Paris, Versailles, Venice
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Napoleon conquered the countryside and overtook royal grounds, battling with kingdoms across Europe and basking in the prestige of cities such as Paris and Venice. From the enchanting artwork on display in the Louvre to mesmerizing masks that dance alongside the canal during Carnival, your custom tailored tour will immerse your family in dramatic art, lavish palaces, iconic monuments, and enchanting history touched by Napoleon’s far reaching hand. Follow the path of the general and his army through...
Paris – Arrive in the City of Lights with an Introductory Walking Tour
Paris will enchant children and parents alike with stunning architecture, incredible history, dramatic art, and lavish cuisine. Cobblestone lanes line the River Seine, and the aroma of fresh macaroons emanates from a corner boulangerie. Your private transfer will collect your family from Charles de Gaulle Airport and escort you to a fabulous hotel situated near the Arc de Triomphe. Your luxurious accommodation stands steps from the famous street known as the Champs Elysees, and your room will have a balcony that overlooks the glistening Parisian skyline.
Your guide will meet your family in the lobby ready to lead you through the meandering streets of the city for an introductory tour, ending in the Champs du Mars, the park connected to the Eiffel Tower. The iconic monument of Paris was erected in the 19th century as the entryway to the World’s Fair and the wrought iron display reaches nearly 1,000 feet tall. An elevator takes your family to the lookout point that offers pristine views of the city. You will be able to see the Chartres Cathedral in the distance, which stands more than 42 miles away.
Paris – Half-Day Tour of the Iconic Art and Architecture of Napoleon’s Paris
The heart of Paris connects to the legend and myth of Napoleon. Due to the general’s influence, the oldest neighborhoods in Paris were rebuilt with proper sewer systems and wider streets, giving rise to the charming architectural design and city planning for which Paris is known today. At breakfast, your kids will delight in a fresh croissant, accompanied by rich hot chocolate. You will sip on a frothy, decadent cappuccino before meeting your guide in the lobby. The day’s plans will take you to the beautiful streets of the city to view the history of Napoleon and the known splendor of Paris up-close.
Your guide will take you first to the Invalides Palace. The aroma of manicured grass fills the air in the large park at the forefront of the structure as couples stroll alongside the Seine River and across Invalides Bridge. The palace was erected in the 17th century as a hospital and nursing home for war veterans, and it now contains the Museum of the French Army as well as the Museum of Contemporary History. The large dome has a harmonious connection with the large portico and entrance pediment.
As you walk towards the entrance, your family will sense the grandeur of the building and the environment that surrounds it as Parisians linger on the grass and picnic or play soccer, enjoying the morning air. The lavish interior matches the stunning exterior as a red quartzite tomb holds the ashes of the famous general inside a pristine rotunda as statues frame the niches and watch over the sleeping general. Your guide will explain the distinct design of the Parisian streets as you enjoy the walk between Les Invalides and the famous Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris.
Paris – Explore the Treasures of the Louvre Gallery Before a Pastry Tour
In the morning, the cafes set out tables and chairs along the cobblestone streets and patrons leisurely sip their cappuccinos while watching passersby. The shop windows along the Champs Elysees display opulent jewelry and elaborate pastry-work. Your guide will meet your family after breakfast and lead you to the famous Louvre Museum, which houses upwards of 30,000 artworks and artifacts across 645,834 square feet. Napoleon I helped enrich the museum’s collection during his campaigns across Europe and the building casts a striking figure along the banks of the Seine with the edge of lush greenery due to the nearby Tuileries Gardens.
The kids will marvel at the glass pyramid reaching a height of 72 feet, and the sunlight will glare off of the 675 glass panes. Once inside the foyer, the true labyrinth of the museum comes to life. Your guide will offer the kids a scavenger hunt challenge after having carefully curated which exhibits you will walk through. The kids will be on the lookout for certain symbols, figures, and characters throughout the museum as you scour the walls and podiums for valuable pieces only on display in at the Louvre.
Your children will be struck with awe at the age and scale much of what they see as they begin with the ancient structures. Adorning the Daru Staircase stands the Hellenistic masterpiece Winged Victory. The statue was constructed in the 2nd century BC and depicts the goddess Nike with a sense of spiraling movement. The wings have a texture that makes it looks as though the feathers blow in the breeze as the clothing clings to the body as though wet from the sea, adding a sense of realism to the surreal quality of the wings. After touring the artwork, your guide will lead you on a remarkable pastry tour of the St. Germain district, home to outstanding patisseries and confectionaries.
