Grand Tour of Italy
12 Nights
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At a glance
The price displayed includes flights as stipulated in the itinerary, and does not include travel insurance, additional transfers, or pre and post accommodation.
Trip Highlights
Start Destination
End Destination
Day 1
Arrive Milan
Arrive in the stylish Italian city of Milan, where you’ll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.
Day 2
Enjoy a visit to the World Heritage-listed Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, where we see Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting of the Last Supper. Later, we set out on an enthralling guided tour of Milan, including the Duomo, Italy’s second largest church, as well as the Teatro alla Scala. The rest of your day is then free to continue exploring Milan at leisure.
Day 3
First Class Rail, Rome
This morning we head to Milan’s iconic central railway station, its design featuring a wonderful mix of Neoclassical and Art Deco styles. From here we travel by rail to Rome where, on arrival, we walk to our nearby hotel nestled in the heart of the city.
Day 4
Enjoy a guided tour of the Eternal City, exploring some of the many fantastic sights and monuments in this historic capital. We visit the fascinating Roman Forum, the centre of Roman public life for centuries; see the Colosseum, the largest amphitheatre ever built in the Roman Empire; and admire the Trevi Fountain, Rome’s world-famous Baroque masterpiece. This afternoon is yours to savour the sights and sounds of Rome’s seductive beauty at leisure.
Day 5
Spend the day discovering Rome at your own pace. You may wish to visit the remarkably well-preserved Pantheon, ascend the monumental Spanish Steps or take a walk through the bustling streets.
Day 6
Vatican City
Today we are joined by a local guide for a visit to the Vatican City. Our tour of the tiny principality takes us to the Vatican museums and the wonderful Sistine Chapel, with superb frescoes painted by Renaissance artists, including Michelangelo and Botticelli. One of the most breathtaking sights in Rome is found inside St Peter’s Basilica, which has the largest interior of any church in the world. Following the tour, perhaps spend more time in the Vatican, or continue exploring the wonders of Rome as you please.
Day 7
First Class Rail, Florence
This morning we travel to the beautiful city of Florence, the Renaissance capital of the world. We spend three nights here at the Hotel Ambasciatori, located next to the station and close to the city’s historic attractions. This afternoon we enjoy a guided tour of the city’s many treasures, including the Duomo with its iconic red-tiled dome, and the Ponte Vecchio – a 14th-century bridge that is home to glittering jewellers’ shops. Of all the medieval Florentine bridges destroyed during the Second World War, only the Ponte Vecchio was spared. Tonight, savour a tasty Italian dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 8
Enjoy a day to fully immerse yourself in the magic of Florence at your leisure. Much of the beauty of the city is found indoors, with a fifth of the world’s Renaissance art on display in Florence, including 1,700 masterpieces in the famous Uffizi Gallery.
Day 9
Pisa, Lucca
Today we journey by rail across the wonderful, rustic countryside of Tuscany, where rolling vine-covered hillsides stretch as far as the eye can see, and acres of olive groves and row upon row of cypress, walnut and bay trees surround the railway lines. We pass remote farmhouses and isolated villages as we head to Pisa, the city famous for its Leaning Tower. In Pisa we enjoy a guided tour that includes the city’s Field of Miracles. Here we have the chance to take a classic photo with the Leaning Tower, and see the marvellous white marble cathedral, a fine example of Romanesque architecture with its sublime Moorish mosaics. Later we continue to the lovely city of Lucca – a place of true beauty that has managed to escape the tourist crowds. The heart of the city is filled with charming piazzas, small community churches and fabulous art galleries, linked together by narrow cobbled streets and intricate passageways, all of which make Lucca a pleasure to explore on foot.
Day 10
First Class Rail, Venice
After breakfast, we leave Florence by rail and travel in First Class to the floating city of Venice. On arrival, we transfer to the glass-making island of Murano and settle in to our hotel, which is surrounded by the age-old walls of a former kiln. You might like to take a stroll around the island before dinner tonight, passing by its brightly coloured buildings and shopfronts filled with striking displays of glassware.
Day 11
We begin our guided tour in the heart of Venice, St Mark’s Square, which is dominated by the magnificent Basilica di San Marco and the venerable Palazzo Ducale, or Doge’s Palace. Later you are free to soak up the atmosphere of this romantic city. For a bird’s-eye view of the canal-crossed streets, take the opportunity to climb the Campanile de San Marco, which offers incredible vistas over the buildings clustered around the city centre and the shimmering lagoons further out.
Day 12
Continue discovering Venice at your own pace today. Perhaps take an enchanting gondola ride on the canals, ducking under bridges and passing boutique shops, or explore using Venice’s water-bound public transport network – the Vaporetti.
Day 13
Depart Venice
The time has come to say ciao to Venice this morning. After a delicious breakfast, transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
Additional Information
Included Experiences
  • Services of a professional Great Rail Journeys Tour Manager and expert local guides
  • First Class rail travel as indicated
  • Rail excursion through Tuscany to Pisa and Lucca
  • 72-hour Venice Vaporetto pass
  • Airport transfers and tipping
  • 12 nights in premium accommodation
  • Includes 18 meals – 12 breakfasts and 6 dinners
Trip notes
  • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
  • All prices include airport transfers and tipping
  • An increased deposit may be required for upgrades and variations
  • Prices are for land/rail only. Flights not included
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