The Vistas of Italy & Switzerland
13 day tour

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Discover the serene beaches of Southern Italy, the deep greens of the Swiss valleys, and the history of the Ancient Romans on this tour from Rome to Paris.

Highlights

Abbeys
Roman Ruins
Film Locations
UNESCO Heritage Sites
Lakes
National Parks
Mountains
Beaches

Places you explore


Alberobello - Marvel at Apulia’s unique beehive-shaped houses that look like they were built by fairies.

Salento Peninsula – The heel of Italy will steal your heart with the turquoise bays of Otranto and Santa Maria di Leuca.

Pompeii - Ponder over the everyday life of the Ancient Romans as you stroll through the city that froze in time.

Amalfi Coast – Pastel-coloured houses, steep cliffs, azure seas, lemon groves and a lot of glamour: Feel La Dolce Vita at its finest.

Lake Como and Lake Maggiore - Prestigious villas, lush nature and charming villages. Fall in love with the beguiling beauty of the azure blue Italian lakes.

Gruyères – This little quaint Swiss village has it all: lush green fields, charming churches, a medieval castle, and legendary cheese and chocolate..

Lauterbrunnen – Stare in awe at this postcard-perfect village nestled deep in a valley of 72 waterfalls with views of Eiger.

Château de Chillon – Located on a little island with the Alps in the background, this iconic Medieval castle looks like it’s straight out of a fairy tale.


Your journey


Enjoy the quintessential landscapes of Europe on this journey from Rome to Paris.

You see every tone of azure blue on the white beaches of South Italy. You ogle at crumbling Roman remains squashed between bustling plazas in Rome. You see the snow-crested mountains of the Alps in Switzerland. And you admire the rolling wine groves of Burgundy in France.

Join this journey and discover the postcard perfect scenery of Europe.


Tour Details

Starts
08:30 - Rome
Finishes (approx.)
19:00
Paris
Luggage
You’re restricted to 20kg (44lbs) of luggage per person. This may consist of a small bag for onboard personal items and a larger suitcase or rucksack.
Discounts
  • Children between 5 and 15 (unfortunately, we don't carry children under 5 years old)
Important information
  • Pack comfortable shoes for walks up to beautiful views
  • Carry swimwear and a towel for wild swimming spots
  • Your holiday’s more fun when you protect yourself from the sun
  • This journey combines two of our tours and a free day in Rome. This means you swap your bus and guide during the journey.
  • Secure your tour with 10% deposit. See FAQs for more details.
Tour inclusions
  • Transport in a luxury mini-coach
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • The stories and services of an English-speaking guide and driver
  • 12 nights in a three-star hotel with continental breakfast
Tour exclusions
  • Entry fees to visitor attractions
  • A few European destinations charge tourist taxes. These funds help them keep the locations clean, safe, and beautiful. You usually pay these at the accommodation suppliers, and cost between 1€ and 5€ per night.

Itinerary

Day 1

  • See the beautiful Abbey of Montecassino tower over the surroundings
  • Discover the ancient history and legends of Benevento

You leave the hustle and bustle of Rome and head south towards peaceful Cassino.

Sitting atop of the mountain, the Montecassino Abbey is a sight to behold. A working monastery and a pilgrimage site, this place was a centre of art, culture, and learning. It was also the scene for a decisive battle near the end of World War II. You have time to stroll through the cloisters of the monastery, admire fabulous frescoes and mosaics, and contemplate the turbulent history and violence of war.

Then, you visit the ruins of San Pietro Infine, a small village affected by World War II, before you travel past hilltop villages and mountains to Benevento.

Built on a hill with a stunning background of mountains, this timeworn city has a special aura. It’s filled with memories of the ancient Samnites, Romans, and Longobards. But Benevento is also packed with stories of witches. Legends say they gather from all over the world by an ancient walnut tree by the local river.

After a day of soaking up the history, legends, and stunning views; you travel south-east to Ariano Irpino your home for the night.

Day 2

  • Stare in awe at the Apulia’s unique cylindrical, whitewashed buildings called trulli
  • Savour the local cuisine and a glass of cold limoncello

You wake up in the stunning region of Campania and head south to Trani.

Known as the ‘Pearl of Apulia’, this historic stone-built port and fishing village exudes sophistication. Walk along the promenade in the marina or stroll through the historic centre and admire the medieval churches, cathedral, and historic Jewish quarter.

You travel to Polignano a Mare, a small, idyllic seaside town perched on the edge of cliffs. Enjoy your lunch surrounded by sun-bleached stone buildings and enjoy the Adriatic breeze. You should also try to catch the sight of the beach in the centre of the town. Its spectacular location paired with crystal clear emerald waters is a recipe for a perfect photo.

