Program photograph

Italian Lakes and Swiss Alps

May 8-16, 2010
Faculty: Ernie Ern, Professor of Environmental Sciences Emeritus

Price: $3,995 per person, double occupancy, land program.

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Overview

Join Ernie Ern in the Swiss alpine village of St. Moritz, one of the best known and most elegant holiday destinations in the world. Not much has changed in this pristine part of Europe. Breathtaking Engadine countryside layered with weathered wooden chalets framed by snow-capped peaks infuse and surround this chic, elegant and exclusive resort town nestled in the Alps. We'll board the famous Bernina Express, the highest rail crossing of the Alps, and take in spectacular scenery as we make our way to Italy. In northern Italy, cruise Lake Maggiore to the beautiful Borromean Islands and explore cosmopolitan Milan with its magnificent architecture and priceless artifacts.

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Program Highlights

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Accommodations

Hotel Schweizerhof-St. Moritz: Built in 1896, the legendary Hotel Schweizerhof is ideally situated in the center of elegant St. Moritz. Amid the ambience of a traditional family-run inn, it offers four quaint restaurants serving Alpine specialties, a rooftop wellness center with sauna and massage services and picture-perfect lake and mountain views. Spacious guestrooms are rendered in bright, contemporary décor and fitted with crisp white linens.

Hotel Barchetta Excelsior-Como: Set in the heart of the city on the Piazza Cavour, the grand Hotel Barchetta Excelsior overlooks Lake Como and is just minutes from the domed Renaissance Cathedral. Its two restaurants serve fine Mediterranean cuisine. Recently renovated guestrooms are tastefully appointed and offer a full complement of modern amenities.

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Meals

Enjoy an extensive meal program, including seven breakfasts, three lunches and five dinners, in addition to in-flight dining service. Tea or coffee is included with all meals, plus wine with lunch and dinner. Take advantage of leisure time to try the local cuisine independently.

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Faculty

Ernest H. Ern, Senior Vice President and Professor of Environmental Sciences Emeritus

Ernie and his wife, Petie, came to Charlottesville in 1962 and Ernie taught in the Department of Geology, later the Department of Environmental Sciences, for 39 years. Concurrently, he held administrative positions as Dean of Admissions, Vice President for Student Affairs and, from 1993 to 2001, Senior Vice President of the University. From 1989 to 2001 the Erns lived on the Lawn in Pavilion X. (Greece '07, Dalmatian Coast '08)

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Itinerary

Day 1 - Saturday, May 8
USA / Zürich
Depart your gateway city for Zürich, Switzerland.

Day 2 - Sunday, May 9
Zürich / St. Moritz
Upon arrival in Zürich, join a coordinated group transfer to St. Moritz. This evening, attend a welcome reception and dinner at the hotel.

Hotel Schweizerhof (D)

Day 3 - Monday, May 10
Zuoz / St. Moritz
Today is our introduction to Switzerland, as we travel to Zuoz, a picturesque Upper Engadine village. A walking tour showcases its beautiful cobblestone square lined with brightly painted buildings, many built in the 13th century. Enjoy a lunch of regional specialties at a local restaurant. Return to St. Moritz for some free time before a group dinner.

Hotel Schweizerhof (B, L, D)

Day 4 - Tuesday, May 11
Davos / Klosters-Platz / St. Moritz
Today we take an excursion to Davos and the trendy resort town of Klosters-Platz. At 1,560m, Davos is the highest city in Europe. It has a dual claim to fame as the host to the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the home of the largest ski resort in Switzerland. The current settlement of the Davos area started in the High Middle Ages, but more recently Davos has built up a reputation as a high-end ski-resort. Travel slightly further north to the resort of Klosters-Platz for a walk around and some free time before returning to St. Moritz.

Hotel Schweizerhof (B)

Day 5 - Wednesday, May 12
St. Moritz / Tirano / Como
We board the Bernina Express train for a two-hour scenic journey to Tirano, Italy, that traces one of Europe's most impressively engineered rail routes. Of Switzerland's four major scenic train journeys, the Bernina Express is both the highest rail crossing in the Alps and the only Swiss rail route to traverse the range from north to south. A narrow-gauge line of the Rhaetian Railway, it ascends to a height of 7,391 ft. (2,253m) at the Bernina Pass along switchback tunnels and graded spirals. At journey's end, we explore Tirano and browse in the shops displaying fine locally made silk wares. Continue to the town of Sondrio for a group lunch. Afterwards, drive to Como and stop en route in the town of Menaggio on the western shore of Lake Como. Continue to Como and check into our hotel. Tonight, enjoy dinner together.

