Canal Grande

Germany & Italy: Munich to Rome

This incredible 19-day tour will take you across the Alps: Before heading into the higher ranges bound for Italy, you travel from Munich to Salzburg via the pre-Alpine hills. After exploring Bella Italia's premier cities, the tour returns to Germany via Switzerland with a stop at stunning Lake Maggiore.

This trip will be customized according to your wishes.


Arrival in München

40 km | 39 minutes


Tech, art and folklore

Although it is still a rela­tively young city, Munich’s charisma extends far beyond the Bavarian borders. Around the 11th century a few monks settled on the Isar – hence the name (apud Munichen – with the monks).

Because of its strategic loca­tion at a bridge and also at the inter­sec­tion of two trade routes, the city soon became the resi­dence of the Wittelsbach family who reigned as dukes, electors and kings of Bavaria. The city expe­r­i­enced a boom in the Baroque era and finally also in the 20th century. Munich became the capital of Art Nouveau – but also of the National Socialist move­ment. In 1919 Hitler already tested the demonic effect of his speeches in the Hofbräukeller. Although Munich is a high-tech loca­tion today, the Bavarian folklore is lovingly cared for, espe­cially in the last week of September when the Okto­berfest beer festival takes place.

Accommodation: A Villa at Nymphenburg Palace

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

The attrac­tive Neo-Renais­sance villa was built in 1886 next to the Nymphenburg Palace and park, one of the most famous sites in Munich.

The 17th century palace, now open to the public, has played an important role in numerous historic events. The small, family-run hotel next door prides itself on its 23 indi­vid­u­ally designed bedrooms and friendly service. Bicycles are loaned for free, for example, and tickets for the local public trans­porta­tion system for the ride downtown can be purchased at the recep­tion desk. In spite of the quiet loca­tion, Germany`s largest beer garden is just minutes away. The hotel staff will gladly provide restau­rant recom­men­da­tions and assist with the planning of local activ­i­ties. Indeed, the little inn was recently named a Service Hotel by the travel website Venere.

Upper Bavaria

“The true Bavaria” between the Alps and the Danube
Upper Bavaria is consid­ered to be the real Bavaria, the borders of which have changed several times over the centuries and have not taken tribal or language borders into account. In partic­ular, there is no specific Upper Bavarian dialect. The term “Oberbayern” first appeared in 1255 and today Upper Bavaria is only one of several admin­is­tra­tive districts in Bavaria, bordering the Upper Palatinate to the east, Franconia to the north and Swabia to the west. Because of its natural beauty and cultural attrac­tions, the region between the Danube and the Alps attracts many visitors from Germany and abroad.


Bavaria's picture book land
The land on the Isar is also called “Bavaria's Picture Book Land”. In front of the mighty mountain scenery in the south with its deeply cut valleys, a blooming landscape spreads out with blue lakes, char­ac­teristic places, splashing streams and gentle hills. The main town of Bad Tölz lies on the Isar river. The spa was formed at an iodine spring. The old town around the curved Markts­traße with its magnif­i­cent gabled houses is worth a visit. In the novel “Der Jäger von Fall” (The Hunter of Fall) Ludwig Ganghofer set a literary monu­ment to the inhab­i­tants of the Isarwinkel for their love of their home­land and thus also made the river landscape known trans-regional.

Nymphenburg Castle

Time Travel to the Bavarian Monarchy
A visit to the castle that Elector Ferd­inand Maria once gave his wife on the occa­sion of the birth of the heir to the throne is a journey through time to the Bavarian monarchy. Two shady avenues lead to the castle, between them lies the Nymphenburg Canal. In summer it belongs to the swans, in winter to the ice skaters. At the end the half a kilometer wide castle rises. The 230-hectare English castle park with its streams, canals and bridges looks like a fairy tale forest. Today the castle houses four museums.

From München to Salzburg

Rental car pick-up

From the hotel to the rental car station

17 km | 25 minutes

Rental car pick-up

Rental car pick-up
Broker: Sunny Cars GmbH
Company: Europcar
Vehicle: VW Polo or similar (EDMR)
Loca­tion: Munich (Railway Station)

From Munich to Salzburg

146 km | 2:00 h

The scenic route will take you through the rolling hills of the Prealpine country­side past beau­tiful Chiemsee. One of Ludwig the Mad's (Ludwig II) most spectac­ular projects after Neuschwanstein is located on the island of Herrenchiemsee: An opulent palace designed as a replica of the Palace of Versailles.

There are several quaint Bavarian towns close to the route, such as Traun­stein and Ruhpolding.


Salt mines and picturesque lakes
The region south and east of Salzburg was declared a World Heritage Site in 1997, both due to its inde­scrib­able beauty and its cultural-histor­ical importance as a source of salt. The valu­able mineral has been mined in the area for over 7,000 years. (Salzkammer & gut = salt­room & prop­erty). Many of today's most important eastern Alpine passes were used in the Middle Ages to trans­port salt from the city that still bears the word in its name (Salzburg = Salt Fortress). A tour of the Hallein Salt Mines, the oldest salt mines in the world, is one of the high­lights of a visit to the region. The Salzkammergut is dotted with incred­ibly beau­tiful mountain lakes, which are enjoyed by many a tourist.


Merchant city on the banks of the Inn: Rosenheim
At a strate­g­ically favor­able loca­tion, at the conflu­ence of the Mangfall and the Inn, an important trading center devel­oped early on. A merchants' route from Italy to the north brought pros­perity to the town as early as the 13th century, a fact that is still evident today in the old town with its arcaded passage­ways. In the 19th century, Rosenheim expe­r­i­enced an upswing. The magnif­i­cent build­ings in the Art Nouveau style or the “Heimatstil”, as it was called here, bear witness to this.


Rowing, hiking or sailing on the cleanest lake in Upper Bavaria's
Tegernsee is one of a group of pre-Alpine lakes south of Munich in Bavaria that includes Ammersee, Starnberg­ersee, Schliersee, Simssee and Chiemsee. Lying farther south than the others and shel­tered by mountains on three sides, Tegernsee enjoys more sunshine than the neighbouring lakes – in fact, more sunshine than any other place in Germany. The lakeshores are, in contrast to many other Bavarian lakes, almost entirely acces­sible to the public, although partly covered with reeds. In the south there are two larger bays and a small island, the Ringseeinsel. In several surrounding villages one can rent sailing, rowing or electric boats. The pleasant climate makes Tegernsee a popular getaway for resi­dents of Munich. Thanks to the sunshine, clean air and remark­ably clean water fed by mountain streams, numerous spas have settled in the towns that dot the lakeshore. The Austrian border, marked by snow-capped peaks south of the lake, is a mere 20 km away.

Bercht­esgaden alpine adven­ture trail

Educa­tional and obser­va­tion trail over alpine paths
The hike leads through the history of alpine farming. Three alpine pastures are on the way, where informa­tion boards provide informa­tion about the alpine pasture system. You also have wonderful views of the Bercht­esgaden and Chiemgau Alps. The tour leads along paved alpine and forest paths. The alpine steep tracks require a certain amount of surefoot­ed­ness. (Round trip 11.1 kilome­ters, 4 hours, up and down: 670 meters)

Ramsauer Schatt­seitweg

Through the magic forest to Hintersee
The varied hike leads along the Schatt­seitweg from the Gasthof Oberwirt in Ramsau to Hintersee. After a few minutes you reach the glacier springs, which are fed by the melt­water of the Blaueis glacier at Hochkalter, 1,500 metres above sea level. After you have crossed the Marxen­klamm gorge, through which a torren­tial white water rushes, you go on a nature trail through the magical forest. Over bridges and footbridges you reach the Hintersee and go back halfway up. (round trip: 15.7 kilome­ters, 5:15 hours, up and down: 734 meters)


Mozart's romantic birthplace

The city located at the northern boundary of the Alps is one the most beau­tiful in central Europe. The backdrop of the Alps to the south contrasts strongly with the rolling plains to the north.

