Italian Lake Country and the French Riviera

A Magical Tour along the Mediterranean Coast

September 21-29, 2013

Sat / Sun - 9 Days

This tour of Italy’s northern lake country and France’s famous Riviera is a glorious trip of sun, food, striking scenery and warm, Mediterranean breezes. Travel with Ambassadair’s Carole Greenawald as you experience the magic of some of Europe's hottest destinations.

Your sightseeing begins in glamorous Milan, one of Europe’s most fashionable cities, visiting the largest Gothic cathedral in Europe and La Scala Opera House. A cruise on Lake Como is the perfect way to see the castles and villas along the lake’s shores. Lunch in the little town of Bellagio, tour the Garden of the Villa Melzi and a silk factory. Spend a night in bustling Genoa, Italy’s largest seaport city. Recently restored, the waterfront offers cosmopolitan wine bars and restaurants.

Crossing into France, discover Menton, where you can view the artwork of the artist, novelist and filmmaker Jean Cocteau; his murals in the town hall’s Wedding Room are worth the trip alone. A new museum displays some of his most iconic and influential avant-garde and surrealist pieces along with works by Picasso, Modigliani and others.

In Provence, visit several charming medieval villages. St. Paul-de-Vence is the perfume capital of the world, where jasmine, lavender, honeysuckle and roses are locally grown to create fragrances. Nearby Vence is a town where painters, sculptors and writers live and work. Famous artists who worked in Vence include Dufy, Matisse, Chagall and Dubuffet; D. H. Lawrence spent his last days in Vence. Nostradamus proclaimed the village the “Garden of Vence, marvel of Provence.”

Wander the cave-like shops of Eze for perfumes and artwork. From the village you can see over the hills to the Mediterranean Sea. Sitting above the sea is Monte Carlo, the capital of the tiny principality of Monaco, famous as a resort area for the some of the world’s richest people. Walk through the luxurious Casino (where Monégasques are not allowed to enter) and explore the streets and harbor.

Spend time in Cannes and Nice, two exciting cities on the French Riviera, and visit Monte Carlo and its famous Casino. Stay four nights in Nice, discovering the city and the surrounding area filled with history, culture and art.

Itinerary

Sat, Sep 21: Overnight flight to Milan, Italy.

Sun, Sep 22: Milan & Como. Morning arrival in Milan. Tour Milan’s majestic Gothic Duomo (Cathedral), among the largest churches in the world. It took nearly six centuries to complete, as finally ordered by Napoleon Bonaparte. Due to the length of time it took to complete, the design incorporates many different architectural styles. Visit the renowned La Scala Opera House, one of the most prestigious opera houses in the world. It was here that Toscanini directed operas by Donizetti, Puccini and Verdi. Continue to Como and check into the Grand Hotel (or similar) for two nights. Welcome Dinner this evening with your fellow travelers. (Meal: Dinner)

Mon, Sep 23: Como. Discover the beauty of Lake Como on a cruise in a private chartered motorboat to see its magnificent shores scattered with flower-decked villages, small ports, glorious gardens and the haughty castles and villas of famous people, past and present. Cross the center of the lake and proceed to Bellagio, a small charming village considered the pearl of Lake Como. Spend some time exploring and shopping in Bellagio before taking a guided visit of the Garden of Villa Melzi. Enjoy lunch in the village before returning to Como. (B,L)

Tue, Sep 24: Como & Genoa. Check out of the hotel and stop at a silk factory near Como. Italy makes over 90% of the silk produced in Europe, and Como is the world’s silk capital. Learn the secrets of silk production and admire the finished products in the outlet. Continue your travel to Genoa. Check into the Starhotel President (or similar) in Corte Lambruschini for one night. Enjoy dinner tonight at a local restaurant with your fellow travelers. (B,D)

Wed, Sep 25: Menton & Nice, France. After a drive of Genoa, the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, cross the border into France. Stop in Menton on the French Riviera to visit the town hall’s Wedding Room (Salle de Marriage), which was painted in a whimsical manner during the 1950s by Jean Cocteau, the French novelist, artist and filmmaker (“Orpheus,” “Beauty and the Beast”). Menton was once ruled by the Princes of Monaco (Grimaldi family) until the French Revolution. Menton is also home to the new Jean Cocteau Museum built in a 17th-century fort. Proceed to Nice, the capital of the French Riviera, and check into the Radisson Blu Hotel (or similar) for four nights. Dinner tonight is with the group. (B,D)

Thu, Sept 26: Nice. Enjoy a half day tour of Nice that includes the Marc Chagall National Museum. Afternoon is at your leisure to explore more of the city and enjoy some of museums, gardens, the hotel’s private beach and the excellent Nicoise cuisine. (B)

Fri, Sep 27: Éze, France & Monte Carlo, Monaco. Depart for a day trip to Éze and Monte Carlo. Climb up the narrow winding pathways to the fortified medieval village of Éze, perched on top of a cliff like an eagle’s nest, offering panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea and coastline. In Monte Carlo, visit the Casino and the Monaco Cathedral where Grace Kelly and Prince Ranier married. Monaco was founded in the 13th century as a Genoan colony but soon came under the control of the House of Grimaldi. Return to Nice. (B)

Sat, Sep 28: Nice. Spend the day touring the delightful Provencal villages of St. Paul-de-Vence, Vence and Grasse. Walk the narrow streets of these old villages. St. Paul de Vence, filled with art galleries, is one of the most intact medieval towns in Provence. Nearby, the charming medieval village of Vence is full of flowers, artists and art galleries, shops and terraced cafés. Nostradamus proclaimed “Garden of Vence, marvel of Provence.” Tour the Fragonard Perfume Factory and museum in Grasse to see how flowers are boiled and distilled to make fragrances; the French perfume industry began here in the 16th century. Grasse has been a popular tourist town for several centuries; Queen Victoria was even known to spend several winters there. Visit Cannes, home of the renowned Cannes Film Festival, with its yachts, sandy beaches and luxury shopping, before returning to Nice. (B,D)

Sun, Sep 29: Depart Nice and fly home. (B)



Italian Lake Country and the French Riviera Pricing

Per Person*

Package with Air

Land Only

Double P/P

$4,399

$2,979

Triple P/P

$4,319

$2,899

Single

$5,189

$3,769

Child (under 16)

$3,999

$2,579


Ambassadair Trip #5617

Villa Melzi, Lake Como, Itlay

Highlights Include


  • Milan, Lake Como, Genoa, Monte Carlo, Nice
  • Cruise on Lake Como
  • Tour the Villa Melzi in Bellagio
  • Monte Carlo
  • Jean Cocteau’s Wedding Room murals in Menton
  • The Chagall Museum in Nice
  • Travel with Carole Greenawald

Package Includes


  • R/T commercial air to Milan, Italy and from Nice, France
  • 7 nights accommodations
  • Breakfast daily
  • 1 lunch, 4 dinners
  • Sightseeing and admissions per itinerary
  • Deluxe motorcoach transportation
  • Baggage handling
  • Escorted from Indianapolis

 
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