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A Captivating Italian Adventure with Belmond, 7 Nights

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Belmond Hotel Cipriani Belmond Hotel Cipriani Florence Villa San Michele Belmond Hotel Splendido
Venice

Itinerary Description

Experience the very best in Italian sophistication and glamour, Belmond style, on this fabulous seven-night odyssey, beginning on Belmond's iconic Venice Simplon-Orient-Express as it winds its way across the spectacular continental scenery of France and Switzerland, heading for the splendid city of Venice on Italy's northeast coast. While here, you can revel in the prolific ornate architecture that lines Venice's network of meandering canals, enjoy laid-back lunches whilst people-watching in St Mark's Square, or head off away from the crowds to explore on a number of exclusive organised excursions, before heading south to the equally splendid city of Florence, centrepiece of the outstanding Tuscan countryside. Culture-lovers will adore the city's fabulous Renaissance architecture, world-famous art galleries - including the Uffizi - and stunning palaces, while the Boboli Gardens are a must-see, especially if the sun is shining! Conclude your journey with a relaxing stay in one of the most picturesque coastal locations in Italy - Portofino. Nestled into the lush hillside of the Ligurian Coast, the tiny, unassuming gem is a feast for the eyes and a perfectly gentle way to finish your luxury adventure. Enjoy meandering along the harbour of this pretty fishing village, take a walk up in the surrounding hills for spectacular views of the bay, village and coastline, flex your credit card in the designer boutiques and enjoy an ice-cream and relaxed lunches at one of the piazzetta's restaurants as you watch the luxury yachts and quaint fishing boats come and go. There are also a number of guided tours to be enjoyed whilst here, should you wish to explore beyond the village itself, including to the Cinque Terre, a collection of five picturesque villages that is so special it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Destination

Accommodation

Stay

Fly from Dubai to London

Emirates

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Fly with Emirates direct from Dubai to London Heathrow and London Gatwick.

Classic Route from London to Venice

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

1 night

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Board the Belmond British Pullman at London Victoria and head to Folkstone, where you will cross the English Channel. Then, board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express in Paris for your overnight journey to Venice.

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

In an age where speed is everything, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express moves to a different tempo – slowing the jet-setting pace of modern day to a gentle amble by recapturing an era when travelling was a pleasure and not simply a necessity. In addition to the hugely successful London to Venice routes which run between March and November, there are additional journeys to some of the most romantic destinations in the world such as Paris to Prague and Vienna. Allow diligent Stewards to whisk your luggage away and escort you to your cabin, while you completely absorb a world that is first-class from beginning to end; enjoy silver-service fine dining with five-course à la carte menus, followed by nightcaps in the carriage bar with dreamy piano keys sending you swiftly off to bed.

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Private boat transfer to Belmond Hotel Cipriani

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Arrive at Santa Lucia railway station and board your private boat for the twenty-minute transfer to Belmond Hotel Cipriani, situated on Giudecca Island.

Venice

Belmond Hotel Cipriani

2 nights

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Enjoy a two-night stay at the glamorous Belmond Hotel Cipriani, located away from the main tourist area on Giudecca Island. Loved by the Hollywood glitterati, this iconic Venetian hotel plays host to countless celebrities and movie stars throughout the year, particularly during the Venice Film Festival, and was the hotel of choice for George Clooney and his entourage when he was married in Venice in 2014. It certainly provides a wonderfully peaceful retreat away from the inevitable crowds that flock to the neighbouring islands and their famous sights, yet offers a convenient base from which to explore those same sights, while the views of the lagoons and St Mark's Square from the hotel are simply sublime. During your stay, you may wish to spend your days relaxing around the hotel's magnificent Olympic-size swimming pool, play a game of tennis on its clay court or head out to explore on a guided tour or wine-based excursions that visit local vineyards - even tour Venice's lively and unusual Bacari wine bars. For an entirely different perspective, it is possible to kayak your way around the lagoons or pootle along them on one of the hotel's amusing water bikes.

Belmond Hotel Cipriani
Belmond Hotel Cipriani
Belmond Hotel Cipriani

From the moment you arrive, you feel the sense of calm that pervades Belmond Hotel Cipriani – a true classic. This mood continues through the gardens, where the kids' club is located – where works of art and sculpture are often showcased and where Casanova once held his clandestine trysts – onwards into the hotel’s vineyards and the hotel itself. Interiors are bedecked with delicately blown-glass and precious fabrics, where beautifully appointed rooms and suites all offer garden or lagoon views. Palazzo Vendramin and Palazzetto, reached via an ancient courtyard and flowery passageway, offers additional privacy in butlered rooms and suites, with even more spectacular views of the lagoon and Piazza San Marco.

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High-speed train to Florence

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Head back to Santa Lucia railway station to board a high-speed train for your two-hour journey to Florence.

