Grand Tour of Italy
- 19 Days
- From $3,099
- Nine fantastic destinations in 19 days
- The cultural capitals of Venice, Rome and Florence
- The stunning resorts of Lake Como and the Amalfi Coast
- The island of Sicily and the beautiful city of Taormina in the shadow of Mt Etna
- Add extra nights & destinations
- Choose alternative hotels
- Upgrade your journey to First Class
- Let us suggest the most scenic routes
- Standard Class rail travel with seat reservations
- 18 nights’ handpicked hotel accommodation with breakfast
- City maps and comprehensive directions to your hotels
- Clearly-presented wallets for your rail tickets, hotel vouchers and other documentation
- All credit card surcharges and complimentary delivery of your travel documents
Arrive in Venice and take a water bus (vaporetto) down the Grand Canal to the Hotel Bisanzio (or similar) where you will spend 2 nights.
The magical city of Venice has so much to offer including the famous piazza, St Mark’s Square which opens up onto the head of the Grand Canal and the Venetian Lagoon. You might like to visit the art collection at the Accademia or perhaps hop on a boat to explore the other colourful islands on the Lagoon, like Murano (famous for its glass production) and Burano.
After enjoying breakfast at your hotel, take in the scenery during your train journey to Rome. Arrive in the afternoon and check in to the Empire Palace Hotel (or similar) where you will spend 3 nights.
Two full days in this historic city will allow you to discover such iconic landmarks as the Colosseum and Roman Forum, the Pantheon and the Vatican City including St Peter’s Cathedral and the Sistine Chapel. Throw a coin in the Trevi fountain and legend says you’ll return to this fascinating city.
Depart for Salerno in the morning. After a 2 hour train journey and a taxi ride with beautiful views of the coastline, arrive at the Pasitea Hotel (or similar) in colourful Positano. From here, this world-renowned stretch of coastline is at your fingertips.
TMR RECOMMENDS: Why not extend your stay on the Amalfi Coast and hire a car so that you can get out and see more of region? We can also arrange boat trips to Capri or Ischia.
The next leg of your journey takes you right along the Western Coast of Italy to the southern tip of the mainland. Here, the train runs onto a boat, taking you across the Straits of Messina and connecting to the Sicilian rail network, allowing you to continue your journey onwards to Taormina.
The Excelsior Palace Hotel (or similar), is located right in the heart of Taormina, making it the perfect base for your 4-night stay in the area.
Make the most of the three full days exploring this part of Italy’s eastern coastline. Taormina is one of Italy’s most popular summer destinations and thanks to its hill top position, boasts some breathtaking views.
The picturesque city of Syracuse is also nearby or, if you are feeling adventurous, it is possible to take a tour to the tallest active volcano in Europe-Mount Etna (trekking and jeep safari tours available – just ask the TMR team for more details).
A direct train from Taormina takes you to Naples, Italy’s third largest city, famous, amongst many other things, as the birthplace of pizza! Naples is Italy’s third largest city and its historic centre a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Check into the Grand Hotel Parker’s (or similar), relax and enjoy views of the city skyline. As well as discovering some of this flamboyant city’s palaces, churches and piazzas, you might also like to visit nearby Pompeii and Herculaneum. Please ask us if you would like to add a tour here.
From Naples, Florence is only a short train journey of just under 3 hours. Check into the San Gallo Palace (or similar) for 3 nights and discover the magnificent World Heritage Site of Florence’s historic centre, taking in sights such as the awe inspiring Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and the famous Ponte Vecchio, spanning the River Arno.
From here it is also possible to take a day trip to Pisa with its Leaning Tower as well as the colourful villages of the Cinque Terre.
Leaving Florence behind, make your way to stunning Lake Como. Set against a backdrop of the Alps, this is one of Europe’s most spectacular lakes, combining natural beauty and historical significance.
With two full days and 3 nights at the Barchetta Excelsior Hotel (or similar), you could relax in the town of Como, or hop on a boat to explore the length of the lake, perhaps visiting nearby Bellagio or one of the other pretty villages scattered around the shoreline.
As your Grand Italian train tour comes to an end today with a final journey from Lake Como to Milan, wave arrivederci to Italy and take an onward flight from this international transport hub, or stay a while and continue enjoying the world renowned food and culture of Italy.
Don’t forget that, should you have more time, many of Europe’s most famous sights are only a train ride away.
Typical hotels on this itinerary
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.
Set between Via Veneto and Piazza Barberi in a restored 19th-century palazzo formerly owned by a noble family, this upscale hotel features refined rooms decorated in a classic style along with marble bathrooms. Highlights include a Mediterranean restaurant, piano bar, attractive courtyard, and fitness centre.
Overlooking the bay of Positano, the multi-terraced Art Hotel Pasitea provides air-conditioned rooms with a private sea-view balcony and free Wi-Fi, as well as spectacular views. Guests can choose from a large selection of national wines at the hotel’s elegant wine bar, and taste other Italian gastronomic specialities.
The Excelsior Palace Hotel occupies a Moorish-style building, with panoramic views of Mount Etna and the hillside village of Castelmola. The hotel boasts a swimming pool and pool bar overlooking the coast, an a la carte restaurant and a concierge service. The famous Greco-Roman Amphitheatre is just 10 minutes’ walk away.
This stately 19th-century hotel overlooks the Bay of Naples and features period rooms and marble bathrooms. Upgraded rooms have balconies with city or ocean views. Facilities include a rooftop restaurant and bar with panoramic sea views, a fitness room, and a spa with a hammam, sauna and hot tub.
Featuring a Florentine garden where breakfast is served, the peaceful San Gallo Palace is a 15-minute walk from the Accademia Gallery. The hotel offers classically furnished guest rooms with parquet flooring, and free Wi-Fi throughout. Rooms are air-conditioned and decorated with luxurious fabrics and leather chairs. The hotel’s buffet breakfast includes cappuccino or herbal tea, with Tuscan ham and pastries.
Overlooking Piazza Cavour on the shore of Lake Como, this modern hotel offers elegant rooms with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and minibars. Some rooms have lake views and/or balconies. Guests can enjoy fine regional cuisine at the in-house restaurant, Bistro.
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Located just off the famous St Mark’s Square, this splendid hotel is an icon of Venice. The hotel consists of the Bauer L’Hotel, the Casanova Rooms annexe and the palatial Bauer Il Palazzo, which fronts onto the Grand Canal. The De Pisis restaurant is known throughout the city for its quality and service.
Occupying a great location on the Via Veneto, close to the Villa Borghese gardens, the Majestic Roma features spacious and elegantly decorated bedrooms, a lovely restaurant with a terrace overlooking the street and a well-equipped gym. The hotel has been accommodating guests since 1889 and is one of the Leading Hotels of the World.
The stylish Savoy Hotel in Florence occupies a historic building in the centre of the city with the Uffizi Gallery and the famous Duomo both within easy reach. The interior of the hotel is designed by Olga Polizzi and pays tribute to the fashion heritage of Florence with shoe paintings lining the corridors. Bedrooms are spacious and the service is exceptional.