From St.Moritz to Venice
Contura - the magazine
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Not around the world in 80 days, but from the Alps to the Mediterranean in just 8 hours: the Rhaetian Railway and a dense public transport network make this unique cultural tour possible – from St. Moritz to Venice, passing six UNESCO World Heritage sites along the way.
In the morning, you breathe in crisp mountain air. At sunset, a fresh breeze drifts in from the sea to greet you. And in between, a day full of amazing impressions. The Swiss National Park and several UNESCO World Heritage sites – the Convent of St John, Verona, Vicenza and Padua – line the route from St. Moritz to Venice. If your aim is to get to the Lido as quickly as possible, the trip to Venice takes just eight hours. However, it is worth making the journey in stages. On the way back via Brescia and Tirano further World Heritage sites are waiting to be discovered, such as the prehistoric cave paintings at Capo di Ponte or the Albula and Bernina lines.
Tip: Combining the tour with a trip on the Glacier Express also lets you see Zermatt, the Matterhorn and the Aletsch Glacier UNESCO World Heritage site.
Further information is available at www.venice-stmoritz.com.
From Italian flair to fresh mountain air, there is plenty to enjoy on the tour from Venice to St. Moritz.
The Albula and Bernina section of track is a masterpiece in terms of civil engineering and routing. Landscape and railway blend into one: in wide radiuses, ingenious man-made structures punctuate rugged valleys. The Landwasser Viaduct, the helical tunnels between Bergün and Preda and the Brusio Circular Viaduct all stand testimony to the early, pioneering days of the railway.
It all began with Charlemagne: the Convent of St John can look back on 1200 years of religious and cultural history. The convent church is home to the largest cycle of frescoes from the early Middle Ages to be found anywhere in the world. Soak up the special atmosphere as you enjoy a warming beverage in the Tea Room.
Piazza San Marco, Canal Grande, Ponte di Rialto, the Doge's Palace – the sights of Venice attract visitors from all over the world. But the city on the water has much more to offer: especially if you're prepared to take the time to get to know its true charm. Winter is a particularly good time to visit as there are few tourists around and Venice once more belongs to its inhabitants.
One of the oldest towns in Italy, Padua is home to the oldest botanical garden in the world. Created in 1545 by the University of Padua, the facility still preserves its original layout today. Galileo Galilei is just one of the notable scholars who has pondered the interplay between culture and nature here.
The «City of Palladio» has UNESCO World Heritage status. The palazzi or town houses in the city centre and magnificent villas in its immediate environs, all created by Andrea Palladio, a renowned architect of the Renaissance era, give the city its unique appearance. The Palladian style was also to influence the architecture of later centuries in other European countries, and North America.
The city straddling the Adige river is the setting for the world's best-known love story: Romeo and Juliet. A visit to Juliet's balcony in the historical city centre blurs the distinction between fiction and reality. When it comes to historical buildings, Verona has a rich heritage. A highlight is the Arena di Verona, a masterpiece of Roman engineering.
The oldest national park in the Alps, situated in the area between Zernez, S-chanf, the Ofen Pass and Scuol, provides a safe haven for bearded vultures, deer, chamois and marmots. The Visitor Centre at Zernez hosts an interactive exhibition. The National Park forms the core zone of the UNESCO Val Müstair biosphere reserve.