Making Tracks Through the Alps to Italy
If you’re considering a rail trip to Italy. Why not start out north of the Alps and take the scenic route? There are a number of spectacular mountain passes to choose from. Have a look at the main ones, listed below.
From Nuremberg or Munich through the Brenner Pass
This is our preferred option here at Tailor Made Rail, both for the scenery and the quality of the trains you will be travelling on. Spend some time in the fascinating Bavarian cities of Munich or Nuremberg and then take one of two direct services into Italy, one to Venice and one to Bologna. From Venice or Bologna, you’re connected with the entire Italian high-speed network. The journey through the Brenner Pass is stunning, as you climb up from Innsbruck, over the Italian border and down into South Tyrol and eventually onto the flat plains around Verona.
From Lausanne or Montreux through the Simplon Pass
You can start out from an airport in Switzerland or from Paris with a high-speed TGV direct to Lake Geneva. A wave of text messages through the carriage will indicate that you have crossed the border into Switzerland as the train trundles down into the lakeside city of Lausanne. You can stay here or take a short hop to Montreux, which is also on the Simplon Line. After a stop on this beautiful lake ringed by snow-capped mountains, take a morning service through to Milan. This route follows the course of the Rhone from the eastern end of Lake Geneva, and then uses the Simplon Tunnel to reach the Italian border town of Domodossola. Keep your eyes peeled on the left for the beautiful Lake Maggiore and the picture-perfect Borromean Islands. Change in Milan for high-speed services down the spine of Italy to Florence, Rome and the Amalfi Coast, or simply stay on the train for Lake Garda, Verona and magical Venice.
From Zurich via the Gotthard Pass
Zurich is much more than just a financial centre. It’s a very pretty city with a peaceful lake and buzzing old town area. After your stay here, take a train either through the high-speed Gotthard base tunnel or over the mountains (with a quick change in Erstfeld) into the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, then onwards into Italy via Como and into the bustling Milan Centrale station. You can change at Milan for onward trains to pretty much any major Italian city. How about a trip to Florence, Sorrento and Capri or Venice via the Gotthard Pass? If you’re travelling aboard the famous Venice Simplon-Orient-Express from London, you will also travel this route through the Alps (over the top, rather than through the base tunnel).