ESSENTIAL ITALY, switzerland, & france


Enjoy charming Venice, before heading to Lake Como, then through the mountains of Switzerland, on to Burgundy wine country, and ending with a grand finale in the city of lights, Paris.



  • Limited to 16 guests.
  • From $5,995. Prices are based on double occupancy.
  • Single supplement: $1,399.

May 14-24, 2024

September 1-11, 2024

Day 1: Arrive in Venice, Italy

  • We’ll meet at 5pm at our host hotel, take a walking tour of the Venetian Island of Murano. Then we’ll enjoy an authentic Venetian welcome dinner at Osteria Al Duomo, just steps from our hotel 
  • Hyatt Centric Murano Venice 4* 
  • Meals included: Dinner  

Day 2: Venice

  • This morning we take a boat across the lagoon to join our trusted guide Alice, who is a native Venetian  
  • Alice will give you a unique walking tour of her Venice  
  • For lunch, we’ll enjoy a traditional Venetian lunch called cicchetti, a tapas-style meal with wine 
  • In the afternoon, we’ll end up in Piazza San Marco where we’ll enjoy a guided tour of the Doge Palace 
  • Enjoy the evening on your own 
  • Hyatt Centric Murano Venice 4* 
  • Meals included: Breakfast and lunch 

    Day 3: Venice to Lake Como

    • After breakfast, start your journey to Lake Como. Revel in a European train trip through the Italian countryside and arrive in the town of Como where we’ll board a boat that will take us to the charming town of Tremezzo and our lakefront hotel is located. After settling in, we’ll enjoy a hearty Italian dinner near our hotel  
    • Hotel Bazzoni 3* 
    • Meals included: Breakfast and dinner 

    Day 4: Lake Como

    • This morning, we’re visiting the splendid Villa Carlotta. Villa Carlotta is a fabulous residence located in a panoramic position overlooking the lake, Bellagio, and the Grigna mountain. Yet the true masterpiece is the panoramic terraced garden dominated by the elegant “loggia” with three arches rising on the highest point of the promontory 
    • After our visit, we’ll take a boat to Bellagio for lunch at Dispensa 63, one of Rudy’s all-time favorite restaurants in Italy. You’ll have the rest of the afternoon to explore Bellagio and the lake, do some shopping, or just enjoy the pool 
    • Hotel Bazzoni 3* 
    • Meals included: Breakfast and lunch 

    Day 5: Como to Grindelwald

    • This morning we say goodbye to Italy and board our coach to head through breathtaking mountains into Switzerland. We’ll make a stop at a mountainside restaurant before continuing on to the picture-postcard village of Grindelwald high in the Alps 
    • Hotel Derby 4* 
    • Meals included: Breakfast and lunch 

    Day 6: Top of Europe to Lausanne

    • Ascend to the top of the Jungfrau in the early morning light via the highest railway in Europe that goes up to 11,332 feet 
    • Delight in the breathtaking views before heading back to the hotel for check-out and departure to Lausanne, the home of the Olympics, where you’ll arrive in the afternoon 
    • After settling in, we’ll visit the Olympic Museum. The museum houses permanent and temporary exhibits relating to sport and the Olympic movement 
    • Hotel Continental 4* or Hôtel Agora Swiss Night by Fassbind 4* 
    • Meals included: Breakfast and lunch 

      Day 7: Lausanne to Burgundy

      • This morning we’re taking a walking tour of Lausanne, including a visit the Lausanne Cathedral, the Old Town and the waterfront of Ouchy  
      • Have lunch on the lake before heading to France via a 220-mph, high-speed train in the afternoon 
      • Arrive in the center of Burgundy’s wine region, Beaune, in time for dinner. 
      • Hôtel Mercure Beaune Centre 4* or Le Central Boutique-Hotel 3* 
      • Meals: Breakfast and lunch. Dinner at the iconic Ma Cuisine restaurant, Rudy’s local favorite 

        Day 8: Burgundy

        • Start the morning with a visit to l’Hotel Dieu, the historic hospital in the center of Beaune  
        • After lunch enjoy a guided visit and wine in the cellars of Oenothèque Joseph Drouhin, one of the largest wine estates in Burgundy 
        • In the afternoon, we take a drive through the surrounding vineyards with a stop to view the vines that produce the world’s most expensive wine 
        • Hôtel Mercure Beaune Centre 4* or Le Central Boutique-Hotel 3*
        • Meals included: Breakfast and lunch 

        Day 9: Burgundy to Paris

        • In the morning, board the high-speed train bound for Paris
        • After settling in at our hotel in Paris, we will take a guided tour of the home of the Mona Lisa, the Louvre 
        • Hotel Camille Paris Gare de Lyon, Tapestry Collection by Hilton 4* or Hôtel Mercure Paris Notre-Dame Saint-Germain-des-Prés 4* 
        • Meals included: Breakfast  

        Day 10: Paris

        • No visit to Paris is complete without a visit to the Eiffel tower. You’ll get there early to beat the crowds and enjoy the view. After, take a stroll down the Champs-Élysées and climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe 
        • Spend the afternoon shopping or people-watching at one of the many cafes of Paris 
        • In the evening, climb the highest point in Paris that is home to the famous Sacré-Cœur Basilica. After visiting the Basilica, take in the breathtaking views before enjoying a farewell dinner
        • Hotel Camille Paris Gare de Lyon, Tapestry Collection by Hilton 4* or Hôtel Mercure Paris Notre-Dame Saint-Germain-des-Prés 4*
        • Meals: Breakfast and dinner

        Day 11: Paris

        • Enjoy a leisurely last breakfast, before starting your journey back home. 


        * Restaurants and Hotels are subject to change to equal or better


        When you let The Original Savvy Traveler arrange your trip through Europe, you are guaranteed peace of mind. Rudy Maxa’s team provides personal service and assistance from booking all the way through your journey.

        What’s included:


        • Welcome package with luggage tags
        • A complimentary concierge call to prepare you for your journey
        • An exclusive small group experience with a maximum of 16 guests
        • All tours led by a Rudy Maxa’s Certified Tour Director, supported by local guides with expert knowledge 
        • All excursions and activities included per the program
        • Handpicked hotels (3-5*) inspected and approved by Rudy Maxa’s Team
        • Full breakfast daily, and many other meals included per the program
        • All transportation included per the itinerary
        • All tours, admissions, and entertainment.
        • Airport meet and greet with private transfers for an additional fee