Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989

November 9 by James Derheim, owner of European Focus Private Tours Germany marks 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall today, November 9. I remember that night well. I was watching a movie in my apartment in ‪‎Darmstadt‬, Germany and my upstairs neighbors called down to me, ‘James, come up here, you won’t […]

When is the best time to visit…?

November 8 Based on our experiences and the feedback from more than 250 tours conducted in our career. Austria: Anytime is a great time to visit this alpine country but the big cities should be avoided in July and August due to heat and crowding. Like to see fresh snow? Late October is pretty much […]

Postcards from Tuscany

November 1 We just spent six nights in Tuscany with repeat clients Eric and Patricia from Sarasota, FL. Here are some reminders of the lovely time we had. Click on any image to get a larger view.

San Gimignano is the Medieval Manhattan of Italy

October 31 We spent three nights here recently with clients from Sarasota, Florida. San Gimignano is one of the most famous of the Tuscan hill towns. It once had 70 towers but today only 13 survive. These towers were built to show the status of various families who were usually in conflict with one another. […]

Venice Earns its Reputation as World’s Most Amazing Place

October 28 Yes there are hoards of tourists. Yes the main thoroughfares between San Marco and the Accademia and the Rialto Bridges are ridiculously crowded. Yes, Venice is slowly sinking into the mud. But my, what a wonderful, colorful, interesting place. Get away from the day-trippers who come in on huge cruise ships or by […]

First Snow of the Season In The Alps

October 24 We were treated to these magnificent views as we made our way today from northern Bavaria to the Austrian Tyrol near Innsbruck.

A tradition that is 1,000 years old witnessed in Rothenburg ob der Tauber

October 25 Our current guests Eric and Patricia from ‪‎Sarasota‬, Florida this morning with three wandering handworkers practicing a tradition that is more than 1,000 years old. The (left to right) fruit farmer, blacksmith and finish carpenter from various places in Germany are on a three year trek around the world to learn their trades […]

Cheese Fondue and Cows – a Dream Comes True in Appenzell

October 21 Tour guide and founder of European Focus James Derheim first met Mariana C. from Sarasota in about 2004 when he and his wife, Jenean, operated a small retail store selling European imports (a sideline of ours for ten years) in the historic Burns Court area of downtown Sarasota. Mariana was a steady customer […]