Historical Tour of Paris and Rome

A 8 day trip to France & Italy 
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France and Italy personify culture and allow you an immersive exploration of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites for a captivating custom-tailored tour of Paris and Rome. From the Bohemian allure of Montmartre to the fashionable stairway of the Spanish Steps, Paris and Rome comprise heritage in Old-World ambiance. The Louvre Museum highlights the beauty of famous artists. The Borghese showcases the magnetism of sculptors and painters. Whether enjoying the view from the Arch de Triomphe or indulging in an emperor’s villa, you will delight in the glamor, traditions, and histories celebrated in Paris and Rome.

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Most tours are customized for private travel.

General Information

Photos
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

France – Paris, Versailles

Italy – Rome, Tivoli, Vatican City

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Paris – Arrive in Paris with a Highlights Tour and a Sunset Seine Cruise

Paris is a city of intrigue and romance, lights and majesty along the banks of the Seine River. Grand palaces match the luxurious monuments reflecting the heart of French culture dating back a millennium. The small details create the lush photographic wonders of the city captured in the narrow cobblestone streets, neatly trimmed trees, and brasseries filling the air with the aromas of garlic, thyme, and roasted chicken, and the sophisticated display of puffed pastries in the windows of delicate confectionaries.

Your flight lands at Charles de Gaulle Airport, where your private transfer greets you upon arrival. You enjoy the soothing comforts of your luxury hotel before meeting your guide in the hotel lobby for an introductory tour of the City of Lights. The famous cosmopolitan ambiance winds through the neighborhoods with tangible pleasures from the elegant blossoming flowers in the Jardin des Tuileries to couples sipping cappuccinos at a quiet cafés. You reach the Champs de Mars, a large park offering a marvelous view of the Eiffel Tower’s tall frame.

The iconic image of Paris is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site and was erected in the 19th century as a gateway to the World’s Fair. The figure has since become emblematic of Paris and consists of 15,000 steel sections. The view from the top stands at 905 feet above the city for a marvelous panorama of celebrating Parisian beauty. In the afternoon, you board a charming barge floating on the waters of the River Seine for a quiet, captivating sunset casting different shades of orange, red, and purple over the City of Lights.

What’s Included: airport transfer, accommodation

Day 2: Paris – Explore the Remarkable Palace of Versailles and Exquisite Gardens

The Palace of Versailles embodies the wealth, grandeur, and resolve of the former French monarchy in a complex protected by as a UNESCO-listed monument steeped in the opulence of Baroque design. You venture to the entrance of the former hunting chateau for a glimpse into the magnificent artistry and captivating lavishness of the royal court. You eagerly visit the Apartment of Marie-Antionette, which are in fact a collection of gorgeous suites decorated in the queen’s signature feminine design in which she would host friends or indulge in leisure activities like painting and reading. The gilded study served as a music room.

The Hall of Mirrors represents the palace at its most sumptuous hosting more than 300 mirror segments spanning the nearly 240-foot long gallery. The room was stylized to impress visitors in an overwhelming décor leading between the King’s and Queen’s apartments. Extravagant gilded statues stand beneath dangling lavish crystal chandeliers imitated in the mirrors and brought to life with the natural sunlight pouring through the windows. The fountains of the Fight of the Animals contains an impressive realism in the depiction of the brawling lion, wolf, and boar contrasted by the soothing sound of the jets splashing into the pool.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 3: Paris – Traverse the Louvre Gallery and the Stunning Musee d’Orsay

In the morning, the banks of the Seine return to inviting life with crepe stands and cafes filling the air with aromas of chocolate, pastries, and freshly brewed coffee. You enter into one of the world’s finest collections of art in the former palace of French kings at the Louvre Museum. The museum exhibits approximately 30,000 pieces of art. Various kings added to the collection during its time as a royal residence acquiring pieces from contemporary art collectors such as the Vatican and the Venetian Republic, further enriched by the spoils of war during the reign of Napoleon.

Sunlight pours into the solarium in the main entrance illuminating the diverse paths visitors can follow to view the incredible collection. You climb the Daru Staircase adorned with Victoire de Samothrace. The masterpiece of Hellenistic art represents the essence of masterful classical sculpture dating back to the 2nd century BC. The winged goddess was depicted as standing on the prow of a ship captured with an alluring spiraling effect with wet, transparent clothes revealing her feminine shape by clinging to her body.

In the afternoon, you continue your immersion into the UNESCO Heritage sites of Paris in the capital of Impressionist paintings, at the Musee d’Orsay. The gorgeous gallery is located inside a train station built during the Belle Époque representing the vision of experiencing art while capturing the opulence of Paris at the turn of the 20th century. The gentle, purposeful brush strokes from Monet’s paintings juxtapose the vibrant but wild colors used by Gauguin. You find the fascinating piece Bal du Moulin de la Galette by Renoir and enjoy peeking into the garden scene portraying the fun-loving Parisian life in the artist’s particular style.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 4: Rome – Arrive in Rome and Tour the Eternal City’s Monuments at Sunset

The artistic treasures of Paris decorate the grand galleries in the museums and adorn the stunning palaces and gardens exhibited along the streets between quiet bookshops and alluring boulangeries. At breakfast, you find the comforting aroma of a frothy cappuccino accentuating the buttery scent of a chocolate croissant. Your private transfer escorts you to the airport for your brief flight from Paris to Rome. Upon arriving in Rome, you have a private escort into the heart of the Eternal City, which embodies greater Italy’s accomplishment of having the highest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites than any other country in the world. The fascinating city celebrates its place in the ancient, medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and contemporary world as an open-air museum, as well as a cosmopolitan cultural European capital.

