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Europe in the time of the Reformation

  • Europe in the time of the Reformation

Literature, philosophy, art, music, politics – early modern life was developed when the Renaissance movement affected Europe in the 16th century. Beginning in Tuscany/ Italy the Renaissance opened the gates of new inventions and discoveries. The school of Humanism was employed when students searched for realism and human emotion in art. At the same time renitency against the church appeared in the Reformation when Theologians opposed the church’s doctrines and bulls. Follow Goway into this exciting time as we first discover the roots of John Calvin, one of the leading Pastors in the Reformation, before we cross the Alps to visit Galiliei and da Vinci in Pisa and Florence. Nature sights like Lake Leman, the majestic Alps, and the blue Mediterranean Sea will accompany us. We will enjoy Wine and Olives with the “cucina mediterranea”, the Italian kitchen, and will be amazed about paintings, frescoes, and statues in churches and museums.


Day 1

Arrive in Strasbourg

Upon arrival at Frankfurt Airport, we will be met and transferred to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

It is in Strasbourg where Calvin served as the Pastor of a French congregation of refugees. Here he spent some of his best years of his life. At a guided walking tour today we will see this amazing city with the impressing cathedral and the many small timber-framed houses. After dinner, we’ll have time to enjoy one of the many cafés.

Meal Plan Dinner
Day 2

Basel (145 km / 1:45 hrs driving time)

We will travel by coach onto Basel, where Calvin authored his main theological work. Enjoy a city tour with a visit at Basel Münster cathedral, the imposing city hall, and a walk through the Old Town with its many well-preserved houses from the 15th century contrasting with modern works by renowned architects. And we would not want to miss the marketplace where farmers sell fresh vegetables, fruit, and flowers.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 3

Zurich (90 km / 1:30 hrs)

After breakfast we will travel by coach to Zurich. In this city Huldrych Zwingli has served as one of the reformers of the first generation. We will visit the Großmünster cathedral and get introduced to Zurich and the Reformation on a guided tour. We will walk along Augustinergasse, one of Zurich’s most beautiful old, narrow streets with its many colorfully painted oriel windows. The Town hall with its baroque architecture will get our attention as well as the grassy park areas along the lakeshore, a hive of activity during the summer months with inline skaters, sun bathers, and street artists.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 4

Bern, Geneva

Following Calvin's steps, our journey leads us to Geneva where Calvin lived for 23 years. Stop en route in Bern, the nest of a strong opposition against Calvin, which wanted to influence the development in Geneva - the source of many conflicts with Calvin. The visit of Bern and its cathedral will give us a deep understanding into the Reformation.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 5


John Calvin lived in Geneva until his death in 1564. We will spend the entire day exploring the city. A Reformation Path with 14 stages in the historic heart of Geneva connects places of symbolic importance for the Reformation, a period that deeply influenced both the architecture and the economic and spiritual life of the city. St. Pierre is Calvin's congregational church and place of many sermons. Located in the prestigious Maison Mallet, the International Museum of the Reformation which we will visit this afternoonpresents the history of the Reformation from its origins to the present, and the influent work of John Calvin in Geneva and abroad. Unique objects, manuscripts, rare books, engravings and paintings illustrate the close ties of Geneva to the Reformation.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 6

Maurienne valley

We leave Switzerland into France and enjoy a scenic drive crossing the Alps. Tonight’s stop will be a little hotel in the Maurienne valley. The oldest possessions of the Counts of Savoy were the count ships of Maurienne, but already in the 6th century Saint Thekla brought relics of John the Baptist to this area, helping Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to become the seat of a Bishop.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 7

To the Mediterranean Sea

Today we’ll cross through the tunnel of Frejus, one of the most important links between France and Italy. While the road tunnel (8 miles) opened in 1980 the rail tunnel already dates back to 1857 when drilling started to built a rail connection from England to the Mediterranean ports - to have a better connection to the Canal of Suez and India.

We pass the city of Torino before leaving the mountains at spectacular interstate roads down to Genova where we’ll enjoy the view to the Mediterranean Sea.

Along the coastline we find our hotel in a coastal resort at the Sea and will have time for some good Italian ice cream.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 8

Pisa and Vinci

Today's excursion takes you to Pisa, the birth place of the genius mathematician and astronomer Galileo Galilei. Enjoy a guided tour of the town and of course the leaning tower. In the afternoon the trip continues to Vinci. This small town is known as birth place of Leonardo da Vinci. As a painter, explorer, inventor, constructor, and engineer he has set up standards until today. The museums in Vinci, showing a lot of models of Leonardo's inventions, give a lively impression of his work. Impressive is also the still existing system of canals and streets Leonardo designed.

The landscape consists of vineyards and olive groves that are much the same as in Leonardo's time. Dinner will be in a little olive oil mill in close walking distance to the tiny house where Leonardo was born. We’ll get an introduction into the production of good natural oil and enjoy the taste of a fabulous dinner.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 9


The marble from Carrara is well known all over the World. Our bus takes us on a tour through the quarries in which Michelangelo spent weeks to find the right stones for his famous works. The day ends with a relaxing stroll through Pietrasanta or a visit in the "Museo die bozzetti" (Museum of the sketches).

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 10

Travel by road to Florence

Florence for sure is one of the most wonderful cities of the world. With a guided tour we will dive into the atmosphere of power and the abundance of the Medici, which were an inspiration to the most genius artists and scientists. We will visit the world well known Uffizi, the Dom cathedral plaza, the Piazza della Signoria, grandiose Palaces, and enjoy the inimitable flair of the Renaissance's world power. 

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 11

Morning sightseeing in Florence

This morning we join our guide and coach for a half day tour, which will include visits to Michelangelo’s statue of ‘David’ in the Academy Gallery, the Duomo, where the Gates of Paradise adorn the Baptistery. We will stop at Signoria Square lined with fountains and statues. From here, we will proceed to the area around Santa Croce Basilica and view a demonstration of traditional leather work. We will travel back to our hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Tonight we will enjoy the farewell dinner at a local restaurant. 

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 12

Homebound flights

Today we will be transferred to Florence Airport for our flight home. 

Meal Plan Breakfast

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