Combine three enchanting countries with two nights aboard the historic Belmond Venice Simplon-Orient-Express as you make your way from Italy to Austria, ending in France. On a luxury Europe by train journey, savor each destination with exquisite multi-course meals along the way, private and exclusive access to museums, and luxury accommodations.
This suggestion is just one of many ways to see Italy, Austria, and France on your own customized Ker & Downey itinerary. Our designers are at their best when crafting a journey unique to you; contact us to get started planning, and read on to see one example of what’s possible on our exploration of Europe by train.
Start your journey in Italy by visiting three of the country’s most iconic regions: Rome, Lake Como, and Venice. A wealth of treasure awaits in Rome through a private cooking class at a duchess’s apartment at Campo de Fiori, and a tour of the city via an exciting treasure hunt. Through riddles and puzzles, you’ll dig deeper into the secrets of Rome, the architecture, or cinema in the city. Enjoy an exclusive and special opening of the Vatican Museums to see masterpieces of Renaissance and Baroque art, like Michelangelo’s spectacular Sistine Chapel ceiling, the Octagonal Court, and Upper Galleries.
Transfer from Rome to Lake Como via Milan on a high-speed train. Lake Como has long been a favorite holiday spot of the Italian elite. Retreat to the Grand Hotel Tremezzo, perched on the water’s edge where it enjoys the best views of the lake. Spend a day on the water and at Villa del Balbianello, one of the most romantic residences on the lake. Built at the beginning of the 12th-century as a Franciscan monastery, the villa has since been used by many cinema producers for movies like Star Wars and 007 Casino Royale.
Head to the floating city of Venice. A private tour takes you to some of its lesser-known spots, walking over bridges that cross the celebrated canals of the city. A sunset gondola ride gives you a different perspective of the history and architecture of one of the most aesthetically pleasing cities in the world. Enjoy a private and exclusive visit of the S. Marco Basilica, and spend a day on the islands of Murano, famous for glass production, and Burano, known for its brightly colored homes.
In Venice, board the Belmond Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, one of the world’s finest train travel experiences. Enjoy a four-course dinner in the dining car and evening cocktails from the bar as you make your way from Venice to Vienna, continuing your Europe by train tour.
The artistic and intellectual legacy of Vienna is unmatched, thanks to residents like Mozart, Beethoven, Gustav Klimt, and Sigmund Freud. While it is the cultural, political, and economic center of Austria, the culture of the city is one of relaxation, where sipping coffee in a lavishly ornate building and fully taking in your surroundings is the norm. The historic city center is UNESCO World Heritage-listed, with historic buildings and museums worth a visit. There you’ll find St. Stephen’s Cathedral, home to the Spanish Riding School and its famous white Lipizzan stallions. Visit the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts), which hosts the world’s most important collection of its kind featuring objects collected by the Hapsburg emperors, plus the Albertina Museum and the Schloss Schönbrunn Palace.
The Naschmarkt is a must-visit for foodies. It is Vienna’s most popular and vibrant outdoor market, open since the 16th-century.
On your third day in Vienna, rejoin the Belmond Venice-Simplon-Orient Express for lunch. Settle into your cabin as the train makes its way overnight from Austria into France.
Enjoy breakfast in your cabin before the Belmond Venice-Simplon-Orient Express pulls into Paris. You will be transferred to the Maison Albar Hotels Le Pont Neuf, located in central Paris and just a few minutes from sites like the Louvre Museum and Notre Dame Cathedral. In Paris, enjoy an exclusive private visit to the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris before the museum opens to the public, a private cooking class at the Ecole Ritz Escoffier in the Place Vendôme, and a privately guided market tour with a local food expert. French hospitality is on full display with a five-course tasting menu at the Eiffel Tower’s Jules Verne Restaurant and a five-course dinner cruise on the Seine River.
Seeing Europe by train is an experience you cannot miss. Contact a Ker & Downey designer to customize your own journey. Read more about the seasonality, pricing, and the Ker & Downey Difference in Western Europe.