Central Europe has been a crossroads of history for thousands of years, and the Alps formed a natural east-west barrier across the continent, concentrating different cultures in every valley, and allowing them to interact through every mountain pass. What you lack in terms of grand classic cities, is made up for in totally unique and isolated pockets of diversity – valleys in Italy where they only speak French; pagan traditions and rituals in a remote part of Switzerland; a little-used patois dialect that is a mix of Latin and German and Italian.
Whether you find it in fine woodworking, a hand-forged cowbell, or a Swiss watch, each region has a special craft that they are known for, and is as much a fabric of their society and culture as their language. Architectural traditions like the painted chalets in the Saanenland, or dry-stone Walser huts in Monterosa are just as important to the history as modern designs of Peter Zumthor and Herzog & De Meuron or Heinz Julen in Zermatt. And just as impressionist art was taking off elsewhere in Europe, Segantini and Vallet were doing the same style paintings of their local Alps in the Engadin and Valais. Bern’s own Paul Klee has one of the great galleries with his best works just on the edge of the capital city in a museum designed by Renzo Piano.
Since the Alps have been a tourism hub for over a century, there are world-class collections in many resorts, or nearby – but the great museums and festivals of Europe are never far away – from Art Basel to the Montreux Jazz Festival. Or jump on a train and be in Milan or Paris in a matter of hours. While we can design culture or event-specific itineraries for any request, we can also build in a day or several days’ of cultural experiences to all trips.