Custom Tours to France & Italy: Packages from Paris to Rome
Nestled on the mountainside: A Provence village
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Europe Tour Packages: Paris – Côte d'Azur – Rome

After travelling by rental car through some of the most scenic regions of France, you will switch to the rails for a trip around the Riviera to Milan, then continue on to Venice, Florence and Rome.

This trip will be customized according to your wishes.

Paris

Paris

35 km | 36 minutes
A

Paris

Glamorous metropolis

Paris is more than just a city – the name itself is legend. From the late Middle Ages to the nine­teenth century the focus of the entire country was on Paris, the center of western culture and a major influ­ence on western history.

The city's layout and build­ings reflect its cultural and polit­ical signif­icance: the Champ-Elysées and the Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur, Place de la Concorde and Notre Dame. Paris is also consid­ered by many to be the most beau­tiful city in the world. The museums of the French capital are unpar­al­leled. From the Louvre to the Orsay, from the Centre Pompidou to the Rodin to the Cité des Sciences, each museum offers a unique aesthetic expe­r­i­ence. More­over, names like Faubourg, Saint Honoré and the Avenue Montaigne are remin­ders that Paris is famous for fashion. A shopping excur­sion with a stop for pastries at a picturesque street café is a must in Paris. Whether you prefer the opera, a ballet, clas­sical music, jazz, a night club or a dance revue, the word Paris is synony­mous with night-life. In the surrounding local­i­ties you can expe­r­i­ences aristo­cratic Paris: Versailles, Fontainebleau, Saint-Germain and Vaux-le-Vicomte. Here trav­elers are invited to escape to the glitter of the Louis XIV era.

Accommodation: A small inn near the Louvre

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

This enchanting little hotel is situ­ated in the heart of Paris, in the shadow of the Louvre. It is so close to St. Germain l'Auxerrois that you can hear the hymns from the former “King's Church” and see the Gothic windows from your bedroom.

In the cellar there is an old printing press that was used to print illegal leaflets during the French Revo­lu­tion. It is said that the recep­tion area was once the Café Momus (a debating club of the revo­lu­tion­aries) and it was here that Puccini allowed parts of his opera “La Boheme” to be played. Breakfast, true to Parisian custom, is served in your suite. The hotel is air condi­tioned. Sophie Aulnette has managed the hotel for the past 10 years and person­ally attends to her guests' comfort. Tickets to local museums and other attrac­tions can be purchased at a shop near the hotel.

Île-de-France

Cradle of today's France
The metropol­itan area of Paris is like an island between the rivers Seine, Marne, Oise and Beuvronne. However, the name does not derive from the insular posi­tion, but from the Old Frankish name “Liddle Franke”, which means some­thing like “Little France”. The Île-de-France was the nucleus of today's France, as evidenced by magnif­i­cent castles, churches and gardens. The French language of today goes back to a dialect in this region. Today it is by far the most densely popu­lat­ed re­gion in France. Nearly 20 percent of all French resi­dents live in the “Paris agglom­er­a­tion”.

Louvre

From a royal palace to the most visited museum in the world
For centuries, the Louvre served as the palace of the French kings and was the largest construc­tion site in France. Almost every king made changes to it. In the 12th century it was still a proud castle but was expanded over the course of the next two centuries to become a symbolic resi­dence. The four wings around the square court­yard are what remain of the orig­inal palace. When Louis XIV moved his resi­dence to Versailles, the building was left to dete­r­i­o­rate. The Louvre did not become a museum until after the French Revo­lu­tion when the National Assembly decided to use it to collect and exhibit the artistic treasures seized from the nobility. Today, the Louvre receives around ten million visitors every year and is the largest museum in the world. Its collec­tions include over 380,000 pieces, and only about a tenth of them are on display. Its most famous painting is prob­ably the Mona Lisa, which Leon­ardo da Vinci painted around the year 1503.

Quartier Latin

From a student district to a tourist center
The tradi­tional student district in Paris is located near Sorbonne Univer­sity and is known as the Quartier Latin, because Latin had been the language of scho­l­ar­ship for many centuries. Numerous writers lived in the area, including Honoré de Balzac, Gabriel García Márquez and Klaus Mann. During the student riots in 1968, the quarter became the scene of heavy fighting in the streets. Thou­sands of students were arrested and hundreds were seri­ously injured by the police during the “Night of the Barricades.” When the trade unions called for a national strike in support of the students, Pres­i­dent de Gaulle stepped down. Not many students live here today since the rent is unafford­able and they have given way to popular restau­rants and boutiques.

