Intimate France Tours e-News

Issue 5, May-July 2012

 

www.intimatefrance.com

 

info@intimatefrance.com

 

 

At Intimate France, we specialize in small groups - usually eight travelers or fewer, never more than 16. Read more about how we are different.

 

OUR TOURS IN 2013

Italian Lakes & Venice - April 28-May 10

Tour priced at $3,895 per person sharing accommodation. Singles $550 extra.Tour begins at Milan airport, ends at Venice Airport.

(more information)

 

Friuli, Eastern Italy & Slovenia -

May 12-24

Tour priced at $3,895 per person sharing accommodation. Singles $550 extra.Tour begins and ends at Venice airport, Italy

(more information)

 

High Pyrénées, France - Sept. 1-13

Tour priced at $3,895 per person sharing accommodation. Singles $550 extra.Tour begins and ends at Toulouse Airport.

(more information)

 

Languedoc, France - Sept. 15-27

Tour priced at $3,895 per person sharing accommodation. Singles $550 extra.Tour begins and ends at Toulouse Airport.

(more information)

 

 

INTIMATE

FRANCE

BLOG

 

George Nevin

owner/founder

intimate France Tours

 

 

Snooty Parisians and a temperamental cook
 

    A few years ago France suffered through a killer hot spell – literally. Thousands of deaths were reported that year that were associated with the heat.

    My friend Ferne was spending the summer in the Lot region of France, south of the Dordogne, She had rented a small dwelling in a tiny village and was taking classes in the French language and in art. It was idyllic and very, very hot at the same time.

    Each morning, she and everyone else in the village who wasn't otherwise employed would go down (literally; it's very hilly there) to the Lot River and immerse themselves up to their necks in the cool water. There they would stay all day.

    At 5 o'clock they would emerge and shower, and by 7 they would be at the door of the village's only restaurant, a simple bistro. There, a village girl waited on tables and the owner cooked.

    This being somewhat of a vacation area, tourists from the outside world sometimes found their way to the bistro. So it was that one evening, just as Ferne and the other patrons were getting their aperitifs, a Parisian couple appeared at the door and were greeted and seated.

    Within minutes they too had received their before-dinner drinks, and soon thereafter a wine glass tumbled from the table onto the stone floor and shattered.

    The waitress swept up the broken glass, disappeared into the kitchen and returned to tell the Parisians, "The patron says you have to pay for that glass."

    The Parisians were dumbfounded. "What do you mean?" the man demanded. "It was an accident. It's just part of the cost of doing business."

    By now the cook-owner had emerged from the kitchen, wiping his hands on his apron. "Someone has to pay for that glass," he said. "You broke it. You have to pay!"

    The Parisians were having none of it – trailing snarls and curses, they stormed out of the bistro.

    Everyone else in the place watched the action with mouths agape. The owner stood in the middle or the room, sweat dripping from his face. It was still 100 degrees outside.

    "I'm so upset," he announced to the room. "I can't cook."

    It took only a fraction of  second for everyone in the place to rally to his side.

    They told him: "I've never seen such rude people. Those Parisians think they own the world. It's only fair that if you break something, you pay for it. Monsieiur, you are completely right."

    After several more minutes, the owner seemed to stiffen. He drew himself up to his full height and took a deep breath. "I feel better now," he said. "I can cook."

    He disappeared back into the kitchen, accompanied by sighs of relief from every hungry person in the bistro.

 

 

 

KEEP IN TOUCH

 

A successful 2012 – fall tours are sold out

Our Dordogne and Austria tours in fall 2012 are sold out – but contact us if you wish to be on a no-obligation wait list in case vacancies occur.

 

Our 2013 tour lineup is here!

Intimate France's 2013 tour program includes two in Italy in the spring and two in France in the fall. We're repeating Italian Lakes and Venice, and adding a new destination – Friuli, Eastern Italy and Slovenia. In the fall, we repeat Languedoc, France, and add the High Pyrénées Mountains of France and Spain. See below.

 

Our Tours in 2013

 

 

Village of Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy


Italian Lakes & Venice - April 28-May 10

Detailed itinerary

 

Tour priced at $3,895 per person sharing accommodation. Singles $550 extra. Discounts available. Tour begins at Milan Malpensa Airport, and ends at Venice Airport.t.

