Itinerary Highlights
    • Travel through Italy’s landscapes as you city-hop from north to south and back up again by train.
    • Immerse yourself in Italy’s rich history and culture with private walking tours in cities like Milan, Rome, Palermo, Florence and Verona.
    • Savour island life on the Mediterranean as you spend six days road-tripping around sumptuous Sicily.

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From glassy Alpine lakes to sumptuous Sicilian coves and crumbling Roman ruins to swanky art-deco neighbourhoods, this great Italian rail journey is infused with history, culture and scenic beauty at every turn.

After dipping your toes in the azure waters of Lake Geneva in Switzerland, embark on your first train journey through the Alps and into the heart of the world’s most beautiful boot. The first port of call is the fashion-forward city of Milan, where you’ll get your first taste of Italy’s renowned Renaissance architecture on a visit to the Duomo Cathedral. Next up, is a city that needs no introduction: the captivating capital of Rome. Spend four days discovering world-renowned ancient sites, palatial residences and the marvels of Vatican City before hopping on a southbound sleeper train.
The second chapter of this adventure takes place on the sun-drenched Mediterranean island of Sicily. After soaking in the eclectic sites of Palermo, spend six days winding your way around the island in a hire car, between golden Baroque cities, luscious countryside and the peaceful coves of the Ionian Sea. Your final ten days in Italy are all about experiencing the cosmopolitan jewels of the north. Learn about the birth of Renaissance art in Florence, eat celebrated culinary delights in Bologna and bask in the Shakespearean charms of Verona. Round off your adventure with a second foray into Switzerland as you spend a day exploring the colourful lakeside city of Zurich


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Touchdown in Switzerland

Your rail adventure across Italy’s lovely landscapes begins today with a two-hour flight to the neighbouring country of Switzerland, where you’ll have the opportunity to sample the serene Swiss way of life before plunging into the heart of Italy. Your first destination is Lausanne, a quaint old city perched on the shores of Lake Geneva. Spend the rest of day resting, relaxing and soaking in the exceptional natural landscapes that surround your grand lakeside hotel.


Travel through the alps

Bathed by the waters of Lake Geneva and surrounded by a string of emerald hills, Lausanne offers a wealth of scenic and cultural charms. The cobbled streets of the old town, overlooked by the imposing silhouette of the Notre Dame Cathedral, are steeped in history. There’s also Plateforme 10, the new arts district, which has cemented the city as a major cultural centre. Spend the morning discovering the city at your own pace before heading to the train station to catch your first train.

140 miles separate the shores of Lake Geneva from those of Maggiore, which takes just under three-and-a-half hours by train. The locomotive crosses the valleys of the Alps before slowing down at the station in Milan, the capital of Lombardy. On arrival, check-in for two nights in an elegant hotel in the heart of the Centro Storico, near the bustling hub of Piazza del Duomo, and spend the rest of the evening settling into your new Italian environment.


Milan walking tour

Rise and shine, it’s your first full day on Italian soil and there’s not a moment to waste. After a relaxing morning, head out for a private tour of Milan in the company of a knowledgeable local guide. Stroll from your hotel to the nearby Duomo Cathedral, one of the city’s most famous landmarks. The exterior of the building is a masterpiece, with its delicate stone lacework, intricate carvings and towering spires. After exploring the cultural and religious offerings inside, head to the roof for breathtaking views across the city.

Next up, is the Galleria Vittoria Emmanuele II, which is named after the first King of Italy and is the nation’s oldest (and fittingly regal-looking) active shopping gallery. Take your time browsing the luxury stores spread across this four-storey double arcade. Finish up with a tour of the Teatro Alla Scala, a beautiful theatre that counts itself among the three most prestigious opera houses in Italy.

After a morning spent soaking in the colossi of the city, why not spend this afternoon visiting one of Milan’s hidden gems? Located just a few miles from the city is the Chartreuse de Pavie, an exceptional monastery complex that pays homage to the Lombard Renaissance with its flamboyant carvings of saints and Roman emperors.


All roads lead to Rome

Make your way back to the train station to embark on the next leg of your journey: a three-and-a-half-hour ride through Tuscany’s rolling hills and vineyards to Rome. While it might be tempting to jump off the train when you pull into Florence and Bologna, hold steady, as you’ll be looping back here later on. A private driver will be waiting for you on arrival in the capital to whisk you off to your next hotel: an elegant, centrally-located property that is yours to call home for the next three nights.

