This is a magnificent train journey with a jewel of an end destination.Your rail journey starts out from the UK by Eurostar to Paris where you change to a high speed TGV train to Lucerne. Following a night or more in Lucerne, you travel onwards along the Alpine railways through the developing scenery of mountains, lakes and vineyards all the way to Venice. You can then return home on the overnight sleeper train to Paris and then onwards to London. Alternatively you could choose to travel by daytime trains back to the UK, breaking the journey in Milan before journeying home via Lausanne.Click here to download a pdf with full details of some of our rail holidays to Italy.DAY BY DAY ITINERARYDay oneBegin your rail holiday by departing from London by Eurostar just before 8.00am to arrive into Paris around 11.30. You change to Gare Lyon station to continue on the high-speed TGV train to Basel and then onwards to Lucerne where you arrive at around 5.00pm. Stay overnight at Hotel Wilden Mann.Day twoLeave Lucerne mid morning, continuing by rail to Venice on the Intercity service with easy changes in Arth-Goldau and Milan. The journey from Lucerne to Venice is relaxing and convenient, allowing you to take in the striking scenery en route. You leave Lucerne at around 09.00am and travel by Interregio train to meet the Wilhelm Tell line at Arth-Goldau. From here a Eurocity train takes you south through the Alps along the Gotthard pass. You gain height steeply by means of a double loop at Wassen , before entering the Gotthard tunnel. The train emerges into Italian-speaking Italy and you descends no less than 849 metres using several more spirals before reaching Lugano, a city on another magnificent lake. From here it’s a short distance to the Italian border at Chiasso. After changing in Milan you head east, stopping at the historic cities of Verona, Vicenza and Padua before reaching Venice Santa Lucia train station just before 6pm. A private boat will take you to your hotel, the Bisanzio, where you stay 3 nights.Days three and fourEnjoy a few days at leisure in the Venetian capital. More than a city, Venice “La Serenissima” is an enchantress. Take the time to discover her winding streets, lavish ballrooms and lively wine bars, and perhaps catch one of local water taxis to explore the islands of the lagoon. Burano, island of lace-making and fishermen, is impressively picturesque whilst on Murano master craftsmen offer demonstrations of glass-making before you enter their shops. A visit to both these islands is thoroughly recommended to provide an alternative view of Venice.RETURN OPTION 1 – DIRECT SLEEPERDay five You’ll be taken by private water taxi back to Santa Lucia station from where you catch the overnight sleeper train to Paris, leaving at around 7.30pm. The sleeper train offers a simple but time effective means of covering a large distance. We recommend a private double compartment. Day six The sleeper arrives in Paris a little after 10am. Following a change from Paris Lyon to Paris Nord station, you end your rail holiday as the Eurostar takes you on the last leg of the journey back to the UK where you arrive at lunchtime.RETURN OPTION 2 – VIA MILAN AND LAUSANNEDay fiveAt around 10am a private water taxi will take you to Santa Lucia station where you board a train to Milan, arriving just before 1.30pm. Have the afternoon and evening to explore Milan from your centrally based hotel, the Hotel Carlton Baglioni.Day sixLeave Milan just before 8.30am to travel by train back to Paris through Switzerland. Your journey takes you past Lake Maggiore and through the stunning Simplon Pass. The train then descends, following the Rhone to Lausanne on the shores of Lake Geneva. You change trains easily here and arrive into Paris just after 4pm. You finish your rail holiday by boarding the Eurostar which gets you back into London around 7.30pm.PRICESFrom £1,720 per person for first class rail travel.From £1,490 per person for second class rail travel. Prices based on two sharing a double or twin room.What’s included?Private water taxi transfers in VeniceFirst or second class travel on all trains (as above) including EurostarDouble sleeper compartment on Thello sleeper trainAt the hotels: 1 night’s bed and breakfast in a Standard Room at Hotel Wilden Mann in Lucerne3 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Standard Room at Hotel Bisanzio in VeniceWhat’s not included?Meals other than breakfast at the hotelsTransfers in Lucerne and Paris.Early check in or late check outs at hotels – though we can arrange this on request.Supplements for alternative route optionsAny services not mentioned abovePrices for stays in different hotels will vary enormously. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.DatesThis rail holiday can be arranged throughout the year. Timings can vary depending on the month and day of the week.For more information regarding rail services to and within Italy, view our train guide.
Below is some information regarding each of the hotels featured in this touring itinerary. Alternative hotels are available in some destinations - please contact us for full details.Hotel Wilden Mann – Lucerne – 4 starThe Wilden Mann has been in the hospitality trade for 500 years, bringing excellent quality of service and charm each of its guests. With just 48 rooms spread across 6 different houses, the atmosphere is one of a home-from-home and this hotel offers the perfect balance of historic and old-world elegance with modern facilities. It is located just a stone’s throw from the iconic Chapel Bridge and Nadelwehr and is only a 10 minute walk from the train station, making it the perfect stopover in the enchanting old streets of Lucerne.See more details on the Hotel Wilden Mann.
Bisanzio – Venice – 4 starLess than 300 metres from St Mark’s Square, the Hotel Bisanzio occupies an ancient 16th-century palazzo in a prime location, right in the heart of the oldest and most romantic part of Venice. The hotel offers 40 rooms and luxury suites, all of which are decorated in traditional 18th-century Venetian style. Whilst the hotel has no restaurant it boasts a breakfast room and bar along with two quiet sitting rooms, a lovely place to relax after a busy day's site seeing.See more detail on Hotel BisanzioOption: Carlton Hotel Baglioni – Milan – 5 starThis luxury five star hotel can be found discreetly tucked away on the Via della Spiga, Milan’s most fashionable shopping street, and the Via Montenapoleone, the cathedral and famous La Scala theatre are a short distance away. Inside, discover an intimate and sophisticated atmosphere with marble floors and dark wood wall panels. The hotel provides outstanding levels of service and facilities, including the historice Il Baretto al Baglioni Restaurant which serves national dishes with Mediterranean influences.See more detail on Carlton Hotel Baglioni We offer a fantastic range of hotels in Venice, including the legendary Cipriani and the elegant Bauer il Palazzo. Mid-range options include the popular Luna Hotel Baglioni and the famous Bauer L'Hotel. View our full range of hotels in Venice.
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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.
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