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Vienna art tourVisit Vienna, Austria, this summer and study its art treasures on a tour led by Dr. Andrew Laurie Stangel, former director of the Art History Tours program for U.S. armed forces in Europe.

The tour, July 9-15, is designed as a cultural visit to the city, with stops at museums, monuments and Viennese coffeehouses. Highlights include visits to the Lipizzaner Museum; the Art-Historical Museum; the Venus of Willendorf in the Natural History Museum; the imperial treasure chamber of crown jewels and art in the Schatzkammer; the greatest collection of musical instruments, arms and armor and antiquities from Ephesus in the Neue Burg; the Schönbrunn Palace; and the collection of rare books and manuscripts in the Austrian National Library.

There is also free time for sightseeing at such sites as the modernist house of architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser; Sigmund Freud House-Museum; and Imperial Crypt and Central Cemetery, with the graves of Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Strauss and Schonberg.

The cost is $1,290 per person, double occupancy, and includes accommodations, all breakfasts and admission fees per itinerary. Get details from Stangel by calling the U.S. number 603-774- 7308.

South African summerFly to South Africa this summer on a tour organized by RTT Travel in Ramstein, Germany. It runs June 18-29 and leaves from Frankfurt.

The trip begins in Johannesburg and Pretoria, with a visit to the Southwest Township (Soweto), the birthplace of the anti- apartheid movement. You then are driven through the Drakensburg Mountains to the Blyde River Canyon, Bourke’s Potholes and other scenic locations for a “photo safari.” In the Kruger National Park, you stay for three overnights in a camp bungalow.

Next is a flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town for a visit to the city and day trips to the Cape of Good Hope, plus the vineyards and gardens in Stellenbosch.

The cost is 2,299 euros per person, double occupancy, and includes flights, lodging for nine nights, coach travel and 17 meals. For more details, call (+49) (0) 6371- 46360 or go to www.RTTtravel.com.

Discount cruisesUniworld Grand River cruises, which conducts trips through Europe, including parts of Russia, is offering discounts for those who reserve by March 31.

The company is knocking $150 to $300 per couple off its normal prices for selected sailings. If you cruise through Portugal in June or July, for example, the price is $2,148 per person after the $150 per person discount. If you choose another month, the discount is $75 per person. The trip includes two hotel nights in Lisbon and seven nights of cruising on the Douro River.

For details, call 800-733-7820 or go to www.uniworld.com.

Train for cycle racingIf you have a serious passion for cycle racing, you might want to polish your skills this summer at the Velo Venato Racing Camp in Castelcucco, northeastern Italy, in the foothills of the Dolomite Mountains.

The operators claim it’s the only true racing camp in Europe, and in a country where racing is part of the culture.

From March to October, there are hundreds of competitive weekend races to choose from in the region. These races are divided into age groups, from the “debutante” (15 to 18 years) to the “Super Gentlemen B” (63 to 70). Women often race with the latter. Courses are usually five to 15 kilometers long.

The camp is open late May to September. Training is tailored to all fitness levels, from beginners to experts. You train on nonracing days (Monday is a rest day) starting at 9 a.m. Rides last two to four hours, depending on the program. You may ride in the mountains to the north or on the flat plains to the south. Some days include rides in the Dolomites and the famous climbs of the Giro d’Italia.

There are no mandatory arrival or departure dates. There is no set length of stay, but the camp suggests a minimum of two weeks. The daily base rate is $175 per person, which includes a private villa (shared rooms), three meals plus wine, training rides, transportation to races and other camp activities. Discounts are available for longer stays. A racing license (mandatory) costs about $40. The team jersey (mandatory for races) costs 35 euros. Racing entry fees are $9.

Find further details at www.veloveneto.com.

Best betsENGLAND: If you’re playing in a band, DJ-ing or recording music, London’s Sound Expo, going on at the Olympia through Saturday, is the place for you. About 60 technical recording and software companies will be there to exhibit the latest in the field. In addition, there will be seminars on recording and mixing, a panel discussion with producers and engineers, and a daily drawing for a Sound on Sound Digital Village studio kit worth 65,000 pounds (about $127,000). The show is open until 5 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Admission is 10 pounds. Details at www.sounds-expo.co.uk.

— Jayne Traendly

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