Spend the rest of today letting your senses run wild in your new busting surroundings – tuck into some local pizza and gelato, enjoy sunset from the banks of the Tiber or let your ears guide you to some live music across the river in Trastevere


Marvel at the Sistine Chapel

Get ready to step foot in the third country of the trip as you head into the heart of Vatican City. Your private guide will lead you through a succession of this tiny city-state’s marvels, from the awe-inspiring artworks of the Sistine Chapel to the site's museums, which contain impressive collections painstakingly assembled by popes over the centuries.

The rest of today is then yours to play with. We recommend taking a stroll through a millennium of ancient history with a trip to the Roman Forum. Located on low ground between the Palatine and Capitoline hills are the remains of Ancient Rome’s monumental centre, the site of religious, political and social activities, from triumphal processions to public speeches and elections. Beyond the Roman Forum loom the remains of the Baths of Caracalla, the city's second-largest Roman public baths; the Via Appia Antica, one of Rome’s oldest roads; the Arch of Constantine, a triumphal piece of architecture dedicated to the emperor Constantine the Great; and, of course, the Colosseum, an archaeological icon and one of the New 7 Wonders of the World


Tour a Historic Renaissance Villa

After yesterday’s focus on the marvels of Ancient Rome, the time has come to experience some of the capital’s hidden gems, like the Coppedè district. Nestled in the northeast of the city and designed by architect Gino Coppedè, this neighbourhood is a masterpiece of eclecticism, aligning Art Nouveau, Baroque and Gothic styles. There’s also the Villa Medici, a beautiful Italian Renaissance villa that dazzles visitors with its gardens, pavilions and temporary exhibitions. Soak in the rich history of the site as you explore the grounds with a knowledgeable local guide.


Sleeper train to Palermo

Round off your few days in Rome with a day spent meandering through the centuries-old villas and grand religious establishments of Aventi, a luxurious residential district. Built into the hillside of the southernmost of Rome’s famed ‘seven hills’, this charming district offers an abundance of romantic parks and gardens, which are suspended above the river and exude beauty at every twist and turn. Later this evening, you’ll be collected and privately transferred to your hotel, where a sleeper train to Palermo awaits. At the Strait of Messina, the wagons are quickly loaded onto a ferry to begin a 30-minute crossing... all while you blissfully catch your zzz’s


Buongiorno, Sicily

Open your eyes this morning to a different view of Italy: the idyllic coastal landscapes of Sicily. On arrival in Palermo, a private driver will be waiting to collect you and transport you to a beautiful hotel in the historic centre, where you’ll be hanging up your hat for the next two nights. The rest of today is then yours to spend settling into the laid-back rhythm of island life. We recommend turning to our coveted destination-specific Dossier, which is full of our top picks for cafes, bars and restaurants in the area. One of our favourite spots in the city is the legendary Ballaro market, where you can drink in the colours and scents of local produce and culinary specialities.


Palermo walking tour

On today’s agenda: a private walking tour of Palermo, a diverse and eclectic city that displays its charms through its winding network of bustling markets, romantic plazas and terraced cafes. The rest of today is then yours to spend as you please. You can continue discovering the city at your own pace or embark on a gourmet stroll through our favourite Palermitan markets with a clued-up local guide.

DAY 10

Island road trip

Wave goodbye to the hustle and bustle of Palermo as you hit the road on an island-hopping road trip. This morning, you’ll be collected and privately transferred to a local rental agency, where you’ll collect a spacious and comfortable hire car ready for a few days of exploring the Sicilian lands. Your first destination is Agrigento, a serene hilltop city on the south coast of the island known for its rich collection of ancient temples.

The drive takes around two hours, but what’s the rush? We recommend making the most of your hire car to wind your way around the west coast, making stops at points of interest along the way. There’s the cloister and abbey of Monréale, the temple and theatre of Segesta and the hilltop citadel of Erice. Make sure to stop for a refreshing dip in the small seaside resort of Porto Palo, as well as a spot of ceramics shopping in the culturally renowned town of Sciacca. This is also a great opportunity to take a detour to Mazara del Vallo, a town steeped in religious and cultural heritage. We can arrange for you to explore this delightful seaside settlement with a local guide.

On arrival in Agrigento, check in for the night in a beautiful hotel surrounded by gardens and spend the rest of this evening enjoying some much-earned R&R.

DAY 11

Admire ancient Mediterranean ruins

Today, you’ll be armed with queue-jumping tickets for the Valley of the Temples, a rich archeological park that houses the island’s best-preserved Greek temple. Agrigento was one of the main cities of the Mediterranean during the golden age of Ancient Greece. Magnificent Doric temples still stand strong today, made even more beautiful by the surrounding landscapes of rolling fields and fragrant orchards.

