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A tale of two great European cities to visit: London and Florence

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Updated: 2/03 12:12 pm

No traveler can truly say they know Europe if they haven't thoroughly explored two of its classic cities London and Florence. Between exploring everything royal and Renaissance, eating delectable foods at little cafes tucked on every corner, and touring the museums, these two world cities have so many sights to see, you'll want to immerse yourself fully in the culture, history and 'off-the-beaten-path' delights of each.

Some of the must-see sights in London include:

* Everything royal - Explore Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey, celebrate tea time at Fortnum & Mason, and take a walking tour highlighting the romance of Prince William and Kate Middleton, from their first meeting to the royal wedding. London's West End is also a great place to explore the shops where the royals are frequently seen.

* Trace Shakespeare's literary footprints - While the original Globe Theatre, Shakespeare's playhouse in London, was destroyed in 1644, it has been reconstructed to let actors perform the Bard's plays exactly as they would have in his day.

* World War II history - London was a big player in World War II, surviving many raids by Nazi bombers. The city is full of stories about the Blitz, from tragedy to heroism, and has a memorial established at St. Paul's. Walking through the streets also showcases existing damage still left from the bombing.

These stories and sights are all included in Tauck's 'World Cities' tour of London. This six-day tour will explore London as the Londoners live, and this all-inclusive, in-depth experience includes everything from hotels, sightseeing, meals and on-tour transportation to special entertainment.

Some of the sights to see in Florence include:

* Art exploration - Florence is a city of art, from the magnificent David statue to street artisans selling crafts and paintings. Art is also found in much of the city's architecture - from the Baptistery of St. John to the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral's Duomo, one feature of Florence's skyline you can't miss. In fact, the Duomo's museum is where Michelangelo sculpted the original David. His masterwork is now on display at the Galleria Dell'Academia. Also tour the Medici family museum and the Uffizi Gallery, which includes a hidden passageway lined with self-portraits of many famous artists.

* Learn from da Vinci - Not only did Leonardo da Vinci create masterpieces of art, he also was an inventor - and some of his inventions will probably surprise you. Just a short drive from Florence into the Tuscan hills will take you to Vinci, the village where Leonardo was born.

* Italian food and drink - A trip to Italy and Florence is not complete without enjoying the region's delicacies. From freshly grown ingredients and handmade pastas to wines fermented from grapes grown on Tuscan hillsides, sampling the local cuisine is a 'magnifico' experience. And what better way to fully appreciate the region's bounty, than with a lesson in wine tasting and appreciation from a master sommelier?

Tauck's 'World Cities' tour of Florence gives you all these experiences and more over an enriching and memorable six-day immersion in Florentine culture. The company has spent 88 years designing authentic, engaging, all-inclusive travel experiences, ensuring you'll enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime exploration of Florence.

To learn more about both of these tours, visit Tauck.com to find e-brochures on London and Florence.

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