A Modern-day Grand Tour with the Romantic Allure of Train Travel.

Exclusive and private visit of the Vatican Museum in Rome

Covering eight of Europe's greatest cities—Edinburgh, London, Brussels, Berlin, Munich, Florence, Rome, and Palermo—Rocco Forte Hotels has created a modern-day Grand Tour with the romantic allure of train travel. 

The first-of-its-kind experience offers two nights at each hotel and first class rail travel between each iconic location. The journey is ideal for those seeking cultural  highlights, with authentic local experiences to explore in each of the destinations. An exclusive visit to the Vatican at dawn without the crowds may tempt guests in Rome; or getting lost amidst the fragrant street markets and bustling city of Palermo. Guests could discover Munich’s street art scene on a private tour with a pioneering artist, or meander through London in a fleet of Mini-Coopers. 

Celebrating both journey and destination, the trip showcases the benefits of slow travel, beyond a reduced carbon footprint. Whether taking in the beautiful Alpine peaks of the Brenner Pass and the plains of northern Italy or weaving between the Gulf of Palermo and the silhouette of Mount Etna in Messina, guests have complete autonomy over their journey, which can be personalised to suit individual needs. Whether escaping the heat or chasing the sun, direction and stops are flexible to guest preferences.

Edinburgh landmark The Balmoral offers a convenient departure point for the journey, taking guests smoothly to their next destination, Brown’s Hotel in the heart of Mayfair. Onwards to Brussels, where passengers of the Rocco Forte rail journey are invited to step from the Eurostar to the exquisite Hotel Amigo, where the newly opened Magritte Bar, a homage to the surrealist artist, awaits. Next, the Deutsche Bahn service transports travellers to Berlin and the Hotel de Rome, a fabulous conversion of the former headquarters of the Dresdner Bank with a swimming pool in the former bank vaults. The journey continues to Munich, where The Charles Hotel promises authentic Bavarian hospitality, from local weisswurst to magnificent museums.

Entering Italy, Hotel Savoy, Florence, offers a combination of Renaissance-era charm and contemporary Italian flair. In Rome, a calm oasis in a bustling city awaits at the Hotel de Russie. A grand finale for the great rail odyssey, Rocco Forte suggests ending the adventure at Villa Igiea in Palermo, Sicily, enveloped in the warmth of Sicilian hospitality and Mediterranean sun. Those wishing to relax at the end of their cultural trip may choose to complete their journey at Verdura Resort on the glittering south western coast of Sicily by taking the train to Agrigento. 

Perfect for  romantics, families and explorers, Rocco Forte’s rail experience exemplifies a harmonious fusion of autonomy and luxury — an extraordinary slow travel adventure for those looking to truly immerse themselves in Europe’s splendour.

Rocco Forte hotels and Expression Holidays offer 16 nights B&B from £6,800 per person, including two nights at each hotel, first class rail travel from Edinburgh to Palermo, ferry, transfer and return flight to Palermo.