Genoa to Brenner Pass

Holiday Highlights

  • Eurostar and TGV travel to and from Switzerland
  • Standard class rail pass for unlimited travel
  • Explore Italian Riviera villages
  • Travel through the Alps to enjoy Mountain scenery
  • Free time for sightseeing
  • 10 days from £1,850

Series 5, Episode 4 Great Continental Railway Journeys. Michael Portillo travels across Europe to explore the Italian Riviera and the Austrian Alps. The train is a wonderful way to explore the Italian coastline south of Genoa and visit the pretty Cinque Terre. In contrast you then travel through Italy towards the Alps to encounter contrasting scenery before making your way back into Switzerland.


Day 1 – To Zurich

Morning Eurostar from London St Pancras to Paris, followed by TGV service to Zurich for an overnight stay.

Day 2 – Genoa

A full day crossing Switzerland and Italy to reach Genoa early evening. Stay in Genoa for 2 nights.

Day 3 – Free Time

Genoa nestles between the mountains and the sea and the old port area is a delight. Named as European Capital of Culture in 2004 the city has one of the most compact historic centres. Take the funicular to Sant’Anna for a wonderful view over the city.

Day 4 – Italian Riviera

Using your rail pass it is a short train journey down the coast to La Spezia for a 3-night stay. The Levante Riviera is home to many quaint villages hugging the coast and the most interesting are the Cinque Terre (five villages) which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The best way to access them is by train but even from the station there are potentially lots of steps to and from the coast.

Day 5 – Free Time

Another free day to further explore the coastal area.

Day 6 – Day Trip to Parma

Using your rail pass take the train inland to Parma. This city can be traced back to Roman times and has an old town quarter of cobbled streets and squares. The famous cheese (Parmesan) has been made here for over 700 years and way back in history the cheese wheels were accepted as currency such was its value!

Day 7 – Italian Alps

Travelling via Pisa and Florence today we leave the coast behind and head for the Italian Alps, reaching Trento early afternoon. Stay in Trento for 2 nights.

Day 8 – Free Time

Trento is the gateway to the Dolomites and there are numerous well marked paths for walkers. The city itself is well worth exploring and it has a funicular to Sardagna for a wonderful view over the region.

Day 9 – Brenner Pass

Leaving Trento today’s route is via the Brenner Pass through the region of Sud Tirol which over the years has been passed between Austrian and Italian rule. Today it is Italian but you will notice the pastel coloured baroque buildings more in keeping with Austria. The Brenner Pass is not as striking maybe as the Gotthard route but nevertheless is an important north-south route for both freight and passengers. By changing trains in Innsbruck and Zurich we end the day in Basle for an overnight stop.

Day 10 – To London

Return to London by TGV train to Paris, connecting with Eurostar to London St Pancras.

Selected Hotels

Hotel Bristol, Zurich

Hotel Continental, Genoa

CdH Hotel, La Spezia

Hotel Buonconsiglio, Trento

Hotel Victoria, Basel

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • Eurostar to and from Paris
  • Standard class rail pass
  • Seat reservations where necessary
  • Accommodation in good quality hotels on a bed and breakfast basis

Price per person

From £1,850 per person sharing

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