April 19, 2016
Today we say aurevoir to Paris and head off to Lucerne Switzerland. We drive past the Fontainebleau Forest, and enter Burgundy. We enjoyed views of castles and vineyards on our way to the Swiss Alps and to picturesque Lucerne.
We started our walking tour by going to the emotional Lion Monument, dedicated to the fallen Swiss Guards who protected the Royal House of France during the French Revolution. We walked through the Old Town and cross the Chapel Bridge to the Jesuit Church.
Tonight some of the people in our group enjoyed a Swiss folklore dinner party. While others found a great restaurant on a ship on Lake Lucerne.
April 20, 2016
We woke up quite early and enjoyed a beautiful walk around Lake Lucerne before heading off to Mt. Pilatus. When we arrived at the base of Mt. Pilatus we rode 2 separate gondolas to reach the top of this 7000 foot tall mountain. Nothing could have prepared us for the spectacular views!
We then went to downtown Lucerne. Our first stop was for chocolate, the second stop was for a Swiss cheese fondue....so delicious.
We then all boarded our tour bus again and started our journey to Bergamo.
We passed many little towns along the way from the Italian Swiss region, the entered Italy to see Lake Como and Milan.
Once in Bergamo the hotel staff greeted us with Prosecco and fruit drinks. Then we were led to a great dinner at a nearby restaurant that was opened just for our group. What a nice way to start our brief stay in Bergamo!
April 21, 2016
The next morning we went up by Funicular to the "Old Town" of Bergamo before starting our journey to Venice.
When we arrived, all you could hear was oohs and awwwww's coming from our bus. What an incredible site. We had the most beautiful day; not a cloud in the sky and the sun was shining on beautiful Venice.
We were taken by private water taxis to Piazza San Marco or St. Mark's Square. We walked over the Bridge of Versailles and enjoyed the site of Saint Mark's Basilica and the Campanile (clock tower). We were given a brief walking tour (using our whisper headsets) and this was followed by a glass blowing demonstration of Merano vase and a horse ornament. We were then given free time to wander the streets and shops of Venice (like James Bond in Casino Royale) while enjoying a gelato.
The afternoon was enjoyed with a gondola ride which was so wonderful. We later met our group for a delicious dinner of salad, various pastas and tiramisu for dessert. We again left by private taxi's that went through the Grand Canal for one last breathe taking view of Venice. We arrived back at our hotel the NH Laguna Palace Hotel where no one had trouble falling asleep after a fun filled, amazing day.
April 22, 2016
We wave good-bye to Venice at 7:30 am and head off to Rome via a visit in Florence.
We drove through the Lombardi Plane and past Bologna. We see a beautiful church up on the hill and are told of how people climb this high hill in procession.
We now leave the Lombardi Plane and head for the Alpennine Mountain range area. As soon as we arrived in Rome we went straight to our group dinner which was delicious.
April 23, 2016
The next morning we started bright and early with a full day tour. We get to see so many amazing highlight of Rome from the Colosseum, The Vatican Museum, The Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica and the Roman Forum, and Trevi Fountain ...incredible.
April 24, 2016
Our tour group departs for their journey home. While this tour was certainly fast paced, we definitely saw "The European Highlights" of four wonderful countries. I was grateful to put so many check marks beside my bucket list items, but most of all, that I was able to share in this with such wonderful company.