Essential Cities of Northern Italy
- 10 Days
- From $1,699
- Explore one of the world’s centres of food and fashion with two nights in Milan
- Visit the oldest university in the world in the historic city of Bologna
- Enjoy gondolas, palaces and canals in romantic Venice
- Wander the medieval streets of Verona, home to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
- Decide when you would like to travel
- Adapt the route to suit your plans
- Upgrade your hotels
- Add extra nights, destinations and/or tours
- Standard Class rail travel with seat reservations
- 9 nights handpicked hotel accommodation with breakfast
- Clearly-presented wallets for your rail tickets, hotel vouchers and other documentation
- All credit card surcharges and complimentary delivery of your travel documents
Your trip through northern Italy begins with two days to explore Milan’s galleries, restaurants, plazas and shops. There is so much to enjoy, from beautiful opera houses and Michelin-starred eateries, through to the simple pleasures of people watching with an excellent coffee, that it is worth planning your time carefully. TMR particularly recommends setting aside a few hours to visit the stunning Duomo di Milano – the largest gothic cathedral in the world. Whilst in Milan, you will stay centrally at Hotel Berna (or similar).
Milan is so stylish that even its central station is a remarkable piece of design. You will depart from here by late morning, boarding one of the very fast and very comfortable Frecciarossa to take you directly to Bologna in a little over an hour. On arrival, make your way to Al Cappello Rosso (or similar), where you will be staying for 2 nights.
Bologna is an old city with many nicknames – and not all of them complimentary. But those who poke fun at Bologna often do so out of jealousy and if being called la grassa (‘the fat one’) is the consequence of delicious ragu, tiramisu and gelato, then some prices are worth paying. In addition to the cuisine, Bologna is home to some beautiful architecture, medieval walkways and one of the world’s oldest universities which ensures that this venerable city remains youthful and vibrant.
You will have a final few hours to enjoy la dotta (‘the learned one’ – not all the nicknames were bad!) before getting back to the central station for your train to Venice shortly before midday. It will be a relatively quick journey of around an hour, but you will feel you will have travelled to a different world as you step out into a city dominated by its relationship with water. Following a transfer by boat, you will check into the Hotel Bisanzio (or similar) for a 3-night stay.
Whether it’s the Grand Canal, St. Mark’s Square, the Doge’s Palace, the gondolas or the Bridge of Sighs, Venice’s world-famous attractions draw visitors from all over the world to this unique city. The canals and waterways mean that making your way across Venice will require using a boat of some kind, but there is also plenty to explore on foot, from neighbourhood cafés and restaurants to the renowned art galleries which show case work by Canaletto, da Vinci and Titian. Venetians also like to shop and the city has something to appeal to all tastes, from fantastic food markets to the beautiful products of artisan glassblowers.
Another late morning departure onboard a slick Frecciarossa means you will arrive in fair Verona’s Porta Nuova station just in time for lunch. You might choose to drop your bags at the Grand Hotel des Artes (or similar) first, your home for the next 2 nights, before heading out to choose which of the café-lined piazzas you’re going to settle in for a long and enjoyable meal.
Although he never visited Verona, Shakespeare could hardly have chosen a better setting for his tale of the star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, as the city is undeniably romantic. Weaving cobbled lanes, small town squares, little bars and restaurants serving delicious food and wine, all work to create a wonderful atmosphere in which to spend time with someone special to you. Verona is also well placed to take a day trip to the beautiful Lake Garda, and whether you want to stay to take in an opera performance, or instead just marvel at the nearly 2000 year old construction, be sure to pay a visit to the city-centre Roman arena.
After a final morning to enjoy Verona and its riverside location, you will board a train back to where your Italian adventure began, arriving into Milan Central Station . From here, you can continue through the Alps to Zurich, catch a train to Lake Como, or simply return to the airport for your onward flight.
Typical hotels on this itinerary
The Hotelis within easy walking distance from Milan Central Station. All bedrooms are sound-proofed and come with Wi-Fi internet access air-conditioning, a safe and an en suite bathroom. There is also a welcoming bar and the hotel serves a large, continental breakfast buffet including fresh fruit, pastries and a selection of teas and coffees.
With a history going back to 1375, Hotel Al Cappello Rosso is one of the oldest hotels in Bologna, conveniently located next to Piazza Maggiore in the heart of the city. Bedrooms are all furnished with air-conditioning, Wi-Fi internet access, tea & coffee making facilities and an LCD TV with satellite channels. There is an on-site restaurant serving lunch and dinner and the hotel also offers free bike rental to explore the city.
Combining the traditional Venetian style with a great location and modern facilities, the Hotel Bisanzio is a great base in Venice, just 10 minutes’ walk from St Mark’s Square. Guest rooms come with free Wi-Fi, wooden floors and Murano-glass lamps. There is also a delicious buffet breakfast served daily.
Ideally situated between the train station and the Roman arena in the centre of the city, the elegant Grand Hotel des Arts boasts a convenient location for your stay in Verona. Decorated in an Art Nouveau style, the hotel offers comfortable bedrooms with Wi-Fi internet access as well as an outdoor terrace for summer breakfasts and complimentary refreshments in the hotel lobby.