Southern Italy’s most impressive coastline by train
The Amalfi Coast and its islands make up one of the most visually stunning regions in the whole of Europe. Starting in the ancient city of Rome, and then based in Sorrento, we visit magnificent Capri and the alluring lost city of Pompeii
Our journey begins at London St Pancras International, where you meet your group and Tour Manager at Great Rail Journeys' dedicated Departure Office. From here, we board the Eurostar, travelling to Paris. Here we change trains and continue by highspeed TGV to Chambéry, where we overnight. We enjoy dinner at a local restaurant this evening.
We travel by rail to Rome, Italy's bustling capital, today. On Day 3, our full day in Rome begins with a guided tour, during which we take in the city's most iconic sights, including the incredibly well-preserved Roman Forum, and the theatrical Trevi Fountain. Following the tour, you are free to spend your afternoon savouring the sights and sounds of Rome's seductive beauty.
Rome's architecture charts the passage of time as clearly as anywhere in Europe; with wonderfully preserved monuments from the early Romans and buildings with distinctive medieval, Renaissance and Baroque features. The most famous sights are a real wonder to behold - no photo can prepare you for the sight of the Colosseum up close. Visit the superb St Peter's Basilica and the Vatican museum, stroll through Rome's atmospheric streets, ascend the monumental Spanish Steps or relax in one of Rome's many squares with a coffee or ice-cream; with its abundance of history and culture, Rome is a city with something to suit every taste.
We continue today by high-speed train to Naples, where a coach meets us to take us to Sorrento. This beautiful coastal town sits perched on a towering cliff in its own mini bay within the larger Bay of Naples, and we spend seven nights here at the 4-Star Hilton Sorrento Palace.
Today we set out along the Amalfi Coast road, which gives incredible views over the shimmering bay and the rugged island of Capri. The serpentine road twists and turns, threading through exquisite villages perched on the lush hillsides. We descend to Positano, an unspoilt traditional village perched on the mountainside, where the pretty pastel houses seemingly tumble into the turquoise sea. The town retains a distinctly old-fashioned appeal, untouched by time in its secluded gorge on the coastline, and at the beach fishermen still haul their wooden boats as they did decades ago.
After lunch together at Positano, we visit the beautiful town of Amalfi, where we have time at leisure to explore. Lively Amalfi is a true reflection of this natural coastal charm, having given its name to one of the most spectacular stretches of coastline in the world, and is dominated by its impressive cathedral and its picturesque harbour - filled with expensive yachts and colourful fishing boats. The jewel of the Amalfi Coast, this is the largest resort along this expanse of beautiful shoreline, and there are a wealth of treasures here just waiting to be discovered.
This morning we catch the Campania Express train (Standard Class) to Pompeii, the world-renowned town tragically buried by ash following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD. The volcanic ash that fell over the city covered everything except some of the roofs of the taller buildings. While it was abandoned and forgotten until its rediscovery in 1748, the ash worked to 'freeze' Pompeii and its people in time; having spent the best part of two millennia buried by ash, Pompeii is considered the best-preserved Roman city in the world. We have a guided tour of the shops, restaurants and villas that made up this fascinating city, as well as the Amphitheatre and the Grand Theatre.
Today is free to enjoy the charming, relaxed town of Sorrento. This incredibly picturesque coastal resort sits in its own 'minibay' within the Bay of Naples, you may choose to explore the narrow cobbled streets filled with beautiful Renaissance buildings, or perhaps relax in the central square, a great place to watch the world go by. A trip to Sorrento's Chiesa di San Francesco is certainly well worth a visit. Situated beside the Villa Communale Park, the Chiesa di San Francesco is one of Sorrento's most beautiful churches, featuring Arabic porticos and stunning bougainvillea blooms draped majestically across the interlaced arches.
We travel by coach today to Herculaneum, a city of Roman ruins that was destroyed by an earthquake in 62 AD. Thanks to its close proximity to Mt Vesuvius, the eruption that blasted Pompeii had a similar effect here, fossilising much of the town. We make our way through the preserved ruins, taking in the fascinating sights of life ancient life.
Today is free to spend as your wish. Sorrento is a delight to explore, with its chic Mediterranean feel, and our base provides easy access to the Piazza Tasso, the town's main square - perfect if you feel like a day of people-watching. Alternatively, perhaps visit one of the area's many museums. On Day 10 we cruise to Capri, the beautiful island famed for its stunning views, rocky seashores and scenic charm. Located in the south end of the Gulf of Naples, just off the coast of the Sorrentine Peninsula, the island has attracted artists and writers for centuries. We include a ticket on the funicular railway which carries visitors to the centre of Capri, and a local guide is on hand to explain the fascinating history of the island and its people.
This afternoon, you may wish to stroll to the dramatic coastal viewpoint or ascend by bus to the pretty village of Anacapri, isolated from the world atop Capri's huge cliffs. This evening, we enjoy a farewell dinner together.
Today we transfer to by coach to Naples joining the high-speed rail service to Turin, where we overnight. If you are returning by air, you will transfer to Naples airport today for your flight home. On Day 12, we continue home to London via Paris.
We offer a Standard Class and First Class rail options for departures on this tour. You can find out which class each departure is by clicking on the information button in the table of prices.
We also offer a fly home option. If you return by air your tour will end on Day 11, when you transfer to Naples airport for your flight to London.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.
An escorted experience and all travel arrangements
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
Enhancing your holiday experience
Southern Italy’s most impressive coastline by train