The closest Alpine peak – the 1,972 m Unter­sberg – is only a few kilome­ters from the city center. The inner city, or old town, is dominated by baroque towers and churches. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is Salzburg's most famous son. The houses where he was born and also lived in are popular tourist attrac­tions and there are many monu­ments remem­bering the “Wolferl” in the city. His family is buried in a small church grave­yard in the old town.

Accommodation: A quiet hotel near the city centre

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

The 19th century villa, converted into a boutique hotel, is located in a resi­den­tial area south of the Kapuzinerberg.

Each of the 14 rooms is indi­vid­u­ally furnished and offers modern comfort. In the morning a rich Breakfast buffet with local and seasonal special­i­ties awaits and in good weather can also be served on a terrace in the garden with a natural pond. Those who want can take a stroll along the Salzach and reach the oldtown in approx­i­mately 15 minutes; with the bus (line 7), it takes about five minutes.


Mighty fortress on a rock
The fortress from the 11th century towers high above the city. It is the landmark of Salzburg and with an area of over 7,000 square metres one of the largest castles in Europe. The loca­tion on a rock above the Salzach was ideal for monitoring a wide surrounding area. Even today you have the best views of Salzburg from there. The inte­rior of the fortress is also worth seeing. Concerts take place regu­larly in the Golden Hall. If the ascent to the castle is too diffi­cult for you, you can take the fortress railway.

Salzburg Old Town

UNESCO World Heritage right and left of the Salzach River
The Salzach River, which divides the old town into two parts, flows right through Salzburg. To the left, i.e. west of it, lies the actual core of the city. There are the historic churches, the monas­teries and ceme­teries, the Salzburg Cathedral and the Getrei­degasse with Mozart's birthplace. The Festspielhaus and the Resi­den­zplatz also belong to the left Old Town. The old town on the right is younger, but is also a UNESCO World Heritage site due to the many valu­able town houses and the worth seeing Mira­bell Castle. Those who want to stroll through the old town should therefore visit both sides of the river.

Mira­bell Castle

Modest abode for the Archbishop's family
Although the Archbishop of Salzburg lived in celibacy qua office, this did not prevent him from taking the beau­tiful Salome Alt as his lover. And since he was a generous man, he had a palace built for them and their 15 chil­dren, which he named after her “Schloss Altenau”. When he had to exchange his pretty resi­dence for a prison cell in Hohensalzburg in 1612 because of this scandal, the glory came to an end. His successor as archbishop was his virtuous nephew, who expelled the illus­trious family and renamed the castle. It's called Mira­bell ever since. A master­piece of archi­tectural history is the magnif­i­cent staircase from the ground floor to the second floor. The wall niches contain marble sculp­tures inspired by Greek mythology.


With the mountain railway up the local mountain
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the old town, you can hike to one of the surrounding mountains. Espe­cially recom­mend­able is the legendary Unter­sberg in the south of the city. The massif between Bercht­esgaden and Salzburg is full of myste­r­ious caves, including the Schel­lenberger Ice Cave and the Riesending Shaft Cave. Both can be visited. From St. Leonhart, the Unter­sbergbahn takes you up to the ridge in ten minutes and overcomes 1,300 metres in alti­tude. From the mountain station you can hike to the Große Mittagss­charte. (round trip: 2 hours, 4.5 kilome­ters, up and down: 260 meters)

From Salzburg to Venezia

435 km | 5:00 h
The Tauern Auto­bahn will take you over the Katschberg Pass from Salzburg to Kärnten close to the border of Slowenia, a part of former Yugoslawia. There is a wonderful route that leads from the Julic Alps to the Adri­atic Sea.


Diverse landscape between the Julian Alps and the Adri­atic Sea
Friuli – or Venezia Giulia – is the region that shares borders with Slovenia and Austria. In the north it is confined by the Alps, to the south lies the Adri­atic Sea. Espe­cially impres­sive is the karst plateau, made up of barren rock. Spectac­ular is the view of the eastern Dolomites and the Carnic and Julian Alps. Among the lakes and valleys nature reserves have been estab­lished. The coast is made up of lagoons and long sandy beaches with some renowned resorts like Lignano Sabbiadoro. From Monfalcone to Trieste on the other hand the coast is rocky. The great diver­sity of the landscape matches its exten­sive cultural heritage, which was created by different nations. Today the different tradi­tions coexist peacefully.


High mountain region in Austria
The word Tauern orig­inally meant “high cross­ings” (passes) in the Austrian Central Alps. This meant the many mule trails over the 120 km long and up to 3798 m high main ridge. The Hohe Tauern are the geograph­ical center of the Eastern Alps. In the north they are bordered by the Salzach, in the south by the Drau. Here are the highest mountains in Austria, including the Grossvenediger and the Gross­glockner. The Hohe Tauern National Park is the largest in the Alps, covering over 1,800 square kilome­ters.


Cultural landscape between Dolomites and Adri­atic Sea
The region in the north­east of Italy stretches from the Dolomites to the Adri­atic Sea. It includes a wide low mountain range and a lowland with rivers and canals. Lagoons are also typical for Veneto. The city that gave the region its name, Venice, also lies in such a lagoon. But also beyond the lagoon city there is much to discover: art treasures in cities that are unjustly over­shad­owed by Venice, above all Verona, Padua and Vicenza. They are situ­ated in a magnif­i­cent natural setting, where first-class wines grow. Not to forget the many thermal springs around which spas such as Abano, Montegrotto and Teolo have formed.

Via the Grünstein to St. Bartholomä

Hike and boat trip
The great hike begins at the large parking lot at Königssee. The first high­light is the Grünstein (1304 m) with a beau­tiful view over the Bercht­esgaden basin. From there it is possible to cross over to the Kphrointhütte. After a snack you can descend to the church of St. Bartholomä and return by boat to the starting point. The world-famous pilgrimage church, the first parts of which date back to the 12th century, is picturesquely situ­ated on a peninsula. Adja­cent to it is the former hunting lodge, which now serves as an inn. (Hin: 5:30 hours, 11 kilome­ters, up and down: 680 meters, only for expe­r­i­enced and sure-footed hikers, contains secured passages)


Inspiration for artists, musicians and writers

This centuries-old city has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Count­less churches and palaces bear witness to the power and unsurpassed wealth of this small republic.

The lagoon city was founded in northern Italy during the trou­bled times of the decline of the Roman Empire. The remains of the evan­gelist Mark were trans­ferred to Venice in 829. The streams of pilgrims that followed gave the city much added importance. Since then the sacred symbol of the lion has been the city's coat of arms. Vene­tian troops later occu­pied eastern Italy and, in 1204, even Constantinople. At the height of its power Venice ruled the Mediterranean. The demise of the “serrenis­sima repub­blica” began with the fall of Constantinople and the opening of the Western Hemi­sphere by Spain, Portugal and Holland. Venice's polit­ical importance declined after the Congress of Vienna and it was given to Austria. Returned to Italy in 1866, Venice has inspired gener­a­tions of artists, writers and musi­cians. More than a city, it is a symbol of wealth and beauty as well as death and decay.

