Jewels of Italy and the Venice Simplon-Orient Express
- 14 Days
- From £4,999
- First Class rail throughout (except Florence to Siena return)
- 3 nights in each of Lake Maggiore, Amalfi Coast and Tuscany
- Combine the most popular regions of Italy
- Venice Simplon-Orient-Express from Venice through to London
- Choose your departure date
- Add extra nights & destinations
- Choose alternative hotels
- Let us suggest the most scenic routes
- Double cabin on the Orient-Express from Venice to London
- First Class travel from London to Italy
- Private car transfer between stations in Paris
- 12 nights’ handpicked luxury hotel accommodation with breakfast
- Private car transfers on arrival in Naples and Siena
- Private boat transfer from Venice station to your hotel near St Mark’s Square
- Shared transfer from your hotel in Venice to the station
- City maps and comprehensive directions to your hotels
- Clearly-presented wallets for your rail tickets, hotel vouchers and other documentation
- All credit card surcharges and complimentary delivery of your travel documents
Your epic adventure begins today at London’s St Pancras station as you board a modern Eurostar train bound for Paris. You will be met on arrival by a driver, who will transport you and your luggage across the city and deliver you onto your TGV service heading south into Switzerland.
Enjoy the scenery as you twist and turn through the Jura mountains before arriving into the lakeside city of Lausanne, where you will be staying at the stunning Hotel Angleterre et Residences (or similar) for an overnight stay.
After a morning on the shores of Lake Geneva, or maybe experiencing Lausanne’s fascinating old town, it is time to travel east on the railways. The train passes the Chateau de Chillon (pictured) and then continues through the Simplon Tunnel and out into Italy. Before too long, you will arrive into the lakeside resort of Stresa, on the shores of Lake Maggiore.
Check in at the magnificent Grand Hotel des Iles Borromees (or similar) for a 3-night stay.
Stresa is one of the best known resorts on Lake Maggiore, strategically located at the “bend” in the lake, allowing for easy access by boat to many different villages along the shoreline.
One highly recommended day trip is to Domodossola and the Centovalli railway, a spectacular line that runs across to Locarno in Switzerland, which is then linked back to Stresa by boat. Alternatively, take a boat across to Cannobio, Laveno or Luino, all of which are charming villages that are served by the lake.
A journey of over 550 miles awaits today, as you move south through Milan and onto a high-speed Frecciarossa (Red Arrow) train down the spine of Italy to the fiery southern city of Naples.
On arrival you will be met by a driver, who will transfer you through to the Pasitea Hotel (or similar) in Positano, at the heart of the Amalfi Coast, for a 3-night stay.
Perched on a steep hillside, the town of Positano is one of the most photographed anywhere in Italy. Ideally located at the heart of the Amalfi Coast, you can explore not only the town itself, but also neighbouring villages such as Amalfi, with its spectacular cathedral, and Furore, with its unique Italian fjord!
Alternatively, relax by the pool, read a book and top up the sun tan, as you look forward to an evening of culinary delights at one of Positano’s excellent seafood restaurants (we recommend C’era Una Volta, for its superb mussel-based dishes!)
Today you will need to tear yourself away from the beautiful coastline and make your way back to Naples station, where a gleaming Italo train will be waiting to whisk you north to Tuscany. After a quick and easy change of platform in Florence, you board a regional train for the short journey through to the enchanting town of Siena.
Meet your private transfer at the station and head for the Grand Hotel Continental (or similar), in the heart of the walled old town. You will have a 3-night stay here.
Apart from being a stunning medieval city, Siena is also an ideal base for exploring Tuscany and the local area. We can arrange a wine tour for you, to one of the many vineyards that surround the city, or we can pre-book you a hire car to allow you to explore the region at your own pace.
Visit Chianti, Montalcino or the picturesque walled towns of San Gimignano or Montepulciano – there are endless possibilities, unless you prefer to view Siena itself at a slower pace.
After three dreamy days in Tuscany, and with your Orient Express adventure getting ever closer, today is the day to head to its starting point, Venice. The journey is easy, taking a regional train back to Florence and once again picking up the high-speed Italo train north, into Venice’s Santa Lucia station, located right on the Grand Canal. On arrival, you will be met and taken down to your own private boat waiting outside the station and whisked off down the Grand Canal – the only way to arrive in Venice! Check into your hotel, the Bauer Il Palazzo (or similar) for a 2-night stay.
Uniquely situated on a lagoon, Venice is a car-free wonder which is best explored on foot. Once the capital of a vast trading empire, today Venice attracts millions of visitors every year, and it is not hard to see why. The bridges of Rialto and Accademia make for excellent reference points and the vast galleried St Mark’s Square is a focal point at the city’s heart. As well as visiting the fabled Doge’s Palace, Bridge of Sighs and La Fenice Theatre, one of the great pleasures of Venice is to wander through its lanes and lose yourself – head into the residential areas of Cannaregio or Arsenale to discover the true Venice, and see real Venetians in their day-to-day lives.
Late morning, a transfer will take you back to the station where you board the gleaming Wagons Lits of the Venice-Simplon Orient Express. After settling into your cabin and a brief stop at Verona, you will experience your first gourmet dining experience aboard the train.
As the locomotive hauls the coaches through the dramatic scenery of the Brenner Pass, you enjoy a 3-course lunch, followed by an afternoon tea served in your cabin. Keep some room for the delicious 4-course dinner, enjoyed as the sun goes down.
This morning, awake to breakfast served in your cabin by one of the smartly-dressed stewards. From Paris, the train then moves due north, through the countryside of Picardy, heading for the port of Calais, while you enjoy a delicious brunch.
In Calais, you will travel by luxury coach through the Channel Tunnel to Folkestone West station and onwards by the sumptuously decorated British Pullman carriages. Enjoy a traditional English afternoon tea as you make your way through the Kent countryside into London.
Typical hotels on this itinerary
Consisting of six pavilions dating from the 18th, 19th and 21st centuries, this unique hotel features contemporary décor in a historic, lakefront setting. Apart from fine dining in the Italian restaurant, guests enjoy preferential access to the gourmet restaurant at the nearby Beau-Rivage Palace.
Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees offers elegant rooms with marble bathrooms complete with spa bath. Some rooms have views of the distant Alps, some overlook the lake and the islands. The wellness centre feaetures an indoor swimming pool as well as hot tubs and saunas.
Overlooking the bay of Positano, the multi-terraced Art Hotel Pasitea offers air-conditioned bedrooms with a private sea-view balcony and free Wi-Fi. Guests can choose from a large selection of national wines at the hotel’s elegant wine bar, and taste other Italian gastronomic specialities in the onsite restaurant.
A luxurious property dating back to the 17th century, the Grand Hotel Continental invites its guests to embrace the history of Siena with elegant, welcoming bedrooms. The Grand Continental also offers the amenities and service that you would expect from a five star hotel.
Located just off the famous St Mark’s Square, this splendid hotel is an icon of Venice. The hotel consists of the Bauer L’Hotel, the Casanova Rooms annexe and the palatial Bauer Il Palazzo, which fronts onto the Grand Canal. The De Pisis restaurant is known throughout the city for its quality and service.