A rail-drive holiday with Expressions Holidays allows you to travel by train to Italy then collect a hire-car to explore at your own pace. Thanks to the Eurostar and convenient high-speed connections, Italy is easily reached by rail and allows visitors to discover stunning scenery from the comfort of your seat. After a journey through France and the Alps, you can then collect a hire-car to continue at your own pace and travel between destinations within Italy. We work with Avis in Italy as they offer an excellent selection of cars and a good range of offices throughout the country - at airports, railway stations and in city centre locations.Browse our suggested rail-drive itineraries which can all be modified according to your requirements or click here to download a pdf with information. You have the freedom to choose where you would like to travel and how long you would like to stay in each place - please contact us for advice and ideas or click here to download a pdf with full details of some of our rail holidays to Italy.All the hotels that we feature in mainland Italy can be reached by rail and hire-car, so if you are looking for a rail-drive holiday where you are based in one location then click here to find out more about the full range of destinations that we offer.Other types of touring holiday in ItalyWe have also created a selection of suggested touring itineraries for self-drive holidays where you travel to France by ferry or Eurotunnel with your own car then drive southwards towards Italy, and fly-drive holidays where you travel by air and then collect a hire-car. Our range of rail holidays to Italy allow you to relax in comfort as you travel to and between destinations by train.
An Expressions rail-drive holiday is tailor-made according to your requirements and can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. From a single-centre stay in a destination that is reached by train to a touring holiday that visits multiple locations, we cater for your wishes.Train travel to ItalyA rail-drive holiday to Italy starts on the Eurostar from London St. Pancras, Ebbsfleet or Ashford stations in the UK to either Paris Gare du Nord. Eurostar offers almost hourly departures every day, allowing you to travel from the centre of London to the centre of Paris on the same train in three hours. Not all trains stop at the Ebbsfleet and Ashford stations in Kent, but parking is plentiful at both stations and it allows you to avoid London. Check-in is 30 minutes prior to departure, customs formalities are completed before boarding and there is no limit to the amount of baggage that can be taken on board. The Eurostar trains themselves have 8 coaches which are split into Standard Class, Standard Premier and Business Premier as well as 2 cafeterias. Standard Premier customers are served a light cold meal and enjoy a more spacious environment than Standard Class, while Business Premier customers receive a hot meal and unlimited beverages as well as lounge access.You may wish to stay for a night or two in Paris in one of our centrally located charming hotels, or you may prefer to board the train to Italy straight away. There are either daytime rail services from Paris to Milan and Turin, or overnight sleeper trains from Paris to Milan, Venice, Florence, Pisa, Bologna, Parma, Verona, Vicenza, Padua, Brescia and Rome. Thello is a basic overnight service linking Paris with key Italian cities, namely Milan, Venice, Florence and Rome. You may travel in a two berth sleeper, three berth sleeper, or 4 and 6 berth couchettes. Sleeper cars offer a washbasin with power socket, toiletries bag, air-conditioning, room bell, deadbolt lock, wake up call if required, welcome drink and snack in cabin and newspapers. The couchettes offer air-conditioning as well as a welcome drink and snack in cabin. Another option is to travel to Paris and then on to Switzerland by TGV with a stop in Zurich, Basel or Lausanne for a night. You then continue your journey to Italy the next day by Eurocity train, giving you breathtaking scenery as you cross the Alps.TGV trains are high-speed trains that serve most of France and cross into neighbouring countries, covering large distances in a short space of time. There is a choice between Standard Class and First Class, the latter offering a more spacious seating environment but no meals included. Most Eurocity trains have a restaurant car, while seating can either be in an open-coach or in 6-seater compartments. First Class entitles you to more space, more storage and a quieter travelling environment, as well as access to the First Class lounge at your origin station.For a really special experience, we can arrange a journey on the elegant and sophisticated Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, either one way or both ways.Train travel within ItalyOnce in Italy, visitors can travel between major cities on Eurostar Italia Frecciarossa trains. These high-speed services offer standard class with comfortable seating and tables for 4, as well as three different levels of First Class which are more spacious and include some food and drinks. There is a restaurant car on all trains which serves a variety of hot and cold options, as well as a café-bar which serves more basic fare.Our hotelsEach of the hotels that are featured by Italian Expressions has been personally selected to offer you exceptionally high standards of comfort, service and cuisine. Many of our hotels are among the most highly acclaimed in the whole of Italy. Others are full of charm and character or provide rest and relaxation amid an atmosphere of luxury and style.Star ratings are an important indicator of facilities and price, but, just as important as a star rating is character and ambience. We believe that whatever the official star rating of our hotels, each hotel has unique qualities and a sincere individuality of its own.Holidays with a hire-carA hire-car offers a cost-effective way of exploring the area in which you are staying. If you are combining a stay in a city with another region (for example, Venice and the Veneto), we would arrange for you to collect your hire-car at the end of the stay in Venice, have the use of it for your stay in the Veneto and then return it to the airport at the end of your holiday.We include a basic group A car with Avis with all our fly-drive holidays to Italy. This is usually a Peugeot 107 or similar with air-conditioning which is adequate for just two people, a short break or if you don’t intend to do much driving. However, you might want to upgrade to something larger or more powerful.
