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Meet Nafplio, Home of the Greece Untour

on Tue, 02/21/2017 - 09:48
Nafplio Greece, home of our Greece Untour

We love Nafplio! This lovely ancient seaside town is the homebase of our Greece Untour and offers the perfect combination of charm, sophistication, views and access to the wider Peloponnese.

Nafplio has a population of 12,000, and is considered by many to be Greece’s prettiest town. It is located only two hours south of Athens on the Peloponnesian Peninsula. Nestled into a quiet bay, Nafplio makes a perfect base for exploring some of the most historic and scenic sections of Greece.
Its old town is compact and can be crossed on foot in about 10 minutes.
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Best of Salzburg: Don't miss these 9 sights!

on Wed, 02/08/2017 - 11:10
Salzburg Untour in Austria
As one of the most enchanting cities in Europe, Salzburg exudes a lively air of spontaneity—this despite its rich history as the seat of the sometimes dour, always pompous prince-archbishops. Our Austria Untour places you on the outskirts of this beautiful burg.
Here are nine sights you shouldn’t miss!

1. Hohensalzburg Castle

The most prominent structure in the city, this massive fortress was begun in 1077 and stands today as the largest completely preserved medieval castle in Central Europe. Be sure and take the 35-minute guided tour.  Ask for the English audio tours.
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Versailles: An Easy and Regal Paris Escape

on Wed, 01/11/2017 - 11:32
Versailles day trip from Paris Untour
A trip to Paris isn’t complete without a daytrip to nearby Versailles, just a short trip on the regional train.
France’s most famous château overwhelms most visitors. Breathing in its beauty, one understands how Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette could have made the fatal error of failing to flee in time to avoid Revolutionary mobs. Versailles simply wasn’t a place easily abandoned. 
Today, it ranks as the most popular destination for day-trippers from Paris, receiving more than three million visitors a year.
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First Person Account: Memories of the 1966 Flood in Florence

on Tue, 11/01/2016 - 12:54
Florence flood aftermath, 1966
Since its beginning more than 20 years ago, Harriet has run our Tuscany Untour from her homebase outside of Florence. Countless guests sing her praises, as she binds the southern hospitality of her upbringing with the deep knowledge and love of a country and region she has lived in for more than five decades. Here she recalls her early years in Florence, and her personal memories of the historic flooding of the Arno in November of 1966. The work to save and protect the city's many art treasures is well documented, but this is a view of the event from the ground level.
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Our 3 Favorite Markets in Barcelona

on Wed, 09/28/2016 - 09:36
Santa Caterina Market on a Barcelona Untour

Barcelona boasts the biggest network of municipal markets in Europe, with over 40 food markets and 6 non-food markets. The importance of the modern market in Barcelona dates back to the 19th century when the first covered markets were built. Since then, markets have come to be thought of as vital public spaces. Each market has its own story, unique architecture, and often its own specialty.

Here are a few of our favorites:

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Hal Taussig on Community, Clotheslines, and the Ties That Bind

on Mon, 06/27/2016 - 17:20
Clotheslines and community
This is a piece that Hal Taussig, our late founder, published on the Untours Cafe back in 2007. I think this captures the man and his values so well.
El Kover and her husband Bill, some well loved Untourists, recently spent a couple of days in Media, PA where our offices are. We had invited them to come to witness The Today Show filming. Today, I want to thank El for being such an observant and thoughtful person. 
On her first visit to our house she noticed the clothesline running from our second floor balcony.
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Travel and Terrorism: Some Thoughts From the Untours Community

on Tue, 04/05/2016 - 09:54
Travel thoughts among old friends

Years before our big presence on Facebook and other social media, we set up an email listserv for travelers called Idyllchat. It became a community of friends who shared a love of travel, many of them Untourists, sharing advice on Untours and lots of other travel options. It continues today and has had a flutter of activity and posts recently, as old friends unite and exchange views on all sorts of topics.

One of the most popular and timely conversations has revolved around the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels and the safety of travel in these uncertain times.

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Meet Adriana: Our Anchor in Barcelona

on Mon, 03/28/2016 - 10:36
Adrianna in Barcelona

Meet  Adriana, our local Untours staff representative on the Barcelona Untour. She is a great resource for our guests in Barcelona, resourceful, smart, full of city knowledge, and quick with a friendly smile. Like so many of our European staff members, Adriana has a fascinating background and a very rich professional life beyond her work with us.

I love traveling and I do it all the time. It's amazing, being back home, to be able to explain details of my city (and my favorite one) to those who love doing the same thing!

I was born in Barcelona and hold a BA in Media and Communication Studies

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Cruise the Rivers of Europe With Us: A Ventures Video Adventure

on Tue, 03/22/2016 - 15:46
Paris on a river cruise with Ventures

It's no secret that we love Europe. We've been hosting guests on apartment-based vacations in Europe for 40 years! But we've also fallen in love with Europe's waterways over the years. The rivers of Europe cut through some of its most beautiful countryside and string together majestic cities and chaming smaller towns. A river cruise is an interesting was to cover more territory and take it all in. Here's a little video tour of some of our favorite rivers of Europe:

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8 Tips for Painting the Tuscan Landscape

on Thu, 03/10/2016 - 09:36
The light in Tuscany has inspired painters and artists going back to the Renaissance. Indeed you will feel like you are moving through a painting most days, the landscape and setting are so lovely. We have hosted several painter groups in the area near Montalcino, on the Tuscany Untour. Our farmhouse apartments there provide a comfortable and scenic refuge for painters and artists. Some of our past trip leaders have made the following suggestions for how best to capture Tuscany while painting outdoors.
1.  Simplify the scene. Squint your eyes and focus on the total landscape.