- 14 Days
- 14 Days
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Be part of history in 2020! DeNureTours offers the unique opportunity to watch the famous once-a-decade Passion Play in quaint Oberammergau, Germany, touring Italy, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein en route!
When in Rome, do as Romans do! Walk the historic sites, dine al fresco on pretty piazzas, and soak in romance at every turn! Visit the ancient monuments: Capitoline Hill, Vatican City, St. Peter’s Cathedral, the Vatican Museums and, of course, the Colosseum! Once clad in travertine with marble statues between grand arched columns, Rome’s great gladiator arena is no less impressive today.
Travelling north through the vineyard hills of Tuscany, stop for lunch in Pisa near its Leaning Tower, and pop over to Florence – birthplace of the Renaissance – for a tour of its magnificent palazzi (palaces) and 15th-century buildings that hold innumerable works of art. The entire city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site! Before we depart, spend a day touring the teal lagoons of Venice by foot and by gondola! Addio, Italia!
Guten Tag, Switzerland! Explore the gorgeous lakes, promenades, incredible architecture, and steep cobble stone streets of Lugano and Lucerne, surrounded by mountains and stunning in every way! Then pass through fairy tale Liechtenstein – one of the world’s smallest and richest countries – on the way to quaint Oberammergau. Tucked in the Ammergauer Alps, the unique Passion Play is one of the world’s oldest performances.
In 1633, Bavaria was in the grip of the bubonic plague. The townspeople of Oberammergau pledged to God that, if spared from the disease, they would show their appreciation each decade with a stage play depicting the passion and death of Christ.
For over 380 years, the world’s largest and most famous Passion Play has taken place in Oberammergau. Seven hours long with a meal served during intermission, the play depicts the suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ. It involves over 2,000 amateur performers, musicians, and stage technicians, all of whom are residents of the village. In fact, a special law makes sure that all participants (from the parts of Jesus and Mary down to the firemen and ushers) must be born in Oberammergau or have lived there for at least 20 years!
2020 marks the 42nd Passion Play in this quaint village at the edge of the Bavarian Alps, and 500,000 visitors – over half of them international guests! – are expected to attend. Why not join them?
• Rome: guided walking tour, Colosseum, Capitoline Hill area, Roman Forum
• Vatican City: guided tour, St. Peter’s Cathedral, Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel
• Pisa: Leaning Tower
• Florence: guided tour, Piazzale Michelangelo, Michelangelo’s David, Santa Croce Church, free time
• Padua: Capella Degli Scorvegni
• Venice: St. Mark’s Basilica Square, Doges Palace, St. Marks Cathedral, free time, gondola ride
• Lugano: guided walking tour
• Lucerne: guided walking tour, Chapel Bridge, Lion Monument, free time
• Swiss folklore show
• Lauterbrunnen: Cogwheel Train
• Kleine Scheidegg
• Liechtenstein: Castle of Neuschwanstein
• Oberammergau: free morning, Passion Play
• Munich: guided tour, Nymphenburg Palace
Rome: Grand Hotel Palatino (2 nights)*
Montecatini Terme: Grand Hotel Tettuccio (2 nights)*
Venice: Hotel Antony Palace Hotel (2 nights)*
Lugano: Hotel De La Paix Lugano (1 night)*
Lucerne: Radisson Blu (2 nights)*
Oberammergau: TBA (2 nights)*
Munich: Maritim Hotel München (1 night)*
Day1 - 2
Flight to Rome
Upon arrival in Rome, you are met at the airport by the tour manager, and transferred to the city center where a local guide will take you on a walking tour of the city that was the birthplace for much of our civilization. Enjoy a visit to the Colosseum and the Capitoline Hill area, where you get a great view of the Roman Forum. You will have a welcome dinner at your hotel tonight with fellow travellers.
Stay: Grand Hotel Palatino, Rome (or similar)
Vatican City, St. Peter’s Cathedral, Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel
After breakfast at the hotel continue your explorations of the Eternal City of Rome and see the glories of the Caesars. Start your day with a visit to Vatican City and St. Peter’s Cathedral, home of the Roman Catholic Church and the largest building in Christianity. Then tour the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel. This afternoon, enjoy some free time to shop or explore on your own. This evening take part in a special dinner at a local Roman restaurant.
