Venice to the Alps

A Grand Tour from Venice to the Alps – Tyrol, Innsbruck, Salzburg and Munich

28th September – 8th October, 2022

Overview:

A 10 night journey starting in Venice, on the shores of the Adriatic Sea, crossing the Venetian Plains and travelling into the Italian Dolomite mountains. Enjoy fresh mountain air and a hike or two, before crossing the famous Brenner Pass into Austria. In Austria we’ll visit Innsbruck, host to many winter sports before moving on to Salzburg. Discover the city of Mozart and The Sound of Music before finishing this exceptional Grand Tour in Munich, the capital of Bavaria, Germany. This exceptional journey will be led by Janet Simmonds, British tour guide with expertise in geography, history and art and her daughter Lucy, a German expert. Together they speak Italian, French, German and English. They are both friendly and informative and love sharing their knowledge of Europe with visitors.

Highlights:

  • – Stay in a stunning, very high quality country house hotel near Venice
  • – A private boat tour of Venice and the lagoon with Grand Canal and St Mark’s
  • – Visit Palladian villas filled with extraordinary art and frescoes
  • – Discover Ernest Hemingway’s Lagoon with a private boat tour to Torcello
  • – Enjoy lunch at a true #SearchingforItaly restaurant – my favourite for decades
  • – Visit Verona – home to the star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet
  • – Visit Juliet’s balcony – how romantic
  • – Stay at the superb Hotel Turm in the Italian Alps with a wonderful spa
  • – Visit the botanical gardens at Trauttmansdorff Castle
  • – Join a hike with picnic in the mountains
  • – Enjoy a wine tasting in a 13th century winery
  • – Visit Innsbruck, imperial capital in the 16th century
  • – Visit the Swarovski Crystal Centre and see the sparkling Chamber of Wonder
  • – Enjoy a Mozart and Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg
  • – Discover Munich, super stylish capital city of Bavaria
  • – Enjoy the smart, sophisticated shopping in Munich
  • – A trip to historic Nymphenburg Palace home to the Wittelsbach family
  • – Experience a modern take on the ‘Beer Cellar’ experience with local craft ales

You can read more about Venice and the Italian Alps in the many articles that Janet has written – why not start with: The Italian Dolomites

Venice with the snow-capped peaks of the Dolomites in the background.

Itinerary: 28th September – 8th October, 2022

Day 1 – 28th September – Venice

Our journey will start at Venice Airport where guests will be met from various flights by our driver. We will drive about 25 minutes from the airport to the Hotel Villa Franceschi in Mira. Janet and Lucy, your guides, will be waiting at the hotel to welcome you to this beautiful place. Here you can relax, unpack and settle in. We will meet for an evening welcome drink followed by dinner at the hotel restaurant, featuring traditional Italian and Venetian food. www.villafranceschi.com/ Meals included: Dinner

Day 2 – 29th September – Venice

Well rested, we will start the day with a fabulous breakfast on the hotel terrace. Once ready to go, we will head into Venice by boat for the day, accompanied by our guide, Janet. As we cruise along the Grand Canal, we are surrounded by boats of every kind and magnificent palaces line our route. As we pass under the Rialto Bridge, you’ll see the fish market of Venice which has operated here for more than 700 years. The tour will end at a typically Venetian restaurant for a selection of local ‘cicchetti’ (delicious local snacks). In the afternoon, our guests are welcome to head back to the hotel to relax, or perhaps they’d like to stay with Janet and Lucy and continue exploring the hidden gems of Venice. There’s quite literally ‘Treasure in Every Church’ in Venice. In the evening, we’ll meet in the hotel lobby to go out for dinner. Meals included: Breakfast, Light lunch, Dinner

Day 3 – 30th September – Venice

After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, we will set off to discover the Venetian countryside and the Brenta Canal. Venetian aristocrats built their country houses along the Brenta. We will visit the spectacular Villa Pisani, admired by Napolean and built on the plan of Versailles. Try to escape from the difficult maze if you can! Next, we’ll drive to Fusina and take a private boat across the lagoon to the islands of Torcello and Burano. Torcello is famous for its mosaics and was one of the first islands to be inhabited in the lagoon. Lunch today is at the fantastic Da Romano Trattoria where risotto is the speciality. This restaurant was recently featured in Stanley Tucci’s ‘Searching for Italy’ (on CNN). Dinner this evening is a casual supper at the hotel.   Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Squero San Trovaso, Venezia www.educated-traveller.com

