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Trip Overview

If you’re reading this, one of your favorite aspects of traveling is probably, you guessed it, discovering the unique cuisine that each city and country offers. On this 11-day rail journey, you’ll have the opportunity to savor and connect with a true taste of authentic Italy’s most beloved dishes. The gastronomic capitals of Italy (Rome Naples, Florence, Bologna and Parma) offer quintessential flavors that you can’t leave without trying. From carbonara to gelato, Bolognese, hand-shaped pastas, fresh focaccia, mouth- watering cheeses, and slow-simmered sauces, the culinary culture found in this country is worth traveling around the world for. There’s only two requirements: Arrive hungry and bring your sense of adventure. Buon appetito!

Highlights

  • Pasta alla Carbonara and gelato in ancient Rome
  • Proper pizza and fresh seafood in Naples
  • Delicious local Chianti and the renaissance in Florence
  • True Bolognese and tortellini in Bologna
  • The real Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and Parma ham (Prosciutto di Parma) in Parma

PACKAGE ALSO INCLUDES:

  • Rail travel and reservations where necessary as per itinerary
  • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Rome including breakfast
  • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Naples including breakfast
  • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Florence including breakfast
  • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Bologna including breakfast
  • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Parma including breakfast
Trip Map

Disclaimer:

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy. Prices do not include rail from your hometown. Please call for pricing. Package prices are subject to change without notice, and all reservations are based upon availability at the time of booking. Single occupancy supplements will apply for solo travelers. Hotel and room facilities vary and may be subject to additional fees. Some hotels require payment of local city taxes on arrival. Please call for pricing. We accept all major credit and debit cards. Activities referenced in the itinerary during free time are for suggested purposes only and are not included. Seasonal activity (if applicable): During the off-season, some tours may not be available. In this case, a similar tour will be substituted. Passports are required when traveling outside the United States including crossing the Canadian border.

DAY 1 – ROME
Welcome to the Eternal City of Rome! When you arrive, check into your hotel and start exploring on your own. With so much to see and experience, there’s no telling what kind of memories you’ll make today. But aside from sightseeing, the highlights will most certainly be the food! Rome is unquestionably one of the world’s greatest food cities. It is packed with ancient flavors and unforgettable meals. When it comes to culinary culture, Rome holds true to its old-world authenticity. For the best food experiences, travel just outside the city center and eat like a local in one of the many neighborhoods like a local. Try the classic, mouth-watering Pasta alla Carbonara (which gets its velvety texture from farm-fresh, raw egg yolks cooked into the pasta) topped with a creamy sauce of pecorino cheese, black pepper and bacon. Then there’s such delicacies as Carciofi alla Romana (artichokes cooked in olive oil), Suppli’ (bite-sized snacks filled with mozzarella cheese coated by risotto, egg, tomato sauce, and breadcrumbs and then deep-fried), or Coda alla Vaccinara (traditional oxtail stew). (Overnight in Rome)

DAY 2 – ROME
Have breakfast this morning and then head out to enjoy another day of sightseeing and great food. See all the must-see attractions and landmarks that you didn’t get to yesterday. Why not visit the beautiful churches and Basilicas such as St Peter's, St Martin's and the Vatican, toss some coins in the Trevi fountain, walk in the footsteps of gladiators at the famous Colosseum, or walk the Spanish Steps and wide-open spaces of the Villa Borghese on your own?

After working up an appetite from all that exploring, set out to discover any flavors you didn’t get a chance to try yesterday. A must-try is some gelato in one of the countless gelaterias throughout the city. Like ice cream, but richer, flavors like rich dark chocolate, chestnut and strawberry are meant to be savored. For artisanal gelato made the old-fashioned way, with fresh, all-natural ingredients, make a stop at Neve di Latte (located on Via Federico Cesi), Ciampini (located halfway between Piazza Navona and the Spanish Steps) or Fatamorgana (you’ll find locations throughout the city). (Overnight in Rome) B

