Perfect Pairings: 5 Easy Rail Trips


Rail travel is the theme of the month here at Citalia. We’ve covered some of the most spectacular journeys in Italy and offered traveller’s tips for the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. But what if you fancy keeping things simple?

With that in mind, we’ve lined up five of our favourite two-city rail trips – and if you book a multi-centre rail holiday by midnight tonight, we’ll throw in your train tickets for free.

Midnight also marks the end of our January sale. Our Italy Experts will be on hand till late, so make sure to get your booking in before the phone lines shut at 11pm! Just give them a call on 01293 839207*.

For the romantics: Verona and Venice

Venice gondola on a canal perfect place for a rail trip

  • Start: Verona Porta Nova station
  • Finish: Venezia Santa Lucia station
  • Travel time: 1 hour 10 minutes direct

This trip ties together two of the most romantic cities in Italy. Start in Verona, the setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Get opera tickets for two at the Arena di Verona or spend the day sailing between the little villages of nearby Lake Garda.

Fast trains zip between Verona and Venice in less than 90 minutes. Boat trips are also the theme in Venice: you could go on a dinner cruise down the Grand Canal, hire a made-for-two gondola, or see a show at the glittering Teatro La Fenice opera house.

For the colour hunters: Genoa and the Cinque Terre

View from Castello Brown, Portofino

  • Start: Genova Brignole station
  • Finish: Monterosso al Mare station
  • Travel time: 1 hour 10 minutes direct

The multi-coloured Cinque Terre villages make up one of the most sought-after coastlines in the world. They’re also part of the swish Italian Riviera, so it’s not uncommon to spy the likes of Rihanna or Leonardo DiCaprio sunning themselves on their superyachts.

Fancy starting – or finishing – your holiday in style? Then top or tail your trip with a stay in Genoa. It’s been one of the most important ports in Italy for a millennium or two, so expect sprawling piazzas and grand maritime museums. Best of all, you can catch a fast train from Cinque Terre towns like Monterosso straight to the centre of Genoa.

For the fashionistas: Lake Como and Milan

Milan shopping arcade

  • Start: Milano Centrale station
  • Finish: Como San Giovanni station
  • Travel time: 40 minutes direct

Lake Como has long been an escape for Milan city-dwellers. Spend a few days in Italy’s fashion capital, wandering the vaulted halls of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and leapfrogging between Michelin-starred restaurants.

When you’re ready to escape the city, catch the fast train to Lake Como. The lake’s main city, Como, is the closest stop. It’s got plenty in the way of style – think Prada-bedecked couples wandering between see-and-be-seen waterside cafés.

But dig a little deeper, and you’ll also find sky-scraping Como Cathedral and a Victorian funicular. Boats push off from the shores of Como, too, puttering across the waters to stylish Bellagio and Tremezzo.

For the history geeks: Rome and Naples

Naples with Mt Vesuvius

  • Start: Roma Termini station
  • Finish: Napoli Centrale station
  • Travel time: 1 hour 15 minutes direct

You’ll find ancient history wherever you go in Italy – but Rome and Naples are two of the real heavyweights. Start in Rome, where you can tick off big-name sights like the Vatican City and newly restored Roman Colosseum. Or you could try something different by touring Rome’s character-packed neighbourhoods or hopping on an espresso coffee shop tour.

Naples is a similarly sprawling city with a completely different feel. For starters, it’s in the south, so the piazzas are sunnier, the sea warmer, and the scenery more dramatic. Mount Vesuvius watches over everything, kicking off a coastline that’s home to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast.

For the foodies: Turin and Alba

Vineyards of Serralunga d'Alba, Piedmont

  • Start: Torino Lingotto station
  • Finish: Alba station
  • Journey time: 1 hour 10 minutes direct

We can’t stop talking about Piedmont at the moment. And no wonder – this north-westerly region lines up truffle festivals, hilly vineyards, chocolate cafés, Slow Food cities and medieval towns with Michelin-recommended restaurants.

We recommend starting in Turin, the region’s elegant capital city. From there, the Piedmont countryside is your oyster. Take the train straight to the lovely Roman city of Alba, which settles between the river and mountains. We can arrange a transfer to neighbouring Serralunga d’Alba – a miniscule hamlet with some seriously luxurious spa hotels.

Give our Italy Experts a call on 01293 733479* before 11pm to take advantage of our January offers.

*01293 – calls are charged at your provider’s local or national rate