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Italian Explorer

4.3 stars(15 reviews)

Discover the historic beauty of Italy

11 days From £1,799 per person
Flexible Booking

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

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2021 Tour code: 21ITS

About the tour

Explore the heart of classical Italy, discover the ancient imperial relics of Rome, the artistic treasures of Florence and the striking Leaning Tower of Pisa, as well as the Floating City of Venice.


What’s included


Days 1-2 - London & Rome

Depart by Eurostar to Paris and join the onward train to Mulhouse where you stay for one night. On Day 2 continue to Rome.

  • Day 1 - Dinner
  • Day 2 - Breakfast, Dinner
Trevi Fountain, Rome
Day 3 - Rome

Discover the wonders of ancient Rome on a guided walking tour, starting at the mighty Colosseum. Truly one of the icons of the ancient and modern world, the Roman Colosseum is one of the jewels in the crown of Italy's vast array of famous monuments. Just as popular today as it ever was in antiquity, the magnificent structure is an incredible sight to see up close, and still contains original pathways, corridors and entrance ways used by gladiators to enter the arena.

Continue to the Roman Forum, a former civic centre of Roman public life which is now one of the focal points of Roman tourism. You also see the masterful Trevi Fountain, a favourite among tourists and Romans alike. Your tour ends at Piazza Navonna, and you spend the rest of the day at leisure.

  • Breakfast
Rome Colosseum
Day 4 - Rome at Leisure

Make the most of a free day to continue discovering Rome today. Perhaps pay a visit to the Pantheon, the world's largest reinforced concrete dome, which still holds this title 2,000 years after it was built. Alternatively, you could visit Vatican City, the smallest recognised independent state in the world and the home of the Pope. Breathe in magnificent St Paul's Square and admire the basilica - one of the largest churches in the world. You may also like to visit the Sistine Chapel, home to Michelangelo's world-famous fresco and truly a special place to step foot in. The Borgia apartments are also a highlight of any visit to the Vatican. Designed for Pope Alexander VI, the rooms are exquisitely decorated and fascinating to stroll through.

  • Breakfast
Rome at Leisure
Days 5-6 - Florence & Montecatini Terme

Travel by high-speed train to Florence. Its stunning narrow streets and squares, including the Piazza della Signoria - the people-watching centre of Florence - are only part of the city's charm. Venture indoors and you will find one fifth of the world's Renaissance art, which is kept and displayed is museums, galleries and churches around the city.

Here you enjoy a guided walking tour of the city's main sights, including the 14th-century Ponte Vecchio Bridge, and the magnificent Duomo with its distinctive red-tiled dome. Later, transfer to picturesque Montecatini Terme and check into your hotel for 3 nights.

On Day 6, explore this elegant Tuscan spa town famous for its natural spa waters at leisure. Tourists flock to Montecatini Terme to visit these thermal baths that offer a range of spa treatments - massages, mud baths, saunas, and beauty treatments. There are 9 thermal centres in the extensive thermal park. The architecture of the spas are open-air Art Nouveau style. On a hill atop the town is the medieval village of Montecatini Alto. It is accessible by funicular railway which has been operating since the end of 19th century.

  • Day 5 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 6 - Breakfast
Florence Ponte Vecchio
Day 7 - Pisa & Lucca

Today's full-day excursion by rail heads firstly to Pisa. Here stands the world famous Leaning Tower, which began to lean as soon as it was built and was used by Galileo to study gravity. You can also see the marvellous white marble Duomo. The cathedral is a superb example of Romanesque architecture, often overlooked by tourists who flock to see the tower.

This afternoon, continue to the delightful walled city of Lucca, where you can discover a range of ancient ruins and pretty medieval buildings. Within its impressive city walls, Lucca's narrow cobbled streets and handsome tree-lined avenues lead to a succession of historic buildings dating from all periods since the city's origins as a Roman colony, around 180 BC.

