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France & Italy

The Enchanting Art and Architecture of France and Italy

The Enchanting Art and Architecture of France and Italy

Tour Suggestion

Dazzling coastlines, lush rolling hills covered in vineyards, opulent architecture, and illustrious artwork are combined to create a truly captivating travel experience.   Relax as you soak in the sunshine of Nice, be enthralled by the glorious atmosphere of Aix-en-Provence, and welcome the rich cultural history of Florence.   Infused with ample opportunities to perform in venerated historical buildings, this fantastic itinerary was fine-tuned for musicians and musical groups.  Indulge your love of music while enriching your own life through travel and adventure.   


Day 1: Arrival in Arles

Welcome to your exciting journey of cultural discovery.  Your tour guide will meet you at the airport, where you will board your private coach to transfer to Arles.   A wondrous city steeped in ancient history and architecture, Arles is a delight to explore.  The great artist, Vincent Van Gogh, was greatly inspired by this charming metropolis, and took up residence here in 1888.   Van Gogh painted many of the buildings around town and enjoyed great productivity while living here in Arles.  From the Ampitheatre to museums to the vibrantly hued homes, Van Gogh was prolific in his painting of this stunning city.   Once a great centre of power and mighty stronghold of Ancient Rome, Arles is brimming with relics of this glorious historical empire.  View the great Arles Ampitheatre, which hosted the violent, thrilling chariot races and gladiator bouts of yesteryear.  The Arles Theatre, ancient yet elegant, is still a venerated venue for theatrical performance over 2000 years after it was first constructed.    Place de la République, the main square of Arles, is home to an impressive Roman obelisk, the Town Hall, and a bustling atmosphere of activity.  Here, you'll find the gorgeous Church of St. Trophime with its superb cloisters, artwork, and architecture. Across from St. Trophime sits the Church of St. Anne, with its simple yet elegant exterior dating back to 1630. 
Later this afternoon, a visit to the one of the Arles' amazing museums will be certain to captivate.  Whether it’s admiring the fascinating artefacts of Ancient Rome at the Musée de l'Arles antique, marvelling at the exquisite artwork of the Musée-Galerie de l'Atelier Gaston de Luppé, or revelling in a special workshop at the Vincent van Gogh Foundation, your afternoon excursion will leave you delighted and enriched.
Transfer to the hotel for check-in.
Enjoy a welcome dinner with your tour companions.  Dine on delicious regional cuisine while toasting your upcoming adventures.
Overnight in Arles.


Day 2: Amazing Avignon

Continue onwards to Avignon, a riverside city resplendent in fine Medieval architecture, and often heralded as the true "Heart of Provence".  Your visit begins with a tour of the fantastic Palais des Papes, the seat and powerhouse of the Catholic Popes in the 14th century.  This grandiose palace, a true testament to the historical strength and authority of the Catholic Church, is colossal in size and the biggest Gothic palace in the whole of Europe.   Stroll through the many rooms and hallways of this massive edifice, admiring the vibrant paintings in the Saint-Martial Chapel, the soaring arches of the Grand Chapel, and the private study of Clement VI.
Enjoy lunch at a local café with your tour companions, perhaps indulging in the famous cuisine of Provence.
This afternoon, you can participate a special performance at Le Forum Les Angeles.  Revel in this opportunity to share your love of music, enchanting audience members during this melodic interlude.
After your special concert, enjoy a guided walking tour of spectacular Avignon.   Stroll down the Rue de la République, the main boulevard of the city as you acquaint yourself with this charming metropolis.  Admire the great Avignon Cathedral with its magnificently prominent bell tower topped by a sparkling Virgin Mary.   Discover the impressive Medieval ramparts, an excellent example of the fortification of the time.   Finally, no visit to Avignon would be complete without a visit to the famous Pont d'Avignon, the beautifully mighty remnants of the 12th century bridge featured in the classic French tune "Sur le Pont d'Avignon".   Revel in the stunning atmosphere and wondrous architecture of this incredible city while learning more about its rich history and culture.
Transfer back to Arles for dinner with your tour companions.
Overnight in Arles. 


