After a memorable white Christmas, why not take our escorted tour through Italy to the Mediterranean coast and Nice - “Queen” of the French Riviera. The milder climate here will allow you to wear lighter clothing, and the hardy, you can even take a swim in the “Med”. We’ll also visit the Principality of Monaco – home to the rich and famous, and their yachts, expensive cars and homes.
27 Dec Seefeld – Bolzano - Gardone Riviera (279kms)
This morning we depart our alpine paradise and travel south, crossing into Italy. This northern part is still recognised as “Sud Tirol” – from the period when it was under Austrian rule. Our first stop will be in Bolzano, capital of the Italian province of the same name. Plenty of time here to explore the old city with its street markets. The town also has a well-known Archeological Museum – which is now home to the infamous “Oetzi the Iceman”. You have time to visit this museum on your own if you wish. We’ll then continue further south to the largest lake in northern Italy – Lake Garda – and our overnight destination of Gardone Riviera. Tonight we have dinner in the hotel.
Hotel Ville Montefiore. (B,D)
28 DecGardone Riviera – Milan – Turin (280kms)
Today we travel in a westerly direction, on the southern side of the Italian Alps. Our first destination is Milan, the financial and fashion capital of Italy. There will be plenty of time here to have lunch and visit the major landmark – the Duomo – the third largest Christian cathedral in the world. There’s also time to explore the boutiques and stores in the grand shopping “mall” – the Galleria Victor Emmanuel II – before we rejoin the motorway to our next destination – Turin. Tonight we’ll have dinner in a local restaurant.
Hotel Golden Palace (B,D)
29 Dec Turin
Today we have a walking tour of the first capital city of a unified Italy. The city is a major business and cultural centre and is capital of the region of Piedmont. It is home to Italy’s first ruling family – the House of Savoy and as such has the legacy of one of the few remaining “royal” palaces in Italy. The afternoon is free to explore the city at leisure and enjoy a hot chocolate – for which the city is renowned. Dinner is at your leisure tonight to allow you to sample the local fare. (B)
30 Dec Turin – Barolo – Nice (328kms)
After breakfast we depart to the south and the well-known region of “Langhe”. This fertile area is famous for the Barolo wine that is made here, and is also the origin of the “slow cooking”. We’ll make a visit to the interesting Wine Museum in Barolo and take lunch at a local restaurant “Bovio” in La Morra. Relax and enjoy the scenery as we then continue on our way toward the Mediterranean coast and the French Riviera. Late afternoon arrival in Nice. Dinner in a local restaurant this evening. (B,D)
Hotel Novotel Nice (B,D)
31 Dec Nice
Today is at leisure to explore this renowned beachside city. The stores will be open well into the evening before everyone starts preparing for New Years Eve. Why not explore the old town of Nice with its historic flower and food markets. Or perhaps take a stroll partway along the Promenade de Anglais – a beautiful pedestrian and cyclist pathway running 5.5km from Nice Port almost to Nice Airport. For the more adventurous, the old port town of Antibes is easily reached in 20 minutes by train. Tonight is at leisure for dinner, and after, for those who are still awake, there is a small fireworks display at the port of Nice, within walking distance from our hotel. (B)
01 Jan Nice – Monaco – Nice
All major stores will be closed today, so it’s a good day to visit the Principality of Monaco and its major town – Monte Carlo. Home to the famous casino, luxury yachts, expensive cars, wealthy sportsmen and women, and a round of the Formula 1 Grand Prix calendar. You’ll have time to stroll the old town, view the Royal Palace, perhaps take a tour through the Oceanographic Museum. There is always a Christmas Market on the marina precinct with food stalls and booths seeling various products from the region. Afternoon return to Nice and tonight we have a farewell meal at a local restaurant in the Old Town. (B,D)
02 Jan Nice – End of Tour
After breakfast there will be a transfer to the Nice Airport or rail station