Hotel Barchetta Excelsior (B, L, D)

Day 6 - Thursday, May 13
Como
Today we take a walking tour of the walled Old Town featuring the Baradello Tower, Tempio Voltiano shrine and the impressive Duomo in the Piazza Cavour with its Gothic faade and Renaissance dome. Then we visit the Silk Museum for insight into this prolific regional industry. After lunch on our own, we gather this afternoon for a relaxing and scenic cruise on the lake. Tonight, enjoy dinner together.

Hotel Barchetta Excelsior (B, D)

Day 7 - Friday, May 14
Como / Barromean Islands / Centovalli Train
Journey to Stresa for a short walking tour before embarking on a cruise on Lake Maggiore. The first stop is Isola Madre and its 16th-century villa. Then we sail to the rustic fishing village of Isola dei Pescatori. On Isola Bella, we explore the baroque palace and gardens. In the afternoon, we take the scenic Centovalli train from Domodossola, Italy, to Locarno, Switzerland. The ride takes about two hours and goes through beautiful mountain scenery with daring bridges, pure mountain streams, chestnut woods and villages clinging to the mountainsides. We drive back to Como and enjoy an evening at leisure.

Hotel Barchetta Excelsior (B, L)

Day 8 - Saturday, May 15
Milan / Como
In Italy's most fashionable city, we visit Santa Maria Delle Grazie and its rectory to see da Vinci's magnificent work, The Last Supper. We tour the museum at La Scala, Italy's premier opera house, and the 14th-century Duomo, a Gothic masterpiece ornamented by 2,244 marble saints and nearly 100 gargoyles. Lunch on your own, followed by free time in Milan before returning to Como. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner.

Hotel Barchetta Excelsior (B, D)

Day 9 - Sunday, May 16
Milan / Return
Transfer to the Milan airport for the return flight to a gateway city.

(B)

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Program Fees

$3,995 per person, double occupancy, land only. A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement of $695 to the per person, double occupancy rates.

Price Includes:
•Seven nights accommodations at the following hotels:
     * Three nights at the Hotel Schweizerhof-St. Moritz
     * Four nights at the Hotel Barchetta Excelsior-Como
•Breakfast daily, three lunches, and five dinners, including welcome and farewell dinners
•All sightseeing and activities as outlined in the itinerary, including entrance fees
•Coordinated group transfers with luggage handling at the hotels
•Gratuities to local drivers and guides
•Transportation by deluxe air-conditioned motor coach, train and boat
•A local tour manager throughout the trip
•Pre-trip service, suggested reading list and pre-departure information

Price Does Not Include:
International airfare, airport and departure taxes; airport/hotel transfers for those not traveling on the group dates; meals not listed as included; charges for items of a personal nature including laundry, beverages and excess baggage charges; independent travel arrangements; travel and accident insurance; and passport fees.

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How To Register

Ready to register? The best way to do this is by phone so that we can ensure we are meeting all of your needs. Please call us at 866-765-2646. Or e-mail cavaliertravels@virginia.edu with your contact information and the best time to reach you.

A deposit of $500 per person is required to reserve your spot. Final invoicing will be done approximately three months prior to departure. Final payment is due March 9, 2010.

Deposits can be made via check or credit card.

Early registration is encouraged as space is limited.

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General Terms & Conditions

HEALTH: All participants must be in good health. This program is active and involves walking over uneven surfaces and climbing stairs. All locations may not be handicapped accessible. Any condition that may require special medical attention or other accommodation must be reported at the time of your reservation.

TOUR SIZE: The program cost is based on a minimum of 30 participants.

DEPOSITS AND FINAL PAYMENT: Reservations will be accepted in order of receipt if accompanied by a completed reservation form and a deposit of $500 per person. Final payment is due by March 9, 2009 and must be paid by check. A significant change in fuel costs, the value of the dollar, or group size could result in a slightly higher trip price.

CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS: Refunds, less a cancellation fee of $300 per person, will be made if Siemer & Hand is notified on or before March 9, 2009. No refunds will be granted after that date. All cancellations must be in writing.

RESPONSIBILITY: A detailed statement of limitations and exclusions of liabilityof Siemer & Hand Travel, Inc. and the University of Virginia for loss of property, injury, illness or death will be provided to passengers upon enrollment and is available to prospective travelers upon request.

SIEMER & HAND TRAVEL, INC.: Seller of fine travel programs since 1959. www.siemerhand.com CST 1004239-10

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