Italy Rail Express Tour

Italy Rail Express Tour

9 Days



Italy Rail Express Tour

9 Days Starting in Rome and ending in Milan

Visiting: Rome, Naples, Florence, Pisa, Cinque Terre, Florence, Venice, Milan

Tour operator:

Expat Explore Travel

Tour code:


Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

10 - 51

Physical rating:


Age range:


Special diets catered:


Tour operated in:
$2537 (USD) Operator discount: -$483

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Tour Overview

Discover the many wonders of Italy by train! This Italian adventure starts in Rome, the country’s historic and iconic capital. Visit Naples and taste authentic Neapolitan pizza. Explore Florence and soak up its unmatched arts and cultural scene. Experience Milan, the fashion capital of the world! Get a photo with the Leaning Tower of Pisa, grab the chance to cruise the Venice canals and explore the ancient ruins of Pompeii. Touring Italy by train offers stunning scenery, fascinating history, gorgeous architecture and delicious cuisine. Start living La Dolce Vita now!


  • Discover Rome and Florence with expert local guides

  • Explore Venice and see the Leaning Tower of Pisa

  • Free days to explore Naples and Venice in-depth

  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pompeii 


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Day 1: Rome
Location: Rome
Meals Included: Dinner

Are you ready for an Italian rail travel adventure? Welcome to Rome, the “Eternal City”. Check into the hotel before meeting up with your tour leader and fellow travellers. Later this afternoon, look forward to a guided tour of this ancient city with an expert local guide. Discover some of Rome’s top sights, including the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain and the Colosseum, and learn all about Rome’s fascinating history. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner with your group and get your first taste of Italian cuisine!

Rome guided tour: Embark on a tour with a local guide to discover Italy’s Eternal City! See major sites including the incredible Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum and the Pantheon. This guided tour will share stories about how Rome came to be and what it is today!

Italian welcome dinner: Tonight, dine like the Italians do! Enjoy a three-course welcome dinner at a local restaurant in Rome and take this chance to get to know your travel friends who will be with you for the next nine days.

Day 2: Rome - Naples
Location: Rome, Naples
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast this morning, board a high-speed train and travel from Rome to Naples. After arriving and dropping your bags off at tonight’s accommodation, get ready to embark on an ancient adventure! Take a local train to the ruins of Pompeii. Upon arrival, enjoy some free time to grab lunch. Then, meet up with a local guide and set off on a tour of this iconic ancient city and UNESCO World Heritage Site that was covered in the ash and debris of Mount Vesuvius nearly two thousand years ago. After a truly unforgettable afternoon, head back to Naples and enjoy an included dinner this evening. This is your chance to try authentic Neapolitan pizza!

Visit Pompeii: Pompeii is so remarkable because it was almost frozen in time as the ash and volcanic debris of Mount Vesuvius covered the city for many centuries. The preservation of Pompeii allows its visitors a glimpse into ancient times. Enjoy a two-hour guided walking tour through this fascinating ancient site.

Dinner in Naples: Enjoy a traditional dinner and take the chance to try some of Naples’ famous pizza! Naples is considered the birthplace of pizza and the art of pizza making is taken very seriously, meaning that you can be assured of some truly delectable slices.

Day 3: Naples: Free Day
Location: Naples
Meals Included: Breakfast

Today is free to explore Naples! Discover this city’s old world charm and uniquely traditional way of doing things. Naples may be the third-largest city in Italy but it often feels like a completely different country! Naples is also a gateway to the picturesque and ultra-glamorous island of Capri. Join today’s optional excursion to enjoy a private cruise around the Isle of Capri and spend the day taking in the breathtaking beauty of the coastline! This evening offers the opportunity to join a Naples food tour and learn more about the history of Neapolitan pizza and sample more delicious local delights.

