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South Tyrol

South Tyrol, situated between snow-clad Alpine peaks and Mediterranean sun, is Italy’s northernmost region, bordering Switzerland to the north-west, Austria to the north-east, and the rest of Italy to the south. The natural landscape along the Adige and Isarco rivers is breathtakingly beautiful – their fertile plains covered by vineyards and orchards are flanked by sheltered valleys and sublime mountains. The cultural landscape offers a wealth of highlights, both in proud hill towns and in picturesque villages: the trade route across the Brenner Pass along the Valle Isarco to Verona has been the main link between central Europe and Italy for centuries. Extensive fresco cycles of chivalric tales decorate the walls of the province’s rugged castles, and murals of the Romanesque to Baroque periods depict stories of the exemplary lives of saints in no less imposing parish churches: for centuries they have been accompanying merchants en route to Venice, pilgrims on the road to Rome, and knights on their quest to conquer the Holy Land.

Your Tour Includes

  • Flights with Lufthansa from London Heathrow to Munich
  • Private coach transfers and excursions
  • Six nights’ bed and breakfast in the four star hotel Parkhotel Laurin in Bolzano
  • Three dinners and two lunches
  • Guided visits to monuments and museums listed in the programme
  • Services of the Lecturer and Tour Manager
  • Detailed programme and study notes
  • All entrance fees, taxes, and gratuities for coach drivers and waiters
  • Discover some of South Tyrol’s best preserved and most expansive medieval fresco decorations in churches and castles alike
  • Enjoy visits to remotely placed castles and their spectacular decorations made accessible by special private transport
  • Stay at the Grand Hotel Laurin, built in 1910 and set in a tranquil park full of roses and palm trees and offering splendid views into the Dolomites
  • Spend the day in Bolzano, discovering richly decorated churches and cloisters, followed by a visit to Castel Roncolo
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Itinerary

Overview

Early morning flight from London Heathrow to Munich. We continue to Bolzano, stopping en route for an included dinner before arriving at your four star hotel.

Overview

A day in Bolzano and surroundings: in the morning visit the richly decorated churches and cloisters of the Dominican and Franciscan friars. Afternoon excursion to nearby Castel Roncolo, rising high above the Isarco River, with murals depicting scenes of chivalric pastimes. Return to Bolzano via Gries whose parish church houses the shrine of a fabulous Late Gothic altarpiece by Michael Pacher, one of the greatest woodcarvers and painters working in Tyrol in the second half of the 15th century.

Overview

Founded in 14 BC as a Roman military camp, Vipiteno/Sterzing is present-day Italy’s northernmost city, a mere ten miles from the Brenner Pass and the Austrian border. In the Middle Ages lead and silver mines in the nearby valleys attracted the attention and patronage of the Fugger bankers from Augsburg: merchant houses and the parish church of St. Mary, the largest between Munich and Verona, reflect the town’s prosperity, as do the remaining figures, woodcarvings and painted panels of an enormous winged altarpiece by Hans Multscher from Ulm, displayed in the former House of the Teutonic Knights.

Overview

Coach transfer to Missian and from there on foot past vineyards and through shaded woods up a hill to the ruins of the castle of Hocheppan, the Castello di Appiano, with spectacular views of the Dolomites. In the castle’s courtyard, a 12th century chapel has walls completely covered with superb frescoes of the early 13th century. After a hearty Tyrolean lunch in the castle inn, return to Bolzano for some free time.

Overview

Bressanone/Brixen is the region’s most beguiling town, its cathedral combining Romanesque cloister walls covered in graceful frescoes with baroque onion domes. The city’s prince-bishops amassed artistic treasures in their palace — now a handsome museum — with a magnificent Renaissance courtyard. After lunch a short coach trip will take us to Novacella/Neustift, the most significant abbey in Tyrol, set among award-winning vineyards. Visit the Baroque collegiate church with famous ceiling frescoes by Matthäus Günther, the library with its precious manuscripts, a maze-like art gallery, and the unique Baroque gardens with fishpond and aviary.

Overview

Signs for the strada del vino will direct us to the charming town of Tramin/Termeno which has given its name to the aromatic gewürztraminer grape. There, perched on a little hill, the church of San Giacomo in Kastelaz holds a 13th century frescoed menagerie of fantastic hybrid creatures in one aisle, while in the other courtly saints and angels tell the story of St James. After a lunchtime visit to one of Tramin’s famous cantine, a short drive over to the village of Pinzano whose parish church is home to one of the most beautiful carved polyptychs of the late 15th century in the South Tyrol by Hans Klocker.

Overview

For centuries the prince-bishopric of Trent vigilantly retained its independence from the Counts of Tyrol and the Republic of Venice, and paid only nominal allegiance to the German Empire. The city became notable as the venue of the eponymous council (1545-63), which articulated Counter-Reformation policy. Its principal buildings — the duomo and the Castello del Buonconsiglio — are impressive showcases of the prince-bishops’ glorious rule from the Romanesque period to the secularisation of 1803, while grand and richly decorated palazzi are fine manifestations of Renaissance town planning. In the afternoon continue to Munich airport for a late afternoon flight to London.

Accommodation

The Laurie has welcomed guests since 1910. This four-star hotel is perfect for art lovers, with magnificent original artwork lining the walls of this hotel. Explore the hotel English garden, with impressive trees, flowers and shrubs. Start the morning with a cappuccino or relax after a day of exploring with a cocktail in the bar. The suites all have induvial handcrafted furniture and original works of art in each room.

Travel Options

When it comes to getting you to your destination. Leger Holidays make it easy, with a selection of travel options for you to choose from

Meet us at the ship

Meet us at the ship

For complete flexibility, make your own transport arrangements to and from the ship. We will provide you with times and locations as well as some useful information for you to make your own arrangements to join your cruise.

If you require any further information to assist with your travel plans, please contact our Holiday Advisors who will be happy to help.

Meet your Coach at Dover

Meet your Coach at Dover

Travel down to Dover and jump onboard your coach for your ferry crossing.

Alternatively, travel the day before your departure and enjoy an overnight stay, with complimentary parking for the duration of your cruise, before being collected after breakfast the following morning.

Travel by Eurostar

Travel by Eurostar

Step aboard Eurostar at London St Pancras for a fast and comfortable journey to mainland Europe. You can even upgrade your reserved seat to Standard Premier – speak to our Holiday Advisors for more information. On arrival in Paris, Lille or Brussels, you will then join connecting services for your onward journey.

Travel by Air

Travel by Air

Return flights from London Heathrow with transfers to and from the ship are included in our package on our specific arrival and departure dates. We also include one item of checked in luggage per person.

If our included flights are not suitable, alternative flights may also be available from other airports on our arrival and departure dates. These may have an additional supplement and are subject to availability at the time of booking.

More flexible travel options

Travelling by Eurostar?

Travelling by Eurostar?

Why not stay overnight in London?

For those travelling from further afield, you can also book overnight accommodation in London, before and after your holiday. Speak to our Holiday Advisors for more information.

Travelling by Eurostar?

Stay overnight near the port

For an even more relaxed start to your European holiday, why not stay overnight in Dover or nearby Ashford the night before your cruise from only £65pp? All our quoted prices include car parking for one vehicle for the duration of your cruise and cooked breakfast the following morning. Our coach will collect you and return you to the hotel on its way to/from the port of Dover. And if you don’t want that holiday feeling to end, why not do the same on your return journey?