Travel by train and experience Italy like a local with your Siamo host for 9-days of Italy's absolute best!
Italy in summer is one of the most diverse and delightful places in the world to travel. It is near impossible to explain simply the intricate and complex cultural and social development of Italy over the last few thousands of years, but the sum of all of these changes and cultural influences has produced a nation which is one of the most interesting places to visit in Europe. Culturally, it's a fascinating epicentre of history, fine cuisine, knowledge, war, art, music and theatre. From islands and beaches, through mountains and valleys to hilltop villages and thriving metropolises, Italy will fascinate you every step of the way.
With a focus on great food and fine wine, we will take you where the locals eat and drink, visit a unique range of local sights, experience life as an Italian first hand and mix that up with the epic tourist places which you have grown up dreaming of visiting. By being part of a small group tour, and by travelling via train on Italy’s well established rail networks with passionate and knowledgeable guides, you will see and experience so much more than you would by bus or in a larger tour group.
Our 2017 summer itinerary is designed to take you to all those must see places via the not so well known but just as extremely memorable locations. Locations which are chosen for the unique ‘Italian-ness’, where you’ll encounter more locals than tourists, and do more ‘normal’ Italian stuff – just like a local!
9 Day Essential Italy by Rail Itinerary
1: Meet Milan
We meet our group at our centrally located Milan hotel for a glass of wine and a bit of "ice-breaking" before we head out for an evening of walking and exploring around the heart of Milan. Either hit the hay for an early night before our big journey or venture out much later (Milan locals don't even venture into the streets until well after 10pm) to experience some of the coolest nightlife in Italy.
2: Milan – Riomaggiore, 1 night
We leave Milan early heading by regional train to the visually enchanting Cinque Terre. Our overnight destination is Riomaggiore, the first of 5 villages in the seaside community of Cinqe Terre as we enter from the south. Nestled in a natural valley, the township represents all of the beauty we come to associate with Italy – colourfully stacked seaside homes, an alluring and relaxed fishing community, and a town founded on its wine and olive productions – chosen in part for its fertile soils and in part because of its natural defences against pirates back in the 13th century.
In the afternoon you can head out for a memorably scenic walk from village to village along the walkway which winds around the seaside, or retire to one of the tiny cafes on the waters edge for some fresh brushcetta and a dip in the sea.
3 & 4: Riomaggiore to Rome, staying 2 nights
Todays journey takes us south past the university town of Pisa well know for its leaning tower. We get off the train here and put our bags into storage and walk into visit 'that tower'. We have to admit that while its a bit of a 'tourist must do' - it is pretty amazing! After a short visit we head back to the train and head south to the capital city of Rome.
There was never a more true saying than ‘Rome wasn’t founded in a day’! It took millenniums to create what we now know as modern Rome – where past and present collide in a visual spectacle of historical depth and modern architecture. Rome is unique in every way – and for this reason we’ll stay 2 nights here so we can take in as much of the sites as we can by foot or scooter! Visit Vatican City, the Coliseum, and Rome's ancient sites at your own pace and leisure or with our guide who will give you so much history you will pop!
5, 6 & 7: Rome to Florence - staying 2 nights
This has to be one of our most favourite places in the whole world!! After the hustle and bustle of Rome we move on to Florence via breathtaking landscapes of rolling vine covered tuscan hills and stone towers.
Florence is a very special, very romantic city, and by far one of Siamo’s most favourite cities in Italy to visit! This city was founded on arts & science, food & wine, industry, craft and commerce, and is widely acknowledged as the “cradle of the Renaissance” – It’s a travellers treasure chest of photographic moments, historical intrigue and delightful culinary immersion. There is much to explore here in Florence including the famous leather markets, a really cool regional produce market and so much beautiful architecture.
We've chosen to spend two days here – you will have the option to wander around Florence, or join a Siamo organised full day wine tour to the medieveal town of Siena, via the three Tuscan wine regions of Chianti, Montalcino and Montepulciano, enjoying local Tuscan specialties along the way.
7: Florence to Venice, 1 night
On we ramble to step into the beautiful historical trading city of Venice. Romantic, surreal and stunningly beautiful Venice is spread across an archipelago of 117 small islands separated by 177 canals – but intricately linked by 409 bridges. This is a city unlike any other in the world and regardless of the time of year, or the weather, you’ll get to experience the special local vibe which is entrenched in the very fabric of Venetian life.
Wander the small side streets getting yourself lost in history while looking for the majestic Piazza San Marco or take a romantic gondola ride across the main canal. Try you hand at making your own carnival mask or take a local ferry to the island to of Murano to see the glassblowers of the famous Murano Glass. There are lots of options for dinner tonight including wonderful small cafes and bars for traditional Italian dining to the iconic Hard Rock Cafe. Or head to one of the traditional chamber Orchestras for a live show.
8: Venice to Verona, 1 night
We are running out of time together and by now we can guarantee you won't want this trip to end. Please, please, just one more round of delicious food, fine wine, hilarious locals and stunning scenery!! Tonight we head to the delightful roman town of Verona, celebrated for its centuries of ancient history and architecture, where we will be celebrating our great time together. Verona boasts one of the best preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world, built around AD30, and designed to accommodate up to a staggering 30,00 spectators, as well as the balcony of tragic Giulietta famously immortalised in Shakespeare’s heart wrenching tale of Romeo and Juliet.
9: Verona to Milan
We'll have a reasonably late start today as we are heading back to Milan and the end of our memorbale journey together!