This afternoon, continue east to Noto, a classic Sicilian city bathed in golden Baroque architecture. The journey along the southeast coast takes around three hours, however we recommend making stops along the way at Ragusa and Modica, two cities rebuilt in the purest Sicilian Baroque style after the devastating earthquake of 1693. Spend the rest of today settling into your charming new hotel: an elegant property located near Noto’s small port.

DAY 12

Explore the palaces of Noto

Wake up bright and early and make the most of your one full day in Noto as you explore this delightful city with a local guide. After falling victim to the great earthquake of 1693, Noto took the opportunity to rebuild itself in style, becoming a jewel of Baroque town planning. The historic centre has around 20 churches and ten palaces, which radiate around the main street of Corso Vittoria Emanuele, and myriad serene plazas. Take the opportunity to step into one of these fabulous palaces in the company of your guide, who will explain the history and cultural significance of the site.

DAY 13

Stay in a historic farmhouse

Swap the grand architecture of Noto for the charms of the Sicilian countryside as you travel 30 minutes to Syracuse, a charming city bordered by rolling farmlands and the Ionian Sea. Your home for the next two nights here is a historic agricultural estate surrounded by whimsical gardens. Spend this evening kicking back and relaxing ready for a day of exploring the city tomorrow.

DAY 14

Historic walking tour

After a hearty breakfast at your hotel this morning, you’ll be met by a friendly local guide for a historic half-day tour of Syracuse. Founded in the 18th century by Greek colonists, the city remained the capital of Sicily throughout the Roman era. Vestiges of its flourishing past are concentrated on the island of Ortygia, the spiritual and historic heart of the city, and in the archaeological park of Neapolis, which features a Greek theatre, Roman amphitheatre and ancient stone quarries.

DAY 15

Savour island life

After seeing the ancient foundations of Sicily first-hand yesterday, spend this morning learning even more about the region’s fascinating past at the Paolo Orsi Regional Archaeological Museum. Then it’s up to you to spend the rest of today savouring island life before catching a sleeper train from Syracuse to Rome later this evening. Take a stroll along the seaside promenade, laze on Cala Rossa beach and enjoy a moment of peace and quiet in one of the many churches that dot the ci

DAY 16

Experience contemporary Rome

Rise and shine as you pull back into the vibrant capital of Rome. A private driver will be waiting to whisk you away from the thrum of the centre to the trendy district of Trastevere. Your home for the night here is a carefully restored historic monastery surrounded by urban greenery. While your first stop in Rome was all about basking in the city’s ancient glory, today is all about savouring its contemporary present. Contrary to its image as a capital laden with millennia-old remains, Rome has garnered a more recent reputation for hosting avant-garde constructions designed by the greatest minds of this century. Zaha Hadid's MAXXI Museum, Renzo Piano's Music Park and Richard Meier's Ara Pacis are just a few of the modern masterpieces that prove the ‘Eternal City’ has stepped into the 21st century.

DAY 17

Train to Tuscany

Your next port of call on this epic Italian train trip is Florence, a picturesque city located just two hours from the capital. Your home for the three nights here is a period residence that oozes the historic charm of its surroundings. After setting in and freshening up, make the most of your first day in Florence with a private walking tour in the company of a local guide. After welcoming the greatest artists of its time (Dante, Michelangelo, Boticelli…), Florence gave birth to an exceptional cultural movement: the Renaissance. The result is an extraordinary ensemble of squares, palaces and churches, the majority of which are UNESCO listed.

DAYS 18 & 19

Discover Florence

The next two days are yours to spend soaking in the scenic and cultural delights of Florence at your own pace. You’ll be armed with queue-jumping tickets for the Uffizi Gallery, a grand museum located just off the bustling Piazza della Signoria that houses some of the finest works of the Renaissance. Fra Angelico, Filippo Lippi, Piero della Francesca, Paolo Uccello and Raphael are among the masters that take you on a journey through time, from the Middle Ages to the Baroque period. Beyond the historic centre, we recommend taking the time to hop across the River Arno to explore the Oltrarno district, an effortlessly cool neighbourhood which has managed to stay below the rada

DAY 20

City hop to Bologna

Head back to the station this morning and embark on a short train ride to Bologna, the capital of Emilia-Romagna. Meet your private driver at the station and travel to your next hotel: a small and charming property in the heart of the historic centre. The rest of today is then yours to spend settling into your new surroundings. We recommend taking a stroll through the nearby Piazza Maggiore, the city's main square, for an indulgent aperitif at one of the many terraced bar

