June 6: New Orleans — Frankfurt, Germany
- Bags packed and spirits high, we depart New Orleans for our overnight flight to Frankfurt, Germany.
June 7-8: Nurnberg, Germany
- We arrive in Frankfurt this morning and board our waiting coach for Nurnberg, the official residence of German kings and emperors for over 500 years. In route, we can stop at Rothenburg, one of the oldest towns on the Romantic Road. The cobblestone streets, gabled roofs, staircase turrets and oriel windows combine to convince travelers that they have stepped back into the 16th century. On our tour of Nurnberg, you will find yourself in the 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 9-10: Munich/Oberammergau, 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. Munich’s Old Pinakothek is one of the world’s great museums with works of the masters of the Renaissance.
- One of Bavaria’s kings, “Mad” Ludwig II, had a passion for castle building (Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein). We can thank him for giving the region much of its storybook charm. Oberammergau is host to the famed Passion Play. This delightful Bavarian village with its painted houses is set in the wooded foothills of the Alps and is a popular starting point for visits to the Rococo Wies Church and the Baroque Benedictine gem at Ettal.
June 11-12: Verona/Venice, Italy via Innsbruck
- As we cross Austria on our way to Venice and Verona, we have time to stop and visit Innsbruck. 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.
- Back on the road, we travel the fertile Valley of the Po to Verona, home of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Verona is 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 Colosseum in Rome.
- Today, 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. You may want to take a romantic gondola ride under the Bridge of Sighs or pass “Golden House” palace on the Grand Canal.
June 13-14-15: 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 16-17: 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.
June 18-19-20: Swiss Alps, Switzerland
- We board our waiting coach and travel to our Alpine destination high in the Swiss Alps. 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 21: Zurich, Switzerland to New Orleans
- We transfer to the airport for our return flight to New Orleans, arriving that same day.