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A Grand Tour of Italy

Experience Italy's magnificent cities by rail

From $ per person


Experience the very essence of Italy as we discover the Eternal City of Rome, Vatican City, Renaissance Florence, labyrinthine Venice, and iconic Pisa with its unmistakable Leaning Tower

The itinerary for your journey
Tour highlights

What’s included

Days 1-2 - To Rome
Eurostar

Meet at our St Pancras Departure Office for the Eurostar to Paris, continuing to Lyon where we overnight. On Day 2, we journey to Milan, changing trains for Rome (Standard Class). Known as the 'Eternal City', Rome is an endless treasure trove of historic, cultural and artistic delights. We check into our hotel for 3 nights, the 4-Star Hotel Massimo d'Azeglio, in the heart of the city.

Day 3 - Exploring Rome
Trevi Fountain, Rome

Enjoy a guided tour of Rome today, which introduces us to its most revered sights. See the Colosseum, the largest amphitheatre ever built in the Roman Empire, the Roman Forum, the centre of Roman public life for centuries, and Trevi Fountain, a world-famous Baroque masterpiece. Pause en-route for ice cream at charming Giolitti, the oldest gelateria in the city, which dates back to the late 1800s. Purportedly a favourite of Pope John Paul II, Giolittai is also famous as the ice cream parlour which Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck visit in the 1953 film 'Roman Holiday'. The rest of your day is at leisure in Rome.

Day 5 - Discover Florence
Florence

Today we travel by rail to the beautiful city of Florence, the Renaissance capital of the world, where we spend 3 nights. This afternoon, enjoy a guided tour of the city's treasures, including the Duomo with its iconic red-tiled dome and the Ponte Vecchio a 14th-century bridge that is home to 43 jewellers' shops. Tonight, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 6 - Florence at leisure
Florence

Today you are free to explore Florence under your own steam. Much of the beauty of the city is found indoors, with a fifth of the world's Renaissance art on display in Florence, including 1,700 masterpieces in the famous Uffizi Gallery. Known as 'the heart of the Renaissance', this world famous gallery features art by Botticelli, Giotto, Cimabue, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Raffaello, to name some of the most famous. Otherwise, the Giardino Bardini, or 'Bardini Gardens' have a typical Tuscan feel, and are a pleasure to visit.

Day 7 - Pisa and Lucca
Pisa

Today we travel by rail (Standard Class) across the wonderful, rustic countryside of Tuscany, where rolling vine-covered hillsides stretch as far as the eye can see and acres of olive groves and row upon row of cypress, walnut and bay trees surround the railway lines. We pass remote farmhouses and isolated villages as we head to Pisa, the city famous for its leaning tower. In Pisa we enjoy a guided tour that includes the city's incredible Field of Miracles. Here we see the iconic Leaning Tower, and the marvellous white marble Duomo, one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture, with sublime Moorish mosaics.

Later we continue to the beautiful city of Lucca - a place of true beauty that has managed to escape the tourist crowds; one of Italy's best kept secrets. The heart of the city is filled with charming piazzas, small community churches and fabulous art galleries, linked together by narrow cobbled streets and intricate passageways, and we have time to explore the city at leisure. Splendid Renaissance architecture mingles with historic buildings from the Middle Ages, making the city a pleasure to explore on foot.

Days 8-10 - Venice
Venetian gondolas

This morning we leave Florence by high-speed rail, travelling in Standard Class to the floating city of Venice. On arrival, we transfer to our hotel for three nights, the Hyatt Centric Murano Venice Hotel on the island of Murano. There is time for you to start your exploration before dinner tonight.

On Day 9 we enjoy a guided tour in the heart of Venice, beginning in St Mark's Square, which is dominated by the magnificent Basilica di San Marco and the venerable Palazzo Ducale, or Doge's Palace. This afternoon you are free to soak up the atmosphere of this romantic city. For a bird's eye view of the city, take the opportunity to climb the Campanile de San Marco, which offers incredible vistas over the buildings clustered around the centre and the shimmering lagoons further out.

On Day 10 you are at leisure to further soak up the atmosphere of this romantic city. For a bird's eye view of the city, take the opportunity to climb the Campanile de San Marco, which offers incredible vistas over the buildings clustered around the centre and the shimmering lagoons further out. Or, you could choose to take an enchanting gondola ride through Venice's iconic labyrinth of waterways. On the evening of Day 10 we head into the heart of Venice for a farewell meal in a splendid Venetian palace - a truly remarkable end to our adventures in Italy.

