London, Paris, Rome: calling all smarty pants…

virgin-vacations-guide-rome-vatican

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s quiz time. With a choice of two independent-travel packages, London, Paris and Rome are yours to explore at your own pace over eight or 11 unforgettable days (till October 2014). But just before you book, how much do you really know about these sensational capital cities? No peeking on Google now…

1. Midnight in Paris was the Oscar-winning 2011 romantic comedy about an American writer (Owen Wilson) who travels back in time to meet, among others, F Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Picasso and Salvador Dali – but which guitar-strumming former French first lady plays the glamorous guide at the Louvre?

2. Which of the following facts about Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel in Rome is true: (a) the male nudes have strategically placed acorns; (b) the forbidden fruit tempting Adam and Eve is a fig, not an apple; (c) in later years an artist was ordered to paint underwear over the more prominent nudes, which earned him the nickname Il Braghettone, or Big Pants.

3. The London Eye ferris wheel, which features in the opening titles of hit BBC series Sherlock, first opened in 2000. Since then, how many visitors have taken a ride: (a); 10 million; (b) 25 million; (c) 50 million?

4. Which of the following famous Americans is NOT buried in Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris: (a) author Susan Sontag; (b) artist Man Ray; (c) musician Jim Morrison?

5. On a busy street in Rome you’re in a hire car and waiting to pull out when a driver flashes his or her lights at you – what should you do?

6. Put these three great cathedrals in order of height, with the tallest first: (a) St Paul’s, London; (b) St Peter’s, Vatican City; (c) Notre Dame, Paris.

The answers are below. Just before you check your score, remember that both of our London, Paris & Rome
vacation packages let you build your trip to your own tastes and budget: two nights or three in each city with a choice of hotels, while we arrange your flights from New York to London, Paris to Rome and back to NYC, as well as your once-in-a-lifetime rail journey on Eurostar from England to France. There are a range of optional tours, too – from river cruises in London and Paris to the treasures of the Vatican Museums – which you can book before you go, to see more and save money.

Answers:
1. Carla-Bruni (who’s actually half Italian), the wife of ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy.
2. They’re all true.
3. 50 million – reached by August 2013.
4. Jim Morrison – he’s in the city’s Pere Lachaise Cemetery, along with writers Gertrude Stein and Richard Wright.
5. Don’t move – they’re not giving way, they’re indicating that they’re coming through!
6. From the top: St Peter’s – 435ft; St Paul’s – 365ft; Notre Dame – 315ft.

How did you score?
One or two correct: oops – and to think there’s an affordable Virgin Vacations trip to all three cities at your fingertips #justsaying
Between three and five: nice work – an eight or 11-day trip would certainly fill in those piffling little gaps in your knowledge…
All six spot-on: okay clever-clogs, next you’ll be telling us The O2 in London is so big it could hold the Eiffel Tower on its side…