From Paris to Beaune

Rental car pick-up

Paris

4 km | 15 minutes

Rental car pick-up

Broker: Sunny Cars GmbH
Company: Alamo
Vehicle: Opel Astra or similar (CDMR)
Loca­tion: Paris City (Railway Station)

From Paris to Beaune

315 km | 3:30 h
After leaving the Isle de France you will cross the Morvan, a lush nature reserve. You will enter Burgundy near Autun. The capital of Burgundy, Dijon, with its historic townscape is defi­nitely worth visiting.

Vaux-le-Vicomte

Magnif­i­cent palace of a corrupt super­in­ten­dent of finances
This clas­sical Baroque palace is not much older than Versailles and was the most magnif­i­cent palace in Europe after its construc­tion from 1656 to 1661. Three villages had to be moved to make room for the huge building complex. The palace did not belong to the king, but rather Nicolas Fouquet, his super­in­ten­dent of finances. He made the mistake of inviting Louis XIV to his extrav­agant cele­bra­tion at the building's comple­tion. Louis himself owned nothing of comparable splendor. Fouquet was arrested three weeks after the party for embezzling state funds, meaning that the proud palace owner had little time to enjoy his luxu­rious estate. He spent the last 19 years of his life in consid­er­ably less comfort – in prison.

Fontainebleau

Fontainebleau is renowned for the large and scenic forest of Fontainebleau, a favou­rite weekend getaway for Parisians, as well as for the histor­ical château de Fontainebleau, which once belonged to the kings of France and is one of the largest castles in France. The Fontainebleau style combined allegor­ical paint­ings in moulded plas­terwork where the framing was treated as if it were leather or paper, slashed and rolled into scrolls and combined with arabesques and grotesques. Fontainebleau ideals of female beauty are Mannerist: a small neat head on a long neck, exag­ger­at­edly long torso and limbs, small high breasts-almost a return to Late Gothic beau­ties. The new works at Fontainebleau were recorded in refined and detailed engrav­ings that circu­lated among connois­seurs and artists.

Forest of Fontainebleau

Deer and sand­stone rocks in a romantic oak forest
The Forêt de Fontainebleau is one of the largest contiguous forest areas of Western Europe. 3,000 fungi and 7,000 animal species – most of them insects – thrive in the more than 25,000 hectares of oak forest. During the 19th century, artists of the French romanticism discov­ered the refuge. They were partic­u­larly fascinated by rutting deer and the bizarre sand­stone rocks, which are now mainly used by climbers. Although the forest is almost entirely man-made, it has all the charm of an unspoilt natural landscape.
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Burgundy

World-famous wines, soothing cultural landscape

Burgundy must be enjoyed with all five senses, espe­cially the eyes! In Dijon you can visit the palace of the Dukes of Burgundy, the museum of fine arts and the beau­tiful old town.

Other high­lights in the vicinity are the Roma­nesque Basilica of Vézelay, Beaune with its famous high peaks and brightly painted roof tiles, and Nevers with its cathedrals. Out­side the cities the beau­tiful landscape beckons. The forests in Morvan Nature Park seem to have existed since the dawn of civil­i­sa­tion. An excur­sion on foot or horseback is an unfor­gettable expe­r­i­ence. Waterways covering a distance of 1,200 km repre­sent a tranquil means of trans­port to the castles, abbeys and convents in one of the most beau­tiful regions of France. The wines of Burgundy are world famous and include Chablis, Côtes-de-Nuits, Côtes-de-Beaune, Côtes-Chalonnaises, Maconnais and Pouilly. The wines are rivalled in importance by the region's cuisine. Visitors shouldn't miss such special­i­ties as the famous vine­yard snails, eggs meurette (in delicate wine sauce), hams from the Morvan hills, Charo­lais beef and Bresse chicken.

Accommodation: Hotel Le Cep

1 Night | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast | 1x Private Parking Garage

The manor house has served as an inn since the 16th century and many famous people have stayed there – including Ludwig XIV.

The prop­erty was fully reno­vated in 1986 and turned into a modern hotel. One of the towers contains a glass elevator which offers nice views of the old town. The rooms are deco­rated with price­less antiques. The hotel has a first-class restau­rant with an excel­lent wine cellar. The old wine cellar, a cosy room with a low, arched stone ceiling, is used as a Breakfast room when the court­yard cannot be used due to incle­ment weather.

Beaune

The wine capital of Burgundy
With its medieval build­ings in the historic city center, its magnif­i­cent loca­tion in the heart of the Cote d'Or wine region, and its numerous restau­rants and wine cellars, this city with a popu­la­tion of 23,000 is one of the most rewarding destina­tions in Burgundy. The best sight to see is the Hotel de Dieue, a splendid 15th century hospital. The Office de Tourisme and the Bureau Interpro­fes­sionell des Vins will tell you where to find vine­yards, wine tast­ings and wine seminars.

