Skip directly to content

Andrea Szyper's blog

Andrea Szyper's picture

Kunstmuseum: Modern Art Fix in Basel

on Mon, 04/03/2017 - 11:15
Basel art museum

On a recent visit to the Kunstmuseum in Basel, I was overwhelmed by the size and breadth of the museum's modern art collection.

A friendly guard explained it quite succinctly. "Yes, Switzerland and America have the largest collections of Modern Art because they could quietly collect and protect 'degenrate art' while Hitler was marching through Europe." I'd never thought of it before, but it made sense. These sorts of interactions and epiphanies are why we travel, and part of the magic that brings museums alive and fills their contents with meaning!

So let me introduce you to one of my new favorite art museums in Europe.

Andrea Szyper's picture

Siegfried's Musical Cabinet Museum, a Gem in Rudesheim, Germany

on Tue, 03/28/2017 - 11:03
Siegfried's Musican Museum, Rudesheim Germany

Join me in charming Rudesheim on the Rhine, an easy day trip from our German Rhine Untour. With its vineyard-covered hills, distant castles, and narrow cobbled lanes and courtyards, it is one darling town. So cute, in fact, that we often bring our Untour guests there for a special tour of the museums in town. Including one of our favorites. Welcome to Siegfried's Musical Cabinet, a jewel of a tiny museum filled with vintage and historical musical instruments and elaborate machines with moving figures.

Andrea Szyper's picture

A Day in Strasbourg

on Thu, 03/09/2017 - 09:26
Strasbourg, France on the Alsace Untour

On of our favorite day trips on our popular Alsace Untour is a nice break from the bucolic countryside and wine road. Strasbourg is the biggest city in the Alsace region, with a population of close to 800,000. It has been at an international crossroads for centuries. It wears its rich history in the cabled buildings and church-studded cobblestone lanes of its historic core. Here is a glimpse of many aspects of one of our favorite multi-faceted cities.

Andrea Szyper's picture

Florence with Kids: 15 Things to Share and Enjoy

on Wed, 02/15/2017 - 10:14
Florence Untour family travel
Cities can be a lot of fun to share with kids, with their parks and museums and markets and rich histories. And now that Untours has added the Italian cities to the Kids Stay Free program, you can tour young travelers though the ancient sites of Rome, the carfree alleys and canals of Venice, and the vibrant Renaissance cityscape of Florence.
If Florence is on your itinerary, here are some fun things to share with your kids or grandkids. Please note, they are good for all ages!

1. Visit the straw market and look for the wild boar statue.

2. Browse in the toy stores on Via Cavour & Via

Andrea Szyper's picture

Isle-sur-Sorgue: Tag Along for a Day on the Town

on Wed, 02/01/2017 - 09:56
Isle sur Sorgue apartment stays with Untours in Provence

Isle sur Sorgue is a charming town in Provence, one of the hometown villages of our Provence Untour.  It is also well known as a center for the antique trade and for its lovely location, at the foot of the Vaucluse plateau. Isle-sur-Sorgue is known as the Venice of Provence because of the canals that pass through town. The Sorgue River begins at the famous Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, about 4 miles to the east, and divides into 5 arms that run through Isle-sur-Sorgue before joining again and splitting into two rivers just outside of town.

I recently spent a couple days in the area.

Andrea Szyper's picture

Ventures River Cruise Report: AmaWaterways Enchanting Rhine

on Thu, 01/05/2017 - 10:32
Untours Ventures river cruise Romantic Rhine

I just experienced my first AmaWaterways river cruise, a 7-day journey from Basel to Amsterdam, on the Enchanting Rhine. I had high expectations, and my experience actually exceeded them! Here are some of the reasons we partner with AmaWaterways, and why we love their river cruise options in Europe.

Andrea Szyper's picture

Gift Ideas for Your Hosts in Europe

on Tue, 12/20/2016 - 13:21
Gifts for European apartment hosts
In the days of globalism, there are very few American things you cannot get in Europe. We live on a rapidly shrinking planet where influences and cultures mix, and we all buy our couches from Ikea. What is distinctly American, anyway?
I asked these questions before heading to Europe, wanting to bring thoughtful gifts to my hosts in Scotland, Alsace, and Provence. What to bring that will be unique?
A legend in our office has it that an apartment host on our Provence Untour invited a guest into his pantry once to show him a shelf full of jars of peanut butter.
Andrea Szyper's picture

The Christmas Markets of Cologne

on Tue, 12/13/2016 - 11:53
Christmas markets in Cologne Germany

If you read our Untours blog and Eurozine newsletter or follow us on Facebook, you know we love the Christmas markets of Europe. We've been writing about them and sharing photos for years. For my part, I have gazed on colleagues' pictures, edited and produced their blog posts, and listened to their tales with envy.

But on my recent trip I got to experience the Christmas markets first hand. And I was not disappointed! The experience brought tears to my eyes. I was in Cologne, Germany on the opening day of their Christmas markets, and I was in bliss.

Andrea Szyper's picture

From Craft Beer to Street Food: 11 Things to Eat and Drink in Rome

on Mon, 11/14/2016 - 12:44
Food is one of my primary motivations in travel. And to know a city well, I want to savor its signature dishes, discover its street food, and imbibe its most typical beverages. Aside from the sensory pleasures, I enjoy the shared experience of loitering in a city’s cafes, following the suggestions of the proud vendor at market, and being part of a noise in a crowded dining room.
Afterall, food connect people. And local dishes can be a window into the soul of a place and its people, its traditions, and its history. In Rome, Jewish history, ancient butchery, and new food and drink trends
Andrea Szyper's picture

5 Reasons to Book a Winter Getaway to Holland

on Tue, 10/18/2016 - 11:32
Leiden at night, Dutch Untour

No one does cozy quite like the Dutch do. One of my favorite trips to Holland was in winter, when I marvelled at the intrepid locals out biking through slush and snow. There was nothing as cozy as a brown cafe, walls bathed in candlelight. Here are 5 reasons you should consider a winter trip to Holland: