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Bryn Mawr

Katharine Houghton Hepburn Center

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Normandy with Paris

Co-sponsored with Smith College
With Janie Vanpée, professor of French at Smith College

April 25 – May 4, 2012

The Normandy beaches are inextricably linked with World War II, but there is so much more to this pastoral region. Join us as we discover the charm of France’s Normandy region, a land of beautiful art, delicious cuisine, the famous Calvados brandy, picturesque villages and idyllic countryside. Your exploration begins in the delightful town of Honfleur, long a source of inspiration for artists, writers and musicians. Visit Monet’s house at Giverny and admire the peaceful gardens that featured so prominently in his paintings. Tour the delightful town of Rouen, and travel to Bayeux to see its renowned masterpiece, the Bayeux Tapestry. Visit Caen and its Caen Memorial, which honors all those who fought in the D-Day battle. Journey to Omaha Beach to learn about D-Day and its impact on World War II. Shifting light and shadows play over gently rolling hills and shores that have seen history change course. Half-timbered houses stand over ancient streets. The rich tang of creamy cheeses and the warm glow of Calvados brandy please the palate as your senses thrill to the palpable history of tranquil villages and the gentle countryside. Our adventure concludes in Paris, with its world-renowned monuments, fashionable avenues and chic shops — a pleasing end to this unique program.

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Preliminary Itinerary
(please click on location to reveal details)


DAY 1: April 25, 2012 IN TRANSIT

Depart your gateway city for Paris aboard scheduled jet service.*

DAY 2: April 26, 2012 - HONFLEUR

Upon arrival, transfer* to Honfleur and the Mercure Honfieur Hotel. Tonight, attend a Welcome Reception at the hotel and a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.

DAY 3: April 27, 2012 - HONFLEUR/LISIEUX

Educational Focus: A Brief History of Normandy.
Excursion: Historic Honfieur, Dehght in the town of Honfleur, long a source of inspiration for artists, writers and musicians. See the Old Port, the wooden Church of Saint Catherine and other highlights.

Excursion: Cheese, Calvados andlisieux.
Journey to Chateau de Breuil, one of the most esteemed Calvados distilleries. Enjoy a taste, and discover the traditional method for producing this warming brandy, distilled from fermented apple cider. Continue to Lisieux and visit the Basilica of Saint Therese. Conclude at Domaine St. Hippolyte, which produces the famous Pont I'Eveque and Livarot cheeses.

DAY 4: April 28, 2012 - GIVERNY/ROUEN

Educational Focus: Normandy, the Birthplace of Impressionism
Excursion: Claude Monet at Giverny. Visit Monet's house, located at the top of the gardens featured so prominently in his paintings. Admire their tranquil beauty, then visit the studio where he painted his famous "Water Lily" series. Today, it contains a museum dedicated to his life.

Excursion: Historic Rouen and Joan of Arc.
Tour Rouen's Old City, known for its half-timbered houses and Gothic architecture, and see Rouen Cathedral. Visit Place du Vieux Marche, the site of Joan of Arc's martyrdom.

DAY 5 : April 29, 2012 - BAYEUX/CAEN

Educational Focus: Contemporary Normandy
Excursion: Bayeux and Caen.
Discover Bayeux, cradle of the Norman dynasty. View the Bayeux Tapestry, a masterpiece depicting the events leading to the Norman invasion of England and the Battle of Hastings. It stretches 200 feet and dates from the 11th century. Visit the Gothic Cathedrale Notre-Dame, which was consecrated in 1077. In the afternoon, continue to Caen, where you will visit the Memorial for Peace, which honors all of the heroes of the D-Day battle.

DAY 6: April 30, 2012 - HONFLEUR

Independent Exploration: The day is at leisure.
Educational Focus: Culinary Traditions of Normandy.

