Arrivals day in Taormina, Sicily where you will be met and transferred from Catania Airport to the luxurious five-star Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo for a one-night stay. Set in the heart of Taormina, the hotel serves up views that have enchanted for more than a century and provide the perfect setting for our rail journey across Italy and Slovenia.
The first hotel to be built in the city gazes out across the coast towards Mount Etna and beyond. Here you can breathe in the full spectacle of Sicily. Bask in manicured gardens, savour sensational cuisine and fuel your imagination with cocktails on the Literary Terrace — just like generations of celebrated guests before you.
Tonight we enjoy a cocktail reception and welcome dinner in the elegant surroundings of the hotel.
Why not extend your stay in Taormina with additional nights at the Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo to explore Taormina and the rest of Sicily at your leisure?
This morning we begin our rail journey on board the Golden Eagle Danube Express as we leave Taormina and return cross to the Italian mainland on one of the very few ‘train ferries’ in the world.
From here we traverse the scenic coastal line across southern Italy arriving in Adriatic port of Bari in time for dinner in its beautiful old town, Barivecchia.
San Marino is a mountainous micro-state surrounded by north-central Italy.
Among the world’s oldest republics, it retains much of its historic architecture. On the slopes of Monte Titano sits the capital, also called San Marino, known for its medieval walled Old Town and narrow cobblestone streets. The Three Towers, castle-like citadels dating to the 11th century, sit atop Titano’s neighbouring peaks.
Lunch will be served here and will feature the country’s famous Torta Tre Monti or ‘Cake of the Three Towers’.
Today we enjoy a visit to the beautiful capital city of Ljubljana, a delightful combination of ancient architecture and a youthful culture with visits to Preseren Square, Three Bridges and Dragon Bridge.
This morning we wake in at the Budapest Railway PArk and enjoy our final breakfast on board.
Why not extend your stay in Budapest with additional nights at the Four Seaons Gresham Palace to explore the Hungarian capital at your leisure?
Enjoy a delicious locally-sourced breakfast on board as the Golden Eagle Danube Express before taking the option to explore the flamboyant and feisty capitol of Sicily, Palermo or take a transfer to Corleone to learn about the notorious Mafia families made famous by Francis Ford Coppola's motion picture, The Godfather.
Dinner will be served on board before we join one of the very few ‘train ferries’ in the world across to the Italian mainland.
A real rail highlight this morning as we journey up to Salerno to explore the Amalfi Coast by coach and boat. With the iconic coast on our left and the Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park to our right the scenery will be something to marvel at. Once we arrive in Salerno, we’ll take a stunning private cruise along the bay to the town of Amalfi.
Here you will take one of our Freedom of Choice options to either take in a walking tour of Amalfi or visit a local lemon grove to learn more about the distinctive citrus fruit grown across southern Italy. A private coach will then transfer our group to re-join our train in Naples, taking a panoramic tour of Amalfi Coast en-route.
We wake on the outskirts of the Italian capital this morning. With so much to discover we’ll begin the day with an introductory tour of the real UNESCO World Heritage site gems by private golf buggies. Our tour will take in Villa Borghese through the famous Via Veneto. After driving around the park to see its monuments and buildings, a stop will be made at the Pincio Terrace from which one enjoys a beautiful view of Rome and the Vatican. Further stops at the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and Piazza Navona will allow you to see more of Rome’s most iconic sights before a light lunch.
The afternoon you will have the choice to continue to explore the city under your own guidance or to join the group to see more of the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica.
Heading north, dinner will be served on board as the twilight approaches cruising through the rolling-hills of the Italian countryside of Umbria to the stunning Tuscan town of Siena.
A full day of touring in the warming town of San Gimignano and Chianti in the province of Siena really allows us to take a leisurely pace exploring these two Italian classics. Also known as a ‘Medieval Manhattan’ with its 14 towers, our tour of San Gimignano will focus on its history and intact 14th century streetscapes. Chianti will follow accompanied with a healthy tasting of the famous red wine named from the town it originated.
This afternoon is free to explore the town of Siena where the train rests. Dinner will be served locally, accompanied by the town’s rich history.
Heading north from Siena this morning a short train ride leaving will take us to the Tuscan capital of Florence, home to many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture. We’ll begin with a panoramic tour of the city’s best known sites before taking to the water to see Florence’s world-renowned arches and bridges including the iconic Ponte Vecchio.
A stunning venue for lunch will give you a memorable view to remember overlooking the city. Time to explore at your own pace or maybe shop for leather in the Oltrarno district will be available in the afternoon. Alternatively, you can continue touring with the group, taking in the Galleria dell'Accademia to see the statue of David.
This evening we’ll make our final journey by train north-east towards Venice, but not before our final dinner on board celebrating our journey before transferring to the iconic five-star Hotel Danieli for two nights. The hotel enjoys a spectacular location and is only a short stroll from St Mark’s Square, the Doge's Palace and the Bridge of Sighs.
Venice is a truly captivating city of romance; its unrivalled beauty takes away the breath of first time visitors and regulars alike. Included in our time in Venice is two nights at the iconic five-star Hotel Danieli. The hotel enjoys a spectacular location and is only a short stroll from St Mark’s Square, the Doge's Palace and the Bridge of Sighs.
Today, guests will have the opportunity to take a walking tour around the highlights of this romantic city. Alternatively, you can spend the day exploring this magnificent city at your leisure, maybe taking an iconic gondola ride in the basin of St. Mark’s or see St Mark’s Basilica or stroll through the Rialto Market.
On our final evening we will enjoy a farewell dinner at the hotel, giving you the opportunity to say goodbye to your fellow travelers and toast the success of our tour.
Following breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for onward departures. There is also an option to extend your stay in Venice for additional nights to explore more of this fascinating city.