Tour Date: 2 to 13 May 2025Location: Italy

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.

The tour leader will be Andrea Calligaris who speaks fluent Italian, having lived in the country for several years. Should you have any queries about the itinerary or if you wish to have a chat with her about the trip, please feel free to e-mail him on


Tour Highlights

  • No-fly
  • Unspoilt and un-touristy
  • Based in historic cities of Turin and Venice. Also Strasbourg (for those on no-fly)
  • Chapel of the Holy Shroud
  • Superga historic rack tramway
  • Lake Maggiore
  • Scenic rail journeys
  • Tour Itinerary
  • Prices & Options
  • Booking
  • Gallery
  • Transport & Accommodation

Day 1 Friday 2 May, 2025

Flight departures from various UK airports to Turin or overland from London St Pancras Station at 09.22 with a single change of train in Paris. Turin, a fine Baroque city set in the foothills of the Alps, is our base for the first of our six nights. If you prefer you can fly with British Airways from London Gatwick to Turin at 16:00, arriving 18:55. There is also a direct flight from Stansted at 14:00.

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Turin (Shutterstock Image)

Day 2 Saturday 3 May (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.

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The church of San Lorenzo Turin (Shutterstock)
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Vintage Turin Tram (Shutterstock)

Day 3 Sunday 4 May (B)

Today we go by rail to the sea at Genova (Genoa) travelling 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 for to take us to Ronco Scrivia where we board a service train back to Torino on the first Italian main line built in 1853.

Passenger train at Genova Piazza Principe railway station (Alamy)

Day 4 Monday 5 May (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.

Superga Railway (Alamy Image)
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Beautifull aerial panoramic view to the famous white orange Basilica of Superga (Shutterstock)

Day 5 Wednesday 6 May (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.

Reggia di Venaria

Day 6 Thursday 7 May (B, L)

Today we head into the region known as “The Italian Lakes”, travelling 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.

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Lake Maggiore (Shutterstock)

Day 7 Friday 8 May (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 centre 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 Theatre, one of the world’s most prestigious opera houses. Lunch is available in one of the many city centre 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 6km railway line, much of it on a causeway, and is a more pleasant place to stay than the main city. Night in Venice Mestre.

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Milan Cathedral (Shutterstock)

Day 8 Saturday 9 May (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 centre 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 coloured 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.

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Day 9 Sunday 10 May (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 harbour 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.

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Saint Antonio Church at the end of Canal Grande, Trieste
Train approaching Trieste (Alamy Image)

Day 10 Monday 11 May (B)

For those returning by air we have road transport to Venice airport for the 11.30 flight back to London Gatwick arriving 12.45. The “no fly” group returning by rail depart at 08.32 with an ES City train to Milan where we change to an EC train to Basel in Switzerland and then onward by rail to Strasbourg (arr 17.09). Overnight in Strasbourg.


Day 11 Tuesday 12 May (B)

A free day for your own exploration of Strasbourg. Tear your gaze away from that mesmerising Gothic cathedral for just a minute and you’ll be roaming the old town’s twisting alleys lined with crooked half-timbered houses straightness from Grimm’s Fairy Tales and feasting in the a Winstub (an Alsatian tavern) by the canals in Petite France. Overnight in Strasbourg.

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Day 12 Wednesday 13 May (B)

Leaving Strasbourg we travel to Paris where we catch the Eurostar service back to London St Pancras.

We can also book you extra nights at the hotel in Venice should you wish to stay on to see more of this city. If the majority of people opt for overland travel via the Eurostar then our tour manager will accompany this group from Paris.

Holiday Prices (per person)

  • From London Gatwick (10 days): £2,130
  • From St Pancras (12 days): £2,450
  • Own travel to Turin and back from Venice: £1,885


  • Single room supplement: £320 (9 nights), £370 (11 nights) in main hotels
  • Single room supplement: FREE in alternative hotels
  • A supplement might apply to flights from airports other than London Gatwick
  • * with flight price might increase for late bookings


  • £600 with flights, £300 joining in Italy

Price Includes

  • All travel and excursions as outlined in the itinerary
  • Good quality en-suite accommodation
  • Meals as shown in the itinerary: B = breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
  • Services of our Tour Manager. Holiday is escorted in Italy

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



Best Western Plus Hotel Genova (6 nights)

Leonardo Royal Hotel Venice Mestre (3 nights)

Le Grand Hotel, Strasbourg (2 night for those return to UK by rail)

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