Just when you thought your day couldn’t get any better, your adventure takes you to Alberobello. With over 1,500 small and rounded white houses, this town looks like it was inhabited by gnomes. These beehive-shaped buildings are called trulli and are so unique to Apulia that they were awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. Take your time to meander around the narrow streets and marvel at the impossibly photogenic nooks.

Feeling that La Vita è Bella, you leave Alberobello and ramble south to the heel of Italy, where Lecce, the ‘Florence of the South’ and your base for two nights awaits. You arrive in the late afternoon, so you’ll have time to spend your evening exploring hidden piazzas and alleys.

Day 3

  • Marvel at the Baroque architecture of Lecce, ‘the Florence of the South’
  • Enjoy the stunning vistas of the southernmost part of Italy’s heel

Buongiorno! Wake up and start the day with some pasticciotto, the gorgeous breakfast pastry. Enjoy your free time in the morning by strolling through Lecce’s old town and admiring its unique architecture. The city’s Baroque style is so unique it got the name of its own, ‘Lecce Baroque’.

Next, contrast the splendour of Lecce with the laid-back seaside towns of the Salento Peninsula. You leave at noon and travel through the ochre-coloured fields and olive groves to Otranto. Enjoy your time here strolling around the fortifications or harbourside promenade and try some local dishes.

You continue your adventure to Santa Maria di Leuca. Located on the southernmost tip of Italy’s heel, the little town sits between two seas. It’s steeped in history and the legends of its origin are influenced by various cultures. Here, you can climb up the stairs alongside the largest man-made waterfall and get rewarded with magnificent views from the lighthouse, located at what was once known as Finibus Terrae (“at the End of the Land” from Latin).

Cast your eyes for the last time at the magnificent vistas of the coast and journey inland to Lecce, where you arrive in the early evening.

Day 4

  • Step back in time as you explore the ancient cave dwellings in Matera
  • Travel off the beaten track to the remote village of Castelmezzano

You leave Lecce and head to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Matera. This city is so perfectly adapted to the terrain that it blends in with its rocky surroundings on a cliff edge. It’s a higgledy-piggledy jumble of sassi, the ancient cave dwellings, houses and churches. And it may have been continuously inhabited for 9,000 years.

Spend your time uncovering the rich history of this place and visit ancient churches with paintings on stone cave walls. You can also check out what the 18th-century dwellings were like and stumble upon locations used in Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ. And before you leave this captivating place, relish some of the local dishes which haven’t changed for centuries.

Your adventure takes you off the beaten track again as you journey into the heart of the Lucanian Dolomites and the village of Castelmezzano. One of the highest villages in the Basilicata region, it’s located on a narrow ledge that drops away into a dramatic gorge. But Castelmezzano wasn’t built here just for the stunning vistas. Find out about its rich history as you explore the village or go for a hike to see the ruins of the castle which gave the village its name.

After a busy day, you travel through the hills and mountains of Basilicata towards the west coast of Italy, where you spend two nights in Salerno.

Day 5

  • Fall madly in love with the colours and scents of the glamorous Amalfi Coast
  • Savour the local cuisine and a glass of cold limoncello

You set off in the morning with a mission to discover the many faces of the region of Campania; the ancient, the new, the tragic and the euphoric.

Your first stop of the day is Pompeii. In 79 AD the nearby Vesuvius erupted and buried the Roman city under a layer of pumice stone. There was no time to flee, so the city and its people were tragically frozen in the volcanic ash. Ponder over this phenomenon as you explore the archaeological site. You have three hours to uncover this city, so take a look at the millennia-old buildings and get a glimpse into the way the Ancient Romans lived. After your time travelling in Pompeii, you head to the glamourous Amalfi Coast to celebrate the new and the beautiful. Pastel-coloured houses and villas, chic boutiques, gourmet restaurants; this is La Dolce Vita at its finest. Add mountains plunging into the sea, verdant woodland, and sheer crags and you’ll understand why this Italian heaven boasts the UNESCO status.

You stop in Positano, which looks like a colourful multi-tiered cake dramatically clinging to a sea-cliff. Find a restaurant to enjoy your lunch and drink in the magnificent views over the Tyrrhenian Sea. Then peruse the local boutiques, visit picturesque Santa Maria church, and take amazing photos as you meander through the pastel-coloured streets. Alternatively, walk down the steps to the beach for a swim and some sun.

Reinvigorated after your visit to Positano, you ramble along the dazzling Amalfi Coast and stop for photos on the way. In the late afternoon, you arrive back in Salerno where you can enjoy the rest of your afternoon and watch the sunset with a drink in your hand.

