Tour Date: 7 to 15 September 2024Location: Italy

Join us on an eight-night tour taking in the mountain railways in Trentino and South Tyrol. This is a one-centre, half-board holiday based in the town of Trento, with lunch or dinner included every day. 

Over the seven days here, we explore the two branch lines running out of Trento, two from Bozen (Bolzano) and also the Pustertalbahn.

First the standard gauge line to Bassano del Grappa, famous for the “Ponte Vecchio”, its covered wooden bridge over the River Brenta. The other branch line out of Trento is the metre-gauge line to Cles, Caldes and Mezzana, and we will stop off in Caldes to visit the castle and in Cles to visit the Assessorile Palace.

We also travel the branch lines out of Bolzano (or Bozen in German, as this is a German-speaking part of Italy). First the Rittnerbahn, reached by a stunning cable car ride that affords magnificent views down the valley and also the line to Meran and Mals. On this day we have a short bus ride from Mals to the medieval town of Glurns (or Glorenza in Italian).

Our last branch line is the Pustertalbahn, not far from the Austrian border, a line that runs through stunning scenery. We have some time to enjoy the lovely town of Innichen (or San Candido).

As well as the train journeys, we will also have a day in Trento with our local guide, including a visit to Buonconsiglio Castle and a trip up the cable car with views over Trento. And we finish our holiday in Trentino with a visit to Riva Garda at the stunning north end of Lake Garda, and a cruise to the little town of Limone, nestled between the mountains and the lake.

Your Tour Manager for this trip is Andrea, who lives in Milan. Should you have any queries about the itinerary or if you wish to have a chat with him about the trip, please feel free to e-mail him on andrea@gmail.com.

Availability

Tour Highlights


  • Lake cruise
  • Ritten narrow-gauge railway
  • Spectacular scenery
  • Lake Garda
  • Buonconsiglio Castle
  • Same hotel for all 8 nights
  • Lunch or dinner included each day
  • Tour Itinerary
  • Prices & Options
  • Booking
  • Gallery
  • Transport & Accommodation

Day 1, Saturday 7 September, 2024 (D)

From Stansted or Gatwick direct flights to Verona. Transfer to the Grand Hotel Trento, our base for the next eight nights. Dinner tonight will be in the hotel.

From Birmingham, East Midlands, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Bristol or Stanstedusing Ryanair it is possible to fly from all of these airports to Bergamo and join the tour there. See end of itinerary for more details.  u

Overland by Rail from St Pancras it is possible to get to Milan in the same day by leaving St Pancras at 10:22, changing in Paris, arriving Milan at 10pm. Night in Milan (or two nights if you prefer). Early afternoon train from Milan to Trento, via Verona, which takes under 3 hours.

AE8018CC 9A6A 4CCF AB3D E49A139908BA
Piazza Duome, Trento

Day 2, Sunday 8 September (B,L)

A relaxing train-free first day. We explore Trento itself. We meet our local guide for a walking tour around the historic centre, including Buonconsiglio Castle, the largest and most important monumental complex in the region.

04BBC8D6 B0F7 4D60 A45C D7C77DDD797A

Gardens in the huge Buonconsiglio Castle complex.

It was the residence of the prince-bishops of Trento from the 13th century to the end of the 18th century and is composed of a series of buildings of different eras, enclosed by walls and positioned slightly higher than the city. We take a trip up the cable car to the hills on the other side of the River Adige, with time for lunch in a restaurant with great views over Trento. Remainder of the day free for you to explore Trento.

Day 3, Monday 9 September (B,D)

Our first venture into the more German-speaking area around the town of Bozen (or Bolzano in Italian – road signs and railway station names are all in both German and Italian in this area).  On arrival in Bozen, we walk the short distance to the bottom station of the cable car.

A5F7973E F9E7 4770 81EC C5B8875CDC09
Bozen cable car

The journey to the top, at Oberbozen, is around 10-15 minutes, but the journey is an attraction in itself, with stunning views over the town of Bozen and for some considerable distance down the valley.

06DA1BF2 9FBE 46AC A10E 96FC05C751AA
View over Oberbozen

At the top we find the Ritten Railway (Rittnerbahn), a short metre-gauge line. We hope to be able to travel on a charter of the historic railcar to Maria Himmelfahrt and back, a section of line with a very sparse public service.

E2127C86 0E5B 488D 924A 6AACD3DC8779
Rittnerbahn vintage railcar

At the top we find the Ritten Railway (Rittnerbahn), a short metre-gauge line. We hope to be able to travel on a charter of the historic railcar to Maria Himmelfahrt and back, a section of line with a very sparse public service.