Day 3: The Delights of Aix-en-Provence

The sun-dappled squares, enticing cafés, amazing art history and youthful energy of Aix-en-Provence await you.   This gorgeous metropolis, the birthplace of the illustrious Paul Cézanne, brims with idyllic charm and elegance.   Often called "the city of a thousand fountains", Aix-en-Provence dazzles visitors with its glorious atmosphere. 
A morning visit to Camp des Milles offers visitors a poignant reminder of the horrors of World War 2.  Used as a holding facility before deportation to Auschwitz, thousands of innocent people of Jewish heritage spent time here before being sent to their deaths.   Pay your respects to the many lives lost during the Holocaust by learning about the tragic history of Camp des Milles. 
Enjoy lunch in one of the many quaint cafés. 
This afternoon, participate in a walking tour of this brilliant city.  Stroll along the Cours Mirabeau, the prominent avenue of the city, lined with exquisitely beautiful townhouses, trees and fountains.  View the famous Deux Garçons, a favourite haunt of Paul Cézanne, now one of the most popular brasseries in town.  Continue onwards to the Aix Cathedral, an eclectic combination of architecture dating from the 5th to 17th centuries.   The Hôtel de Ville and its subsequent Place de l'Hôtel de Ville offer both visitors a peaceful yet vibrant area in which to socialize and people-watch.  Note the impressive clock-tower dating back to 1510, along with the opulent Corn Exchange located here at the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville while you explore this lovely city.  
Later this afternoon, indulge your sweet tooth with a visit to the Calisson Museum.   Learn about the delicious history of this special regional treat in this fun, interactive exhibit.   At the end of the tour, learn how to make your own batch of this enticing confection.
For art aficionados, ensure a visit to the Atelier Cézanne, the former studio of this great artist.   Gain incredible insight into his work and life while learning more about his time here in Aix-en-Provence.  
Transfer to your hotel for check-in and dinner with your tour companions.
Overnight in Aix-en-Provence.


Day 4: Markets and Music of Aix-en-Provence

After breakfast, revel in a fantastic excursion to Le Grand Marché, located along Cours Mirabeau.  The largest market in the city, Le Grand Marché simply bustles with activity.  Soak in the fabulous atmosphere of this authentic French market as you enjoy the sights and sounds of everyday life.  Embrace the wondrous smells of delicious baked goods on offer, making sure that you sample the enticing regional delights at lunchtime.   View the vibrantly coloured fresh produce and admire the abundance of lovely flowers.  Local handmade goods, including clothing, woodwork and leatherwork, are located throughout the sun-dappled avenue. 
Explore the city this morning at your leisure before your next activity.
Prepare for your musical performance at the gorgeous Aix Cathedral, impressive as it is illustrious.   Admire the wonderful artwork throughout the interior in this magnificent religious sanctuary as you acquaint yourself with your surroundings.  Visit the archways of the cloisters and view the intricately carved walnut doors.  Enjoy this special moment to showcase your repertoire, as musicians have been doing for centuries in this magnificent location.
This afternoon, you will continue onwards to dazzling Nice, a splendid coastal town that has been revered by travellers and locals alike.
Enjoy dinner with your tour companions, exchanging memories and thoughts about the discoveries of the day.
Overnight in Nice.


Day 5: The Wonders of Nice

This morning, set off for the gorgeous city of Nice.   Situated in the heart of the French Riviera, this wondrous city simply basks in the golden glow of sunshine.   Prepare to be entranced by the enchanting blue bay, the beautiful beaches and the charming architecture of the old town.   An exciting yet elegant resort town, Nice also brims with cultural importance.   The great artists Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall drew inspiration from the fantastic atmosphere of this seaside metropolis, and each artist has been honoured with a museum featuring their respective lives and artwork.
Revel in a visit to the splendid Matisse Museum, brimming with his vibrantly hued artwork.  Energized by the cheerful and exciting surroundings that Nice offers, his work often depicts flowers, bright colours, beautiful women and a generally joyful outlook.  View his artwork throughout the years, on display through a variety of mediums, namely paintings, prints and drawings.  The building housing the museum dates back to the 17th century and is both elegant and stately, overlooking the Parc des Arènes.   Indulge in a morning stroll amongst the mature olive trees, viewing the ancient Roman Ampitheatre located here.  
Enjoy lunch with your tour companions at one of the many lovely cafés. 
Bask in the radiance of Nice at your leisure this afternoon.  Nice offers many options for travellers of all backgrounds and preferences.  Walk along the Promenade des Anglais, soaking in the calming blue waters of the Baie des Anges (Bay of the Angels), visit the amazing Chagall Museum, heralded as being a delightful experience, view the beautiful Old Town, or simply relax in a beachside café.
Dine with your tour companions at a famed local restaurant, revelling in your exciting adventures and discoveries.   Say farewell while enjoying a night of merriment and excitement in this wonderful city.
Transfer back to your hotel, overnight in Nice.