Accommodation: A downtown hotel near Piazza San Marco

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Without meals

This hotel features a superb loca­tion only a stone's throw away from Piazza San Marco. The building's exte­rior and main entrance may appear mundane, but the inte­rior design is amazing.

This is partic­u­larly true of the rooms, which Marcella and Giuliano have tastefully furnished in the Vene­tian style. The orna­mental wall fabrics harmo­nize perfectly with the curtains and the carpets. Every­thing from the cheerful furni­ture to the chan­de­liers is a delight to the eyes. Ameni­ties include air condi­tioning, soundproof windows, a minibar in every room and modern bath­rooms. The Breakfast is sweet with crois­sants and coffee.

Basilica of San Marco

The stunning splendour of a thou­sand-year-old church
The splendour of this 1000 year old church is stunning and enchanting. With five domes and deco­rated arches and windows, it is the result of numerous exten­sions and conver­sions. Its core is still the building erected in the 11th century above the floor plan of a Greek cross. Here also lie the bones of the Evan­gelist Mark, the city's relic that gives it its identity. The books about the shrine fill entire libraries. The cathedral treasury contains the richest Byzan­tine gold and silver treasure in the world. Most of it comes from Constantinople, which was plun­dered by the Vene­tians in 1204. The Museo Marciano has found its place in the gallery above the vestibule.

Palazzo Ducale

Palace of Palaces and Power Centre of Venice
It's the Palace of Palaces. The Doge's Palace was the power centre of politics, the highest symbol of Vene­tian civi­l­iza­tion and an eye-catcher on all repre­senta­tions of Venice. 120 Doge's have guided the fate of the mari­time republic from here for almost 1000 years. In its present Gothic form, it was created in the 14th and early 15th centuries. Its lower façade is colossal: covered in marble and struc­tured by count­less columns and arches. In between there are sculp­tures of Adam and Eve or the drunken Noah. The tour through the inte­rior of the Doge's Palace is overwhelming. It begins oppo­site the Loggetta and the Campanile at its high Gothic main portal, the Porta della Carta. On the now following path through the palace one encounters “miracle upon miracle”, as the French statesman François de Chateaubriand, blinded by so much splendour, raved.

Campanile di San Marco

Great pano­ramic view across the lagoon city
A lift takes you up to the belfry of San Marco and on to the viewing platform with a pano­ramic view of a sea of gables and shin­gles interspersed with dozens of towers. The visit of the tower is recom­mended at the very beginning; because the pano­rama provides a first, helpful overall orienta­tion and a feeling for the unique loca­tion and struc­ture of the lagoon city. Orig­inally built in the 10th century and consid­er­ably raised in the 12th, the almost 100-metre-high Campanile collapsed in 1902, but was imme­di­ately rebuilt from the orig­inal mate­rial.

From Venezia to San Casciano

270 km | 3:30 h
You will pass three famous Renais­sance cities which were models of modern urbanity: Padua, Ferrara and, most importantly, Bologna. East of the highway there is a scenic route traversing the Apen­nine Mountains, the backbone of the Italian peninsula.

Emilia Romagna

Castles and gourmets' paradise between Parma and Bologna
The region between the Po Valley to the north and the Apen­nine Mountains to the south has been settled since ancient times due to its fertile soil. The Romans connected the area to the capital with a long, straight road heavily trav­elled through the Middle Ages by merchants and armies. The rich agri­cultural produce soon led to the rise of flour­ishing commu­ni­ties like Parma, famous for its cheese and ham prod­ucts and today one of Italy's most beau­tiful cities. Numerous medieval castles and castle ruins can be found along the ancient trade route. The most famous of these is Canossa Castle, where the excommu­nicated Emperor Henry IV was forced to appear before Pope Gregory VII in 1077 wearing a robe of penance as a symbol of repentance.


Histor­ical city republics in enchanting landscapes
The central Italian region has a special vibe – not only with us Euro­peans. The city republics of Florence and Siena are the epitome of beauty, science and grace – but also of greed for power and unscrupu­lous­ness. Modern capitalism was invented in Tuscany. This is where the Middle Ages came to an end, where banking was invented. This is where da Vinci researched, Miche­lan­gelo painted and Galileo created a new world view. In the cities you will come across this glorious past every step of the way. But also the landscapes between the Maremma in the south, the Chianti area between Florence and Siena and the Etruscan Riviera are among the most beau­tiful in Italy.


Glorious univer­sity, market square in the lake
According to Homer, the town 30 kilome­ters west of Venice was founded by sailors after the destruc­tion of Troy. Thus it would be one of the oldest in Italy and during the times of the Roman Empire it was certainly one of the richest cities in the world. Devasta­tion during the barbarian inva­sions, however, had left very little of it. In the late Middle Ages the city, which is connected by a channel system with the main rivers of the Po Valley, managed to rise once again. In part thanks to the glorious univer­sity, where Albertus Magnus and Galileo Galilei have taught. Worth seeing is the old market square, which is surrounded by water, and the Scrovegni Chapel, with frescoes of Mary and Jesus. The father of the builder, the noto­rious extor­tioner Reginaldo Scrovegni, is said to have met Dante in hell.


World capital of Renaissance

The capital of Tuscany lies on the banks of the Arno between the Adri­atic and Tyrrhe­nian seas, near the center of the Italian peninsula.

It is a city that bustles with industry and crafts, commerce and culture, art and science. The Chianti region between Florence and Siena is one of the most beau­tiful landscapes in Italy and a famous wine produc­tion area. Founded by the Romans in the first century B.C., Florence reached its pinnacle between the 11th and 15th centuries, when it was a free city balancing the authority of the Emperor with that of the Pope. In the 15th century it came under the rule of the Medici family, who later became the Grand Dukes of Tuscany. The city is consid­ered the cradle of the Renais­sance and humanism and was a leading center of art, culture, politics and economic power during this period. The universal geniuses Leon­ardo da Vinci and Miche­lan­gelo thrived here. Their works, along with those of many gener­a­tions of artists up to the masters of the present century, are gathered in the city's many museums.

Accommodation: A Renaissance Villa

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

The sixteenth century villa with a beau­tiful garden is surrounded by olive groves, vines, rows of cypress trees and ochre-coloured farm­houses – all this just twenty minutes from Florence and a little more than thirty from Siena. It is more like a private house than a hotel: a Tuscan villa with its family antiques, an elegant but very warm ambiance, spacious and quiet bedrooms, lavish breakfasts. The latter feature a large buffet that includes Tuscan special­i­ties such as fresh ricotta cheese, the local focaccia bread, prosciutto and home-made brioche. Whereas the loggia looks out onto a formal garden, the swimming pool is located in an olive grove. All the bedrooms are spacious – most are even enor­mous – some have frescoed walls and ceil­ings, and a couple of them have a fireplace. Each room has its own refrig­er­ator, computer outlet, safe, air condi­tioning, an electric kettle and a tea and coffee tray. The view is of the garden, the olive grove or the central court­yard with the old well and fragrant creeping vines. The bath­rooms have been deco­rated with thor­ough atten­tion to detail, each with handmade tiles and some with orig­inal frescoes.

