The tour is self-guided, thereby greatly reducing the costs that would otherwise be spend on a tour director. Your sightseeing tours in the various cities however are guided by expert local guides providing you with insight and background stories relating to the locations, historical sights and cultures making each visit a unique experience.
Add extra days, sightseeing, experiences or excursions. As an independent traveller you can even undertake the tour in either direction, take a detour or a break in the tour to do ‘your own thing’ for a while, like hiring a car in Tuscany to explore the hills and villages to create a truly individualised and unique itinerary. Travel in style in Europe's luxurious super-fast trains and arrive relaxed and in no time at your holiday destinations.
* 10 nights in first class, 4 star hotels, some in historical buildings
* 1st class train tickets between destinations. Seat reservations where required
* 10 full breakfasts
* Dinner in Venice with spectacular views across the lagoon towards St. Marks
- Sightseeing and Excursions:
* Sightseeing with a double-decker 'hop-on-hop-off' bus in Rome (or choose the '3 hour Ancient Walking Tour' instead of the 'Hop-on-hop-off' bus)
* ‘Roma pass’ - free transport for 3 days
* Admission into the Colosseum (priority entry ticket) and the Galleria Borghese
* Sightseeing tour with professional local guide in Florence
* Special theme sightseeing in Florence or excursion to Pisa
* 2-day Venice canal boat pass
* Sightseeing tour in Venice with professional local guide
* Canal boat excursion to Murano and visit to glass blowing artisans.
Triple share travellers please note that some changes to inclusions are necessary in particular at peak holiday times.
Day 1: Rome. Your hotel is located right in the heart of the city, close to the Trevi fountain and the Spanish Steps. Explore the city and some of Rome's best known ancient sights, the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Capitoline Hill, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and Piazza Navona in the afternoon with a ‘hop-on-hop-off’ bus.
Day 2: Rome. During your days in Rome you will also have the ‘Roma Pass’, which entitles you to admission into 2 of the sights, like the Colosseum, free transport in the inner city and a reduction in admission fees for most other attractions.
Day 3: Florence. In less than 2 hours you arrive in the midst of artistic splendour in Florence. In the afternoon choose one of 3 options to familiarize yourself with this magnificent city by either a luxury coach tour with English speaking local guide, a hop-on hop-off bus or by joining a small group guided bicycle tour.
Day 4: Florence. The options on this day should have something for everyone’s taste. Choose from: a) Florence Market and Food Walking Tour lead by an expert Chef or b) a day excursion to Pisa to see the leaning tower or c) priority tickets to the Uffizi Gallery and last not least d) a shopping tour to Prada and the Mall Fashion Outlets. Prada, Armani, Gucci, Fendi -fabulous designer clothing at bargain prices.
Day 5: Cinque Terre. After a train ride through beautiful Tuscany you arrive in Monterosso, your base from where you explore the Cinque Terre.
Day 6: Cinque Terre. Walk the scenic Via Dell'Amore that connects the 5 villages of Cinque Terre and take in the dramatic views of the coastline and fishing villages. Taste one of Liguria’s specialties – razor clam soup in nearby Porto Venere and take a boat trip to the tiny island of Palmaria and its grottoes.
Day 7: Lake Como. You will feel overwhelmed by the beauty of Lake Como and its surroundings. Take the funicular up to Brunate (2000 feet) for an even more spectacular view. Como has been producing silk since the 14th century and has since then a rich history in the art and craft of silk weaving. Visit the many silk shops and silk factory outlets. Dine on the lake-front terrace restaurant and watch the sun set over lake Como.
Day 8: Lake Como. Spend the day criss-crossing the lake by boat and visiting its tiny waterside villages, in particular ‘Bellagio’, the pearl of the lake.
Day 9: Venice. Stepping out from the Venice Santa Lucia train station will make you feel that you have arrived on a movie set. Nothing can prepare you for that first moment when you see Venice and the Canale Grande spread out before you. Spend the day in awe just walking around and loosing yourself in Venice and its tiny cobble-stoned alleyways, canals, bridges and piazzas.
Day 10: Venice. Choose between one of 3 walking tours: The ‘Hidden Venice Walking tour’, the 'Venice Walking tour with St. Mark's Basilika' or in the evening the ‘Venice Ghost walking tour’. In the afternoon enjoy a canal boat trip to Murano and a visit glass blowing and lace making workshops. Celebrate the last evening of your tour with a dinner in a renown restaurant with spectacular views across the lagoon to St. Marks.
Day 11: Rome. A train ride of under 4 hours takes you back to Rome. Enjoy the views of the countryside and villages you are passing from your first class window seat or perhaps even from the Club car while enjoying some 'refreshments'.
Note: Average travel time between destinations - 3 hours and 10 minutes.
The ‘Self-guided’ travelling concept:
You are travelling as independent travellers, with your own tickets, reservations, detailed itinerary, directions, timetables, sightseeing and admission tickets, maps etc. Every day will be quite clearly laid out in your itinerary, with train departure and arrival times, seat reservation details, destination information, directions and maps where sightseeing tours will leave from or how to get to or from the train station to your hotel, usually in easy walking distance. The various sightseeing tours at your destinations will be pre-booked and we will provide you with detailed information regarding the time of the tour, content of the tour, from where it leaves (if there is no pick-up from the hotel it is usually in easy walking distance) and if it is a coach or walking tour.
Travelling in Europe, in particular Western Europe, you will find that you won’t have any communication problems as good English is widely spoken. Sharing of local knowledge and insights into the culture and history of the country you are visiting, usually provided by a tour leader, will be available during your sightseeing tours by local expert guides.
Increased flexibility and choices
Having your own tickets for the train or for city passes gives you more flexibility. For example in Venice if you want to see the glass blower artisans on the island of Murano and your travelling partner prefers to take the canal boat to the Lido you can do that - it’s your choice. If you happen to fall ill and prefer to stay for another day you can catch the train the next day as your train ticket will be valid for up to two months. (Obviously you would have to pay for the extra day in the hotel and another train seat reservation). The usual departure time for the train is around 10 am, giving you plenty of time for a leisurely breakfast. However if you are early risers and would like to take an earlier train we can try and arrange that for you.
The choice is yours
We ensure that our tours are planned and organized with attention to every detail and we feel confident that you will find that everything works smoothly. As well, you will have the advantage of the substantial savings of the 'self-guided' tour price and you can choose to use these savings to splash out on some fun or exciting optional travel experiences, like extra excursions, pamper treatments, the odd sampling of a good glass of red or regional delicacies.
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Europe Italy Local Culture Railway Trips Sightseeing