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Overview

An awe-inspiring journey

Travel by one of the most famous modes of European transportation through four countries and seven cities, delighting in each region’s food, wine, art and architecture. Take in the postcard-perfect landscape of Montreux and dynamic Lausanne, both on the shores of sparkling Lake Geneva, then ride the Glacier Express through the Swiss Alps to the iconic resort town of St. Moritz. Afterwards, continue on to Lake Como, Italy, enjoying breathtaking vistas, and wander among the charming boutiques, winding alleys and lakeside restaurants of Bellagio.

Next we spend three nights in London and then three more in Paris, exploring landmarks and off-the-beaten-path treasures. Throughout our journey we’ll feast on the finest cuisine - from cheese and charcuterie in Paris, a wine tasting at the Lavaux vineyards in Switzerland and a cooking lesson in Italy.

Dates

August 23–September 5, 2022

Duration

14 days

Price

From $12,295 per person

Trip size

28 participants

Minimum age

18 years

Faculty leader

A different kind of classroom

Examine key events that took place in the cities on our itinerary to help understand Western Europe’s transformation from a region of frequent warfare over territory to a peaceful, economically-integrated region.

Kenneth A. Schultz, MA’ 93, PhD’ 96

Political Science

Ken’s research examines the causes of war between states, with a particular focus on why states sometimes fight over territory and how those disputes are resolved.

Itinerary

A classic journey by rail from London to Milan

From the cultural centers of London and Paris to the scenic mountain towns of Switzerland and Northern Italy, you’ll find yourself immersed in rich history and architecture while delighting in each region’s food, wine, and art.

  • London, England

    Arrive at Heathrow Airport and transfer to our hotel in central London, overlooking the Thames, our home for the next three nights. Meet for a short orientation tour in the afternoon and gather this evening for a welcome reception and dinner.

    Accommodations:

    Royal Horseguards Hotel

    Included meal: Dinner
  • London, England

    This morning travel to London’s Bankside neighborhood for a behind-the-scenes tour of Shakespeare’s Globe, a faithful reproduction of the Bard’s original theater. After lunch at a local pub, cross the River Thames and explore The City, the oldest part of London, with its myriad twisty alleyways. Visit St. Paul’s Cathedral, architect Christopher Wren’s best-known work, including the Crypt, where some of England’s most illustrious heroes, poets and scientists lie, the Whispering Gallery and the cross-shaped dome, which offers fantastic panoramic views of London. A local speaker will enlighten us on how London inspired many of England’s literary greats. Spend the rest of the afternoon and evening exploring London independently.

    Accommodations:

    Royal Horseguards Hotel

    Included meals: Breakfast and lunch
  • London, England

    After breakfast, head to Westminster, home to London’s most iconic sites, for a walking tour through streets lined with beautiful Georgian homes. Visit Westminster Abbey, where kings and queens are crowned and royal weddings take place, and take in its astonishing architecture and important collection of medieval art. Break for lunch on our own before gathering again for a tour of Westminster Palace, better known as the Houses of Parliament, where we’ll trace the Royal Processional Route taken by the Queen during the State Opening of Parliament, visit the lavish Lords Chamber and the Commons Chamber with its famous green benches. Afterward indulge in that most British tradition, afternoon tea, in one of the building’s opulent rooms. Enjoy the rest of the day and dinner on our own.

    Accommodations:

    Royal Horseguards Hotel

    Included meal: Breakfast
  • London / Paris, France

    Depart from London today for our first of several storied European rail journeys. Embarking from the London St. Pancras station, take the premier-class Eurostar train through the famed Chunnel underneath the English Channel to Paris, arriving in under three hours. Transfer to our hotel and enjoy time at leisure for lunch. In the afternoon, listen to the second lecture from our faculty leader, then take a cruise on the river Seine through the heart of Paris. While gliding along the UNESCO World Heritage-listed banks of the Seine, you’ll see legendary Paris attractions such as the Notre Dame Cathedral and Eiffel Tower and pass beneath elegant bridges like Pont Neuf. This evening is on our own.

    Accommodations:

    Sofitel Le Scribe Paris Opera

    Included meal: Breakfast
  • Paris, France

    Step into the world of French gastronomy in the neighborhood next to the Champs-de-Mars, the park that stretches from the foot of the Eiffel Tower. With an expert leading the way, discover several of the city’s best artisan-made foods, from cheese to charcuterie. Make your own plans for the rest of the day—visit the Eiffel Tower, spend time at on one of the city’s acclaimed museums or simply stroll along the Seine. Tonight, explore the lively streets of the St. Germain-des-Pres neighborhood and the Latin Quarter with a guide, ending up on a tiny street on the Right Bank that is home to three major jazz clubs. Our tour ends with dinner and a jazz concert.

    Accommodations:

    Sofitel Le Scribe Paris Opera

    Included meals: Breakfast and dinner
  • Paris, France

    Gather this morning to hear a local expert discuss the pivotal events and people that have shaped Paris from its roots to today. Afterward, join a private walking tour through the narrow streets of Le Marais, built when aristocrats in the Middle Ages transformed swampy farmland into an elegant neighborhood. Learn about the history of the district as you stroll by medieval houses and magnificent mansions. See the ruins of the medieval city wall, the Jewish quarter and the Place des Vosges, Paris’ oldest square. Lunch with the group, then enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at leisure.

