A small group escorted tour, treating you to the tastes of Italy, Switzerland and Germany. We also include a little bit of culture to make this a totally rewarding tour. Italy will particularly be on show in 2011 as the country celebrates 150 years of unification as the Republic of Italy. Our stop in Turin – the first capital of Italy – will allow us to enjoy all this north-eastern city has to offer both in culture and gastronomy.
Tour Start Date:
08 Aug 2014
Tour Finish Date:
20 Aug 2014
Please note: Prices are based on 2 persons sharing a twin or double room.
Singleroom supplement applies for those noth wishing to share.
Rates are correct at 01 Jan 2014. US$/AU$ rates subject to currency fluctuation
08 Aug Arrival in Venice
Welcome meeting at Hotel Abbazia at 6.00pm.
Make your own way to Venice. We can arrange transfers from the airport to the hotel. Check-in to Hotel Abbazia, a converted monastery. Dinner will be in a nearby restaurant this evening. (D)
09 Aug Venice
This morning we take a vaporetto (water bus) along the Grand Canal to St. Mark’s square, where we meet our guide for a walking tour of this fascinating city of canals, bridges and churches. This evening at leisure to try out a local restaurant. (B)
10 Aug Venice – Florence
Today we travel south to the city Of Bologna. We stop here to visit the historic old town and pause for lunch before continuing to our destination, Florence. Our hotel is the Hotel Monna Lisa, a few minutes walk from the Church of Santa Croce and the Duomo. (B)
11 Aug Florence
The cradle of the “Renaissance” – Florence is regarded as the artistic and cultural capital of Italy. We have a guided walking tour through the historic quarter, taking in landmarks such as the Church of Santa Croce, Palazzo Vecchio, Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio and the Duomo (cathedral). You then have plenty of time to explore the markets of Florence and find also find a local restaurant for lunch. Tonight we have a meal at one of favourite restaurants in Florence. (B,D)
12 Aug Florence – Pisa – Cinque Terre
Travelling west toward the Mediterranean coast, our destination is home to the famous “Leaning Tower” – Pisa. Time here to climb the tower or visit the Duomo and Baptistry before we travel north to the Ligurian coastline and the land of the five villages – “Cinque Terre”. Our hotel is located in the northern-most village – Monterosso al Mare. Hotel La Spiaggia or similar. Dinner at your leisure this evening.(B,)
13 Aug Cinque Terre
The five villages of the “Cinque Terre” are connected by walking trails, rail line and small boat service. Take a boat one way, walk to another village, return by rail – there’s many ways to visit these fascinating villages that have spectacular views over the Ligurian Sea. Tonight we eat in a local restaurant. (B,D)
14 Aug Cinque Terre - Portofino - Turin
We travel 80kms to the port village of Portofino, home to expensive yachts, deluxe hotels and the lifestyle if the rich and famous. Time here to explore the little harbour, have a cooling drink before we continue on the motorway, passing around the port city of Genoa and continuing toward our next destination – Barolo, in the renowned wine district known as the “Langhe”. We’ll stop here to visit the new wine museum, taste some local produce before continuing to Turin. Check-in to Starhotel Majestic near the city centre. (B)
15 Aug Turin
After a bountiful breakfast, we have a guided walking tour of the historic centre. It was here on 17 March 1861 that Victor Emmanuel II became the first King of (unified) Italy. Today the city is a commercial and economic powerhouse, known also as the automobile capital of Italy because of the FIAT motor company being based here. The afternoon is free to explore the arcades (more than 10kms) of the historic city. Perhaps a visit to the city’s landmark, known as the Mole Antonelliana, for spectacular views over the city, and the Cinematography Museum. Tonight we take the evening meal in a local restaurant. (B,D)
16 Aug Turin – Milan – Lake Como
Less than 150kms from Turin is the northern city of Milan – home to the 3rd largest Christian cathedral in the world. Other treasures include the “Last Supper” by da Vinci and the renowned “La Scala” opera theatre. We pause here so you can visit and even climb the cathedral, wander the impressive Gallery Victor Emmanuel II or perhaps see the Last Supper fresco. From Milan it’s only 60kms north to Como, situated on the lake of the same name. Afternoon check- in to the Palace Hotel on the lake front. Dinner at your leisure this evening. (B)
17 Aug Lake Como – Interlaken
Spectacular views will accompany us today as we see the last of the Italian lakes and head for the Swiss Alps, crossing over the St. Gotthard Pass at 2106m. Our destination is Interlaken – gateway to the “Valley of the Waterfalls – which is one of the most visited destinations in Switzerland. Afternoon check-in at Hotel du Lac. Evening meal at your leisure. (B)
18 Aug Interlaken - Lauterbrunnen - Interlaken
A day at leisure. Take the cog railway to the Jungfraujoch at 3700m for incredible views of the Bernese Oberland. Or a helicopter flight over the famous peaks like the Eiger, Moench and Jungfrau. Or take the railway up to the quaint car-less village of Murren. Or take a pleasant 9km walk following the small river to Lauterbrunnen, where you can later return by train. So many things to do here. Tonight we have a tradition Swiss cheese fondue. (B,D)
19 Aug Interlaken – Luzern – Munich
Sadly we must leave this alpine paradise. We travel 77 kms over the Brunig Pass to the town of Luzern on the Vierwaldstattersee. Time here to explore the historic old town section before we continue via the Principality of Leichtenstein and our tour destination – Munich. Late afternoon check in to Hotel Le Meridien. Tonight we have a farewell dinner at the world’s most famous beer-hall – the Hofbrauhaus. (B,D)
20 Aug Munich – End of Tour
The tour finishes after breakfast. (B)
Rail, airport coach and private transfers are available to take you to the airport if you have connecting flights.