Romantic France & Italy Private Tour

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Why You Should Go

Among the most culturally rich countries in the world, France brings together world-class museums, various art attractions, natural beauty, and a unique leisure aesthetic. The romantic, scenic walks in the artsy Left Bank of Paris are in nice contrast with the idyllic, verdant countryside of Provence. The combination of unforgettable art, glorious views and eminently drinkable wines that pair beautifully with the simple food of the region, makes a trip to Tuscany something special. The gentle hills of the region are filled with ancient, unspoiled towns, Etruscan walls, imposing castles, and stunning vineyards where the world-renowned Brunello di Montalcino and Chianti wines are produced. In combination with historic Venice, this is an unforgettable, leisurely tour that will allow you to sink into and fully experience the cultures of each distinct area you visit.

Best Travel Time: Spring Fall

Aix-en-Provence Old Town market, France
Flower market in Aix-en-Provence

Sample Itinerary

21 Days

Each private luxury tour is custom to the wishes of each client. This itinerary is a sample. Our Sister Company, TRAVNET, may provide assistance with mileage points conversion. Do not hesitate to call Randy to create your custom tour.

1

Day 1

Fly to Paris
Through our sister company, premium air provider TRAVNET, we may assist with your international airfare, as well as with mileage points conversion.

Arc de triomphe Paris city at day
Arc de Triomphe, Paris
2

Day 2

Arrive Paris + Illuminating Paris Private Night Tour
Upon arrival in Paris, you will be privately transferred to the Right Bank’s 5-star Le Bristol Paris or the Left Bank’s 5-star Relais Christine.

At dusk, your private guide and driver will take you for your two-hour night tour of Paris. Your drive will include a route along the Seine, with churches, bridges, and government buildings lit up on either side with gold spotlights. We feel this to perhaps be the most beautiful night tour anywhere!

Accommodations: Le Bristol Paris or Relais Christine

Illuminated streets of Monmartre quarter, street in Paris at night
The streets of Montmartre at night, Paris
3 – 5

Days 3 – 5

Paris Private Touring
With the help of our Kipling & Clark Paris Booklet and your expert guide and driver, for three full-days, you will be able to explore Paris at your lesiure. Please note our various Paris blog posts:

Paris’ Grand Eiffel Tower

1st & 3rd Paris Arrondissements

4th Paris Arrondissement

5th, 6th & 7th Paris Arrondissements

8th, 9th & 10th Paris Arrondissements

17th Paris Arrondissement: Montmartre

The Palace of Versailles & The Parc de Saint-Cloud

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodations: Le Bristol Paris or Relais Christine

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The Louvre Museum, Paris
6

Day 6

Train Paris/Avignon, Provence
Following breakfast, you will be met by your private driver and transferred to the train station to board your first-class, high-speed TGV train to Avignon, Provence, an approximately three-hour ride. Upon arrival in Avignon, a small provincial town surrounded by a lavish countryside, you will be met by your private guide for optional private touring before being transferred to Hôtel La Mirande or your private villa.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodations: Hôtel La Mirande or Private Villa

Lavender fields at village Gordes, a small medieval town in Provence, Travel destination in France.
Lavender fields in the Gordes Commune
7 – 12

Days 7 – 12

Provence Private Touring
When looking back at the many things we love about Tuscany, parts of rural Japan, and northern California, we always come back to aesthetic perfection — our beloved Provence! The areas’ culture, art-scene, compelling history, and dining is almost unparalleled in terms of scope and dearth. We feel among our most enjoyable summer retreats is visiting the many hill towns, villages, and cities of the idyllic Provence. With the help of your expert private guide/driver, over the next six full days, you will explore the various towns and villages of Provence. Please note our Favorite Villages & Hotels in Provence blog post for descriptions of the various areas.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodations: Hôtel La Mirande or Private Villa

