Autumn in Italy

Monday 29th October to Friday 9th November 2018
12 - Days

Prices from: £2025

Seek out the sunshine of southern Europe and embark on a glorious late autumn holiday by rail.

Departure Date: 29-Oct-2018
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This is an ideal time of the year to visit Italy, as the vast tourist streams and heat waves from the summer have subsided, while nature showcases its most vibrant colors and the Alpine peaks are already sugar-frosted by the season’s first snow. This all new tour features all the elements that make railway travel in Italy so enjoyable. Flashy, bright red high speed trains with a vibrant design and superb First Class amenities, scenic lines with captivating landscapes, cities with lots spacious squares and Italianate architecture plus of course world famous food and drink. This attractive holiday offers lots of refinement with elegant, centrally located hotels, private city sightseeing tours on historic trams, exclusively chartered narrow gauge trains using only vintage rolling stock, buffet lunches, luggage transfers and a generally relaxed pace of discovery, allowing you to truly arrive and revive. The tour is anchored by visits to such renowned Italian cities as Turin, Verona and Venice, while also spending time in Lugano, Switzerland and Innsbruck, Austria. Indeed the Swiss Ticino and Austrian Tyrol add to the depth and variety of this wonderful holiday, with a Lake Lugano boat cruise aboard a luxurious motor yacht dating from 1927 and a ride on the legendary Achenseebahn being additional highlights. Experience more for less, on a vacation that represents tremendous value and gives ease of access. All long distance rail travel is exclusively in First Class.

Monday 29th October
London to Turin by high speed rail
You travel direct from London, St Pancras to Turin via Paris on Eurostar and TGV trains, a scenic route through the French and Italian Alps. You arrive in Turin, the capital of Piedmont, in the evening. Here you check-in to a centrally located hotel, your base for the next two nights.

Tuesday 30th October
Turin by vintage tram and at leisure
Today you discover the delights of stately Turin on a classic tramway dating from the 1930s, from which you’ll see the principal landmarks and key features of the city without having to walk. You cover the most attractive parts of the urban light rail network, pause for photos and also travel over some rare track. Afterwards you lunch at a typical Italian pizzeria. In the afternoon, you can continue to explore the city at leisure. Its rich architectural heritage dates from a baroque heyday and the original neat grid of streets on which it was based were later layered with wide avenues and grand squares, such as the Piazza Vittoria. Turin is an eminently walkable city, made all the more pleasant by the 11 miles of arcades you can stroll through! (B L)

Wednesday 31st October
Frecciarossa high speed train to Milan; Lake Lugano Scenic Cruise
Today the very best of flashy Italian high-speed trains awaits as you travel on an FS Frecciarossa (Red Arrow) over the Northern Italian high-speed line to Milano Centrale, Italy’s most spectacular and monumental railway station. Your bright red ‘Ferrari on steel wheels’ speeds through Lombardy, as you enjoy the plush comforts of First Class. In Milan, you transfer onto a EuroCity train to Lugano, Switzerland, arriving there in the afternoon. In the meantime, your luggage has been directly transferred to Lugano by coach. On arrival in Lugano you take the brand-new funicular railway from the station to the town centre and check-into your elegant hotel in the old town, near the lakeside promenade. To cap the day in fine fashion, you have a late afternoon cruise on beautiful Lake Lugano aboard the luxurious 1927 motor yacht ‘Milano’. Complimentary drinks and light refreshments will be served as you watch the tranquil autumn sun set over the mountainous peaks of the Ticino. (B)

Thursday 1st November
Mountain magnificence and funiculars in Lugano
Lugano is one of the most vivacious cities in Switzerland, and today you’ll spend a relaxed morning exploring its diverse highlights. It’s a town of parks and flowers, villas and sacred buildings, framed by two spectacular panoramic peaks: the 925-metre high Monte Brè, which looks a bit like the Sugar Loaf in Rio de Janeiro, and Monte San Salvatore, with an elevation of 912 metres. They’re conveniently accessible by funicular and you’ll ascend both in the afternoon to enjoy the amazing views at the summit, over Swiss and Italian lakes and towering mountains. The evening is free for you to explore Lugano further, with its traffic-free town centre and Italianate style buildings, before dining at a restaurant of your choice. (B)

Friday 2nd November
Madonna del Sasso funicular; Centovalli Railway and arrival in Verona
After breakfast, you travel on an SBB service train over the scenic Ceneri Pass to Locarno. From there you make the excursion on the local funicular to the spectacular hilltop Madonna del Sasso basilica. Surrounded by palm trees and towering high above expansive Lake Maggiore, there are breath-taking views of the languid lake and surrounding peaks. You return to Locarno for a trip over the unique Centovalli Railway. This narrow-gauge line climbs dizzying heights, crossing deep ravines and countless spectacular viaducts. You’ll have a privately chartered train on the Swiss section of the line as far as Intragna, using the railway’s remarkable preserved railcar and plush early 20th century First Class coaches. Photo stops will be included. In Intragna you stop for refreshments, before continuing on the cross-border service train to Italy on reserved seats. As the outstanding scenery of the Italian Alps unfolds, you eventually reach the busy junction station of Domodossola. From there you continue on a EC train along the banks of Lake Maggiore and past Stresa to Milano Centrale, where you again change onto a Frecciarossa high speed service to Verona. You arrive in Verona by the early evening and check into your next centrally located hotel for the next three nights. (B L)