Meals: B, D
Tuscany, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Lussa, Montecatinit Terme
This morning you say good bye to Rome and travel northward into Tuscany, often described as the “heart of Italy.” You will visit the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa and have free time for lunch in Lucca – a roman-style city surrounded by massive red brick walls. You then settle into your hotel in Montecatini Terme. Situated between Florence and Pisa the city has one of the world’s most famous health spas.
Stay: Grand Hotel Tettuccio, Montecatini Terme (or similar)
Meals: B, D
Florence Sightseeing, Plazzale Michelangelo, Michelangelo’s David, Santa Croce Church
The entire day is devoted to Florence, the cradle of the renaissance. A local guide will explain the history of the city as your motorcoach takes you to the Plazzale Michelangelo for a wonderful panoramic view of the city. You then have a guided walking tour of the city center including a visit to Accademia with Michelangelo’s incomparable “David.” Florence is home to the Duomo with its famed Baptistery, Giotto’s Tower, The Pitti Palace and the Uffizi Gallery with the finest collection of painting in all of Italy. You will stop at the beautiful Santa Croce Church with the timbs of many famous residents of Florence including Michelangelo, Dante and Galileo. Enjoy some free time to explore the sprawling San Lorenzo Leather Market and the shops along the Ponte Vecchio, before returning to Montecatini Terme.
Meals: B, D
Padua Sightseeing, Capella Degli Scrovegni, Murano, Venice
Today you travel to Venice. En route you will stop in Padua, a town rich in art and architecture. You will have a tour with a local guide. One of the highlights of your morning will be the Capella Degli Scrovegni, the chapel built by Enrico Scrovegni in 1303. You will also visit Murano, a cluster of small islands connected by bridges and the center of the Italian glassmaking industry since 1291. Today’s journey ends in fabulous Venige-La Serenissima, the “Serene One.” Built upon 117 islands, Venice is a mosaic of Canals, plazas, fascinating markets and chaos!
Stay: Hotel Antony Palace Hotel, Venice (or similar)
Meals: B, D
Venice Sightseeing, St. Mark’s Square, Doges Palace, St. Mark’s Cathedral
Your day in Venice begins with a guided tour to St. Mark’s Square and Doges Palace. Here your guide will show you the Bell Tower and the impressive St. Mark’s Cathedral. This afternoon you have free time to explore and shop in the famous market area around the Rialto Bridge or enjoy a coffee and some people-watching at St. Mark’s Square. Before dinner relax and enjoy a Gondola ride along the serpentine Canale Grande, and its adjacent waterways.
Meals: B, D
Your destination today is Lugano, Switzerland. En Route you stop in Verona, famous for the Romeo and Juliet Balcony. Upon arrival in Lugano you have a guided walking tour of the village which introduces you to the history and personality of its buildings, churches, gardens and parks.
Stay:Hotel De La Paix Lugano, Lugano (or similar)
Meals: B, D
Lucerne Sightseeing, Chapel Bridge, Lion Monument
After breakfast, you travel to Lucerne where you will embark on a walking tour of the city. You will cross the famous wooden Chapel Bridge and stop to see the sculptures, and poignant Lion Monument. Designed by the Danish sculptor Throwaldsen, it is a memorial to Swiss mercenaries that lost their lives defending the King of France. In the afternoon, enjoy some free time to shop for chocolate or wood carvings, or take a walk along the lake’s beautiful esplanade.
Stay: Radisson Blu, Lucerne (or similar)
Meals: B, D
Lauterbrunnen, Cogwheel Train, Kleine Scheidegg, Grindelwald, Swiss Folklore Show
This morning you drive to Lauterbrunnen, the “village of the waterfalls.” Here you board a cogwheel train that brings you to Kleine Scheidegg. You will have spectacular panoramic views of the Jungfrau mountain peaks. Enjoy a lunch break, before descending the other side of the mountain to Grindelwald, the “village of the glaciers.” You then take the coach back to Lucerne where you will have dinner and entertainment at the Swiss Folklore show.