Day 4 – 1st October – Venice to the Italian Alps

Today we will pack our bags and head for the hills. We will stop in Verona, romantic home town of Romeo and Juliet – Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers. Visit Juliet’s famous balcony and the charming medieval squares of Verona. Don’t miss the Roman amphitheatre that hosts an opera season every summer. It’s almost two thousand years old. After lunch, we will continue our journey along the shores of Lake Garda. On the way, we’ll stop off for a delicious Italian ice cream (gelato) and a coffee. In the late afternoon we’ll arrive in the Italian Alps, known as the Dolomites, where the fabulous Romantik Hotel Turm is our luxury accommodation for the next few days. Time to unpack, relax and make the most of the hotel’s world-class spa. The next few days are all about relaxing, immersing yourself in the fresh mountain air and re-charging your batteries. www.hotelturm.it Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
                  

Day 5 – 2nd October – Dolomites

Today is the day to enjoy clear mountain air. Perhaps you would like to relax at the hotel and enjoy the fabulous hotel spa; maybe you’d like to go into the local town of Bolzano to experience Italian fashion and boutiques; you may even want to spend the day outdoors and we will offer a typical alpine walk to a traditional mountain hut (“Alm”) for lunch. In the afternoon, we will go to the nearby Trauttmansdorff Castle which has incredible botanical gardens. Why not stay at the hotel and luxuriate in the amazing spa facilities. Our dinner this evening will be in the hotel. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 – 3rd October – Dolomites

The Dolomites in autumn are particularly special – the days are still long and sunny and yet there is a mountain crispness in the air. If you haven’t tried out the spa yet, then today is your chance. If relaxing and a sauna aren’t really your thing, there is a rock-climbing wall at the hotel for the active ones amongst you! There will be an optional hike today – an energising walk in the hills with an “Einkehrmöglichkeit” that you can’t miss. To translate, that’s somewhere to stop off for coffee, cake or even a light lunch. The alpine pastures are dotted with rustic log cabins with the peaks of the Dolomites soaring in the background. In the evening, we will drive down the hillside to Grottnerhof. This 13th century wine estate was recorded under the ownership of Oswald von Wolkenstein. The winery has an extensive history as well as a selection of fabulous wines. We will enjoy a wine tasting and dinner in this historic setting.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Dolomiti - summer time
The Dolomites, Northern Italy – summer time – 1970s Dolomites postcard – For more info Dolomites

Day 7 – 4th October – Dolomites – Innsbruck – Salzburg

Farewell to our spa and hello to Austria. Today we’ll be leaving Italy and heading over the Alps via the extraordinary Brenner pass into Austria. The Brenner is a key alpine pass that has been a challenge for travellers for generations. Even in May heavy snow is not uncommon. Stopping half-way for lunch in Innsbruck, we’ll enjoy a couple of hours in this charming city nestled in a valley surrounded by mountains. Innsbruck was the imperial capital of Austria in the 16th century. In recent years it has been an important winter ski destination and there is a world-famous Olympic ski jump here. Afterwards, we’ll continue our journey to Salzburg, the land of the Sound of Music but first we’ll stop in the village of Watters to visit the amazing Swarovski crystal world for a tour including the sparkling chamber of wonder. Tonight, we will be staying at the Gersberg Alm Romantik Hotel, only 15 minutes from Salzburg. www.gersbergalm.at Meals included today: Breakfast and Dinner

Salzburg - Mirabell Gardens
Mirabell Gardens, Salzburg

Day 8 – 5th October – Salzburg

After a good night’s sleep and a delicious breakfast, it’s time to discover Salzburg. This is the city of Mozart and the Sound of Music. Our local guide will introduce us to this charming city of beauty. We’ll visit the birthplace of Mozart and later today we will have our very own Sound of Music tour with a singing tour guide. Salzburg is full of traditional coffee houses and great shops – an ideal place to pick up your holiday souvenirs. If you fancy a hike or a panoramic view of the city, head up to the Hohensalzburg Fortress which has its very own funicular railway. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 – 6th October – Salzburg to Munich