Getting to Florence from the hotel is quite easy: guests can drive into the city and park at the train station, drive to a large park & ride parking lot just outside of Florence and take the tram into town, or take the bus to Florence from a stop two miles from the hotel. A visit to a working winery, including wine tast­ings and a light buffet of local prod­ucts, can be booked upon request.

Giardino di Boboli

Renais­sance park with views of Florence
The magnif­i­cent renais­sance park at Palazzo Pitti was the most famous garden in all of Italy during the 16th century. The landscape archi­tects have created it in such a way that Florence is always a focal point. Today visitors can explore grottos, fountains, an amphithe­ater and even an Egyp­tian obelisk on the nearly five-hectare site. The Boboli Gardens are open daily.

Palazzo Pitti

Palaces of the Medici
The palace from 1458, which belonged to the wealthy merchant family Pitti, is still one of the largest build­ings of Florence. However, it only took on its current appear­ance a hundred years later when an even richer family, the Medici, moved in. The Pittis had been disowned after they had allegedly taken part in a conspiracy. After the Medici had lost their power, the dukes of Tuscany and later the kings of Italy resided there. In 1565 a kilometer-long corridor between the Pitti Palace and Palazzo Vecchio was built to shield the noblemen and wealthy from the plebs when they left their resi­dence to walk to the town hall. Today dukes and kings have disap­peared, so the palace only houses a few museums and exhi­bi­tions.

San Miniato al Monte

Tension and harmony in the inte­rior
The basilica on the highest point of the city is consid­ered one of the most beau­tiful churches in Italy. Although built around 1000 the Church is neither spectac­ular nor partic­u­larly large from the outside. But the inte­rior is most convincing. The altar is in fact not on a level with the nave, but is elevated and one cannot look onto the the top of it. The unusual symbols on the portico are to this day a mystery to art histo­rians. The ceiling has a very different style and really does not match the rest of the church. However, all elements work harmo­niously with each other. There is a beau­tiful view over Florence when leaving the Basilica.

San Gimignano

Medieval Manhattan
The legendary town southwest of Florence is known as the Medieval Manhattan thanks to its spectac­ular skyline. The numerous towers were built by the feuding Guelfs and Ghibel­lines, who were attempting to outdo each other in demon­s­tra­tions of power. Of the 72 towers orig­inally constructed by the wealthy fami­lies, 15 remain standing. San Gimignano's skyline has hardly changed since the 14th century, when its importance dwin­dled due to a combina­tion of plague and the shift of trading routes to the valleys. Today the town of 7,000 is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Volterra is just a short distance away. The Etruscan settle­ment in beau­tiful surround­ings is consid­ered one of the most picturesque towns in Tuscany. A short pano­ramic trail leads to the best vantage points – unfortunately via mostly unpaved, dusty roads. (2:40 hours, 9.4 kilome­ters, up and down: 210 m)

Abbey Badia a Passignano

Pleasant loop trail through vine­yards and shrub­land
This medieval abbey in the vine­yards south­east of Florence is today a renowned winery. It is also the starting point for a pleasant walk through a delightful cultural landscape that will lead you down to the Pesa River. (2 hrs, 30 min, 9.5 km, total vertical distance: 290 m)

Stroll through Florence

From the cathedral to the Centro Storico to the Giardino di Boboli
This is our suggested route if you want to get to know Florence on your own. From the train station, it will take you to the cathedral, the historic center of town and then across the Arno over the Ponte Vecchio. The Boboli Gardens on the other side of the river offer the most beau­tiful view of the city. (3 hrs, 6 km, eleva­tion change: 90 m)

From San Casciano to Roma

283 km | 3:30 h
You will drive through the most historic part of Italy. After traversing the charming Chianti region, world famous for its wine, you will reach Siena, the second largest city in Tuscany after Florence. A detour is worthwhile. The city's main square, the Piazza del Campo, is an archi­tectural delight.


The green heart of Italy
This province, located between Tuscany, Latium and Marche, is the only region in Italy that has neither a coast nor an interna­tional border. It is char­ac­ter­ized by green rolling hills, where sheep and cattle graze, by valleys with vast corn fields, and by the alpine-like features of the Umbrian Apennines, which reach their highest point at Monte Vettore (2,478 m). The Tiber has its source here, and its head­wa­ters are surrounded by a delightful cultural landscape. Lake Trasi­meno, over­shad­owed by gentle mountain ridges, lies northwest of the capital city Perugia, near the Tuscan border. The earliest signs of human settle­ment are from the Umbri, a tribe belonging to the Italic peoples, and which migrated here in 1200 AD. They were later influ­enced by the Etruscans.


Nucleus of Europe
The gentle hilly landscape halfway up the Italian boot is consid­ered the nucleus of Europe. Already since the 6th century B.C. the Latins settled between the Tyrrhe­nian Sea and the Tiber. Their language, Latin, was to become the fore­runner of all Roman languages today. At the latest in 340 B.C., when the region was subdued by Rome, it became the core of the Roman Empire. Besides Rome, the Alba­nian mountains, the volcanic lakes in the triangle of Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio as well as the southern Lazio are consid­ered to be partic­u­larly attrac­tive, here in partic­ular for example the monastery Monte Cassino, which was completely destroyed in the Second World War, but was rebuilt afterwards.


Jewel of medieval archi­tec­ture and culture
With its patri­cian houses and reli­gious build­ings, the Tuscan city is a jewel of medieval archi­tec­ture and culture. Heart of the old town is the Piazza Grande with the Palazzo delle Logge from 1573 and its tall, narrow resi­den­tial build­ings. To the west of the square stands S. Maria della Pieve, one of the most beau­tiful Roma­nesque churches in all of Tuscany.


Medieval village between two Renais­sance cities
Monticchiello is a medieval village located off the beaten path and offering an pano­ramic view to the north. The best way to enjoy the town's beauty is to approach it on foot via the old Strada Pano­ramica, which is now a hiking trail from Montepul­ciano to Pienza. The best place to stop for a bite to eat is in Monticchiello at the osteria there. (3:30 hrs, 12 km, eleva­tion change: 290 m)


Contemporary life in the Eternal City

The western world was ruled from the city built on the legendary seven hills for 1,500 years. Rome was the stage for many historic events of worldwide signif­icance during that era.

After the collapse of the Roman Empire the city became the seat of the Catholic Church. During the zenith of its power (the second century A.D.) Rome's popu­la­tion numbered more than a million, making it the world's first metropolis. However, only 25,000 people lived among the city's ruins at the close of the Roman Empire. Regrowth didn't begin until the return of the Pope from Avignon in the fifteenth century. Today the Italian capital ranks amongst the premiere cities of Europe with regard to art, culture and a fast-paced lifestyle. Millions of tourists visit Rome annu­ally to take in the sights, shop and enjoy the cuisine.

Accommodation: A hotel in the heart of Old Rome

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

This centuries-old building is located in the city centre, between the Spanish steps and the Via Veneto. Marco and Giulia, the enterprising propri­etors who have roots in the hotel busi­ness, have completely restored the prop­erty and now offer modern, comfort­able accommo­d­a­tion in a histor­ical building.

