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Accommodations in centrally-located three-star or four-star hotels. Rooming on a triple basis. Double rooms: $320 per person.
Round-trip transportation on scheduled airline. Deluxe touring motorcoach.
All breakfasts. All dinners. Stadtkeller Swiss folklore dinner and show on Day 8.
Services of a specially-trained passports Tour Director throughout.
Entrances and activities as noted on itinerary.
passports provides and pays for a Post Departure Travel Protection Plan that includes coverage for Trip Interruption, Trip Delay, Baggage Loss or Delay, Medical Expense and Evacuation and more.
Sightseeing stop in Verona, Water bus
Venice Guided Walking Tour: Round-trip water bus to St. Mark's Square, Local Guide, Glassblowing demonstration
Water bus to Tronchetto, Scenic ride through the Alps
Professionally guided walking tour in Salzburg: Visit to Mozart's Birthplace
Optional Excursion to Hellbrunn Palace
Visit to the Dürrnberg salt mine in Hallein
Guided tour at Neuschwanstein Castle, Sightseeing stop in Vaduz, Liechtenstein's capital city
Optional Excursion to Mt. Pilatus: Cable car and cog railway ascent to summit, Lake cruise to Lucerne
Tour director-led walking tour in Lucerne
Stadtkeller Swiss folklore dinner and show
St. Gotthard Tunnel, Scenic drive through the Italian lake district
Ferry excursion to the Borromean Islands: Boat round-trip to the Borromean Islands, Borromeo Palace on Isola Bella
A dream comes true as your wide-bodied jet thunders off the airstrip: you're on your way to Italy! Time for a meal, a movie and a nap. Then it gets light again, first off the left-hand side of the airplane, then everywhere. It's morning, and Milan, Italy!
Board your coach for a ride through the Po Valley and the wine country of northern Italy.
Have a look at the city immortalized by Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Verona's 16th-century walls still surround the Centro della Città, full of narrow alleys and arcaded passageways.
Proceed to the magical city that called itself "The Most Serene Republic of Venice" during its Golden Age.
See Casa di Giulietta (Juliet's House) and its courtyard with the famous balcony and a bronze statue of Juliet.
Pause on Piazza Bra, the vast square where the Arena di Verona is located. This splendid Roman amphitheater, which dates back to the 1st century AD, is among the largest in the world with its 44 tiers of seats.
Remember Marco Polo, who set out from this magnificent harbor in 1271, at the age of 18, on a fantastic journey to Asia.
After a water bus ride to the greatest square in the West, Piazza San Marco, enjoy a walking tour led by a local guide. You will see the Doges' Palace and St. Mark's Basilica.
Head to the Rialto area to visit the nooks and crannies of Old Venice and the lively Rialto Market.
A half-day local guide, well-educated and specially-trained on the history and culture of Venice, will accompany your group.
Visit a glass workshop, where a skilled glassblower will demonstrate the techniques and artistic sense required to produce the world-renowned Venetian glass.
The afternoon is unscheduled.
Make plans with your tour director.
If the weather is favorable, you may want to arrange a gondola ride along the canals, past stately palaces. This is a uniquely Venetian experience, as extravagant and as unforgettable as the city itself.
Sit back and enjoy the ride through Alpine landscapes, where pastures and woods blanket the lower slopes of rocky summits.
Your destination in Austria is Mozart's enchanting city, Salzburg.
This evening, a stroll in town, or along the Salzach River, would be a nice way to cap the day.
Get acquainted with the City of Bells (thus nicknamed for the innumerable church bells that regularly chime throughout the day) on a walking tour led by a local guide. Landmarks include Dom zu Salzburg, regarded as the first Baroque cathedral built north of the Alps, the unforgettable Getreidegasse, the Hohensalzburg Fortress, and the sculptured Horse Trough once reserved exclusively for the horses of the Archbishop of Salzburg.
Visit Mozart's Geburtshaus, the house in which he was born in 1756 and where he composed most of his child-prodigy works. See personal documents, pictures of his family and his childhood instruments.
The afternoon is unscheduled.
