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About your trip
This eight-day rail tour of Northern Italy starts in the capital, Rome, where we’ll fast-track past the crowds to the Colosseum, tuck into authentic food and seek out the best of the city’s baroque architecture. From here we’ll take a high-speed train north – for art and history in Florence, and a taste of the Tuscan countryside between Siena and San Gimignano. We’ll jump back on the high-speed line to Bologna for a day stuffed with gourmet foodie experiences, before zipping into Milan – for designer shops, jaw-dropping architectural feats and a regional train excursion to Lake Como.
- Skip the line to the see the Colosseum in Rome
- See the best of the capital’s baroque architecture on a walking tour
- Whizz through the glorious Italian countryside by high-speed train
- Marvel at the medieval charms of Siena and San Gimignano
- Experience the beauty of Florence on foot
- Take a gourmet food tour of Bologna, the culinary capital
- See Milan through the eyes of a Local Insider
- Visit the pretty village of Bellagio at Lake Como
All roads – and rails – lead to Rome, and Italy’s magnificent capital is where this trip begins. After making your way to your hotel and dropping your bags in your room, we’ll meet downstairs for a welcome drink – followed by a group dinner at the hotel. This is an opportunity to meet your fellow travellers and get excited for the experiences ahead!
After breakfast at your hotel, you’ll take the metro to the Spanish Steps where you’ll meet our Local Insider for a walking tour of Rome’s architectural big-hitters. We’ll spend the morning exploring the most ancient sites, from the Roman Forum to the Pantheon, before ticking off the city’s baroque beauties, such as the Trevi Fountain. After pausing for lunch at an authentic local restaurant, we’ll skip the line to enter the Colosseum – and experience this monument to bombastic entertainment up close. The rest of the afternoon is yours to spend however you like – perhaps time to sip a spritz in a sunny piazza – when in Rome!
After breakfast at your hotel, you’ll be taken via private transfer to Rome Termini station, where we’ll board a high-speed train to Florence. The epicentre of the Italian Renaissance, Florence is a visual banquet of art, fashion and architecture – and this morning, after dropping your bags at your new hotel, you’ll get to see it through the eyes of a Local Insider on a guided walking tour. Come lunchtime, you’re free to explore on your own – head to the Boboli Gardens for Medici-era landscaping, or just meander the shop-lined streets.
After breakfast, you’ll be picked up by a driver and whisked across the rolling Tuscan countryside to the terracotta-pink town of Siena. You’ll spend the morning here, exploring its medieval churches, piazzas and palazzos with our Local Insider, before finding your own spot for lunch. In the afternoon we’ll move on to the medieval hilltop town of San Gimignano, where you can explore the Unesco-listed city walls and narrow old lanes of this region’s most photogenic town. We’ll arrive back in Florence early in the evening, so you’ll still have some time to explore Firenze under the stars.
From Florence we’ll jump on the rapid Italo line and whizz further north, to Bologna – known in Italy as La Grassa, or ‘the Fat One’, for the richness of its food. And it’s the food that we’re here for, as we start our visit with a gourmet tasting tour, led by our Local Insider and most likely featuring the city’s proudest export, Bolognese. Appetites well and truly piqued, you’ll be free to follow your nose for some lunch (or just follow a recommendation from our Insider), before having the rest of the afternoon to yourself to take in the city’s architecture, parks and student-y buzz.
We’ve ticked off three of Northern Italy’s biggest cities, but there’s one left – Milan. This morning we’ll hop back aboard the train to the fashion capital of Italy, where you’ll be met by a private chauffeur and taken to your hotel. After lunch together in the fashion capital, our Local Insider will take you on a wander of the city’s most remarkable sights – from the Duomo (arguably the third-largest cathedral in the world) to the gorgeous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping gallery. After the tour, you’ll have the rest of the day to explore – or relax – on your own.