Bonnieux in the Luberon Provence
The village of Bonnieux
13

Day 13

Private Transfer to Nice + Fly Nice/Rome + Private Transfer to Cortona, Tuscany
Today, you will be privately transferred to the Nice Airport for your onward flight to Rome. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed to Italy by your private driver and transferred to the Il Falconiere in Cortona, Tuscany.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodations: Il Falconiere

Sunny landscape from Val d’Orcia, Tuscany, Italy
The sunny landscape of Val d'Orcia
14 – 16

Days 14 – 16

Cortona, Tuscany Private Touring
For the next three full-days, we may arrange private touring of Cortona with a driver or guided biking tours. Options include panoramic tours of Cortona, Lago Trasimeno, the UNESCO World Heritage area of Val D’Orcia, and the local vineyards.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodations: Il Falconiere

COrtona Tuscany Hermitage
Le Celle Hermitage in Cortona
17

Day 17

Private Transfer to Venice
Today, your private driver will transfer you to The Gritti Palace or the Aman Venice!

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodations: The Gritti Palace or Aman Venice

Gondola in colorful Venice, Italy
A gondola in a Venice canal
18 – 20

Days 18 – 20

Venice Private Touring
Over the next three full days in Venice, you may choose to wander this romantic city at your leisure or we may arrange a private guide to take you on visits to some of Venice’s most celebrated landmarks: Doges’ Palace, the lesser-known Dorsoduro area at La Fenice Opera House, St. Mark’s Basilica, and St. Mark’s Square. No matter what you’re looking for, an evening gondola ride through the canals is a must!

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodations: The Gritti Palace or Aman Venice

St. Mark’s Basilica in the morning,Venice,Italy
St. Mark's Basilica in the morning, Venice
21

Day 21

Fly Venice/Home
Today, you will be privately transferred to the Venice Airport for your return flight home.

Meals: Breakfast

Canal Grande with Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Venice
The Grand Canal, Venice

Hotels

We feel that the 190-room Le Bristol (yes, the one from Midnight in Paris!) is our favorite luxury, 5-star hotel in Paris. Opened in 1925, the hotel occupies an 18th-century building near the shops of the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. We consider the airy, iconic Le Bristol to perfectly illustrate French culture and service. Though the Deluxe Suite here is our favorite, each room is individually decorated in a traditional style with Persian carpets and colorful toilets! In addition to two other notable restaurants, we especially like the hotel’s Café Antonia and Le Jardin Français restaurant. Amenities here include a high-quality, three-floor spa and fitness center, but we feel the property’s sixth-floor, nautically-themed pool opening onto a solarium to be the property’s most impressive feature!

Le Bristol Paris

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We feel that the 190-room Le Bristol (yes, the one from Midnight in Paris!) is our favorite luxury, 5-star hotel in Paris. Opened in 1925, the hotel occupies an 18th-century building near the shops of the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. We consider the airy, iconic Le Bristol to perfectly illustrate French culture and service. Though the Deluxe Suite here is our favorite, each room is individually decorated in a traditional style with Persian carpets and colorful toilets! In addition to two other notable restaurants, we especially like the hotel’s Café Antonia and Le Jardin Français restaurant. Amenities here include a high-quality, three-floor spa and fitness center, but we feel the property’s sixth-floor, nautically-themed pool opening onto a solarium to be the property’s most impressive feature!

Having visited in April 2019, we noticed that much has changed at the 5-star, 48-room Relais Christine since our last family visit in 2013! Occupying a former 16th-century abbey, in a quiet section of the trendy Saint-Germain-des-Près area of Paris’ Left Bank, the hotel is a short walk to the Seine and the Pont Neuf bridge. The property recently completed a major renovation, including rooms with updated walk-in showers, an expanded Spa Guerlain (located in the vaulted cellar), a Finnish sauna, and an exercise room. The critical thing that has not changed is the warm and inviting atmosphere and service. It is no hyperbole to say that a stay at the Relais Christine is like staying with family friends. Though usually fully booked, our favorite rooms are the Garden Suites, opening onto the private lawns enclosed by clipped hedges.

