Build your tour

Paris, the Riviera & Tuscany

13 days (14 days in 2016)
France and Italy: each is celebrated for rich history, amazing museums, stunning scenery and unforgettable flavors. Discover the highlights of these cultural havens as you journey from Paris to Provence, then continue along the French and Italian Rivieras to Tuscany.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

Local cuisine with beer or wine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

Local cuisine with beer or wine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 11 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 1 lunch, 5 three-course dinners with beer or wine, 1 wine tasting

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach and high-speed TGV train

  • Guided sightseeing & select entrance fees

Overnight Flight1 night

Day 1: Overnight flight

Board your overnight flight to Paris today.

Paris3 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Paris

Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to France! Meet your fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Paris

Included meals: Breakfast

A guided tour introduces you to the architecture, scenery and history of the City of Light’s many neighborhoods, called arrondissements.

• Drive down the sycamore-lined Champs-Élysées in view of the Arc de Triomphe

• Pass the legendary Notre-Dame Cathedral, located on an island in the Seine River 

• See the Eiffel Tower, the Palais Garnier opera house and Place de la Concorde, the city’s grandest square 

• Marvel at the eclectic and iconic architecture of the Louvre

Enjoy a free evening or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Versailles Palace & Gardens $105*pp Details

The reign of Louis XIV, known as the “Sun King,” set new standards for decadence among the crowned heads of Europe. It took 50 years and 35,000 workers to turn Versailles, once a small hunting lodge, into the most magnificent château in all of France and the envy of royalty worldwide. On this excursion, you will see the palace in all its glory. Tour the State Apartments and the glittering Hall of Mirrors. Then stroll through the lavish gardens with their fine statuary, splendid fountains and colorful flowerbeds.

Must be booked 45 days before departure

Day 4: Free day in Paris

Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Paris or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Monet & the Landscapes of Giverny $85*pp Details

The village of Giverny was home to Claude Monet from 1883 until his death in 1926. On a visit to Monet's home and gardens, discover the subtle palette of colors that inspired his Water Lilies series and gave rise to a new way of seeing. Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs April through October.

Optional Excursion - Evening in Paris: Dinner & River Cruise $109*pp Details

Take in the nighttime allure of the City of Light on a special evening excursion. The event begins with dinner at a local restaurant. After you dine, board a boat cruise along the Seine. As you coast along the river and under Paris’ bridges, you’ll behold the gloriously illuminated monuments of the city glittering alongside the riverbanks. Please note: the dress code may vary depending your restaurant, and your Tour Director will advise you on what to wear, but shorts and sneakers are likely to be considered inappropriate attire.

Aix-en-Provence2 nights Hotel info

Day 5: Sightseeing tour of Aix-en-Provence

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Cezanne's studio

Journey on the high-speed TGV train through the French countryside to Aix-en-Provence for a guided tour.

• Tour this Roman-influenced city, hometown of Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne

• Stop at Cézanne’s birthplace, the school he attended and the studio where many of his famed paintings came to light

• Visit Aix Cathedral

Day 6: Sightseeing tour of Arles

Included meals: Breakfast

This morning, transfer to nearby Arles, another quintessential Provençal town, for a walking tour. 

• Walk to the hospital where Vincent Van Gogh stayed

• Listen to lectures on Van Gogh’s artistic achievements 

• View the Roman Arena

• Spend the afternoon exploring on your own

Optional Excursion - Provençal Dinner & Wine Tasting $99*pp Details

Travel to a rustic Provençal village outside of Aix-en-Provence. Start your evening with a wine tasting at a vineyard followed by dinner at a local restaurant, featuring the traditional herb-accented Provençal dishes for which the region is known.

French Riviera1 night Hotel info

Day 7: The French Riviera via Cassis

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Included entrances: Cassis boat ride

Today, you’ll transfer to the French Riviera, stopping in the hillside town of Cassis.

