June 8: New Orleans — Zurich, Switzerland
- Bags packed and spirits high, we depart New Orleans for our overnight flight to Zurich, Switzerland.
June 9-10: Swiss Alps, Switzerland
- We board our waiting coach and travel to our Alpine destination high in the Swiss Alps. In route, we visit the famous Swiss resort of Lucerne with its pristine lake, brightly painted houses, the Chapel Bridge, and Lion Monument.
- Our stay in Switzerland includes plenty of time for us to explore picturesque Alpine villages with wooden chalets surrounded by breathtaking scenery. See for yourself the spectacular view of the snow-capped Alps from the top of the Bernese Oberland. Yes, you will see snow in June!
June 11-12-13: Florence, Italy
- We travel to Florence where we have the wonderful opportunity to feast our eyes on the treasures of this magnificent city during our tour: Michelangelo’s David in the Accademia; the Baptistery’s intricately crafted bronze doors; Giotto’s Campanile; the Duomo; and vaulted Santa Croce Church, where Michelangelo is entombed. Discover the Florence of Dante and the powerful Medici family. Stroll along the Arno; visit the Uffizi Gallery, the Pitti Palace; stop for a cooling gelato (ice cream) before heading to the Ponte Vecchio, where local artisans sell their wares. Florence, birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, offers its art and architecture as evidence of its grandeur. A stroll through its cobblestone streets is to be transported back in time to the age of Leonard da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Dante.
- West of Florence is Pisa and its famous leaning tower, site of experiments by Galileo. South is San Gimignano, the medieval City of Towers surrounded by the Chianti Hills.
June 14-15-16: Rome, Italy
- All roads lead to Rome, the “City of Seven Hills.” Ancient, yet throbbing with life, this is indeed the Eternal City. Rome presents itself to us. We will explore the famous Colosseum, where Romans gathered to watch the gladiators; the Pantheon, perfectly preserved since 125 A.D.; and The Forum, once the city’s religious, political and commercial center. We will walk where Caesar walked. Contrast this ancient splendor to the grand Via Veneto, lined with lively cafes and elegant shops. Toss two coins in the Trevi Fountain and have a special wish granted.
- Then, within the city, visit the Vatican (an independent nation) and St. Peter’s Basilica with its magnificent architecture and art treasures. You may even be fortunate enough to see the Pope.
June 17-18: Verona/Venice, Italy
- Across the fertile Valley of the Po, we coach to waterborne Venice. If there is a more romantic spot on earth, humankind has yet to find it. There is only one Venice–enchanted city of 117 islands, 150 canals, and 400 bridges in a crescent-shaped lagoon. We will see the gilded splendor of St. Mark’s and the Palace of the Doges, with time to enjoy the boutiques around the Square. We can explore the interior of St. Mark’s Basilica, rich with multicolored marbles and mosaics. You may want to take a romantic gondola ride under the Bridge of Sighs or pass “Golden House” palace on the Grand Canal.
- Verona, home of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, enclosed in its 16th century fortifications, stands on the banks of the Adige River, and boasts that its Roman amphitheater is the third largest in the Roman world after the coliseum in Rome.
June 19: Innsbruck, Austria
- Innsbruck has been the capital of the Tyrol area of Austria for eight centuries. Innsbruck, which literally means “bridge over the Inn,” was the site of the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics. A stroll down its arcaded covered streets and cobblestone passages present outstanding views of the surrounding snow-capped Alps. Among the impressive sights are the Golden Roof (2,657 gold-plated tiles), the Court Church with 28 larger-than-life bronze figures of history, and the Tyrolean Folk Museum with its fine examples of interior design, furniture, and costumes of early Austrian life. To visit is to recapture the memory of the scenery in The Sound of Music.
June 20-21: Munich / Nurnberg, Germany
- Bavaria, arguably the most beautiful area of Germany, has Munich as its capital. Munich, a magic word, is a city of art, culture, history, and joie de vivre, casting its spell over visitors, attracted by past Olympic Games, the annual Christmas market and Octoberfest. Guests meet in the city center, the Marienplatz, in front of the Gothic town hall with the largest Glockenspiel in Germany. A sausage and beer at the Hofbrauhaus, the world’s most famous beer hall, is a must.
- Nurnberg was the official residence of German kings and emperors for over 500 years. On our tour of Nurnberg, you will find yourself in a land of gingerbread, Albert Durer, a world famous Christmas fair, and half-timbered burghers’ houses. The Kaiserburg Castle looms above the city and numbered among its guests was the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick Barbarossa. Visitors may also view the huge amphitheater built by Hitler for his massive rallies and the Justice Palace, site of the War Crimes Tribunal after World War II.
June 22: Frankfurt/Rhine Cruise, Germany
- The romantic Rhine River invites us to cruise its legendary waters before we arrive in Frankfurt. Frankfurt was the city of the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire and is today the banking capital of Germany.
June 23: Frankfurt, Germany to New Orleans
- We transfer to the airport for our return flight to New Orleans, arriving that same day.