The Spirit of France and Italy

Day 1 | Paris
Bienvenue en France! We will arrive to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport where our guide will be waiting us. After we have freshened up and checked-in at the hotel we will leave for our Panoramic City tour of the beautiful and romantic Paris. We will end our first day with a dinner at a local restaurant. (D)

Day 2 | Paris
After breakfast at the hotel we start our day at the famous Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris, often known simply as Notre Dame in English. Notre Dame is a Gothic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in Paris. It is widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. Continue our visit to the Sainte Chapelle, a masterpiece of Flamboyant Gothic architecture built by Saint Louis in the heart of the Palais de la Cité on the Ile de la Cité in Paris. Discover its unique stained glass windows rendering the air iridescent with light and colour, symbols of the Heavenly Jerusalem. After lunch at a local restaurant, private transfer for a visit at the Tour Eiffel. At the time of its construction in 1889, the tower was the tallest structure in the world, a title it retained until 1930, when New York City’s Chrysler Building was completed. The tower is the second-highest structure in France and the highest structure in Paris. Last but not least we visit on top of the Arc de Triomphe, at Place de l’Étoile at the top of the Champs-Élysées. A symbol of the French nation, it links old and new Paris, standing on the highest point of the line running from the Louvre to the Grande Arche de la Défense. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in Paris. (B, L, D)

Day 3 | Versailles
We meet our local guide in the lobby for a morning drive to Versailles where we will explore the Château de Versailles with its glittering Hall of Mirrors which was used by Louis XIV as a council room, and the gardens which were laid out by the great landscape artist, Le Nôtre, who managed to perfect the model of formal French gardens. We enjoy our lunch in a typical restaurant in Versailles. During the afternoon discover the famous Gardens & Fountains of the Chateau. Take advantage of some free time to stroll through the French gardens surrounded by sculptures statues, busts, marble vases made from 1661 by teams of sculptors initially supervised by Charles Le Brun, the King’s favorite painter. Return to Paris in the afternoon and end of the afternoon at leisure. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in Paris. (B,L,D)

Day 4 | Paris – Rome
Today we depart to our second destination, ITALY! We will be transferred to the airport of Paris – Orly for our flight to Rome. We will meet our local guide at the airport and he takes us in the heart of the eternal city, Rome (after dropping our luggage at the hotel). This walking tour starts from the Amphiteatrum Flavium, better known as the Colosseum (or Coliseum). Originally built under Emperor Vespasian, the Colosseum was opened to the public in 80 AD, here thousands of cruel fights between beasts and slaves took place since then. Gladiators, are the slaves forced to fight were called, had here they moments of glory and, eventually, of death. The tour gives you the chance to understand and see also how the machinery worked, where the arena was and where spectators were seated, the kind of shows and fights that took place in there. From the terrace on the first floor of the Colosseum you will have the chance to admire the majesty of the triumphal Arch of the Emperor Constantine. Nearby this arch, the Roman Forum is a journey into ancient roman history: from Romulus and Remo to the early Seven Kings, from deeds of the age of Julio Caesar to the decandence of the Late Empire every man who ruled Rome left a reminder of himself in Rome main public square. In the end you’ll enjoy the breathtaking view from Capitoline Hill, the main of the Seven Hills of Rome, where Michelangelo designed in the Renaissance a monumental square built upon the ancient roman ruins. Overnight in Rome. (B,D)

Day 5 | Rome
Today we explore some more of the ancient Rome; we visit the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and Saint Peters Basilica followed by a lunch in the Vatican. In the afternoon we do a walk in the heart of Baroque Rome: Starting from Trevi Fountain, the monumental celebration of the Virgin Aqueduct, we will walk to Piazza di Spagna to admire the beautyfull so called “Spanish Steps” designed in 1722 by Francesco de Sanctis. After crossing the XIX century Galleria Colonna recently restored and opened to the public, we’ll visit then Piazza Colonna, named after the Column in honour of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius. We will stroll to Piazza Montecitorio, with the 18th century old tribunal which is now the seat of Italian Parliament, Piazza Sant’Ignazio, beautiful “rococò” square and the Jesuit renaissance church with the illusionist dome by Andrea Pozzo. We’ll enter th Pantheon with its huge ancient roman dome and the grave of the great Italian artist Raphael, the church of St. Louis of France, with the famous canvases by Caravaggio, the eclectic dome of Saint Ivo alla Sapienza by Borromini. Our tour finish off with Piazza Navona and its famous fountain of the Four Rivers designed by Bernini for the Pope Innocent X Pamphilj. – In the evening we will taste the best pizza in the world in a local Italian pizzeria. Overnight in Rome. (B, L, D)

Day 6 | Rome
Morning Appian Way, Catacombs and Caracalla Thermal Baths Tour. In ancient roman times called “regina viarum” the first paved public road was built by the consul Appius Claudius Ciecus in the year 312 B C. It’s undoubtedly the best preserved ancient roman road: the first 8 miles, starting from the Gate of Saint Sebastian, are surrounded by the Roman Countryside, with many burial monuments of any size and shape, a unique evidence of the roman custom, among them we’ll visit the Tomb of Cecilia Metella, and overlook the Villa of the Emperor Massentius, with its huge private Circus and the Tomb of his son Romulus. Along the same road the Christians excavated their cemeteries, called by the pagan Romans “Catacombs”, a Greek word meaning Caves. Lunch by San Giovanni , visit of San Giovanni in Laterano. Most tourists are unaware of the Basilica Di San Giovanni on the other side of Rome from the Vatican, and would probably be surprised to learn that this Basilica ranks above all other churches in the Roman Catholic Church, even above St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. The Basilica of St John Lateran (Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano) is the cathedral church of Rome and the official seat of the Bishop of Rome, who is the Pope. As such the Basilica contains the papal throne, although the pope rarely visits and lives over at the Vatican. On the way back we’ll take a panoramic view of the Caracalla Thermal Baths. Return to the hotel. We enjoy a free afternoon or do an optional tour of Trastevere and Undergrounds. Dinner in Restaurant. Overnight in Rome. (B, L, D)

Day 7 | Rome
Today is our last day in Rome. We will visit the Galleria Borghese, known as the Queen of the Private Art Collections, a unique XVII century collection of Renaissance and Baroque painting, Ancient Roman and Modern Sculptures, originally created by the powerful Cardinal Scipione Borghese. Before we enjoy our free afternoon, we will have lunch at a local restaurant. Overnight in Rome. (B, L, D)

Day 8 | Depature day
After breakfast we will check out and head to the airport to catch our flight back to the home continent. Merci beaucoup et a bientôt! (B)

 

Starting price
15 – 19 students + 1 chaperone: 2 120 € / student
20 students + 1 chaperone: 2 020 € / student
PLEASE NOTE! The prices are in Euros and equivalent of $ 2904.21 with the exchange rate of May 2014.
(Price depends on the time traveling e.g. Christmas and New Years period are peak season)

Price includes:
All the transfers mentioned in the program with van, flight Paris – Rome – Paris with a price of 225 €, accommodation in an economic hotel/hostel, all the meals as mentioned in the program (B, L, D), all the activities mentioned in the program with entrance fees, a Students Journey guide.

Price does not include:
Flights, beverages and meals not specified, phone calls and personal expenses, travel insurance, tips, all other services stated as optional or not explicitly stated as included.


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