• Embark on a cruise amid the famous calanques, or narrow inlets

• Continue to your hotel on the French Riviera

Florence2 nights Hotel info

Day 8: Florence via Cinque Terre

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Enjoy a stop at gorgeous Cinque Terre en route to Florence. 

• Enjoy lunch followed by free time to explore one or two of the seaside villages in the breathtaking Cinque Terre region 

• Continue on to Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance

Day 9: Sightseeing tour of Florence

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Church of Santa Croce

Set off to see Florence, the city at the center of the Renaissance, and meet your local guide. 

• Visit the Duomo, Florence’s legendary cathedral

• Step inside the Church of Santa Croce, the burial site of Michelangelo, Machiavelli and Galileo

• Pass Giotto’s Campanile, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture

• See the medieval Ponte Vecchio and Palazzo della Signoria, center of Florentine life

Optional Excursion - Carthusian Monastery Tour & Tuscan Feast $99*pp Details

Venture into the Tuscan hills for a unique and unforgettable dining experience. After a private tour of the ancient Carthusian Monastery, sit down for a musical performance and feast of traditional Tuscan fare, much of which has been grown at the monastery itself.

Siena2 nights Hotel info

Day 10: Siena via Chianti

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Included entrances: Wine tasting

Enjoy a free morning in Florence before following your Tour Director along the Chianti wine route.

• Stop to sample regional vintages, including Chianti Classico, with antipasti

• Later, arrive in Siena, a medieval Tuscan town

Day 11: Sightseeing tour of Siena

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Siena Cathedral, Piccolomini Library

Join a local guide on a walk through Siena’s historic center, a prime example of medieval urban planning. 

• Enter the Siena Cathedral and the Piccolomini Library

• Pass the iconic Campo Square

Optional Excursion - Dinner in Siena: Tuscan Culture & Cuisine $79*pp Details

Visit a local restaurant in the heart of Siena, which deliciously blends the traditional and contemporary elements of Tuscan cuisine. Start off your evening with an aperitif, and then get settled in for an evening of Sienese specialties, served up in the tavern’s intimate setting. Typical Tuscan dishes like pici and cantucci parfait showcase why food and wine enthusiasts flock to this region.

Rome1 night Hotel info

Day 12: Transfer to Rome

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Journey south to Rome and spend an afternoon exploring the Eternal City before you say goodbye to your fellow travelers at an included farewell dinner.

Day 13: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or extend your stay to explore Rome.

Add a Rome City Stay $359 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

Only in Rome can you sip cappuccino at a cafe in front of the Pantheon, buy grapes at a centuries-old market, and have an audience with the pope—all in one morning. For a mix of spectacular art, grand history and exuberant street life, no other city comes close.

Rome2 nights Hotel info

Day 13: Sightseeing tour of Rome

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Colosseum

Follow in the footsteps of the ancient Romans with a guided tour of the Eternal City.

• Pass by Trajan’s Column and Piazza Venezia, the city’s central hub

• Stop at the ruins of the Forum, from which the Caesars ruled their vast empire 

• Soak up over 2,000 years of history in Imperial Rome, viewing the Arch of Constantine, the Arch of Titus, the Temple of Rome and the Temple of Venus

• Enter the Colosseum, the largest amphitheater of the Roman Empire, and take time to explore on your own

Optional Excursion - Dinner with Tenors $79*pp Details

End your day with an elegant four-course dinner at one of our favorite Roman restaurants. While you dine, you’ll be treated to some of opera's best-loved arias…and you might even join the singers on stage. Don’t miss this lighthearted evening of food and fun!

Day 14: Free day in Rome

Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Rome or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Iconic Sights: Vatican City $89*pp Details

This guided tour takes you inside the world’s smallest state, Vatican City. Upon arrival, you'll first visit the Vatican Museums, which recently celebrated a 500-year anniversary and hold many of the world's most important Classical and Renaissance-era sculptures. Next, you'll visit the Sistine Chapel, where you'll gaze on what is perhaps Michelangelo's greatest masterpiece. Finally, you'll visit the enormous St. Peter’s Basilica, the epicenter of the Roman Catholic faith. The artists whose efforts have contributed to its glory are some of the best Italy has ever known, including Bramante, Peruzzi, Raphael and Michelangelo. Masterpieces await at every turn, from Bernini’s magnificent bronze canopy to Michelangelo’s Pietà. Please note: This excursion is not available on Sundays. Advanced reservation and booking is required prior to your final payment deadline. Backpacks are not allowed in the Vatican and a dress code of no shorts or sleeveless shirts is enforced.