After this we join one of the regular service trains from Oberbozen to Klobenstein, where they store more of their historic railcars. We will use a local bus to travel the short distance to see the amazing earth pyramids, then after that back to Bozen town centre, another amazing journey as we descend back down to the main town.

93111030 20E0 4A39 A821 12C4317F0C76
The Gothic cathedral in Bolzano

The remainder of the afternoon will be free to explore Bozen’s charming historic centre, and we return to Trento at the end of the day. Dinner in a restaurant Trento.

Day 4, Tuesday 10 September (B,L)

Today we catch a train along the scenic branch line to Bassano del Grappa. Our two-hour train journey takes us past lakes and along valleys between high mountains. Bassano del Grappa is a city in northern Italy’s Veneto region known for its wooden Ponte Vecchio Bridge spanning the River Brenta.

The famous bridge has been destroyed many times, but it has always been rebuilt. For a spell during the First World War, the town was on one of the front lines, and the buildings on either side of the river still bear the scars. Return to Trento by train at the end of the day. Lunch will be in Bassano del Grappa.

8344A1A1 57B0 4E69 9728 24BD0BA2DF0E
Bassano del Grappa

Day 5, Wednesday 11 September (B,L)

Another highly scenic rail journey today, this time on the Vinschgaubahn that heads north-west out of Bozen.

F03E18D1 A067 4B75 81DE 4E099734D821
Vinschgaubahn

The line follows the River Adige almost the whole way to Meran/Merano where we stop for a city sightseeing with a guide and lunch. The rest of the afternoon at leisure. For train funs there is the possibility of proceeding with the train till the end of the line in Malles in the middle of the Alps at 3000ft. Back to Trento by train.

Merano,italy, ,January,6,,2022.,Merano,O,Meran,Is,A
Merano

The smallest town in South Tyrol has an eventful history and an interesting past as a late medieval trading centre. The town walls, still fully preserved, lend the little town a unique character with their imposing gates and fortified towers. Historic tree-lined arcades, charming narrow alleyways, elegant buildings – the town is

Day 6, Thursday 12 September (B,D)

This morning we have a rail journey on the metre gauge line that runs north-west out of Trento to Caldes. We first pass through a relatively flat part of the valley but after turning west, we find ourselves in the Dolomites with views of the mountains and some of the castles that are in this area. On arrival at Caldes, we visit one of those castles, Caldes Castle, with our local guide.

C33EC1CE 9B7B 4B15 B70A 4761FDFB7233
Caldes Castle

After this visit, we catch another train to the end of the line at Mezzana before returning to the town of Cles. The town is famous for an important archaeological find, the Tavola Clesiana, dating to the year A.D. 46. Cles, and the Val di Non, are also well known for their apples. Melinda is the brand name given to high quality apples exclusively grown in the Val di Non valley, and you will see many apple trees in the town. Included is a guided visit to the Assessorile Palace, whose walls and ceilings are adorned with centuries-old frescos. After the visit we have some time to see the town and the viewpoint before returning to the station for our train back to Trento. Dinner in Trento.

83FA4848 87D9 4E88 9BDA 71A49EDAB80C
Cles

Day 7, Friday 13 September (B,D)

Today we return to the German-speaking region of South Tyrol, almost as far as the Austrian border. We pass through Bozen and alight from the train at Franzensfeste, the junction of the Pustertalbahn. This line winds its way eastwards and we will alight at San Candido/Innichen station where we can find several restaurants for lunch.

B0621720 3090 43FF A57E C09C26F4FF99
Innichen

This afternoon you may wish to continue along the line to Lienz in Austria, or head up to the top of the mountains on the cable car, or if you are feeling adventurous, ride on the so-called summer toboggan run! Alternatively enjoy a relaxing afternoon stroll.

F63DAB13 592F 4D7B B844 DD9B3AE4C70E
Benedictine Monastery, Innichen

We return to Trento at the end of the day. Dinner in Trento.

Day 8, Saturday 14 September (B,L)

Our last day is another train-free day, and once again we are joined by our local guide as we first visit Canale di Tenno, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.

6B8CDD0D 5834 4F1C BA53 71E295773929
Canale di Tenno

We then descend to Riva Garda, an attractive town at the north end of Lake Garda.

E12C93C2 9E10 41E5 B7D0 02A48C4E3A35
Riva Garda

We will explore Riva Garda with our guide and then catch a ferry to the lakeside town of Limone.

AE60BB07 AF85 4AFC B4FF 2C54F0B81AA9
Limone

Return to Trento on our coach at the end of the day. Farewell lunch in Riva Garda or Limone.

Day 9, Sunday 15 September (B)

Depending on your journey home, you will either catch your train at Trento station, or alternatively we return to Verona (or Bergamo) Airport for flights back to the UK.

