Aarburg Castle near Zurich, Switzerland

Swiss Literature Tour: From Hesse to Mann

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Customizable Itinerary

This is a sample itinerary to inspire a personalized trip designed with your travel specialist

Countries Visited


Places Visited

Zurich, Basel, Lucerne, Lugano...

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Suggested Duration

7 Days

Switzerland is like a great book that you cannot put down, and your custom tailored tour follows in the footsteps of famous authors who found stimulation and wonder around every cobblestone street.  From Thomas Mann to Albert Einstein, Hermann Hesse to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, you too will find majesty in the emerald trees and rushing rivers, antique wooden bridges, and cozy vintage cafes. The mountain breeze carries the scent of spruce, the clock towers chime the hour and echo through...

Customizable Itinerary

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Trip Highlights

  • Uncover the rich landscape of Lugano that helped inspire the thought-provoking works of Hermann Hesse, best known for his novel Siddhartha
  • Meander through the eclectic city of Basel on a literary excursion following the footsteps of Switzerland’s detective, akin to Sherlock Holmes
  • Witness the large collection of archives and preserved office of noted German author Thomas Mann, housed at the University of Zurich
  • Enjoy the enchanting architecture and landscape of Lucerne, which immerses you in history and fairytales simultaneously
  • Discover the inspiring artistry of Switzerland embodied in the remarkable stained glass windows of the Fraumunster, designed by Marc Chagall
  • Visit the commune atop Monte Verita for an insightful look at an artist colony overlooking the town of Ascona along Lake Lugano 

Detailed Description

The written word is powerful, and literary history shows us pages filled with romance and aspiration, family sagas and tales of revenge. Your 7-day literary tour of Switzerland encompasses the mystical mountains and medieval squares, reflective lakes and recurring folklores that are embodied in the landscape. Visit literary archives of famous writers and let the splendor of the countryside and cityscapes inspire your deepest literary aspirations. Arrive at the Zurich airport where your private transfer will meet you at baggage claim and escort you into the heart of the old city.

Explore Zurich with a private guide to experience the preserved medieval past and contemporary energy between the divided neighborhoods of history and present-day architecture. Your guide will lead you on a remarkable tour that follows the life and times of German writer Thomas Mann. Linger in the writer’s former office and trace your fingers over his manuscripts as archived at the University of Zurich.

Travel next to the city of Basel, home to the mystery writer Hansjorg Schneider, to enjoy a half-day tour of the city and its grand collection of museums that house art and even antique printing presses. Follow the trail of Schneider’s main character, often referred to as the Sherlock Homes of Switzerland, to take in the sites of the city referenced in his books. You will have time to visit Dornach, outside of Basel, where Goethe’s Faust was first performed. Move on to the gorgeous city of Lucerne, located near the mouth of the Reuss River and the shores of Lake Lucerne. Your guide will lead you on an architectural and historical tour of the city to view the preserved structures that are filled with biblical references and medieval enchantment.

Venture across Switzerland to arrive in the town of Lugano located near the Italian border. Find traces of the celebrated author Herman Hesse in a small museum dedicated to his archives before you visit Ascona, where the writer helped start a small artist colony atop Mount Verita. Your private transfer will then escort you to Milan for your flight home. If time permits, follow in the footsteps of Lorenzo and Lucia from the first, and most famous, Italian novel, The Betrothed, en route to the Malpensa Airport.

Starting Price

$3,635 per person (excluding international flights)

Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.

What's Included

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all activities and tours
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip

Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.

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