Must be booked 70 days before departure

Day 15: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

Local cuisine with beer or wine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 12 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 1 lunch, 5 three-course dinners with beer or wine, 1 wine tasting

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach and high-speed TGV train

  • Guided sightseeing & select entrance fees

Overnight Flight1 night

Day 1: Overnight flight

Board your overnight flight to Paris today.

Paris3 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Paris

Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to France! Meet your fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Paris

Included meals: Breakfast

A guided tour introduces you to the architecture, scenery and history of the City of Light’s many neighborhoods, called arrondissements.

• Drive down the sycamore-lined Champs-Élysées in view of the Arc de Triomphe

• Pass the legendary Notre-Dame Cathedral, located on an island in the Seine River 

• See the Eiffel Tower, the Palais Garnier opera house and Place de la Concorde, the city’s grandest square 

• Marvel at the eclectic and iconic architecture of the Louvre

Enjoy a free evening or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Versailles Palace & Gardens $105*pp Details

The reign of Louis XIV, known as the “Sun King,” set new standards for decadence among the crowned heads of Europe. It took 50 years and 35,000 workers to turn Versailles, once a small hunting lodge, into the most magnificent château in all of France and the envy of royalty worldwide. On this excursion, you will see the palace in all its glory. Tour the State Apartments and the glittering Hall of Mirrors. Then stroll through the lavish gardens with their fine statuary, splendid fountains and colorful flowerbeds.

Must be booked 45 days before departure

Day 4: Free day in Paris

Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Paris or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Monet & the Landscapes of Giverny $85*pp Details

The village of Giverny was home to Claude Monet from 1883 until his death in 1926. On a visit to Monet's home and gardens, discover the subtle palette of colors that inspired his Water Lilies series and gave rise to a new way of seeing. Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs April through October.

Optional Excursion - Evening in Paris: Dinner & River Cruise $109*pp Details

Take in the nighttime allure of the City of Light on a special evening excursion. The event begins with dinner at a local restaurant. After you dine, board a boat cruise along the Seine. As you coast along the river and under Paris’ bridges, you’ll behold the gloriously illuminated monuments of the city glittering alongside the riverbanks. Please note: the dress code may vary depending your restaurant, and your Tour Director will advise you on what to wear, but shorts and sneakers are likely to be considered inappropriate attire.

Aix-en-Provence2 nights Hotel info

Day 5: Sightseeing tour of Aix-en-Provence

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Cezanne's studio

Journey on the high-speed TGV train through the French countryside to Aix-en-Provence for a guided tour.

• Tour this Roman-influenced city, hometown of Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne

• Stop at Cézanne’s birthplace, the school he attended and the studio where many of his famed paintings came to light

• Visit Aix Cathedral

Day 6: Sightseeing tour of Arles

Included meals: Breakfast

This morning, transfer to nearby Arles, another quintessential Provençal town, for a guided walking tour. 

• Walk to the hospital where Vincent Van Gogh stayed

• Listen to lectures on Van Gogh’s artistic achievements 

• View the Roman Arena

• Spend the afternoon exploring on your own

Optional Excursion - Provençal Dinner & Wine Tasting $99*pp Details

Travel to a rustic Provençal village outside of Aix-en-Provence. Start your evening with a wine tasting at a vineyard followed by dinner at a local restaurant, featuring the traditional herb-accented Provençal dishes for which the region is known.

French Riviera2 nights Hotel info

Day 7: The French Riviera via Cassis

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Included entrances: Cassis boat ride

Today, you’ll transfer to the French Riviera, stopping in the hillside town of Cassis.