Day 4: Naples - Florence - Pisa
Location: Naples, Florence
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Wave arrivederci to Naples and hop on a fast train to Florence, the ‘Jewel of the Renaissance’ and capital of the Tuscany region. Arrive and enjoy an included lunch at a local restaurant before visiting a local Italian leather shop to learn about how these expert craftsmen make fine leather goods. Then, explore Florence with a local guide. See top sights including the Palazzo Vecchio and the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and admire the views from the Ponte Vecchio viewpoint. Afterwards, it’s time to head to Pisa. Check into the hotel for the night and set off on an orientation walk which will reveal the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa by night! 

Lunch in Florence: Try some authentic Tuscan cuisine at an excellent local restaurant over a group lunch in Florence.

Leather-making demonstration: Step inside the world of Italian leather crafting; visit a local leather shop and factory, Leonardo Leather and Gold, for insight into how bespoke Italian leather goods are produced. Italy has been famous for leather production for centuries!

Guided tour of Florence: See some of the cultural and historic sights that have made the city of Florence a favourite among travellers. Discover top sights including the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza Della Signoria and the replica statue of David. Known as the ‘Jewel of the Renaissance’, Florence boasts a huge variety of important buildings and famous artworks.

See the Leaning Tower of Pisa: A bucket-list item for most, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most iconic monuments in Italy and perhaps one of the most recognisable structures in the world.

Day 5: Pisa - Cinque Terre (Optional)
Location: Pisa, Cinque Terre
Meals Included: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Pisa. Take some time to explore the Piazza del Duomo and be sure to snap some memorable photos of you “holding up” the tower! Alternatively, join the optional excursion to Cinque Terre. Your tour leader will take the group to the starting point and give you all the information needed to discover these five picturesque seaside villages on the rugged Italian Riviera. Cinque Terre can only be accessed by boat, train or on foot and its colourful houses and stunning vineyards offer a breathtaking outlook. The group will return to Pisa together in the evening.

Day 6: Pisa - Venice
Location: Florence, Venice
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

From one spectacular Italian city to another, the tour travels through the Tuscan region towards Venice today! After dropping off your bags at tonight’s hotel, set off on an orientation walking tour of this magical floating city. See top Venice attractions including the Piazza San Marco, Rialto Bridge, Palazzo Ducale and more! After, enjoy an included lunch which ends off with a delicious gelato. The rest of the day is free to spend as you wish. This is the perfect time to cruise the legendary canals with an optional water taxi ride!

Orientation tour of Venice: Join your tour leader on an orientation tour and a trip into the heart of this unique floating city. See St. Mark’s Square, St. Mark’s Basilica, St. Mark’s Museum, Campanile, Doge’s Palace, Rialto Market and Scuola Grande di San Rocco.

Lunch in Venice: Weaving through the tiny alleys and crossing the many bridges of Venice is hungry work! This exploration will be rewarded with a taste of Venice. Look forward to some authentic Italian gelato for dessert!

Day 7: Venice: Free Day
Location: Venice
Meals Included: Breakfast

Discover even more Venetian magic on this full free day! The best way to start the day is with an optional gondola ride - this is a quintessential Venice experience! Afterwards, why not take this opportunity to venture out in the lagoon? The Venice Lagoon Tour optional excursion travels to the island of Murano, known for its glass blowing and the colourful island of Burano on a private boat! Later, enjoy the option of joining a Venice food tour and sample delectable local treats. Alternatively, take this free day to explore Venice at your own pace. Visit a museum or do some shopping and enjoy an aperitivo in the vibrant Piazza San Marco!

Day 8: Venice - Milan
Location: Venice, Milan
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Next up on this whirlwind Italy rail tour is the fashion capital of the world - Milan! Get acquainted with this super stylish city on an orientation tour with your tour leader. Of course, the incredible Duomo cathedral is sure to take your breath away. Other top sights include the impressive La Scala Milan Opera House and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Italy’s oldest active shopping gallery! This afternoon, enjoy an included farewell lunch with the group. Take the rest of the evening to relax, explore more or do some last minute shopping before the tour comes to an end tomorrow.

Orientation tour of Milan: Travel to the centre of the fashion capital with your tour leader. Your tour leader will point out some of Milan’s top sights and offer tips for how to spend the free afternoon.

