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Explore the heart of classical Italy, discover the ancient imperial relics of Rome, the wealth of artistic treasures of Florence and the striking Leaning Tower of Pisa, as well as the Floating City of Venice.
Depart by Eurostar to Paris and join the onward train to Mulhouse where you stay for one night. On Day 2 continue to Rome.
Discover the wonders of ancient Rome on a guided walking tour, with sights including the Roman Forum, the former civic centre of Roman public life. Here many items of politics would be debated and discussed from issues throughout the empire, the forum is now one of the focal points of Roman tourism. You also see the masterful Baroque Trevi Fountain, especially splendid at night the fountain is a favourite among tourists and Romans alike.
The rest of the day is free for you to explore this incredible city; the mighty Colosseum should not be missed, truly one of the icons of the ancient and modern world the Roman Colosseum is a beloved homage to the political and military brutality that forged the Roman Empire. Thousands of baying Romans would watch the blood spill as gladiators, prisoners and wild beasts fought it out in front of their eyes. Just as popular as it ever was in antiquity the Colosseum is one of the jewels in the crown of Italy's vast array of ancient monuments. The Pantheon is also a highlight, the world's largest reinforced concrete dome - it still holds this title even 2,000 years after it was built. This magnificent piece of human engineering is on a muted scale when compared to the Colosseum or Forum, however it is all the more glorious for that, its simple charm is certainly part of its genius, no where else in the world will you see such rounded, man-made perfection.
Make the most of a free day to continue exploring the city. Perhaps visit the Vatican City, the smallest recognised independent state in the world and the seat of the Pope. Breathe in magnificent St Paul's Square and admire the basilica - the magnum opus of Renaissance architecture and one of the largest churches in the world. You may also like to visit the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo's world-famous fresco and a vast collection of other masterpieces are on display here, the Creation of Adam and the Last Judgement are known the world over, you can enjoy them in all their splendour (entry fee payable locally).
Travel by high-speed train to the artistic city of Florence, and stay at the 4-Star Hotel Croce di Malta for three nights. This afternoon 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.
Today is free for you to continue exploring this picturesque city at leisure. Its narrow streets and 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. One fifth of the world's Renaissance art is kept and displayed in Florence's museums, galleries, churches, monasteries and palaces.
Today's full-day excursion by rail heads firstly to Pisa, known for its famous Leaning Tower, which you have free time to admire. This afternoon continue to the delightful walled city of Lucca, where you can discover the range of ancient ruins and pretty medieval buildings.
Travel by high-speed train to Venice today, and check in to the 3-Star Hotel Belle Arti in Venice for two nights. Later, enjoy a tour of the floating city's sights including St Mark's Square and the Basilica.
You are at leisure to explore the magic of the Floating City of Venice today. Perhaps take a gondola ride along the aptly named Grand Canal, the main artery of crystal blue that runs through the heart of this refined city. Sit in awe as your gondola bobs up and down from the wake of passing speed boats and you pass under the fabulous Rialto Bridge, a stunning 16th century construction. Alternatively, you might enjoy a stroll around the grand city, where local bars and restaurants offer delicious 'cicchetti', a Venetian form of tapas featuring fresh seafood, perfect to be enjoyed with a bubbly glass of Prosecco.
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 high-speed TGV to Paris then returning to the UK by Eurostar, where your tour concludes on arrival.
Please note that while every departure of this tour features the same excursions, they may not necessarily be in the order listed above.
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.
This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
of travellers would recommend this tour
based on 6 verified reviews
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.
Wonderful locations, friendly group, great weather and excellent train journeys.
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.
Thoroughly enjoyable. The trains were clean, comfortable and on time! (Network Rail eat your heart out!). The biggest headache was getting through customs at St Pancras! The hotels were all different but each had its own charm and rooms were clean, comfortable if at times a little small. The two overnight stops were a bonus.
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.
Very well organised. First time with this company and I was impressed with our tour manager. Trains through Europe were very comfortable. Local guides introduced us to the towns we visited: Rome Florence and Venice. Hotels were very good with one exception. Overall good value for money.
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.
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.
well organized excellent Tout Manager one criticism not enough time for the transfer between stations in Paris on our return
Everything went as advertised and we had a very good guide, Julie
Discover the historic beauty of Italy