DAY 1 NICE
Panoramic tour of Nice, which in contrast to other old glories of the “Belle Époque” that have lost a large part of their shine does not appear to have aged a bit. It was the favorite destination of the European aristocracy and crowned heads during the 19th century. In the 20th century it attracted Anglo-Saxon and Nordic intellectuals who considered this city between Italy and France “the magic of the South”. Now, although it is still a center of luxury, is also a tremendously dynamic and cosmopolitan city, while at the same time conserving its own culture. During the tour we will be able to contemplate the grand hotels, the old palaces of the Russian and British nobility and the elegant fashion shops that are concentrated between train station and the “Promenade des Anglais”, the maritime promenade. Constructed between 1864 and 1868, the The English Promenade (Promenade des Anglais), maritime promenade known thourghout the world and symbol of Nice; in its origins the promenade was no more than a small path two meters wide. An Englishman, the reverend Lewis Way paid the construction of the actual promenade in 1820. Therefore, it was quickly baptized by the citizens as the “Promenade of the English”. Its current appearance is due to the reformsof 1931 and it was inaugurated by the Duke of Connaught, one of the sons of Queen Victoria of England. We will also contemplate the Basilica of Notre Dame, inspired by the Cathedral of Angers, the Cathedral Sainte-Réparate, which was the cathedral in the 16th century. It is the largest church in the historic center of Nice. The old Hotel Regina, constructed in 1896 for the English aristocracy and especially for Queen Victoria, it bears witness to the splendor of the Belle Époque; in the 1930s it was converted into private apartaments. The luxurious Negreso Hotel, Belle Époque building, constructed in 1912 and full of works of art, Town Hall, the Opera, Garibaldi Palace, the Prefecture, Masséna Square, which continues to be the jewel of Nice with seven statues designed by Spanish Jaume Plensa, Rossetti Square, Les Ponchettes, a row of buildings that includes two domed rooms from the 19th century, now converted into municipal galleries that house exhibitions of contemporary art, the Bellanda Tower, adorned with ceramic mosaics with Greek motives; the terrace offers a splendid view of the city and its surroundings. The French musician Berilos lived in the tower while he was writing the “Overture of the King Lear”. In the middle of Nice, we will be able to contemplate the Cimiez neighborhood, a bucolic and sofphisticated neighborhood, where there are ruins of the Roman city of Cemenelum, the Matisse Museum and the Monastery of Cimiez. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 2 NICE – EXC. GRASSE, CANNES AND SAINT TROPEZ
Breakfast. Departure to take an excursion, with Lunch, to Grasse, Cannes and Saint Tropez. Panoramic tour of Grasse, which in the 19th century beame the the most important place for perfume. More than 200 years later, the unique experience and the modernization of the actors in the perfume industry have allowed the city of Grasse to maintain its reputation as world capital of perfume. We will pass through the Cathedral Notre-Dame-du-Puy, Romanesque-provenzal in style, Town Hall, site of the ancient bishopric, Sarra Tower. Dinner. Tour of the International Museum of Perfume, situated in a mansion attached to an old building from the 14th century that, in its time, was occupied by some Dominican monks that were dedicated to the creation of perfumes. The museum has three floors: on the bottom floor, we will see the utensils used for the creation and conservation of perfume, from the time of the ancient Egypt up through today; on the first floor, a hall for permanent exhibitions, where the most prominent item in the museum can be found, the attaché case of Marie Antoinnette, that is one of the most prized treasures in this place, and the last frasc of Channel nº 5 belonging to Marilyn Monroe. In the upper floor we will find the garden-greenhouse full of roses, jazmines, vanilla, vetiver and the delicate Ylang Ylang plant. Departure for Cannes, and panoramic tour of the city, that began to flourish in the 19th century, when Lord Henry Brougham, Chancelor of England, moved there, giving rise to the heyday that would make Cannes a city spa full of aristocrats, in search of healthy climates. In this period they constructed many residences to recieve such illustrious guests in the winter. Thanks to the aristocracy, the Côte d’Azur and the Italian Coast gain prestige and development unknown up until that date. From amongst all the cities, Nice, Monaco, Antibes, etc, Cannes stands out thanks to the international fame that the Film Festival gives it in the 20th century. During the tour we will be able to contemplate Town Hall, constructed in 1876, the Croisette, promenade along the edge of the Mediterranean and one of the most famous of the world, with the Palais des Festivals, which is one of the emblematic buildings. On the Promenade de la Croistte there are