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Scenic rail journeys, culture and fabulous food

Italy Rail Holidays

Meander past cypress trees as you navigate the Tuscan countryside. Marvel at the Italian masters on a cultural odyssey through Rome. Delve into the extraordinary tales of Pompeii's infamous eruption. And unleash your taste buds in true foodie heaven.

Italy is familiar and surprising all at once. This distinctively boot-shaped nation blends old and new, adventure and relaxation, rustic and luxurious in one very consummately appealing and accessible destination. With a rich heritage, beautiful beaches, delicious food and rolling countryside, it's little wonder that Italy holidays remain consistently sought-after.

Rail journeys take centre stage in our collection of Italy holidays. Immersive, slow travel that connects the dots from Milan to Palermo via whichever route you choose.

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Rail Holidays Italy

Stick a pin in a map of Italy and you’ll likely unearth a scenic or cultural gem. Fascinating history permeates every region of this Mediterranean country. This means there is a lot to explore and potentially a lot of ground to cover.

Jump aboard a train to for a leisurely way to eat up the miles and take in Italy by rail. Simply sit back and watch the rolling countryside glide past your window taking you from one historic centre to another, directly into the heart of cities and towns.

You can also start and end your train journey from the UK meaning there’s no need to fly, minimising travel stress and keeping your carbon footprint down.


The Ultimate City Break

Milan, Rome, Florence, Venice. Just four of Italy’s iconic cities packed full of cultural attractions and fascinating sights that have long captivated travellers. Italy is city break heaven, so why not weave several together in one heady adventure making use of Italy’s extensive rail network.

Make use of our expert knowledge and planning to piece together the logistics, leaving you free to bask in each historic centre. Stroll through narrow streets in search of hidden treasures. Take in famous sites from archaeological wonders to artistic masterpieces.


Where to go in Italy

Hot spots in Italy range from ancient ruins in iconic cities to sandy beaches, rolling vineyards to hilltop towns. The Italian lakes and Tuscany take top plaudits in the scenic stakes of this beautiful country but there’s no shortage of spectacular scenery wherever you go.

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The Eternal City is simply a treasure trove of sights and iconic landmarks. You'll be name-dropping aplenty as you stroll between the Trevi fountain, the Colosseum and the Pantheon, stopping frequently to sample local cuisine at the abundant street-side cafes and bars. One of Europe's tiny countries, Vatican City, nestles in the heart of Rome and you'll not want to miss the head-spinning beauty of Michelangelo's frescos that adorn the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Bored you will not be. The trick is to combine a few famous landmarks with more offbeat exploration, such as a walk to the medieval area of Trastevere – renowned for its traditional trattorias and artisan shops. When in Rome, anything goes...



It's easy to lose yourself in Venice, Italy's famous floating city. Both literally and spiritually, its narrow alleyways, tiny bridges and iconic canals transporting you beyond the normal. Be captivated by the bustling 'traffic' of Grand Canal, perhaps hopping on a gondola for your own inimitable Venetian experience. Browse the shops and stalls on Rialto Bridge, perhaps picking up a trinket of local Murano glassware. Expansive St Mark's Square acts as the focal point of the city with the Doge's Palace sitting adjacent.



The Tuscan city of Florence may be small, but it packs a mighty punch full of charming sights and cultural treasures. Choose your footwear carefully as you prepare to take in all wonders of Florence's cobbled streets. The Duomo–Santa Maria del Fiore with its iconic terracotta-tiled dome is must as is the Uffizi gallery boasting works by Botticelli, Caravaggio, da Vinci, Raphael and Rembrandt. Lunch alfresco in Piazza della Signoria admiring a copy of Michelangelo’s David then sample the city's famous gelato. If you're in a retail mood, browse leather goods in a local market and amble across Ponte Vecchio where jewellery shops line the medieval bridge.


Naples and Sorrento

Bustling Naples is a maze of streets and piazzas lined with striking buildings and monuments. Behind the city looms Mt Vesuvius, the volcano that laid ruin to the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum when it erupted in AD79. The excavated ruins providing a fascinating insight into life in Roman times and are a must to visit. The mere mention of the coastal town of Sorrento conjures up a romantic image of Italy's southwest peninsula. Overlooking the Bay of Naples from the south shoreline, Mt Vesuvius rises on the far horizon. This is certainly a place to exercise your taste buds, sampling Italian cuisine. Stroll the backstreets of this cliff-top town and delight in traditional dishes with the scent of fresh lemons and tomatoes.


