Call to book01904 734 939
Tour Search
#Favourites

Italian Explorer

Save
4.1 stars(23 reviews)
Gallery

Discover the historic beauty of Italy

10 days From £1,699 £1,649 per person
Winter Savings

Save up to £150pp on selected 2023 European holidays. Offer ends 31st January 2023.  

View terms and conditions

2023 Tour code: 23ITS

About the tour

Explore the heart of classical Italy, discover enigmatic Venice, the ancient relics and modern vibrancy of Rome, the artistic treasures of Florence… beautiful Lucca, and the striking Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - London & Lyon

You meet at London St Pancras where you board the Eurostar to Paris. Change trains and continue to Lyon. Nestled on the banks of the Rhône and Saône, Lyon is France's second-largest city, and you spend the night here.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 - Padova

Leaving Lyon, you travel to the university of Padova, your base for two nights and one of the oldest cities in northern Italy. With its frescoed Scrovegni Chapel, 13th-century Basilica and Old Town, Padova is steeped in history. Soak up the atmosphere as you wander through the Old Town, maybe stopping to watch the world go by from a stylish café.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Venice

Your excursion today is a rail trip to the nearby 'floating city' of Venice. See the main sights of this enchanting city, including vibrant St Mark's Square and the stunning St Mark's Basilica. The rest of the day is free for you to explore Venice at your own pace. You could take a gondola ride along the Grand Canal. Or simply wander along the luminous canals, over pretty bridges and into grand squares where you'll find architecture and art on every corners. Local bars serve 'cicchetti' - a Venetian form of tapas which might range from stuffed green olives or parma ham to sardines, and sandwiches of grilled cheese and sundried tomato on toasted bread. A traditional Venetian drink is a Bellini - a Prosecco and peach cocktail - or, now popular in the UK, an Aperol Spritz.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 - Padova & Rome

You have free time to discover Padova in the morning. You could enjoy the city's impressive artistic and architectural heritage with a visit to the Scrovegni Chapel, with its famous frescoes by Giotto. Or maybe find a café to settle down in with an Italian coffee and pastry. Later, you travel to your next exciting location - the 'eternal city' of Rome, where you check into your hotel for three nights.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Rome

Discover the wonders of ancient Rome on a guided walking tour, starting at the mighty Colosseum. The magnificent structure is an incredible sight to see up close, and still contains original pathways, corridors and passages used by gladiators to enter the arena. Continue to the Forum, a former civic centre of Roman public life. You also see the Trevi Fountain, a favourite among tourists and Romans alike, and the largest Baroque fountain in the world. Your tour ends at Piazza Navonna, and you spend the rest of the day getting to know the fascinating city on your own.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 6 - Rome

Make the most of a free day to continue discovering Rome. You could visit the Pantheon, the world's largest reinforced concrete dome, which still holds this title 2,000 years after it was built. Alternatively, visit Vatican City, the smallest recognised independent state in the world and the home of the Pope. Breathe in the grandeur of St Peter's Square and admire the basilica. The serene Sistine Chapel is another highlight, where you'll find Michelangelo's world-famous fresco. The Borgia apartments are interesting to see if you visit the Vatican. Designed for Pope Alexander VI, the rooms are exquisitely decorated and fascinating to stroll through.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 - Florence

Today you travel by train to Florence. Historic streets and piazzas are only part of the city's charm - venture indoors and you'll find one fifth of the world's Renaissance art, which is kept and displayed in museums, galleries and churches around the city. Enjoy a walking tour, seeing the 14th-century Ponte Vecchio Bridge, and the magnificent Duomo with its distinctive terracotta-tiled dome. Later, transfer to Montecatini Terme and check into your hotel for two nights.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - Lucca & Pisa

