As well as the classic route from London to Venice, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express travels across Europe, stopping in some of its most exciting and cultured cities. On this tour, you'll catch the world’s most elegant train from the Italian city of Verona to London, enjoying a matchless experience throughout. Beginning with a luxury stay in Shakespeare’s city, an included walking tour will bring you between regal streets and ramshackle piazzas to seek out Juliet’s house. But there’s much more to Verona besides star-crossed lovers, with wonderfully preserved architecture and majestic balconies (of course), operatic performances in a Roman amphitheatre and a thriving food scene. This is all just the prelude to the main event though, when you board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express for one of the great travel experiences in the world.
Having flown to Verona, we’ll arrange a private driver to whisk you to your boutique basecamp. The Palazzo Victoria is a flamboyant fusion of old and new, with Roman ruins, Ionic pillars and carefully preserved 14th-century frescoes complemented by contemporary fashions and modern flourishes such as living walls, indoor waterfalls and impressive light installations. If you can tear yourself away from your night in a living museum, let us arrange a food safari, where a local guide will take you to the city’s finest haunts; sip rich Italian coffee, nibble on delicatessen treats and enjoy perfectly-prepared pasta in a traditional trattoria. You will even visit a tiny tortellini workshop. In the evening there’s a Michelin-starred restaurant where you should put yourself in the hands of the chef and order the tasting menu, making sure to ask the sommeliers to pair your wines well. After dinner enjoy an intimate drink in the bar before retiring to your room.
Awake to a leisurely breakfast and perhaps dip into a well-thumbed copy of Romeo and Juliet for inspiration. After we’ll arrange a walk where a local guide will lead you to Verona’s must-see sights, including the city’s most famous balcony, and secret corners. Indulge yourself with a visit to the luxury shops and boutiques on Via Mazzinia or visit the market in Piazza delle Erbe remembering to look up at the medieval and renaissance architecture that rings it. Later, people watch from a piazza to see why they’re described as the city’s ‘drawing rooms’ and indulge in an aperitivo. In the evening, dress up so you look the part for the traditional Italian pastime of passegiata in the piazzas at dusk, stopping your slow arm-in-arm stroll for a drink at an outdoor table. Over dinner at the hotel, experience Verona in a different way, enjoying the best of Italian culinary tradition while watching chefs at work in the Show Kitchen.
Today the curtain falls on your time in Verona. On the positive side it is only because you’re about to embark on one of the most romantic and luxurious rail journeys in the world aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient Express. In the afternoon we’ll whisk you to the station where you’ll get your first glimpse of the classic blue and gold carriages while enjoying a glass of sparkling wine. Meet your white-gloved steward who'll guide you through the beautifully restored Venice Simplon-Orient-Express to your private cabin where you'll unpack your tuxedo and evening gown. Then, order some champagne and luxuriate in the history and tradition of the train as you're treated to views of the Dolomites during a sumptuous three-course lunch in one of the elegant dining cars. Each brims with personality. Service is impeccable and the food exquisite. Following a relaxing afternoon, dress for dinner, mingle in the Bar car and order a signature cocktail while you listen to period pieces performed on the baby grand piano. The evening meal, served with silverware, crystal glass and starched napery, is a culinary treat that’ll have you marvelling at how anyone can create such a gourmet four-course feast in such a tiny galley kitchen. Finally, satiated, return to your cabin, which has artfully been converted into a cosy sleeping compartment and retire for the night as the train eases over the Swiss Alps.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included
Raise the blind to look out over an entirely different landscape. Take breakfast in your cabin after your private steward has turned it back into a plush seating area in a trice. Keep an eye out of the window on the scenery of northern France and enjoy brunch before you arrive at the coast. Disembark form your Art Deco bubble to board the Eurostar and cross under the Channel to England. Here, you will be escorted to the beautifully restored Belmond British Pullman for the last leg of the journey. Glide past London-bound commuters who can only look on enviously as you prepare to cross the pretty Kent countryside in period style and unrestrained luxury. During this final passage, take traditional English afternoon tea, accompanied by a glass of English sparkling wine as a suitable sign off from your luxury break before pulling into London Victoria.
Breakfast & Lunch included
"If you’re looking to do a mini-moon in style then look no further. With endless romantic connotations, Italy’s Verona makes for the perfect spot for newlyweds to celebrate the start of married life. Couple this with a luxury rail journey on the famed Orient Express and the experience in matchless. As once-in-a-lifetime experiences go, this one is a must-do. "
Low Season from: £2,940 pp
High Season from: £3,125 pp
Valid for travel: both northbound and southbound, on selected dates from March to November