DAY 1: MILAN - FRANCE
Meeting with tour leader in Milan and beginning of the trip by motor coach to Chiasso and Switzerland. Free lunch along the way. In the afternoon we continue into French territory. In the evening arrival in Fontainebleau/Nemours/Troyes according to hotel availability. Hotel accommodation. Dinner and overnight stay.
DAY 2: GIVERNY - ROUEN
Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning departure for Normandy. Arrive in Giverny, a small village on the banks of the Seine, where the famous Impressionist painter Claude Monet lived. Visit the Monet House and the garden that surrounds it, a true riot of color. Here is the Water Lily Garden with Japanese bridges covered with wisteria reproduced many times in the great master's paintings. Continuation to Rouen, capital of Upper Normandy, capital of French Gothic and Renaissance. Free lunch. Guided tour of Notre-Dame Cathedral and the 'old city center in which there are important buildings such as the 15th-century Palais de Justice, the churches of SaintOuen and Saint-Maclou, and half-timbered houses with flowered balconies. Hotel accommodation. Dinner and overnight stay.
DAY 3: ÉTRETAT - HONFLEUR - DEAUVILLE - CAEN
Breakfast at the hotel. Day dedicated to the discovery of the Alabaster Coast, facing the English Channel and characterized by high cliffs, true natural monuments, carved in limestone, shaped by wind, water and weathering. Stop in Étretat and time at leisure for an escorted walk on the Cliff of Aval, one of the most striking places on the coast: the variation in the colors of the rock and the brightness of the place inspired Impressionist painters including Claude Monet himself. Continuation to Honfleur with crossing the Normandy Bridge, which crosses the estuary of the Seine at the point where the sea flows into the English Channel. Honfleur is a delightful little port on the Atlantic whose views have inspired painters, writers and artists since the nineteenth century. Free lunch and time at leisure. In the afternoon, stroll through the old town with its slate-fronted houses and Sainte Catherine Church, built entirely of wood in the 15th century by "shipwrights" from the Honfleur shipyards. Continue to Deauville, in the 19th century the most fashionable resort for wealthy Parisians and still enjoying the prestige of an exclusive place. In the evening we arrive in Caen, the city of William the Conqueror. Hotel accommodation. Dinner at hotel or restaurant. Overnight stay.
DAY 4: BAYEUX - ARROMANCHES - LANDING BEACHES
Breakfast at the hotel. The day begins with a leap into the past when we visit Bayeux's famous "Tapestry of Queen Mathilde," a 70-meter-long embroidered linen cloth dating back to the 11th century, a work of art and a valuable historical document listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The images narrate the victorious exploits of William the Conqueror who, after the victorious Battle of Hastings in 1066, was crowned King of England and began a long period of Norman rule on the island. The rest of the day will be devoted to visiting the Beaches of the June 6, 1944 Inter-Allied Landing and the sites of the Battle of Normandy. They will travel the 80 kilometers of coastline that determined the History of the 20th century. At Arromanches the low tide makes visible the remains of Port Winston, the artificial harbor built in a single day by British troops. At the Arromanches Landing Museum it will be possible to view period films and reconstructions with models. A stroll along Omaha Beach, the site of the landing of inter-allied troops, and a visit to the American Cemetery in Colleville sur Mer provide insight into the unfolding of those dramatic events that set a new course in European history. Free lunch on the excursion. Continue to Pointe du Hoc, the cliff where the American Rangers managed to storm the Nazi positions. Return toCaen. Dinner at hotel or restaurant. Overnight.
DAY 5: CAEN - MONT SAINT MICHEL - PARIS
Breakfast at the hotel. Depart for Mont SaintMichel: grandiose Benedictine abbey that sits on a rocky islet in the middle of a vast wild bay swept by the highest tides in Europe. Because of its rich history, architectural beauty, solemnity and mystery, Mont Saint Michel is called the "Wonder of the West" and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. During the guided tour we will climb to the abbey church at the top of the island, from where there is a splendid view of the surrounding bay. Free lunch and time at leisure. Early afternoon departure for Paris. Hotel accommodation. Dinner at hotel or restaurant. Overnight.
DAY 6: PARIS - MILAN
Breakfast at the hotel. Depart for Italy via Dijon, Besançon, Basel and Switzerland. Free lunch along the way. Continue to Milan and in the evening return to the place of departure.