Day 6

  • Feel the thrill of walking along the crater of the infamous Mount Vesuvius
  • Explore the ruins of Pompeii, the ancient city frozen in time

Today it’s time for something more dramatic.

In the morning, you travel north to face Mount Vesuvius. In ancient times, this mountain was considered to be divine and had connections to Jupiter – god of sky and lightning. Legends say that the giants used to inhabit the volcano, which explained the loud noises and rumbling.

Scary as this sounds, the titan is dormant now. So, put on your sturdy boots because you can hike up to its crater. You arrive in Vesuvius National Park and walk up the path of the Gran Cono. Feel the thrill as you walk along the crater of this legendary menace, discover its biodiversity and admire unforgettable panoramic views.

After the exciting start of the day, you go to Pompeii, which fell victim to the eruption of Vesuvius. There was no time to flee, so people and buildings were buried and preserved in volcanic ash. Get a glimpse of the world of the Ancient Romans as you take your time to explore this archaeological site.

Then you leave the past behind and take a road that leads to Rome. Enjoy your leisurely ramble north through Campania and Lazio before you arrive in the Eternal City early in the evening.

Day 7

  • Ponder over the past glory of Ancient Rome in the Colosseum
  • Enjoy a gelato by the lavish Trevi Fountain

Haunting ruins, awe-inspiring art and vibrant street life. This is Rome, the Eternal City.

You have a free day to discover the delights of the city. Why not make the most of your time here and jump on the hop on hop off bus?

You can also get a map and follow the trail of the icons of Rome’s heyday. There’s the huge Colosseum; the architecture of the Pantheon; and the Roman Forum, the centre of the religious, political, and social activities.

Once you’ve had a glimpse into the past, focus on the current culinary scene and grab an alfresco table on one of many elegant piazzas. Sit down, relax, and get your taste buds ready for the local delicacies.

Then, you can soak up the atmosphere of this fascinating city. Stroll along the Tiber River and snap photos of the beautiful Castle Saint Angelo, count the legendary Spanish Steps, and unwind with a tasty gelato by the dazzling Trevi Fountain. Toss a coin into the water to make sure you’ll return here and start getting excited for the next part of your tour.

Day 8

  • Spend an afternoon and evening in Bologna and stroll through its famous porticoes

You leave the dazzling capital of Italy and head north towards the city of Bologna.

On the way, you stop off for refreshments and views of quintessential Italian villages and landscapes.

You arrive in Bologna in the mid-afternoon, so you have time to explore Europe’s oldest university; a beautiful network of porticoed, medieval streets; and some fine restaurants.

Day 9

  • Get captivated by the views of Lake Como framed by the Alps

Today, you travel through Lombardy, Italy’s wealthiest region with a host of magnificent lakes.

Your adventure first takes you to Lake Como, the most stunning lake in the region. Framed by the Rhaetian Alps, this Italian slice of heaven’s crystal-clear waters seduced the most famous writers of the 18th and 19th centuries.

You arrive in Como, a town on the southern tip of the lake, and have time to stroll along the shores, drink in the magnificent views, and absorb its relaxed atmosphere. Don’t forget to find a restaurant or café to savour the unique flavours of the region before you continue to explore the area.

Your journey around Lake Como ambles through more picturesque villages before you travel to Lugano, an architectural treat and your home for the next two nights.

Day 10

  • Admire the harmonious blend of lakes and the mountains in Locarno
  • Explore Stresa and the beautiful Borromean Islands

Breathe in the fresh mountain air as you leave Lugano and continue to explore the stunning lakes on the border of Italy and Switzerland.

You start with a trip to Varese. This commune perches prettily upon a tree-lined hill. You have time to admire Italian village life and grab an espresso.

Next, you travel along Lake Maggiore to Stresa. You can get entertained for the whole afternoon by taking an optional boat trip to the magnificent Borromean Islands to uncover their artistic, historical and natural delights. Or, if you crave for striking vistas, you can get the cable car ride to the summit of Mount Mottarone that rises nearby.

After an exciting afternoon, you continue along the western bank to Locarno, an Italian-speaking resort city in Switzerland. With 2,300 hours of sunshine a year, numerous palm trees, and an air of elegance; this city is hard to leave.

In the evening, you return to Lugano for your second night.

Day 11

  • Fall in love with Lauterbrunnen, one of the most quintessential Alpine villages
  • Stare in wonder at the Staubbach Falls, Europe’s highest free-falling waterfall

Today, you delve into the mountainous heart of Switzerland where the soaring Alps are intertwined with green meadows, glittering lakes and cute villages.