sumptious palaces, today turned into hotels, such as the Hotel Carlton Intercontinental, Hotel Martinez, Majestic or Palace Stephanie (former Noga Hilton). Other nearby buildings that stand out from among the grandeur of hotels and residences are the Castle of the Tour de la Castre, which serves as the Seat of the Musée de la Castre, from which it dominates the city, and to its side the Church of Notre-Dame de la Esperance and the Chapel of Saint Anne. Continuation to Saint-Tropez. Panoramic tour of the city, where we can contemplate the Citadel, the preeminent monument of the city, due to its scope and location. The Old City wasconstructed by the inhabitants who moved there after the construction of the Citadel. The façades of the houses are painted in ochres, yellows or oranges that reflect in the water of the Port. Formerly these houses were used to keep the fishing botas but currently they are are businesses and stores. Also we will see the Port, the Church of Saint-Tropez, that stands out due to its Bell tower from 1624 painted the ochre Siena color and emblem par excellence of the city. Its Bell tower is one of the most beautiful in all of the the departament. Around the Church there is a laberynth of alleyways and little squares. Return to Nice. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 3 NICE – EXC. MONACO AND MONTECARLO
Breakfast and departure to take an excursion to Monaco. The Principality it is situated on a Peninsula with steep edges that enters the sea some 800 meters. In Monaco four smalls centers can be made out: to the southwest, Old Monaco, settled over a promontory 65 meters high; in the center, we find the comercial area of the Condamina; to the North, the tourist district par excellence, Montecarlo and in the extreme southeast, Fontvielle, on terrain gained from the sea. We will take a panoramic tour , where we can contemplate the fortress, the main attraction of this area, built in 1215 by the genovese, when they were the owners of, over foundations from the Arab fortifications. The Fortress, home of the Princes, has been reconstructed frequently, but without giving it notable architecturals characteristics. The Neoromanesque Cathedral, the buildings, towns and private palaces, true hallmark of the Principality, the Casino of Montecarlo, inaugurated por Charles III to avoid the bankruptcy of the Monacan state; the success of the Casino allowed decades after abolishing taxes. In the Belle Époque it was normal that the men bet astronomical amounts of money on games and cortesans. Otero was one of the most famous cortesans listed by high society. Retired from the scene in 1910, she settled in Nice, where she lived until her death in 1965, totally broke and alone. She lived from a pension that the Casino of Montecarlo gave her in thanks for the million francs that she left in it, thanks to the large number of men that she attracted with her charm. We will also walk through the Condamine, where there is the famous spa. Return to Nice. Lunch and Afternoon free. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 4 NICE – MILAN
Breakfast and departure for Milan. Arrival and Lunch. In the afternoon, panoramic tour of the city, where we can contemplate Duomo Square, where we will find the Duomo of Milan, the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, whose construction began in 1386, the Scala Theater, the Galería Vittorio Emmanuele II, one of the Italian galleries from the “belle époque”, built in the 19th century to connect the Duomo and the Scala and, in short time, it became one of the most popular places in Milan, the Domincan Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, where we can see the famous painting “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci, the Basilica of Saint Ambrose, one of the lovliest churches in Milan, a monumental building in late Lombardian and Romanesque style that preserves the structure of a Christian Basilica cristiana that has as its base the architecture of ancient Rome, the Sforza Castle, which contains three municipal museums. The center has various attractive pedestrian areas where architectural styles are mixed, the grandeur of the Austrian Empire, the grace of the Italian Renaissance and the optimism from the Belle Epoque, that creates a mdern and stylish Historic Grouping. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 5 MILAN – EXC. LAKE COMO AND LUGANO