Paris – Visit the Palace of Versailles and Gardens
The palace of Versailles embodies the opulence and cushioned life of French kings and queens. After breakfast, you will venture to the palace grounds for an unforgettable tour of the lavish interior and expansive gardens at your leisure. You will take with you a picnic lunch filled with French staples, such as cheeses, a baguette, jam, fresh fruit, and salami. The palace represented the aristocracy before Napoleon; however, the general left his stamp across all of Paris, including in the apartments arranged for Empress Marie-Louise, Napoleon’s second wife.
The palace was built in the 17th century as a hunting lodge for Louis XIII and transitioned into a palace between late 17th and early 18th centuries. The gilded frame of the rooftop accentuates the pink marble of the entrance. Your guide will lead your family through the magnificent halls and galleries of the former noble residence. The Hall of Mirrors stretches to a length of nearly 240 feet and features 17 large ornamental mirrors. Each mirror contains subsections to create a beautiful reflection of the windows and golden stands topped with beautiful crystals.
The hall stood between the Grand Apartments which creates an unmistakable impression. Your tour will continue in the gardens where you will rent bicycles to delight in the fresh air and the exploration of the pathways that traverse the 1,976 acres. You will ride past intricate fountains and trickling waterfalls to reach the tiny Austrian village constructed for Marie-Antoinette. Mock peasant homes frame the mill and lead to working farm buildings, including a dairy as the aroma of oranges and blossoming flowers fills the air.
Paris – Enjoy a Day to Discover the Wonders of Paris
In the morning, the boats moored along the Seine wade in the current as barges float down the canal to reach through the countryside both north and south. Small bookshops, known as bouquinistes, open alongside the streets that overlook the river. The tradition of sidewalk book stops began in the 16th century after the Renaissance ushered in an era of literacy, and it will be hard to resist browsing. After breakfast, the day is yours to enjoy the splendors of Paris at the family’s preferred pace. Delight in the remarkable Monet paintings at the Musee de l’Orangerie or stroll through the old arcades of the city to bask in the natural light and local boutiques. For a unique discovery of Paris, go underground to the catacombs on a private tour of the maze-like network of tunnels and caves carved into the limestone beneath the city.
The air is noticeably cooler than above ground. Mushroom farms once thrived in the damp nature of the tunnels, and even the Banque of France once stored gold bars unbeknownst to local Parisians. Bones of people affected by the French Revolution, the plague, and the guillotine line the tunnels to offer insight into the history of Paris. A spiral staircase leads down to the caverns and the kids will enjoy wandering beneath the city as they will feel like explorers in search of hidden treasure. Eventually, you will run alongside the sewer system erected in the 1850s, and you might relish the fact that you are following in the footsteps of storytellers, from Victor Hugo in Les Miserables to Little Chef in the Pixar film Ratatouille.
Venice – Transfer to the City on the Lagoon and Tour the Grand Canal
Napoleon’s goal, like many French kings before him, was to retake the lands once connected to Charlemagne’s empire. You will follow in the general’s footsteps after breakfast as your private transfer will collect your family and escort you to Charles de Gaulle Airport for your flight to Venice. The Venetian Republic fell to Napoleonic forces at the end of the 18th century with troops occupying the once neutral state. Your flight will land at Marco Polo International Airport. Your private transfer escorts the family to the edge of the Grand Canal.
Vaporettos and gondolas traverse the waterway, which reaches a length of two miles before it opens into the lagoon. You will step aboard a private boat for an introductory tour of the famous city on the canal. Venice is a series of more than 100 islands connected by arching bridges, the most famous of which is the Rialto Bridge. The structure was the singular footpath crossing the Grand Canal from the 13th to the 19th century, and the edifice in its current form took shape in the late 15th century after the original wooden bridge burnt down.
The Rialto Bridge spans 24 feet and contains jewelry, linen, and Murano glass shops that line the interior beneath the grand portico. Your kids will point out the gorgeous palaces and the noticeable campanile that reaches a height of 323 feet. You will notice the life of the city all around you as locals go about daily life along the waterway.