Day 6: Glorious Genoa

This morning, you will transfer to the incredible coastal town of Genoa.  Make the most of your excursion to this enchanting seaside city, simply overflowing with opulent palaces and gorgeous natural beauty. 
An exciting day of thrills and adventure lies ahead.  One of the options for today's activity is a visit to the Caravelle Waterpark, renowned for its riveting water slides, colossal wave pool, exhilarating rapids, and relaxing river.  Get ready to enjoy a full day of water-filled entertainment while you create fantastic memories with your tour companions.
Another option for today is the Toirano Caves, a fascinating labyrinth of naturally formed underground caves and grottos.  Delve into this incredible subterranean world, exploring this exquisite cave system while learning more about this geologic wonder. 
Continue onwards to Genoa, enjoying a guided walking tour upon arrival.   A plethora of quaint laneways, sunny piazzas, and stunning architecture await you.  The Piazza de Ferrari, the true heart of the city which links the Old Town with the New Town, is flanked by the beautifully ornate buildings of yesteryear.   The dramatic fountain in the middle of this magnificent city square serves as the glittering centrepiece to this bustling piazza.   Stroll down the Strade Nuove (New Streets), a collection of streets known for their historical gorgeous architecture and buildings.  Designed and built in the 16th and 17th centuries by the extraordinarily wealthy citizens of Genoa, this group of roadways is home to many stunning, ornate palaces from the same time period.   Explore these amazing streets while learning about the forward-thinking system of the Palazzi dei Rolli, which supported and encouraged the development of Genoa's sensational wealth and power.   Discover the beauty of these many stunning palaces and prominent historical buildings while strolling through this incredible part of town.   The towering Lanterna, also known as the Lighthouse of Genoa, is a great landmark and has served the port since 1543.   View this historical marvel, in continued use for centuries, as you soak in the sights and sounds of this marvellous metropolis. 
Transfer to your hotel for check-in and dinner with your tour companions.
Overnight in Genoa.


Day 7: The Gems of Genoa

After indulging in an enticing Genoese breakfast, transfer to the tranquil Genoa Aquarium, the second largest aquarium in Europe.   Originally built for the Exposition of 1992, this fantastic collection of exhibits includes indoor and outdoor habitats supporting a huge range of biodiversity, a fascinating maritime museum, and a glass and steel bio-sphere containing a tropical rainforest.  Enrich your knowledge of aquatic life and conservation while appreciating the beauty of the ocean.
Enjoy lunch with your tour companions in this amazing city.
This afternoon, discover the Boccadasse, the historic seaside neighbourhood of Genoa, with its vibrantly hued fishing boats and idyllic atmosphere.   Appreciate the azure waves and sunshine as you traverse this pleasant part of the city, perhaps enjoying some famous gelato as you savour the lovely coastal scenery. 
Transfer back to your hotel for dinner.
Overnight in Genoa.


Day 8: Pleasing Pisa

Your adventure continues as you head to Pisa, famous for its iconic leaning tower, but also home to many gorgeous churches, bridges and palaces.   Home to the ancient but vibrant University of Pisa, this university town exudes youthful energy while maintaining its close ties to history.  Upon arrival, revel in a walking tour of this lovely city, of which the historical heart lies at the Piazza dei Miracoli.  This magnificent historical square, which literally translates to the Square of Miracles, plays host to a great collection of illustrious buildings.  Begin your exploration of Pisa with a visit to the exalted Leaning Tower of Pisa.  Construction of this celebrated tower began in the 12th century, with the tower beginning to tilt as a result of a poorly constructed foundation.  Admire this incredible architectural icon while you learn more about its turbulent and colourful history.  Continue onwards to the fantastically ornate Pisa Cathedral, built in the exquisite Romanesque style.  This amazing religious sanctuary features a particularly opulent façade, decorated with mosaics, marble and many bronze embellishments.   The nearby Pisa Baptistery, with its wondrously ornate exterior topped by a stunning dome, also warrants a visit due to its great architectural beauty and historical significance. 
Around lunchtime, you will have the opportunity to perform in the prodigious Pisa Cathedral.  Take centre stage, surrounded by the spectacular beauty and rich history.  Experience the joy of musical performance while appreciating the stunning architecture of one of Pisa's most illustrious buildings.  After your musical performance, ensure that you take time to thoroughly explore this splendid religious centre.  Look upwards towards to the heavens to admire the brilliant coffered ceilings adorned with gold leaf, supported by mighty Corinthian columns embellished in striking black and white.   View the sensational pulpit, a masterpiece in itself and a true testament to both art and religion.  The stunning art, murals and paintings throughout will continue to captivate and entrance.
Continue onwards to Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance and the centre of enlightenment.  
Transfer to your hotel for check-in and dinner with your tour companions.
Overnight in Florence.


