Archive - Europe RSS Feed

Discover the Beer of Central Europe with VBT

VBT Beer toast, Beers from Europe

While many of VBT’s European vacations in Italy, France and Portugal visit world-class wine regions, we also have many tours throughout Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic that give our travelers a chance to taste a variety of authentic, renowned beers from Europe. European beers tend to differ from the easy-drinking lagers, hoppy pale ales or fruit-tinged beer varieties that dominate the US market. There is a deeply rooted history of beer in Europe that tends to focus on traditional brewing styles that use wheat, barley and malt as key ingredients, especially in Germany—Bavaria in particular—Belgium and the Czech Republic.

Travelers on our The Czech Republic, Germany & Austria biking vacation will have the chance to sample  pilsners during Beer Tasting in Praguevisits to local restaurants or our featured home-hosted meal. If you opt for the trip’s pre-extension in Prague, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to try pilsners from breweries all around the Czech Republic. This tour also includes a walk across the border—yes, you read that right— into Germany at Nove Udoli. This unique border crossing was closed in 1945 but reopened some time ago for pedestrians and bicycles only. Once we cross, we’ll stop at a Bavarian tavern for a typical lunch, prepared by the owner-family.

hofbrauhaus in Munich, German BeerIf you want to experience German beer at its best, be sure to take our trip extension to the Bavarian capital Munich—offered on both our Heart of Europe Bike & Barge and Lake Constance: Germany, Austria & Switzerland vacations​—which is best known for Oktoberfest and the Hofbräuhaus.  Although the Oktoberfest Fair only occurs for a 16-day span at the end of September into early October, you’ll always be able to lift a stein at the world-famous Hofbräuhaus, Munich’s largest and most famous drinking hall, where it’s Oktoberfest all year long. There is no better known beer hall in the world than this state-owned institution with seating for an astonishing 4,500 people. When visiting, you’ll be able to try any number of styles like weißbier, hefeweizen, lagers or bocks.

If Belgian beer delights your taste buds, you can taste some on our Holland and Leffe Abbey Belgian BeerBelgium: Bike and Barge vacation. Although Belgian beer can range in styles from lambics to sour ales to pale lagers, the country is best known for its Trappist and Abbey style beers. Both of these kinds have been brewed in monasteries for centuries and the monks follow a strict method of brewing to ensure their authenticity. While on tour with VBT we’ll bring these beers right to you with an evening of beer tasting right onboard your barge.

 To read more about our vacations in Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic, please click here.  If you would like to reserve a vacation or speak with one of our Tour Consultants, please call 800-245-3868. They are available Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm EST.

Great Sculptures of Europe

Many VBT vacations to Europe include stops in cities with world famous museums – either on the trip or on our optional pre- or post-trip extensions. We wanted to provide a list for you of some of the great sculptures that you could see along your journeys. Some are masterpieces that cannot be missed and some are lesser known pieces found in places other than artistic meccas like Paris or Rome.

“Apollo and Daphne” by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (Galleria Borghese, Rome)
ApolloAndDaphneThis life-sized Baroque marble sculpture, commissioned by Cardinal Scipione, was created between 1622–1625. The sculpture portrays the story of Daphne and Phoebus in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Although the sculpture may be viewed from every angle, Bernini intended it to be viewed from its side, to let the viewer see the reactions of Apollo and Daphne simultaneously.

 “David” by Michelangelo (Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence)
DavidThis masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture – and possibly the most famous statue in the word – was created between 1501 and 1504 by the Italian artist Michelangelo. The statue represents the Biblical hero David glaring off in the distance with a sling around his shoulder, perhaps a sign that he is intensely waiting for battle. This is in contrast to many depictions of David after he slayed Goliath.

“The Kiss” by Rodin (Museè Rodin, Paris)
The KissThis marble work was inspired by the passionate love affair between Paolo Malatesta and Francesca da Rimini made famous in Dante’s Divine Comedy. The sculpture depicts the 13th-century Italian noblewoman falling in love with her husband’s younger brother, Paolo. The lovers’ lips are not actually locked in the piece, suggesting that they were interrupted – and furthermore, killed – by Francesca’s husband Giovanni, without their lips ever having touched.

“Pluto and Proserpina by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (Galleria Borghese, Rome)
Pluto and Proserpina
This large marble piece was completed the year Bernini began Apollo and Daphne and depicts Pluto, the commanding god of the underworld, abducting Proserpina, the daughter of Ceres – the Goddess of the Earth. Bernini develops a twisting pose by pushing Proserpina’s hand into Pluto’s face and you can see her hand crease his skin as his fingers simultaneously sink into her flesh.

“Venus de Milo” by Alexandros of Antioch (Louvre, Paris)
Venus De Milo
The “Aphrodite of Milos” better known as the “Venus de Milo”, is an ancient Greek marble statue created sometime between 130 and 100 BC. The statue represents Aphrodite (Venus in Roman), the Greek goddess of love and beauty. The famously absent arms are believed to have shown the right arm lowered across her torso as to hold up the sliding drapery while the left remained outstretched, holding an apple.

“Fontaine des Quatre-Saisons” by Edme Bouchardon (Rue de Grenelle, Paris)
The Fountain of the four seasonsTranslated as “The Fountain of the four seasons”, this monumental 18th-century public fountain is still located in the streets of Paris. The fountain is huge and richly decorated and although its grandiosity irritated Voltaire and other figures of the French Enlightenment, the fountain is the best surviving example of public architecture during the reign of Louis XV.

“Bronze David” by Donatello (Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence)
Bronze DavidThis statue of David, which pre-dates Michelangelo’s by over 60 years, is known  for being the first unsupported standing work of bronze cast during the Renaissance, and the first freestanding nude male sculpture made since antiquity. It depicts David, posed with his foot on Goliath’s severed head just after defeating the giant.

“The Veiled Christ” by Giuseppe Sanmartino (Museo Cappella Sansevero in Naples)
veiled-christ-Lenghtwise
Sanmartino’s Veiled Christ is one of the greatest sculptures of all time. Since the eighteenth century, travelers of all levels of distinction have come to contemplate this artistic miracle and the oft praised finesse of its veil. Legend has it that famed Venetian sculptor, Antonio Canova, once said he would have given ten years of his life to have been the sculptor.

“Sculptures of the Night Watch” by Alexander Taraynov (Rembrandtplein, Amsterdam)

Night WatchAlthough Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum houses Rembrandt’s famous painting, The Night Watch,  Russian artist Alexander Taratynov created a bronze-cast representation of the painting as part of the celebration of the artist’s 400th birthday in 2006. In 2009 the sculptures traveled to New York City and Russia to be displayed before returning to the redesigned Amsterdam square where they serve today as a magnet for visitors.

“Salt Celler” by Cellini (Kunsthistorisches Musieum, Vienna)
Salt CellarCellini’s Salt Cellar table sculpture is crafted from ivory, gold, and vitreous enamel and was completed in 1543 for Francis I of France. The piece depicts Neptune and Ceres – symbolizing their unity in producing salt, mined from the earth. It is sometimes referred to as the “Mona Lisa of Sculpture” due to its famous theft in 2003. It was recovered three years later.

Page 3 of 7«12345»...Last »