Don't miss Mozart's Wohnhaus, across the river. Mozart's family moved into this house when he was 17 years old.
Enjoy an excursion south of the city center.
The highlight of your visit to the 17th-century Schloss Hellbrunn, the summer residence of Salzburg's visionary but somewhat daft ruler Marcus Sitticus, may well be its park. Watch out for the famous Wasserspiele! This amazing system of whimsical trick fountains was designed by Marcus Sitticus himself for his amusement, as he inflicted his unique sense of humor on his unsuspecting guests. Today's visitors share his delight as they dodge the showers that come from nowhere in this quirky repository of fantasy and fun.
Board your coach for the drive to a small town at the foot of the Untersberg mountains. Evidence of salt mining dating back to 600 BC has been found in the Hallein region, which is also known for its 2,500 year-old Celtic settlements.
Have fun as you dress in miner's clothes and slide down a chute into the Dürrnberg mine to explore its dark underground chambers and cross the mine's subterranean lake. Multimedia installations complete the entertainment.
Board your coach which takes you through the breathtaking Alpine landscapes of the Austrian Tirol towards Germany's top ski resort, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, located at the foot of Germany's tallest summit, the Zugspitze.
Today, travel through the romantic Germany of fairy tales into fantasyland.
Enjoy a guided visit to the dream castle built by Bavaria's "mad" King Ludwig II. About Neuschwanstein, the model for Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty's castle, it is said that Ludwig employed a stage set designer rather than an architect. The result is pure theatrical fantasy, stimulated by the King's fancy for Wagnerian music: from artificial grottoes to ornate rooms to dazzling views of the Alps from the belvedere.
Continue to the postage-stamp-sized Principality of Liechtenstein. A fragment of the former Germanic Confederation, it became a sovereign state in 1719 but now functions as an economic satellite of the Swiss Confederation, to which it is linked by monetary, postal and diplomatic conventions.
Enjoy a photo stop in Liechtenstein's capital city, known for its Postage Stamp Museum!
Cross the border into Switzerland, traveling through its historic cantons to William Tell's country.
This excursion takes you to the top of the world with the ascent to the summit of Mt. Pilatus, nearly 7,000 feet high. Up one side of this towering peak by cable car; down the other side, through mists and tinkling cowbells, by a narrow-gauge cog railway train (the steepest in the world for this form of traction).
Enjoy a 60 minute lake cruise across the "Lake of the Four Forest Cantons" from Alpnachstad to Lucerne.
Explore Lucerne's Old Town. You may want to feed the ducks from the ancient wooden Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge). Pause at Thorvaldsen's Lion Monument (or Lion o\df Lucerne), near the remarkable Glacier Gardens. See the large and noble Jesuitenkirche, one of the landmarks that explain why the rural alpine areas in central and southern Switzerland remained Catholic following the Reformation.
A fondue dinner and folklore performance are included tonight at the Stadtkeller. Brightly colored skirts, yodeling, and ten-foot mountain horns set a joyous context you'll long remember.
More tinkling cowbells and jagged peaks as you climb up to the St. Gotthard Pass. Travel through the tunnel dug under the pass, then down to Switzerland's Italian-speaking canton of Ticino.
Enjoy the drive through Italy's lake district.
Your coach takes you to the most idyllic of the Italian lakes, Lago Maggiore. The reflection of the Alps in the lake's deep blue waters is a sight not soon forgotten, nor is the surprising contrast of Alpine vistas framed by tropical vegetation.
Enjoy a boat excursion to Lake Maggiore's Borromean Islands. You will stop first on Isola Bella then on the unspoiled Isola dei Pescatori, where visitors can browse through shops and boutiques.
On the island of Isola Bella, you will visit the lovely Baroque palace and terraced gardens built by the princely Borromeo family in the 17th century.
Travel to the economic capital of Milan, once the ancient capital city of Lombardy, ruled for centuries by the powerful Visconti and Sforza families.
Ciao! Laden with souvenirs, gifts and wonderful memories, you're heading back to the USA. Fly west, into the sun and arrive home later today, eager to share your experiences with family and friends.
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