Days 11-12 - To Turin and London
Turin

We leave Venice, travelling by rail to Turin. On Day 12, continue to Paris by rail, where we join the Eurostar for London.

Departure Dates

All prices are per person and assume full occupancy of the room.
Please always refer to the website for up-to-date prices and availability.

Trains
Eurostar
Eurostar

The high speed Eurostar trains link St Pancras International in London with Paris and Lille in France as well as Brussels in Belgium.

Eurostar's Standard Class coaches feature two seats on either side of the central aisle, most of which is arranged in an 'airline' seating configuration with drop down tray tables. There are two tables for four per carriage. Passengers travelling in Eurostar Standard Class coaches can take advantage of the Bar-Buffet which sells a range of snacks, meals, hot and cold drinks - including Champagne!

The highest class of Eurostar travel available for leisure customers is Standard Premier Class. In your dedicated Standard Premier carriage you'll find a less dense seat configuration, meaning the seats are larger and you have ample space to relax and stretch out. As part of the service you'll enjoy complimentary drinks and refreshments, served at your seat by friendly, helpful waiting staff.

For the class of travel used on your chosen tour, please refer to the 'What's Included' section of the tour page.

Frecciargento
Frecciargento

With a smart and futuristic appearance, and sleek interiors, the Frecciargento can zip you across the magnificent colours and landscapes of Italy in a matter of hours. In English, it's title means Silver Arrow and this fine locomotive can travel up to speeds of around 160 mph on certain routes.

Originally known as the Italian Eurostar, the Frecciargento forms up part of Le Frecce, a series of high speed trains operating up and down the country. These trains are operated by the Ternitalia company, and were originally introduced in 1997 as the Eurostar. By 2012, the Italian Eurostar trains were changed into different categories, with Frecciarossa being the fastest and Frecciargento being the second fastest. Each Frecciargento train offers First and Standard Class along with a restaurant for comfortable dining.

Frecciarossa
Frecciarossa

Italy's fastest train, the Frecciarossa runs up to a magnificent top speed of 190mph and offers a slick and punctual service up and down Italy. Translating to the Red Arrow in English, the Frecciarossa is Trenitalia premier rail service, offering four different class with each one providing comfortable seats, capable air-conditioning and superb staff who are helpful and professional.

Originally known as the Italian Eurostar, the Frecciarossa forms up part of Le Frecce, a series of high speed trains operating up and down the country. These trains are operated by the Ternitalia company, and were originally introduce in 1997 as the Eurostar. By 2012, the Italian Eurostar trains were changed into different categories, with Frecciarossa being the fastest and Frecciargento being the second fastest, and the Frecciablanco being the least fast. The Frecciarossa offers Executive, Business, Premium and Standard Class as well as a well-stocked restaurant car.

TGV
TGV

Introduced in 1981, France's TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) was the original European high-speed train. Linking Paris with Lyon, the new service revolutionised train travel and meant that travelling by air over medium and short distances was no longer seen as the best option, even for business travel.

The network has expanded rapidly and today these sleek, stylish trains offer links to over 60 destinations throughout France. Operated by SNCF, the French national rail operator, TGV trains travel over specially-constructed high speed lines. The trains can achieve speeds of up to 186mph (300km/h) on most long distance routes and 200mph (320km/h) on the new TGV Est line, which links Paris with Strasbourg, Luxembourg and Basel. With the exception of shorter journeys, TGVs almost always have an on-board buffet car, serving a selection of drinks and light refreshments.

Trenitalia

Connecting the romantic splendour of Italy, crisscrossing its way through Renaissance cities, along golden coastline and around ancient volcanoes, Trenitalia is Italy's superb rail network. Featuring an excellent fleet of well-maintained and modern trains, this rail company is owned by Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, which is run by the Italian government. Operating regional and national services, Trenitalia prides itself on its punctuality and the huge range of services provided by the operator, several of these which include railways such as the Frecciarossia, the Frecciargento and the Frecciblanco services.