• Embark on a cruise amid the famous calanques, or narrow inlets

• Continue to your hotel on the French Riviera

• Continue to your hotel on the French Riviera

Day 8: Free day in the French Riviera

Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in the French Riviera or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Cape Ferrat: Villas & Views of the French Riviera $65*pp Details

Embark on a guided tour of the Villa Ephrussi, a beautiful palazzo overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. In addition to experiencing the villa's nine gardens firsthand, you'll explore the history of the villa itself as you walk among its interiors. Afterward, set off on foot for a scenic stroll to Villa Kerylos, taking in gorgeous views of the French Riviera along the way.

Optional Excursion - Monaco by Night: Monte Carlo Casino & Dinner $99*pp Details

Spend an evening in Monaco, world-renowned for its luxuriousness. A tiny principality ruled by the Grimaldis, Europe’s oldest royal family, Monaco has retained its independence for more than 700 years. Your Tour Director introduces you to the Old Town with a stop outside the Royal Palace. After an included dinner, try your luck at the world-famous Monte Carlo Casino. Please note: The trip to the casino requires moderate walking.

Florence2 nights Hotel info

Day 9: Florence via Cinque Terre

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Enjoy a stop at gorgeous Cinque Terre en route to Florence. 

• Enjoy lunch followed by free time to explore one or two of the seaside villages in the breathtaking Cinque Terre region 

• Continue on to Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance

Day 10: Sightseeing tour of Florence

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Church of Santa Croce

Set off to see Florence, the city at the center of the Renaissance, and meet your local guide. 

• Visit the Duomo, Florence’s legendary cathedral

• Step inside the Church of Santa Croce, the burial site of Michelangelo, Machiavelli and Galileo

• Pass Giotto’s Campanile, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture

• See the medieval Ponte Vecchio and Palazzo della Signoria, center of Florentine life

Optional Excursion - Carthusian Monastery Tour & Tuscan Feast $99*pp Details

Venture into the Tuscan hills for a unique and unforgettable dining experience. After a private tour of the ancient Carthusian Monastery, sit down for a musical performance and feast of traditional Tuscan fare, much of which has been grown at the monastery itself.

Siena2 nights Hotel info

Day 11: Siena via Chianti

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Included entrances: Wine tasting

Enjoy a free morning in Florence before following your Tour Director along the Chianti wine route.

• Stop to sample regional vintages, including the Chianti Classico, with antipasti

• Later, arrive in Siena, a medieval Tuscan town

Day 12: Sightseeing tour of Siena

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Siena Cathedral, Piccolomini Library

Join a local guide on a walk through Siena’s historic center, a prime example of medieval urban planning. 

• Enter the Siena Cathedral and the Piccolomini Library

• Pass the iconic Campo Square

Optional Excursion - Dinner in Siena: Tuscan Culture & Cuisine $79*pp Details

Visit a local restaurant in the heart of Siena, which deliciously blends the traditional and contemporary elements of Tuscan cuisine. Start off your evening with an aperitif, and then get settled in for an evening of Sienese specialties, served up in the tavern’s intimate setting. Typical Tuscan dishes like pici and cantucci parfait showcase why food and wine enthusiasts flock to this region.

Rome1 night Hotel info

Day 13: Transfer to Rome

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Journey south to Rome and spend an afternoon exploring the Eternal City before you say goodbye to your fellow travelers at an included farewell dinner.

Day 14: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or extend your stay to explore Rome.

Add a Rome City Stay $359 pp

Only in Rome can you sip cappuccino at a cafe in front of the Pantheon, buy grapes at a centuries-old market, and have an audience with the pope—all in one morning. For a mix of spectacular art, grand history and exuberant street life, no other city comes close.

Rome2 nights Hotel info

Day 14: Sightseeing tour of Rome

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Colosseum

Follow in the footsteps of the ancient Romans with a guided tour of the Eternal City.