Marco can suggest the best sites to see – he is an accredited Rome tour guide. The building offers many practical conve­niences. An elevator takes guests to the air-condi­tioned rooms on the three upper stories. The upstairs suites have a view extending over the roofs of the old city to the dome of St Peters. You're guar­an­teed a good night's rest here (a valu­able commodity in Rome), as the guest­house is next door to a convent! The subway station Barberini is only a few steps away.

Villa Borghese

Green Lung of Rome
Villa Borghese is not a building, but a green area in the middle of Rome. It was built at the end of the 16th century on the vine­yard of the Borghese noble family. In 1901 the state bought the estate and opened it to the public. Today there are numerous museums on the site, including the Galleria Borghese and the Museum of Etruscan Art. On the north side lies Bioparco, the Roman zoo with over 200 animal species. Villa Borghese is also a popular place for joggers and walkers; on a small lake you can rent rowing boats and watch the ducks. A beau­tiful place to rest after stren­uous sightseeing.


Temple for all gods and archetype of all dome build­ings
The impres­sive rotunda with its columned façade was erected 25 B.C. as a temple for all gods and converted into a church over 600 years later. The dome is partic­u­larly impres­sive: it symbol­izes the sky, the opening in the middle stands for the sun and the contact with the stars. With a diam­eter of 43 metres, the dome of the Pantheon was the largest in the world for 1700 years until St Peter's Basilica was built. Visitors to the Pantheon enjoy the medi­ta­tive atmo­sphere inside and the delightful play of sunlight that falls through the open­ings in the roof and “wanders” along the floor. The Pantheon became the archi­tectural model for domed build­ings worldwide, such as the Capitol in Wash­ington DC, the Berlin Cathedral or the Invalid Cathedral in Paris.

Piazza Navona

From the arena to an urban square
A closer look at the huge square in the heart of the city reveals much about its origin: the long, almost oval surface resem­bles a track in the stadium. In fact, Piazza Navona was orig­inally an arena. Emperor Domi­tian had it built. More than 30,000 people found a place here. In the Middle Ages the spectator stands were grad­u­ally converted into houses. In the 15th century, the stadium first became a park and then a square by paving. The most important monu­ments are the church of Sant Agnese, built in honour of the martyr Agnes, and the 17th-century four-stream fountain: On it four male sculp­tures symbolize the four conti­nents known at that time in the form of the rivers Danube, Nile, Ganges and Río de la Plata.

A stroll through Rome

Discover the old city on your own
If you would like to explore Rome on your own, our recom­mended route starts at the Roma Termini train station and takes you to the key sights in the Eternal City. On your way past the opera house, you will come to the Palazzo Berberini, the Fontana di Trevi, the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon and finally the Colos­seum and the Forum Romanum. (4 hrs, 8 km, eleva­tion change: 70m)

From Roma to Casteln­uovo Berar­denga

245 km | 3:30 h
You will follow an old Roman road called Via Cassia through the heart of classic Italy. After passing Monte Amiata, the highest mountain in Tuscany, you will reach Bolsena Lake, the largest body of water in central Italy.

Teatro della Concordia

The “Theatre of Unity” of Monte Castello di Vibio is consid­ered the smallest theatre in the world with 99 seats and a stage area of 50 square metres. It was built at the beginning of the 19th century for nine wealthy fami­lies. Deco­ra­tions and scenery were executed by a painter from La Spezia. The frescoes were painted by his son, who was 15 years old at the time. In the 20th century the theatre fell into disre­pair until it was restored in the 1980s. Since then there have been regular performances again.


Vineyards, castles and forests

This scenic and cultu­r­ally fascinating region between Florence and Sienna is consid­ered to be classic Tuscany.

Vine­yards, cypress trees, forests, idyllic wine villages and castles are nestled in the gently rolling hills. During the Middle Ages, Chianti was the scene of heavy fighting between the Tuscan cities of Florence and Sienna, a conflict that ended in 1559 with the annexa­tion of Sienna by Florence. Since the best wines in Italy are made here, the name “Chianto Clas­sico” has been a protected trademark since the 18th century. It initially included Radda, Castel­lina and Gaiole. Other areas to the East were added later.

Accommodation: A Tuscan Wine Estate

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

A cypress alley will lead you to 800 acres of majestic hill country in Dievole, a private Chianti Clas­sico estate near Vagliagli, where you can enjoy Italian nature, art, fashion and La Dolce Vita. Siena is only eight miles south of Dievole and Firenze just forty miles north.

Dievole, once home to Florence nobility, is now one of the most elegant guest­houses on a working wine estate in Tuscany. Some of Italy's best and most famous wines are being produced here. Guests are either accommo­d­ated in the sixteenth century Villa, the private guest­house Casa Dievolino or rooms with a kitch­enette in Casa Olivo.

Chianti Sculp­ture Park

Modern art in an oak forest
In the early 1990's Piero and Rosalba Giadrossi discov­ered this seven-hectare oak forest near Pievas­ciata. It offered the ideal condi­tions for their project – to present modern art in a natural context. The park opened its doors after five years of hard work. More than 20 artists from all over the world exhibit their work here. The peaceful surround­ings lend their art a unique charm.


Medieval urbanism
According to legend, Siena was founded by Senio, the son of Romo, who was one of Rome's foun­ders. Siena is the most important city of art in Tuscany after Florence. The city's main period of devel­op­ment was the Middle Ages, when the town expanded in various direc­tions. Siena reached its full splendor in 1300, when most of the civil monu­ments were constructed, and an attempt was made to build the new Duomo. Siena was pre-eminently a Ghibel­line town, and its rulers often “crossed swords” with the Floren­tine Guelphs in epic and bloody battles that shaped the history of the Italian Middle Ages. One of the most famous battles took place in Monta­perti on 4 September 1260, when the Sienese defeated the Floren­tine army. A tragic plague epidemic in 1348 marked a very diffi­cult period for Siena that led to its annexa­tion into the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and the loss of its inde­pen­dence.


Medieval castles and hidden hamlets
This wine center with a viva­cious downtown is nestled among forests and gently rolling hills where Roma­nesque churches, medieval hamlets and a castle are tucked away. This magnif­i­cent hike will lead you around the Monte Marcoli. On the way, you can stop for a bite to eat at the Risto­rante L'Alto Chianti or afterwards in Gaiola. (3:50 hrs, 12.8 km, eleva­tion change: 350 m)

Certosa di Pontignano

Through the vine­yards to the gates of Sienna
On a mountain path just a few kilome­ters from the cultural center of Sienna, you can enjoy some relaxa­tion and a view. The cathedral of Sienna is visible for the entire walk. The goal of this leisurely stroll is a 14th century Carthu­sian monastery, the Certosa die Pontignano. Afterwards, you can stop for a bite to eat at the Osteria La Piccarda. (2 hours, 8.5 km, total vertical distance: 140 m)

Volpaia in Chianti

Vine­yards, olive groves and a former castle town
This wine-growing village is among the most beau­tiful towns in Chianti. This goes for the surrounding area as well. Here, roads lined with cypress trees lead to vine­yards, scrub­land and olive groves. The crowning feature of the landscape is Castelvecchi, a former castle town with a lovely park. After a short yet richly varied walk, you can relax in one of the local restau­rants. (2 hrs, 6.5 km, eleva­tion change: 220 m)

From Casteln­uovo Berar­denga to Oggebbio

486 km | 6:00 h
After crossing the Apen­nine Mountains you will drive through the Po River valley to Milan, then cont­inue north around the western edge of beau­tiful Lake Maggiore. The route becomes more and more scenic as you approach the Alps.


