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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
  • Secret Food Tour in Rome
  • Capri and Blue Grotto Day Tour
  • Uffizi Gallery Tour in Florence
  • Secret Food Tour in Bologna
  • Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese Tasting Tour
Trip Map

Disclaimer:

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy. Prices do not include rail from your hometown. 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.

Daily Itinerary:

DAY 1 – ROME
Welcome to the Eternal City of Rome! When you arrive, check into your hotel and start exploring on your own. See all the must-see attractions and landmarks. 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. 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! In the evening why not eat just outside the city centre like a local in one of the many neighbourhoods. 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 meet up for your small group secret food tour. Italian food is recognised around the world for its delicious flavours, exquisite dishes and world class ingredients. Although many countries now have some great Italian food, it is only when you visit Italy that you are able to taste the true passion and the best flavours this country has to offer. Wear comfortable shoes as this walking tour takes you to some of the best eateries with a history lesson on the way. The tour lasts between three and four hours concluding with a sample of the local drinks. (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
Today Set sail for the idyllic Italian island of Capri on this full-day tour, including round-trip jetfoil transfers from Naples or Sorrento. Travel around the island by minibus, taking in the views along the famous Mamma Mia Road. Stop to browse the handicraft stores of Anacapri, stroll the Augustus Gardens and soak up the atmosphere in buzzing La Piazzetta. Top it off with a visit to the Blue Grotto and a funicular ride to Marina Grande. Once you’ve seen all the sights, it’s time to try some more authentic Neapolitan 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, 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
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 flavours 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). Today is free to taste as much food as Florence has to offer before your late afternoon tour to Florence’s Uffizi Gallery which ranks among the world's top museums, see works by Michelangelo, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and other Renaissance masters. Admire highlights of the immense collection plus hidden gems most visitors miss expert commentary from an art historian guide puts the paintings into context (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. After checking into your hotel stroll along the ancient arcades that line the main streets and visit the Axinellid and Griselda towers, two of the most visited landmarks in the city. Other sights not to miss are the Basilica of San Petronius, St. Stephen’s Basilica, the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca, art exhibitions at Alberti Palace, and Casa Solana arcade in Strada Maggiore. If you like to shop, wander the streets in Antependia, 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 Canaled dell Moline, which you’ll find near via Paella. In between all this exploring, food should be your priority (Overnight in Bologna) B

DAY 8 – 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.” Join your secret food walking tour where you will taste your way through this incredible city. Learning all the history along the way with your expert guide. Afterwards why not visit age-old markets where you can buy freshly made pasta and handmade mozzarella. (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. The rest of the day is free for you to explore. 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. (Overnight in Parma) B


DAY 10 – 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. First a two-hour tour of a cheese factory. Go behind the scenes to find out how one of Italy's most famous cheeses is made. Cap off your tour with a cheese tasting with local wine and honey. As for further sightseeing in this colourful 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 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 holiday, 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 Corona D'Oro

Hotel Corona D'Oro

The historic Hotel Corona D’Oro **** located in the heart of Bologna (20-minute walk fromTrain Statin), is a true and genuine preferential window to the “two towers”, one of the symbols of the city only a few steps away. There are 40 rooms, all delicately decorated in a classic style and characterized by an elegant and enchanting atmosphere, the result of a recent restoration. The central location is perfect for visiting the city’s all main attractions on foot: splendid piazzas, museums, historical buildings, renowned restaurants, shopping promenades. Hotel Corona D’Oro, though located in a limited traffic zone, is reachable by cars and has its own spacious and convenient private garage.

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.

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.

Sina Maria Luigia Parma

Sina Maria Luigia Parma

In the heart of Parma, city of art and of great musical and gastronomic tradition, Sina Maria Luigia honors, with its welcoming atmosphere, the Duchess from which it takes its name and inspiration.

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. 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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