Unique Rail Journeys in Italy: Dante’s Train Between Florence and Ravenna

| Tue, 05/24/2022 - 03:00
Dante's train

“Dante’s Train,” a rail route tracing the journey of the Supreme Poet from Florence to Ravenna during his exile years, is returning for the summer season.

Launched last year to celebrate the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death, the vintage steam train takes travelers from Florence, the Tuscan capital, where Dante was born, to Ravenna in Emilia-Romagna, where Dante died in 1321, crossing the Tuscan-Romagnolo Apennine mountains and a variety of natural landscapes and medieval villages. 

Dante’s train will stop in four towns along its journey: Borgo S. Lorenzo and Marradi in Tuscany, Brisighella and Faenza in Emilia Romagna, all places Dante himself passed on his way to exile. 

Travelers can get off at each of the four stops to visit the villages, their museums and castles, which they can access for free by showing their Dante’s train ticket, and sample the local cuisine at affiliated restaurants where they can take advantage of special discounts reserved for train ticket holders. 

While on the historic ‘Centoporte’ train, a guide will illustrate the history of the area and of Dante’s journey and offer tips on what to visit in each of the four towns. When the train arrives in Ravenna, visitors have a few hours to visit the Unesco-inscribed mosaics the city is famous for and then hop back on the train for the return trip to Florence. 

The train leaves from Florence early in the morning. Dante’s presence is everywhere in the city, from the Museum of the House of Dante to the nearby Church of Santa Margherita, where the Poet met Beatrice, from the most famous image of Dante, painted by Domenico di Michelino in 1465, on display in the Cathedral, to his statue in Piazza Santa Croce and Dante’s funeral mask kept in Palazzo Vecchio. 

The train then passes through Mugello, an area long dominated by the Medici family, to reach Borgo San Lorenzo (first stop), continuing across the hills of Vicchio where artists of the caliber of Giotto and Beato Angelico were born. After passing Crespino del Lamone - a village known for the quality of its water and fountains - the train stops in Marradi, the Apennine town famous for its chestnuts, and Brisighella, rated among “Italy’s Most Beautiful Villages,” where an excellent extra virgin olive oil is produced. The next stop is Faenza, renowned for its ceramics, and finally Ravenna, the city where Dante finished writing the Comedy and spent the last years of his life until his death in 1321. Dante’s tomb is in Ravenna, and, recently, a Museum and House dedicated to him have been inaugurated.

Dante’s Train runs between June 4 and November 1, 2022, every Saturday and Sunday. 

For more information and to book your tickets, visit https://iltrenodidante.it/