Cultural landscape at “the foot of the mountains”
This region's name means “the foot of the mountains.” It borders Switz­er­land to the North and France to the West. It includes the entire northwestern section of the Italian alps. Europe's highest mountains are located here: Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc) is just a few kilome­ters across the French border. Monte Rose (4,618 m) is right on the border. The mountains end abruptly at the Po river valley. Rare languages are still spoken in the deep and inac­ces­sible valleys – including medieval Occitan and Walser German. South of the capital city, Turin, you will discover a charming and cultu­r­ally inter­esting region. Fine wines are made from vine­yards on the gently rolling hills around Asti. Truffles grow in the surrounding forests. This combina­tion attracts gourmets from all over the world.


More than Parmesan cheese and Parma Ham
Parmesan cheese and Parma ham have made this city in the Po Valley famous. In fact, Parma has many culinary delights to offer, of which the many trat­to­rias in the old town bear witness. In the center of the city is the 2,000 year old Piazza Garibaldi with the palace for the governor, the octag­onal Baptis­tery of pink sand­stone and the Roma­nesque cathedral. For art histo­rians the fresco in the dome's inte­rior is espe­cially inter­esting, where Mary’s rising to heaven is depicted with perspec­tival tricks so that it seems almost three-dimen­sional from a partic­ular viewing angle.


City of arts and crafts on the River Po
In Roman times the city on the Po River was located on the inter­sec­tion of two major through roads and has been an important center for trade and crafts. The small but attrac­tive old town is surrounded by a fortress wall. Palazzi dating back to the 16th to 18th centuries line the streets that converge on the Piazza del Cavalli. From this central square, which is dominated by two eques­trian statues, a car-free shopping street leads to the Roma­nesque cathedral.

Santa Lucia and Montauto

Tthrough a Tuscan idyll to the San Gimignano view
The hike from Santa Lucia to Montauto is one of the most beau­tiful in southern Tuscany. Starting point is the pleas­antly quiet Piazza of Santa Lucia. From there it goes through a typical Tuscan cultural landscape with vine­yards, olive groves and cypresses to Molino di Foci, where you can stop in a German-speaking garden restau­rant. The high­light awaits you in Montauto: a great view of the towers of San Gimignano. (round trip: 11.6 kilome­ters, 3:30 hours, up and down: 370 meters)

Around San Gimignano

View of the picture book silhou­ette
The circular walk is partic­u­larly recom­mended for the view of San Gimignano and its surround­ings. Less appealing is the fact that it travels across wide, unpaved slopes, which are little used, but some­times dusty. (there and back: 9 kilome­ters, 2:30 hours, up and down: 210 meters)

Lago Maggiore

Romantic lake between Ticino and Po Valley

In a part of Switz­er­land renowned for its warmth and Mediterranean light, Lake Maggiore has been attracting visitors for over 100 years.

While its northern tip is part of the Swiss Ticino, it reaches as far south as the Po Valley. The walks above the lake offer views which remind one of the Côte d'Azur near the heart of Europe, with the Alps as a backdrop. There is every­thing here: unspoiled nature, spectac­ular scenery, the best climate in Switz­er­land, major cultural events, beaches, lakeshores, an early spring, a golden autumn, wine and food special­ties, and an infi­nite number of possi­bil­i­ties for excur­sions and every kind of leisure activity, from golf to extreme sports like canyoning.

Accommodation: A villa near Oggebbio

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

The villa in a large park over­looking Lago Maggiore is an island of tranquility. Situ­ated about 30 minutes from Ascona, the hotel stands on the Italian side of the border, which is less frequented by tourists.

Each of the 18 bedrooms is uniquely and indi­vid­u­ally deco­rated. The restau­rant special­izes in dishes made of fresh local prod­ucts. Weather permitting, meals are served on the seaview terrace. A swimming pool is avai­l­able during the warmer months.


Histor­ical place with waterfront
The picturesque town­ship on the western shores of Lake Maggiore has a beau­tiful waterfront, where a market is held every Sunday. It has a beach, a church from 1571 and a historic center. Located just west of the city, the Cannobino, a rushing mountain stream, has dug a deep gorge.


Lake­side town on the Lago Maggiore from the Belle Époque
The heyday of this town on the shores of Lake Maggiore began when the Simplon railway line connected it with the north. The prom­enades along the shore­line, with their magnif­i­cent views, still attest to that era. A number of boats will ferry you from Stresa to the Borromean Islands and to other sights on Lake Maggiore. The Villa Pallavi­cino and its botanic gardens are only a short distance to the south.


Chestnut forests, mule tracks and deserted villages
The Ticino valley stretches from Intragna on Lake Maggiore to Camedo in the west at the Swiss-Italian border. It owes its name to the numerous side valleys. There are not 100 but more than 150! Hiking trails along former mule tracks lead through the chestnut forests and on to ancient old villages, which are mostly deserted or inhabited by artists. The romantic valley is made acces­sible by the Centovalli Railway, which travels over 83 bridges and through 34 tunnels.

From Oggebbio to Konstanz

305 km | 4:30 h
Trav­ellers who are not in a hurry should skip the long tunnel and take the old St. Gotthard Road across the pass, for centuries one of the most important trade routes between northern Italy and central Europe.


Para­disiac lakes, remote mountain villages
Because of its warm climate, the south­ernmost canton of Switz­er­land is also called “sunroom”. Closed off to the north by the Gotthard massif, wine, figs, lemons and olives find perfect condi­tions over here. When after several waves of emigra­tion Ticino was heavily depop­u­lated in the early 20th century, painters, poets and anar­chists tired of civi­l­iza­tion discov­ered the para­disiac region around Lake Maggiore, among them Hermann Hesse. They were followed by tourists, attracted by the idyllic scenery and the 2,300 hours of sunshine a year. Around the Great Lakes lie the tourist centers of Ascona, Lugano and Locarno, which host several interna­tional music and film festivals. In a striking contrast to this rich and sophis­ticated holiday region are remote valleys such as Verzasca, Maggia- or Onser­none, whose wild chestnut forests, untamed rivers and magnif­i­cent rock forma­tions are only acces­sible to hikers. Everywhere one comes across abandoned Rustici, stone houses built without mortar, which testify to narrow, squalid living condi­tions of previous gener­a­tions in Ticino.

Rheinau Monastery

Fairy­tale church on an island in the Rhine
The former Bene­dic­tine abbey is beau­tifully situ­ated on an island in the Rhine in the Swiss commu­nity of Rheinau. It was founded around 778 and abol­ished in 1862. From 1867 to 2000 a psychia­tric clinic was housed in the former monastery build­ings. Today they are used by the “Spir­ituelle Wegge­meinschaft”. The baroque monastery church is a master­piece of the Vorarlberg master builder Franz Beer. The Rheinau concerts take place during summer.

Rhine bridge Waldshut-Koblenz

Europe's oldest cont­in­u­ously used railway bridge
The 190 m long bridge with its over­head track between Waldshut and Koblenz is the oldest cont­in­u­ously used railway bridge in Europe. It was inau­gu­rated in 1857. The bridge pier on the Swiss side contains an explo­sive chamber. It was installed when polit­ical tensions arose between Switz­er­land and Prussia and the Prus­sian army threat­ened to invade. Today the bridge is at risk again because Deutsche Bahn wants to replace it with a new bridge.

