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A Grand Tour of Italy

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4.6 stars(19 reviews)
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Small Group

Experience the unmissable sights and hidden gems of Italy

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
20212022
12 days From £2,895 per person

2022 Tour code: IEG22

About the tour

We immerse ourselves in the hidden gems 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

Day 1 - London to Lyon

We meet at London St Pancras and board the Eurostar to Paris. Here, we change trains and continue to the French city of Lyon. Sat on the Rhône and Saône rivers, Lyon boasts centuries of history within its handsome city centre, and we spend the night here in a local hotel.

Includes
  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Day 2 - Rome

Leaving Lyon, we travel to Milan in Italy. Here, we board the train to Rome, a world-class city and treasure trove of historic and cultural delights. Also known as the 'Eternal City', Rome is a place that offers its visitors seemingly eternal moments of discovery. From the remains of the ancient Roman Empire, including the world-famous Colosseum, to its striking Baroque fountains and enticing side streets lined with quaint cafes, there's a whole host of enticing things to discover here. We check into our hotel for three nights.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Rome

We're introduced to the cultural highlights of Rome on a guided tour that takes us to its most iconic landmarks. We see the incredible Colosseum, one of the most familiar symbols of Ancient Rome and an awesome sight to behold up close. We also see the Roman Forum, the centre of Roman public life for centuries, and the Trevi Fountain, a Baroque masterpiece that's arguably one of Rome's most beautiful sights. We pause en-route at Giolitti, the oldest gelateria in the city. Here we enjoy a taste of the ice cream that's said to be 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
  • Breakfast
Day 4 - Rome

Today's guided tour takes us to some of Rome's lesser-known gems. We visit the Quartiere Coppedè district, where a blend of Baroque, ancient Greek, Art Nouveau, and medieval structures give the area 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 inside, each depicting the death of a martyr. Finally, we visit bohemian Trastevere, known as Rome's 'foodie' neighbourhood, where we enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. This afternoon is free. Perhaps visit Vatican City and see the peaceful Sistine Chapel, taking in its breathtaking frescoes painted by artists including Michelangelo and Botticelli.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 5 - Florence

We travel by rail to Florence, the Renaissance capital of the world, where we spend three nights. This afternoon, we enjoy a guided tour of the city's treasures. We visit the Duomo, with its iconic red-tiled dome that dominates the city skyline. Built between 1296 and 1436, it's found in the appropriately named 'Piazza del Duomo', where alongside the Baptistery and Giotto's Campanile - a free-standing bell tower - it boasts UNESCO World Heritage status. We also visit the beautiful Ponte Vecchio, a famous 14th- century bridge that's home to 43 jewellers' shops.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - Florence

You're free to discover Florence, the 'jewel of the Renaissance', at your own pace. Picturesque, narrow streets and handsome squares, including the Piazza della Signoria - the people-watching centre of Florence - are only part of the city's charm. Much of the beauty of the city is found indoors, with one fifth of the world's Renaissance art kept and displayed in Florence's museums, galleries, churches, monasteries and palaces. You could visit the famous Uffizi Gallery to admire the 1,700 masterpieces housed here. Or, you could visit Boboli Gardens. Designed for the Medici family, the gardens opened in 1766 and feature splendid fountains and statues.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 - Pisa and Lucca

We travel by rail across rural Tuscany, where rolling hillsides and olive groves line our route. We arrive in Pisa, a city famous for its leaning tower. On a guided tour here, we discover the Field of Miracles, seeing the Leaning Tower and the white marble Duomo, with its sublime Moorish mosaics. We continue to Lucca, a wonderful, historic city filled with beauty. The heart of the city is filled with charming piazzas, small churches and fabulous art galleries, linked by narrow, cobbled streets and intricate passageways, and you have free time here to explore.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 8 - Venice

We travel by rail to the 'Floating City' of Venice. An intricate network of lagoons and canals makes Venice one of the most unique cities in the world, and its renowned for its incredible art and architecture. On arrival, we transfer to our hotel on the island of Murano, where we stay for three nights, before heading to a local restaurant for dinner.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 - Venice

We get to the heart of Venice today on an insightful guided city tour. We head to St Mark's Square, the heart and soul of the city for centuries with its blend of intriguing architecture. The bustling square is surrounded by landmark buildings, including the Basilica di San Marco, a true symbol of Venetian glory, covered in spectacular mosaic marble carvings. We also see the Doge's Palace, overlooking the square and the lagoon beyond. The palace is a historic political powerhouse and served as the residence of the Doge of Venice. Today, it's preserved as a fascinating museum. This afternoon you're free to continue exploring Venice at your own pace.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 10 - Venice

Enjoy a day free to soak up the atmosphere of the romantic city of Venice. For a bird's eye view, climb the Campanile di San Marco, which offers incredible vistas over the centre and shimmering lagoons further out. Otherwise, Venice lends itself perfectly to idle wandering. Possibly the best way to enjoy its captivating charms is to let yourself get lost in the myriad of winding alleys and twisting lanes that make up the city centre. This evening, we head into the heart of Venice for a farewell meal in an elegant Venetian palace - a truly remarkable end to our adventures in Italy.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11 - Turin

Bidding a fond farewell to Venice, we take the train to Turin. Turin boasts a fantastic architectural heritage and is rich in beautiful green parks, spacious boulevards and airy squares lined with grand buildings. We check into a local hotel here where we spend the night.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12 - Turin and London 

Leaving Turin, we continue by rail to Paris. Once in the French capital, we change trains and join the Eurostar service to London St Pancras.

Includes
  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal

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

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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NH Collection Palazzo Gaddi Hotel, Florence

NH Collection Palazzo Gaddi, Florence

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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

4.6 stars4.6 / 5 · 19 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (12)
  2. 4 stars
    (6)
  3. 3 stars
    (1)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

P Harris

5 stars

Submitted 21/Oct

Really great time

Collected by Trustpilot

Mark Warrick

5 stars

Submitted 21/Oct

A really brilliant introduction to Italy: six cities in one tour, staying three nights each in Rome, Florence and Venice and one in Turin, with a day trip to Pisa and Lucca from Florence. Local dishes in the included meals and a good balance of inclusive tours and unallocated times which we were able to use to good advantage. We liked the "hidden Rome" tour which took us to places we'd never have thought of visiting but were well worth seeing. We liked that we stayed on Murano in Venice because we may not otherwise have thought of visiting it.

Collected by Trustpilot

Mrs J Hitchcock

5 stars

Submitted 03 Nov 2018

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

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr D Marsland

5 stars

Submitted 13 Oct 2018

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

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr K Godden

5 stars

Submitted 09 Oct 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!!!!

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr M Jones

4 stars

Submitted 08 Oct 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....

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

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Europe by Rail 2022

Europe by Rail 2022

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A Grand Tour of Italy

Experience the unmissable sights and hidden gems of Italy

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