Florence

Belmond Villa San Michele

2 nights

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Arrive in Florence and enjoy a private car transfer to your next fabulous accommodation, located on the outskirts of the city. Belmond Villa San Michele is a magnificent 15th century Franciscan monastery that offers an incredible overview of Florence and its surrounding countryside from its lofty position in the hills. As with Belmond Hotel Cipriani, this property has the advantage of being a convenient distance from all that Florence has to offer, whilst allowing its guests peaceful respite from the crowds that flock to the historic city. While here, you can mix things up by taking the hotel's, frequently running, courtesy shuttle bus down into the city to explore (with options for a range of private guided tours, including of the Vassari Corridor in the Uffizi Gallery), picking it up later on in the day to enjoy the facilities back at the hotel, which include an open-air swimming pool ideally located for appreciating how spectacular Florence looks from afar as you take a swim. Lunch or dinner on the gorgeous cloistered terrace of the restaurant is a must-do, for the sublime cuisine and beautiful panoramic views, or you could hone your culinary skills at the hotel's acclaimed cookery school, which runs lessons every Wednesday.

Belmond Villa San Michele
Belmond Villa San Michele
Belmond Villa San Michele

A 15th century Franciscan monastery with amazing views of Florence and boasting a façade by Michelangelo – Belmond Villa San Michele, fully restored and voted one of the world's most beautiful hotels, promises a rare experience indeed. There can be no more quintessential Italian experience, than a stay here, especially if you opt for the Michelangelo Suite, the Limonaia Suite or the  Garden Suites. Alternatively, spalsh out and treat yourself to a stay at Villa Limonaia for a true villa-within-a-villa experience. Chianti, the Medici Villas, San Gimignano, Siena, the breathtaking Tuscan countryside with its picture-book villages and, of course, the Renaissance splendour of Florence, with its museums, churches, art galleries and designer shopping, are all on your doorstep.

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Private car transfer to Portofino

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Your adventure concludes on the Liguarian Coast, so you'll be leaving Belmond Villa San Michele and heading north, enjoying a private car transfer en route to the pretty fishing village, Portofino - bolthole of the jet set for decades.

Portofino

Belmond Hotel Splendido

2 nights

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Arrive at Belmond Hotel Splendido, which enjoys a prime location high on a lush hillside overlooking Portofino, the incredibly pretty, bijou fishing village whose charming exterior belies the understated glitz and exclusive persona that has made it so popular with the rich and famous for a number of years. As with the other two Belmond properties you will have stayed at during your trip, Hotel Splendido stands away from the centre of Portofino, meaning guests have the best of both worlds, in terms of being conveniently close to the village's central piazzetta, whilst being far enough away to offer an exclusive peaceful ambience within its grounds - and its elevated position only eccentuates this. During your two-night stay, you can take the courtesy shuttle bus down into the village to enjoy designer shopping, people-watching, casual lunches and leisurely walks - even hire a yacht or kayak to explore the picturesque coastline. Alternatively, you could venture beyond Portofino and discover the UNESCO-listed Cinque Terre, a collection of five stunning coastal villages, or enjoy a guided gourmet tasting tour, sampling olive oil, locally grown produce and freshly made Italian breads in beautiful rural surroundings. Back at the hotel, meanwhile, there are opportunities to enjoy alfresco spa treatments, swimming in the saltwater swimming pool that overlooks the bay or play tennis at the hotel's all-weather tennis court. The choice is yours, but whatever you decide to do, rest assured, you'll enjoy a suitably peaceful, sophisticated end to your Italian adventure before taking your flight home and back to reality.

Belmond Hotel Splendido
Belmond Hotel Splendido
Belmond Hotel Splendido

With beautiful guest rooms and a guestbook that reads like a celebrity ‘who’s who’, the elegant Belmond Hotel Splendido attracts visitors from far and wide. Over the years, it has acted like a magnet to a fashionable and celebrated clientele, pictures of whom grace the walls of its lobby. It offers the highest standards of international hotel keeping, whilst cleverly managing to retain a relaxed Mediterranean ambience. Pretty pathways lead down to the yacht-strewn harbour, with its indigo waters, while many of the rooms boast tiled terraces or balconies, allowing guests to take full advantage of the enviable setting. Each guest room is slightly different, although antiques and handpainted trompe l'oeils are de rigeur. Belmomd Hotel Splendido is sister hotel to Belmond Splendido Mare, located on the harbourside, and a complimentary bus service operates between the two.

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Fly from Genoa to Dubai

Emirates

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Fly via Rome with Emirates from Genoa to Dubai.

Best time to travel


Italy experiences a variety of climate systems; the inland northern areas (Milan, Turin and Bologna) have a humid subtropical climate, while the coastal areas of Liguria and the peninsula south of Florence generally fit the Mediterranean climate profile - cool, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. Northern Italy has hot summers and cold winters, although the temperature rarely drops below freezing during the daytime, while southern Italy enjoys mild winters and long, dry, hot summers. The mountainous areas, such as the Alps and Apennines, have long, cold winters with short, cool summers.

A great destination to visit year round, Italy is particularly ideal if you're thinking of a city break. It’s at its most popular between April and June when the weather is at its warmest and most reliable. July and August are extremely busy as this when the Italians traditionally take their holidays, so you'll find the fashionable places crowded and prices slightly higher during these months. Milder weather can be enjoyed from late September through October.

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Why Choose Elegant Resorts


As the foremost British pioneer of luxury travel – and boasting an ever-increasing collection of prestigious accolades that celebrates this – Elegant Resorts is a tour operator with the expertise, knowledge and reputation to deliver only the very finest tailor-made luxury holidays to our clients, honed by almost thirty years of experience in this niche travel business.

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