You take the train to the delightful walled city of Lucca, where you'll discover a range of ancient ruins and pretty medieval buildings, encircled by beautifully preserved city walls. Lucca's compact area makes it a joy to explore on foot and the wide footpath on the 17th-century walls provides views of the city's many highlights. Maybe spend an hour in the peaceful gardens of the Palazzo Pfanner, in Lucca's centre. In the afternoon, continue to Pisa and visit the world-famous Leaning Tower, which began to tilt as soon as it was built and was used by Galileo to study gravity. Enjoy time to admire the iconic sight, as well as the marvellous white marble Duomo. The cathedral is a superb example of Romanesque architecture, often overlooked by tourists who flock to see the tower.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 9 - Turin

Leaving Montecatini Terme behind, you travel by rail to Turin for an overnight stay in a local hotel.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 - London

Bid a fond farewell to Bella Italia, and begin your journey home by rail to Paris and on to London St Pancras by Eurostar.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour features the same excursions, they may not necessarily be in the order listed above.

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour 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

Grand Hotel Francia & Quirinale, Montecatini Terme

Grand Hotel Francia & Quirinale, Montecatini Terme

View hotel

Hotel NH Padova, Padova

Hotel NH Padova, Padova

View hotel

The Cross Hotel, Rome

The Cross Hotel, Rome

View hotel

Trains

Eurostar
The TGV

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

Extend your European holiday
Eurostar Upgrade
UK rail connections
London hotels

Reviews

4.1 stars4.1 / 5 · 23 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (9)
  2. 4 stars
    (10)
  3. 3 stars
    (2)
  4. 2 stars
    (2)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

Keith Hitcham

5 stars

Submitted 30 Sep 2022

We enjoyed our Italian Explorer tour very much. A big adventure for my wife Janet and I, our first visit to Italy. Yes, at times there was lots of walking and moving cases around as we travelled to our locations, but certain if we were on our own, we would not have seen as much. Admit, another day in Montecatini and Turin would have been good. Many Thanks to our Tour Manager Julie R, she was excellent, and to Everyone in our group. Keith & Janet

Collected by Trustpilot

Malcolm Reeves

3 stars

Submitted 26 Sep 2022

Overall well organised, tour manager very helpful. Perhaps not enough time to explore or maybe to many places visited? The hotels were very good as was food generally.

Collected by Trustpilot

S Gaunt

4 stars

Submitted 25 Sep 2022

Excellent for the right age group but you need to be fit to enjoy this experience

Collected by Trustpilot

keith orchard

5 stars

Submitted 20 Sep 2022

Excellent leader. Lovely places to visit. Well organised. Altogether a superb holiday.

Collected by Trustpilot

Anne

5 stars

Submitted 20 Sep 2022

Fantastic tour, visiting great towns and cities in Italy. A guided tour of the larger cities followed by time to explore on your own. Tour manager was absolutely wonderful, we didn’t have to worry about a thing. A fair amount of walking involved with suitcases and much more round the towns and cities. Definitely a tour not a holiday but great if you want to be taken places, shown around and then left to your own devices. Wonderful as you also get to know the other people on the tour and make friends. Thoroughly recommend it but not for those who are slow walkers or don’t like walking!

Collected by Trustpilot

G Hudson

2 stars

Submitted 31 May 2022

Badly organised by people who do not have knowledge on the ground in Italy e.g. three quarters of a mile walk between station and hotel with cases and bags. Hotels too far away from Venice and Florence. Date of holiday changed 10 days before departure leading to excess cost involved to rebook hotels in London. Guides in Rome and Florence useless. In Florence walked for one hour, with cases, and ended up back where we started. Original hotel in centre of Venice changed to Padova 25 miles away. Allowing a single traveller with COPD on holiday put a burden on other travellers - having to stop and wait and carrying her case and bags. If it hadn't been for a brilliant tour manager the trip would have been a disaster e.g. train cancelled and platform change at last minute.

Collected by Trustpilot

Show 6 more reviews
European and UK Escorted Holidays by Rail 2023

European and UK Escorted Holidays by Rail 2023

The definitive guide to Europe and UK 2023 rail holidays.

Download brochure
Italian Explorer

Discover the historic beauty of Italy

Call

Enquire
Ashleigh Howe
Ashleigh
Lynne Broadley
Lynne
Simon Laverack
Simon
Related inspiration from our journey blog