Traveling by train is a unique and captivating way to discover Italy’s beauties—a country rich in history, culture, art, and nature. If you’re seeking a different, slow, and sustainable travel experience, all you need to do is hop aboard one of these trains and explore some wonderful and alternative routes.
The Bernina Red Train
This train connects Tirano in Lombardy to St. Moritz in Switzerland, crossing the Alps along a UNESCO World Heritage route. The red train glides past glaciers, lakes, and forests, offering a spectacular view of the mountains. Considered one of the most scenic railway lines globally, it’s under UNESCO protection. A three-hour journey that will leave you breathless.
The Foliage Train
The Centovalli Railway starts from Domodossola in Piedmont and reaches Locarno in Switzerland, traversing two nations, 83 bridges, and 31 tunnels. The train winds through Italian and Swiss valleys, displaying overwhelming nature and picturesque villages. Covering a 52km route, the train meanders through marvelous forests that turn shades of red, yellow, and orange during the autumn.
The Nature Train
This train departs from Grosseto and arrives in Siena, passing through Val D’Orcia, the UNESCO Tuscan valley. A vintage train journey that uncovers a landscape where man and nature unite to create unique images. 51.2 km of slow travel amid gentle hills, cypresses, sunflower fields, and medieval villages.
The Langhe Monferrato Roero Train
A historical train that introduces you to the landscapes, typical products, and local traditions of Piedmont. A gastronomic journey that satisfies your eyes with enchanting landscapes and your palate with unique products. Canelli and its Underground Cathedrals are among the most famous destinations; here, you can visit the Wine Cathedrals where the world’s most famous sparkling wine is born.
The Dante Train
Italy isn’t just about food, wine, and landscapes; as we know, it’s also incredibly rich in art. And who better than Dante Alighieri can exemplify this? Through this historical train, you’ll discover the lands of the Tusco-Romagnolo Apennines that the Supreme Poet visited on his journey from Florence to Ravenna. The train departs from Florence and reaches Brisighella, Faenza, and Ravenna, where Dante’s tomb lies. Along the way, you can listen to readings of the Divine Comedy and witness theatrical performances.
The Italian Trans-Siberian Railway
The Railway of the Parks, nicknamed the Italian Trans-Siberian, was inaugurated in 1897 and connects the Adriatic Sea to the Tyrrhenian Sea, crossing the Apennines. 128 km of unparalleled beauty passing by your window as you enjoy a comfortable journey on a historic train.
These are just some of the historical trains, with marvelous routes often dedicated solely to tourism, that you can choose to visit Italy in a slow manner, close to the environment, and supporting the local fabric. By visiting the Fondazione FS website, you can find all the routes accessible via the historical trains managed by the Foundation.
Starting from 2024, you can also choose among the numerous proposals of Italian Tourist Trains, the new company of the Ferrovie dello Stato Group offering railway services specifically designed for tourists. Besides the routes covered by Fondazione FS, Italian Tourist Trains will allow you to discover new routes and new trains.
For instance, there will be the luxurious and captivating Orient Express – La Dolce Vita, which from 2024 will make you live a dream on rails between the Alps and the Apennines, Val d’Orcia, Baroque Sicily, Salento, and the Italian Trans-Siberian route.
Traveling by train means not just moving from one place to another but also enjoying the journey itself as an integral part of the vacation. It also means contributing to promoting truly sustainable tourism that respects the environment and values the territory. Ultimately, it means discovering Italy from a different, more authentic, and fascinating perspective.