An enchanting journey through some of Europe's most scenic rail routes
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- Travel south through the iconic Italian landscape
- Spend nights in Rome exploring the historic city
- Cross from Naples to Sicily on one of the few remaining train ferries
- Stop in the historic Sicilian cities of Taormina, Catania, Agrigento and Palermo
- Visit the Mafia village of Corleone
- 1 Night Milan
- 2 Nights Rome
- 2 Nights Taormina
- 2 Nights Catania
- 1 Night Agrigento
- 2 Nights Palermo
- 1 Night Overnight sleeper
- 1 Night Naples
- 1 Night Paris
August holidays | Food & wine | History & culture | No-fly | Rail holidays | Rail journey | Short break
This tailor-made no-fly rail journey combines the best of Sicily with the delights of some of Italy's favourite regions. From fashion-conscious Milan to the Italian capital and then on to Sicily itself, you'll enjoy spectacular views, vibrant city culture and great food and wine throughout. You'll take it all in while travelling along ultra-scenic rail routes and experiencing a journey aboard one of Europe's last train-ferries. Highlights range from the ancient wonders of Rome, Taormina and Agrigento to bustling Palermo and the foodie delights of World Heritage Naples. Eventually, you'll wrap things up with a night in Paris before taking the Eurostar home.
Day by day itinerary
London to Milan
Depart London St Pancras 0931 / arrive Paris Gare du Nord 1247
Depart Paris Gare de Lyon 1443 / arrive Milan Garibaldi 2149
You'll start your journey departing from London on the high-speed Eurostar in Standard Premier comfort, with included meal and wine. On arrival in Paris Gare du Nord station, choose to take a taxi or the Metro to Gare de Lyon station for your onward journey, connecting from Gare de Lyon to Milan Garibaldi station. You'll check in to or explore the city for the evening. You're in the perfect location in the heart of Milan, close to the city centre.
Stay: Hotel De La Ville, Milan (Superior)
Milan to Rome
Depart Milan Centrale 1058 / arrive Rome Termini 1410
After breakfast, make your way to Milan Centrale station for your next journey to Rome, travelling south past the gastronomic capitals of Parma, Modena and Bologna, then towards Florence before traversing the scenic hills of Tuscany, with ancient hilltop towns and villages, vineyards, and contrasting colours as you approach Rome. Enjoy two days in the Eternal City. Built on seven hills along the banks of the River Tiber in the Lazio Region, Rome is a collision of ancient empires and a modern metropolis. Glamorous locals sip espressos in the central Piazzas (squares) or zip past the cities Roman structures on pastel-coloured Vespas, while priests clothed in monastic robes wander through Rome's holiest of sanctuaries – Vatican City.
Stay: Leon's Place, Rome (Superior)
Rome to Taormina
Depart Rome Termini 1126 / arrive Villa San Giovanni 1825 (ferry to)
Depart Messina 2015 / arrive Taormina Giardini 2056
After breakfast, return to Rome Termini station and join your morning departure - enjoy beautiful views of the Italian coastline as the train line often runs just feet from the water. The train comes to the end of the Italian mainline where it is then ferried across the Straits of Messina on a ferry. Onboard you can disembark the train to stretch your legs and get a taste of the fresh Mediterranean air before arriving in Messina itself and continuing the rest of the journey to Taormina by rail. Make your way to your hotel when you arrive and check-in for a two night stay. Spend time enjoying the sights. Explore the ancient Teatro Antico di Taormina or head down to the beach perhaps. Take a stroll over to the picturesque Isola Bella for a dip or take a boat ride over to the beautiful Grotta Azzurra.
Stay: Grand Hotel San Pietro, Taormina (Deluxe)
Taormina to Catania
Depart Taormina Giardini 1123 / arrive Catania Centrale 1214
Following breakfast at your hotel take the regional train south to Catania, then head over to your hotel for a two-night stay. Have a walk around the city's large Piazza del Duomo and perhaps head over to La Pescheria - a weekday fish market which is surrounded by some fantastic seafood restaurants.
Stay: UNA Hotel Palace, Catania
Catania to Agrigento
Depart Catania Centrale 0915 / arrive Termini Imerese 1207
Depart Termini Imerese 1312 / arrive Agrigento Centrale 1447
The journey from Catania to Agrigento takes you through the rolling Sicilian countryside, a change of trains at the main junction at Imerese then finds you weaving along the coast to your accommodation just 200m from the Temple of Concordia. But, there's more to the Valley of the Temples than this masterpiece of Doric art. Dating back to the 5th century BC, it's a priceless series of golden-stone monuments strung out along a ridge line and backdropped by gorgeous views out over the sea. Together, it's the largest collection of early Greek architecture outside of the homeland.
