Day 1 :
Departure from North America
- Flight to London:
Sit back, relax, and enjoy your flight to London.
Day 2 :
Land in London
- Arrive in London:
Our 24-hour Tour Director will meet us at the airport and remain with us until our final airport departure. We will have use of a private coach and driver, while touring for the next three day(s).
London is the largest city in Europe: quite a feat, considering its location on a relatively small island. London's location is perfect for an administrative, communications and trade center, as the Romans realized when they founded their city in AD 1st century. London is filled with countless historic and cultural treasures that meld seamlessly in this exciting, contemporary city.
- Hotel check in:
For the next two evening(s) we will enjoy the convenience of our centrally-located London hotel, where daily breakfast will be included.
- Walking Tour of Westminster and Whitehall:
During our time in London we will exploring the areas of Westminster and Whitehall, including Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, Horseguards Parade, Parliament Square, Downing Street, St. James’s Park and Buckingham Palace.
We will enjoy the local fare at a nearby restaurant.
Day 3 :
Learn about London
- Westminster Abbey:
Visit Westminster Abbey, where English kings and queens have been crowned since 1066. Our Blue-Badge Guided Tour will include the Royal Chapels, containing the tombs of the English monarchs, as well as Poets’ Corner, featuring memorials to many famous British literary figures.
- Thames River Cruise:
Enjoy a Thames River Cruise, a relaxing way to view many of London’s most magnificent sights. Our trip will take us past the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben and under the famous Tower Bridge.
We will enjoy dinner in a local restaurant.
- First Concert Performance:
Your concert performance in London is today. Venue options include St. Martin-in-the-Field in Trafalgar, St. James in Piccadilly and St. Sepulchers all of which are excellent musical venues for sacred repertoire. For groups that prefer a smaller ecclesiastical venue options include Church of St. Anne & St Agnes, St. Dunstan’s College, Dulwich College, Ruislip Garden School, Branch Hill House Residential Home, the North Hall at Covent Garden, Ingestre Residential Home, the great Southwark Cathedral, Royal Hospital Chelsea, American School, Kings College School, Kneller Hall, Royal Military School of Music, George Inn, Hinde Street Methodist Church, Chelsea and Westminster Arts, St. George’s Church in Tolworth, Blackheath Halls, St. John’s Hospice, and Holy Trinity Church on Prince Consort Road. Outdoor venues include Tower Bridge Park Parade, Parliament Square or Covent Garden.
Day 4 :
- Pop Over to Paris:
Travel to Paris by Eurostar. We will have use of a private coach and driver, while touring for the next three day(s).
Paris is one of the most iconic cities in the world, filled with culture and history, monuments and museums. Known as the City of Light, Paris is a million things to a million people. No writer has ever been able to truly capture Paris in words, and only the experience of being there can begin to express the grandness and magic of this incredible city.
- Visit Notre-Dame Cathedral:
Work began in 1163 on a spot that had been a holy shrine since Roman times. Over the centuries, the cathedral has been the scene of some of France's most momentous occasions, including the coronation of Napoleon.
- Ascend to Montmartre:
An area of Paris made famous in the late 19th century as an artists’ haunt. We will spend time in the Place du Tertre, a square known for its local artwork.
- Visit Sacré-Coeur Basilica:
A huge white church that dominates the Parisian skyline, construction of the church began in 1875 and ended in 1914, just before WWI. Inside, we can admire the stained glass and some of the world’s largest mosaics.
- Hotel check in:
For the next two evening(s) we will enjoy the convenience of our centrally-located Paris hotel, where daily breakfast will be included.
This evening, dinner will be provided in a local restaurant.
Day 5 :
Dive into Paris
- Walk through the Jardin des Tuileries:
The Neo-Classical gardens outside of the entrance to the Louvre and continue to La Place de la Concorde for a magnificent view of the Champs Élysées, the Jardin des Tuileries are beautiful. Time permitting we will explore the Champs Élysées, which offers a beautiful look at Parisian life and architecture.
- Learn in the Louvre Museum:
Tour the renowned Louvre Museum with a local specialist guide. We will see Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the imposing Coronation of Napoleon, and many of the finest paintings and sculptures from western civilization.
This evening, enjoy French food in a local restaurant.
- Second Concert Performance:
Your concert performance is today. Venue options include historic gothic masterpiece Notre Dame and La Trinité, where Messiaen served as organist and where Hector Berlioz had his funeral. In addition, there is Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, The American Church in Paris, and the Église de la Madeleine, which is another of our most popular venues for attracting good audiences. Finally, the Église St- Roch regularly hosts concerts. It is an excellent venue for visiting choirs and has good facilities and very organized publicity.
