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Italian Grand Tour




1st class rail & 4 Star Accommodation

11 nights / 12 days
Inc. 3 nights in Rome, Florence & Venice

Stunning Montreux & Zurich

Rome, Florence & Venice by First Class rail

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Grand Tour of Italy Holiday Highlights

Grand Canal and Basilica Santa Maria della Salute, Venice, Italy

Re-live the magic of the classic grand tours of Europe on this fabulous 11 night holiday which captures the quintessential Italy, contrasting the Eternal City of Rome, Renaissance Florence and the romanticism of Venice.

11 night holiday by First Class rail on daytime trains throughout travelling via Zurich and Montreux including 3 nights each in Rome, Florence and Venice from £2,495 per person

Please note these prices are representative of travel in low season (November – February) please ask a specialist about pricing for other travel dates

Your Grand Tour Of Italy Holiday Itinerary

Day 1 – By rail to Switzerland

You begin your ‘Grand Tour’ as you enter the spectacularly restored St Pancras International station.

Stroll beneath the station’s wondrous arched-glass roof before you relax in your Standard Premier Class seat on board the Eurostar on your journey through to Paris.

As you arrive into the Gare du Nord you are greeted by your private taxi driver at the platform end, who will transfer you through Paris to the Gare de Lyon. Here you board your comfortable TGV service for the onward journey through the changing French and Swiss countryside and past quaint rural towns and villages before you arrive into the attractive lakeside city of Zurich.

Here you spend tonight at the highly-rated Hotel Helmhaus (4 star), ideally situated close to the city’s main attractions.


Orient Express Venice Sunset

Day 2 - Through Switzerland to Milan and onwards to Venice

This morning you have the opportunity to take a tour of Zurich and its main sights, which are clustered along the banks of the River Limmat.

You might like to start at Zurich’s main station (Hauptbahnhof), journey down through the historic centre, towards Lake Zurich.

Sights of interest include the Old Town, with its burgher houses and churches and the baroque Rathaus (Town Hall).

Perhaps the most iconic landmarks in Zurich are the four main churches, the Grossmünster, Fraumünster, the city’s oldest, St Peterskirche and St. Peter – which boasts the largest clock face in Europe.

As you return to Zurich station, prepare yourselves for the scenic journey along the impressive Gotthard route through the Swiss Alps. The line transports you through picturesque scenery, climbing to the foot of the snow-capped Alps and through the Gotthard Base Tunnel, the world’s longest tunnel and a marvellous feat of engineering.

You soon emerge and continue across the Swiss border and through the outstanding Italian Lakes before arriving in Milan. You change trains at Milan’s majestic art-deco station where you join the comfortable Eurostar Italia Frecciabianca service for the onward journey to Venice.

Savour the moment as you exit Venezia Santa Lucia station and you enter the strange timelessness and other-worldly quality of Venice. Here you travel in ultimate style along the Grand Canal and through the Venetian backwaters in your private water taxi to your hotel for the next three nights, the Hotel Ai Mori d’Oriente (4 star), well-located just a short walk from the Rialto Bridge, with its beautiful design and welcoming atmosphere.

Days 3 and 4 – Venice

Embrace the magic of Venice and become fully immersed in the spirit of the city as you wander amid the mosaic of intertwined canals and bridges. You might like to start your adventure at St. Mark’s Square, past the symbolic Doge’s Palace and explore the hidden waterways and Grand Canal in elegance from the comfort of a traditional gondola. Perhaps choose to spend more time casually wandering past Byzantine basilicas and painted palazzi or journey across more of the UNESCO World Heritage Venetian lagoon to discover the attractive islands of Murano and Burano, famous for their glass blowing, lace and coloured houses.
Channel street, Venice Orient Express
Florence in spring time, Tuscany, Italy

Day 5 – Venice to Florence

Savour your final morning in Venice before making the journey back to Venezia Santa Lucia station by private water taxi for your First Class journey south on board the Eurostar Italia Frecciargento service to Florence.

On arrival at Firenze Santa Maria Novella station stroll to the stylish Glance Hotel (4-star), your hotel for the next three nights, ideally located close to the station.

Days 6 and 7 – Florence

Florence, the epicentre of the Italian Renaissance, houses some of the greatest masterpieces ever created. The best way to explore this diverse and compelling city is on foot. You might like to start at the celebrated Duomo (Santa Maria del Fiore),
a triumph of architecture and engineering before visits to the world renowned Uffizi Gallery and the iconic Medieval closed-spandrel segmented arched bridge, the Ponte Vecchio.

Enjoy traditional Florentine and Tuscan culinary delights or take a trip through Tuscany’s rolling hills, one of Italy’s most romanticised regions. From Siena’s UNESCO world heritage medieval centre to Pisa’s famous leaning tower and Lucca’s Renaissance-era city walls it is good to know that these fascinating attractions are easily accessible by train.


Day 8 – Florence to Rome

Take your leave of Florence as you depart from Firenze Santa Maria Novella station and join the Eurostar Italia service to the eternal city of Rome. Relax in your comfortable first class seat as the landscape of central Italy unfurls before you. As you arrive into Roma Termini station make your way to the comfortable and highly-rated Liberty Boutique Hotel (4 star), your hotel for the next three nights.


Days 9 and 10 – Rome

The Eternal City of Rome encompasses architectural wonders from classical ruins, Renaissance palazzi and Baroque fountains with a modern touch of quirky shops on the Via del Corso, lively bars and rustic trattorias. A trip to Rome would not be complete without a visit to the city’s celebrated sights from the Trevi Fountain to the Spanish steps, the Vatican City to the Colosseum.

Take time to marvel at the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo’s painted ceiling – a masterpiece of High Renaissance art, which will provide lasting memories, as will the view from the top of St. Peters Cathedral across Rome’s seven hills cityscape.

