. The lavish gallery will contain works of famous artists like Giotto and Bernini. Michelangelo’s Pietà will stand behind reinforced glass, depicting a young Mary as she cradles Jesus after his crucifixion. The master artist crafted the sensational sculpture from a single piece of marble at the end of the fifteenth century.
The gripping tour of Rome will continue with an immersive walk through the remaining ancient wonders of the city beginning with the Colosseum. The epic architecture will capture your attention upon arriving at the famous structure with outer walls that stand 187 feet tall. You will step deeper into the past by following your guide into the ancient amphitheater that possesses stadium seating and is able to hold up to 50,000 spectators. You can look down into the Hypogeum to view where labyrinthine walls were formerly hidden by the center stage.
Rome – Depart for Home
The spectacle of ancient Rome continues to inspire visitors from around the world, as it has for thousands of years. The Pantheon remains one of the most iconic images of the city’s stateliness through time and dates back to the first century AD. Architects and artists have been encouraged to pursue greatness by studying the concrete dome, and the interior tombs celebrate important Roman figures such as Raphael and the Victor Emmanuel II, who was the first king of a united Italy. After breakfast, your private transfer will meet you at the hotel and escort you out of Rome’s city center to reach Fiumicino Airport for your flight home.
- Enjoy an immersive tour of Rome’s ancient wonders with a guided visit through the Colosseum
- Discover the Gothic grandeur of fourteenth-century popes during a guided tour of the Palais des Papes in Avignon
- Witness the spectacle of the Leaning Tower of Pisa’s dramatic list during a comprehensive tour of the city’s renowned highlights
- Explore the splendor of the Spanish Royal Palace in Madrid for insight into the history, artistry, and power of the Spanish monarchy
- Venture into the depths of the architectural aesthetic when viewing the La Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona, which was designed by Antonin Gaudi
- Take pleasure in the French Riviera with time to stroll alongside the beaches of Cannes and traverse the glamorous cobbled lanes of Nice
- Indulge in the artistic splendor that is displayed in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and features works like Botticelli’s Birth of Venus
- Marvel at the complex display of European master artists on display in the renowned Prado Museum of Madrid
- Experience the opulent design and remarkable history of Christianity while touring the Vatican
The marvelous landmarks of Europe will inspire you during your 12-day tour through Spain, France, and Italy that is customized for seniors. Your epic, guided journey will take you to the classic destinations along the Mediterranean for spectacular experiences in Madrid, Barcelona, the French Riviera, Florence, and Rome. Whether traversing cobbled lanes in the Gothic Quarter, strolling along the seaside promenade of Nice, peering into the former training grounds of gladiators, or viewing dramatic artwork, you will find grandeur, glamour, and prestige during your elegant tour of Europe.
Your elaborate journey will begin with your arrival in Madrid, Spain, where you will enjoy two nights in the country’s capital city to embrace the distinctive splendor that is found in the contemporary architecture of the Gran Via and elaborate marvels that are displayed in the Royal Palace and Prado Museum. Each time you step onto the boulevards and into the public plazas, you will find a new perspective of authentic local culture. Two nights in Barcelona will provide a different view of Spanish heritage, markedly Catalonian. Guided tours will offer highlights of the rich history that is found in the Gothic Quarter and unique heritage of Montjuïc, which will include impressive cathedrals and an elaborate water show.
You will continue into France where you will begin with one night in Avignon. Before reaching the city, your guide will lead you on a discovery tour of the remaining portion of a Roman aqueduct at Pont du Gard. Once in Avignon, you will traverse the remarkable fourteenth-century allure of the preserved cobbled streets, strong defensive walls, and stellar papal palace. You will travel to the French Riviera for two nights by way of the quintessential Provencal countryside. Here, you will delight in the gorgeous colors of traditional lavender fields and embrace the charm of a quiet medieval hilltop village. Wander the beauty of Nice and the luxurious splendors of Cannes at your leisure where you will discover lavish boutique shops and elegant cafésbefore spending time exploring the regal ambiance of Monaco.
Your introduction to Italy will take place in Pisa where you will spend two nights in the Tuscan capital of Florence. Your guided tours in the favored cities will reveal incredible history that will be exemplified by iconic architectural and artistic design such as the Leaning Tower, the Uffizi Gallery, and the renowned Duomo. Venturing to Rome for two nights will first take you to Orvieto for a guided tour of the hilltop Umbrian town’s serene setting and Gothic allure. The village of Orte captures the evolution of Italy as it has changed from medieval city-states to Renaissance republics and eventually a united kingdom. Once in Rome, you will follow your guide on a full day’s tour of the city’s layered history and captivating heritage beginning at the Roman Forum and Colosseum. Your time in Vatican City will reveal the dramatic wealth and power of the Catholic Church for more than a millennium through the artistic and architectural splendor on display. You can extend your time in Italy to allow you to visit Naples and the Amalfi Coast. Make sure your vacation is an unforgettable one by seeing additional Spain, France, and Italy travel ideas.
$3,151 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
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- 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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