Expressions Holidays is an independent specialist tour operator which was established in 1989 and offers tailor-made rail holidays within Europe and further afield, providing personal service with a professional approach. We pride ourselves on interpreting your demands and requirements to provide you with the holiday that you want, ensuring a successful match between client and holiday.. Not only are your holidays tailor-made to your individual requirements, but you also have the chance to deal with one person from beginning to end, offering you confidence and security and the best possible prices.Personal and professional serviceWe personally know the majority of the hotels that we feature, and we put together our holidays with our clients in mind. Contact with Expressions Holidays means contact with the people who know the holidays, who will share their knowledge and experience with you – our team of travel consultants know the country and culture very well, and operate a concierge service that helps you to explore every aspect of special interest or activity that fits with your holiday. All aspects of your holiday are personalised, from the itinerary to your holiday confirmation and documentation which provides you with information that is relevant to you. From the point of initial contact with us, you will deal with the same sales consultant, who will handle all aspects of your booking and ticketing. We approach your holiday in a way that offers you the arrangements you want, not to slot you in to pre-existing arrangements. This might mean juggling dates, securing the last available room at a hotel or tailoring a complex itinerary involving numerous components. Your holiday is as individually fashioned and tailor-made as you want it to be.How we price your holidayAll prices mentioned on our website and in our brochure are simply guides, as there are many variations that might affect the price including exchange rates, flight costs and special offers. To find out exact prices for the holiday that you are interested in, contact us for a tailor-made quotation.All our holiday arrangements have been designed to afford you maximum flexibility and freedom of choice. We include travel arrangements, whether it be flight, ferry or tunnel crossing or rail travel as well as many nights' hotel accommodation as you want, in as many different places.Our Price GuaranteeWe guarantee that once you have made a firm booking with a deposit payment, there will be no increases in the price of your holiday due to currency movements. If, for any reason, there have been changes in the price of the holiday you want, you will be advised at the time of booking.Full Financial ProtectionFull financial protection is offered when you book a holiday with us. Our air holidays are ATOL protected, and we are a member of the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited to protect non-flight packages. We are also members of ABTA and AITO (the Association of Independent Tour Operators), an organisation of some of Britain’s best specialist tour operators.
Complete a simple booking form and e-mail it to us.
We are open Mon-Fri 9-17.30 Sat 9.30-16.00.
Let us know a convenient time to call you back to discuss your holiday.
E-mail us with an outline of your holiday requirements.
Ask our experts on-line advice on your holidays
Find out more about Italy
CapitalRome AirportThere is a very good scattering of international airports in Italy, with the main ones being Venice, Pisa, Milan, Rome, Bologna, Naples, Genoa, Turin and Bari; on Sicily, Catania is served by several airlines from the UK and on Sardinia you fly to Cagliari or Olbia.CurrencyEuro (£1 = Euro 1.30) SizeItaly is roughly 650 miles long, but only about 100 miles wide Population60 million Average temperatureItaly's temperature varies dramatically, from about 4 degrees in Turin in winter to 33 degrees in Sicily in summer, with snow year-round on the summits of the Pyrenees and Alps National holidays in Italy Some tourist attractions as well as banks etc may close on the following days: 1 January 6 January (Epiphany) Easter Monday 25 April (Liberation Day) 1 May (Labour Day) 15 August (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary) 1 November (All Saints) 8 December (Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary) Christmas Day Boxing Day There are a number of local feast days that can affect conditions locally. In addition to the above days, museums are often closed on Mondays in Italy.
Rail holidays and train journeys, tailor-made.
Italian garden holidays and tours for individuals and small groups
Visit our selection of tailor-made family holidays to selected hotels and resorts around the world.
Tailor-made cookery holidays in Italy
Rejuvenating, relaxing, refreshing, good for the body and the soul; spa and well-being worldwide
Our selection of authentic experience and special interest holidays.
Luxury tours for individuals around the world
Travel by train to the classical landsca
The meadows, towns, and villages of Provence will be brought to life this summer with opera, dance, parades, and classical and contemporary music.
Enjoy adventurous exploration, indulgent relaxation, intriguing culture and history, authentic Creole food, and thrilling sports, all as part of a stay at Nisbet Plantation.
The Sani Resort in Greece has just announced the opening of the Ozone Teens House.
Between the 21st and the 25th June 2017, Barbados is hosting the 12th World Flower Show, entitled ‘Flowers in Paradise.’
New gardens and villas added to our Italian Garden Tour Holidays.
Exciting developments to our Swiss programme have lead to many more personalised rail holiday options.
The performance and dates for the 2017 Verona Opera Festival have been released, and we have begun taking bookings.
Georgie gives us the low-down on her experience of Catalonia, and her most insightful recommendations.