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Travelling by train is a quick, easy and comfortable way to journey to Italy. Eurostar trains glide out of London and pass through the Kent countryside, before travelling through the Channel Tunnel and emerging in northern France, arriving into Paris' Gare du Nord in around two hours. Spend a day or two in the 'City of Light' seeing the sights and museums, browsing designer boutiques and dining at cosy bistros, or continue on with the next leg of your journey. 

Choose between daytime and sleeper services for your trip south into Italy, with an optional stop-off in beautiful Switzerland along the way. For a luxurious upgrade, you could also travel onboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, with its Art Deco detailing and first-class service. 

You'll find more information about the journey below - speak to one of our experts on 01293 733479* for further details or to book your rail holiday to Italy. 



Your rail journey from the UK to Italy starts off with the Eurostar to Paris. Travelling to Gare du Nord takes on average two hours from the UK and frequent trains depart every day. There are three stations from which you can board the Eurostar: St. Pancras, Ebbsfleet International and Ashford International. Children under four years old travel for free unless they require their own seat and child prices are available for children aged 4-11 years. 

For a really special journey to (or from) Italy, there’s the option of travelling on board the iconic Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Our most popular route takes you between London and Venice, though you can also choose to start or finish in Paris or Verona. 

The journey takes two days and includes a Champagne brunch and beautifully presented four-course dinner in the Art Deco restaurant car, as well as breakfast and afternoon tea served in your cosy cabin.  

SNCF day service

The TGV France-Italy day service takes you from Paris Gare de Lyon through to Milan Garibaldi, departing twice daily and taking approximately seven hours; alternatively there is also a frequent high-speed TGV Lyria service which travels through the Swiss Alps to Lake Como or Lake Maggiore. This journey is becoming more popular due to the spectacular scenery along the way, and there is also the option for an overnight stopover in either Zurich or Geneva. 

On board you will find facilities including a buffet bar, where a selection of food and drink can be purchased, or upgrade to First Class where you will have the benefit of power points at your seats, more legroom, free newspapers and magazines and a minibar service offering snacks and drinks. We will provide you with paper tickets for you to take on board the train and show to the conductor, there is no need to validate the tickets.

If you are continuing your rail journey further into Italy you will need to take the Metro service from Milan Garibaldi to Milan Centrale (on the M2 Green Line). Milan Centrale is Italy's hub train station, and from there you can continue to your chosen destination using the high-speed internal rail network. 

Thello sleeper service

This overnight Thello sleeper service allows you to travel straight from Paris Gare du Lyon to Italy. After arriving on the Eurostar in Paris, you can either spend the night and following day in the city, or catch the train straight after stepping off the Eurostar. You will arrive early in the morning into Italy giving you plenty of time to catch a connecting internal train, transfer to your chosen accommodation, or collect car hire for your onward journey. 

You can book a two berth, three berth or a single cabin which includes a wash basin and bunk beds; toilets are located at the end of each carriage. There is also a cheaper option of booking 'couchettes', an area where you have a seat that pulls down into a bed (this has no wash basin). Couchettes sleep six people so if there are only two of you there could be another four people in the same compartment, and these could be a mixture of males and females. These couchettes are therefore ideal for large families or couples on a budget. 

Facilities on board include a buffet bar where you can purchase a selection of hot and cold food and drink.

These train tickets are e-tickets. We will provide you with the details and PNR number on your travel documentation and all you need to do is board the train and show your documentation to the conductor. 


Suggested rail itineraries

We've shown a few of our favourite UK to Italy by rail itineraries below, but don't worry if they're not exactly what you're looking for - our Italy Experts can tailor any itinerary to suit you. Give them a call on 01293 733479* to talk through your holiday ideas. 

  • 8-day suggested rail itinerary
  • Stop off in Zurich for a night en route to Italy
  • Spend a few days in Venice
  • Relax on the shores of Lake Garda
  • 10-day suggested itinerary
  • One night in Zurich on the way to Italy
  • 2 nights to explore Venice's palazzos and canals
  • 3 nights each in Florence and Rome 
  • 12-day suggested rail itinerary
  • Journey to Italy includes a night in Zurich
  • City stays in Milan and Rome
  • Time to enjoy Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast