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A Grand Tour of Italy

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(25 reviews)
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Experience Italy's magnificent cities by rail

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
20202021
12 days From £2,895 per person
Flexible Booking

Book your 2021 holiday before 31st October and you can transfer your holiday for free - no questions asked. T&C's apply

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2021 Tour code: IEG21

About the tour

We immerse ourselves in the very essence of Italy as we head off the beaten track in Rome, discover the rich culture of Renaissance Florence, and visit iconic Pisa with its Leaning Tower. In the romantic city of Venice, we end our holiday with a truly memorable dinner at a Venetian Palace.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Days 1-3 - London and Rome

Meet at London St Pancras for the Eurostar to Paris, continuing to Lyon where we overnight. On Day 2, we journey to Milan, changing trains for Rome, a treasure trove of historic and cultural delights. We check into our hotel for three nights.

Enjoy a guided tour of Rome on Day 3, discovering its most revered sights. See the Colosseum, the largest amphitheatre built in the Roman Empire, the Roman Forum, the centre of Roman public life for centuries, and the Trevi Fountain, a Baroque masterpiece. Pause en-route at Giolitti, the oldest gelateria in the city. Enjoy a taste of the ice cream that's purportedly a favourite of Pope John Paul II, in the charming surrounds of the same parlour that Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck visited in the 1953 film 'Roman Holiday'.

Includes
  • Day 1 - Eurostar meal, Dinner
  • Day 2 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 3 - Breakfast
Trevi Fountain, Rome
Day 4 - Hidden Rome

We're introduced to some of Rome's lesser-known gems today, including the Quartiere Coppedè district. A combination of architectural styles compete for attention here, and the blend of Baroque, ancient Greek, Art Nouveau, and medieval structures give the neighbourhood a whimsical quality. We continue to the Basilica of Santo Stefano Rotondo. This is one of Rome's most unique churches; dramatic frescoes line the circular walls of the interior, each depicting the death of a different martyr, which lends an eerie effect to the beautiful structure. Our final visit is to bohemian Trastevere, known as Rome's 'foodie' neighbourhood due to its incredible cuisine, which we sample during lunch at a local restaurant. This afternoon is free. You could visit Vatican City. The tiny principality includes captivating museums and the famous Sistine Chapel, with superb frescoes painted by Renaissance artists including Michelangelo and Botticelli.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Trastevere, Rome
Days 5-6 - Discover Florence

We travel by rail to Florence, the Renaissance capital of the world, for three nights. This afternoon, we 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 home to 43 jewellers' shops. Tonight, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

On Day 6 you are free to explore Florence. The city is home to an impressive fifth of the world's Renaissance art, including 1,700 masterpieces in the famous Uffizi Gallery by artisits such as Caravaggio and Botticelli. Otherwise, visit the historic Boboli Gardens. Designed for the Medici family, they opened in 1766 and feature Italian-style landscaping, with splendid fountains and statues.

Includes
  • Day 5 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 6 - Breakfast
Florence
Day 7 - Pisa and Lucca

Today we travel by rail across Tuscany, where rolling hillsides and olive groves surround the railway lines. We arrive in Pisa, famous for its leaning tower, where our guided tour includes the Field of Miracles. Here we see the Leaning Tower, and the white marble Duomo, with its sublime Moorish mosaics. Later we continue to the beautiful walled city of Lucca - a place of true beauty. 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 here to explore.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Pisa
Days 8-10 - Venice

This morning we travel by rail to the floating city of Venice. On arrival, we transfer to our hotel on the island of Murano, before we head out to a local restaurant for dinner. On Day 9 we enjoy a guided tour of Venice, beginning in St Mark's Square, which is dominated by the magnificent Basilica di San Marco and Doge's Palace.

This afternoon, and on Day 10 you're free to soak up the atmosphere of this romantic city. For a bird's eye view of the city, climb the Campanile di San Marco, which offers incredible vistas over the buildings clustered around the centre and the shimmering lagoons further out. Or, you could take a 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.

Includes
  • Day 8 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 9 - Breakfast
  • Day 10 - Breakfast, Dinner
Venice
Days 11-12 - Turin and London

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

Includes
  • Day 11 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 12 - Breakfast, Eurostar meal
Eurostar

Additional information

- Travel Options

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 pricing grid.

Departure times

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.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Starhotels Michelangelo, Florence

Starhotels Michelangelo, Florence

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Hotel Massimo D'Azeglio, Rome

Hotel Massimo D'Azeglio, Rome

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Hyatt Centric Murano Venice, Murano

Hyatt Centric Murano Venice, Murano

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Trains

Eurostar
Frecciargento
Frecciarossa
TGV
Trenitalia

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

Inclusive Luggage Upgrade
Extending your European holiday in Paris
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Reviews

96% of travellers would recommend this tour

Based on 25 verified reviews

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Mrs J Hitchcock

Submitted 03/11/2018

I will never need to travel with another company again. Great Rail Journeys are 5 star in every respect. Fantastic holiday.

Katiefrom Great Rail Journeys
This is wonderful to hear, thank you for sharing! We're thrilled your time in Italy was so fantastic and hope to welcome you on another Great Rail Journeys holiday soon.
1

Mr D Marsland

Submitted 13/10/2018

We didn’t waste a single moment! We made new friends. Had lots of laughs!

Mr K Godden

Submitted 09/10/2018

Thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience,well organised and well looked after by Rosie Edwards,also our fellow travellers.The tour guides were also a great asset to the whole experience.Weather helped as well!!!!

Mr M Jones

Submitted 08/10/2018

The first day was quite a long slog. We travelled from our home to London the day before and although we anticipated a long first day it was much tougher than we'd anticipated. Travelled from London to Paris and onto Milan leaving at arring at the hotel at 10.30pm. However from the srcond day with the exception of some early rises the holiday itself was very good. The balance between your own time and guided tours was perfect. All the local guides were very knowledgeable. The hotels seemed to get better as the holiday progressed with the hotel in Rome being very good and the staff very helpful with booking tickets to the Opera. However the best was in Venice on the island of Murano where we had a lovely room and a courtyard to sit and relax in, in the evening after dinner. I have to say we covered some miles on foot during the tour but it was all well worth it. So much to see and do in all the places we visited. The days we had in Venice were very good, completely different to the rest of the tour. Our tour manager worked tirelessly to ensure everything was spot on and after an initial issue it certainly was. My only critiscism of the tour is that it is advertised as 1st Class travel but we didnt experience this. Although the trains were generally clean, comfortable and punctual although a scramble to get on. Made so many new friends as well....

Miss P Booth

Submitted 05/05/2018

I filled in the survey as the trip ended!

Anonymous

Submitted 01/05/2018

Well organised. Relaxing. Visited exceptional cities and had guided tour in each along with days to experience places by oneself.

Europe & UK by Rail 2021 (pre-order)

Europe & UK by Rail 2021 (pre-order)

The definitive guide to our 2021 summer & winter rail holidays to a wide range of destinations in Europe.

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A Grand Tour of Italy

Experience Italy's magnificent cities by rail

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