Dijon

City of the Dukes of Burgundy
This city's histor­ical appear­ance with its magnif­i­cent palaces and numerous artistic treasures testify to its past importance. As early as Roman times, there was a settle­ment here called Divio, which was located on the major road from Lyon to Mainz. Yet the city's heyday came a thou­sand years later when Dijon became part of the Duchy of Burgundy and, in 1477, the capital of the royal province of Burgundy. The focal point of the beau­tiful old town is the Place de la Libéra­tion with the Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy. Its east wing houses one of the most distin­guished art museums in France, the Musée des Beaux Arts. The city's most famous son is Gustave Eiffel, who designed the city's market hall. Today, Dijon has a popu­la­tion of around 150,000 and a large univer­sity with 30,000 students.

Tournus

Romantic wine villages, palaces and castle ruins
The town of Tournus is situ­ated on the right bank of the Saône surrounded by the idyllic wine-growing region of southern Burgundy. Its cathedral, St. Philibert, is among the most signif­icant Roma­nesque build­ings in France. It houses relics of Saint Philibert that were brought here for safe­keeping during the Norman inva­sions. To the southwest of the town lies the charming Mâconnais hill country with its ancient wine villages, palaces, castle ruins and Roma­nesque churches. The region's mystical and peaceful atmo­sphere seems to have espe­cially appealed to the monastic orders drawn to the area.

From Beaune to Lagnes

398 km | 4:30 h

Lyon

Renais­sance ensemble with dining scene
The third largest city of France is a modern indus­trial and commer­cial metropolis with heavy traffic and dreary suburbs. Never­the­less, Lyon is worth a visit: The Old Town is one of the best preserved Renais­sance ensem­bles in Europe. Narrow streets and covered passage­ways lead through its center. There is also a lively cultural and culinary scene. The cuisine is varied, prob­ably because of the proximity to the Alps and commer­cial rela­tions to the Mediterranean. North and south of the city lie the world-famous wine-growing regions Beaujo­lais and Côtes du Rhône.

Languedoc Rous­sillon

Versa­tile coast between Pyre­nees and Rhône
The region along the Mediterranean coast between Rhône and the Pyre­nees is partic­u­larly diverse: The coast offers endless sandy beaches, Cathar castles can be found inland, often located on spectac­ular hill tops. Charming cities such as Bezier, the capital of wine, or the lively univer­sity town of Montpellier lie between France's oldest vine­yards.

Commu­nauté de Taizé

Mystical church services and meeting point for young people
The history of this ecumenical monastic order began in 1940 when Roger Schütz, a Reformed theolo­gian from Geneva, bought a house in Taizé for helping war refugees on their way to Marseille. He fled from the gestapo in 1942, but returned with the first monks after the being freed in 1944. The modern Church of Recon­cil­ia­tion was built in the early 1960s by German youths from the Action Recon­cil­ia­tion move­ment. Students from Paris, Frankfurt and Berlin were soon coming to discuss justice and spir­itu­ality with the monks. Today, thou­sands of young people meet here every week to partake in the simple lifestyle of the commu­nity. The church services are very impres­sive with their dim candle­light and simple poly­phonic singing, which combines modern and Grego­rian elements. They are held every day at 8:15 am and 8:30 pm and are open to the public.

Around Chateau de Nobles

Burgun­dian meadows from the picture book
The trail starts at the Chateau de Nobles, a private country castle from the 16th century and takes you through an idyllic Burgun­dian landscape up to the historic village of Vieux Brancion, where you can take a break at a sandwich shop. From above you have a wide view of the gentle picture book landscape (there and back: 2:15 hours, 8.2 kilome­tres, up and down: 160 metres).
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Provence

Eldorado for painters and artists

The center of the former Roman “Provincia Fallia Narboniensis” forms the Bas Provence around the city of Avignon. It is one of the oldest cultural landscapes of Europe and has written world history more than once.

During the schism of the medieval church, along­side the Pope in Rome there was another one, residing in Avignon and shaping the city and region. Ancient towns nestle in the mountain wilder­ness, deserted villages are being reclaimed by nature. In addi­tion to cities such as Arles, Nimes or Aix visitors can find almost untouched landscapes: Mont Ventoux, the highest massif of the Provence or the endless oak forests of the Luberon. Consid­ering the pleasant Mediterranean climate, it is under­stand­able that this land has always attracted trav­elers, painters and artists.

Accommodation: An inn in Lagnes

3 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Dinner, Bed & Breakfast

This country inn is located in the regional park of Luberon in the heart of Provence. The 200-year-old building, which is typical of Provence, has been metic­u­lously restored.