Italy by rail is simply stunning. From the flowing green hills and elegant cities of the north, to the Mediterranean climes and the enchanting beaches of the south, an Italian rail journey is not only one of the easiest ways to travel, but is also one of the most panoramic and beautiful. Circumnavigating the magnificent Mt Etna, gliding down the Amalfi Coast, entering the stunning Milan railway station, these are all experiences which are hugely enhanced from the comfort of an air-conditioned Trenitalia carriage.

Hotels
Starhotels Michelangelo, Florence
Starhotels Michelangelo, Florence

The 4-Star Starhotels Michelangelo, Florence is located close to the Santa Maria Novella Train Station, within walking distance of the city centre, which lies just beyond the beautiful River Arno - allowing a pleasantly scenic stroll into the thriving heart of the city. Boasting an on-site restaurant that serves Tuscan specialities alongside international cuisine, the hotel also offers complimentary Wi-Fi throughout both public areas and guest rooms, along with air-conditioned bedrooms that each feature a television with satellite channels and a minibar.

Hotel Massimo D'Azeglio, Rome
Hotel Massimo D'Azeglio, Rome

The 4-Star Hotel Massimo D'Azeglio in Rome enjoys a fantastic location close to the Termini railway station and within walking distance of many of the city's main sights, including the Trevi Fountain, the Roman Forum and the Colosseum. Dating back to 1875, the hotel embodies late-century style and architecture. The lobby, bar and restaurant display an important collection of paintings and prints which reflect the hotel's history. The traditionally-furnished rooms are decorated in an Italian Baroque style and come with individually controlled air conditioning, a telephone, television, minibar, hairdryer, Wi-Fi and a safe.

Hyatt Centric Murano Venice, Murano
Hyatt Centric Murano Venice, Murano

This 4-Star hotel is set within a former glass factory and is contemporary in design. The reception areas feature individually designed glass pieces from the famous glassmaker Venini, whilst the bedrooms are spacious, comfortable and are elegantly decorated in calming shades of cream and beige. Rooms feature air conditioning, ensuite, minibar, radio, Sky television and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Upgrades

We offer a selection of upgrades and 'add-ons' designed to help you make the most of your holiday - and make it even easier!

Inclusive Luggage Upgrade
Baggage Upgrade

To arrange for a second suitcase to travel door to door, just let us know when you book. Prices start from £65 per bag (size and weight allowances may vary depending on airline polices)Please call for more details.

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Extending your European holiday in Paris
Mercure Paris Terminus Nord

Many of our holidays include a final stopover in Paris en route to London. Why not extend your holiday by enjoying an extra night or two in the French capital, returning to London in your own time?

Mercure Paris Terminus Nord, Paris
This 3-Star hotel is full of character, in an exceptional location facing the Gare du Nord station. Bedrooms are well equipped with en suite bathroom, safe, hairdryer, satellite and pay TV as well as direct dial telephone. Decorated in typical Parisian style, the public rooms, including the bar, reflect the hotel's high standard.

London Hotels
London hotels

Spending a night in London before your tour can make such a difference to the first day of your holiday - you can arrive in the capital in good time, relaxed and ready to join your Tour Manager the next morning. You may even want to take in a show on the West End, or dine in one of London's famous restaurants. Perhaps on your return to London, you would like to break your journey with an overnight stay before continuing home.

We are able to book a wide range of hotels in central London or, for our holidays beginning with a flight, at Heathrow, Gatwick or Manchester Airport for the night before or after your holiday. The hotels listed below are some of the more popular hotels our customers book in Central London, others are available on request.

Hotel       Room Rate From Price 
The Ambassador Hotel      From £65 per person

Above prices are approximate, subject to availability, and per room per night based on two people sharing. If you require a quote for single occupancy at any of the hotels please contact us on 01904 734 805. 

UK rail connections
UK train tickets

Buying tickets for UK train services can be a tricky business - there are so many fares to choose from, each with different rules and restrictions. As you are connecting with an international departure, we strongly recommend that you book a fully flexible ticket to ensure that should the departure times for your holiday change, your rail ticket can allow for these changes.

We can book fully-flexible UK rail tickets from your local station to join your holiday whether this be a European holiday from St Pancras or a UK holiday. The prices are competitive and tickets are not restricted to a particular train or time of day, and in most cases offer you a free choice of routes.

For an up to date quote from your local station, please ask one of our Tour Advisors.

This page was printed from www.greatrail.com/au/tours/grand-tour-italy/#IEG20 on 1 April 2020.
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