How about visiting Piedmont on board a small vintage train getting on and off to visit wineries and castles, or catching one from Milan to reach Lake Como and have a leisurely lunch by the lake shores, or riding in the footsteps of Commissario Montalbano in Sicily?
These are just some of the itinerary ideas presented during a recent press conference held by Italy’s Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with Fondazione FS, the foundation that manages Italy’s historic railway network.
The goal is to promote a form of slow and sustainable tourism that highlights the country’s attractions, from the landscape to culture to food and wine. Indeed, the project involves the collaboration of Gambero Rosso, Italy’s leading food and wine publisher, which is overseeing the food- and wine-themed tours as demand for this type of travel experience increases both on the national and international level.
The new routes to be added include:
- Milan-Como (Lombardy)
- Turin-Canelli (Piedmont)
- Siena - Monte Antico - Asciano (Tuscany)
- Ragusa - Syracuse (Sicily)
- Naples - Pietrelcina (Campania)
- Sulmona - Pescocostanzo (Abruzzo)
- Cagliari - San Gavino (Sardinia)
If you love traveling by train, and even more traveling on a historic train, there are already several trips on offer that you may enjoy (they usually get sold out rather quickly).
For example, in the southern Italian region of Campania, the historic Reggia Express train, consisting of Centoporte (in use from the 1930s to the 1980s) and Corbellini (in use in the 1950s) carriages, will depart Naples on Sunday, October 17 at 10 am to reach the famous Reggia di Caserta 40 minutes later. Those traveling on this train will benefit from a reduced entry ticket to the Royal Palace of Caserta complex (€10).
The Porrettana Express is a more adventurous type of journey: this is the railway line that, in 1864, crossed the Apennine mountains for the first time, joining northern Italy with the center. The Porrettana Express, using the Centoporte carriages, will take you from Pistoia in Tuscany to Porretta Terme, in the Bologna Apennines, climbing up and through the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines along numerous viaducts and six tunnels, as you admire the landscape of chestnut woods and daring curves out the window.
For Tuscany lovers, there’s the Treno Natura Val d’Orcia, an old railway line that has remained open for exclusive tourist use. It connects the provinces of Siena (Asciano) and Grosseto (Monte Antico), for a day in the heart of Tuscany, stopping at borghi and taking part in village festivals and sagre, or going on walks in nature, for a truly slow travel experience.
For more Italian historic train routes, visit the Fondazione FS website.