From Venice to Sicily by train
From its ancient and classical cities to its hillside villages and dramatic coastline, Italy offers something for all visitors. On this incredible adventure we travel the length of this attractive country, taking in iconic sights such as Venice, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Pompeii, and lesser-known places like Tuscan Siena.
Meet your group and Tour Manager at the 4-Star Hotel Sant'Elena in Venice for a two night stay.
With its unique cityscape and rich heritage as head of the Byzantine Empire, Venice has enchanted visitors for centuries. Today we enjoy a guided tour, seeing landmarks such as St Mark's Basilica and the dazzling Doge's Palace.
The afternoon is free for you to explore; perhaps take a tour of La Fenice Theatre. This opera house, with its ornate stuccoes and furnishings, is a joy to discover.
Leaving Venice, we join the high speed train to Florence for three nights at the 4-Star Hotel de la Ville. This afternoon we take a guided tour of the Renaissance city, including the Ponte Vecchio and the Duomo with its red-tiled dome. Afterwards, you are free; why not head to Piazzale Michelangelo to enjoy the stunning view over the city? Later we enjoy a meal in a local restaurant.
Today we visit the typically Tuscan city of Siena. The city's well preserved centre is interlinked by a web of narrow streets that lead to the Campo, a grand shell-shaped piazza. We take a guided tour of this charismatic city, including the Duomo, built from strips of black and white marble. Later we visit an agriturismo for a typical Tuscan lunch.
We take the train (Standard Class) to Pisa today, where we have a guided tour of its sights in the Field of Miracles. Here we see the Romanesque Duomo and the world-famous Leaning Tower, one of Europe's most iconic buildings. In the afternoon we visit Lucca - a delightful city that has escaped the tourist crowds. You are free here to explore the walled city's medieval core and ramparts, and to maybe visit the Guinigi Tower, known for the oak tree growing from its top.
Today we travel by high speed rail to the 'Eternal City' of Rome, Italy's attractive capital, where we spend three nights at the 4-Star Grand Hotel Palatino. This afternoon we take a guided tour, by coach and on foot, past the landmarks that have shaped this mesmerising city over thousands of years. We pass the Colosseum where thousands of Roman citizens would watch the brutal blood sports which often showcased gladiators and wild beasts for the joy of the crowd, and we see the Roman Forum, which played a vital role in Roman public life, which is now iconic as a monument of Imperial Rome and her vast empire. We also take in the magnificent Baroque Trevi Fountain, a wonderfully detailed sculpture set in a tiny square.
The next two days are free for you to continue exploring Rome; the city's impressive array of architecture charts the passage of time as clearly as anywhere in Europe, with distinctive Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque attractions. Perhaps visit the Pantheon and its domed roof. The roof is a masterpiece of human engineering, and the entire building has seen surprisingly little change in 2,000 years. Other popular attractions include the Spanish Steps, a traditional lovers' meeting place, and of course the tiny principality of the Vatican City. Here you can marvel at the Sistine Chapel and enter the colossal St Peter's Basilica another masterpiece, and perhaps the most awe-inspiring religious structure in Rome.
We travel by high-speed train to Naples, then continue by coach 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 three nights at the 4-Star Hilton Sorrento Palace. We pause en-route to visit an agriturismo, where we enjoy a sumptuous lunch, followed by a tasting of limoncello, a popular local lemon liqueur derived from the plentiful lemon orchards that surround Sorrento. Once in Sorrento we take an orientation tour; the narrow cobbled streets feature an exciting fusion of palace buildings and quaint old churches. Dinner is served in a local restaurant this evening.
Today we set out on the Amalfi Coast road. This twisting lane links the idyllic villages set on the cliffs, and offers scenic views over the glittering sea. Our first point of call is Positano, an unspoilt traditional village perched on the mountainside, where the pretty pastel houses seemingly tumble into the turquoise sea. Here we have free time for an extended photo-stop, allowing us the opportunity to capture Positano's charms on film. Next, we visit picturesque Amalfi; like the nearby villages, Amalfi has been untouched by major developments and its layout on a steep terrain has preserved much of its historic charm and is dominated by its impressive cathedral and its picturesque harbour - filled with expensive yachts and colourful fishing boats. Perhaps visit the cathedral, or admire the other fine sights of this former maritime republic. After Amalfi, we drive to Ravello. Set on the cliff top, amid green lanes and hillsides, this beautiful village offers stunning views towards the sea.
This morning we travel by Standard Class rail to Pompeii for a tour of this Roman city, whose residents were famously preserved by volcanic ash. On Day 12 we transfer to Salerno for a scenic railway journey, followed by a ferry across to Sicily.
On Day 13 we visit Mount Etna, Europe's largest and most active volcano. With its striking lava fields reaching out almost to the sea, Etna is one of Sicily's most compelling sights. We take the Circumetnea train (Standard Class) around the mountain's base, taking in the delightful surrounding villages as well as the breathtaking landscape, before making our ascent.
We take a guided tour of Taormina's highlights on Day 14, including the spectacular Teatro Greco. This grand theatre was built during Roman times in a Greek style, and is immaculately preserved. From the top of the auditorium, there are views of Mount Etna in one direction, and the peaks of Calabria in another.
On Day 15, transfer to Catania airport for your flight home.
For this tour, we recommend arriving into Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) which is approximately 12 miles from your first hotel. Our recommended departure airport is Catania Airport (CTA), which is approximately 43 miles from your final hotel.
It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
You may check in at the first hotel on your itinerary anytime after 14:00; you will meet your tour manager and group at dinner at approx 19:00.
An escorted experience and travel during your tour
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
From Venice to Sicily by train