Meals: B, D
Liechtenstein, Castle Neuschwanstein, Oberammergau
You depart Lucerne this morning and stop in Liechtenstein for an opportunity to explore this tiny “postage stamp” country.
You continue on to Fussen where you will tour Castle Neuschwanstein, the most famous of King Ludwig’s royal castles. Perched majestically on a mountainside, this was his fantasy of a medieval fortress and is often referred to as the “Disney Castle.”
You finish your exciting day with your arrival in Oberammergau. After checking into the hotel and enjoying dinner enjoy a stroll through the village.
Meals: B, D
This morning enjoy some free time to admire the bright frescoes that adorn many or the homes and businesses, or shop for woodcarving souvenirs which the village is famous for. If you wish to wander a little farther a local bus can take you to Ettal to visit the impressive Benedictine abbey. During WWII, the protestant theologian, Dietrich Bonoeffer and the Jesuit Priest, Rupert Mayer both active in the resistance against the Nazi regime and later martyred, were given refuge here.
This afternoon you attend Part One of the Passion Play. There will be a dinner break then in the evening you will see Part Two of the Play.
Since 1634, the most famous Passion Play in the world has taken place in Oberammergau. The tradition, maintained and experienced almost without interruption for over 380 years, of putting on the play about the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ every ten years, will be continued for the 42nd time in 2020 and is regarded as the most important Passion Play in the world. The village at the edge of the Bavarian Alps expects approximately 500,000 visitors for the passion play, over half of which will be international guests. A special law is in effect to insure that all actors of the world’s largest amateur dramatic performance come from the village. All participants, from actors playing the big speaking parts such as Jesus, Mary or Judas, through members of the choir, orchestra members, firemen and ushers, must have been born in Oberammergau or lived there for at least 20 years. Over 2,000 Oberammergau villagers will participate in the 2020 Passion Play.
Meals: B, L, D
Munich Sightseeing, Viktualienmarket, Nymphenburg Palace
This morning you travel to Munich where a local guide will give you a tour including Marienplatz, the Residenz and Chesuit Church (St. Michael’s) and the Glockenspiel. Experience the delightful aromas of the Viktualienmarkes before continuing to Nymphenburg Palace. The afternoon is yours to explore on your own. You may want to visit one of the many museums, the world famous Hofbrauhaus and much more that Munich has to offer.
Tonight, you have a farewell dinner at the Ratskeller, where you will experience an evening of traditional Bavarian food and drink.
Stay: Maritime Hotel Munchen, Oberammergau (or similar)
Meals: B, D
After breakfast at your hotel you will the transferred to the Munich airport for your return flight home.
- Sunscreen is an essential product to have, regardless of the climate. Since UV exposure is unavoidable, a hat and sunglasses are also suggested for your protection, even in the winter.
- Mosquito repellent can prove useful in wooded areas or in the evenings in some regions.
- Comfort is important when on vacation. Bring comfortable walking shoes. And loose, casual clothing is suggested to keep you cozy.
- Pack extra batteries and memory cards for your camera.
- Always pack an extra jacket or sweater in case of inclement weather or cooler evenings. DeNureTours recommends you dress in layers, so you can add or remove layers if the temperature rises or drops.
- Use every corner, nook and cranny of your suitcase when packing. Rolled sweaters and bulky clothing occupy less space, but clothing that wrinkles easily should be laid flat. Roll socks or underclothing and pack them into shoes, and slip smaller items into side pockets.
- Use sample-sized toiletry items and always transport containers of creams and liquids in a sealed plastic bag.
- Keep an extra set of keys for your luggage.
- Always prepare for the possibility of rain. An umbrella, or rain jacket will easily fit in your luggage, and could prove to be the most useful article you pack. When travelling as a couple, bring two so neither person gets half wet.
- Pack your bathing suit.
- Pack a good book, or a deck of cards to keep you busy during free time.
- Leave items of monetary or sentimental value at home. Costume and faux jewelry always travels well.
- If you require corrective lenses, pack an extra pair of glasses or contacts.