Day 6 :
Overnight Train to Rome
- Paris to Rome:
Enjoy some more time in Paris before boarding an overnight train to Rome.
Day 7 :
Roam into Rome
- Arrive in Rome:
We will have use of a private coach and driver, while touring for the next three days. This morning our Tour Manager/Guide will assist us with arrangements for breakfast (included).
- The Eternal City:
Known to many as the Eternal City,Rome is the capital of Italy, with an uninterrupted history spanning two and a half thousand years. As one of the founding cities of western civilization, Rome is filled with incredible historical sites. It is a city with many faces, encompassing medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and modern.
- Hotel check in:
For the next three evening(s) we will enjoy the convenience of our centrally-located Rome hotel, where daily breakfast will be included.
- Dinner in the Piazza Navona area:
This evening we will dine in the Piazza Navona area. Built on the foundations of Domitian's Circus, this magnificent square was designed by Borromini in 17th century. It is full of life and is highlighted by one of Rome's most spectacular fountains, the Four Rivers designed by Bernini. The square is often filled with local artists. The surrounding neighborhood is also one of the best places in Rome to get a tasty tartufo or gelato ice cream.
Day 8 :
Rome: The City of the Caesars
- Rome if you want to...:
Enjoy a specialist-guided tour, through the spectacular remains of the Roman Empire. On our tour we will see:
- The Colosseum:
It is considered to be the greatest symbol of Ancient Rome’s power and glory, was completed under Titus in 80 A.D. The Colosseum could hold 55,000 spectators, on a par with many of today’s modern sports stadiums.
- Roman Forum:
We will also tour the ruins and excavations of the Roman Forum, which features the remains of magnificent temples, basilicas, and triumphal arches that once formed the heart of the Empire.
- Trajan’s Column and Market:
Completed in 113 AD as a monument to the Emperor Trajan, the column is most famous for its spiral bas-relief. Also view the Victor Emmanuel Monument, a giant building created to honor the first king of a unified Italy.
One of the grandest and best-preserved Roman monuments, and the oldest large- scale dome in Rome. The Pantheon has been in continuous use throughout its history and today houses many tombs, including those of Italian kings Victor Emmanuel II and Umberto I, and painters Caracci and Raphael.
Enjoy Roman fare in a local restaurant this evening.
Day 9 :
Rome: The City of Popes
- Vatican Museums:
Experience a specialist-guided tour of the Vatican Museums, home to one of the world’s most impressive collections of art. Our tour includes the map tapestry rooms, the magnificent Raphael Rooms, and the spectacular Sistine Chapel, highlighted by Michelangelo’s ceiling and his Last Judgment.
- St. Peter’s Basilica:
We will continue into St. Peter’s Square to visit St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the western world and the center of Catholicism. Highlights of our visit include Michelangelo’s Pieta and Bernini’s magnificent Baldacchino Over the High Altar.
Those who wish may also make a Roof Ascent, via elevator, for magnificent views over St. Peter’s Square.
- Dinner near the Trevi Fountain:
This evening we will dine near the spectacular Trevi Fountain where it is traditional to toss a coin into the fountain to ensure a safe return to The Eternal City. Spend time at Rome’s meeting place, the Piazza di Spagna, home of the famous Spanish Steps. The piazza and steps are both named in reference to a 16th century Spanish ambassador who lived here. English poet John Keats lived and died in the house to the right of the steps, which is now a memorial.
- Third Concert Performance:
Our concert performance in Rome will be today. Venues options include singing mass in St. Peter's Basilica, which is the ultimate experience for many groups. Other sacred settings include the Trinità dei Monti, which sits atop the Spanish Steps, the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo, San Lorenzo in Damaso, the Basilica Santa Maria in Trastevere, and the Basilica di San Nicola in Carcere. Sant’Anselmo is a smaller setting that allows groups to attend Gregorian Vespers, have supper with the monks in their refectory, and give a concert in the late evening with full repertoire. We may also perform in the Monastery Chapel of the American University of Rome.
Secular venues include the American Overseas School, where you can interact with the students, the US Embassy in the Vatican City, and the Piazza Navona.
Day 10 :
- Departure from Rome:
Our rewarding and enjoyable tour comes to an end as our Tour Director accompanies us to the airport on our final day.