The three great cities of Venice, Florence and Rome are easily and effortlessly visited by train.Allowing Expressions Holidays to organise your rail holiday really does remove the strains and stresses of travelling. In fact, nothing could be more straightforward or enjoyable than visiting these Italian cities by train.We suggest that you start your rail holiday by travelling to the floating city of Venice on an overnight sleeper service from Paris, or you can choose to take day trains and break your journey in the French capital. You can then continue onwards to Florence, widely acknowledged as one of the world’s greatest artistic capitals and birthplace of the Renaissance, and then further south to Rome. Spend three nights in each of these fascinating cities, before returning via Milan where you board the sleeper train back to Paris. For a more scenic route, instead travel home via Switzerland, staying one night in Lausanne.Use this suggested itinerary as a starting point then we can modify it according to your requirements.DAY BY DAY ITINERARYOUTBOUND OPTION 1: DIRECT SLEEPERDay oneYour rail holiday begins on the early afternoon Eurostar to Paris, where you arrive at about 6pm before continuing on the Thello sleeper train to Venice.Day twoArrive in Venice at about 9.30am, where a private boat will take you to the Hotel Ca'Sagredo where you spend three nights.OUTBOUND OPTION 2: DAYTIME TRAINSDay oneStart your rail holiday leaving London around 9am on the Eurostar to Paris where you arrive around midday. You have the afternoon and evening at leisure to explore this beautiful city. Stay overnight at the Hotel Royal.Day twoDepart Paris late morning on the TGV train which takes you to Turin. A simple change here, and you arrive into Venice Santa Lucia a little after 9.30pm from where a private taxi will take you to the Hotel Ca’Sagredo, your base for the next three nights.Days three and fourEnjoy a few days at leisure in the Venetian capital. More than a city, Venice “La Serenissima” is an enchantress. Take the time to discover her winding streets, lavish ballrooms and lively wine bars, and perhaps catch one of local water taxis to explore the islands of the lagoon. Burano, island of lace-making and fishermen, is impressively picturesque whilst on Murano master craftsmen offer demonstrations of glass-making before you enter their shops. A visit to both these islands is thoroughly recommended to provide an alternative view of Venice.Day fiveReturn to Venice station mid-morning, where you catch a train to Tuscany. On arrival in Florence at midday, a private car will be waiting to drive you to Hotel Helvetia and Bristol where you will stay for three nights.Days six and sevenYou have two full days to explore Florence, the ancient capital of the Medicis which is home to a selection of Renaissance treasures. A visit to see Michaelangel’s David in the Accademia Gallery is high on the list of things to do in Florence, along with the majestic architecture of the Duomo and the beautiful work of the silversmiths that line the Ponte Vecchio.Day eightReturn to Florence station to catch a mid-morning train to Rome. You arrive in Rome at midday, and are met and driven to the Hotel d’Inghilterra where you will stay for three nights.Days Nine and TenSpend your days wandering around the Italian capital, discovering the wealth of cultural monuments and sights on offer. With such a diverse heritage of Classical antiquities, medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, you could spend weeks exploring Rome and never see it all. Nonetheless, during your visit be sure not to miss the Roman Forum and the Colosseum.RETURN OPTION 1: DIRECT SLEEPERDay elevenLeave Rome at 6pm travelling northwards by rail to Milan. On arrival you have time for dinner before boarding the sleeper train around 11pm. Day twelveArrive into Paris Lyon a little before 10.30am, and after a change of stations you board the Eurostar to take you back to London where you arrive at lunchtime.RETURN OPTION 2: RETURN VIA LAUSANNEDay elevenLeave Rome at about 9am to travel via Milan to Lausanne in Switzerland, arriving mid-afternoon. Spend the afternoon exploring the lakeside city before checking in to Hotel Angleterre et Residence for one night. Day twelveEnd your rail holiday by travelling on a midday train from Lausanne to Paris, before boarding the Eurostar to London where you arrive just before 8pm.PRICESFrom £2,690 per person for first class rail travelFrom £2,475 per person for second class rail travelPrices based on two sharing a double or twin room.What’s included?First or second class travel on all trains (as above) including EurostarDouble sleeper compartment on Thello sleeper trainsAt the hotels:3 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Standard Room at Ca'Sagredo in Venice3 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Standard Room at Hotel Helvetia and Bristol in Florence3 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Standard Room at Hotel Inghilterra in RomeTransfers: Private return water taxi transfers from Venice Santa Lucia station to the hotel. Private return car transfers from Florence Santa Maria Novella station to the hotel. Private return car transfers from Rome Termini station to the hotel.What’s not included?Meals other than breakfast at the hotelsEarly check in or late check outs at hotels – though we can arrange this on request.Supplements for alternative route optionsAny services not mentioned aboveDatesThis rail holiday can be arranged throughout the year. Timings can vary depending on the month and day of the week.For more information regarding rail services to and within Italy, view our train guide.
Below is some information regarding each of the hotels featured in this touring itinerary. Alternative hotels are available in some destinations - please contact us for full details.
Ca’Sagredo – Venice – 5 starThis is a luxurious palazzo hotel which overlooks the Grand Canal, opposite the historical Rialto market. The 15th century palace has been declared as a National Monument, and is perfect for those seeking an elegant ambience in a historic setting. The hotel has 42 rooms and suites, each decorated in classic Venetian styling with antique furniture, gilt mirrors and Murano glass. Enjoy traditional Venetian cuisine on the splendid panoramic terrace of l’Alcova restaurant from where you can watch the gondolas and boats glide along the water.See more details on Ca’SagredoHotel Helvetia and Bristol – Florence – 5 starA small deluxe hotel with plenty of charm, character and high levels of personal service. Its central location on the Palazzo Strozzi makes it extremely convenient for sight-seeing, within easy reach of the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, Uffizi gallery and exclusive shopping streets. The Hotel Helvetia and Bristol offers an authentic dining experience in the Hostaria Bibendum where guests can choose from a table in the intimate dining room or outside on the glamourous patio-lounge in the Piazza. See more details on Hotel Helvetia and BristolHotel d’Inghilterra – Rome – 5 starThe d’Inghilterra is a charming hotel, of enormous elegance and quality in one of the best locations in the old town of Rome. Just a few hundred yards from the Spanish Steps, the hotel is perfectly situated between two of the most famous shopping streets in the world; the Via Condotti and the Via Borgognona. Occupying a historic palace, the hotel offers 88 rooms and suites; each designed and decorated to give the highest levels of comfort. A luxurious but discreet property, the hotel prides itself on superb service without being pretentious. See more details on Hotel d’InghilterraOther hotels are available in Florence, Venice & Rome.
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CapitalRome AirportThere is a very good scattering of international airports in Italy, with the main ones being Venice, Pisa, Milan, Rome, Bologna, Naples, Genoa, Turin and Bari; on Sicily, Catania is served by several airlines from the UK and on Sardinia you fly to Cagliari or Olbia.CurrencyEuro (£1 = Euro 1.24) SizeItaly is roughly 650 miles long, but only about 100 miles wide Population60 million Average temperatureItaly's temperature varies dramatically, from about 4 degrees in Turin in winter to 33 degrees in Sicily in summer, with snow year-round on the summits of the Pyrenees and Alps National holidays in Italy Some tourist attractions as well as banks etc may close on the following days: 1 January 6 January (Epiphany) Easter Monday 25 April (Liberation Day) 1 May (Labour Day) 15 August (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary) 1 November (All Saints) 8 December (Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary) Christmas Day Boxing Day There are a number of local feast days that can affect conditions locally. In addition to the above days, museums are often closed on Mondays in Italy.
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