EXPERIENCE THE ROMANCE OF TRAVEL ON TWO RAILS
Our train-based itineraries provide nostalgic insights into Italy’s culture, people and landscape. Let the train take the strain with Michelangelo!
Venice - Florence - San Giminiano - Volterra - Rome
Day 1: Arrival in Venice Airport
Day 2: Venice walking tour
Visit the romantic lagoon city of Venice! The verified city tour begins from the Doge’s Palace. On this tour you will discover the Venice of the Venetians along narrow streets, away from the commotion of the tourists, a city which is full of fascination even in its most hidden corners. Looking out from the Rialto Bridge, the Canale Grande can be admired in its full glory.
A visit to the suggestive St. Mark’s Basilica is a must.
Day 3: Florence walking tour
High speed train takes us to Florence in the morning.
In the early afternoon we enjoy a guided walked tour in Florence. This art and cultural metropolis is a must for all travellers to Tuscany. The cathedral of Florence dominates the cityscape and together with the Campanile and the baptistery forms one of the most magnificent works of art that can be admired on this earth. The austerity and beauty of the city, the pride and the constancy of the Florentines is manifested in a unique way in the Palazzo Vecchio. We will visit the interesting sights of the historic district and the Accademia Gallery (to admire the Michelangelo’s masterpiece David) on a certified city tour. Afterwards there will be enough time to admire the jewellery shops on the Ponte Vecchio or to enjoy an Italian espresso.
Day 4: Cooking class in Chianti Valley
We will be going to visit the bustling Sant’Ambrogio Market in Florence. Here you will find the full array of fresh foodstuffs to create a real Italian table, from pasta to meat and fish and of course lots of fresh vegetables. Our chef divides the participants into a number of groups and they are given a shopping list of ingredients to buy at the market. We than move to the restaurant. Guests will be greeted with a welcome drink served in the garden. Our chef will present the program of the day, his recipes and then he divides the participants into small groups that will alternate at all area of the cooking course. The restaurant staff will then help guests to wear aprons and hats... the course begins. Dunring the first cooking activity we will concentrate on the main speciality of Italian and Tuscan cuisine, home made pasta. The cooking course of specialities from Tuscan will, of course, teach you how to prepare our delicious rural soups – as the tasty Ribollita or Pappa al pomodoro. On the last cooking activities of our Tuscan cooking course, we will have fun creating typical cakes of the traditional chianti cuisine as the typical Cantucci (a kind of biscuit) served with vin santo (holy wine). The course will conclude with a tasting of our Tuscan wines to pair with dishes cooked previously, served along with some appetizers like bruschetta, fried zucchini flowers, fried polentine and toasted bread with lardo and black cabbage.
In the afternoon, the excursion will continue into the Chianti Valley. This hilly landscape, interspersed with olive groves, cypresses, vineyards and palaces, fascinates all visitors. You will experience the harmony of the colours, that only the hills in this region have to offer, with your own eyes.
Day 5: San Gimignano and Volterra
Look forward to San Gimignano: the family towers can be seen from far away. Each family kept trying to surpass the others with ever higher towers and these impressive structures stand testimony to this competition to this day. The medieval structures of of this city have largely remained intact and San Gimignano, with its large number of art treasures, can truly be characterised as an openair museum. Before to leave this amazing place we will enjoy an unforgettable ice cream in one of the most ancient gelateria in Italy. Mr. Dondoli produces unique flavours, his gelato is famous world-wide. Taste his saffron & pine nuts, a registered trade mark.
Continue on to the alabaster city of Volterra. This former Etruscan settlement is located on a rise with a splendid view of the surroundings. Visit the most important sights. Upon request, an alabaster workshop can be visited.
Day 6: Ancient Rome
In the morning we will take take the train to Rome. After arriving to the Eternal City we will enjoy a first glimpse of its magnificence by a panoramic tour. Later we go back to the glory days of the Roman Empire. We will travel back to the time of the gladiators and wander through the ruins of Rome. We will begin your ‘journey through antiquity’ on Capitoline Hill. After an in-depth explanation, we will see the remains of the great Roman era up close, before we climb onto Palatine Hill, to admire the ruins of the imperial palace complex. Next comes the visit to the Colosseum, then we will go back to the Piazza Venezia at the foot of Capitoline Hill.
Day 7: Vatican city
Enjoy a visit to the Vatican Museum. Since the collection of the museums is very extensive, a few targeted objects will be chosen out of the overwhelming selection to be viewed and explained during the tour. The Raphael Rooms and the world-famous Sistine Chapel are also included.
Afterwards we will visit St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the Christian world with its precious adornments: Michelangelo’s Pietà, the venerable Statue of St. Peter, Bernini’s masterpieces as well as the Papal Altar located above St. Peter’s tomb. As a crowning finish, ascend to the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica to witness a breath-taking view of the Italian capital (optional).
Day 8: Departure from Rome airport
For the whole tour:
All the prices are intended per person, including the services listed above
4* Hotel centrally located