Journey through the history that has shaped our world
BE THERE at the places that were the breeding ground of rich, diverse and often dark periods of history from Mafia origins to English battles and Frenchy occult.
Historical Tours takes its guests on small group, guided tours with scholars and celebrities - art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon, best-selling historical novelist Lisa Hilton and award-winning author Clare Mulley join its ranks in 2019. Dr. Suzannah Lipscomb, Tudor expert Elizabeth Norton, and leading military and political historian Col Paul Beaver are also all on board, among others.
Historical Trips 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."
- 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. Mussolini's granddaughter is set to make an appearance during this tour.
- 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. 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.
- 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. The son of Mafia boss Bernardo Provenzano will give a talk to the Cosa Nostra tour group in Sicily.
- Walk around the remains of the Treblinka death camp remains on the Poland at War tour 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.
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.
Napoleon's 250th birthday
To celebrate this birthday Historical Tours has two 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.
Back by popular demand
- Back in 2019 are 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.
For all tour information and costs, go to www.historicaltrips.com/