Stay: Baglio Della Luna, Agrigento (Superior)
Agrigento to Palermo
Depart Agrigento Centrale 1215 / arrive Palermo Centrale 1417
Travelling north the train journeys through olive groves, and vineyards, and Sicily's rolling hills before reaching Palermo. From its Byzantine mosaics and Arabesque domes to its frescoed basilicas and Gothic palaces, Sicily's effervescent capital wears its diverse history on its sleeve. No other European city has hosted such a wide variety of civilisations. In between, there's a buzzing restaurant scene, a wealth of the art galleries and the small matter of Italy's largest opera house.
Stay: Grand Hotel Federico II (Superior)
Palermo > Messina > Naples
Depart Palermo 2055 / Messina / arrive Naples 0722 (overnight sleeper)
For the final day in Palermo, join a tour inland to Corleone, famous for its Mafia connections, join a cooking lesson and prepare some of the most genuine and traditional Sicilian dishes. After lunch meet a Corleone local for a talk about the Sicilian Mafia, and how Corleone inhabitants have eliminated organised crime. Back to Palermo to join your overnight ferry-train sleeper service back to Naples via Messina.
Stay: Overnight Bay of Naples Sleeper
Meals: B L
This morning awaken refreshed as your train-ferry crosses the Bay of Naples, make your way to your accommodation – a boutique gem housed in what was once a 16th-century conservatoire. Located right in the city’s UNESCO-listed historic centre, you’ll also be perfectly poised to explore, with a day to wander leafy boulevards, take in the city’s Baroque friezes and sample the artisanal pizza. To help you get your bearings, why not join an optional private half-day tour. You’ll enjoy entrance to everything from frescoed chapels and the neoclassical Royal Palace to the 18th-century San Carlo Opera House and the Palazzo Zevallos – home to some of Caravaggio’s finest works.
Stay: Grand Hotel Santa Lucia, Naples (Superior)
Naples to Paris
Depart Naples Centrale 1040 / arrive Turin Porta Susa 1649
Depart Turin Porta Susa 1738 / arrive Paris Gare de Lyon 2319
This morning leave Naples, and head north to Turin, before changing trains to sweep through the French countryside and into Paris. And, staying in a boutique hotel opposite the Pantheon, you’ll be quickly settled in for your overnight stay.
Stay: Hotel Les Dames du Pantheon, Paris (Superior)
Paris to London
After breakfast, a taxi transfer will see you to Gare du Nord for a Eurostar hop back to London.
Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.
14-day no-fly rail journey from £2,915 pp
Superior Accommodation / 1st Class Rail
April / May
from £2,915 pp.
Jun / Jul / Aug / Sep / Oct
from £3,285 pp.
- Return Eurostar train between London St Pancras and Paris Gare du Nord in Business Premier class including Hot meals designed by Raymond Blanc served with champagne, extra spacious seats and exclusive lounges in London and Paris
- Rail travel between all points
- 13 nights accommodation on a BB basis including overnight sleeper between Messina and Naples
- Guided Excursion including cooking lesson, lunch and Sicilian Mafia talk to village of Corleone
A taxi or metro transfer will be required in Paris to link Paris Gare du Nord and Paris Gare de Lyon stations
Train times subject to change
Paris Gare de Lyon - Milan Garibaldi (Intercity train with bar/restaurant carriage)
Milan Centrale - Rome Termini (Frecciarossa train with bar/restaurant carriage)
Rome Termini - Villa San Giovanni - Messina - Taormina Giardini
(Intercity train with bar/restaurant carriage, train boards ferry between Villa San Giovanni and Messina)
Taormina Giardini - Catania Centrale (Regional train)
Catania Centrale - Agrigento Centrale (Regional train)
Agrigento Centrale - Palermo Centrale (Regional train)
Palermo Central - Messina - Naples (overnight sleeper service)
Naples Centrale - Turin Porta Susa - Paris Gare de Lyon
Freciarossa train with bar/restaurant carriage followed by Intercity train with bar/restaurant carriage)
Terms & Conditions
Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.
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