Day 9: Fair Florence      

A special morning excursion will be certain to delight the taste buds.   Set off to the sublime Castello Vicchiomaggio for a unique tasting of their very own extra virgin olive oil.   Perched atop a glorious hill, with breath-taking panoramic views of the surrounding vineyards, olive groves and countryside, this stunning fortress will enchant and impress.   Dating back to 1400, this beautiful castle also boasts a mighty tower was built in 1100.   Learn about the history of this lovely building while sampling the deliciously fresh homemade breads and perfectly balanced olive oils.   An explanation and demonstration of olive oil production will also be provided and offers guests fascinating insight into this ancient art.
Transfer back to gorgeous Florence to enjoy lunch with your tour companions.
This afternoon, you will set out to explore Florence on a private walking tour.   Admire the Ponte Vecchio, the medieval enclosed bridge housing many jewellery and art shops.   A stop at the imposing Palazzio Vecchio, the Town Hall of Florence which looks more like a fortress, will create a unique photo opportunity.   Enjoy yourself while becoming acquainted with the sun-drenched centre of the Renaissance.
This afternoon, you will have the opportunity to perform in one of Florence's exalted religious sanctuaries.  Take the stage, enchanting your audience with joyful music in this venerated setting while admiring the exquisite architecture and history that surrounds you. 
Revel in the comradery of your tour companions as you share the memories of your special day in Florence at dinner.
Overnight in Florence.


Day 10: Fascinating Florence

This morning, an in-depth look at the fantastically mighty Palazzo Vecchio will be certain to fascinate.  An imposing structure, the Palazzo Vecchio towers over the Piazza della Signoria, which has been a centre of Florence government and politics for centuries.   Originally built by the powerful families of Florence to ensure that the governmental figures would remain well-protected in times of siege, the palazzo is truly a grandiose stronghold.
Lunch at your leisure with your tour companions, followed by an afternoon of free time to explore this wondrous metropolis at your own pace.
This evening, dine with your tour companions at a famed local restaurant, revelling in your exciting revelations and discoveries while on tour.   Say farewell while enjoying a night of merriment and excitement in this wonderful city.
Overnight in Florence.


Day 11: Farewell

Begin your journey home or continue on your own adventure of discovery.  


Performances: the mentioned locations and timeslots are just examples. They depend on group size & type, travel period and budget. No instrument rental included, locations like churches, public spots, schools or hotels, chair rental not included, audience is not guaranteed and subject to additional fees.


Copyright program and pictures: © APPINA TRAVEL GmbH

Alin Müller

Phone +49 89 189345 21

Fax +49 89 189345 22

Email alin.mueller(at)appina-travel(dot)com

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Your advantages

  • Mixture of visits related to history, art and culture as well as fun activities
  • Demonstation of olive oil production and tasting included

Accommodation pre-booked for you

Middle-class hotels

Services

  • 10 × overnight stay (2 × Arles, 1 × Aix-en-Provence, 2 × Nice, 2 × Genoa, 3 × Florence)
  • 10 × buffet breakfast
  • 10 × dinner at hotels or restaurants (3-course menu with tap water)
  • All city taxes
  • 1 × coach transfer according to program
  • 1 × tour escort during the trip
  • 3 × organization of a performance
  • 1 × guided city tour of Arles
  • 1 × visit of Musée de l´Arles
  • 1 × guided visit of Palais de Papes
  • 1 × guided city tour of Avignon
  • 1 × visit of Pont d’Avignon
  • 1 × visit of Camps des Milles
  • 1 × guided city tour of Aix-en-Provence
  • 1 × visit of Calisson Museum OR Atelier Cézanne
  • 1 × visit of Grand Marché
  • 1 × visit of Matisse Museum
  • 1 × entrance to Caravelle Waterpark or Toirano Caves
  • 1 × guided city tour of Genoa
  • 1 × entrance to Genoa Aquarium
  • 1 × guided city tour of Pisa
  • 1 × visit Castello Vicchiomaggio with demonstration and oil tasting
  • 1 × guided city tour of Florence
  • 1 × visit of Palazzo Vecchio

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