Classic Italy by Rail
A world of historic art, ancient history, and spectacular landscapes awaits you on this tour of five Italian cities.
A world of historic art, ancient history, and spectacular landscapes awaits you on this tour of five Italian cities. Cruise the grand canals, meander the cobblestoned plazas, and ride the high-speed trains criss-crossing Italy from one amazing sight to the next.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Hotel accommodations for 9 nights
- 11 meals
- Sightseeing including walking tours of Venice and Florence with local guides and city tour of Rome
- Train travel between Venice and Florence and Florence and Rome
- Services of a professional tour manager
Day 1 - International Flight to Venice
Embark on your transatlantic flight to Venice from your U.S. gateway. (International flight not included in tour price)
Day 2 - Venice
Arrive in Venice and transfer to your hotel by boat. Venice is the “Jewel of the Mediterranean,” a glorious cityscape with a wondrous artistic and musical heritage. The city itself boasts a marvel of engineering, built on 118 small islands crossed by its world-famous canals. But this engineering comes with a touch of romance. Overnight Venice. (D)
Day 3 - Venice at Leisure
Begin your day with a walking tour of the city. Venice offers a fascinating blend of Italian culture, an enticing mix of East and West. The city's rich history, its place as an important trading port for the Byzantine Empire, has left its influence everywhere. Exotic sights surround you from the soaring domes of St. Mark's Basilica to the Doges Palace to the master glassblowers in Murano practicing their age-old trade. In the elegant San Marco Square, you'll sip coffee in a small cafe, shop in the boutiques and watch artists at work, recreating these lovely scenes. The rest of the day is yours to discover this magical city at your pace. Overnight Venice. (B)
Day 4 - Venice to Florence by Train
Take a high-speed train to Florence and watch as picturesque hill towns, lush vineyards and beautiful wineries pass by. Walk in the footsteps of great rulers, artists and philosophers as you explore Florence, the breathtaking capital of the Italian Renaissance. The city is steeped in the achievements of great minds who found inspiration here. As you stroll past the glorious marble façade of the Duomo and the quaint shops that line the Ponte Vecchio Bridge, you'll experience the sights that inspired the great Michelangelo as he created his world-famous sculpture of David. Tour the famous Academia Gallery and see Michelangelo's David. Undoubtedly the world's most famous sculpture, the museum also houses five other Michelangelo sculptures - the four unfinished Prisoners and St. Matthew - and a collection of Gothic and Renaissance paintings that were once in the Medici collections. Enjoy your free time shopping for Italian leather goods, art and crystal as lovely reminders of your journey through Italy.
In the afternoon you will travel a short distance by train to Montecatini. Since the 16th century, Montecatini has been revered for its curative waters and healing springs. Today, you can enjoy a soothing spa treatment, or walk through the streets and enjoy shopping and dining. A historic funicular railway, more than 100 years old, runs up the hill to the picturesque town of Montecatini Alto, giving you outstanding views of the exquisite scenery. Be sure to taste the Montecatini wafers, made with almonds and sugar. Overnight Montecatini. (B,D)
Day 5 - Siena
Today take a day excursion to beautiful Siena. Siena is one of Italy's most popular destinations, known for its fine cuisine, art, museums, medieval cityscape and the Palio, a horse race held twice a year in the Piazza del Campo. This beautiful Tuscan town and UNESCO World Heritage Site, is highlighted by the Duomo of Siena, the 12th-century cathedral that serves as a splendid example of Italian Romanesque-Gothic architecture. You'll also see the Palazzo Pubblico, once City Hall, now an art museum, showcasing its famous frescoes or climb the "Torre del Mangia", the tall bell tower overlooking the Piazza del Campo. Siena is also known for its glazed terra cotta pottery as well as locally produced wines and olive oil. Be sure to taste the delicious gelato and panforte, a cake made with honey and candied fruits. Overnight Montecatini. (B)
Day 6 - Pisa
Today visit the town of Pisa where you will visit the legendary Leaning Tower. Overnight Montecatini. (B)
Day 7 - Florence to Rome by Train
Board a high-speed train for your journey to Rome. With a history spanning more than 2,500 years, Rome offers a breathtaking overview of the highlights of Western civilization. From the remarkable Coliseum to the gorgeous Sistine Chapel to Vatican City, this bustling metropolis invites you to imagine life centuries ago as you gaze upon memorials to ancient civilizations. Overnight Rome. (B)
Day 8 - Rome at Leisure
Spend the day at leisure to discover this historic city. Climb the sweeping Spanish Steps and take in the glorious panorama of the city, then walk in the footsteps of ancient emperors at the daunting Roman Forum. As you stroll Rome's picturesque squares and toss your coin in the fabled Trevi Fountain, you'll experience all the thrills of this timeless city -- a vibrant cosmopolitan capital where the art and heritage of the Roman Empire make up the daily fabric of life. Overnight Rome. (B)
Day 9 - Vatican City
Spend the day visiting the stunning Vatican City and a special visit to the Sistine Chapel. You will have the rest of day at leisure before having a farewell dinner. Overnight Rome. (B, D)
Day 10 - Salve, Italy!
As you depart Italy you'll be filled with memories of Renaissance art and architecture, rolling hills and vineyards and all the glory of the Roman Empire.
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
: Departs 27th October 2014 ($2,089), 3rd November 2014 ($2,029)