  • Comfortable hotels and charming inns – all rooms with private bath
  • The splendor of the Italian lakes – Maggiore, Como, Garda
  • Transportation in van or mini-bus
  • Outstanding cuisine and wine
  • The splendid Palladian architecture of the Veneto province
  • The magnificent villas and gardens of the lake country
  • Beautiful villages with stairstep streets and murmuring fountains
  • Medieval Verona, known for its Roman past and for Romeo and Juliet
  • Venice, perhaps the world’s most beautiful and splendid city
  • Aperitivi, gelato, formaggio, salume
  • Lovely Vicenza and Padova

 

Piran, Slovenia, on the shores of the Adriatic Sea

 

Friuli, Eastern Italy & Slovenia - May 12-2

Detailed itinerary

 

Tour priced at $3,895 per person sharing accommodation. Singles $550 extra. Discounts available. Tour begins and ends at Venice Airport.

  • Unusually fine food (pasta, ham) and wine, exceptional even for Italy
  • Exquisite Roman mosaics at Aquileia
  • Palmanova, a star-shaped, fortified  town
  • Graceful Udine, a charming town encircling a hill crowned with a castle
  • A slice of Slovenia – pretty Piran, on the Adriatic, with echoes of Venice
  • The sunny resort of Grado, with its fine-sand beach on the Adriatic
  • Villa Maser, built by Palladio, and Villa Pisani, mansion on the Brenta
  • Stud farm at Lipica, Slovenia, source of the original Lipizzaner stallions
  • Lively Trieste, the Adriatic’s chief port, with its air of Middle Europe
  • Charming Cividale del Friuli
  • Lake Garda and resorts Limone & Riva

PLEASE NOTE that although our gateway airport is Venice Marco Polo, this tour does not visit Venice. Travelers are encouraged to visit Venice on their own before or after the tour.

 

 

High Pyrénées, mighty mountains dividing France, Spain

 

High Pyrénées Mountains, France & Spain - Sept. 1-13

Detailed itinerary

 

Tour priced at $3,895 per person sharing accommodation. Singles $550 extra. Discounts available. Tour begins and ends at Toulouse Airport.

  • Comfortable hotels and charming inns – all rooms with private bath
  • Fortified mountain village of Villefranche-de-Conflent, with intact city walls
  • Lofty Andorra, both a mountain mini-state and a tax-free shopping paradise
  • Travel by van or mini-bus
  • Soaring Canigou, the highest peak in the east
  • Cave of Niaux, containing prehistoric paintings of superior quality from 10,000 BC
  • Fortresses such as Montségur, shelter for 12th century religious martyrs the Cathars
  • Pilgrimage sites in Lourdes, where for 150 years the faithful have gathered
  • 12th century bastides, fortress towns with a curious, square layout
  • Cathedrals, castles, markets, cafés, fine dining, exceptional wines

 

 

Picture-perfect village of Collioure, on the Mediterranean

 

Languedoc-Roussillon, France - Sept. 15-27

Detailed itinerary

 

Tour priced at $3,895 per person sharing accommodation. Singles $550 extra. Discounts available. Tour begins and ends at Toulouse Airport.

  • Comfortable hotels and charming inns – all with private bath
  • Transportation in nine-passenger van
  • Outstanding cuisine
  • Medieval Carcassonne, a walled miracle from the Middle Ages
  • The beautiful fishing port of Collioure
  • Shopping opportunities
  • France with a flavor of Spain – the border country of Catalonia
  • The wines of southern France: Collioure, Banyuls, Corbières
  • A picnic featuring local produce
  • Fabulous outdoor markets
  • Romanesque churches
  • Red-brick Albi & Toulouse-Lautrec Museum
  • Some of France’s most beautiful villages – Cordes, Bruniquel, Mirepoix
 

 

INTIMATE FRANCE:

HOW WE ARE DIFFERENT

 

    After 25 years of travel and research, we founded Intimate France in 1994 to share our accumulated wisdom and exciting discoveries with you. In the  years since then, we’ve taken hundreds of Americans to France, Italy, Spain, Croatia and the Alps.

 

    Our small groups (never more than 16) assure the utmost in personal service, attention to detail and flexibility.

    Our small group size allows us to take care of you and your needs the way you deserve. Our long familiarity with Europe has taught us the hidden, authentic visits and sights not in any guidebook.

 

    Our cheerful, experienced, bilingual guides love Europe with a passion and want to share this feeling with you. Our carefully planned itineraries feature a multitude of enriching visits – all included in the tour price. Optional excursions at additional expense are virtually non-existent.  

 

At Intimate France, we believe that cookie-cutter hotels, tourist-oriented restaurants and fast-paced sightseeing are barriers to enjoying the real Europe.   

 

      Over time we have discovered small, family-run hotels, local bistros and insider sights. You’ll visit the top attractions in each town while also having experiences that are more typically European.

 

 

Make an Intimate France tour your best trip ever.