DAY 21

Bologna walking tour

On today’s agenda: a private walking tour of Bologna, a beautiful city that has inherited not one, not two, but three nicknames, each of which pays homage to its history and soul. First, ‘La Dotta’ (‘The Learned’), which refers to the almost 1,000-year-old University of Bologna; second, ‘La Grassa’ (‘The Fat’), for its delicious culinary specialities, including the namesake Bolognese sauce; and finally, ‘La Rossa’ (‘The Red’, a name that evokes the crimson hue of the terracotta-tiled roofs of the city. Your guide will delve deeper into the rich and fascinating cultural history as your weave through the historic centre, taking in splendid sights such as the Municipal Palace, Farnese Chapel, Podesta Palace and the Basilica of San Petronio. The rest of today is then yours to spend further discovering the city at your own pace. We recommend carving out some time to admire the treasures held in the archaeological museum.

DAY 22

Travel to Shakespeare's fair Verona

The next stop on this great Italian adventure is the romantic city of Verona, which has been forever enshrined as the backdrop of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Pull into the train station, meet your private driver and sit back and relax as you’re driven into the city centre. Your home for the next two nights here is an elegant hotel in the historic part of town. After settling in and freshening up, head out and spend the afternoon taking the pulse of the city with a stroll through stylish streets lined with Veronese boutiques, romantic cafes and historic buildings.

DAY 23

Verona like a local

Wake up bright and early to make the most of your one full day in the enchanting city of Verona. After a delicious breakfast at your hotel this morning, you’ll be met by a private guide to kick off today’s walking tour. Forever linked to the story of the star-crossed lovers, Verona is home to Juliet’s iconic home, whose balcony serves as a pilgrimage for many romantics. The city flourished at the time the play was written, which can still be admired today through a succession of art and architectural treasures.

Another equally unmissable marvel is the city's arenas, which are among the largest in the Roman world. Spend the rest of the afternoon and evening further discovering the scenic and cultural delights of Verona at your own pace. We particularly recommend carving out time to visit the beautiful gardens hidden behind Giusti Palace. Established in the 15th century on the east bank of the Adige, the hillside garden has grown and blossomed over the centuries into an enchanting oasis of flowers, plants, century-old trees, statues, winding stairs and even a maze.

DAY 24

Arrivederci, Italy

It’s time to bid Italy a warm farewell and embark on the six-hour train journey back to Switzerland. Your final destination is the colourful and cosmopolitan Zurich. This picturesque Swiss city is surrounded by incredible scenery, with the azure shores of Lake Zurich to one side and towering alpine mountains to the other. After settling in for the night in your charming centrally-located hotel, head out and make the most of your final day. We recommend heading into the heart of the cobblestone old town to wind your way through the elegant townhouses, luxury boutiques and renowned chocolatiers that call Zurich home.

DAY 25

Journey home

Sadly, the time has come to begin the journey home. Enjoy one final stroll around town and a coffee in one of the many elegant terraced cafes this morning before heading to the airport. After whizzing back through security, enjoy some downtime in the airport lounge with some nibbles and refreshments. Flight time back to the UK is just an hour and a half, so you’ll be back on home soil before you know it.

A la carte


To really understand the pillars of the Palermo art of living, you have to hit the markets. People congregate here not only to shop, but to gossip and discuss local news while nibbling on snacks. Head into the heart of the market scene for a gourmet stroll with a local guide. Savour panelle, delicious Sicilian fritters, as you wonder past pyramids of fluorescent spices and baskets of dried fruits. Round off your culinary adventure with a passeggiata (a walk after food) around the nearby churches and plazas.


Tucked away in southwestern Sicily is Mazara del Vallo, a charming seaside town brimming with ancient history and culture. For centuries, the Casbah (the ancient fortified Arab citadel) and the Giudecca (the 15th-century Jewish quarter), have coexisted. Your guide for the day is a knowledgeable local, who will lead you through a labyrinth of picturesque streets filled with Byzantine charm. Round off your walk with a stop at a traditional dessert cafe to tuck into one of the region’s indulgent sweet treats.

A Rough Idea of Price

Dependent on season, accommodation and activities
The cost for this trip starts from £5,670 to £7,500 per person.

The final cost of the trip depends on the way we tailor it especially for you. The final cost varies according to several factors, which include the level of service, length of trip and advance booking time. The exact price will be provided on your personalised quote.

The average starting price for this trip is £7,200 per person.
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