Luxury Venice and Florence by Rail
- 7 Days
- From £1,599
- Take the Gotthard route through the Alps to Venice with a night en route in Zurich
- On arrival in Venice, a private water taxi will take you to your hotel on the Grand Canal
- Whizz south on a high-speed Italian train to Florence, cradle of the Renaissance
- Return to the UK via the beautiful Brenner Pass with a night in Munich
- Decide when you would like to travel
- Adapt the route to suit your plans
- Change your hotels
- Add extra nights, destinations and/or tours
- First Class rail travel with seat reservations
- Private transfer between stations in Paris
- 6 nights’ handpicked hotel accommodation with breakfast
- Private transfer from station to hotel in Venice
- Private transfer from station to hotel in Florence
- 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
You can either choose an early start from London St Pancras this morning, catching the Eurostar to Paris with a private transfer across to the Gare de Lyon and a TGV service arriving mid-afternoon into Zurich. Or alternatively, you may prefer a leisurely start with a departure at midday, arriving into Zurich in the evening.
Either way, when you arrive into Zurich’s grand main station, you will be checking in at the lovely Hotel Schweizerhof (or similar), just across the road. You have an overnight stay here before your onward journey through the Alps.
Take a direct train today via the shores of Lakes Zurich and Lucerne, through the Gotthard base tunnel to southern Switzerland and into Italy. If you would prefer, there is a longer, more scenic route over the top of the mountains. Let us know if you would prefer this.
Once you’re past Venice Mestre station, the train heads out onto the Lagoon for an unforgettable arrival on the main island of Venice and Santa Lucia station. Here, you’ll be met by a transfer driver who will escort you to the Londra Palace (or similar), your home for the next 2 nights.
Spend a full day exploring the narrow alleys, pretty squares and wide Grand Canal vistas of Venice. Along with the famous attractions like St Mark’s Square, the Accademia art gallery and the Rialto Bridge, you can also discover lesser known wonders like the islands of Murano and Burano or the beautiful Peggy Guggenheim Museum.
After a busy day of sightseeing, why not relax as the locals do, with an Aperol Spritz overlooking the Venetian Lagoon.
There are numerous train services running between Venice and Florence so just let us know when you would prefer to leave and we will plan your journey for you. The high-speed service takes 2 hours.
On arrival at Florence Santa Maria Novella station, meet your driver at the end of the platform. He will take you to the Westin Excelsior (or similar), your home for the next 2 nights.
Florence is a truly remarkable city – capital of the region of Tuscany, it has been a centre of art and culture for centuries. Today, it boasts a plethora of galleries, museums and churches, the most famous of which being the towering Duomo (cathedral), which looms large over the city skyline. Take time to wander along the banks of the Arno River, taking in the endlessly photogenic Ponte Vecchio that straddles it.
No visit to Florence is complete without a visit to the ever-popular Uffizi Gallery, right in the centre of the city. We can book ‘skip-the-line’ tickets for you here. Please ask for details.
It’s time to leave Florence today and make your way back to the station for a quick hop up to Bologna and then a stunning journey through the Brenner Pass high in the Alps which will take you through Austria and across the German border to Munich.
On arrival in Munich, check in at the conveniently located Sofitel Bayerpost (or similar) for an overnight stay. There’s time to head out for dinner and an explore this evening or alternatively, you might prefer to stay in and enjoy the facilities of your hotel.
Leave Munich after breakfast this morning and speed through Germany, via Frankfurt to Brussels. Here, a change of trains (in the same station) brings you aboard the Eurostar for your last rail journey back to the UK. You’ll be travelling in Standard Premier class so you’ll be served a light evening meal at your seat.
Typical hotels on this itinerary
The Hotel Schweizerhof Zürich is located opposite the railway station and offers soundproofed rooms with electrically adjustable beds. Its French restaurant ‘La Soupière’ offers delicious seasonal cuisine. The Café Gourmet serves fine antipasti, salads, pastry and the Schweizerhof Bar is famous for its wide selection of whisky.
The Londra Palace is a luxury hotel located on the Riva degli Schiavoni, overlooking the Venetian Lagoon. The elegant bedrooms combine antique furnishings with modern amenities such as Wi-Fi internet and LCD TVs. The Do Leoni restaurant specialises in modern Venetian cuisine. In fine weather, both dinner and breakfast can be enjoyed on the terrace overlooking the lagoon.
Situated on the banks of the River Arno, the Westin Excelsior occupies a grand building in the Piazza Ognissanti. The opulent bedrooms all come with a Westin Heavenly Bed® and a 32″ plasma-screen TV and a digital jukebox. You can enjoy a meal in the restaurant or a leisurely drink overlooking the Arno from one of the hotel’s terraces. Spa treatments and use of the wellness centre are available at a partner hotel located opposite.
Built into the southern wing of the railway station, this superb French-style property is amongst Munich’s best hotels. Relax in your spacious bedroom or in the heavenly spa and swimming pool. Enjoy a full, varied breakfast in the hotel’s fabulous restaurant.
Upgrade your accommodation
One of the Leading Hotels of the World, the Luna Baglioni is simply the best in Venetian opulence. Housed in a magnificent Venetian Palace, the hotel boasts an award-winning restaurant, Canova, as well as Caffe Baglioni, where delicious coffees and pastries are available throughout the day.
A short boat ride on the hotel’s complimentary shuttle to St Mark’s Square, this landmark luxury hotel boasts elegant rooms with garden or lagoon views, free Wi-Fi and iPod docks. There is also a local area shuttle boat, restaurant, waterfront bistro, Olympic-sized outdoor pool, spa and tennis courts.
The stylish Savoy Hotel in Florence occupies a historic building in the centre of the city with the Uffizi Gallery and the famous Duomo both within easy reach. The interior of the hotel is designed by Olga Polizzi and pays tribute to the fashion heritage of Florence with shoe paintings lining the corridors. Bedrooms are spacious and the service is exceptional.