Rome and Sorrento by First Class rail on daytime trains
Prices starting from £1,595 per person
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Whether you are enticed by the glorious range of historical architecture, the eclectic mix of culture, artistic influence and fashion or the city’s tasteful Roman cuisine, the Eternal City of Rome has something to offer for everyone.
Sorrento on the beautiful Bay of Naples gives you the best of both worlds: stunning scenery and coastlines along with world-class attractions like Pompeii, Vesuvius and the charming island of Capri.
9 night / 10 day holiday by First Class rail on daytime trains, based on a departure in low to mid-season, including 3 nights B&B in a twin/double room at the River Palace Hotel (4 star) in Rome and 4 nights B&B in a sea view twin/double room at the Hotel Bristol (4 star) in Sorrento, plus overnight stays B&B in twin/double rooms at the Hotel Helmhaus (4 star) in Zurich and the Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic (4 star superior) in Montreux, plus private taxi transfers in Paris and Sorrento from £1,795 per person. Alternatively, travel via Turin and Milan from £1,595 per person.
Day 1 – By rail to Switzerland
You begin your memorable tour of Italy as you stroll through wonderfully restored London St. Pancras station. As you make your way to the Eurostar terminal make sure you take the time to gaze up at the fabulous sky-blue Victorian glass roof. Settle into your Standard Premier Class seat as your Eurostar service whisks you across London and through the Kent countryside. You glide through the Eurotunnel and into France before arriving at the Gare du Nord for your onward journey by taxi to the Gare de Lyon. Once aboard the TGV, you can relax once again in anticipation of the changing scenery from flat pastures into the rolling foothills of the Swiss Alps.
Your service arrives into the delightful city of Zurich this evening, where you make the short journey across the River Limmat to your hotel for the night, the welcoming and centrally located Hotel Helmhaus (4 star).
Day 2 – Free-time in Zurich – Through the Swiss Alps to Rome
This morning why not make the most of your time in Zurich with a tour of some of the most charming attractions? The beauty of this compact city lies in the ability to showcase a sample of its culture, history and stunning architecture on only a short walk. Start with a saunter through the glamorous Bahnhofstrasse, a street crammed with luxurious shops, selling the best Switzerland can offer, before a visit to some of Zurich’s most famous landmarks, the Old Town burgher houses, Rathaus (Town Hall) and many historic churches. As you reach the opening of Lake Zurich, cross the river and loop back on yourself along the western banks of the Limmat to the Lindenhof Hill, an oasis in the centre of the city and an ideal vantage point for a final view across Zurich.
Make the journey back to Zurich HB station, 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.
Stretch your legs as you change trains in Milan’s impressive Centrale station and join the flagship Frecciarossa (Red Arrow) service for the journey south to Rome and into Roma Termini station. Enter the Eternal city and make your way to your base for the next three nights, the well-located River Palace Hotel (4 star).
Days 3 and 4 – The Eternal City of Rome
Rome is truly one of the most thrilling and seductive cities in the world. Discover a feast of architectural wonders, fine art and indulgent dining seemingly around each corner on your two full days in the Eternal city. With an array of world renowned attractions including the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Coliseum and Vatican city you will find your days filled with glorious sights before perhaps having a break with a ‘gelato’ in Piazza Navona or enjoying some time shopping on Via del Corso. An attraction not to be missed is Michelangelo’s masterpiece, located in the Sistine Chapel. Alternatively, if you would like to sample some spectacular panoramic cityscape scenery, then make sure you take a trip to the top of St. Peter’s Cathedral.
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.
Days 5 – Rome to Sorrento on the Bay of Naples
Today you journey by first class rail south-east from the eternal city to the Sorrento peninsula and the Bay of Naples. The high-speed connection takes you just over an hour. On arrival at Naples station a private taxi will transfer you to Sorrento and your hotel for the next 4 nights, the Hotel Bristol (4 star), ideally situated just up the hill from the centre of Sorrento with stunning views over the Bay of Naples.
Days 6 to 8 – Sorrento, the Bay of Naples, Capri and the Amalfi Coast
From your base in Sorrento there are plenty of options available to you. You might like to take a boat to the legendary island of Capri (pictured), popular with many famous stars, with its incredible blue grotto or along the dazzling Amalfi Coast to the pretty village of Positano, perched above the sea, as if glued to the cliffside. Alternatively visit Pompeii or Herculaneum, poignant reminders of the brooding Vesuvius which still looms above them today.
Day 9 – Sorrento to Lake Geneva
Savour your final morning on the Italian coast before your private taxi transports you back to Naples station to board the Eurostar Italia Frecciarossa service to Milan. Sit back and watch the world go by or simply revel in the romanticism of rail travel across Europe. As you arrive into Milan station connect with your onward Euro City service for the picturesque journey as you weave between the towering peaks of the Swiss Alps and descend to the charming town of Montreux, nestled on the eastern shores of Lake Geneva. Your ideally located hotel in Montreux is the Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic (4 star superior), situated directly opposite the station. This evening you might like to make the most of your lakeside position with an evening stroll along the elegant promenade.
Day 10 – Montreux to London – Homeward bound
Awake this morning to stunning views over the crystal clear waters of Lake Geneva. You may have time to make the journey on foot (approx. 40 min walk) or on board the trolley bus to the Château de Chillon, an architectural jewel located in one of the most beautiful settings in the region. Savour the views from this majestic setting before making your way back to the station for your onward journey along the northern shores of Lake Geneva to Lausanne. Here you change trains for the high-speed first class journey north through France aboard the TGV service to Paris. Relax on board as you gaze across the passing scenery before the train arrives into the Gare de Lyon. You are greeted by your taxi transfer which transports you across Paris back to the Gare du Nord, where you can make your way to the Eurostar terminal and board the comfortable Eurostar service. Relax on-board as the train leaves the bustling Parisian metropolis and builds to speeds of up to 186mph. Reminisce about some of the highlights of your glorious tour as you leave the countryside of northern France and cross the English Channel into Kent for your return to London St Pancras International for the last stage of your route home.