One of the most extensive trips our agency has planned was a six week family vacation for five people. The oldest daughter was heading off to college and the family wished to spend time together exploring the history of Europe by car, visiting several iconic cities, the fabled countryside and small towns of storybook fame along the way.
With such a lengthy car rental required for this driving vacation, we recommended the car purchase and sell-back program offered by Auto Europe. This program saved the family around $2300.00 in car rental costs by purchasing a family-sized sedan made by Peugeot which could be sold-back at the end of the trip.
The family began their trip in Rome staying at the upscale Marriott Grand only a 13-minute walk to the Trevi Fountain. While in Rome we arranged private tours including an extensive visit to the Vatican on one day and the ancient Colosseum and Pantheon, a former Roman Temple now a church, on another day. We also arranged a skip-the-line tour of the Borghese Museum, an art gallery housed in a former villa filled with paintings by famous artists such as Bernini, Caravaggio, Peter Paul Rubens and Raphael. The family also visited Hadrian’s Villa, an archaeological complex in Tivoli constructed in the second century for Roman Emperor Hadrian.
Heading out of Rome, the family drove to the famous resort town of Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast staying at the elegant Hotel Continental. After Sorrento, they headed north to Florence to the posh Grand Hotel Cavour a block form the Bargello National Museum and a five-minute walk to the Duomo. Then it was on to Venice and the ornate Hotel Canal Grande.
After Italy, it was off to Austria with a stop in Innsbruck staying at Hotel Heimgartl, a cozy hotel housed in a Tyrolean-style building at the foot of a wooded cliff overlooking the Inn River. Then to Vienna and the Graben Hotel located in the old quarter five-minutes from the Hofburg Imperial Palace.
After Vienna, the family drove through Bavaria and the Black Forest region of southern Germany. One of the stops was in medieval Rothenburg, a fairy-tale town of half-timbered houses and cobblestone lanes.
Driving into France, the family stayed with friends in Strasbourg, the largest city in the Alsace region, with UNESCO World Heritage sites and world famous vineyards just outside the city. Then it was up to the small country of Luxembourg, where the Ardennes forest can be found.
On the way to Paris, the family visited Reims, the champagne region of France. Upon arriving in Paris, we recommended the Paris Pass which offers admission to over 60 attractions and museums, and includes unlimited travel on the Paris Metro and taking the hop on hop off bus. By staying in Paris for several days, the family drove all around northern France to the Palace of Versailles, Monet’s home and gardens in Giverny, and the D-Day landing beaches in Normandy.
Before the family traveled on the high-speed Eurostar train which traverses the English Channel from Paris to London, they sold the Peugeot back to an Auto Europe affiliate. While in London, we again recommended the London Pass and with several days in the city, they toured Buckingham Palace, Oxford Castle of the Norman period, Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon, and many other famous places. And after six weeks, the family’s historical journey through Europe became one of their most memorable experiences and we are proud to have helped make that happen.