Italian Train Stations Listed as Greatest in Europe

Wed, 01/04/2012 - 05:31

Stazione Santa Lucia, Venice

The bustle of a train station can offer supreme people watching opportunities, but the station itself can also be a scenic diversion on any European getaway. A new list from Lonely Planet ranking Europe’s Greatest Train Stations picks two Italian depots as the best on the continent.

Santa Lucia in Venice is listed as the crème de la crème with its unique 1950s-feel. The city is breathtaking, regardless of how you arrive, but entering Venice via rail makes for an unforgettable introduction to the watery city. Santa Lucia sits right on the Grand Canal, offering incomparable views and a large main hall to explore before exiting between the large Venetians lions to take on the rest of the historic Italian destination.

Another Italian train station that can be counted among the best in Europe is Florence’s Santa Maria Novella. The modern depot was designed by a group of architects known as the Gruppo Toscano (Tuscan Group) in 1932. An example of Fascist architecture from Mussolini’s time, Santa Maria Novella Station offers an interesting modernist juxtaposition to Florence’s old fashioned charm.

In addition to the stations of Venice and Florence, Lonely Planet ranks eight other depots as the best in Europe. According to the publication, Europe's greatest train stations are:

*St Pancras International, London
*Gare de Lyon, Paris
*Centraal, Antwerp
*Santa Lucia, Venice
*Hlavní, Prague
*Keleti, Budapest
*Santa Maria Novella, Florence
*Rautatieasema, Helsinki
*Porte Dauphine, Paris
*São Bento, Porto

Do you have a favorite that didn’t make the list?