Grand Rail Tour of Italy Including Sicily

Tour Highlights

Train travel is an epic way to cover Italy from top to bottom, as it offers spectacular views of gorgeous coastlines, mountains and countryside!
This panoramic rail journey travels through many of Italy’s most historical cities (Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan and Naples) and regions (Northern Italy, Tuscany, Amalfi Coast, Calabria, Sicily) all rich in cultural wealth and beauty. This once-in-a-lifetime experience includes   high-speed streamlined rockets-on-wheels as well as slower scenic trains that navigate picturesque terrain.

Tour Highlights:

   • Frecciarossa - high-speed trains to Venice, Florence, Bologna, Rome and Naples
   • Milano - Italy’s capital of commerce and fashion
   • Venice - the extraordinary “floating city”
   • Florence - birthplace of the Renaissance    
   • Bologna - boasts some of the finest cuisine in Italy 
   • Rome - The “Eternal City”
   • The Vatican - St. Peter’s Basilica and Sistine Chapel 
   • Sorrento - Stunning town perched high on the cliffs 
   • Naples - located under the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius
   • Amalfi Coast – the Italian Eden
   • Pompeii -  Campania Express train to the ancient city
   • A scenic railway journey to Calabria 
   • Sicily - the gorgeous crossroads of the Mediterranean
   • Taormina - picturesque Sicilian hilltop town 
   • Mount Etna - Sicily’s scenic active volcano, seen up close on the Circumetnea Train
   • Syracuse - A labyrinth of atmospheric alleyways

* Those joining any of our tours to Europe must be able to walk fairly long distances and climb stairs easily.

Tentative Itinerary

Buongiorno Italia as we arrive in Milan. Prior to checking in to our hotel we will have a short city orientation tour. This evening is our Welcome Dinner.
We board our first Frecciarossa high-speed train from Milan to Venice - the magical city that has enchanted visitors for centuries. Our guided walking tour passes by landmarks such as St. Mark’s Basilica and the amazing Doge’s Palace. There will be free time for you to explore or perhaps take a gondola ride along the Grand Canal.
We board the high-speed train to Florence and transfer to our centrally located hotel. This afternoon our guided tour of the Renaissance city includes the Ponte Vecchio and the Duomo, with a visit to the Santa Croce Basilica where Michelangelo, Galileo and other famous Italians lie. Dinner this evening is in a typical Florentine Restaurant with many traditional Tuscan dishes to sample!
A high-speed train whisks us to Bologna. We will enjoy a walking tour of the unspoiled historic centre lined with charming narrow streets, medieval walls, arched porticos, arcaded walkways and beautiful piazzas. After our tour we return to Florence.
A day at leisure. You may want to visit the famous museums such as the Uffizi, the Accademia or the amazing Boboli Gardens, or you may want to take a quick jaunt to Pisa to view the Leaning Tower!
We travel by high-speed rail to the Eternal City of Rome, and upon arrival we begin our guided tour by coach and on foot. We pass by the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, the magical Piazza Navona and much more.
This morning we visit The Vatican, dominated by St. Peter’s Basilica - one of the world’s most impressive buildings brimming with intricate art, and the Sistine Chapel featuring Michelangelo’s ceiling. Afternoon at leisure. Dinner tonight is in a typical local restaurant.
A high-speed train takes us to Naples, where we will have a guided city tour followed by free time to explore. We then continue by coach to Sorrento for a 4-night stay. The most beautiful town on the Amalfi Coast sits perched on a towering cliff in its own bay overlooking the Bay of Naples.
We travel by coach along the Amalfi Coast - a twisting road that links the idyllic villages set on the cliffs, offering scenic views over the glittering sea. We descend to Positano - an unspoilt traditional town perched on the mountainside, with pretty pastel houses that seem ready to tumble into the turquoise sea. We visit the beautiful town of Amalfi, with its winding paths along the alleyways, and picturesque steps between the pastel coloured houses that seem to hang suspended from the rocks. There will be free time to explore.
The Campania Express train takes us to Pompeii, which was tragically buried by ash during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD. The town was forgotten until 1748 when it was discovered that the ash “froze” Pompeii and its people in time for two millennia. Pompeii is considered the world’s best-preserved Roman city. Our guided walking tour includes the town centre as well as the Amphitheatre and the Grand Theatre.
A full day of leisure allows us to explore Sorrento or perhaps visit nearby Capri by boat.
We transfer by coach to Salerno where we board our train for a scenic rail journey to Calabria, followed by a ferry across to Sicily (the train actually boards the ferry!) Our hotel for the next 4 nights is located in the lovely coastal resort town of Giardini Naxos.
Our tour of the highlights of the city of Taormina includes the spectacular and immaculately preserved Teatro Greco - the grand theatre that was built during Roman times in Greek style. Afternoon at leisure.
Mount Etna is Europe’s largest and most active volcano. With its striking lava fields reaching out almost to the sea, Etna is one of Sicily’s most compelling sights. We take the Circumetnea Train around the mountain’s base, taking in the delightful surrounding villages as well as the breathtaking landscape. Our lunch today is in a local farmhouse on Mount Etna.
A full day tour by train to the ancient city of Syracuse located on the island of Ortigia. We will visit the amazing historic centre and the Spring of Arethusa Fountain. There will be free time before we return to Giardini Naxos by train. Our Farewell Dinner is tonight!
Arrivederci Italia! We fly home via Rome.

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