The objective of this tour is to travel on the scenic branch lines in Trentino and South Tyrol, so there is a lot of rail travel but with the option to opt out of any days as we are at the same hotel for the full 8 nights. There is also some walking on certain days.

Bergamo

It is possible to fly direct from Birmingham, East Midlands, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Bristol or Stansted for a pre-tour night or two in Bergamo.

Despite Ryanair putting Bergamo on the radar when it landed at the then tiny airport in 2004, this is still an unsung destination. experience with the Città Alta (upper city) and Città Bassa (lower city) offering dramatic contrast. The former is all cobbled streets and narrow vicoli (alleys) overhung with leafy balconies, centred around the small but immaculately formed Piazza Vecchia. Bergamo Alta crackles with medieval atmosphere, overlooked by the austere clock tower that once rang nightly curfew for Bergamaschi to return within the city walls. Then, fanning out beneath the fortifications, Bergamo’s other half is a handsome Italian conurbation of wide boulevards, opera houses and buzzing bars.

Fly out on Thursday 5 September at 06:00 from Liverpool or 13:05 from Newcastle

Fly out on Friday 6 September at 06:05 from Edinburgh, 07:25 from Bristol, 10:35 from East Midlands, 13:20 from Birmingham, 14:40 from Stansted or 21:40 from Manchester.

Flights back from Bergamo on Sunday 15 September are 15:10 to Liverpool. 12:20 to Newcastle, 17:15 to Edinburgh, 23:15 to East Midlands, 22:40 to Birmingham, 14:50 to Stansted and 16:40 to Manchester. For Bristol you have another night in Bergamo for flight back on Monday 16 September at 05:55.

Holiday Prices (per person)

  • 8 nights from London Gatwick to Verona : £1,825
  • 8 nights from London Stansted to Verona: £1,825
  • 9 nights from East Midlands to Bergamo: £1,945
  • 9 nights from Edinburgh to Bergamo: £1,885
  • 10 nights from Bristol to Bergamo: £1,950
  • 9 nights from Birmingham to Bergamo: £1,825
  • 9 nights from Stansted to Bergamo: £1,825
  • 9 nights from Manchester to Bergamo: £1,850
  • 10 nights from Liverpool to Bergamo: £1,950
  • 10 nights from Newcastle to Bergamo: £1,950
  • From Manchester: £1,855
  • From London St Pancras: £2,070 (10 nights)
  • Joining in Verona: £1,525
  • due to many different arrival times, airport transfers at Bergamo are at own cost with taxis at approx. £10. Book early if you want one of the regional flights at the inclusive price.

Options

  • Single room Supplement – 8 nights: £275
  • Single room Supplement – Overland by rail: £375
  • Single use room – Add £45 per night for any nights in Bergamo.

Deposit

  • £600 with flights or £300 if joining in Verona. £1,000 if overland by rail

Hotels

  • Grand Hotel Trento (8 nights)

Overland by Rail Option

10:22 London St Pancras to Paris Nord (13:47)

15:18 Paris Montparnasse to Milan (arr 22:07)

(Overnight at hotel in Milan)

12:05 Milan to Verona (arr 13:28)

13:50 Verona to Trento (arr 14:52)

 

11:10 Trento to Verona (arr 12:14)

13:02 Verona to Milan (arr 14:15)

15:53 Milan to Lyon Part Dieu (arr 20:23)

(Overnight at hotel in Lyon)

11:00 Lyon Part Dieu to Lille Europe (arr 14:24)

15:30 Lille Europe to London St Pancras (arr 16:05)

Please note that you cannot book a flight inclusive trip on our website but if you select the flight option you prefer then we will contact you with the flight details and convert your booking into a flight inclusive package.

Online Booking

Hotels

  • Grand Hotel Trento (8 nights)

Flights

TBC London Gatwick to Verona
TBC Verona to London Gatwick

FR2338 14:20 London Stansted to Verona (arr 17:20)
FR2339 17:45 Verona to London Stansted (arr 18:55)

TBC Manchester to Verona
Train to Milan
TBC Milan to Manchester

Overland by Rail

10:22 London St Pancras to Paris Nord (13:47)
15:18 Paris Montparnasse to Milan (arr 22:07)
Overnight at hotel in Milan
12:05 Milan to Verona (arr 13:28)
13:50 Verona to Trento (arr 14:52)

11:10 Trento to Verona (arr 12:14)
13:02 Verona to Milan (arr 14:15)
15:53 Milan to Lyon Part Dieu (arr 20:23)
(overnight in Lyon)
11:00 Lyon Part Dieu to Lille Europe (arr 14:24)
15:30 Lille Europe to London St Pancras (arr 16:05)

[field short_description]