The romance of rail travel comes into its own in the world’s most dreamy of destinations. As slow travel becomes ever more popular, exploring Italy by train allows travellers to connect with the soul of this inspiring country through its culture, cuisine and community.

Leading Italian travel specialist, Citalia, has seen substantial growth in train travel in Italy due to the growing demand for this laidback travel trend, along with Italy’s high-speed rail network linking the major cities. One in seven Citalia bookings include rail travel and the operator saw 2,500 customers travel by rail in 2019, with the most popular route being the 140-mile trip from Rome to Naples.

Citalia’s train experts create bespoke itineraries to showcase the best of Italy from cities to rural escapes. Here are three of Citalia’s top train journeys for 2020:

VENICE SIMPLON-ORIENT-EXPRESS: with a touch of glamour from London to Venice

All aboard the Orient Express
All aboard the Orient Express

Citalia offers travellers the opportunity to reach the famous City of Bridges on the glamorous Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. The most romantic and luxurious way to travel from London to Venice takes travellers through the vistas of France and Switzerland. From the breath-taking views of romantic rural France and Swiss Alpine valleys, to sampling the world-class food on board, this iconic train lives up to its five-star reputation. Guests are invited to settle into their cabin, adorned with art deco detail and French-polished cherry wood, and sit back as a grand voyage begins transporting them to enchanted Venice.

Citalia offers a five-night holiday from London to Venice from £3,369 per person, including travel to Venice on the five-star Venice Simplon-Orient Express, on a full-board basis, four nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation at the five-star Ca’ Sagredo, Venice, and a return flight from Venice to London Gatwick. 

CITY STARS: Venice, Florence and Rome by Rail

For city lovers, Citalia offers a multi-centre trip to visit the three biggest stars of Italy. This 13-day tour starts on the waters of romantic Venice before heading to Florence, the architectural treasure of Italy’s Renaissance capital, and ends in the Eternal City of Rome. Travellers can experience the contrasting charms of these three cities travelling on the country’s comfortable high-speed trains.

Citalia has a 13-night rail holiday departing from London to Italy from £2,479 pp. The price includes one night’s accommodation in Paris, four nights’ accommodation in Venice, three nights’ accommodation in Florence, three nights’ accommodation in Rome, and two nights’ accommodation in Milan, plus return rail travel from London and within Italy.  

ROME TO NAPLES: Citalia’s most popular rail journey

Harbor and ciry of Corricella, Island of Procida, Bay of Naples, Italy

Citalia’s bestselling rail journey combines Rome with Naples. The 225km journey takes travellers south through Italy’s scenic Lazio and Campania regions, passing quaint Italian towns, vineyards of lemons, oranges and olives and the enchanting Mediterranean Sea.

In Rome, travellers can explore highlights such as the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and Colosseum, before heading across the country to Naples, the regional capital of Campania. Culture lovers can discover the piazzas and monuments from the various periods in history of Naples, as well as museums and art galleries.

Citalia has an eight-night rail holiday departing from London to Rome and onwards to Naples from £1,589pp. The price includes one night’s accommodation in Paris, three nights’ accommodation in Rome, three nights’ accommodation in Naples and one night’s accommodation in Milan, and return rail travel from London and within Italy.