Italy, France and Belgium

Blaze a trail through western Europe as you discover the layered history and linguistic diversity of Italy, France and Belgium – a region rich in culinary and cultural highlights. Develop an understanding of both ancient and modern European history as you explore significant battlefields from WWI and breathtaking ancient ruins.

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https://worldstrides.com.au/itineraries/italy-france-and-belgium/

Italy, France and Belgium

Blaze a trail through western Europe as you discover the layered history and linguistic diversity of Italy, France and Belgium – a region rich in culinary and cultural highlights. Develop an understanding of both ancient and modern European history as you explore significant battlefields from WWI and breathtaking ancient ruins.

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14 days

Destinations

RomeFlorenceVeniceAmiensFlanders

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Your Adventure

1 Depart Australia
  • Board your flight Depart Australia and begin your journey to Italy!
2 Welcome to Rome
  • Arrive in Rome Meet your Tour Director, board your coach and check in to your hotel.
  • Rome city walk – Spanish Steps
    – Trevi Fountain
    – Pantheon
    – Piazza Navona

    Take a walk past Rome's most beautiful and unusual Baroque fountains. At the foot of the Spanish Steps, elegant cafes surround the central fountain. The water pressure here was so low that the artist had to sink the fountain into the ground to get any water going through it, so he went ahead and designed the fountain to look like a sinking ship. There's no shortage of water pressure at the nearby Trevi Fountain, a Baroque extravagance designed by master sculptor Bernini.
3 Ancient Rome
  • Ancient Rome guided sightseeing tour Explore the ancient sites of Rome with visits to:
    – Colosseum
    – Forum Romanum
    – Piazza Venezia

