Italy by Rail


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NOTE: If you would like to travel on a date not shown, please see our new Italy Getaway by Rail with flexible departure dates


Featuring Explore historic Rome, artistic Florence & romantic Venice; tour independently with flights, hotel & rail tickets included
Style Independent PackageThese un-escorted packages have no set schedule or guides, so you have the freedom and flexibility to explore on your own from your centrally-located hotel. More of these packages
Freedom to explore at your own pace; unescorted
Departures Scheduled Dates
Price Includes
  • Flights
  • Train
  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Round-trip flights from New York (JFK) or Newark (EWR), including fuel surcharges and taxes and fees
  • 6 nights accommodations in First Class Hotels
  • Buffet Breakfast daily
  • "Prima class" rail from Venice to Florence & Florence to Rome with reserved seats
  • Included flights are on contracted airlines and typically have a connection. Non-stop flights may be available for an additional cost.
Highlights Venice, Florence, & Rome, Italy, plus reserved rail space between each city.
What to Expect This leisurely-paced, independent tour requires minimal walking and is suitable for most levels of physical fitness. This tour does not include a tour guide or escort.

Prepare for your trip Already booked? Find everything you need to know before you go, including information about passport & visa requirements, flights, luggage, and more.

Italy by Rail Who doesn't want to spend time in Italy? Here is an opportunity to visit three of the most intriguing and iconic cities on this independent package. Spend two nights in each city, Venice, Florence and Rome, and get to know them at your own pace. Travel in comfort between the cities by Italo Rail with reserved seats. Rub shoulders with the people of Italy, and the ancient, the medieval, the Renaissance, and the modern worlds. In Venice, your hotel is conveniently located in Mestre, giving you easy access to the city, where you can explore on foot or by water taxi. Be sure not to miss a gondola ride or a coffee at St. Mark's Square. In Florence, see the birth of the Renaissance, while admiring the Duomo or the statue of David. In Rome, experience the Eternal City and perhaps visit the Vatican and the Colosseum. All this for an amazing price, as irresistible as Italy itself!

Dates, Prices & Options

Departure Dates & Prices

NOTE: Need to travel on a date not listed below? Please see our new 
Italy Getaway by Rail with flexible departure dates

Options, Upgrades & Fees

Flights & Departure Cities

Note: NYC departures will be from either JFK or EWR based upon availability when you make your reservation. Your flight itinerary showing which airport that you are departing from will be emailed to you in 24-48 hours.


Day 1: Depart USA/Overnight Flight

  • Board your overnight flight for Venice

Day 2: Venice

Accommodations: 2 nights Accommodations: Best Western Hotel Bologna, Venice, Hilton Garden Inn Venice Mestre San Giuliano; 5-star upgrade for departures through October 2016: Hilton Grand Hotel Molino Stucky.

  • Make your way independently to your hotel
  • Balance of the day at leisure

Gondolas, VeniceFull Day Itinerary: Upon arrival in Venice make your way independently to your hotel located on the mainland in Venice Mestre, a short train ride from the main island of Venice. Your hotel is conveniently located near the Ponte della LibertĂ , a road bridge that connects the mainland to the historical center of the Venice islands. Enjoy the balance of the day to relax and unwind and enjoy the facilities of the hotel. Venture out for your first exploration of Mestre and Venice.

Day 3: Venice

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Full day at leisure

St. Mark's BasilicaFull Day Itinerary: Full day at leisure to explore Venice on your own. You can explore the canals by water taxi, without a doubt the best way to get around Venice, or meander through the slowly sinking streets at your own pace. Walk the narrow streets and alleys admiring the Venetian's unique way of life until you reach Piazza San Marco or, St. Mark's Square.

St. Mark's Square forms the political, social, and religious center of Venice. Visit St. Mark's Basilica with its great arches, marble decoration, the Romanesque carvings that surround the central doorway, and looming above, the four horse statues which preside proudly over the whole piazza.

Afterward, you may also visit the Doge's Palace, once the residence of the supreme authority of the Republic of Venice. A museum since 1923, you will see the Venetian Gothic exterior, the courtyard, the Museo dell'Opera, the Doge's Apartments, the Institutional Chambers, and the Bridge of Sighs leading to the prison.

Lastly, Be sure to take a water taxi to the islands of Murano and Burano, world renowned for their distinct style of glass artwork. You will be able to view a glassblowing demonstration and a gallery featuring some of the artist's finest work.

Day 4: Venice & Florence

Accommodations: 2 nights Hotel Club, Florence, Hotel Ambasciatori, Florence; 5-star upgrade for departures through October 2016: The Style Florence. Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Independently travel by train to Florence
  • Balance of the day at leisure

Florence cityscapeFull Day Itinerary: This morning, independently make your way to the Santa Lucia Rail Station, and travel by train from Venice to Florence. Upon arrival, make your own way to your hotel centrally located nearby the train station. Florence is the birthplace of the Renaissance, and has much to offer in the realm of fine arts. View architectural accomplishments, such as Santa Maria del Fiore, the world's largest masonry dome or pay a visit to Michelangelo's David at the Accademia Gallery or visit one of the world's greatest art museums the, Uffizi Gallery. Or, simply take a stroll along the River Arno.

Day 5: Florence

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Full day at leisure

Full Day Itinerary: Enjoy a full day of leisure in Florence. Sample some of the finest gelatos, shop the boutiques or visit a local market.

Day 6: Florence & Rome

Accommodations: 2 nights Hotel Morgana, Rome; 5-star upgrade for departures through October 2016: The Inn at the Spanish Steps, Rome. Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Independently travel by train to Rome
  • Balance of the day at leisure

Colosseum, RomeFull Day Itinerary: This morning, make your own way to the Santa Maria Novella railway station, and board your train from Florence to Rome. Upon arrival at either Ostiense or Tiburtina railway stations, make your way independently to your centrally located hotel. All of Rome is a living, breathing museum from the Colosseum to Piazza Navona and the Spanish Steps. Be sure to visit The Vatican and witness Michelangelo's masterpiece at the Sistine Chapel. A visit to Rome is not complete without visiting the Roman Forum and the view from Palatine Hill, the centermost of the Seven Hills of Rome and one of the most ancient parts of the city.

Day 7: Rome

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Full day at leisure

Full Day Itinerary: Enjoy a full day of leisure in Rome. Sample delicious fresh pasta and pizza, or spend some time people watching at a local café.

Day 8: Rome/USA

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Independently transfer to the airport for your return flight to the USA


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My husband and I learned about Friendly Planet Travel through friends who went on a trip to China. They returned home raving about the great value and good time they and other travelers had while in the Far East. We began our own study of Friendly Planet trips and found one to Italy that offered just about everything but cannolis. Based just outside San Gimignano, we were more than satisfied with the family-owned Hotel Sovestro, had no issues with our little rental car, found it an easy public bus ride to and from Florence and even a night of opera music in Siena. Added to our travel bliss was a non-stop Emirates flight to and from Milan and JFK/New York. There was also much joy in making new friends who were also guests at Hotel Sovestro. Thank you, staff, for making this a most memorable trip. You'll be hearing from us again.

Gail Giannetto, Wakefield, MA

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Find everything you need to know before you go, including how to pay your balance due, and information about passport & visa requirements, flights, packing & luggage, and more.