• Pass by Trajan’s Column and Piazza Venezia, the city’s central hub

• Stop at the ruins of the Forum, from which the Caesars ruled their vast empire 

• Soak up over 2,000 years of history in Imperial Rome, viewing the Arch of Constantine, the Arch of Titus, the Temple of Rome and the Temple of Venus

• Enter the Colosseum, the largest amphitheater of the Roman Empire, and take time to explore on your own

Optional Excursion - Dinner with Tenors $79*pp Details

End your day with an elegant four-course dinner at one of our favorite Roman restaurants. While you dine, you’ll be treated to some of opera's best-loved arias…and you might even join the singers on stage. Don’t miss this lighthearted evening of food and fun!

Day 15: Free day in Rome

Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Rome or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Iconic Sights: Vatican City $89*pp Details

This guided tour takes you inside the world’s smallest state, Vatican City. Upon arrival, you'll first visit the Vatican Museums, which recently celebrated a 500-year anniversary and hold many of the world's most important Classical and Renaissance-era sculptures. Next, you'll visit the Sistine Chapel, where you'll gaze on what is perhaps Michelangelo's greatest masterpiece. Finally, you'll visit the enormous St. Peter’s Basilica, the epicenter of the Roman Catholic faith. The artists whose efforts have contributed to its glory are some of the best Italy has ever known, including Bramante, Peruzzi, Raphael and Michelangelo. Masterpieces await at every turn, from Bernini’s magnificent bronze canopy to Michelangelo’s Pietà. Please note: This excursion is not available on Sundays. Advanced reservation and booking is required prior to your final payment deadline. Backpacks are not allowed in the Vatican and a dress code of no shorts or sleeveless shirts is enforced.

Must be booked 70 days before departure

Day 16: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Paris, France
  • Aix-en-Provence, France
  • French Riviera, France
  • Florence, Italy
  • Siena, Italy
  • Rome, Italy
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & visa

In order to enter France and Italy, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Baggage allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height).  Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & packing tips

To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight sports jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

There are no major health risks associated with traveling to France or Italy. Be sure to check with your doctor or health care provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.

Cuisine

Throughout France, you’ll find endless opportunities to sample wonderful food at every price range. For a casual snack or picnic, stop at a small grocery store for cheeses, pâtés, cured meats, fresh baked bread and fruit. Sidewalk vendors are known for their steaming crêpes, filled with cheese, ham, fruit or chocolate. Flaky pastries and hot coffee beckon from the cafes. For restaurants, the prix fixe option is popular, offering a three- or four-course set menu for a good price.

Most staples of the Italian diet have already become favorites in America, but on your tour, try those less familiar pasta sauces and the vast range of cured hams, cheeses, rustic breads and desserts. Tuscany is known for its subtle sauces, rich pasta and its wines, including Chianti. In Siena, be sure to try trattorias—small, family-run restaurants. Siena’s pastries are also top-notch.

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive in Paris and depart from Rome. After clearing customs and collecting your luggage, a shuttle service will provide your transfer to your hotel (details will be sent to you prior to your departure). Included transportation on this tour is by train and private motor coach. In your free time, you may wish to explore the major cities by public transportation.

Paris’ massive Métro is world-class, easy to navigate and efficient. Make sure to take time and look for the best deal on travel passes. Ask your Tour Director which pass might work best. Florence is split up into two separate sections by the Arno River, with most attractions spread out around the Duomo. The city is walkable, although frequent local buses are also available. Purchase tickets at tobacconists or at vending machines.

Museums in Florence

If you are interested in visiting any of Florence's many museums during your free time, we recommend that you make reservations in advance. Additional information is available on the Polo Museale website. Please note that the museums are closed on Mondays.

Electricity

France and Italy operate on the European standard 220 volts.

Time zones

France and Italy are one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). When it’s noon in New York, it’s 6pm in Paris and Florence.

Currency

The euro is the currency you’ll be using on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in France and Italy, although it is worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks, as needed. You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so they don’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

How's the weather?