Optional excursion – “Vatican Tour and the Papal Train to Castel Gandolfo” (only available on Saturdays – from £45 per person)

You have the opportunity to experience the brand new “Vatican Tour and the Papal Train to Castel Gandolfo”, which is the first time the Vatican train station has offered a regularly scheduled passenger train.

This unique sightseeing and train tour begins with a visit to the Vatican, where you are given priority entrance to the Vatican Gardens and Vatican Museums, including the incredible Sistine Chapel. From here you make your way to the white-marbled railway station and travel along the 984ft Vatican railway line – the shortest in the world – into Rome.  You then cross the Tiber and travel through 20 miles of Italian countryside and onto Albano Laziale in the Alban hills. Here you are transferred by shuttlebus to the sumptuous Pontifical Villas in Castel Gandolfo, which have traditionally served as the Papal Summer Residence, before returning back to Rome this evening.

Please Note: Alternatively, you have the option to tour the Vatican Gardens and Vatican Museums at the end of your tour.


lake-geneva-night italy by train

Day 11 – Rome to Lake Geneva

This morning after breakfast bid farewell to the Rome as you join your first class service aboard the Eurostar Italia Frecciarossa train for the journey north to Milan. Relax and admire the changing scenery as you cross the Apennine Mountains before you change trains in Milan for the Euro City service across the Simplon Pass for the spectacular journey through the Swiss Alps, on to sparkling Lake Geneva and the idyllic lakeside town of Montreux. Your hotel for the night is the belle époque Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic (4 star superior) located directly across from the station.

Make the most of your stay by taking a lakeside stroll this evening, enjoy the refreshing breeze and stunning scenery as the sun begins to set.

Day 12 - Montreux to London


You awake this morning in a truly spectacular setting surrounded by vineyards, nestled beneath a backdrop of the magnificent Alps. You may have time to further explore the attractive Old Town, with its fresh panoramic views around almost every turn. Alternatively take a charming stroll along the flower bedecked promenade to the historic Château de Chillon (payable locally). Discover the castle’s vast history and admire the 14th century wall paintings, subterranean vaults and parade halls, all the while you gaze in awe at the looming mountains from the rocky banks of Lake Geneva.


Then make your way back to Montreux station for your onward journey by the Inter Regio service to Lausanne where you change trains for the super-fast TGV journey back to Paris. Take this opportunity to relax as you reminisce on some of the highlights of you ‘Grand Tour’ before your train arrives at the Gare de Lyon. Your private taxi transfer whisks you back across Paris to the Gare du Nord for the final stage of your journey by Eurostar to London. Enjoy your at seat meal and drink service in Standard Premier Class as the Eurostar service reaches speeds of nearly 200 mph, before you arrive back into London St. Pancras and the final stage of your homeward journey.

Montreux luxury holidays by planet rail

Further information

Your recommended hotels



The stylish and intimate Hotel Helmhaus Zurich (4 star), located in the Old Town dates from the 14th century, and is a minute’s walk from both the Helmhaus Art Museum and tram stop. The air-conditioned, individually decorated rooms have minimalist modern furnishings and oak wood parquet floors, plus free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and minibars; tea and coffeemaking facilities are available on request. A complimentary hot and cold breakfast buffet is offered daily in an artsy dining room. Other amenities include loaner iPads and seasonal welcome drinks.



Enjoying a great location in an area exclusively reserved for local Venetians, the Hotel Ai Mori d’Oriente (4- star) offers an attractive and calm setting from which to enjoy and explore this most evocative of cities. Named after Turkish tradesmen, “mori”, who for centuries lived in this beautiful palace, the hotel offers guests contemporary accommodation equipped with air conditioning, mini- bar, ADSL internet access, hair dryer, telephone, satellite television, radio and a safe. The hotel benefits from a tastefully decorated breakfast room, bar and reading room. Guests can relax amidst the exotic atmosphere of the hotel’s furnishings which hark back to the times of oriental merchants, and traders, plying their trade on the “Silk Route” which had Venice as its main port. Located about 10 minutes’ walk from the Rialto Bridge, the Ai Mori d’Oriente offers visitors a fascinating insight into the real Venice as well as easy access to charming restaurants frequented by locals rather than tourists.


Enjoying a delightful central location just a short walk from the Cathedral and Ponte Vecchio, the contemporary Hotel Glance (4 star) is ideally situated for exploring Florence – and thanks to its proximity to the station, is also convenient for taking in the surrounding area. The hotel offers facilities such as a lounge bar and a rooftop pool which offers panoramic views of the city. Free Wi-Fi access is available throughout the building. The modern rooms are equipped with typical amenities for hotels of this standard.


The Liberty Boutique Hotel (4 star) enjoys a convenient location just 500 metres from Roma Termini station. The stylish brand-new boutique hotel has just 25 tastefully appointed rooms, equipped with wi-fi, flat-screen TV with satellite channels, memory foam mattress, Espresso maker, minibar, electric kettle, complimentary bottled water and toiletries. Each sound-proofed room is decorated in classic liberty style to the finest detail with the highest quality materials and finished by the local artisans. Rooms include a private bathroom with a shower.



The Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic (4-star superior) is a traditional Belle-Époque hotel, originally built in 1870 and located right in the centre of Montreux, just a few steps from the railway station. The hotel has 140 rooms and benefits from fabulous views of Lake Geneva and the Alps from its summer terrace. All the comfortable en-suite rooms in this stylish hotel feature air conditioning, TV, minibar, radio and telephone.


Departure dates

·       Throughout the year and tailor-made to suit your holiday needs

Holiday duration is 12 days

For information and booking Tel: 01347 82 52 92 or email

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