It exudes joie de vivre and comfort. Each of the 14 rooms has unique furnish­ings with tradi­tional furni­ture, colorful tiles, local fabrics and warm colors. Most of the rooms are large enough for fami­lies. The sizable park shaded by sycamores offers a refreshing pool for hot days. The food is a daily high­light here. An ample Breakfast is served with homemade jams, fresh fruit from the market and figs from the inn's own garden. In the even­ings, your host, Thierry, will conjure up a tasty seasonal meal made with local ingre­di­ents. If you are inter­ested, you can even take a cooking course delving into the secrets of Mediterranean cuisine.

Luberon

The beau­tiful country­side of Provence
The beau­tiful country­side of Provence was declared a biosphere reserve (Réserve de la Biosphère) by UNESCO. The landscape is char­ac­ter­ized by jagged rocks, wild gorges, deso­late peaks, pine forests and fields covered with lavender and grape vines. Gorgeous villages cling to the edges of cliffs. The 60 kilometer long mountain ridge that points from east to west is a paradise for hikers, bikers and nature lovers. The gorge of Lourmarin sepa­rates the Lesser Luberon in the west from the Greater Luberon in the east. The Greater Luberon reaches its highest eleva­tion at the Mourre Nègre (1,124 meters).

Avignon

City of Popes
Today, the city east of the Rhone has less than 100,000 inhab­i­tants. In the Middle Ages Avignon was a city of interna­tional standing. From here seven popes have reigned the Occi­dent during the schism from 1309-1376. At that time the town was a brilliant art center. The “City of Popes” was able to keep its city walls around the old town, the Palace of the Popes, the Bishops' complex and the bridge of Avignon undam­aged to the present day. The old town of Avignon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was Euro­pean Capital of Culture in 2000.

Sénanque

Cister­cian monastery in fields of lavender
This monastery is among the most famous in Provence. It is also a popular backdrop for photos owing to the fields of lavender that unveil their splendor every year between July and the beginning of August. Sénanque was founded in 1148 by Cister­cian monks known for their strict asceticism. The monastic rules were the strictest of their day. The plain build­ings are devoid of orna­menta­tion. The cloister is the only building with arches (48 of them) with short pillars. The monastery was disbanded during the French Revo­lu­tion, but was revived 40 years later.

From Lagnes to Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

117 km | 2:30 h
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Grand Canyon du Verdon

Mighty canyon in the Alpes Provençal

The River Verdon is a trib­utary of the River Durance. Along its 175 kilometer route it has dug a huge canyon into the Alps which is the deepest valley in Europe and one of its most impres­sive natural wonders.

The canyon is 21 km long, 700 m high and only 6 m wide in some places. It repre­sents a constant chal­lenge for climbers, white water rafters and well-equipped hikers. There is a road around the edge of the gorge which leads to splendid view­points.

An auberge near Manosque

1 Night | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

The auberge is situ­ated in a huge garden just one kilometre from Moustiers, a charming little village on the backdrop of high mountains.

Breakfast is excel­lent – and not just compared to the standard French Breakfast. The host is a passionate collector of antiques, old watches, and historic home appliances, so you will find such items all around the premises. The tranquil atmo­sphere is remark­able at this hotel, which is an ideal starting point for excur­sions to the Grand Canyon.

From Moustiers-Sainte-Marie to Vence

127 km | 3:00 h
Take D71 to Comps, D21 east­wards to T-junc­tion, turn left, then right on D2211. Cont­inue for 2 km, then turn right on D2 to Vence.
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Vence

Prealpine Town behind the coast

Tucked away in the mountains between Nice and Antibes is the charming town­ship of Vence. Its splendid loca­tion and medieval city center attracted many artists in the 19th century.

There is a lot to discover in the surrounding mountains: St-Paul-de-Vence with its old city wall, Haute-de-Cagnes, a picturesque village, and Tourettes sur Loup. Although the Côte d'Azur is one of the most popular tourist destina­tions worldwide, there are still plenty of places off the beaten track where you can enjoy the beauty of this unique region.

Accommodation: A residence in downtown Vence

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

This guest­house in downtown Vence was a pharmacy in the 18th century – the oldest pharmacy in the French Riviera.

The building subsequently served as the resi­dence of a wealthy family and was later used as a small hotel before being acquired by its current owners, who converted it into the elegant guest­house it is today. The innin­te­rior reflects Venceim­portance as a city of artists: the recep­tion area is deco­rated with modern sculp­tures and orig­inal paint­ings, while the living room contains a large library. The guest rooms are all air condi­tioned. A garden with a swimming pool is avai­l­able to guests.