  • Paris, France
  • Aix-en-Provence, France
  • French Riviera, France
  • Florence, Italy
  • Siena, Italy
  • Rome, Italy
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & visa

In order to enter France and Italy, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Baggage allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height).  Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & packing tips

To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight sports jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

There are no major health risks associated with traveling to France or Italy. Be sure to check with your doctor or health care provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.

Cuisine

Throughout France, you’ll find endless opportunities to sample wonderful food at every price range. For a casual snack or picnic, stop at a small grocery store for cheeses, pâtés, cured meats, fresh baked bread and fruit. Sidewalk vendors are known for their steaming crêpes, filled with cheese, ham, fruit or chocolate. Flaky pastries and hot coffee beckon from the cafes. For restaurants, the prix fixe option is popular, offering a three- or four-course set menu for a good price.

Most staples of the Italian diet have already become favorites in America, but on your tour, try those less familiar pasta sauces and the vast range of cured hams, cheeses, rustic breads and desserts. Tuscany is known for its subtle sauces, rich pasta and its wines, including Chianti. In Siena, be sure to try trattorias—small, family-run restaurants. Siena’s pastries are also top-notch.

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive in Paris and depart from Rome. After clearing customs and collecting your luggage, a shuttle service will provide your transfer to your hotel (details will be sent to you prior to your departure). Included transportation on this tour is by train and private motor coach. In your free time, you may wish to explore the major cities by public transportation.

Paris’ massive Métro is world-class, easy to navigate and efficient. Make sure to take time and look for the best deal on travel passes. Ask your Tour Director which pass might work best. Florence is split up into two separate sections by the Arno River, with most attractions spread out around the Duomo. The city is walkable, although frequent local buses are also available. Purchase tickets at tobacconists or at vending machines.

Museums in Florence

If you are interested in visiting any of Florence's many museums during your free time, we recommend that you make reservations in advance. Additional information is available on the Polo Museale website. Please note that the museums are closed on Mondays.

Electricity

France and Italy operate on the European standard 220 volts.

Time zones

France and Italy are one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). When it’s noon in New York, it’s 6pm in Paris and Florence.

Currency

The euro is the currency you’ll be using on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in France and Italy, although it is worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks, as needed. You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so they don’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

Have you been on tour with us? Visit My Account to submit a review.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/23/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great tour and amazing tour director

I had a great times on the tour from start to finish. Everything was great and the group size of 14 was perfect. Our tour guide, Adoram, was amazing in making sure everything was taken care of, answering all questions, and helping visit sites which were not on the planned agenda during free time . We were even able to have a few picnic lunches along the way with breathtaking views. This is a great itinerary and a wonderful way to see this part of the world with sights of the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Mona Lisa, Louvre, Statue of David, Ponte Vecchio, just to name a few. The tour offered free time as well to casually stroll the different cities to get a glimpse of local life, markets and culture.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/16/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Wonderful Tour Director

This tour is excellent value for the money as it covered so much ground. The itinerary is not geared for someone not prepared to be on the go most of the time as there is a lot of walking. The tour director, Ronen, was absolutely wonderful. He had extensive knowledge about every place we visited and this made our visits so much more interesting. He was also able to add some unadvertised extras that proved very worthwhile. Our bus driver from Aix to Rome was terrific, a careful and very good driver who was friendly and helpful to everyone. All the hotels were good and some were exceptional, particularly the Acquabella in Aix-en-Provence. A couple of the included meals could have been better, but overall the food was good. Thanks to this tour, I fell in love with Paris, Provence and Tuscany and hope to revisit all at some future time.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/3/2014

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: DC

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

The Most Beautiful Tour Ever---Honest!