Farewell lunch in Milan: After a morning of sightseeing, enjoy a final farewell lunch with the group at a local restaurant.  

Day 9: End Of Tour In Milan
Location: Milan
Meals Included: Breakfast

After plenty of Italian adventures, this nine-day rail journey comes to an end today. Say farewell to your new travel friends over breakfast and be sure to swap contact details. We hope that this tour of bella Italia has provided many unforgettable moments and memories to last a lifetime! Expat Explore wishes you a safe onward journey. Buon Viaggio!

What's Included

  • Accommodation

    8 nights in 2, 3 & 4* hotel accommodation in twin rooms with private bathrooms
    Single travellers have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure a private room (subject to availability)

  • Transport

    All rail travel throughout your tour with reserved seat selection 
    Standard Class Rail
    Any public transport used as part of the tour (excludes free days)

  • Meals

    8 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 2 Dinners*Vegetarian options available for all meals on request

  • Experiences

    Discover Rome on a locally guided walking tour
    Enjoy an Italian welcome dinner in Rome
    Taste authentic Neapolitan pizza
    Visit the ancient city of Pompeii, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
    Explore Florence, the “Jewel of the Renaissance” on a locally guided tour
    Taste Tuscan cuisine in Florence
    Enjoy an Italian leather-making demonstration
    See the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa
    Explore Venice on an orientation tour
    Enjoy lunch in the heart of Venice
    Visit Milan, the world’s fashion capital
    Enjoy a farewell lunch in Milan

What's Not Included

International flights
Travel to the start point and from the endpoint is not included. We recommend using Skyscanner to find the best deals on international flights.

Travel insurance
For a relatively small price, travel insurance provides you with the peace of mind so that you can enjoy your tour without any worries. 

All passengers travelling on an Expat Explore tour are required to have valid travel insurance cover and you are responsible for arranging your own insurance. Click here for more information.

Mode of Transport

  • All rail travel throughout your tour with reserved seat selection 

  • Standard Class Rail

  • Any public transport used as part of the tour (excludes free days)


  • 8 nights in 2, 3 & 4* hotel accommodation in twin rooms with private bathrooms

  • Single travellers have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure a private room (subject to availability)

Traveller Comfort - *RAIL* tours

We welcome all travellers on our tours but we would like to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible. In light of this, please ensure that you are happy with the below information and level of fitness required.

Expat Explore tries to be as accommodating as possible, however, our tours are unfortunately not designed for people travelling with wheelchairs or severe mobility issues.

Our tours are fast paced because they are designed for you to see the most a destination has to offer. We also want to ensure that you explore as much as possible, which may require long periods without stops on the train as we travel to a new destination.

We offer orientation and walking tours in some destinations, and a wheelchair is not always a practical option as there are often cobbled streets and stairs on these tours.

With regards to our accommodation, not all hotels have lifts and this can mean potentially having to carry bags up and down stairs.

Many train stations in Europe are in historic buildings, with normal stairs and limited escalators and elevators available. You will be required to carry all of your luggage up and down stairs to reach the platforms.

For more information regarding traveller fitness please see our Terms and Conditions.

Check out our Q&As

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    If you are travelling alone there is no compulsory charge - you will share a twin room with another passenger of the same gender. There is an optional single supplement/private room upgrade available for single travellers who wish to have a private room. This can be added at the time of booking or by contacting our team.

  • Children on tour?

    Our tours are not suitable for young children which is why we have a minimum age limit of 10 years old. However, at the discretion of Expat Explore we may consider younger children on certain tours if they meet certain criteria and a request is received in writing via email. Minors (between 10 and 18 years of age) must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who accepts full responsibility for them. Unaccompanied minors will not be accepted on tour. Expat Explore reserves the right to decline any booking at our discretion. Any minor (between 10 and 18 years of age) is priced the same as an adult.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    The health and safety of our travellers and employees are our top priority. Which means, when you travel with us, our enhanced hygiene protocols will ensure you do so in a safe and responsible way - ask for details of current policies.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Since 2005

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    At Expat Explore we value responsible travel and are committed to exploring the world consciously and kindly. We are proud to make responsible travel possible with a number of our sustainable travel practices!

