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Untours staff's blog

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Love For and In Florence

on Thu, 02/11/2016 - 10:45
Helen in Florence
Helen Graves has just joined our European team as the new Untours host in Florence, Italy. Here she writes about her enduring love for the city she's lived in for 30 years.
You could say I’ve done my fair share of travelling. I was born in India, grew up in Scotland, and moved to Sydney, Australia when I was still a teenager. In between times I worked as an au pair in Switzerland and traveled by bus and train over much of South East Asia.
I first visited Florence while on a trip around Europe and was utterly charmed.
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Friends from around the world remember Hal Taussig

on Wed, 01/20/2016 - 14:01
Hal in the Untours office in the 90s

My wife and I met Hal on our first Untour to Switzerland. She went to an ATM in the Zurich train station to get some money when a man touched her on the shoulder and said "I think you are with me". She turned around and said, "It's the boss." With his warm smile and the twinkle he always had in his eyes he welcomed us to our Untour. And to add to the great serendipity of our trip we actually were staying in Sachseln at the Elizabeth and with Berit and Albert as our hosts. We were hooked on Untours and have taken three since then and recommended Untours to countless friends. We were so taken by Hal's warmth and caring for the world. We had seen him on the Today Show when he was given the acknowledgement of his philanthropy by Paul Newman. That is how my wife recognized him as the boss.

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Happy Holidays! (An Untours Staff Musical)

on Wed, 12/23/2015 - 09:45
Happy holidays from Untours!

We send all of our best wishes to our extended Untours family! May you have a fun, happy, and meaningful holiday full of all the best things. And may 2016 bring us peace and good fortune. All the best from our family to yours!

Click so we can carol to you!


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40 Years of Untours: A Video Tribute!

on Thu, 11/19/2015 - 09:52
Hal on a Swiss Untour

Happy Birthday to us! It is hard to believe we have been around for 40 years. So much has changed in the world in that time, but one thing remains true: Those who seek cross-cultural understanding and honest, earnest experiences in the heart of the culture are richly rewarded as travelers. We are proud to have been pioneers in the travel-like-a-local movement, and we are happy the idea has caught on.

More than anything, we are grateful to all of those who have shared our vision over the last four decades and helped spread the word.

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Around the World in 2.5 Minutes: Take a Spin with Ventures

on Tue, 09/29/2015 - 09:57
Safari, cruises and other adventure with Ventures

It’s a big and exciting world out there. Sometimes you want to move a little more, or stretch a little further. If it is the motion you crave, and you want to cover more territory in Europe, a river cruise may be your thing. Or you may want to strike beyond Europe. Maybe some adventure in Cuba, some wildlife in South Africa, or the beauty of the Costa Rican coast. Our Ventures are just the ticket. Here are a couple minutes of inspiration to get you going.

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Sue Tells All: Favorite work and family memories from Untours

on Thu, 09/03/2015 - 10:59
Sue on the Umbria Untour

It was a VERY cold spring day (the kind of day you never quite pack right for) in Umbria for the olive oil tasting group event. It was held in an unheated stone walled building on the farm. It was a great event. We learned so much about extra virgin olive oil. But nothing ever tasted so good as the warm grilled bread with garlic and new olive oil. It really warmed all of us in the group.

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Beyond Bérets and Baguettes: Top 11 Places to Go in France

on Tue, 08/04/2015 - 11:05
Beyond Berets and Baguettes: French Untours shows you the top 11 places to see in france

There's so much to see and do in France. Here's our French Bucket List, a good place to begin.

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Windmills, Wooden Shoes and Tulips: Finding the Real Holland

on Wed, 03/11/2015 - 08:51
Leiden, Holland on the Dutch Untour
For many, Holland calls a distinct picture to the mind’s eye of a legendary little boy with his finger thrust bravely into a hole in the dike, determined to save the sleeping village. Along the edge of the dike there are cheerful tulips, and a windmill turns its sails on the horizon. Look, the boy’s shoes are made of wood!
It’s just a story, and an American story at that, the imaginary creation of an American author who never set foot on Dutch soil. Still, the picture is real.
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Italian Cities Q&A with Andi: Venice, Florence and Rome from the inside

on Thu, 01/15/2015 - 10:53
Andi at Trevi Fountain, Rome Untour

"My favorite spots are always places a little off the beaten path. Or sometimes so on the beaten path that you would think that they are tourist traps. For instance, the little cafe just across from the Trevi Fountain makes a fabulous cappuccino. One of my Italian friends who was with me nearly died when I suggested we have our morning cappuccino there. I had been so many times before I knew that he’d be wowed by the little hole in the wall’s coffee and pastry selection. He was pleasantly surprised. The trick is to keep an open mind."

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Top 10 Florence: The sites you can't miss, including a couple you've never heard of...

on Mon, 01/12/2015 - 09:50
Ponte Vecchio, Florence Untour
If you are planning to visit Florence, we urge you to follow the paths of the Rennaissance artists who built and adorned this magnificent city. You’ll find a lifetime of art and architecture to experience. This is a list of the things you must see first, but please don't stop here! You could spend a lifetime walking the stones of Florence
1. The Bargello sculpture museum is a must. Read The Agony and the Ecstasy before you head to Florence, and you will love it even more.
2. Visit the Brancacci Chapel in Santa Maria Carmine to see the master frescoes of Masaccio. (Reservations