Rigi pano­ramic trail

A stroll along the old railway line
The pano­ramic trail leads along the former railway line between Rigi Kaltbad and Rigi Schei­degg, which was in oper­a­tion from 1874 to 1931. Accompa­nied by a magnif­i­cent view over the Alps, Lake Lucerne and the Schwyz basin, you hike over old railroad bridges and through shady woods. The route remains quite flat most of the time, only towards there is a gentle ascent.
(03:50 hrs, 10.1 km, eleva­tion change: 360 m)


Above the roofs of Zurich
The Uetliberg is about 870 meter high and boasts a magnif­i­cent view of the city and the lake. The Uetlibergbahn takes you up to the summit. In summer the Planet Trail, an almost two-hour hiking route, leads over the Albis ridge to the south. 1978 it was designed as a path through our solar system, which is scaled down on a scale of 1:1 billion. The hike begins at the sun, a yellow sphere with a diam­eter of 1.39 meters.

(01:50 hrs, 5.4 km, eleva­tion change: 170 m)

Culinary hike

Mountain pano­rama and cheese tasting
From Rigi Kulm, the hike leads to the Alpkäserei Chäserenholz, an alpine dairy, where a total of 15 different types of cheese are produced. The farm can be visited indi­vid­u­ally or as part of a guided tour with the owner, which, however, must be booked in advance. After the tour, a cheese platter awaits for tasting, accompa­nied by a glass of white wine. The next stop along the way is the BärgGnuss restau­rant, which is open in summer an offers mainly local special­ties. After a good meal you can cont­inue the hike. The trail leads in a loop to Rigi Kaltbad. The culmina­tion of the tour is a stop at the Chänzeli, a vantage point high above Lake Lucerne.
(04:00 hrs, 10.6 km, eleva­tion change: 550 m)


2000 years of history at Lake Constance

Despite its two thou­sand year history the city on the southern shore of Lake Constance is vibrant. This is due to the Univer­sity, which attracts many young people, to the theaters and concerts.

Since 1993 the harbor is dominated by a massive statue that rotates once around its own axel every four minutes. A nine meter high female figure with a plunging neck­line holds two gnomes in her hands. This is the legendary pros­titute Imperia and the two gnomes are the Emperor and the Pope. During the Council of Constance 1414-1418 she slept – and played – with both. Jan Hus, who criti­cized the power and demo­r­al­izing influ­ences of concu­bines within the Roman Church most violently, was burned at the end of the Council in Constance at the stake.
The old town around the cathedral and the town hall is espe­cially beau­tiful and inter­esting.

Accommodation: An exclusive lakefront villa

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

The attrac­tive villa built in 1872 in the late-Empire style is a regis­tered landmark on the shore of Lake Constance.

The nine bedrooms featuring lake views have been lovingly deco­rated and furnished with antiques. Guests can stroll along the shore prom­enade directly in front of the building, relax in the large garden behind it, or take cruises to various destina­tions around the lake. Downtown Constance is just a 15-minute walk across a bridge over the Rhine in one direc­tion, the beau­tiful island of Mainau a few minutes' drive in the other. The charming hotel is also perfectly situ­ated for day trips to Switz­er­land.


Zeppelin plant on the northern shore of Lake Constance
This town on the northern shore of Lake Constance named after the first King of Württem­berg was only estab­lished in 1811. Because of free trade priv­i­leges with Switz­er­land the city grew rapidly and attracted indus­trial­ists and tourists, including the Russian Tsar Alexander II. In the early 20th century the Graf von Zeppelin from Konstanz set up his airship factory in Friedrichshafen. This was converted into arms facto­ries in the Third Reich, but today they belong to Airbus.


Magnif­i­cent gardens in Lake Constance
Due to its magnif­i­cent gardens and park­land the 45-hectare island at Konstanz is also known as “Island of Flowers”. The favor­able climate contributes to the thriving of palm trees and other trop­ical plants. In March the flower season opens with an orchid exhi­bi­tion. There­after blos­soming tulips, narcissi and hyacinths have a turn to show off their beauty before being replaced by rhodo­dendrons and azaleas. Summer is the time for roses and in autumn the dahlias develop their splendor. In the all-year-open butterfly house one can stroll around at 26 degrees and 90 percent humidity, marveling at the exotic vegeta­tion and cascading waterfalls.


From a fishing settle­ment to bishop's resi­dence
At the tran­si­tion between Obersee and Überlinger See lies the small town between forests and vine­yards. The former fishing settle­ment expe­r­i­enced its heyday as the resi­dence of the bishops of Constance between the 16th and 18th century, in which today's townscape was shaped. The New Palace east of the Schlossplatz was also built for the bishops. Today, Balthasar Neumann's impres­sive building houses the Dornier Museum. The Meer­sburg castle rises above the city. It is consid­ered to be the oldest castle in Germany, which was inhabited throughout. The writer Annette von Droste-Hülshoff spent her last years here.

From Konstanz to Pfronten

135 km | 3:00 h (including ferry crossing)
The route traces the entire north shore of Lake Constance, then follows the pano­ramic German Alpine Road, one of the most scenic stretches in Germany. In Lindenberg you may want to stop to sample the famous Lindenberg Cheese.


Picturesque island town in Lake Constance
The picturesque old town of Lindau is located on an island in Lake Constance. It is connected with the main­land by a sea-bridge. Maxi­m­ilian Street leads past patri­cian houses from the Gothic and Renais­sance era, finally ending at the harbor, which is dominated by a light­house and a six meter tall Bavarian lion. A beau­tiful river­side walk with views of the Alps skirts around the old town.


Cultural and bathing town on the south-eastern shore of Lake Constance
The capital of Vorarlberg lies on the south-eastern shore of Lake Constance at the foot of its local mountain, the Pfänder. More than 2,000 years ago there was already a Celtic settle­ment in the area of the historic old town, which was forti­fied with a wall and is now called the “Ober­stadt” (upper town). The much younger Unter­stadt (lower town) lies on the lake shore, along which a wide prom­enade runs with beaches at its ends. In front of the prom­enade floats a stage, which is used at the Bregenz Festival. The grand­stand is on land and holds more than 4,000 visitors. The centre of the lower town is the Kornmarkt with the Kunsthaus (house of arts) and Vorarlberger Museum.


Spectac­ular view­point
The 1,064 metre high mountain above Bregenz is the most famous vantage point in the region with its unique view of Lake Constance and 240 Alpine peaks. When the weather is clear, the view reaches from the Allgäu and Lechtal Alps in the east over the Bregen­z­erwald, the steep peaks of the Arlberg region and the Silvretta, further over the Rätikon to the Swiss mountains and the foothills of the Black Forest in the west. Lake Constance lies at our feet, framed by the Rhine valley and the Upper Swabian hills. From Bregenz, a cable car takes you close to the summit, where some restau­rants await. Several marked hiking trails start at the top station.


Following the torrent on wooden footbridges and rock stairs
North­east of Sonthofen, the Starzlach has dug a wild and romantic ravine for many thou­sands of years. The torrent rises at an alti­tude of 1070 metres and then rushes through the picturesque gorge. It plunges over several waterfalls, which provide cool­ness in summer and freeze to bizarre ice curtains in winter. Wooden footbridges, rock stairs and even shorter tunnels have made the wild gorge acces­sible. (return 2:30 hours, 3,6 kilome­ters, up and down 250 meters)


Baroque Churches and pre-alpine Hills

The Allgäu between Lake Constance in the west and the Lech River in the east is consid­ered one of the most beau­tiful destina­tions in southern Germany.

