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4.3 stars(15 reviews)
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Discover the historic beauty of Italy

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
20212022
10 days From £1,599 per person
Regional Travel Offer

Free Standard Class return rail tickets: from your local station to London (excluding any Transport for London travel in London and Gatwick/Heathrow Express) available on all Rail Discoveries 2022 European Holidays by rail

Terms & Conditions

2022 Tour code: 22ITS

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.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - London & Lyon

You meet at London St Pancras where you board the Eurostar service 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 in a local hotel.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 - Padova

Leaving Lyon, you travel to Padova. Nestled on the banks of the River Bacchiglione in the Veneto region just to the west of Venice, Padova, or Padua, is one of the oldest cities in northern Italy. With its frescoed Scrovegni Chapel, 13th-century Basilica, Old Town filled with stylish cafés and university that was established in 1222 (making it the second oldest in Italy), Padova's streets are steeped in history. You check into your hotel for the next two nights.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Venice

Travel by train to the nearby 'Floating City' of Venice. Enjoy a tour of the elegant city's main sights, including vibrant St Mark's Square and the stunning Basilica. The rest of the day is free for you to explore Venice at your own pace. Perhaps take a gondola ride along the Grand Canal. Or, take a relaxed stroll exploring the narrow alleyways and grand squares, where local bars and restaurants offer 'cicchetti'. This Venetian form of tapas is the perfect snack to enjoy with a Bellini, a Prosecco and peach cocktail that originates from Venice.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 - Padova & Rome

Enjoy a little free time to discover Padova in the morning. You could up the city's impressive artistic and architectural heritage with a visit to the Scrovegni Chapel, where you can admire the famous frescoes by Giotto. Or, find a café to settle down in with a strong cup of Italian coffee. Later, you travel onwards to the 'eternal city' of Rome and check into your hotel for the next three nights.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Rome

Discover the wonders of ancient Rome on a guided walking tour on Day 5, 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 remarkable 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 wonderful city on your own.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 6 - Rome

Make the most of a free day to continue discovering Rome. Perhaps visit 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. The serene Sistine Chapel isn't to be missed, home to Michelangelo's world-famous fresco. 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.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 - Florence

Travel by train to Florence. Narrow streets and squares 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 red-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, all encircled by incredibly preserved city walls. Lucca's compact area means that it is a joy to explore on foot and atop the 17th-century walls, a footpath forms a circuit which provides views of the city's many highlights. In the afternoon, continue to Pisa. Here, you 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 the glories of Italy, beginning 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

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The Cross Hotel, Rome

The Cross Hotel, Rome

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Hotel NH Padova, Padova

Hotel NH Padova, Padova

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Trains

Eurostar
The TGV

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Reviews

4.3 stars4.3 / 5 · 15 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (6)
  2. 4 stars
    (8)
  3. 3 stars
    (0)
  4. 2 stars
    (1)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

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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European Escorted Holidays by Rail 2022

European Escorted Holidays by Rail 2022

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Italian Explorer

Discover the historic beauty of Italy

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