Winter 2023/2024 – Departures on any day of the week, between 1st November 2023 and 31st March 2024. Prices based upon two people sharing double/twin hotel rooms on bed & breakfast basis; with Standard Class rail travel;, and seat reservations where required. £899
Supplemental charges for optional upgrades:
For 1st Class rail travel throughout – £395
For single-room hotel accommodation, £295
All prices are based upon RoE of €1.20 = £1 and are subject to availability, and will be confirmed at time of booking, as will exact train times when these are confirmed by the railway operators.
Discount fares are available to/from London St. Pancras International from most major UK rail stations, in conjunction with this tour – prices on request.
Hotel note: The hotels chosen for this tour – Milan: Hyatt; Venice: Hesperia or Continental; Rome, Amalfi; Florence Corona d’Italia – were selected for their quality, and proximity to the railway stations. In the event that any of the above hotels are not available, alternative hotels with similar features and location will be offered.
The classic Grand Tour highlights of Italy – Venice, Rome, Florence and Pisa – feel magical even in Winter. The summer crowds that swarm with selfie-sticks are long gone, and you can stroll the storied streets alongside the locals, stopping for a glass of wine, taking your time in museum galleries, lingering over dinner.
Summertime visitors rarely have the time to meet and talk to Italians – and the locals are often too busy to talk to visitors – but the country’s mild winter days are calmer and you’ll find that shopkeepers and restaurateurs have time to chat.
With this tasting-menu of a trip, you can enjoy a quiet evening taking in the sunset over Venice’s Piazza San Marco, get up close and personal with Michaelangelo’s David in Florence, spend a morning exploring the Colosseum in Rome, and grab that classic photo of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, all inside a week’s time. The high-speed trains to and around Italy can stretch a week into something more generous, less harried. Take your time, slow down and indulge a little in la dolce vita.
The following itinerary assumes departure from London on Saturday, returning on Sunday – different timings may result from travel on other days of the week, and in any case may change when the Winter railway timetables are introduced – this page will be updated then as appropriate.
Day 1 Leave London St. Pancras at 08:01 via Eurostar, arriving in Paris Gare du Nord at 11:17. Cross Paris to the Gare de Lyon for the 12:47 TGV train to Milan, Porta Garibaldi station, just a short walk from your hotel Hyatt or similar.
Day 2 Leave Milan Centrale station at 11:45 by the Freccia Argento (Silver Arrow) train to Venice Santa Lucia station arriving at 14:12. As you walk out of the station you are right on the Grand Canal! Turn left, and in minutes you will be checking in at the Continental or Hesperia Hotel, for 2 nights’ stay with breakfast.
Day 3 Free day to explore Venice TIP! The No. 1 Vaporetto (waterbus) runs about every 12 minutes, and takes you all the way from Ferrovia (the Santa Lucia railway station, a few minutes from your hotel) along the Grand Canal, passing under the Rialto Bridge, and ending at San Marco, for the Piazza San Marco and the Campanile! With a 1-day ticket you can hop and off wherever you like (remembering to validate your ticket every time you board!) for a memorable day. Click here for a short (7 minutes) video clip of Venice, guided by acclaimed Tour Guide, Maxwell Wray.
Day 4 Depart Venice at 10:25 for Rome, arriving at the Termini station 14:10. Check into the Hotel Amalfi (2 nights with breakfast), before enjoying the afternoon and evening in Italy’s capital.
Day 5 Free day in Rome.
Day 6 Depart Rome at 09:20 for Florence, arriving 10:21. Check into the Hotel Corona d’Italia, in the historic centre, near to the railway station, for 1 night’s stay with breakfast.
Day 7 Enjoy your morning in Florence. Catch one of the frequent trains to Pisa for afternoon sightseeing. At 16:56, jump on the Frecciabianca (White Arrow) train to Milan Centrale arriving 20:40 for your overnight stay at the Hotel Hyatt or similar.
Day 8 Leave Milan Porta Garibaldi station by TGV at 12:12, to arrive Paris Gare de Lyon at 19:12. Cross Paris to the Gare du Nord for Eurostar train departing at 21:13 for London St. Pancras, arriving 22:30