Côte d’Azur

Holiday destina­tion par excel­lence: Côte d'Azur
The name “Azure Coast” goes back to Stéphen Liégeard's book enti­tled La Côte d'Azur, published in 1887. At that time the southern coast of France had just been discov­ered by wealthy Brits who liked to spend the winter between Menton on the Italian border and Saint-Tropez. The abun­dance of colors and shapes attracted many painters: Renoir, Matisse, Chagall and Picasso are only the well known among them. They left behind a number of museums, which are best visited during winter, when they are less busy. For many, the French Riviera is a holiday destina­tion par excel­lence because of its sun, beach and sea combined with a picturesque hinter­land and a few sophis­ticated cities.

Nice

Glam­orous capital of Côte d'Azur
Nice is the urbane capital of the Côte d'Azur. The “Sky-Blue Coast”, as the French call the Riviera, has been a vaca­tion paradise ever since it was discov­ered by British aristo­crats in the 18th century. The shield provided by the Alps just north of the city makes the climate pleasant all year around and promotes the growth of a wide variety of flora. The area's main attrac­tion, of course, are the endless beaches stretching along the coast. The fact that the 5th largest metropolis in France is just 30 km from the border to Italy becomes most apparent after sundown when the city's nightlife begins in the cobble stone streets of the Old Town.

Antibes

French flair and luxury yachts in Port Vauban
The port city with 75,000 inhab­i­tants is one of the oldest on the Côte d'Azur. “Antipolis” was founded around 340 by Greek merchants and became a bishop's seat in late antiq­uity. The seaside resort Juan-les-Pins was opened in 1882 and has since been incor­po­rated. At the beginning of the 20th century, writers and artists settled there, including Picasso, to whom a museum is dedicated at Château Grimaldi. Port Vauban is now one of the largest marinas in Europe, with up to 1700 luxury yachts anchoring here. The best view is from the fortress Fort Carré.

From Vence to Milano

Rental car drop-off

From Vence to Nice

17 km | 23 minutes
A short drive to Nice.

Rental car drop-off

Loca­tion: Nice Airport (Desk at Airport)

From Nice to Milano by rail

287 km | 5:00 h

Your train tickets will not be booked by Umfu­lana. You have several options to book them online. The two offi­cial websites of the local providers are www.italotreno.it and www.trenitalia.com.

Alterna­tively you can book on www.ital­iarail.com, where prices will be displayed in most currencies, but tend to be more expen­sive. Another option is to purchase your ticket on arrival at the station.

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Milano

Soccer, fashion and opera at its best

This city at the foot of the Alps, which was founded by Etruscans in 600 B.C. and conquered by the Romans in 222 A.D., is more than just the main city of Lombardy.

The second largest city in Italy after Rome is one of the world's leading commer­cial and finan­cial centers. The AC Milan and FC Internazionale play in the first divi­sion and at times in the Euro­pean Cham­pions League. The Milan opera, La Scala, is located in a clas­sical 18th century building and enjoys worldwide renown. Several histor­ical build­ings can be found in the city center. The most important of these is the Italy's largest Gothic cathedral, which took nearly 200 years to build starting in 1375 and holds 40,000 people. Close by is Milan's shopping district with its famous fashion designers and cozy cafés.

Downtown hotel in Milan

1 Night | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

This small, attrac­tive inn is located in an 18th century building in the heart of Milan, within walking distance of the opera and the famous Milan Cathedral.

All rooms in the 4 star hotel are air-condi­tioned and furnished with en-suite marble tile bath­rooms.

Po Valley

Renais­sance city in a fertile river valley
Italian's biggest river, the Po, orig­inates in the mountains of the Piemont and flows east­wards through a long river valley for 400 kilome­ters before emptying into the Adri­atic. The Alps are located at the northern end of the Po Valley and the Apennines are in the South. Local crops include sugar beets, corn, and espe­cially wine. The Po Valley lies in a temperate climate zone. Due to the cold winters, the vegeta­tion here has a more Central Euro­pean char­acter. The Po Valley witnessed a blooming urban culture during the Middle Ages and the Renais­sance. Its cities include Bologna, Turin, Milan, Mantua, Pavia, Cremona and Parma. These were city-states where science, archi­tec­ture, art and music once thrived.

From Milano to Venezia by rail

267 km | 4:30 h

Your train tickets will not be booked by Umfu­lana. You have several options to book them online. The two offi­cial websites of the local providers are www.italotreno.it and www.trenitalia.com.

Alterna­tively you can book on www.ital­iarail.com, where prices will be displayed in most currencies, but tend to be more expen­sive. Another option is to purchase your ticket on arrival at the station.

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Venezia

Inspiration for artists, musicians and writers

This centuries-old city has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Count­less churches and palaces bear witness to the power and unsurpassed wealth of this small republic.

