Italy and the Orient Express

I have just returned from a most memorable trip to Italy with Kirker Holidays & Orient Express. On arrival in Pisa we travelled by road to the beautiful city of Florence. We visited The Uffizi Museum (Kirker include museum tickets), taking in the works of Medici and Da Vinci.

We took a walking tour of the city - we strolled along the banks of the River Arno, stopping at Piazza della Republic for lunch and a glass of wine or two. Then taking in the sights of The Duomo (cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore) and absorbing the beautiful atmosphere of this wonderful city.

Following a short journey we arrived at Villa San Michele, a 15th Century former monastery nestled in the hillside overlooking beautiful Florence, where we stayed for two nights.

Situated between Florence & Siena in the heart of the Chianti Classico wine production area, we visited Verrazzano Castello, and spent a pleasant afternoon wine tasting and discovering the beautiful Italian gardens and learning all about the character of the great wines produced in this region.

We left Florence by train for Venice and I would recommend Italian rail to anyone, the service is excellent, punctual and most comfortable.

On arrival in Venice we took a water taxi to The Hotel Cipriani and checked in for our 1 night stay. Whilst in Venice we visited The Doge's Palace, again, Kirker had looked after everything and our tickets were already included. Venice is another memorable City for a short break, with plenty to see and explore on foot.

The pinnacle of my trip I admit was travelling home on the Venice Simplon Orient Express...

On arrival at Venice (Santa Lucia) Station the anticipation began - after boarding the train the excitement & glamour began on our journey back to London travelling via Innsbruck, Zurich & Paris en route.

All carriages are unique in design and decoration and are upper & lower berths.

I was totally spoilt on the journey home, nothing is too much trouble for the on board staff. This truly is a trip of a lifetime.

The Orient Express has 3 dining cars all serving the most beautiful menus suiting all tastes & dietary requirements. Before dinner the perfect carriage to spend time in is The Classic Piano Bar with a pre dinner drink and a wonderful relaxed atmosphere seeing everyone dressed for dinner.

One night spent onboard, breakfast served in your own cabin followed by a light lunch in the restaurant at 11.45 before arriving in Calais. Our Trip from Folkstone back to London was on board the British Pullman; where we were served a beautiful afternoon tea.

If you are looking for nostalgia, extravagance and amazing food (plenty of it) together with spectacular scenery this is the journey for you.

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For holidays booked and departing in 2017