Your first short stop is in Altdorf, a little town with a famous monument to William Tell. Hear the story of the legendary folk hero who symbolized the struggle for political and individual freedom.

Then, you travel through some of the most scenic roads of the country, where every turn looks like a postcard photo. But just when you thought that the landscape can’t get any more magnificent, you arrive in Lauterbrunnen.

This little village is the epitome of the alpine paradise. It’s located in an immense U-shaped valley framed by sheer mountain crags. It offers great views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, some of the most well-known mountains in the area, and it’s decorated with a staggering 72 waterfalls.

You have almost the whole afternoon to explore this quintessential Swiss village. Start from admiring the chalet-style houses and eating some Swiss specialities. Then, stare in awe at Staubbach Falls, Europe’s highest free-falling waterfall located right at the end of the main street. If you still crave more, you can go slightly off the beaten track and visit Trümmelbach waterfalls, a series of 10 glacier waterfalls.

After you’ve soaked up the peace and beauty of the rural landscapes, you head to Lausanne, your home for two nights and an ideal place for an evening stroll along Lake Geneva.

Day 12

  • Savour the quintessential flavours of Gruyères
  • Try celebrity-spotting in glamorous Gstaad
  • Visit the iconic Chillon Castle on Lake Geneva

Man does not live on landscapes alone, so today you’ve got a chance to savour the famous culinary heritage of Switzerland.

You head to the medieval town of Gruyères full of cobbled streets and quaint houses decorated with flowers. But you didn’t come here to admire the charms of the village. You came to try that nutty, semi-hard cheese the world raves about. And the best place to do this is at the local cheese factory, La Maison du Gruyère, where you can learn the history and production secrets of this delicious cheese.

Alternatively, if you have a sweet tooth, you can visit Maison Cailler; a chocolate factory with a series of interactive, multi-sensorial experiences and chocolate tasting. Just remember to leave some space for other specialities like fondue and marvellous meringues with double cream.

After trying some of the gastronomic highlights, you get back on the road and venture through the unspoiled landscapes of a regional nature park to Gstaad for lunch. It might be a timber-lined village surrounded by mountains and pastures, but it’s popular with celebrities and exudes the glitz and glamour.

From here, you travel back to the shores of Lake Geneva to visit another Swiss icon, the 13th-century Chillon Castle which boasts a spectacular location. You arrive back in Lausanne early in the evening.

Day 13

  • Stroll leisurely through charming Dole, the City of Art and History
  • Discover the quintessential flavours of famous Chablis wines in their birthplace

You leave lovely Lausanne, travel through the brooding scenery of the Jura Mountains, and head into France. You’re now in the rural landscapes of the Franche-Comté region known for its beautiful nature.

Your first stop of the day is Dole, a charming town set in the stunning countryside of the Doubs valley. It boasts the status of ‘A City of Art and History’ thanks to its wonderful historical area, medieval streets, and interesting museums. To get the real flavour of this place, stroll along the town’s narrow streets, canals and bridges and taste some of the local cheeses.

Back on the road, you head to Chablis, the home to the region’s famous dry white wines. This picturesque walled town will enchant you with its medieval timber-framed houses. Savour your lunch and go wine tasting in a nearby winery to discover some of the best Chablis. Or if you like wine trivia, peruse the impressive collection of 8,000 items in the Corkscrew and Vineyard Museum.

In the late afternoon, say au revoir to the medieval town and journey to Paris through the lush landscapes of Burgundy.

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Accommodation

Where does this tour stay overnight?

You stay one night in Ariano Irpino, two nights in Lecce, two nights in Salerno, two nights in Rome, one night in Bologna, two nights in Lugano, and two nights in Lausanne.


To get more information about your accommodation, please contact our friendly team 3 weeks prior to departure.


How does the accommodation work?

To get more information about your accommodation, please contact our friendly team 3 weeks prior to departure.

So, we’ve hand-picked three to four-star hotels in remote coastal villages, bustling towns, and mountain valleys.

Your accommodation is included in the tour price; and when you book your trip, you can choose whether you want double rooms, twin rooms, or single rooms.

In Paris, Nice, Madrid, Lisbon, and Rome, you stay at a hotel by the airport. These have excellent transport connections all across the city and let us avoid contributing to central traffic congestion.


Are there any extra accommodation costs?

The price you see is for all your tour's accommodation and for the tour itself. This figure is based on shared accommodation. When you're booking your tour and select a single room, an additional single room supplement will be added to the price.


FAQs

Do I need a visa to take this tour?