- If you wear dentures, and have a second set, pack them just in case. You’d be surprised how often these important items end up where they shouldn’t.
- Not all hotel rooms are equipped with alarm clocks. While most hotels offer wake-up calls, a small travel alarm clock might prove useful.
- Couples travelling together may find it wise to split their belongings between two suitcases. If one suitcase should go missing, neither person is left without a change of clothes.
- Remember to pack any medications or prescriptions in your carry-on and not in your suitcase in case of emergency or luggage misplacement. Medications should be packed in their original containers for security reasons.
- Keep a listing of your recent medical history with you, including medications you currently take, prescription or otherwise, as well as allergies you suffer from, and any medical conditions you have. Carry the listing in your wallet, and leave a copy with your emergency contact person at home.
- Identify your luggage with an identification tag as well as your DeNureTours luggage tags.
- If you carry travellers’ cheques, record the numbers of the cheques and keep this list in a separate location. When travelling as a couple, put some cheques in your partner’s name so you both have access to funds.
- Always carry your travel insurance policy with you, and read it carefully before you leave.
- Always carry your passport, or other important identification on your person. Make a photocopy to keep in your suitcase.
- Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months after your return date. This is a requirement for entering certain countries.
- Always check the spelling of your name on all documentation you receive. Often, your travel documents must match your passport or birth certificate. It is imperative that your legal name be listed correctly on your documents. Failure to comply may result in your being denied entry to a country, or boarding on an airplane or cruise ship. Name changes on documents may be subject to a change fee.
- Use extra copies of your travel itinerary and hotel listing to distribute to friends or relatives, so you can be reached in case of emergency.
- Keep a log of your purchases, including what you paid in foreign currency and the equivalent in Canadian dollars. This will assist you in filling out customs forms. Keep all receipts.
- Secure your home before you leave. Arrange for a friend or neighbour to pick up mail and check in periodically. Have someone cut your lawn (or shovel your driveway) and care for your property. Set automatic timers on the lights and television. Empty the refrigerator of perishables. Lower your thermostat to save on energy.
- When flying, drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, and limit your intake of caffeine and alcoholic beverages.
- To avoid circulatory problems on a plane or coach, walk up the aisle every hour or so. Periodically, stretch your legs, arms, shoulders and neck.
- Arrive early for flights. DeNureTours recommends to check-in 90 minutes prior to departure for domestic flights, or 2-3 hours prior for international flights.
- An inflatable travel pillow can make you more comfortable on long coach rides or flights. The U-shaped pillow keeps your head from rolling during travel, reducing the risk of neck pain.
- Avoid the use of perfume or scented sprays on the coach or an airplane. These are confined spaces, so be courteous to your fellow travellers who may be allergic or sensitive to scents.
- Get as much rest as possible before you leave.
- Try your best to be flexible. Unexpected things can happen. Your holiday will be more enjoyable if you are open-minded.
Tips to waiters, taxi drivers, step-on guides, tour directors and drivers are a tangible way for you to express your appreciation for jobs well done. This practice, though customary, is voluntary and is not included in tour prices. As a guide to the amounts to tip, the following amounts are suggested:
- Taxi Drivers – Drivers should be tipped 10% of the taxi fare.
- Waiters – For meals that are not included in the tour price, tip waiters between 15% and 20% of your bill, but never less than $1.
- Tour Directors and Drivers – A gratuity of $4 per person per day is suggested.
The pace of a tour varies by itinerary, as each destination, its sightseeing and the activities are unique. Pacing is often subject to personal interpretation, but our trip pace indicator on each tour page may assist you in determining if a tour is suitable for you.
Day-by-day itinerary descriptions can be found on our website or requested from our office. Generally, the more activities included, distance travelled in a day, or number of hotel changes, will increase the pace of a tour.
Some of the most unique sightseeing is found in locations that can be a challenge for motorcoaches, especially in historic areas. For your comfort, we recommend packing walking shoes so you fully enjoy every aspect of your holiday.
Tours with the highest “On-the-go” ratings require a level of activity that is not suitable for those who use either walkers or wheelchairs. If a trip pace is not ideally suited for you, our reservations team will be happy to help you find your perfect vacation.