Saturday 3rd November
Morning leisure in Verona, afternoon excursion to Lake Garda
This morning is free to see all the amazing sights of Verona. Best known for its Shakespeare associations, Verona has a bustling centre, its heart dominated by a mammoth, remarkably well-preserved first-century amphitheatre. There are also countless churches, and a couple of architecturally fascinating bridges over the Adige to explore. In the afternoon, you’ll have a coach excursion to nearby Lazise on the banks of Lake Garda, a perfect Italian town with amazing ambiance and atmosphere. Lazise has a wonderful old town centre, with narrow alleys and picturesque squares, a harbour set right in the city centre and a famous 14th century Veronese customs office. After your exciting day, you return to Verona in the early evening. (B)

Sunday 4th November
A day in Venice with private water taxis
This morning you take a high-speed train in First Class comfort to Venice. The journey takes just over an hour and passes around Padua, with many hilltop churches and picture-perfect landscapes in view. On arrival at Venezia Santa Lucia terminus station, directly on the lagoon, you step onto one of the glamorous, wooden-hulled private water taxis, made-famous by many Hollywood films. You then travel through Venice as George Clooney might, aboard a stylish fast boat oozing Italian flair and panache. During your 75-minute private sightseeing tour, you get to see all the major landmarks, including the Canale Grande, Rialto and Piazza San Marco. Your water taxi offers wonderful open-air sightlines as well as shelter from the elements in an enclosed cabin. You’ll be dropped back at Santa Lucia, from where you can continue to explore at your own pace. In the evening, you return by high-speed train directly to Verona. (B)

Monday 5th November
Scenic splendour in the Dolomites; Rittner Railway above Bolzano
You move north to the Italian Alps today and enjoy the serene scenery of Italy’s German-speaking region South Tyrol. After a transfer to Bolzano by EuroCity train, you take the city’s aerial cableway to the lofty heights at Soprabolzano. There you board the endearing Rittner Railway, a narrow-gauge line that still uses vintage railcars and runs at a high plateau along virgin meadows, with the towering pinnacles of the Dolomites all around. You travel the full length of the line on a privately chartered train using the railway’s most exclusive vintage trainset, pausing for photos along the way. You have lunch at a trattoria at the terminus Calalbo, before making the return journey to Soprabolzano and descending back down into the city centre of Bolzano. There you check into your centrally located hotel, where your already transferred luggage awaits. The rest of the day is yours to spend at leisure in Bolzano. (B L)

Tuesday 6th November
Scenic railways of South Tyrol to Merano and Malles
Today you explore two of Italy’s best Alpine railways, first on the attractive line to Merano and then on the revitalized branch line in the Vinschgau Valley to Malles. This is considered one of the most scenic lines in Italy with fantastic views at every corner, from Sonnenberg mountain with its vineyards, to the marble quarries of Lasa, or the mystical Tarces hill and the many castles and palaces of the Vinschgau. You’ll pause for lunch along the line at the terminus town of Malles, before retracing your journey and taking time to sightsee Merano. You return to Bolzano by the late afternoon. (B L)

Wednesday 7th November
Over the Brenner Pass to Innsbruck, Stubaital Railway in Tyrol
After breakfast, you journey over one of Europe’s iconic trans-Alpine railways on a EuroCity train via the mighty Brenner Pass through the Alps to Austria. You descend to Innsbruck and check into another elegant hotel. After lunch at your hotel, you have a private charter journey scheduled on another vintage train on the scenic Stubaital Railway. This narrow-gauge railway meanders into the mountain valleys south of Innsbruck, and you’ll travel in a vintage railcar dating from the early 20th century. You pause for photos and run-pasts at breath-taking locations, as you travel the full length of the line to the terminus at the ski resort of Fulpmes. After the late afternoon return to Innsbruck, there’s still time to explore the preserved 800-year-old medieval town centre of this historic city. (B L)

Thursday 8th November
Steam at the Achenseebahn in the heart of the Tyrolean Alps
To conclude your fabulous tri-national highlights tour in fine style and with steam, you visit one of the most famous Alpine mountain railways in Austria, the iconic Achenseebahn. This is the oldest rack railway in the country and the line still uses its original steam locomotives dating from 1889. You will have a truly exclusive experience today, enjoying a private steam charter on a day when all public services will have already ended. Having the line all to yourself makes it even more special, as the fantastic Alpine scenery of Tyrol unfolds before you and as the locomotive storms up the steep gradients to reach the namesake Achensee mountain lake at the summit station of the railway. Photo stops and run-pasts will be staged as part of this outing today. You have lunch at a typical Austrian inn before returning to Innsbruck in the afternoon for more time at leisure in this wonderful city, maybe choosing to stroll down Herzog Friedrich Strasse to the city’s must-see highlight, the Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof). (B L)

Friday 9th November
Return to London via the Arlberg Railway and Paris
You travel back to London via Zurich and Paris. This allows you to enjoy the magnificent ride over the mountainous Arlberg Railway in the morning, retracing the route and the best part of the famed Orient Express as you journey from Innsbruck to Zurich on a OBB railjet train. In Zurich, you change onto a TGV for the fast, onward connection to Paris, before switching to a Eurostar back to London. (B)



  • Tour price £2345
  • Single supplement £295
  • Ground only £2025

All prices shown are per person.

Price Includes

  • First Class rail travel from London St. Pancras International to Turin via Paris, Chur and return from Innsbruck
  • 11 nights hotel accommodation with breakfast
  • 6 lunches
  • All rail trips as detailed in the itinerary
  • All seat reservations and transfers
  • The services of a tour manager

Meals included each day are shown as:
B = Breakfast - L = Lunch - D = Dinner


Map feature coming soon!