MAY 2-11, 2020
You are invited to join us on an exclusive rail-based holiday in northern Italy and the Italian Lakes. We spend 6 nights based in Turin and 3 nights in Venice.
Day 1 Saturday May 2:
Arrival in Turin and hotel check-in.
Day 2 Sunday May 3: (B, D)
In the morning we have a two-hour guided city tour with a professional local guide. This will include the 15th century Renaissance cathedral and the Chapel of the Holy Shroud, home to possibly the world’s most famous holy relic – the Turin Shroud. We also visit the Royal Palace and the Mole Antonelliana tower which dominates the city’s skyline. The afternoon is free for your own exploration of the city, which includes many fascinating museums and art galleries. Train option: excursion by train to the Piedmont Railway Museum (Museo Ferroviario Piemontese) in Savigliano. The Museum has a collection of rare vehicles, some in working condition including some three-phase locomotors. In the evening we have a welcome dinner in a local regional restaurant.
Day 3 Monday May 4: (B)
Today we go by rail to the sea at Genova (Genoa) traveling southward across the end of the Po Valley (Pianura Padana) and entering the Apennine Mountains. On arrival in Genova we have a two-hour guided tour of the city ending in the Ancient Port where there are many places to have lunch. In the afternoon we go to the terminus of the 950mm narrow gauge railway “Ferrovia Genova Casella” where we board a service train to Casella with a vintage coach built by Breda in 1929 reserved for us. Arriving in Casella a charter bus is waiting to take us to Ronco Scrivia where we board a service train back to Torino on the first Italian main line built in 1853.
Day 4 Tuesday May 5: (B)
This morning we travel to Superga on the historic rack tramway. Our 25-minute ride takes us high up to the Basilica church giving superb views of the city and the Alps from a point that La Corbusier defined as “the most delightful position in the world”. The Basilica was built by Juvarra in 1717-31. The beautiful yellow and white façade is dominated by a large portico designed like a classical Roman Temple. Before boarding the rack tramway we visit the small tram museum and the tram depot. After visiting Superga we return by rack tram to Sassi and by a service tram back to our hotel for a lunch break. In the afternoon there is a two-hour tour of the city with a historic tram.
Day 5 Wednesday May 6: (B)
Rail option: Travel on the GTT (ex SATTI) lines Torino – Ceres and Torino – Pont Canavese. Cultural option: A guided tour of the Reggia di Venaria (The King’s Palace), one of the finest examples of the majesty of 17th and 18th century architecture. We also visit the Gardens of the Reggia.
Day 6 Thursday May 7: (B, L)
Today we head into the region known as “The Italian Lakes”, traveling by coach to Arona by the side of Lake Maggiore. This is the second largest Italian lake after Lake Garda and is a long expanse of water nestling right against the mountains. The gently sloping shores are dotted with camellias, azaleas and verbena. Here we join a boat for a 4-hour cruise, with lunch included, to Locarno in Switzerland. After a break we catch the narrow gauge “Centovalli Railway” to Domodossola in Italy; a very scenic line as it crosses the mountains. Coach transfer from Domodossola to Turin.
Day 7 Friday May 8: (B)
We leave Turin behind and travel east to our next base, at Venice. First, we travel by high-speed train service to Milan. This is Italy’s center of fashion, business and finance, a smart, wealthy city. We will have a guided tour of the city with a professional guide including a visit to the Duomo Cathedral – one of the largest Gothic churches in the world which took 500 years to build. We also see the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, the 18th century Scala Theater, one of the world’s most prestigious opera houses. Lunch is available in one of the many city center restaurants. After lunch we visit the Sforzesco Castle, one of the most curious and fascinating monuments of the town. Late afternoon we take a train to Venice Mestre. Mestre is joined to Venice itself by a 4 mile railway line, much of it on a causeway, and is a more pleasant place to stay than the main city. Night in Venice Mestre.
Day 8 Saturday May 9: (B)
We take the train for the short 10 minute ride into Venice. Venice is truly a unique city which survives against the odds, built on a series of low mud banks amid the tidal waters of the Adriatic, and regularly subject to flooding. In the morning we will have a two-hour guided tour of the city center with a professional guide. We will visit the San Marco Basilica, Venice’s most famous landmark and one of the greatest buildings in Europe. After the lunch break we have a boat tour out to the islands of the lagoon. On Murano Island we can see the famous colored glassware, on Burano the laceware and on Torcello (the oldest inhabited island of the lagoon) its 7th century cathedral. We return by our boat to Venice and then by train to Venice Mestre.
Day 9 Sunday May 10: (B,D)
Today we have the option of a free day in Venice or joining an excursion to Trieste on the border with Slovenia. We take the local train service to Trieste, a journey of just under two hours. A professional guide will meet us at the station. Trieste is an atmospheric city with a long, bustling harbor lined with handsome buildings. We will take the funicular up into the Opicina hills. The funicular is unique in that the tram section is supplemented by a cable section where the tram cars are connected to two buffer wagons and then connected to the cable, the only one of its type in Europe. In the late afternoon we return by train to Venice Mestre. In the evening we have a farewell dinner in a local restaurant.
Day 10 Monday May 11: (B)
After breakfast end of tour.
all prices per person
DOUBLE ROOM OCCUPANCY$2,375
SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT$395
DEPOSIT TO HOLD SPACE CONFIRMED$500
FINAL PAYMENT L DUE BY FEBRUARY 2, 2020
TOUR CONDITIONS FOR 2020 **PLEASE READ CAREFULLY**
Tour Price: All tour prices are subject to change without notice, at any time. All prices based on double room occupancy. Those people that use a credit card for payments a 3% conveyance fee will be added to the tour price. We reserve the right to change tour prices if necessary without prior notice.