The lagoon city was founded in northern Italy during the trou­bled times of the decline of the Roman Empire. The remains of the evan­gelist Mark were trans­ferred to Venice in 829. The streams of pilgrims that followed gave the city much added importance. Since then the sacred symbol of the lion has been the city's coat of arms. Vene­tian troops later occu­pied eastern Italy and, in 1204, even Constantinople. At the height of its power Venice ruled the Mediterranean. The demise of the “serrenis­sima repub­blica” began with the fall of Constantinople and the opening of the Western Hemi­sphere by Spain, Portugal and Holland. Venice's polit­ical importance declined after the Congress of Vienna and it was given to Austria. Returned to Italy in 1866, Venice has inspired gener­a­tions of artists, writers and musi­cians. More than a city, it is a symbol of wealth and beauty as well as death and decay.

Accommodation: A friendly B&B in the heart of Venice

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

The 15th century palazzo, former resi­dence of a wealthy Vene­tian family, is located in the maze of narrow streets in the heart of Venice near the Rialto Bridge.

Today it houses a B&B. Each room is tastefully deco­rated in an indi­vidual design and partly furnished with antiques. The idyllic, green inner court­yard with the ancient well was once open and led to the canal. Here you can enjoy Breakfast in the morning or the peace and quiet, reviewing the impres­sions gained after a stren­uous day of sightseeing. All major sites are within easy walking distance.

Do Mori

Venice's oldest Bacaro
Bacaro – the name is derived from the wine god Bacchus – is the name given to the simple taverns in Venice. There are few chairs, but a long bar and a large selec­tion of wines with a few snacks. Do Mori not far from the fish market is the oldest Bacaro of Venice and already over 500 years old. Count­less pots and copper kettles hang from the ceiling, more than 100 excel­lent wines await you in the bar. There are also many different tramezzini.

Ponte di Rialto

Busi­ness centre of the commer­cial metropolis
More than 400 bridges cross about 150 canals and connect 100 islands. Some are name­less or incon­spic­uous. Some are of partic­ular importance from a traffic or cultural-histor­ical point of view. The Rialto Bridge, which has connected the districts of San Marco and San Polo since the 16th century, is world-famous and most frequently photographed. Busi­ness flour­ished here for many centuries: merchants and seafarers unloaded their goods at the quay behind which the banks and trading houses were located. Bridge archi­tect was a certain Antonio da Ponte, who was able to assert himself against star archi­tect Miche­lan­gelo with his practical design because he left enough space for shipping traffic.

Frari

Outside plain and common, inside splendour and wealth
The Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari is the great Gothic Franciscan church of the city. On the outside it is modest and simple, as is the mendicant order itself. Inside, however, it docu­ments the power and wealth to which the disciples of Saint Francis have come. The Frari turns out to be an art shrine of the very first order. The tomb pyramid of the sculptor Antonio Canova imme­di­ately catches the eye in the enor­mous nave. Oppo­site is the tomb of Titian with his Pesaro Madonna. Precious altar leaves by Bartolomeo Vivarini and Giovanni Bellini hang in the choir chapels. A sculp­ture of St. John by Donatello stands where the composer Claudio Monteverdi is buried. Every­thing, however, is surpassed by Assunta, the sky-driving Mary, who floats freely above the high altar. Titian created it and, at the end of the Renais­sance, already antic­ipated the Baroque era with it.

From Venezia to San Casciano by rail

Your train tickets will not be booked by Umfu­lana. You have several options to book them online. The two offi­cial websites of the local providers are www.italotreno.it and www.trenitalia.com.

Alterna­tively you can book on www.ital­iarail.com or www.raileu­rope.com, where prices will be displayed in most currencies, but tend to be more expen­sive. Another option is to purchase your ticket on arrival at the station.

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Firenze

World capital of Renaissance

The capital of Tuscany lies on the banks of the Arno between the Adri­atic and Tyrrhe­nian seas, near the center of the Italian peninsula.

It is a city that bustles with industry and crafts, commerce and culture, art and science. The Chianti region between Florence and Siena is one of the most beau­tiful landscapes in Italy and a famous wine produc­tion area. Founded by the Romans in the first century B.C., Florence reached its pinnacle between the 11th and 15th centuries, when it was a free city balancing the authority of the Emperor with that of the Pope. In the 15th century it came under the rule of the Medici family, who later became the Grand Dukes of Tuscany. The city is consid­ered the cradle of the Renais­sance and humanism and was a leading center of art, culture, politics and economic power during this period. The universal geniuses Leon­ardo da Vinci and Miche­lan­gelo thrived here. Their works, along with those of many gener­a­tions of artists up to the masters of the present century, are gathered in the city's many museums.