Your guide leads you on an enlightening tour of the city endlessly reinventing itself. You arrive at Piazza Navona, a Baroque public square outlining the ancient Roman stadium erected under the reign of Emperor Domitian. While the piazza no longer hosts horse races, the festive ambiance remains with people gathering to enjoy the views of Sant’Agnese church, sophisticated encompassing palaces, and the famous Fontana dei Quatro Fiumi designed by Bernini. Four massive figures act as allegories to the world’s major rivers on the four known continents regarding the Nile, Danube, Ganges, and Rio de la Plata.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 5: Rome – Tour the Jewish Ghetto and Trastevere, and the Vatican After Hours

In the morning, the bars across Rome open their doors to locals searching for a quick espresso and sweet pastry before work. Others walk their dogs through the bright and spacious greenery of the Borghese gardens. You follow your guide through the fascinating history of winding around the narrow, cobbled lanes of the Jewish Ghetto. The long-standing Jewish history in Rome represents one of the oldest Jewish communities in Rome following the Roman wars in Judea in the 1st century AD. The Ghetto grew under Pope Paul IV’s decree in the 16th century with an increasing awareness and involvement of Jewish cultural and religious identity.

Porticus Octaviae is a colonnade at the center of the Ghetto once hosting the medieval fish market. The structure was originally erected in the 1st century AD and rebuilt after a fire in the 3rd century AD with marble and intricate artwork. You continue across the river to the fascinating neighborhood of Trastevere. Locals and visitors sit in the large Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere enjoying a view of the church of Santa Maria in Trastevere and the aromas of freshly made pasta. The church was first erected in the 4th century AD as one of the oldest churches in Rome and retains breathtaking 13th-century mosaics spanning the interior walls and ceilings. 

The evening brings you to the splendor of St. Peter’s Square for a rare and coveted tour of the Vatican After-Hours. You enter with a guide after the museum is closed to the general public providing ample space, dedicated attention, and spectacular views of galleries’ most famous works. You enter the renowned Sistine Chapel finding the artistry breathtaking and inspiring. The faint scent of myrrh fills the air beneath the elaborate ceiling decorated with Michelangelo’s depiction of the Book of Genesis. The humanistic approach to depicting biblical characters brought a new and exciting image to the forefront of artwork at the time. At the center of the ceiling, you find the familiar but stunning image of the Creation of Adam

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 6: Rome – Discover the Opulence of the Borghese Gallery and Baroque Rome

The fascinating Villa Borghese is located in the center of Rome’s historic heart spanning nearly 200 acres of verdant gardens and gorgeous buildings. The villa boasts one of the world’s greatest private art collections with works by Caravaggio, Raphael, and Titian, as well as enchanting sculptures by Bernini. Cardinal Scipione Borghese built the villa in the 17th century and used the grounds for his personal art collection, which he acquired ruthlessly. The fabulous neoclassical décor from the 18th century accentuates the beauty of the pieces representing Roman floor mosaics and flamboyant ancient myths.

The Portrait of Pauline Bonaparte as Venus Victrix was crafted in the early 19th century and commissioned by Pauline Bonaparte’s husband. The neoclassical depiction of the figure shows the aristocratic woman semi-nude causing extreme reactions at the time. The sensational Caravaggio work David with the Head of Goliath not only reflects Scipione Borghese’s patronage to Caravaggio but also depicts the sensationalized story of David holding Goliath’s head as an allegory for remorse for the guild Caravaggio felt after killing a man. Both figures of David and Goliath are thought to be portraits of Caravaggio.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 7: Rome – Enjoy a Day Trip to Tivoli for Hadrian’s Villa and Villa d’Este

The town of Tivoli is located approximately 20 miles outside of Rome’s city center and contains wonderful garden villas protected with UNESCO World Heritage status. The Roman aristocracy would flee the grand city of Rome in the summer for the cooler climate and fresh air of the hill town embodied in the remains of emperor Hadrian’s villa retreat dating back to the 2nd century AD. The complex overtakes more than 296 acres of landscaped gardens, shimmering pools, and classical Greek architectural design highlighting the remarkable capacity of Roman engineering.

The emperor embraced the art and architecture of different cultures from around his travels through the Roman empire, most notably Greek and Egyptian. Ionic columns support the arches and line the Island Enclosure, also known as the Maritime Theater. Roman architecture is represented in the Serapeum with the use of Corinthian arches creating an artificial grotto. Copies of Greek statues show the artistry of Roman aesthetic captured in the Wounded Amazon statue first described as made in bronze by Pliny the Elder and dating back to the 5th century BC.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 8: Rome – Depart for Home

In the morning, artists return to Piazza Navona eager to capture the beauty of Bernini’s fountain and surrounding Baroque palaces in the right light. The market at Campo de’ Fiori fills the square with the aromas of citrus and spices. You enjoy a fresh espresso at breakfast having settled easily into the pace of Rome. Your private transfer greets you in the hotel lobby when you are ready, escorting you to Fiumicino Airport for your flight home. The trip through the monuments of Paris and Rome has ended, but the beauty and histories of the cities always persist.

What’s Included: airport transfer, breakfast

Price

Starting Price 

$2,195
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.