Venice – Uncover the Hidden Gems of St. Mark’s Square on a Half-Day Tour
Your family will put on their detective hats once more during your excursion to uncover the secret lives of historical Venetians. In the morning, you will notice an immediate difference between the City of Light and the City on the Lagoon. Café tables sit beside the lapping water, but these locals do not linger with their cappuccino in the morning; instead they stand at the bar to sip their espresso and eat flaky, sweet brioche before moving on quickly. After breakfast, your guide will lead you across the Rialto Bridge and through the bustling crowd of market-goers eager to find the freshest seafood from the vendors at the daily Rialto Market. Your guide will captivate your kids with a hunt to see who can find the most lions in the city.
The lion first became the symbol of the city in the 9th century when the relics of St. Mark arrived. Each lion has a different meaning depending on whether the lion has wings or not. Those with wings may also contain an open or closed book, to reference whether or not Venice was in a time of peace during the lion’s placement. You will enter St. Mark’s Square and your eyes will be drawn immediately to the glistening gilded façade of St. Mark’s Basilica. The kids will notice the pink marble façade of the Doge’s palace, knowing that a Duke lived inside the Gothic structure. The Verona marble and slender columns combine to create a lace-like pattern across the façade.
At the edge of the Grand Canal, you will find the Venetian icon known as the Bridge of Sighs. The elegant curve and latticed windows represent the final walk a person made before their pending incarceration. Inside the palace, the family will step beyond the opulent halls and graceful galleries to discover the Compass Room. A large wooden compass adorns the statue of Justice to mark the direction of truth. The room acted as an antechamber to the Inquisitor’s Room, where people awaited their fate from the local magistrates. The palatial rooms used to administer justice were connected vertically.
Venice – Witness Napoleon’s Venice and Delight in a Family Cooking Class
In the morning, you will continue to follow in the footsteps of Napoleon with a guided walking tour of the city and its artistic side. Your guide will explain the hints of the French language that are noticeable in the Venetian dialect, stemming from the occupation during the Napoleonic wars. The kids will continue to point out the lions found across the city, keeping track to make sure they haven’t counted twice as the bridges and cobbled streets crisscross the city create a unique labyrinth.
You will reach the Galleria dell’Accademia, an art museum founded in the 19th century by Napoleon located inside a former religious complex. The collection now contains the best collection of Venetian art under one roof. The kids will embark on another scavenger hunt filled with Venetian, mythological, and religious symbols. The grand gallery stands upstairs and contains vivid works enhanced by the color and drama of the content. In Room 23, even the kids will marvel at the convent chapel as the painting La Tempesta, by Giorgione, features a striking summer lightning bolt behind a nursing mother and passing soldier.
Your tour of the art and architecture will lead you to a private home overlooking a quiet canal. Your instructor will greet the children with a wide smile like a quintessential Italian grandmother. The kids will be excited to cook and eat real Italian food made with their own hands. Your instructor will teach the entire family the proper way to make fresh pasta, by creating a volcano with the flour and putting the eggs at the center. She slowly mixes the combination to form the dough.
Venice – See the Gondola Boatyard and Visit the Islands around the Lagoon
The Napoleonic influence of Venice fills the museum galleries and even the language of Venice. However, the beauty and soul of the Republic remain. After breakfast, you and the kids will set out on an active tour the islands around the lagoon with rented bikes from Lido. The neighborhood offered the first beach resorts in Europe and maintain the decadence of their Art Nouveau facades. The water laps at the golden sand with the Venetian lagoon located behind the gilded framed hotels that rise above the beaches.
You will board a ferry to ride like a local to the neighboring island of Pellestrina. The flatlands around the water offer perfect trails for you and the kids to enjoy the breeze and seaside panoramas as boats pull into the harbor in the distance. You will join in the contemporary lifestyle of Venetians as you bike around the levee that protects the trail from the splash of the sea. Sporadic mist sprays over the wall as fishing villages continue to stand at the edge of the water. Pellesterina embodies the tradition of local fishing villages with colorfully painted homes shining against the sea front.
Shacks built on stilts rise above the calm sea as fishermen continue to keep their equipment inside the shacks. You can continue to the charming town of Chioggia located at the edge of the lagoon, connected by a long bridge to mainland Italy that includes a fishing port offering access to the Adriatic Sea. Small fishing boats moor against the edges of cobblestone walkways and the Chiesa di San Domenico off the main street contains works by Tintoretto and Bassano.
Venice – Depart for Home
In the morning, the gondolas return to the canals of the city to pass the café tables and paddle beneath the open window shutters. At breakfast, the kids will share their favorite moments during the trip, from visiting the boatyard where craftsmen have made gondolas for centuries, to dining on French pastries and chocolates. Venice and Paris are often considered two of the most romantic cities in the world, however, they can enchant an entire family just as easily as a couple. In the morning, the kids will take the Carnival masks they made during their time in the city and wear them through the streets one last time. Your private transfer will collect your family on the hotel’s private dock when you are ready and escort you to Marco Polo Airport for your flight home.