Accommodation: A Renaissance Villa

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

The sixteenth century villa with a beau­tiful garden is surrounded by olive groves, vines, rows of cypress trees and ochre-coloured farm­houses – all this just twenty minutes from Florence and a little more than thirty from Siena. It is more like a private house than a hotel: a Tuscan villa with its family antiques, an elegant but very warm ambiance, spacious and quiet bedrooms, lavish breakfasts. The latter feature a large buffet that includes Tuscan special­i­ties such as fresh ricotta cheese, the local focaccia bread, prosciutto and home-made brioche. Whereas the loggia looks out onto a formal garden, the swimming pool is located in an olive grove. All the bedrooms are spacious – most are even enor­mous – some have frescoed walls and ceil­ings, and a couple of them have a fireplace. Each room has its own refrig­er­ator, computer outlet, safe, air condi­tioning, an electric kettle and a tea and coffee tray. The view is of the garden, the olive grove or the central court­yard with the old well and fragrant creeping vines. The bath­rooms have been deco­rated with thor­ough atten­tion to detail, each with handmade tiles and some with orig­inal frescoes.

Getting to Florence from the hotel is quite easy: guests can drive into the city and park at the train station, drive to a large park & ride parking lot just outside of Florence and take the tram into town, or take the bus to Florence from a stop two miles from the hotel. A visit to a working winery, including wine tast­ings and a light buffet of local prod­ucts, can be booked upon request.

Tuscany

Histor­ical city republics in enchanting landscapes
The central Italian region has a special vibe – not only with us Euro­peans. The city republics of Florence and Siena are the epitome of beauty, science and grace – but also of greed for power and unscrupu­lous­ness. Modern capitalism was invented in Tuscany. This is where the Middle Ages came to an end, where banking was invented. This is where da Vinci researched, Miche­lan­gelo painted and Galileo created a new world view. In the cities you will come across this glorious past every step of the way. But also the landscapes between the Maremma in the south, the Chianti area between Florence and Siena and the Etruscan Riviera are among the most beau­tiful in Italy.

Chianti

Vine­yards, castles and forests
This scenic and cultu­r­ally fascinating region between Florence and Sienna is consid­ered to be classic Tuscany. Vine­yards, cypress trees, forests, idyllic wine villages and castles are nestled in the gently rolling hills. During the Middle Ages, Chianti was the scene of heavy fighting between the Tuscan cities of Florence and Sienna, a conflict that ended in 1559 with the annexa­tion of Sienna by Florence. Since the best wines in Italy are made here, the name “Chianto Clas­sico” has been a protected trademark since the 18th century. It initially included Radda, Castel­lina and Gaiole. Other areas to the East were added later.

Giardino di Boboli

Renais­sance park with views of Florence
The magnif­i­cent renais­sance park at Palazzo Pitti was the most famous garden in all of Italy during the 16th century. The landscape archi­tects have created it in such a way that Florence is always a focal point. Today visitors can explore grottos, fountains, an amphithe­ater and even an Egyp­tian obelisk on the nearly five-hectare site. The Boboli Gardens are open daily.

San Gimignano

Medieval Manhattan
The legendary town southwest of Florence is known as the Medieval Manhattan thanks to its spectac­ular skyline. The numerous towers were built by the feuding Guelfs and Ghibel­lines, who were attempting to outdo each other in demon­s­tra­tions of power. Of the 72 towers orig­inally constructed by the wealthy fami­lies, 15 remain standing. San Gimignano's skyline has hardly changed since the 14th century, when its importance dwin­dled due to a combina­tion of plague and the shift of trading routes to the valleys. Today the town of 7,000 is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Volterra is just a short distance away. The Etruscan settle­ment in beau­tiful surround­ings is consid­ered one of the most picturesque towns in Tuscany. A short pano­ramic trail leads to the best vantage points – unfortunately via mostly unpaved, dusty roads. (2:40 hours, 9.4 kilome­ters, up and down: 210 m)

Abbey Badia a Passignano

Pleasant loop trail through vine­yards and shrub­land
This medieval abbey in the vine­yards south­east of Florence is today a renowned winery. It is also the starting point for a pleasant walk through a delightful cultural landscape that will lead you down to the Pesa River. (2 hrs, 30 min, 9.5 km, total vertical distance: 290 m)

Stroll through Florence

From the cathedral to the Centro Storico to the Giardino di Boboli
This is our suggested route if you want to get to know Florence on your own. From the train station, it will take you to the cathedral, the historic center of town and then across the Arno over the Ponte Vecchio. The Boboli Gardens on the other side of the river offer the most beau­tiful view of the city. (3 hrs, 6 km, eleva­tion change: 90 m)

From San Casciano to Roma by rail

The journey will take you through Tuscany and Lazio.
Your train tickets will not be booked by Umfu­lana. You have several options to book them online.