  • Am I contributing to any charity by booking the tour?

    Relate is a South African based not-for-profit organisation that Expat Explore supports. The group aims to help those less fortunate create better lives for themselves through a variety of fundraising initiatives. On our South Africa tours, each passenger will receive an Expat Explore branded Relate bracelet. We donate the cost of these bracelets to our chosen Relate charity: the Nelson Mandela Sc

Reviews of this Operator


Wonderful new addition


Great new country and addition by Expat. One of the most interesting and beautiful countries I've ever been. Great food, scenery and lovely people.

Jamie the Kingslayer  

Everything I had expected and more


It was my first time traveling to Europe so I was nervous about everything including finding my way around, speaking the languages, and finding lodging. It turned out to be an incredible experience, I couldn't ask for a better your guide. Luke truly is the best in the business and we were so lucky o have him on the last tour of the season. I am definitely going to recommend Expat to my family and friends when they want to travel to Europe. I am going to go as far as finding out when Luke will be the guide and have family/friends specifically book the tour with him.




From orientation to farewell dinner Martina was always there to ensure that everyone was happy and enjoying the tour! It was fast paced, especially with the added excursions, but the tour covered the best of Italy and Martina was absolutely the best. She was entertaining and informative. Look forward to another tour with her!!


Perfect combination of sites, history, culture and food


The highlights of Japan tour with Expat Explore was the ideal way to see the country. It had the perfect mix of big cities, small quaint villages, historical sites and food! The tour was well organised and a good pace to enjoy the various places and activities. We had the opportunity to be immersed in local culture and try the cuisine in a range of dining experiences. The hotels were clean and roomy to rest for days filled with adventures. Japan with Expat should be on your wish list!


Good experience


Enjoyed the views of different places and learnt about the history of different places in UK/Ireland.

Kendra Olson   United States

Classic Europe - 14 Days


Such a great trip and saw so many places, if we did this trip on our own I think we would only get half of what we did done in this time period. It definitely was busy with not much down time but we didn’t pay to go be bored. Beautiful and memorable trip!

Travelling Solo  

12 Day Italian Delights


A great tour made even better by our tour leader Marty. She was so knowledgeable and helpful. Made us laugh, showed us amazing sites and always had great recommendations.


Really nice experience


Loved the small country towns. Very beautiful MARTY AND ALEX THE DRIVER , made the tour experience perfect for me. She is a brilliant guide.


Totally exhausted


I need a holiday to recover from this full-on, insufficient down time, tour. Late hotel arrivals, late city tours, late dinners and excessive walking due to public transport use and then early morning starts. And to top it off, no seat rotation (tour leader advised on day 2 for covid reasons) which made sense on day 2 but not by day 3 or 4 when we had been grouped together at meals, on walking tours, and sharing rooms with people we had just met...merrily spreading our germs between our group anyway! This seating rule however was waived for a special few...those who insisted that they get travel sickness (and must sit in the front seat) and..those who think the rule is not for them and aren't challenged by the tour leader anyway. No seat rotation also meant not getting the opportunity to get to know everyone on the tour on an equal basis.

Dates & Availability

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Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Aug 31, 2024 - Sep 08, 2024
$3020 $2537 (USD)

Operator discount: -$483 (USD)

Tourhub Members
Discount - Sign In

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Sep 28, 2024 - Oct 06, 2024
$3020 $2537 (USD)

Operator discount: -$483 (USD)

Tourhub Members
Discount - Sign In

Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Expat Explore Travel allows you to make 5 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 76 days before the start of the tour.

  • Low Deposit

    Expat Explore Travel requires a minimum deposit of 10% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 45 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of expat explore travel charges.

    Up to 45 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 44 days before tour starts: Forfeit 40% of booking price.

    At 29 days before tour starts: Forfeit 70% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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