La dolce vita means “the sweet life” in Italian. It’s also the name of a 1960 Fellini film that is considered to be one of the best films of all time, as well as a luxury train that showcases the best that Italy has to offer.

The Orient Express La Dolce Vita covers several routes with various stops and itineraries. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime luxury experience, and it has a price tag to match. So, we’re going to take a look at some of its most interesting destinations/routes and help you find cheaper alternatives.

It’s still the sweet life…it’s just a bit more affordable.

Fine Food and Wine

The northern routes of La Dolce Vita take you through glorious cities like Rome and Venice, as well as the town of Montalcino. The latter is located in Tuscany’s heart, famed for its great food and wine. You can take The Orient Express La Dolce Vita from Rome to Montalcino in just a few hours, but there are better options, including Florence.

Take a train or bus to Florence from major cities across Italy and enjoy the region’s best dishes, including:

  • Bistecca Fiorentina: A Florence-style steak often served rare.
  • Lampredotto and trippa: A tripe sandwich.
  • Pappardelle al ragù di cinghiale: A hearty pasta dish.
  • Schiacciata alla Fiorentina: A light and sweet dessert.
  • Vernaccia di San Gimignano: A local wine with a strong and distinctive flavour.

You won’t be dining on a luxury and historic train, but there are many great restaurants that provide a similar experience, including Trattoria Da Burde Firenze, Pizzeria Giovanni Santarpia, La Vecchia Bettola, and Burro & Acciughe.

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The Tyrrhenian Sea

The Tyrrhenian Sea sits along Italy’s western coast, sandwiched between Rome and Sardinia. Two-day excursions on La Dolce Vita take you from Rome down the western coast and into Sicily. But the same route is available from other providers for less than $60/€55. The trip takes you from Rome to Palermo in less than 12 hours, cruising along the coast and providing gorgeous views along the way.

For a true Orient Express experience, stop off in the town of Maratea. It’s home to great churches, amazing food, and some fantastic views. From there, you can head to Sicily.

The City on the Water

A trip to Italy wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Venice. Final and first stop on The Orient Express La Dolce Vita route, there are many cheap trips into Venice from surrounding cities, including direct trains from Vienna and Budapest and long-distance coaches from neighboring countries. Once you arrive in this unique and historic metropolis, you can leave the roads behind and get around on foot and by boat.

Venice is alive with music and festivities; there’s always a concert to attend or a party to join. It‘s also a great city for couples seeking good food, breath-taking views, and a relaxed holiday. Consider taking one of the city’s many tours (by foot and by boat) to experience all that it has to offer. These tours showcase the city’s culture and history, as well as its food and wine.

Peace and Wine in the Piedmont

Located in Northern Italy’s Piedmont region, Monferrato is famed for its wine and literary history. It’s a peaceful region that has played an important role in the country’s modern history. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2014, you can visit Monferrato on a 2-day La Dolce Vita trip from Rome. But it’s also easily accessible from most other cities in the region, with trains from locations in nearby Switzerland and Austria as well as ones further afield like Barcelona.

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Unlike other serene destinations in Italy, Monferrato has yet to be discovered tourists, making it a perfect way to escape chaos. Prepare for cycling tours and hikes in beautiful natural parks and leave room for fantastic locally sourced wine and truffles.

Life On The Orient Express La Dolce Vita

Italy has a lot to offer, from pizza in Naples to the Coliseum in Rome and the rolling hills of Tuscany. There’s a reason we voted it one of our best summer vacation spots, as well as a destination that every Millennial should visit. Exploring the diverse landscapes, historical landmarks, and indulging in vibrant culture are just a few highlights awaiting you.

And if you’re a fan of immersive experiences like attending classic music festivals, consider delving into Italy’s rich culinary scene. From savoring gelato on charming streets of Florence to enjoying a traditional pasta-making class in a rustic village, the gastronomic delights are endless.

If you want to travel in style, book a seat on The Orient Express La Dolce Vita train. The luxurious journey not only offers unparalleled comfort but also panoramic views of the picturesque Italian countryside.

Alternatively, for those mindful of their budget, Italy’s extensive network of trains and buses provides affordable transportation options. While this journey may be a bit different, the enchanting destinations, whether it’s the iconic cities or serene countryside, remain equally accessible for the budget-conscious traveler.