DAY 3 – ROME TO NAPLES
In the morning, have breakfast and then take the train from Rome to Naples, which takes just over one hour. Once you arrive in Southern Italy, travel on your own to your hotel and check in for your two-night stay. In Naples, other than soccer, food is the main reason people gather together. But Neapolitan cuisine is about more than just sitting around a table and eating. This capital and its people are passionate about its seasonal, fresh food, and it shows. After packing in some sightseeing, like taking a day trip to Pompeii (about 20 miles south), visit one of the city’s spectacular open-air markets or fish market near Porta Nolana to sample a wide variety of local specialties. Frutti di mare (seafood) is a big deal in Naples, and there are many dishes to choose from: spaghetti with clams, fried anchovies, barbequed octopus, or a fresh catch prepared with little more than a drizzle of olive oil and squeeze of a locally grown lemon. In Naples there’s something for every taste. (Overnight in Naples) B

DAY 4 – NAPLES
After having breakfast, spend the rest of your day continuing to explore all the crowd-pleasing and off the beaten path experiences Naples has to offer. From Parco Virgiliano in Posillipo there is an incredible view of the city. Visit the Catacombe di San Gennaro (ancient catacombs dating back to the second century), The Museo Archeologico Nazionale (housing one of the world’s finest collections of Greco-Roman artifacts and treasures), or stroll the steps of Petraio and appreciate a peaceful side of the city. Once you’ve seen all the sights, it’s time to try some authentic Neopolitan cuisine, such as sfogliatella (a sweet with ricotta cheese), babà (another sweet, soft pastry with rhum), and—of course—pizza! Once a humble street food, pizza has truly been elevated to a sacred experience in Naples, and there are only two ways to have it: margherita—topped with tomato sauce, olive oil, fresh basil and mozzarella—or marinara (tomato sauce, garlic and oregano). Looking for the best pizzeria in the city? Go to Michele. They have been making pizza since the second half of the 19th century. (Overnight in Naples) B

DAY 5 – NAPLES TO FLORENCE
Enjoy your included breakfast this morning and then board your train from Naples to the stunning Tuscany region of Florence, which takes just under three hours. Upon arrival, check into your hotel and get settled in before stepping out and getting to know the sprawling metropolis. Boasting a picturesque countryside, plenty of worthwhile sightseeing, and delicious food and wine, Florence is one of the world’s most beautiful and sought-after cities. There are museums, restaurants, cafes, boutique shops and more in this capital. Visit Piazzale Michelangelo and get a 360-degree view of Florence, see one of Botticelli’s finest works of art at The Uffizi, or marvel at the Cathedral of San Mary of the Flower, better known as Il Duomo di Firenze.  Throughout this living city, you’ll also be impressed by its cuisine! At Mercato Centrale, which feature two floors of vendors selling everything from meat to cheese to coffee. Come dinner, why not try the famous bistecca alla Fiorentina (the Tuscan steak) with some local wine? (Overnight in Florence) B

DAY 6 – FLORENCE
After breakfast, continue exploring Florence. You already know that this destination is famed for its beautiful landscapes and architecture, but it’s also known as the Cradle of the Renaissance. Today, why not dive into the history of the Florentine Renaissance by visiting the medieval church of Orsanmichele and the Palazzo Davanzati? These are two key sites if you want to learn more about life during this period in time. See the Palazzo Vecchio while strolling through Piazza della Signoria, the Bapistry and spend some time in the craft district of Oltrano to enjoy a local market. In Florence, you’ll notice that the skyline is still dominated by the 15th century dome of Santa Maria del Fiore—a beautiful sight to see! As far as cuisine goes, the options are endless when it comes to enjoying the flavors of Tuscany. Choose from fagioli, hams, mountain cheeses, fresh fish, salamis, truffles, sautéed spinach or chicory in olive oil and garlic, fried zucchini flowers in the summer months, or pappardelle alla lepre (wide egg noodles in a sauce made from wild hare). To experience this region’s Chianti wine, do a self-guided tour of a few estates in one of Tuscany’s picturesque towns perched on the rolling hillsides. (Overnight in Florence) B