- Wander through the secret chambers and hidden halls of the Doge’s Palace in Venice
- Enjoy a private tour of the Grand Canal to witness the grandeur of the former Venetian Republic, along with the hints of Napoleonic influence
- Delight in a family cooking class where the kids can dig their hands into the flour to learn the art making Italian pasta from scratch
- Relish the artistic side of Carnival with a mask making class for the entire family, teaching the history of the art form alongside the fun of the craft
- Witness how gondolas are made with a visit to the historical boatyard inside which craftsmen have passed down the trade through family for generations
- Delight in a unique discovery of Paris during a tour of the catacombs located beneath the meandering city streets
- Embark on a delicious exploration of Paris’s confectionaries and patisseries while tasting the tasty treats crafted in each celebrated store you visit
- Interact with the art at the Louvre in Paris and the Galleria dell’Accademia of Venice with scavenger hunts to keep the entire family engaged
- Bike ride across the islands of Venice and through the expansive gardens at Versailles for a distinctive active discovery of past and present culture
- Marvel at the splendid streets and lavish palaces of Paris after the Napoleonic wars
- Visit the pristine rotunda holding Napoleon’s opulent tomb inside Les Invalides
Paris and Venice are two cities that embody indelible romance, but when you step beyond the surface, you will find the history, culture, and monuments sure to captivate the entire family. Your 10-day tour will exemplify adventure and art, history and cuisine focused on bringing your family together. From learning to cook pasta with an Italian mother to bike riding around the gardens of Versailles, the pleasures of Paris and Venice are fun for the whole family, and can even offer a chance for a romantic evening or two.
Your adventures will begin with your family’s arrival at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. Your private transfer will escort you to your gorgeous hotel near the famous Champs Elysees. You will have an introductory tour of the city’s iconic sites to take you from the Arc de Triomphe to the Eiffel Tower where you can venture to the top of the tower for a view of the city at dusk. The next day, your private guide will lead your family on a remarkable walking tour of Paris’s neighborhoods to offer you images of the city before and after the Napoleonic wars. Visit the general’s tomb at Les Invalides and then walk through the historical lanes to see Notre Dame de Paris. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to delight in the charms of Paris. You could take a river cruise down the Seine for a different perspective of the City of Lights, or wander the Parisian streets to take in the charm found at every corner.
The next day, your guide will lead you on a fabulous tour of the Louvre Museum. The kids will embark on a scavenger hunt as you embrace the splendor of the artwork and artifacts on display. In the afternoon, your family will relish the fabled flavors of Parisian confections during a sweets tour of one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods. Venture outside of Paris the following day for the Palace of Versailles. Your private guided tour will take you through the halls and galleries of France’s pristine and opulent past. Spend time in the garden with a picnic lunch for your family to enjoy before traversing the expansive trails around the stunning grounds by bike.
The next day will be at your family’s leisure to discover the wonders of the city as you desire. Visit Montmartre or watch a traditional puppet show, or troll through a local farmers market or wander along the legendary catacombs winding beneath the city. Venture next to Venice as your private transfer will escort you to the airport for your flight. You will continue to the edge of the Grand Canal to meet your private boat, and your family will enjoy a tour of the Grand Canal as an introduction to the City on the Lagoon. At the end of your tour, the boat will drop your family off at the private dock of your luxury hotel. The next day, your guide will lead your family on a tour through the secrets of St. Mark’s Square, from the secluded chambers in the Doge’s Palace to the hidden gems often unnoticed by visitors inside St. Mark’s Cathedral.
In the afternoon, your family will partake in an excited mask-making outing to learn the history and art of carnival masks in the city. The next day, you will tour the museums, churches, and streets of Venice on a guided tour that will point out the lasting influences of the Republic and Napoleon. Visit the Accademia to view elaborate Venetian art and delight in watching the kids get their hands on traditional ingredients during a private cooking class. Continue the next day as your family will visit the islands along the lagoon. You can bike ride from the neighborhood of Lido to the small town of Chioggia, or visit the islands of Murano and Burano by private boat. The next day, your private transfer will meet the family in the hotel lobby and escort you to Marco Polo Airport for your flight home.
$2,745 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
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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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