This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Malta, Italy & Med Islands TTG Features

On track for a leisurely trip

Italy is well placed for rail holidays, which are experiencing a surge in popularity. Imogen Beecroft investigates some options

lingering cappuccinos. With an increasing number of operators offering rail holidays to Italy, why not extend this laid-back philosophy to the journey itself, and let the train take the strain? Catharine Parravani, rail travel specialist at Expressions Holidays, says: “Travelling to Italy by rail is such a relaxing way to travel, really making the journey part of the holiday. Clients will be able to appreciate the stunning scenery on


olidays in Italy are a time to take things slowly: leisurely museum tours, long lunches, and

offer through France and Italy – usually missed when flying – while relaxing in comfort. Travelling by train is the easiest way to travel between cities too, making a multi-centre holiday effortless.” Thanks to a former politician

turned TV presenter, agents are well placed to take advantage of increased demand for this style of holiday. Paul Sharp, sales director, Diamond Rail Holidays, says: “Rail is still very new to the market and is currently at a level where we saw river cruising around three years ago – and just look how that market has taken off. Agents may not yet be

aware that they stand to earn excellent rates of commission on selling rail holidays. “TV programmes such as Michael

Portillo’s Great Rail Journeysare undoubtedly contributing to the growth in interest in rail holidays and an overall renaissance for international rail travel.”

In safe hands Faced with the prospect of negotiating busy railway stations and jumping on and off trains, some clients will feel happier in the company of an experienced guide. Italy is one of Great Rail Journeys’

The Bernina Express links Switzerland and Italy

and sister brand Treyn’s most popular destinations, with a total of 14 escorted tours in the region. They include Great Rail Journey’s escorted 11-day Gastronomic Italy tour, which includes a cookery class in Bologna and a tour of a Parmesan cheese factory in Parma. Clients travel London-Turin-Florence by rail, Florence-Bologna-Palma by coach, then back to London by rail via Colmar in France. New for 2014 is Great Rail Journey’s

14-day tour of the Calabria region from £2,195pp. Highlights include a volcano-watching cruise to Stromboli and a rail excursion to Scilla. Julian Appleyard, commercial

director at Great Rail Journeys and Treyn, says: “Our 14 tours into Italy have proved an enormous success. The Calabria and Puglia regions are very easily accessible by train, and there are many places which are best accessed by rail, including less well-known areas such as Elba.” Another tour operator that will

escort your clients all the way from London St Pancras is Diamond Rail Holidays. New for 2014 is an eight-day tour of Umbria, which includes five nights by Lake Bolsena, excursions to Assisi, Perugia and Orvieto, and a vineyard visit. Departing on June 14 and September 6, the trip starts from £899pp. Diamond Rail’s Italian Dolomites

tour is already sold out for 2014, but clients can still bag a seat on tours to the Italian lakes, to Rome and the Amalfi coast, and Venice plus Croatia’s Istrian peninsula, new for 2014. Regional departures are possible with certain tours. Seeing Tuscany by rail can be a laid-back holiday option Turn to 38 13.03.2014


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56