Relais Christine

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Having visited in April 2019, we noticed that much has changed at the 5-star, 48-room Relais Christine since our last family visit in 2013! Occupying a former 16th-century abbey, in a quiet section of the trendy Saint-Germain-des-Près area of Paris’ Left Bank, the hotel is a short walk to the Seine and the Pont Neuf bridge. The property recently completed a major renovation, including rooms with updated walk-in showers, an expanded Spa Guerlain (located in the vaulted cellar), a Finnish sauna, and an exercise room. The critical thing that has not changed is the warm and inviting atmosphere and service. It is no hyperbole to say that a stay at the Relais Christine is like staying with family friends. Though usually fully booked, our favorite rooms are the Garden Suites, opening onto the private lawns enclosed by clipped hedges.

Located in a national historical monument building, formerly the residence of a 14th-century cardinal, Hôtel La Mirande is set in an ideal location inside the walled section of Avignon, across from the medieval Palais des Papes complex. With just 26 rooms, special care was followed during the property’s refurbishing, featuring painted wood-paneled walls with tapestries, antique glass windows, and vintage oak parquet floors We particularly like the hotel’s garden dining terrace and courtyard conservatory for afternoon tea. Being avid Japanese-enthusiasts, we were surprised to see they have Kukicha and Gyokuro tea options! Of special note for our “foodie” friends, La Mirande’s restaurant dining experience offers a gastronomic menu featuring organic, farm-raised products taking to heart the words “seasonal” and “terroir”! The restaurant’s Le Marmiton cooking class is noteworthy among chefs throughout Provence. With its charming, relaxing atmosphere and personal, singular service, we feel a stay at Hôtel La Mirande is a special and memorable experience to enhance your private tour of Provence.

Hôtel La Mirande

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Located in a national historical monument building, formerly the residence of a 14th-century cardinal, Hôtel La Mirande is set in an ideal location inside the walled section of Avignon, across from the medieval Palais des Papes complex. With just 26 rooms, special care was followed during the property’s refurbishing, featuring painted wood-paneled walls with tapestries, antique glass windows, and vintage oak parquet floors We particularly like the hotel’s garden dining terrace and courtyard conservatory for afternoon tea. Being avid Japanese-enthusiasts, we were surprised to see they have Kukicha and Gyokuro tea options! Of special note for our “foodie” friends, La Mirande’s restaurant dining experience offers a gastronomic menu featuring organic, farm-raised products taking to heart the words “seasonal” and “terroir”! The restaurant’s Le Marmiton cooking class is noteworthy among chefs throughout Provence. With its charming, relaxing atmosphere and personal, singular service, we feel a stay at Hôtel La Mirande is a special and memorable experience to enhance your private tour of Provence.

If interested in a more private experience, we may recommend a few beautiful private villas in the Provence area. Villas have the option to add additional cleaning services and private chef services. We feel the private villa option to be ideal for families traveling together and couples looking for a private escape to enjoy peaceful Provence. Pictured is one of our favorite villas, the four-bedroom La Maison de Maussane in Maussane-les-Alpilles!

 

Private Villa in Provence

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If interested in a more private experience, we may recommend a few beautiful private villas in the Provence area. Villas have the option to add additional cleaning services and private chef services. We feel the private villa option to be ideal for families traveling together and couples looking for a private escape to enjoy peaceful Provence. Pictured is one of our favorite villas, the four-bedroom La Maison de Maussane in Maussane-les-Alpilles!

 

 

Clients have loved their stays at this luxury villa and resort. Il Falconiere was conceived by Silvia and Riccardo Baracchi when they transformed the 17th-century home of poet Antonio Guadagnoli into an idyllic Tuscan retreat. The resort is set on a 30-acre site alongside olive groves and the Baracchi’s own wine estate, an approximately 30 – 40-minute walk to the nearby town of Cortona. Among the many amenities here are a Thesan Etruscan spa, winery, a Michelin-star restaurant, and a pool.