DAY 7: May 1, 2012 OMAHA BEACH

Educational Focus and Excursion: D-Day and the Battle of Normandy.
Take an emotional journey to Omaha Beach, where the largest concentration of U.S. troops landed on June 6, 1944. A historian explains the D-Day events and their impact on World War II. Continue along the coastline and visit the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial at St. Laurent-sur-Mer.

DAY 8: May 2, 2012 - PARIS

After breakfast, transfer to Paris and the Hotel Jules.

Excursion: Highlights of Paris. This afternoon, join a panoramic tour of the city. See the Eiffel Tower, Cathedral of Notre Dame and other famous sights.

Independent Exploration: The remainder of the day is free for sightseeing or shopping.

DAY 9: May 3, 2012 - PARIS

Independent Exploration: Your final day in France is at leisure. Tonight, attend a Reception, Graduation Ceremony and Farewell Dinner.

DAY 10: May 4, 2012 - IN TRANSIT

Transfer to the airport for the return flight to your gateway city.*

NOTE: Itinerary subject to change. Some events on this program involoean element of walking

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Cost and Program Inclusions

Land cost . . . . $2,695*

*Preliminary, based on double occupancy


  • Six nights In Honfleur, France, at the first-ciass Mercure Honfleur Hotel.
  • Two nights in Paris at the first-class HotelJules.


  • Deluxe motor coach transfers between Honfleur and Paris, including baggage handling.

Activities and Events

  • Informative educational programs presented by local experts will enhance your insight into the region.
  • All excursions as outlined in your program itinerary.
  • Attend a Welcome Reception and Dinner
  • Gather for a Farewell Reception and Graduation Ceremony followed by a Farewell Dinner.

Extensive Meal Program

  • Enjoy eight breakfasts, five lunches and four dinners; tea or coffee with all meals, wine with dinner.
  • Sample authentic regional specialties during select meals at featured local restaurants.
  • Take advantage of leisure time to try the local cuisine independently

Program Highlights

  • Experience the charm and culture of Normandy, one of France’s most historic regions
  • Explore the charming town of Honfleur
  • Discover the magnificence of Paris
  • Savor the regional specialties during visits to a Calvados distillery and a maker of some of Normandy’s famous cheeses
  • Visit beautiful Bayeux and view the ancient Bayeux Tapestry, which tells the story of the Norman Conquest of England in 1066
  • Travel to Giverny and visit Monet’s home; see Rouen’s splendid cathedral and historic squares; and Lisieux to discover its magnificent basilica
  • See the D-Day landing beaches, including poignant Omaha Beach, and the Normandy American Cemetery and the Caen Memorial

Included Extras

  • Consultation services of a dedicated Passenger Service representative prior to departure
  • Campus director from AHI with you throughout the trip; expert English-speaking local guides throughout your stay
  • Detailed travel and destination information to assist in planning
  • Tipping of excursion guides and drivers
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Host Lecturer

Janie Vanpée

A native of Belgium, Janie Vanpée earned an A.B. from Smith College and a M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Yale University.

Professor Vanpée's scholarly work focuses on problems of representation in the 18th-century novel and theatre. Her essays on Rousseau's Emile, ou de l'Éducation; Laclos's Liaisons Dangereuses; the painter Jean-Baptiste Greuze; the revolutionary pamphleteer, playwright and feminist, Olympe de Gouges; and on the Encyclopédie, have appeared in journals such as Eighteenth-Century Studies, Eighteenth-Century Fiction, L'Esprit Créateur, Theatre Journal, Modern Language Studies and Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century. She is also the co-editor, with E. S. Burt, of "Reading the Archive: On Texts and Institutions" in Yale French Studies.

Vanpée joined the Smith faculty in 1985 and has taught intermediate language courses, the French immersion January interterm course, as well as courses that highlight the literature and culture of the French enlightenment. She participates regularly in the comparative literature program, teaching courses on the epistolary novel, the picaresque novel and contemporary literary theory.

Vanpée directed the Smith Junior Year Abroad Program in Paris in 1999-2000 and again in 2003-04.

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