Tailormade tour Tuscany by train holiday Italy

9 nights /10 days

Tuscany • Overnight train Paris to Milan return • Eurostar London to Paris return • Train Milan to Florence return

This rail holiday to Tuscany creates a vista of this beautiful region that you can explore by car having travelled to Italy overnight by sleeper train. You spend a night each way on the sleeper from Paris to Milan but once in Tuscany have the use of a car to explore the area. Your base is just south of Florence, with opportunity to relax and explore the Tuscan landscape, Chianti region, the cities of Florence and Siena, and the mediaeval towns of San Gimignano and Arezzo.
Holiday price guide

Available year-round subject to the opening period of the hotels, from about £2,265 per person.

Luxury rail-drive tailormade touring holiday to Tuscany

Highlights

Overnight train journeys both ways Paris to Milan • Stay in Chianti country • Chianti wine route • Visit Siena • Visit Arezzo • Visit Florence

Day by day

You begin your rail touring holiday to Tuscany by travelling out on an afternoon Eurostar service from London St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord. Following a change of station in Paris continue by Thello sleeper train overnight to Milan. We recommend the two bed sleeper compartments on the Thello train. There is a washbasin in the compartments and shared toilets in each carriage.

Arrive in Milan in the early morning to change trains for the journey to Florence arriving at about 9am. Collect your hire-car and drive to your holiday base in the Tuscan countryside, in the Chianti region and only about 40 kms from Florence but is an ideal location to allow for much exploration of Tuscany.

You are here in Tuscany for six days. Explore at your leisure, combining your stay with time to seek out the cultural treasures and scenery that appeal to you, with relaxation at your hotel, and walks in the nearby vineyards. From your hotel you could travel south along the Chianti wine route, stopping off in the wine villages along the way, for example Greve, Radda and Gaiole. The countryside delights with its mix of fields and orchards, olive groves, vineyards and forested hills. There are villas and gardens to visit, as well as the picturesque, fortified town of San Gimignano and Tuscany’s rival city, Siena.

Today consists of a leisurely start as you don’t need to be in Florence until the early evening but you could return your car early, leave your luggage at Florence station and spend the rest of the day sightseeing in the Tuscan capital. You can time your day so that you can have an early dinner in Florence before taking a train to Milan and transferring to the Thello sleeper that leaves at about 11pm.

You arrive into Paris Lyon at about 9.30am, and after changing stations you then take the Eurostar back to London where you arrive at lunchtime.

Holiday price guide From £2,265 per person based on two people sharing a double room including second class rail travel.
From £2,465 per person based on two people sharing a double room including first class rail travel.

Holiday Code ITRD05

Luxury rail-drive tailormade touring holiday to Tuscany

Holiday price guide From £2,265 per person based on two people sharing a double room including second class rail travel.
From £2,465 per person based on two people sharing a double room including first class rail travel.

Holiday Code ITRD05

Our prices include ● Second-class travel on all trains, with standard class on Eurostar (first and standard premier can be booked at a supplement)
● Double sleeper compartment on Thello sleeper train Paris to Milan, Milan to Paris overnight each way
● Hire of a Group B car from 2 to day 9
● 7 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Classic room at Villa le Barone in Tuscany
● Concierge service and Expressions Holidays regional helpful hints

Our prices do not include ● Early check-in or late check-out at any hotels (although we can arrange this on request at additional cost)
● Any other services not mentioned above, such as transfers and meals except breakfast at hotels
● Personal holiday insurance. This is essential and cover should be in place from when you book the holiday.
● Local tourist tax, usually between Euros 1 and 3 per person per night, and payable locally to the hotel
● Transfers in Paris

Expressions Holidays includes these hotels in this touring holiday as suggestions, but they can be substituted by others in the same region, if you have a preference to stay elsewhere.
Hotels included in this tour

Holiday price guide From £2,265 per person based on two people sharing a double room including second class rail travel.
From £2,465 per person based on two people sharing a double room including first class rail travel.

Holiday Code ITRD05

Luxury rail-drive tailormade touring holiday to Tuscany

Highlights of Tuscany

Famous vineyards producing wines of Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Alabaster is produced in Volterra. Gold and silver are worked in Florence and the Ponte Vecchio is lined with jewellery shops. Marbled paper and stationery is a speciality of Florence. Ceramics and hand-painted majolica from raw terracotta from Impruneta to the glazed pottery of Siena are to be found throughout Tuscany. Lucca has traditionally produced silk and hand-woven fabrics. Leather goods including shoes, handbags and belts are to be found from market stalls to designer shops such as Gucci and Ferragamo. Interesting markets include the Mercato dell' Antiquariato which sells furniture from antiques to bric-a-brac in Arezzo on the first weekend of every month, in Pisa on the second weekend and in Lucca on the third weekend. The 'wild' Maremma is known for its long-horned white cattle and cowboys (butteri) and natural springs including Saturnia.

Cultural highlights of Tuscany

As birthplace of the Renaissance, Tuscany contains a wealth of treasures: Giotto`s Campanile and Brunelleschi`s Dome in Florence, the Tombs of Galileo and Michelangelo in Florence`s Santa Croce, Botticelli`s `Birth of Venus` and `Primavera` and the portraits of the Duke and Duchess of Urbino by Piero della Francesca in the Uffizi, Michelangelo`s `David` in the Accademia, the architecture of the Piazza della Signoria in Florence, `The Tuscan Maremma` painting by Giovanni Fattori in the Palazzo Pitti in Florence, the Piazza del Campo in Siena, `The Legend of the Cross` frescoes by Piero della Francesco in Arezzo, `The Creation` fresco by Bartolo di Fredi in the Collegiata in San Gimignano, Romanesque church of the Collegiata in San Quirico d`Orcia, 14th Century Fortezza of Montalcino, Renaissance masterpiece of the church of Madonna di San Biagio at Montepulciano, the abbey-church of Sant`Antimo, mediaeval Lucignano and the towers of San Gimignano, the Etruscan Museum in Cortona.  

Festivals in Tuscany

Many of Tuscany`s festivals resound with the flamboyance of the Renaissance and keep Tuscans and visitors alike in touch with the region`s rich history. Others are linked to Tuscany`s hearty traditions of eating and drinking. The most famous is Siena`s Palio which takes place on 2 July and 16 August each year. Others include the Sagra del Tordo (Festival of the Thrush) in Montalcino on the last Sunday in October when there is an archery contest and charcoal-grilled thrush are a delicacy. In Florence, Calcio in Costume (a football match played in mediaeval costume) takes place in June. Pisa has the Giocco del Ponte (Game of the Bridge), a mock battle in Renaissance dress also held in June. Viareggio celebrates Carnival on Shrove Tuesday with a huge display of flamboyant floats. In May and August Massa Marittima holds the Falcon Contest.  

Gastronomy in Tuscany

Simple country food is at the heart of Tuscan cooking. Regional dishes include Bruschetta (bread or ciabatta toasted and rubbed with garlic, olive oil and salt), Ribollita (bean, cabbage and bread soup), Pasta with hare or wild boar sauce, Porcini mushroom and truffle dishes, Bistecca all Fiorentina (thick cut of sirloin and fillet beef), Cantucci (almond and honey biscuits) served dipped in Vin Santo, Panforte (chocolate, nut and spice cake). Pecorino cheese made from sheep's milk. Local wines include the white Vernaccia di San Gimignano and the Bianco di Pitigliano. Famous reds include Chanti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino and the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Vin Santo made from semi-crushed grapes left for several months is an excellent dessert wine.

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