Rapallo & the Cinque Terre by First Class Rail
From £995 per person
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Beautifully set on the Tigullio Gulf of the Italian Riviera, Rapallo with its pastel-painted houses, palm tree-lined streets and small 16th century castle is a delight to explore. The close proximity of the magnificent, UNESCO-listed Cinque Terre and the glorious city of Genoa (another UNESCO World Heritage site) only adds to its appeal.
This superb holiday also includes stays in the lively city of Turin and stylish Milan – both fantastic destinations in their own right.
7 night / 8 day holiday by First Class rail on daytime trains, including 5 nights at the Hotel Bristol in Rapallo and overnight stays at the Grand Hotel Sitea in Turin and at the Starhotels Anderson in Milan from £995 per person (based on 2 people travelling together, on a Saturday departure).
Day 1 – By rail to Turin
Your holiday begins this morning as arrive at London St Pancras station. Take the time to admire the wonderful arched glass roof, then sit back, relax and watch the countryside glide past as you travel by Eurostar to Paris at speeds of up to 186mph. Enjoy the light meal and drinks served on board in Standard Premier Class (1st class for leisure travellers). On arrival at the Gare du Nord you are transferred by taxi to the Gare de Lyon where you continue your journey by TGV through France to Turin in Italy. From here, you can make your own way the short distance to your hotel for tonight, the welcoming, highly-rated Grand Hotel Sitea (4 star).
Day 2 – Turin to the Italian Riviera
Enjoy a morning to explore Turin. Perhaps take a stroll under the intricate arcades to Piazza Castello, surrounded by majestic buildings, or maybe discover the celebrated Egyptian Museum and the magnificent cathedral. The latter is a famous pilgrimage site, as it was the original home of the renowned Shroud of Turin. Later you leave this bustling city by train, travelling in First Class to the charming town of Rapallo. Sit back and watch the world go by as you travel through contrasting Italian landscapes to the glorious coast. On arrival at Rapallo station make the journey to your hotel by taxi or public transport (payable locally) for your five night stay at the highly rated Hotel Bristol (4 star), with its superb panoramic views.
Days 3 to 6 – Discovering Rapallo, Portofino and the Cinque Terre
Enjoy four full days to relax in Rapallo, or to explore the surrounding area. Rapallo itself is a joy to discover; perhaps take a stroll around the 16th-century Castello sul Mare (Castle-on-the-sea), the town’s most prominent landmark, sitting within the harbour. The sixth-century Basilica of Santi Gervasio e Protasio is also worth a visit. If you fancy a real treat, take the bus or the funivia (cable car) to the sanctuary of Nostra Signora di Montallegro (Our Lady of Montallegro), which offers stunning views. Should you wish to venture a little further afield, a popular option is the chic resort of Portofino with its delightful pastel painted houses and fishing boats bobbing in the breeze. Each of the five charming villages of the Cinque Terre are just a short journey away by train, allowing you a full day to explore the spectacular coastline where they are set. If you are feeling energetic you can walk between the villages. You might like to visit the attractive medieval walled city of Lucca or Pisa, with its famous leaning tower. Perhaps travel to the bustling port of Genoa or venture inland to discover hidden villages less-frequented by tourists.
Day 7 – Rapallo to Milan
Today you leave Rapallo and embark on the rail journey inland to Milan. Relax in your comfortable first class seat as the landscape of central Italy unfurls before you. On arrival at Milan Centrale station make your own way on foot to the stylish Starhotels Anderson (4 star), just a few hundred metres from the station and your hotel tonight. After settling in, you are bound to want to discover the myriad of attractions that this wonderful city has to offer. Milan’s sights include the striking Duomo (the world’s largest Gothic cathedral) and perhaps Europe’s best-known opera house, the ‘Teatro alla Scala’. Alternatively, the Castello Sforzesco is well worth a visit. The former residence of the Duchy of Milan was once one of the most ornate dwellings in Europe – and today it is still a delight to discover as it hosts an array of museums and galleries. You might like to explore the incredible 19th century glass-roofed shopping arcade, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuel. You may even have the opportunity to visit the famous church and cloister of Santa Maria della Grazie, where Leonardo da Vinci’s painting ‘The Last Supper’ can be seen (pre-booking required).
Day 8 – Homeward bound
Today you begin your journey home as you join the high-speed train back to Paris. Watch the rolling hills flash past or reminisce on the wonders of the past few days. Your private taxi transfer takes you to the Gare du Nord and the last leg of your journey. Here you join the Eurostar and let the train take the strain as you stretch out and savour the light meal and drinks included in your Standard Premier service. At 186mph the landscape is a blur at times, though memories abide as you return to London St. Pancras International and the final leg of your journey home.