DAY 7 – FLORENCE TO BOLOGNA
Have breakfast then travel on your own to the train station for your 30-minute jaunt to Bologna. This destination is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region, and many people claim that it is also Italy’s gastronomic capital. It’s nickname? La Grassa or “the fat one.” You can easily taste your way through this incredible city. When it comes to food, think: meat ragu, tortellini, lasagna, mortadella and balsamic vinegar. All of this delicious fare has roots in this region. Today, visit age-old markets where you can buy freshly made pasta and handmade mozzarella. Then, dine at a restaurant that showcases quintessential Bolognese food, like its famous tortellini among many other delicacies. (Overnight in Bologna) B

DAY 8 – BOLOGNA
This morning, grab breakfast and then enjoy your second day of sightseeing and cuisine-inspired adventures. Stroll along the ancient arcades that line the main streets and visit the Asinelli and Garisenda towers, two of the most visited landmarks in the city. Other sights not to miss are the Basilica of San Petronio, St. Stephen’s Basilica, the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca, art exhibitions at Albergati Palace, and Casa Isolani arcade in Strada Maggiore. If you like to shop, wander the streets in Independeza, which runs from the train station to Piazza Maggiore. For an off-the-beaten-path experience, go see the canals. Not many people know about them, but Bologna has canals that resemble the ones found in Venice! One of the best if the Canale delle Moline, which you’ll find near via Piella. In between all this exploring, food should be your priority. (Overnight in Bologna) B

DAY 9 –  BOLOGNA TO PARMA
Have breakfast and then travel on your own to the station and board your short train journey to the provincial Italian town of Parma. Although synonymous for art, music and history, it’s most famous for its food, especially Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and Prosciutto di Parma (Parma ham). Recently, UNESCO listed Parma a “City of Gastronomy.”

Today, you’ll have the opportunity to sample the best culinary and cultural offerings the region has to offer. Why not go on a Parmigiano Reggiano cheese tasting tour on your own? Visit a caseificio (traditional cheese factory) to learn the secrets of one of the most celebrated Italian products and try various samples with Lambrusco wine. As for sightseeing in this colorful city, you’ll find ornate churches and monasteries, fine art museums, the celebrated Teatro Farnese and regal art-nouveau cafes. (Overnight in Parma) B

DAY 10 – PARMA
Enjoy your included breakfast in the morning and then set out for your final day of exploring Parma. What sights didn’t you get to see yesterday? Make sure to put those on your itinerary! Visit the Parma Cathedral (considered one of the finest examples of a Romanesque cathedral in Italy), the National Gallery of Parma, and the Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Steccata. Stroll along the squares of Piazza Garibaldi to see the Palazza del Governatore, the Comune Di Parma and the Church of Saint Paul the Apostle. For a relaxing experience, go to Parco Ducale. The beautiful, vast park is located across the river adjacent to the fortress-like Palazzo della Pilotta and is easily accessible. And if you still haven’t tried it, before leaving this city, you have to try some culatello! This cured meat is one of the most expensive salamis in Italy. It’s also one of the most sought-after. (Overnight in Parma) B

DAY 11 – END OF TOUR
Check out of your hotel after breakfast and finish off any final exploring before continuing your onward journey. If you’d like to extend your vacation, perhaps riding the rails to another destination, just speak to one of our Rail Experts, who will make all the arrangements for you. B

MEAL GUIDE: B - BREAKFAST, BR - BRUNCH, L - LUNCH, AT - AFTERNOON TEA, D -DINNER

Hotel Ariston Rome

Located in the centre of Rome, just a stone's throw from Termini Station, the Ariston Hotel provides a fantastic vantage point for exploring all the Italian capital has to offer. The hotel's colourful guestrooms are all decorated in a modern style, and come complete with LCD TVs, minibars and air conditioning.

The Inn At The Roman Forum

Located just a few steps from some of the oldest and most precious ruins in Rome, including the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, this Inn is a proud member of the small luxury hotels of the world with a 5 star service. It boasts charming views of the Campidoglio, Palatin Hill, the Roman Forum and Venice Square.