  • Breakfast
Days 8-9 - Venice

Travel by high-speed train to Venice on Day 8, where you stay for two nights. Enjoy a tour of the sights including St Mark's Square and the Basilica. Spend a free day discovering the Floating City of Venice on Day 9. Perhaps take a gondola ride along the Grand Canal, the main artery of crystal blue that runs through the heart of this refined city. Alternatively, you might enjoy a stroll around the grand city, where local bars and restaurants offer delicious 'cicchetti', a Venetian form of tapas, the perfect snack to enjoy with a bubbly glass of Prosecco.

  • Day 8 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 9 - Breakfast
Venice Gondolas
Days 10-11 - Turin & London

Today you travel by high speed rail to Turin, for an overnight stay. On Day 11 you bid a fond farewell to the glories of Italy, beginning your journey home by rail to Paris and on to London St Pancras by Eurostar, where your tour ends.

  • Day 10 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 11 - 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.


Grand Hotel Francia & Quirinale, Montecatini Terme

Grand Hotel Francia & Quirinale, Montecatini Terme

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Hyatt Centric Murano, Venice

Hyatt Centric Murano, Venice

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Enhance your holiday


Extend your European holiday
Eurostar Upgrade
UK rail connections
London hotels
Door to door luggage from £100


4.3 stars4.3 / 5 · 15 reviews

  1. 5 stars
  2. 4 stars
  3. 3 stars
  4. 2 stars
  5. 1 star

Miss J Walker

5 stars

Submitted 18 Oct 2018

The holiday overall with the scenery was lovely . Although the journey from one place to another was long at times and the days long in travelling the scenery made up to it but I do think it could be explained more in the brouchures.

Collected by Rail Discoveries

Mrs S Evans

4 stars

Submitted 27 Sep 2018

The journey to Rome was extremely long and when we arrived at around 9.30pm there should have been a bus to take us to the hotel. The bus was not there and Steve, the tour manager, could not get hold of them, so he suggested that those who were up to it, walk with him to the hotel and those who couldn’t manage it take a taxi. By the time we got to the hotel it was gone 10. Steve then rang the restaurant where we were meant to eat and they had changed location. He arranged for the Smooth Hotel to give us a meal. This was one course and limited choice, but much appreciated as by the time we checked in and were served it was around 10.45pm. After such a long day, I feel our meal should have been arranged for the Snooth Hotel anyway, as we had been travelling since early morning and were all exhausted and would have been regardless of delays etc. The hotel in Venice was way below expectations. The rooms were in dire need of updating. So much so that I was reluctant to spend any time in it. The breakfast was the worst by far we’d had anywhere.

Collected by Rail Discoveries

Mr A Slater

4 stars

Submitted 31 May 2018

Started baldly, St Pancras check in for Eurostar was a nightmare. Staff completely unable to cope with number of travellers. AVOID IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. A little too exhausting both in the walking tours and train journeys. Transfers between station and hotel were too long on foot with a case.

Collected by Rail Discoveries

Mr J Lane

4 stars

Submitted 06 Oct 2017

The trip as whole was very good with good tours and guides at all of the cities visited. The only down notes were the frequent changes of train, especially the journey to Rome (6 Changes) with the accompanying movement of luggage, often through very busy stations. In addition the Hotels were often at a substantial distance from the stations. This could have been made clearer in the trip brochure. The accommodation was good, especially the upgrade Hotel Montebello in Florence.

Collected by Rail Discoveries

Mr R Phillips

4 stars

Submitted 06 Oct 2017

Everything was excellent except for the transfers between hotels and railway stations. We were asked to "briskly" walk for up to 20 minutes with our suitcases along very busy pavements and crossing busy roads: I was very uncomfortable and exhausted.

Collected by Rail Discoveries

Mrs L Henderson

5 stars

Submitted 05 Oct 2017

Everything went as advertised and we had a very good guide, Julie

Collected by Rail Discoveries

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Europe & UK Escorted Holiday by Rail 2020 & 2021

Europe & UK Escorted Holiday by Rail 2020 & 2021

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Italian Explorer

Discover the historic beauty of Italy


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