I haven’t talked about this much here, but in March I left my job with the intention of taking some extended time off. Travel is one of the things that I want to do during my time off. And my first big trip is coming up this week:

I’ll be traveling from London to Rome via train!

The trip is structured so I’ll have 2 nights in each city along the way, which I hope will give me a chance to have a break and do some sightseeing in-between travel days (plus a buffer if there should be an issue with one of the trains).

Here’s my itinerary:

  • London
  • Eurostar to Paris
  • TGV to Lyon
  • SNCF regional to Geneva; Swiss regional to Zermatt
  • Glacier Express to St. Moritz
  • Bernina Express to Tirano, Italy; Trenord to Milan
  • Trenitalia to Rome
Auto-generated description: A route map shows a 1,538-mile driving journey from London, United Kingdom, through France and Switzerland, ending in Rome, Italy.

Oddly, Google Maps won’t let you enter a multi-stop public transit trip, so I had to enter this as a car journey. It’ll be roughly correct. (You’d think they’d support this for train transit!)

There’s a couple of train highlights for me on this trip. First up is the TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse, “high-speed train”) from Paris to Lyon.

Switzerland, SBB-SNCF, line 106, Genève - La Plaine, TGV 1983 (SIK 03-104762)

Somehow as a child, the image of these orange, high speed trains got filed in my brain as very cool and futuristic. Although the Eurostar will be the first high speed train on this journey, I’m most looking forward to this orange beast. As an adult, I’ve been upset and jealous that the US doesn’t have anything of the sort! So, I’m excited to finally be experiencing world-class high speed rail.

The next highlight is the Glacier Express which is a scenic train through the Swiss Alps.


This should be the star of the show. I’m spoiling myself by booking an Excellence Class ticket that includes fine dining and wine at your seat next to giant picture windows. I’ve heard nothing but great things about this particular train and its incredible journey through the Alps. I can’t wait!

The Glacier Express terminates in St. Moritz where I’ll take the Bernina Express to finish my pass through the Alps and transit into Italy via Tirano. Two nights in Milan is followed by Italian high speed rail down to Rome, where I’ll link up with my wife.

There’s a lot of firsts for me in this trip: every country on the itinerary, high speed rail, and an extended solo journey. I’ve traveled solo for work and conferences in the past, but never on vacation. So, this will be a true adventure for me. I’m mostly excited, but also a little anxious.

In Rome, I’ll meet up with my wife, who’s traveling separately after a trip with her sister. From there, we’ll spend the next two weeks together traveling in Italy. In addition to Rome, we have Florence, Tuscany, and Puglia (via Bari) on our Italian itinerary.

If you’d like to follow along with my journey, I plan to post updates as I go right here on this site. If email is your thing, I’ve turned on this site’s newsletter feature (subscribe here) so you can these posts right in your inbox.

The journey begins this week on May 20 when I take the overnight flight from Atlanta to London. Thanks for reading! Next update from London!