Travelling by train to Sicily encompasses some spectacularly scenic rail journeys: you cross the Alps by train, follow the Mediterranean coast south of Naples into the toe of Italy and then you witness the crossing of the Strait of Messina with your train on the ferry! Travel by train from London to Lucerne where you spend one night, then continue on to Milan for another night, enjoying the stunning Alpine scenery en route. Make the journey to Naples, where you stay for one night, before travelling southwards to your final destination in Sicily. Spend 3 nights in Taormina at Hotel Villa Belvedere and then return to the UK by plane. 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, leaving London at about 8am by Eurostar to Paris, before changing stations and continuing on the high speed TGV Lyria train to Basel. An easy change here takes you to Lucerne where you arrive at about 5.00pm. Check into the Hotel Wilden Mann where you spend one night.Day twoSet off from Lucerne at about 9am, travelling first to Arth-Goldau and then onwards to Milan on the spectacular Gotthard railway route through the Alps, passing striking scenery and traversing wonderful feats of engineering. Once through the Gotthard Pass, you’re in the Italian part of Switzerland heading towards Lugano which is located on another magnificent lake. From here it’s a short distance to the Italian border at Chiasso. Arrive in Milan and check in at the Carlton Hotel Baglioni where you spend one night.Day threeLeaving Milan early morning, your train heads further south, passing through Bologna, Florence and Rome before arriving into Naples by lunchtime. This allows you to spend the afternoon sightseeing, perhaps visiting the Archeological Museum which houses most of the artefacts from Pompeii and Herculaneum or wandering around the Centro Storico. You spend one night in Naples at the Grand Hotel Vesuvio.Day fourYou leave Naples behind at about 10am to travel by train to Taormina-Giardini, following the dramatic coast south through Campania, Basilicata and Calabria to reach the Strait of Messina where your train boards the ferry for the crossing to Sicily. Arrive into Taormina late afternoon and transfer to the Hotel Villa Belvedere where you spend three nights. Days five and sixWe suggest two days to explore Sicily from your base in Taormina. The town stands at an altitude of 250m above sea level and forms a perfect balcony overlooking the sea towards Mount Etna. A popular destination, it is renowned for its surprisingly peaceful atmosphere, beautiful monuments and tranquil gardens. For travellers who want some time by the beach, it is also possible to descend by cable car to Taormina Mare at the bottom of the cliff.Day sevenLeave your hotel in Taormina to take a flight from Catania to London Gatwick. PRICESFrom £1,980 per person for first class rail travel.From £1,760 per person for second class rail travel. Prices based on two sharing a double or twin room.What’s included?First or second class travel on all trains (as above) including Eurostarnight's bed and breakfast in a Standard Room at Hotel Wilden Mann in Lucerne1 night's bed and breakfast in a Standard Room at Carlton Hotel Baglioni in Milan1 night's bed and breakfast in a Standard Room at Grand Hotel Vesuvio in Naples3 night's bed and breakfast in a Standard Room at Hotel Villa Belvedere in TaorminaTransfer from Taormina station to hotel, and back to Catania airportFlight with British Airways one way from Catania to London Gatwick, Euro travellerWhat’s not included?Meals other than breakfast at the hotelsAny services not mentioned aboveDatesThis 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 stones 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.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 BaglioniGrand Hotel Vesuvio – Naples – 5 starThe Grand Hotel Vesuvio is a very comfortable property that offers enviable views across the bay to Vesuvius from its privileged waterfront position. The hotel has 250 bright and cheerful rooms furnished in a modern, Mediterranean style. It also has a large outdoor swimming pool with solarium and sunbeds and offers guests a choice of four restaurants in which to sample both regional and international dishes.See more detail on Grand Hotel VesuvioHotel Villa Belvedere – Taormina – 4 starThe Villa Belvedere is a charming and comfortable hotel, centrally located in the town of Taormina. Occupying a historic Sicilian villa, the hotel’s position perched high on the hill-side offers stunning views across the bay and the countryside towards Mount Etna. The bedrooms are simple but pretty, and several of them have balconies with table and chairs. Tasty light lunches are served on the terrace by the pool, whilst there is a delightful choice of restaurants within easy reach in the town.See more detail on Hotel Villa Belvedere
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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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