From every angle, Lake Como is a knockout – as you’ll find out for yourself today. After breakfast, we’ll jump aboard a regional train to the village of Como, where our Local Insider will give you a personal tour of its prettiest places. Afterwards, we’ll take to the water with a ferry ride to the promontory commune of Bellagio, with its narrow cobbled lanes, gelaterias and clouds of bougainvillea. You’ll be free to stroll around and find somewhere for lunch, before we meet up to hop back on the train to Milan. As this is our last night in Italy, we’ll be heading out for a special farewell dinner at a Milanese restaurant – a perfect opportunity to toast an unforgettable Italian adventure.
After a final breakfast at your hotel, it’s sadly time to pack your bags and say your goodbyes. Make your way to Milan Malpensa airport (MXP) for your flight home, or continue your Italian odyssey solo!
- 7 nights accommodation
- 7 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
- Train tickets
- Local Insider
- Architectural tour of Rome
- Skip-the-line entry to the Colosseum
- Half-day tour of Florence
- Morning visit of Siena
- Gourmet food tour of Bologna with tastings
- Guided tour of Milan
- Tour of Como
- Visit to Bellagio
What's Not Included
- Travel insurance
- Hotel transfers (unless otherwise stated in the Included Activities section above)
Hotel La Griffe
The imposing 19th-century facade of Hotel La Griffe is a perfect symbol for the grandeur of Italy’s capital city. Located centrally, with easy access to Roma Termini station, this classic city hotel is most notable for its gorgeous rooftop terrace, which boasts incredible views over the city's scenic rooftops and church towers.
This boutique hotel in the heart of Florence’s charming Santa Maria Novella neighbourhood has an elegant design and a calming touch. Wake up with a morning coffee on the patio, go for a dip in the outdoor pool and dine on locally sourced delights at the onsite restaurant, serving up delicious traditional Italian dishes.
SMY Bologna Centrale
Right in the heart of Italy’s culinary capital, within easy walking distance of the train station and Bologna’s main sights, is this modern city hotel. The rooms are clean and crisp, the lobby spaces open and stylish, and the in-house restaurant serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner throughout the day.
Hotel 43 Station
This unique contemporary space is a carefully designed hotel with a particular emphasis on intelligent lighting, partly inspired by the hotel’s eco-friendly ethos. The facilities are modern and high tech, the ambience is fresh and welcoming, and its location down the road from Milan’s Central Station is extremely convenient.
The safety and wellbeing of all travellers is our top priority. To help us ensure this, please refer to this checklist:
- Please check the entry requirements for the destination you are travelling to. Our travel experts can assist you in finding this information.
- We recommend you confirm all guidance on official government sites and check that you are able to travel with your travel insurance issuer. Your travel insurance may be invalidated if you travel against government advice. Our travel experts can assist you in finding this information.
- You must be aged 18 years or over to join this trip.
- Please be sure to check whether or not you need a visa to enter the country you're travelling to. Please refer to our Booking Terms & Conditions for further information.
- If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or accessibility requirements, please notify our Customer Support team as soon as possible.
- To upgrade to a private room, or book pre- and post-trip accommodation and/or airport transfers, please contact our Customer Support team.
- Please be aware that travel insurance is compulsory for all travellers.
- Please be aware that the itinerary, activities and hotels are subject to change. While unlikely, these changes can happen due to circumstances beyond our control. We will always do our best to ensure minimal impact on your experience.
- Please be aware images on this page are for illustrative purposes and may not reflect your itinerary exactly.
If you cancel 56 days or more before your scheduled departure date, you will receive a 100% refund. Otherwise, the total cost of your trip is:
- 100% payable if you cancel 29 days or less before your departure date.
- 50% payable if you cancel between 30 - 55 days before your departure date.
Please note you can only book this trip in advance up to 14 days before the departure date. After this time the trip may be booked on request.
Terms & Conditions
Please refer to our Booking Terms & Conditions.