    Accommodations:

    Sofitel Le Scribe Paris Opera

    Included meals: Breakfast and lunch
  • Paris / Lausanne, Switzerland

    Early this morning board the famed high-speed TGV Lyria, moving at speeds of up to 200 mph from Paris’s Gare de Lyon station to Lausanne, on the banks of Lake Geneva. The trip, which takes nearly eight hours on standard trains, is completed in under four. We’re there in time for lunch! This afternoon set out on a walk with a local expert to explore picturesque Lausanne, with its vine-laden slopes, views of Lake Léman and the Savoy Alps, and a bustling Old Town filled with cafés and quaint shops.

    Accommodations:

    Angleterre & Résidence

    Included meals: Breakfast and lunch
  • Lausanne, Switzerland / Montreux / Lavaux Vineyards

    Today’s excursion takes us to nearby Montreux, on the banks of Lake Geneva. Take a lake steamer to the Château de Chillon, memorialized in Lord Byron’s epic story “The Prisoner of Chillon.” Those who wish may walk back to town along the lakeshore, taking in the magnificent gardens, homes and hotels we pass along the way. Lunch is at leisure. This afternoon enjoy a tasting at the Lavaux vineyards, one of the largest wine-growing areas of Switzerland and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy dinner tonight at a local restaurant.

    Accommodations:

    Angleterre & Résidence

    Included meals: Breakfast and dinner
  • Lausanne, Switzerland / Glacier Express / St. Moritz

    Today journey by coach to the town of Brig, where we board the iconic Glacier Express for one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world. This narrow-gauge train glides through the Swiss Alps and takes passengers across 291 bridges and through 91 tunnels. As spectacular Swiss mountain scenery unfolds outside the train's panoramic sightseeing windows, enjoy a typical Swiss lunch served at our seats. The train ends at the cosmopolitan Swiss village of St. Moritz, our home for the next two nights. Enjoy dinner as a group tonight.

    Accommodations:

    Badrutt’s Palace Hotel

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • St. Moritz, Switzerland / Roseg Glacier Valley

    Start the day with a walking tour of this renowned Alpine resort, enjoying the lake and mountain views and stopping to meet some of the locals to get a glimpse of daily life. Afterward travel to the mountain village of Pontresina and enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride through the Roseg Valley, stopping to dine on Alpine specialties and enjoy breathtaking views at a local restaurant. After a carriage ride or hike back to Pontresina, continue on to St. Moritz to spend the afternoon and evening on our own.

    Accommodations:

    Badrutt’s Palace Hotel

    Included meals: Breakfast and lunch
  • St. Moritz, Switzerland / Lake Como / Bellagio, Italy / Stresa

    This morning’s journey by coach from St. Moritz into Italy takes us through the stunning Maloja Pass in the Alps with the route’s dramatic hairpin turns and switchbacks. Enjoy views of sparkling glacial lakes, rivers and picture-perfect Swiss villages. Arrive in Tremezzo, Italy, on the shore of Lake Como, and take a boat to the famous village of Bellagio, where we have time to walk up and down the staircases of the town filled with colorful bougainvillea to see the many silk and souvenir shops. After lunch at leisure, travel by private boat, taking in views of grandiose villas and colorful villages along the shore, to the town of Como, at the southern tip of the lake. After disembarking, continue on a scenic drive to Stresa, nestled on the shores of Lake Maggiore. Check in to our hotel and enjoy dinner as a group.

    Accommodations:

    Grand Hotel des Iles Borromées

    Included meals: Breakfast and dinner
  • Stresa, Italy / Borromean Islands

    Today a local expert shares insights about Italy’s beautiful Lake District, a haven of Alpine peaks, gardens and lakes. Afterward learn the secrets of traditional Italian cuisine during an interactive cooking lesson at a nearby restaurant, then sit down to a delicious lunch with fellow travelers. After lunch cruise Lake Maggiore aboard a private motorboat to Isola Madre, the largest of the three Borromean Islands, and enjoy a guided visit of the island’s extensive botanical gardens. The lush English-style gardens are filled with exotic flowers, rare plants and ancient trees, and we may spot the peacocks, parrots and pheasants that make the island their home. Return to the hotel for the rest of the afternoon at leisure or continue on your own to the other two islands. Embrace the rustic charm of the peaceful fishing village of Isola dei Pescatori or visit Isola Bella (the Beautiful Island), with its 17th-century baroque palace and hanging gardens.

    Accommodations:

    Grand Hotel des Iles Borromées

    Included meals: Breakfast and lunch
  • Stresa, Italy / Milan

    Travel by road today to Milan, Italy’s economic powerhouse and a center of superb architecture, splendid art and prestigious museums. See Leonardo da Vinci’s magnificent The Last Supper in the beautiful Renaissance Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, then visit the museum at the legendary La Scala, Italy’s premier opera house. View the flamboyant 14th-century Duomo, a Gothic masterpiece defended by 2,244 marble saints and nearly 100 scowling gargoyles. If you wish to enter, you’ll see Europe’s largest sundial, a brass strip decorated with signs of the zodiac embedded in its floor and the treasury, which houses some of the Duomo’s prized possessions. Spend time at leisure having lunch and getting to know cosmopolitan Milan. This evening Stanford participants gather for a special farewell reception followed by dinner together at a local restaurant.

    Accommodations:

    Grand Hotel des Iles Borromées

    Included meals: Breakfast and dinner
  • Milan / Home

    After breakfast transfer to Milan Malpensa airport and board homeward flights.

    Included meal: Breakfast

Trip details

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From top to bottom, we’ve taken care of all the details, so you can enjoy a no-stress, worry-free travel experience.

sunset view of statue in foreground with river boat

Pricing

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The price of your trip covers a comprehensive educational program in addition to meals, accommodations, tours and excursions. Continue reading for a full list of what’s included.

sunrise view of cathedral in quite town square

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