Il Falconiere

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Clients have loved their stays at this luxury villa and resort. Il Falconiere was conceived by Silvia and Riccardo Baracchi when they transformed the 17th-century home of poet Antonio Guadagnoli into an idyllic Tuscan retreat. The resort is set on a 30-acre site alongside olive groves and the Baracchi’s own wine estate, an approximately 30 – 40-minute walk to the nearby town of Cortona. Among the many amenities here are a Thesan Etruscan spa, winery, a Michelin-star restaurant, and a pool.

Our favorite luxury, boutique hotel in Venice, the 82-room The Gritti Palace is housed in a 16th-century palazzo and is a perfect location on the Grand Canal with views of Santa Maria Della Salute. Recent $50 million renovations included the handcrafted refurbishment of its treasures, such as guest room mirrors, chandeliers, antique furniture, and artwork. We were impressed with the wonderful new library and several new suites overlooking the Grand Canal, individually decorated with Murano glass light fixtures and exquisite Rubelli fabrics. The Gritti’s Club del Dodge Restaurant offers a wonderful terrace on the Grand Canal.

The Gritti Palace

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Our favorite luxury, boutique hotel in Venice, the 82-room The Gritti Palace is housed in a 16th-century palazzo and is a perfect location on the Grand Canal with views of Santa Maria Della Salute. Recent $50 million renovations included the handcrafted refurbishment of its treasures, such as guest room mirrors, chandeliers, antique furniture, and artwork. We were impressed with the wonderful new library and several new suites overlooking the Grand Canal, individually decorated with Murano glass light fixtures and exquisite Rubelli fabrics. The Gritti’s Club del Dodge Restaurant offers a wonderful terrace on the Grand Canal.

Being huge fans of the AMAN brand, we were certainly not disappointed with our first visit here. Lavishly converted from the 16th-century Palazzo Papadopoli, the 24-room Aman Venice is a proper reflection of other AMAN properties we have stayed at worldwide. The high-touch service, upper 5-star luxury quality, and special commitment to the local, cultural uniqueness of the area make it one of our two favorite properties in Venice. Located on the Grand Canal with private access to the Doge’s Palace, the Aman Venice includes beautifully decorated public areas, with contrasting Rococo-style rooms designed in a more contemporary aesthetic. We particularly enjoyed the hotel’s rooftop terrace offering 360° views over the roofs of Venice. The luxurious 2nd-floor dining room includes a nice balcony overlooking the Grand Canal. In addition to a small spa and gym, we loved the hotel’s two small gardens.  The quiet, shady back garden offers a nice, quiet respite from the noise of Venice summers.  Though kids are welcome here, we believe young ones (12 or under) may be a bit disinterested.

Aman Venice

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Being huge fans of the AMAN brand, we were certainly not disappointed with our first visit here. Lavishly converted from the 16th-century Palazzo Papadopoli, the 24-room Aman Venice is a proper reflection of other AMAN properties we have stayed at worldwide. The high-touch service, upper 5-star luxury quality, and special commitment to the local, cultural uniqueness of the area make it one of our two favorite properties in Venice. Located on the Grand Canal with private access to the Doge’s Palace, the Aman Venice includes beautifully decorated public areas, with contrasting Rococo-style rooms designed in a more contemporary aesthetic. We particularly enjoyed the hotel’s rooftop terrace offering 360° views over the roofs of Venice. The luxurious 2nd-floor dining room includes a nice balcony overlooking the Grand Canal. In addition to a small spa and gym, we loved the hotel’s two small gardens.  The quiet, shady back garden offers a nice, quiet respite from the noise of Venice summers.  Though kids are welcome here, we believe young ones (12 or under) may be a bit disinterested.

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Location

Overview

France
Population
63.5 Million
Language
French
Currency
Euro
Temperature
Highs: High 70’s
Lows: Mid 30’s
Area
543,965 SQ KM
210,026 SQ MILES
Capital
Paris
Italy
Population
61 Million
Language
Italian
Currency
Euro
Temperature
Highs: Mid 80’s
Lows: High 30’s
Area
301,338 SQ KM
116,346 SQ MILES
Capital
Rome

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