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Roman Gaul occupied France, Belgium, Luxembourg and South-west Germany. To this region the Romans brought roads, bridges, education, cities and, perhaps, above all the Peace of Rome. It was the freedom from pirates, bandits and other invaders which allowed the area to prosper. The remains of the Roman Gaul is explored today, 2000 years later.
Taken as a whole, Italian Civilization (which includes, of course, the splendid inheritance of Ancient Rome) is absolutely foundational to Western culture. Music, Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Literature, Philosophy, Law and Politics all derive from Italy or were adapted and transformed through the medium of Italy.
Explore Renaissance Italy on this small group tour though an examination of five significant city states. Florence, Urbino, Ferrara, Mantua and Milan were all dominated by families determined to increase the status of their city through art and architecture. Spend time coming to know the men and women who helped create the cities, as well as the magnificent legacy they left behind.
Paris’ insistence that its rural villages and towns resist the dual siege of the automobile and the property developer has long protected France from the incursions that laid waste to so many provincial centres in many other European nations. The result is that France’s villages and towns remain untouched by the depredations of the last century and within their walls the villagers conduct their daily lives much as they have done since Napoleonic times.
From the mediaeval jewel of Cesky Krumlow to the grandeur of the Habsburg’s summer palace in Vienna, we embark on a 21 night journey to learn about these vibrant and artistically rich cities. We delve into the history of the famous artists, musicians, writers, architects and composers from Austria, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic.
Discover the work and world of this neglected twentieth century musical giant. This tour allows those interested in the gifted Romanian composer, George Enescu, to immerse themselves in his work. Spend the first five days exploring Enescu’s native Romania before settling down to a feast of his music performed by a host of international stars in Bucharest. Odyssey hopes to provide the group with the opportunity to attend some 30 concerts over 16 days. The next festival is September 2019.
This program examines some of the classic gardens of Italy and France that reflect changing fashions and garden designs throughout the ages. We will examine, discuss, compare and contrast the cultural and temporal similarities and diversities between the gardens of Italy and France and the historical influences on their design.
The stunning Lakes Region of Italy has attracted the world’s rich and famous. Our program begins in the cosmopolitan city of Milan and ventures to two of the region’s lakes – Garda and Maggiore. Here we discover a wealth of natural beauty, castles, serene waters, snow-capped mountains and breathtaking scenery as we journey through Alto Adige, Fruili, Emilia Romagna and Liguria.
Our tour begins in the cosmopolitan city of Milan and ventures to 2 of the region’s lakes – Garda and Maggiore. Our tour uncovers a wealth of natural beauty, castles, serene waters, snow-capped mountains, and breathtaking scenery.
Participants have the chance to gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of Beethoven’s life and music. Beginning in the city of Bonn, where Beethoven was born, we visit the city precincts and buildings where Beethoven’s unique artistic sensibility was formed. In Vienna, we explore many of the concert halls and churches where his work was performed. In each city visited we attend performances of his work.
The mountainous regions of France, the French Alps and the Pyrenees, are as much part of France as they are of the countries with which they are most associated, Spain and Switzerland. Perhaps because of this the France of the Alps and of the Pyrenees is often by-passed by travellers as they hasten on their way to these other nations to experience them. Our program will take our group deep into the villages, valleys, shrines and ski resorts of these high regions which for other tourists will always remain unvisited, hidden in plain sight.
This program offers the most spectacular, varied and historically important sites in Turkey, from Istanbul one of the world’s oldest cities to the ancient and now legendary city of Troy. Visit the theatres in Pergamum; enjoy visiting Ephesus and discover the cultural centres of Ankara, capital city of Turkey. Languish in Antalya, the major city of the Anatolian Mediterranean and in Konya learn about the mystic Whirling Dervishes.
Our 21 day tour explores the land of great philosophers, myths, and legends. We will learn about the culture and heritage of modern Greece which only found independence in its uprising from the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century.
La Belle France explores beneath the surface of many French institutions and household names. Our program visits Chateauneuf du Pape to sample its wines and Cognac Hennessy. We cruise the Burgundy Canal and visit Dijon to assure ourselves that the mustard is actually made there. Our program concludes with an in-depth tour of the Normandy Landing Beaches. Here we inspect the old emplacements, the museums and the memorials to the Allied soldiers whose bravery and sacrifice made this tour possible.
Each day, on this small group tour of France, we explore a particular region learning from our expert local guides about the history and contemporary society. Enjoying not only the learning and seeing aspect of this intriguing country we also enjoy breaking bread in some great cafes and restaurants exploring the regional cuisine.
For centuries Malta, Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica held the key to the Mediterranean. Malta secured the Mediterranean for Britain and made it the world’s major maritime power. Possession of Sicily brought similar benefits to Rome, as did Corsica for France. However today the inhabitants retain their way of life for us to explore. Our program compares and contrasts the geography, history, culture and peoples of these 4 islands.
For centuries Malta & Sicily, held the key to the Mediterranean. Malta secured the Mediterranean for Britain and made it the world’s major maritime power. Possession of Sicily brought similar benefits to Rome. However, today the inhabitants retain their way of life for us to explore. Our program compares and contrasts the geography, history, culture and peoples of these two islands.
On this small group tour of Italy and Malta we trace the life of Caravaggio, exploring the artistic works he left behind and the tumultuous life he led. We follow him from his birthplace in Milan to Rome, Malta, Sicily and Naples. In Rome Caravaggio established his name as a brilliant though controversial painter until, accused of murder, he was forced to flee south. In each place he lived Caravaggio left behind a rich legacy of art for us to admire.
Greenland is the largest island in the world, the majority of it lies above the Arctic Circle. Few places are quite so difficult to reach. During this program we have been at great pains to ensure that our party gets to this conversation-stopping land and that while we are there we obtain the most comprehensive overview of this vast landmass. We visit during the summer, experiencing the burst of seasonal flora, which caused the early voyagers to name it Greenland.
Our tour features the best of the Italian countryside as well as the great cities and icons of Italy. We will see the Renaissance cities of Florence, Pisa, and Lucca as well as the Umbrian medieval cities of Perugia.
This 18 day tour takes you deep into the the Balkan Peninsula. Starting in Dubrovnik, travel through Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia and Albania before returning to Dubrovnik. The scenery is stunning and the long, troubled history of the region makes this a fascinating journey of discovery. Religious and cultural differences add to the interest of the area and help make this a tour which goes well beyond the usual tourist trail.