Offering expert-led tours with fascinating itineraries that explore the history that shaped us, Historical Trips is delighted to unveil its 2019 programme. What is arguably the company’s most exciting brochure yet, the trips available for travellers in the new year tell rich, wildly diverse and often dark stories. From the Mafia’s stomping ground in Sicily and the ‘hero or villain’ question that hangs over the head of Richard III, to the bravery shown by the women of the SOE, 2019 is set to be a ground-breaking year for Historical Trips as well as the guests that choose to journey back to the past with them.
Dark tourism is very much on the rise. Today marks the premiere of Netflix’s brand-new series Dark Tourist, a book named Dark Tourism that is comprised of photographs taken at macabre sites around the world was published recently, and numbers of visitors to sites where some of history’s most infamous, heinous and shocking events took place are increasing.
Experience dark tourism for yourself in 2019 and join the Love & Death on the Loire tour, which delves into Catherine de Medici’s fascination with the occult, brings tales of intrigue and violence to life in stunning French châteaux, and also takes in wine-tastings at regional vineyards. Trace the rise and fall of Italian fascism on the Duce! tour, where guests can open the door of Mussolini’s bedroom at Villa Carpena, and visit both his birthplace museum and family tomb. Book a place on The Face of Evil and tour sites associated with Hitler and the Nazis, from Hitler’s former home – the Berghof – to his extravagant Eagle’s Nest, perched high on the summit of Kehlstein Mountain. Follow in the footsteps of the Mafia in Sicily as you encounter this island’s corrupt and violent past, see the apartment where Salvatore Riina lived underground for a quarter of a century and visit sites of key slayings in the Mafia’s bloody history. Walk around the remains of the Treblinka death camp remains on the Poland at Wartour and try to decide whether or not the Princes in the Tower were murdered by their uncle, Richard III on the Hero or Villain? tour.
On Historical Trips’ 2019 tours, co-founder Nigel Jones said: “In devising these tours, I’ve taken a bit of a risk and have gone for the dark side of history. I think that people are at least as fascinated by, for example, the plots, poisons and murders in the Châteaux of the Loire, as they are by the superb architecture. It’s time to cast some dark on the light side! And our Mafia tour certainly takes a walk down the shady side of the sun-kissed Sicilian streets.”
As always, Historical Trips has a roster of impressive guides at the helm of its tours, and the 2019 itineraries will see the likes of art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon, best-selling historical novelist Lisa Hilton and award-winning author Clare Mulley join its ranks. Dr. Suzannah Lipscomb, Tudor expert Elizabeth Norton, and leading military and political historian Col. Paul Beaver are also all on board, among others. For the full list of guides, please see the website.
The son of Mafia boss Bernardo Provenzano will give a talk to the Cosa Nostra tour group in Sicily, Mussolini’s granddaughter is set to make an appearance during the Duce! departure, and Hitler’s private lift will whisk travellers to the summit of Kehlstein Mountain in Germany to dine at what was known as his Eagle’s Nest. Guests can also spend time at Oskar Schindler’s former factory in Poland, enjoy a privileged visit to the home of Sir Thomas Wyatt – rumoured to be Anne Boleyn’s lover – on the Darts of Love tour, and tour the tunnels of the Lascaris War Rooms in Valletta on the Malta – The Two Sieges tour. What’s more, the extraordinary story of Churchill’s female secret agents will be revealed to travellers in both England and France on the Women of the SOE tour.
Next year will see the 250th anniversary of the birth of Napoleon. To celebrate this, we have launched two exciting tours that tell his story in unique ways. Enter Napoleon, departing in early June, will take place in Italy, allowing guests to set foot on historic battlefields, experience the country’s beauty on the shores of Lake Garda, and explore Napoleon’s first campaign while enjoying the wonders of Milan and Verona. Napoleon’s Last Stand, departing in mid-June, will hop across the channel to France, taking travellers to Wellington’s headquarters in Waterloo as well as to its legendary battlefield, and offering expert insight from guide Major Gordon Corrigan, MBE.
Historical Trips has chosen to bring back a selection of its most popular tours for the new year, including its twin tours – The Face of Evil and Duce! – as well as Poland at War and The Great War. New for 2019 is the Arthur & Alfred study day, based in Winchester and exploring what we really know about these legendary warlords. A Masterpiece in Stone: Salisbury Cathedral is also exclusive to 2019, inviting guests to admire the architecture and history of this impressive landmark.
Historical Trips was founded in 2010 by historians Nigel Jones, Roger Moorhouse and Michael Ivey. Their mission was to take small groups of interested (and interesting) guests to places in both the UK and around the world where history happened. More than a holiday in history, top historians like Dr. David Starkey, Dr. Suzannah Lipscombe and Prof. Gary Sheffield put the places they visit in context, giving guests an unrivalled expert picture of the past and – to quote the company’s motto – the “history that shaped us”.
For more information, call Historical Trips on 01722 713820 or visit https://www.historicaltrips.com/
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