The Inn At The Spanish Steps

The Inn at the Spanish Steps, located in Via Dei Condotti 85, is one of Rome's best-kept secrets. Member of The Small Luxury Hotels of the world is uniquely located on Rome's famed shopping street near Spanish Steps and and other famous monuments such as the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain.

Mascagni Hotel Rome

The Mascagni Rome is a beautiful hotel set within an Umbertine style palace. Decorated with elegant antiques, this hotel offers comfortable surroundings, personalised service and spacious rooms featuring high ceilings and plenty of natural light. The Mascagni features a fully licensed bar, charming lounge serving Italian snacks and a free Wi-Fi area. The Mascagni hotel is located just 5 minutes walk from the main train station and within easy reach of Rome's attractions such as the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and Colosseum.

Hotel Dei Mellini Rome

Welcome to the wonderful world of Mellini, where every detail has been carefully put in place and where guests are surrounded by works of modern art made by artists from the Italian and Roman schools. Proud of being an independent Roman hotel! Our objective is to improve and grow by learning from our guests, from their needs and requests!

Morgana Hotel Rome

Situated just 200 yards from Rome's main Termini Station, the Morgana Hotel has the perfect location for anyone travelling in by train. The hotel's 108 rooms are traditionally decorated, and all come equipped with flat screen TVs and Wi-Fi internet access. Guests can make use of the fantastic transport links, and are free to use the gym in front of the hotel.

Hotel Athenaeum Florence

The Hotel Athenaeum Florence is a plush 4 star hotel comprised of 60 high quality rooms, gourmet restaurant, hotel bar, conference facilities, fitness room and even a billiard room. It's just a 10 minute walk from the magnificent Florence Cathedral and also within walking distance of the train station.

Hotel Botticelli Florence

The Boticelli Hotel in Florence is situated in the heart of the city, a stone’s throw from San Lorenzo Market and Santa Maria Novella train station, and just five minutes from the Accademia Gallery. The hotel boasts a rooftop terrace bar and original frescoes, with traditional Tuscan-style rooms, all featuring air conditioning, TVs and en suite bathrooms.

Grand Hotel Adriatico

The Grand Hotel Adriatico is a 4-star hotel located in a central and strategic position , a few steps from the Santa Maria Novella railway station, the fair district and the most interesting places of the city.

Starhotels Michelangelo Florence

As befits a hotel in beautiful Florence, our recently refurbished 4 star hotel in Florence city center pairs classic design with contemporary touches. Moments away you’ll discover the glittering River Arno and a kaleidoscope of inspiring sights.

NH Firenze Anglo American

In a central and quiet position, next to Lungarno Amerigo Vespucci, the NH Anglo American, four star hotel, is an elegant and refined hotel that reflects the history and the charm of this wonderful city. NH Anglo American rooms guarantee an intimate and confortable atmosphere, excellent services and greatest comfort. Our restaurant, "Il Granduca", proposes to its agreeable guests mouth-watering dishes of Tuscan and mediterranean cuisine, as well as a rich breakfast served every morning.

Starhotels Terminus Naples

Starhotels Terminus is a traditional hotel situated next to Naples’ Train Station, only 15 minutes walk from Naples Cathedral. The 172 rooms and suites offer satellite TV and minibars. Guests can make use of the 24-hour fitness centre or relax on the panoramic rooftop, which has great views of Mount Vesuvius and the ocean.

Select Your Departure Date

For more information or to make a reservation, call our rail holiday experts at:
1 (800) 268-7252
Disclaimer:

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy. Prices do not include rail from your hometown. Please call for pricing. Package prices are subject to change without notice, and all reservations are based upon availability at the time of booking. Single occupancy supplements will apply for solo travelers. Hotel and room facilities vary and may be subject to additional fees. Some hotels require payment of local city taxes on arrival. Please call for pricing. We accept all major credit and debit cards. Activities referenced in the itinerary during free time are for suggested purposes only and are not included. Seasonal activity (if applicable): During the off-season, some tours may not be available. In this case, a similar tour will be substituted. Passports are required when traveling outside the United States including crossing the Canadian border.

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