Extended moors and forests cover the north, while the southern part, sculp­tured by the ice age, is hilly and fertile. In the south the Allgäu borders the Alps with soaring mountain peaks and deep valleys. The Upper Swabian Baroque Road (Ober­schwäbische Barocks­traße) will lead you to marvellous churches and castles which harmo­nize wonderfully with the country­side.

Accommodation: A remote mountain-top castle

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

On a lofty summit orig­inally selected by King Ludwig the Mad for the site of another fairy-tale castle after comple­tion of Neuschwanstein sits a hotel which is like no other.

Newly arrived guests are first struck by the endless vistas of mountains, green valleys, lakes, and forests at their feet. Then comes the hotel itself, in which every room was indi­vid­u­ally and imag­ina­tively deco­rated by the owners them­selves, resulting in living quar­ters that are not mere guest rooms but dist­inct crea­tions that exude luxury, taste and comfort. Next to the hotel the ruins of Ludwig's final project still stand, within whose tranquil walls the visitor may better sense the lingering spirit of the eccentric ruler than at tourist-plagued Neuschwanstein, clearly visible in the distance. Trav­ellers who brave the narrow road leading up to the castle will be richly rewarded.


Castle and old town at the foot of the Alps
The town is located in the Eastern Allgäu on the river Lech, which exits spectac­u­larly from a gorge between Ammergauer and Allgäu Alps into their foothills. That's why it has its name. The Romans called the settle­ment on the Via Augusta “Fauces”, which means “gorge”. Today Füssen marks the southern end of the Romantic Road and is a good starting point to visit the Bavarian royal castles. Worth seeing is the old town with its gabled houses and the High Castle, which lies on a steep rock high above the city.


Health resort with cable car to the Breit­enberg
The health resort on the northern edge of the Allgäu Alps is crossed by the River Vils and consists of 13 indi­vidual villages. The landmark is the late baroque church of St. Nicholas in Pfronten-Berg. From Pfronten-Steinach a cable car takes you to the Hochalpe (1502 m) and from there a chairlift goes on to the Breit­enberg (1838 m). From there you have a beau­tiful view in all direc­tions.


From medieval castle to royal summer resi­dence
Hohenschwangau Castle, then also known as Schwanstein Castle, was first mentioned in docu­ments in the 12th century. It was owned by the Knights of Schwangau until the 16th century, after which it changed hands several times and was severely damaged in various wars. In 1832 the later King Maxi­m­ilian II, father of King Ludwig II, acquired it and had it rebuilt in the neo-Gothic style according to orig­inal plans. The Bavarian royal family used Hohenschwangau as a summer and hunting resi­dence. King Ludwig II spent his child­hood here and used it as his summer resi­dence until his death in 1886.


Mountain with a view between Germany and Austria
On the border between Germany and Austria lies the 1,986 meter high Aggenstein. From the Breit­enbergbahn base station you can hike along a scenic trail to the Bad Kissinger hut. The last part to the summit is a secured climb. You can take a break at the Bad Kissinger hut. The ascent to the summit requires sure-foot­ed­ness and concen­tra­tion. At the top you have a pano­ramic view over the Tannheimer mountains. On your way down you pass the Hochalphütte, where you can stop again. (return: 10.7 kilome­ters, 5 hours, up and down: 1172 meters)


Spectac­ular exit of the River Lech from the Alps
The waterfall near Füssen is a unique natural monu­ment of the Bavarian Alps. The water masses of the River Lech, fed from the Alps, plunge over five steps twelve metres into the depth. Below the Lech Falls, the river narrows and enters the Lech Gorge. It is the only one in the entire Bavarian Alpine region through which a larger Alpine river can still flow freely and unim­peded by man. From the Lechfall car park you can take a tour of the royal castles, which leads to Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau through magnif­i­cent landscape. (return: 13 kilome­ters, 6 hours, up and down 522 meters)

From Pfronten to München

Rental car drop-off

From Pfronten to Munich

174 km | 2:30 h

Much of this journey follows a scenic stretch of road that connects some of the most enchanting villages, churches and landscapes in southern Germany.

A few places worth noting along the way are the Pilgrimage Church of Wies, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the towns of Wildsteig, Rottenbuch, Peiting, Schongau and Hohenfurch.


A miracle and rococo perfec­tion
On June 14, 1738, the farmer's wife Maria Lory saw tears in the eyes of a wooden figure depicting the suffering Jesus at the scourge column. This miracle soon attracted thou­sands of pilgrims. For the"Pilgrimage to the Scourged Saviour on the Meadow" a new church became neces­sary: the Wieskirche. From 1745 to 1754 Dominikus Zimmer­mann created the oval church, which nowa­days is regarded as Rococo of the highest perfec­tion. Today the Wieskirche is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts one million visitors from all over the world every year, espe­cially on the Festival of the Tears of Christ on the Sunday following 14 June. Concerts take place during summer.


UNESCO World Heritage Site
On June 14, 1738, the farmer's wife Maria Lory saw tears in the eyes of a figure depicting the suffering Jesus on the scourging column – the beginning and reason for pilgrim­ages to the Wies. From 1745 to 1754, Dominikus Zimmer­mann built a church for this purpose, which today is one of the most famous rococo churches in the world, and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983. Located south­east of Steingaden in the Bavarian district of Weilheim-Schongau, the so-called “Pfaffenwinkel”, the Wieskirche is under the juris­dic­tion of the diocese of Augsburg. It attracts numerous visitors every year not only because of its symbolism but also because of its furnish­ings. Among the jewels are the altar­piece by the Munich court painter Balthasar Albrecht and the organ, which is based on a slider chest organ from 1757, of which 475 pipes are still preserved today.

Schönegger Käsealm

Moor walk and Brotzeit
From the Wieskirche the Brettlesweg runs through the Wiesfilz. The board­walk leads through a moist bog with many ponds. After a few minutes you reach the Schönegger Käsealm, where you can buy several dozen kinds of cheese, sausage, fresh hay milk and farm­house bread. Every­thing is from their own produc­tion. Or you can enjoy a Schönegger Brotzeit (snack) at one of the sunny tables. (There and back: 3.4 kilome­ters, 1:30 hour, up and down 52 meters)

Rental car drop-off

Rental car drop-off
Loca­tion: Munich Airport (Desk at Airport)

19 days
from € 2,829.00
per person based on two people sharing a double room
  • Accommodation in a double room
  • Meals (as listed above)
  • Sunny Cars Permit for Switzerland (payable on site)
  • Sunny Cars Permit for Italy (payable on site)
  • Sunny Cars Permit for Austria (payable on site)

You can start this tour on any date.
Best Travel Time: April–September

The prices can vary depending on the season.
Your Consultant
Alina Frielingsdorf

Ph.: +49 (0)2268 92298-25

Booking Process
1. Your Tour Specifications
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2. Consulting + Itinerary
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4. Payment + Travel Documents
After completion of the booking process, you will receive a confirmed itinerary. The complete travel documents will be forwarded to you on receipt of the remaining balance following payment of the deposit.

5. Tour
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