Leaving Salzburg for Munich, today’s drive will take us approximately 2 hours. We’ll cross the border into Germany, travelling past the famous Chiemsee to our right and the Austrian-German Alps to our left. We will stop at Prien am Chiemsee for a coffee and a walk alongside the shores of what is known as the “Bavarian Sea”. Then we continue to Munich, the capital city of Bavaria. Munich is so full of history, culture and shopping opportunities that you’ll have plenty to see. After a short walk around the city centre, we’ll make our way to our centrally-located hotel – The Excelsior Hotel. Here, you can unpack and relax before we meet for dinner in the fabulous city of Munich.  www.excelsior-hotel.de Meals included: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 10 – 7th October – Munich

Today there will be free time in the morning for our guests to explore the Marienplatz, the main square in Munich. There will be a walking tour of the city centre with a local guide, ideal for anyone wanting to learn more about Germany’s rich heritage and history. On our tour, we will visit the 15th century Frauenkirche (Cathedral of Our Lady), which will followed by coffee and cake in a traditional Munich Kaffeehaus. This afternoon there is a visit to the beautiful Nymphenburg Palace, home to the Wittelsbach family for centuries. This evening we will have a traditional Bavarian night out. As this is our last evening together, we’ll end the trip in style with a Farewell Dinner at Wirtshaus Maximilian which offers a range of German beers and local dishes in a contemporary setting. Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11 – 8th October – Munich

Today our trip reaches its end. There’ll be several vehicles leaving for Munich Airport at different times depending on your flight time. Your transport will leave the hotel approximately 3 hours prior to your departure time.

We’d like to wish you ‘Buon Viaggio’ and ‘eine gute Reise’ from Italy, Austria and Germany! Until the next time – we already can’t wait to welcome you back to Europe again soon. Meals included: Breakfast

Our Route:

Venice to the Alps - our route
Venice to the Alps – September, 2022 – our route through the mountains to Austria & Germany
The Castle of the Scaligieri dominates the small medieval town of Sirmione, Lake Garda, Italy
The Castle of Scaligieri dominates medieval town of Sirmione, Lake Garda, Italy

Practical information – what’s included:

  • 10 nights accommodation in 4 and 5 star hotels (as listed in itinerary)
  • All rooms are double for single occupancy
  • Breakfast included daily – this may be buffet style or a la carte.
  • Arrival Day – Welcome Party followed by Venetian dinner
  • 8 x lunches included offering delicious local dishes in a variety of restaurants.
  • 10 x Dinners included – 3 courses (total 10 dinners)
  • Wine is served with dinner (2 glasses per person).
  • At lunch – 2 courses soft drinks and/or a glass of wine included.
  • Mineral water, tea/coffee served with all meals.
  • All transportation and guiding services included as listed in the itinerary.
  • Full sight-seeing programme as explained in the itinerary
  • Multi-lingual tour guides expert in History, Art, Geography and Culture
  • A fabulous and unique journey through Italy, Austria and Germany
  • This a real Grand Tour
  • Travelling as a small group with family-style dining at lunch & dinner
  • Camaraderie, companionship and conversation.

NOTE – You can book a 30 minute zoom call to discuss the trip – e-mail us to arrange a time.

Trip Notes:

  • This is a small group experience – we anticipate 8-10 guests
  • Note – the trip starts in Venice, Italy and finishes in Munich, Germany
  • We reserve the right to alter the itinerary if necessary.
  • This can be a result of weather and/or availability of services.
  • Some flexibility is necessary to ensure the best possible experience.
  • We can help guests wishing to extend their stay in Europe before/after the tour.
  • Dietary requirements and intolerances – please let us know in advance.

Not included:

  • – Flights are not included. The tour starts in Venice and finishes in Munich.
  • – Please book a flight to arrive into Venice and depart from Munich
  • – Trip insurance is compulsory and must be purchased at time of booking
  • – Items of a personal nature, toiletries, room service, minibar etc – not included.
  • – Snacks, drinks outside meal times are not included.
  • – Gratuities for guides and drivers are not included.
  • – Spa treatments are not included.

Important:

  • This trip starts in Venice.
  • This trip finishes in Munich
Chiemsee and the Abbey rises majestically from the lake
Girl’s Venice Trip – Winter 2019



January, 2022


IMPORTANT – This itinerary is the intellectual property of Grand Tourist Ltd. We are offering this journey in collaboration with Girls Guide to Paris. None of this material is to be circulated, distributed or copied in any way without the express permission of Grand Tourist.

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