    The ultimate symbol of Ancient Rome, the Colosseum still dominates the modern city. Tour the amphitheatre with your local guide. See the system beneath the floor that operated the trap doors and housed the animals, then continue on to the relative calm of the Forum. Near the Rostra, or speaker’s platform, you can still see game boards scratched into the marble by bored politicians.
  • Authentic trattoria dinner
4 Rome
  • Vatican guided walking sightseeing tour Your expert local tour guide will lead your tour through the Vatican with visits to:
    – Vatican Museums
    – Sistine Chapel
    – St Peter's Basilica
5 Rome - Florence
  • Travel via Orvieto to Florence Travel to Florence, stopping to see Orvieto's Cathedral on the way.
  • Orvieto Cathedral visit This Gothic cathedral was started in 1263 to commemorate the "miracolo del sangue”, a miracle witnessed by a priest in nearby Bolsena. He was celebrating Mass when blood began to drip from the Host he was consecrating, and today the cathedral is one of the most celebrated in Italy. The façade is a riot of sharply carved marble, colourful mosaic, and bas-relief. Many of the carvings feature disturbing stories from the Bible, including a vivid image of the Inferno, where the sinners writhe and suffer in lifelike detail.
6 Florence
  • Florence guided walking sightseeing tour Wearing Whisper Headsets, your expert local tour guide will lead your tour through Florence to see:
    – Palazzo Vecchio
    – Piazza della Signoria
    – Chiesa di Santa Croce
    – Ponte Vecchio
    – Duomo
    – Leather Workshop
    – Gates of Paradise
    – Giotto’s Bell Tower
    – Dante's House
  • Optional: Pisa guided excursion Stop in Pisa to see the famous leaning bell tower. It was already partly finished when builders realised that the ground beneath was too soft to support it. They tried to correct the tilt by putting a slight bend in the structure, but the extra weight just made it tilt more.
  • Traditional Italian pizza dinner
7 Florence - Venice
  • Travel to Venice via Verona See Verona, famous for the balcony of Juliet balcony - the setting of the play 'Romeo & Juliet'
  • Verona Tour Director led sightseeing Brush up on your Shakespeare before heading to Casa de Giuletta to gaze up at the famed balcony that set the stage for star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet. Hear about the many versions of this tragic story that existed long before Shakespeare put his pen to it. Explore this battleground of love before moving to a real gladiator’s Roman Arena. Theatre performances still take place in this third largest amphitheater in all of Italy, built in the 1st century B.C.
  • Romeo & Juliet balcony & Verona Arena visit
8 Venice - Paris
  • Venice guided sightseeing tour Wearing Whisper Headsets, your expert local tour guide will lead you through Venice to see:
    – St. Mark’s Square
    – St. Mark's Basilica
    – Doge's Palace
    – A glass-blowing demonstration
  • Travel to Paris via overnight Train
9 Paris
  • Eiffel Tower ascent Line up to climb to the top floor of this iconic landmark for a spectacular birds-eye view of the glittering City of Light.
  • Seine River cruise See the city from the water on an hour-long cruise along the River Seine. The Seine cuts right through Paris, dividing the city in half. See the Eiffel tower rising up on the Left Bank, the walls of the Louvre on the Right Bank. A guide will point out other monuments and architectural marvels as you pass, many of which are illuminated by clear white light at night.
  • Paris city walk This exquisite city was made for walking. Stroll through the grand boulevards with sweeping views of the city, pristine parks with trees, and narrow streets crowded with vendors selling flowers, pastries and cheese. Then head to the Île de la Cité, a small island in the Seine, to see Notre Dame Cathedral.
  • Dinner in the Latin Quarter
10 Paris
  • Paris guided sightseeing tour Your expert tour guide will lead you through the iconic sites of Paris including:
    – Arc de Triomphe
    – Champs Élysées
    – Eiffel Tower
    – Champ de Mars
    – École Militaire
    – Les Invalides
    – Conciergerie
    – Tuileries Garden
    – Place Vendôme
    – Opera House
  • Optional: Versailles guided excursion The ultimate palace, Versailles was built by Louis XIII, and housed the royal family and its groveling court from 1682, when the Sun King moved in, to the French Revolution. Everything in Versailles is worth a look, from the 250-foot-long Hall of Mirrors, with themed salons "war" and "peace" on either side, to Marie Antoinette's faux country hamlet.
11 Paris - Amiens
  • Travel to Amiens via WWI sites
  • Villers-Bretonneux sites – Adelaide Cemetery
    – Australian National Memorial
    – Sir John Monash Centre
    – The Franco-Australian Museum visit
  • Somme Tour Director led sightseeing Learn about Australia’s role in WWI as you journey through the battlefields and memorials of the Somme area
12 Amiens - Flanders
  • Travel to Flanders
  • Fromelles sites Continue to Fromelles to visit:
    – Pheasant Wood Military Cemetery
    – V.C. Corner
    – Australian Cemetery and Memorial
  • Flanders sightseeing Spend a full day sightseeing, including visits to:
    – Messines Ridge
    – Gheluvelt
    – Hill 60
    – The Caterpillar
    – Polygon Wood
    – Hill 62 (Sanctuary Wood)
  • Flanders Fields Museum visit In Flanders Fields Museum presents the story of the First World War from the invasion of Belgium, to 4 years of trench warfare and peace in the region since. Visit the Museum and honour over 600,000 who fell.
  • Last post ceremony Finish the day with the Last Post ceremony at Menin Gate.
13 Flanders
  • The Passchendaele Platoon experience Along with an expert guide immerse your students into the life of a WWI soldier in 1917. Equipped and fully clothed in historical uniforms, students will follow the route along the old Ypres-Roeselare railway track taken by the 3rd Australian Division during the major assault of 4 October 1917. Lunch is included and will consist of a warm Tommy Tucker meal, soldiers’ fare in 1917.
    The aim of this experience is to help students develop their knowledge of WWI events, enhance their leadership skills as well as teach them how to interpret historical information and finally, encourage participants to adopt a critical and historical approach in order to understand current areas of tension.
14 Depart Belgium
  • Final farewell Say goodbye to Belgium as you board your flight home to Australia
  • Welcome home

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