The two offi­cial websites of the local providers are www.italotreno.it and www.trenitalia.com. Alterna­tively you can book on www.ital­iarail.com or www.raileu­rope.com, where prices will be displayed in most currencies, but tend to be more expen­sive. Another option is to purchase your ticket on arrival at the station.

I

Rome

Contemporary life in the Eternal City

The western world was ruled from the city built on the legendary seven hills for 1,500 years. Rome was the stage for many historic events of worldwide signif­icance during that era.

After the collapse of the Roman Empire the city became the seat of the Catholic Church. During the zenith of its power (the second century A.D.) Rome's popu­la­tion numbered more than a million, making it the world's first metropolis. However, only 25,000 people lived among the city's ruins at the close of the Roman Empire. Regrowth didn't begin until the return of the Pope from Avignon in the fifteenth century. Today the Italian capital ranks amongst the premiere cities of Europe with regard to art, culture and a fast-paced lifestyle. Millions of tourists visit Rome annu­ally to take in the sights, shop and enjoy the cuisine.

Accommodation: A hotel in the heart of Old Rome

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

This centuries-old building is located in the city centre, between the Spanish steps and the Via Veneto. Marco and Giulia, the enterprising propri­etors who have roots in the hotel busi­ness, have completely restored the prop­erty and now offer modern, comfort­able accommo­d­a­tion in a histor­ical building.

Marco can suggest the best sites to see – he is an accredited Rome tour guide. The building offers many practical conve­niences. An elevator takes guests to the air-condi­tioned rooms on the three upper stories. The upstairs suites have a view extending over the roofs of the old city to the dome of St Peters. You're guar­an­teed a good night's rest here (a valu­able commodity in Rome), as the guest­house is next door to a convent! The subway station Barberini is only a few steps away.

Latium

Nucleus of Europe
The gentle hilly landscape halfway up the Italian boot is consid­ered the nucleus of Europe. Already since the 6th century B.C. the Latins settled between the Tyrrhe­nian Sea and the Tiber. Their language, Latin, was to become the fore­runner of all Roman languages today. At the latest in 340 B.C., when the region was subdued by Rome, it became the core of the Roman Empire. Besides Rome, the Alba­nian mountains, the volcanic lakes in the triangle of Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio as well as the southern Lazio are consid­ered to be partic­u­larly attrac­tive, here in partic­ular for example the monastery Monte Cassino, which was completely destroyed in the Second World War, but was rebuilt afterwards.

Villa Borghese

Green Lung of Rome
Villa Borghese is not a building, but a green area in the middle of Rome. It was built at the end of the 16th century on the vine­yard of the Borghese noble family. In 1901 the state bought the estate and opened it to the public. Today there are numerous museums on the site, including the Galleria Borghese and the Museum of Etruscan Art. On the north side lies Bioparco, the Roman zoo with over 200 animal species. Villa Borghese is also a popular place for joggers and walkers; on a small lake you can rent rowing boats and watch the ducks. A beau­tiful place to rest after stren­uous sightseeing.

Pantheon

Temple for all gods and archetype of all dome build­ings
The impres­sive rotunda with its columned façade was erected 25 B.C. as a temple for all gods and converted into a church over 600 years later. The dome is partic­u­larly impres­sive: it symbol­izes the sky, the opening in the middle stands for the sun and the contact with the stars. With a diam­eter of 43 metres, the dome of the Pantheon was the largest in the world for 1700 years until St Peter's Basilica was built. Visitors to the Pantheon enjoy the medi­ta­tive atmo­sphere inside and the delightful play of sunlight that falls through the open­ings in the roof and “wanders” along the floor. The Pantheon became the archi­tectural model for domed build­ings worldwide, such as the Capitol in Wash­ington DC, the Berlin Cathedral or the Invalid Cathedral in Paris.

A stroll through Rome

Discover the old city on your own
If you would like to explore Rome on your own, our recom­mended route starts at the Roma Termini train station and takes you to the key sights in the Eternal City. On your way past the opera house, you will come to the Palazzo Berberini, the Fontana di Trevi, the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon and finally the Colos­seum and the Forum Romanum. (4 hrs, 8 km, eleva­tion change: 70m)

Rome

Rome

32 km | 37 minutes
17 days
from € 2,599.00
per person based on two people sharing a double room
Services
  • Accommodation in a double room
  • Meals (as listed above)

An- und Abreise: Flüge zum Selberbuchen finden Sie im Internet. Falls Sie mit der Bahn anreisen möchten, buchen wir gern das Ticket für Sie.
You can start this tour on any date.
Best Travel Time: April–October

The prices can vary depending on the season.
Your Consultants
Jessica Parkin

Ph.: +49 (0)2268 92298-23


Leslie Jalowiecki

Ph.: +49 (0)2268 92298-67


Melissa Nußbaum

Ph.: +49 (0)2268 92298-57

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