If any country in the world has a reputation for a sense of style, it is Italy. From the spectacular ancient Roman ruins, the gastronomic delights of its cuisine, the fashionably chic inhabitants, the marvel of Venice and the historical wonder of the world that is the city of Rome, there are a number of reasons to visit this bastion of culture and heritage.
Whether it is for a quick city break or a more relaxing extended tour, one of the best ways to enjoy the wide range of attractions that this country has to offer is to travel to Italy by train. The Italian rail system is one of the best in the world and takes in the splendid locations and scenery the country has to offer.
Where to depart from
In terms of departure points, starting your journey on home soil has never been easier. You can start your train journey to Italy from London St Pancras International, travelling via Eurostar through France before arriving at this fantastic country.
Where to go
A particular favourite with rail enthusiasts are journeys to the three great Italian lakes of Lake Como, Lake Maggiore and Lake Garda. Lake Como has been a popular destination for more than 200 years whilst Lake Maggiore is situated close to the famous Centovalli Railway.
Holidays to Lake Garda have a long history due to the presence of thermal springs, which have drawn visitors wishing to sample their reputed health-giving properties for many years. Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy and has Scandinavian-like views of mountains rising from the water’s edge, resembling the great fjords of Northern Europe.
What to do
The best way to make the most of Lake Garda is to take one of the many cruises around the waters where you can witness the scenic villages dotted between the mountains and the lakeside shore.
Nearby the Grotte di Catullo has the remains of the largest Roman villa in Europe and the town of Malcesine is a short trip north from the eastern shore, where the lake truly takes on the look of a classic Norwegian fjord with an especially narrow stretch of water. The classically Italian old town is dominated by an imposingly wonderful example of a 13th century Italian castle: Rocca Scaligera.
Monte Baldo is Lake Garda’s highest mountain whose summit is over seventeen hundred metres in altitude and which is easily accessible by a cable car ride. This provides magnificent panoramic views of the lake, the surrounding mountains and the Val d’Adige; the valley of the river which flows through the nearby city of Verona.
Overall, Lake Garda is a fantastic destination which is only enhanced by visiting it by train. Offering a chance to witness this beautiful scenery in luxury and relaxation, rail journeys across Italy are certainly recommended for those looking for a unique holiday option.