Amalfi Coast

Dramatic and beautiful, the clifftop towns along the Amalfi Coast add splashes of pastel-hued colour to the sheer cliff face of the southern edge of the Sorrento peninsula. Keeping up your step count is not a problem as you explore around the towns and villages. Positano is a must with narrow streets and steep stairways leading you to restaurants, cafés, boutiques and galleries. To stretch your legs further, take on the rewarding Path of the Gods - a hiking trail taking you into the mountains offering spectacular views of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

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Sitting off the 'toe' of mainland Italy's boot, across the Strait of Messina, Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean. Famous for its lemons, ancient ruins and smouldering Mt Etna, its cultural heritage blends Arab, Greek and Roman influences. From the precipitous yet charming streets of Taormina's hilltop town to the timeless beauty of Syracuse, there is much to delight and enthral. Grecian art and architecture is magnificently showcased at the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, while the coastal town of Cefalu offers one of the best sandy beach in Sicily. There's a worthwhile hike up La Rocca for magnificent views as well as visit the ruins of the Tempio di Diana. Sicily's capital, Palermo, is an architectural delight with Teatro Massimo, Italy's largest Opera House.



Only around an hour from Florence, yet a world away in terms of visitor numbers, Arezzo is a hilltop Tuscan city bursting with history. Orientate yourself at Piazza Grande, the beautiful main square then uncover a treasure trove of sights from the Roman Amphitheatre to gothic Arezzo Cathedral with its vaulted ceilings and 15th-century fresco of Mary Magdalene. Continue the art theme at the Basilica of Saint Francis housing one of Italy's masterpieces - “The Legend of the True Cross” by Piero della Francesca. Then round off your day with views across the city from the lofty heights of the Medici Fortress.



The narrow alleyways and striking architecture of this beautiful walled city in the geographical heart of Italy speak to its fascinating and long heritage. From Etruscan origins - as characterised by the stunning arched gateways, through Roman, Byzantine and then Papal influences, Perugia's is Umbria's ancient capital. Famous for its churches, artworks and chocolate (home of Baci), this is a charming place to while away a couple of days. A university town, the presence of international students lends it a vibrant atmosphere. Sample tastes of the region and visit Piazza IV Novembre, the Perugia aqueduct and the sixteenth century fortress, Rocca Paolina.



Immerse yourself in the captivating charm of one of the world's oldest cities. Matera is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and former European Capital of Culture with movie star credentials - the opening sequence of James Bond's 'No Time To Die' was filmed here. This is a place to explore leisurely over several days. Sassi di Matera is a complex of elaborate cave dwellings carved into the ancient river canyon that has become the defining feature of the city. Among the extraordinary sites, the rock churches Chiese rupesteri capture the religious culture of the city, while Palombaro Lungo, a huge manmade water cistern speaks of incredible ingenuity.

Hotels in Italy

There’s a wealth of accommodation choices across Italy to suit your preferences and budget. Whatever your chosen route, we’ll help you select the prime location from city centre hotels conveniently located near to top sights to countryside properties offering a room with a view. If you’re travelling on a rail holiday, ensuring good proximity to the railway station is something we’ve taken into account, so your journey is a seamless as possible.

We can also mix and match mid-range hotels with a spot of luxury. Choose waterfront splendour in Venice staying at Ca’Sagredo Hotel or timeless elegance in Florence such as Helvetia & Bristol. Perhaps a view over the Bay of Naples is where you find your happy place. Whatever your choice, we’ll make it happen.


Italy Weather

With its Mediterranean climate, Italy is a year-round destination. Peak summer is the most popular time to visit with average highs in Rome or instance above 30 °C. Spring and autumn can be best for a city break, with cooler temperatures allowing for more comfortable sightseeing as you explore ancient cities. Visit Italy in winter and you can expect higher rainfall and more unsettled weather, but also fewer crowds. The milder climate of southern Italy lends itself to winter hiking.


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