Breakfast. Departure for a full day excursion with Lunch to Lake Como and Lugano. Lake Como is the third largest in Italy, after the Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore. It iis a tranquil and agreeable lake surrounded by a collection of small really delicious towns, but, without a doubt one of the prettiest towns is Bellagio, which also has an excepcional location, right in the point where the lower arms of the Lake are joined, which has a curious shapes on an inverted Y, which offers some fantastic views. Bellagio was named “The Pearl of Lake Como” and it was already known at the height of Rome, not only for its beauty but aslo for its strategic position. In Bellagio we can enjoy the the maritime promenade, which extends from the pier to the town of Melzi. It is a very pretty promenade since from there are spectacular views to be had of Lake Como from every point. There are several balconies and benches so that you can rest as you consider the views. In the upper part stands the Romanesque Basilica of San Giaccomo, around which town develops. In addition to its picturesque staircases and small alleyways, cobbled and full of charm, it is famous for its luxurious mansiones, the most prominent of which include Villa Melzi and Villa Serbelloni, which frame the town and allow us to appreciate how life on the lake for the owners of these mansions must have been. Continuation to Lugano. Situated in a bay on the north bank of Lake Lugano, surrounded by various mountains with a spectacular panorama, is a faithful reflection of the mixture between the cultures of Switzerland and Italy. Despite being a small small, Lugano is the third most important financial center in Switzerland and it is deomonstrated by the large quantity banking headquarters that can be seen on its streets. The town gained notoriety thanks to the Thyssen Collection, which was set up in the family mansion Villa Favorita during the 30s. In the historic center, closed to traffic, there is the Piazza della Riforma, surrounded by grand architecture and narrow alleyways full of stores, chiefly large fashion and watch companies. It has southern-style squares and arcades, as well as numerous parks with subtropical plantas, such as the Parco Civico Ciani, situated next to the Lake, with mediterranean flora and a rose garden. The most important religious buildings are the Cathedral San Lorenzo, with a Lombardian style façade, and the Church Santa Maria degli Angioli. The inhabitants of Lugano say that the city has the “happiness and the Romance of Italy, enclosed in a watch of Swiss precision”. Return to Milan. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 6 MILAN – LAKE GARDA – VERONA – VENICE
Breakfast and departure to take an excursion, with Lunch, to Lake Garda and Verona. Lake Garda, the largest in Italy, has two very distinct banks: the left bank belonging to the province of Brescia, with high slopes, and the right bank, belonging to the province of Verona, characterized by its rocks and precipices. The lake has eight islands small and is surrounded by towns with a great deal of charm and history like Salò, Gardone or Limone or Sirmione. We will visit Sirmione, a Peninsula that enters the water of the lake conforming to an almost medieval vision. Roman Sirmio was situated in the interior and only the neighborhood of las towns looked toward Lake. In the 12th century, the Scaligeri lords from Verona turned it into a fortress to defend Lake Garda, and in 1405 it was conquered by Venice, who governed it until the 16th century. In Sirmione we highlight the Rocca Scaligera, a castle of battlement walls constructed in the 12th century, which is one of the most interesting places in the city, Santa Maria Maggiore, from the 15th century, constructed on top of a pagan temple, San Pietro in Mawine, the Grotte di Catullo, a enormous Roman residence built in the centuries I B.C to I A.D. Continuation to Verona and panoramic tour of the city, where we can contemplate the Arena di Verona, one of the most important amphitheaters in the Romana era and the largest after the Colosseum of Rome, to which it is very similar, the Piazza delle Erbe, ancient Roman forum and the most famous square in Verona, the Torre dei Lamberti, constructed between 12th and the 15th centuries and at 84 meters tall, the lookout for Verona, and the House of Julieta, from the 12th century. Continuation to Venice (Mestre/Marghera). Dinner and lodging.
DAY 7 VENICE – EXC. LIDO DI VENEZIA
Breakfast and transfer to the troncheto. Private vaporetto to San Marcos. Panoramic tour of this unmatched city, known as the Pearl of the Adriatic, made up of 118 small islands with more than 400 bridges that unite them and make up one territory. In the visit we will be able to contemplate Saint Mark’s Square, the Basilica of San Marcos, is the main Church of Venice, a masterpiece of Byzantine air that bears witness to the artistic relations between this capital of the Adriatic and Constantinople, the Campanile, next to the Basilica, a magnificent 100-meter tall bell tower with pure lines. The original bell tower was from the 11th century, but it suffered numerous avatars, among them a fire in the 15th century and the well-known problems of a foundation built on the lagoon floor (the present building is actually from the beginning of the 20th century), the Ducal Palace, the Bridge of Sighs, the Rialto Bridge, etc. Lunch. Departure to take an excursion to the Lido island, an island of discrete sophistication that mixes the charm of the Belle Époque, as demonstrated by the hotels such as the Excelsior or the Des Bains, and the charm of an elegant modernity. Return to Venice. Transfer to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 8 VENICE
Breakfast and END OF TRIP