Starting with Paris, the Seine by night, Monet's gardens at Giverny, Versailles, a train ride through Provence, Van Gogh's Arles, Cezanne's Studio in Aix-en Provence, Cinque Terra, Florence, Siena's glorious cathedral, all the way to Rome....the Coloseum, the Forum, the great oculus of the Pantheon, and the scrumptious gelato of Giolitti's....Yum for the eyes and the lips! This was a breath-taking trip!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/3/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best tour director

This was our first trip to Europe and it was wonderful. Ronan our tour director went above and beyond to make everything very special. We had only booked one excursion before we got there, but after going on this one we were able to add the others and do everything. They were well worth the price. We were kept very busy and did a lot of walking. I would highly recommend going on this tour. And if you are lucky enough to get Ronan as your director you will be sure to have a great experience.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 5/8/2014

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Perfect Itinerary

This tour has a wonderful pace and destinations. Every day is wonderful, with the right mix of free time and structured activities. Do not hesitate to sign up for this tour. Rome extension a must as well!

3 / 5

3 / 5

Traveled On: 6/2/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 2 / 5

Tour Value: 2 / 5

Not clear information

1.I buy travel insurance. I never get paper work on it. 2.The tour director did not give specific direction and to much info all at once. She spoke to much. 3.Tour director change schedule to acomodate other peoples intrests. 4.promes things that do not happen. 5.Lisa make sure to have her personal preferences to some poeple. 6.Single travelers where ignored most of the time. They were Singled out. 7.single travelers got the worst room acomodations 8. I buy four optinal excurtions that Lisa ( tour guide) said I only purchased three. 9.Hotels where far away from the ciry center AND WE HAD TO SPEND ON taxi all the time. 10. I had a terrible time in Nice. The trip there was not planned well and we had no time to do anything. 11. The transfer from the Paris Airport took 4hours to get to the hotel. 12. I never imagined that the tour allowed children to travel with us. I would have liked to be informed of this.

 

Thank you very much for your review on our Paris, the Riviera and Tuscany tour. We do value the feedback our customers provide to us as it is important to our evaluation of future departures. We do send general information about our travel protection that you probably received in your welcome mailing package when you first booked the tour. If you want further information about the travel protection, we would be more than happy to provide that information upon request. Our Tour Directors are there to help accommodate everyone on the tour and help to customize each traveler’s trip. As you may know, travel can be rather unpredictable and flexibility is usually required. Often times tour directors have to make last minute changes to help create the best experience possible for all travelers on the tour. Since your flight arrived into Paris, there are specific arrangements that Go Ahead must make to provide transportation to your hotel. Unfortunately, since it is one of the world’s largest airports, we cannot bring our own tour buses into the terminals to pick up travelers. Instead, we use a shuttle service that will drop you at your hotel as quickly as time will allow. Sometimes, travelers’ flights are delayed and there may be traffic getting into the city, but ultimately this is the best and most efficient way we've found in Paris to transport our travelers to and from the airport. We want every one of our customers to feel completely satisfied. We apologize for any inconvenience and look forward to welcoming you onto another tour in the future. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of further assistance.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | July 07, 2014

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/13/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

KJ in Paris, Provance and Tuscany

This was a wonderful trip. Our Tour Director, Ronin, was informative, energetic, and entertaining. He was an early riser and gave gentle encouragement/motivation to the group to enjoy our destinations. While I wanted to sleep in a bit at some stops, every morning tour was rewarded with minimal crowds at their destinations. We arrived at Monte's gardens early just as they opened and it seemed we had a private reservation to enjoy the whole site. The same was true for Siena. Glad we got up on time! Our group may have been smaller with 25 members; I think the capacity was advertised at 50. This was pleasant, efficient, and it allowed greater familiarity with each other while respecting privacy too. This was really a good group of interesting people. Go with Go Ahead!

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 9/23/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NH

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

2013 tour of Paris Italy

Great Tour Director!!! Inclusive meals were fair at best!!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/19/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: KS

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Tour Director

This was our first tour but I can't imagine a better tour director than Sabra. She made this a memorable experience and a trip that was just fabulous.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/19/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NJ

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Informative and Fast paced

This was a great learning experience. You cover a lot of territory and learn a lot about art and history. Our guide, Sara, was well informed and very pleasant. She made the whole experience very enjoyable.

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