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Bella Italia by Rail

Experience the contrasting charms of three Italian cities as you spend an unforgettable week in Verona, and take two relaxing rail journeys through the glorious Italian scenery. Explore the canals, cobbled alleyways and hidden squares of Venice, and discover the artistic and architectural treasure of Italy’s Renaissance capital, Florence. Your holiday will include plenty of time to uncover some of the hidden treasures of Shakespeare's city of star-crossed lovers, a guided walking tour in each glorious city you visit, and the chance to find out about the traditions and techniques of Italian wine production on an optional excursion to Valpolicella.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

Rail journeys through the Italian countryside to Venice and Florence
Discovering Verona on a guided walking tour
Guided walking tours of Venice and Florence

WHAT DOES THE PRICE INCLUDE?

Six nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation at a four-star hotel
Two dinners at the hotel restaurant
Return standard-class rail travel from Verona to Venice and from Verona to Florence
Return flights from the UK to Italy
Coach travel and transfers throughout
The services of friendly, experienced Tour Manager

Full Itinerary

Day One: Fly to Italy

Fly to Verona, meet your Tour Manager and transfer to your four-star hotel not far from Verona station. Settle in to your room, perhaps head to the hotel bar for a drink and to plan your first trip out into this glorious city. Why not head to the Piazza Bra where you'll find a host of open-air restaurants and trattorias ready to offer you a wonderful evening meal.

Day Two: Included Verona guided tour

Start your day with a leisurely breakfast, then head out into Verona for a guided walking tour. Discover ancient streets lined with pink marble buildings and the mysterious maze of brooding alleyways and hidden gardens that were the historic backdrop for Shaespeare's tragic tale of "Juliet and her Romeo". See the best preserved Roman amphitheatre in Italy (world famous for its summertime opera festival) and join the colourful bustle of daily life at the daily market on Piazza delle Erbe.

After your tour you'll be free to enjoy a long lunch, visit one of the city’s fine museums and churches, take a stroll on the bank of the River Adige or wander the elegant pathways through the Giardini Giusti, north of the river. Music lovers will find concerts and recitals taking place almost every night - head to the tourist office to find out what's on and when - and wherever you go you'll find wine bars where you can sample a glass or two of locally produced wine.

Day Three: Included rail tour to Venice

This morning, join your tour manager for the short walk to the station and the hour-long train journey across the Veneto countryside to Venice. Here you'll be met by a local guide who will take you on a fascinating walking tour of this breathtakingly beautiful city.

Spread across 100 or so islands linked by innumerable bridges and separated by canals where gondolas and water-taxis ply their trades, Venice is a city of history, elegance and mystery; a labyrinth of narrow streets awaiting exploration. Follow the Grand Canal past the Accademia museum and the Rialto Bridge. Step onto St Mark’s Square to see its world-famous cathedral, clock tower and Doges’ Palace, then head behind the Palace to see the Bridge of Sighs, which legends says was where condemned men had their last view of the beauty of Venice en route to the gallows.

After time to explore we'll return to the station and board the train back to Verona where dinner will be served at your hotel.

Day Four: A day spent at leisure

You're free to do as little or as much as you like today.

Day Five: Included rail tour to Florence

Another memorable day begins with the short walk to Verona rail station as we head south, across Emilia-Romagna via Bologna, into Tuscany. After a two-hour train journey we'll arrive in Florence, for many Italy’s most beautiful city.

On your included guided walking tour, here, you'll see the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the splendour of Santa Croce and the historic Ponte Vecchio. Florence is the city of the Accademia, which houses Michelangelo’s fabled statue of David, and the Uffizi, home to Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, but there are also countless shops, designer outlets, trattorias and cafés to explore before you board the fast train for your journey back to Verona.

Tonight you'll enjoy a second included dinner in the hotel’s elegant restaurant.

Day Six: Optional Valpolicella wine tour

Spend a last day in Verona, or join today’s optional excursion and travel north into the heart of the rolling Valpolicella wine-growing region. Here you'll visit the beautiful village of Fumane and the Costa degli Ulivi wine estate. Learn about the production of high-quality wines and olive oil, and sample three celebrated Valpolicello wines – Classico, Ripasso and Amarone - over a delicious three-course lunch of regional specialities. You'll have the time to buy some wine, and some estate-produced jams, marmalades and honey to take home before we head back to Verona.

Day Seven: Fly home from Verona

Say a fond goodbye to your hosts and hotel, today, as you transfer to the airport to catch your flight back to the UK.

PRICES

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Hotel Leon D'Oro ★★★★

Right in the heart of Verona, and a 900m walk from the rail station, the Leon D’Oro offers a friendly welcome behind its striking facade.

Further Information

Hotel transfer times

The transfer time to Lake Garda is approximately three hours from Milan and Venice airports, and one hour from Verona Airport.

Special requirements

If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.

Entrance fees

Since some attractions visited offer free admission to visitors at certain times of year, we do not include entrance fees. These will be payable locally where applicable. This applies to excursions that are included in the price of your holiday and to excursions booked as optional extras.

Combining hotel transfers

We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.

Meals in Italy

Guests on half-board arrangements will be served a three-course evening meal, and can expect a first course of traditional pasta or soup, a main meat or fish course accompanied by one or two types of vegetable, and a simple dessert of fruit, cake or Italian ice cream. Breakfasts will usually consist of bread rolls, jam, cereal, ham, cheese, fruit juice, tea and coffee. Menus will vary from hotel to hotel, but choice will be more limited than in a normal restaurant. In some instances, individual guests who have booked with the hotel independently may be offered a different menu from those who are staying at the hotel as part of a package tour.

Disabled access

The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

Italian hotel room tax

Some regions of Italy have introduced a room tax of between 1 € and 3 € per person per night, payable directly by the guest to the hotel on check-out. You will be advised by your tour manager in resort if a particular hotel is implementing this charge.

Airport development fees

An Airport Development Fee has been introduced at a few UK Airports. You will be required to pay this charge at the following airports prior to checking in for your flight: Blackpool, Durham Tees Valley, Newquay and Norwich. The amount varies from airport to airport, but it is generally between £5 and £10 per person. Please visit the airport's website for further information.

Itinerary changes

Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.

Foreign Office Travel Advice

Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.

Airport development fees

An Airport Development Fee has been introduced at a few UK Airports. You will be required to pay this charge at the following airports prior to checking in for your flight: Blackpool, Durham Tees Valley, Newquay and Norwich. The amount varies from airport to airport, but it is generally between £5 and £10 per person. Please visit the airport's website for further information.

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