My wife and I will be touring Italy in September. The tour ends in Venice. We would like to visit a couple of specific James Bond film sites in Switzerland since we will 'be in the neighborhood'. Specifically, we want to travel to see the Piz Gloria restaurant, and also travel to see the sites in the Furka Pass (the winding mountain road and the Pilatus Aircraft factory). I need assistance as to what is the best place to use as a base in Switzerland for these excursions, how best to get there from Venice, and how best to see these sites- rent a car and go on our own, or is there a tour for the area? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
John, It's reasonably easy to reach the Schilthorn from Venice. The rail trip is ~6 hours to Interlaken Ost, depending on which train you choose (usually two changes in Milan and Spiez). From Interlaken, use local transportation to your "home base" of either Lauterbrunnen, Mürren or Gimmelwald. Of the three, Mürren is the closest to the Schilthorn, so provides the quickest trip (but the other two are also good locations). If you need detailed information on the transportation from Interlaken Ost, post another note. Using Mürrren as an example, there are two Cable Car legs to reach Piz Gloria. The first goes to the intermediate station at Birg, and the next goes to Piz Gloria. If you're staying in Gimmelwald, add one leg. The first trip in the morning is discounted, but I'd have to check for the current prices. It's a bit of an expensive ride, but the prices are discounted with various Rail or Regional Passes. If you can spare a few days in the Berner Oberland, you might want to have a look at other attractions in that area (ie: Jungfrau, Trummelbach Falls). I don't have any information on the Furka Pass, but suspect that a rental car would be needed for that. Happy travels!
Almost the entire movie was filmed in the Berner Oberland region. The are scenes shot in Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen, Murren, Grindelwald and of course the Schiltorn (Piz Gloria). Base yourself in one of the above places for about three days and you'll be able to see where about 75% of the movie was filmed. At Piz Gloria they run a short film/montage of all the locations.
Rick's Switzerland guidebook has a whole chapter for this area.
Even non 007 fans will see some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere in the world.
As the others pointed out above, Piz Gloria/Schilthorn is definitely a sight you want to see!
http://www.schilthorn.ch/en/ Any Bond fan will recognize the Schilthorn/Piz Gloria as Blofeld's lair from "On Her Majesty's Secret Service." In fact, when you are up there (AMAZING cable car ride up; and the views from the observation deck are spectacular; you enjoy head-spinning, 360 degree views of the Alps!), one room shows film clips of the "OHMSS" scenes filmed there. And as anyone who knows that movie well is aware, a good chunk of the scenes were, indeed, filmed up there. In fact, when I returned home after my time there, could not wait to watch "OHMSS" again! As for home-base, a village in the Bernese Oberland, such as Wengen or Murren, would be very convenient (not just for the excursion to the Schithorn, but for all of the Bernese Oberland's must-see sights, the best hiking in the region, etc.). It's one of the most beautiful/spectacular regions in Europe; enjoy!
For the Furka Pass, it would be best to have a car, preferably an Aston Martin. Or maybe a white Mustang convertible (which your wife would drive). Lacking those, I would choose a motorcycle if the weather is good, but a small rental car would get there too. There is a steam train over the Furka pass, but it seems to go below the road, and misses all the switchbacks where the chase scene took place. You can see the route on this map from the www.dfb.ch website: http://www.dfb.ch/fileadmin/shared/dfb/marketing/Bilder_Moser/Bilder_Moser_FahrRes/furka_panoramakarte_2012.pdf It looks like a Postbus also covers the route if you don't wish to rent a car. You could take it from Oberwald to Andermatt. The Pilatus aircraft factory is at Stans, near Luzern. To get to these places from Venice, you could take the train Venice to Milan and Milan to Luzern, and pick up a rental car there. You can get an idea of where these places are from the Swiss travel system map: http://www.swisstravelsystem.ch/fileadmin/pdf/STS-G-PASS-S-07-GZD01.pdf Yellow marks the roads used by the Postbus system and you can drive these roads in the the summer. To get to the Piz Gloria site, you could either return the car at Luzern and ride the train, or keep the car and drive there by one of the very scenic routes through the Alps. I wouldn't try to do all this fromon e"base". Maybe a night or two at Luzern (depending on your choice of train or car to travel to the Schilthorn), and two mights at Mürren. Those are minimums and if you have more time, it is well spent in this region.
Piz Gloria has a nice breakfast buffet. You can enjoy a nice breakfast and watch the scenery go by. The restaurant revolves. The Jungfraujoch is spectacular too.
Thanks for all of the information. I will investigate the many suggestions, and will likely be back with some additional questions. All of the suggestions can get one very excited about a trip to this region of Switzerland.