The Italian Job – Three cities in four days
Day one – Venice
(Venice's Grand Canal)
Venice is criss-crossed with 26 miles of canals. In fact, over 60% of transport in Venice passes through the Grand Canal, which you can cross by ‘traghetto’ – a budget-friendly gondola ride. A traghetto can carry up to 14 people, so either grab some friends, or make new ones on the journey.
Of course, if you’d prefer to keep your feet on dry land, you can cross the canals by bridge. Venice has nearly 400, including the famous Bridge of Sighs and Rialto Bridge, both of which are perfect spots for a photo op. Once you’ve snapped Venice from every angle (#nofilter), swing by the Rialto neighbourhood for some freshly battered seafood – known as ‘fritto misto’ – in a local bacari, or wine bar. And, when the night draws in, head to La Fenice opera house.
Time to leave Venice’s serenity behind and head to Florence. Start early and take the two-hour train from Venice to Florence. Travel in Italo’s Executive Club and you’ll have onboard catering services, perfect for breakfast on the go!
(Rialto Bridge, Venice)
Day two – Florence
24 hours isn’t long to soak up the magnificence of a UNESCO World Heritage site, so make your time in Florence count!
Start at Piazza della Signoria, the city’s most important square, which is ironically L-shaped. Wander among the statues and monuments, take a tour of the Palazzo Vecchio, or – if you’re feeling energetic – climb the 414 steps to the top of its tower.
In the afternoon, head to the Duomo district to see Florence’s striking cathedral. Feeling peckish? Hide away in a side-street trattoria where the locals eat and order yourself some ‘crostini di fegatini’, a Tuscan appetizer with chicken liver.
(Florence city skyline)
Sadly, there’s no time for a siesta, as we’re moving on to the Uffizi, a museum that National Geographic dubbed as one of the world’s best. Enter the world of Italian Renaissance and feast your eyes on works by Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli and Caravaggio.
As the sun sets, hop across the magnificent Ponte Vecchio and wind down your day at Giardino Bardini, a four-hectare sprawling garden that overlooks the city.
(Ponte Vecchio, Florence)
Day three and four – Rome
Italy’s capital city, Rome, lies just an hour-and-a-half train ride from Florence. Savour the modern comforts of your Italo train, as the next couple of days will be spent walking in the footsteps of ancient gladiators.
(St. Peter's Square, Vatican City, Rome)
We’d recommend another early start to visit The Vatican first thing – it’s what strong Italian coffee was made for after all. The city walls are closed to visitors on Sundays, so to avoid the Saturday crowds, we’d recommend a Tuesday or Wednesday trip.
From Basilica to battlegrounds, it’s on to the Colosseum. Various combination tickets are available, so you could get entrance to the amphitheatre and then survey the ruins from the top of Palatine Hill.
The old saying goes, that if you throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain, you’ll return to Italy someday. If you still carry cash these days, throw in your two cents and whenever you do return, grab a traditional ice cream and take a stroll in Villa Borghese Park with old friends.
Your whistle-stop tour of Italy ends here! If you’re tired out, get some well-deserved shut-eye, browse the complementary newspapers, or settle down to a good film and a fresh pastry, courtesy of Italo’s Prima or Executive Club.
Book train tickets for your Italian adventure today.