You may need a Schengen Visa to travel throughout Europe. Check the official tourism website of the country you’re visiting for up-to-date and reliable information. Travel between countries is easy because there are no passport checks at the borders.


Do I need to pay all at once?

Our Europe Tours have flexible payment options to help you budget for your dream holiday.

If you book more than three months before your tour departs, you can reserve your trip with a deposit of 10% or more. The full payment is required three months before your departure.

Call us on +44 (0) 131 226 3133 or email tours@rabbies.com to pay a deposit, discuss more payment options, or let us know of any changes to your travel arrangements.


Are the tours suitable for people with mobility issues?

Most people can comfortably enjoy our tours, but it's worth bearing in mind that we often include optional short walks in scenic locations. Please also be aware that many of the old European towns are built on steep hills with cobbled lanes, and you may have to carry your own luggage at times.

So that we can ensure you're comfortable travelling with us, please let us know about any special requirements or needs at the time of booking. If you have any more questions, simply email tours@rabbies.com .


Do you offer hotel pickups in the departure cities?

Europe's historic city centres are full of narrow streets and winding roads. So, to speed up your departure and avoid contributing to congestion issues, we only start our trips from the airport hotel specified in your departure information.

Our friendly team will send you more information about your departure location closer to your departure date.


When should I get to the departure point?

Arrive at the hotel lobby 15 minutes before your departure time. Unfortunately, we’re unable to wait for you if you’re late due to vehicle restrictions. But depending on your situation, we may be able to help you catch up with your tour.


What are your cancellation policies?

We have a cancellation period of 42 days for our Europe tours. If you cancel your trip before this period, we give you a full refund minus a 10% admin charge. If you cancel inside this timeframe, you’re liable for the cost of the tour package.

We understand how disappointing it is when you have to cancel a trip with us, so please contact our friendly team who will try their best to resell your ticket and refund you.

Click here to view full terms and conditions.


What is a guaranteed departure?

It's simple: you book, you go. This means we'll never cancel your tour because of a minimum numbers policy.


What can I expect?

Your friendly driver and guide are passionate about the places they visit and know all the local gossip. This means your tour itinerary can change a little due festivities, attraction opening hour changes, and spontaneous photo opportunities.


Can I pre-book a specific seat?

Due to logistical reasons, we're unable to let you pre-book a seat on the bus. But our comfortable mini-coaches have huge windows, So you always get a good view.


Are there toilets on the bus?

We like to keep our coaches small, nimble, and odour free. This means we have no on-board toilet facilities, but you frequently stop in local towns and villages for comfort breaks.



Do you take children on your tours?

Unfortunately, we’re unable to have children under the age of five on our Europe tours.

You can ask us about the tours we recommend for younger children. And if your child is less than 1.35m tall, you should let us know, so we can provide them with a suitable booster seat.


How much time do I get off the bus?

We want you to enjoy your trip to Europe. And we believe the best way to do this is to get you off the mini-coach and out exploring. So, we give you plenty of stops to take photos, go walking, and explore ancient ruins.


Why do you exclude visitor attractions?

We exclude visitor attractions in your tour price because it lets you travel your way. It means you can pamper yourself with a luxury lunch or skip an attraction whenever you feel like it.


Do we need to bring our own lunch?

You don't need to pack or bring along food on the mini-coach. We stop in small European towns, villages, and rural eateries where you can choose whatever meal pleases both your taste buds and your budget.


What should I do if I have too much luggage?

It’s more enjoyable to travel with light luggage. You can take less by cleaning clothes along the way. Most hotels provide affordable laundry service.

But if you're travelling with more than 20kg, don't worry! There are left luggage facilities close to all our departure points, and courier companies who could ship your excess luggage on to your chosen destination. Our team are happy to help if you need any suggestions or recommendations.


Should I tip the driver and the guide?

Let's be honest, our drivers and guides would never refuse a cheeky bonus. But it's up to you, and the amount is entirely at your discretion.


What about travel insurance?

We highly recommend you take out travel insurance, so you can enjoy a stress-free journey.


What is ABTOT?

You're protected by ABTOT when you choose to let us book your accommodation on a multi-day tour. This means you can claim back anything you've paid us if we run into any issues. Read our terms and conditions for more information.

Our packages are covered by the Package Travel Regulations. For full details of your key rights please click here.


I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, email tours@rabbies.com, or check out our full FAQs.

4 reasons to choose Rabbie's

Travel the local way on small group tours of 16 people or fewer

You'll have a guaranteed experience, or your money back

Guaranteed departures: you book, you go

Our eco-friendly tours support local communities

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