Next year, Italy will introduce a flurry of new train routes, especially for tourists.
Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane (FS), the Italian state railway company, will launch a series of itineraries to help visitors discover the country’s lesser-trod attractions.
The train journeys themselves are also intended as an integral part of the experience and some routes will be serviced by vintage locomotives.
Here’s what you need to know about Italy’s new rail services.
Italy introduces special tourist trains
Italy’s state-run rail operator has announced new FS Treni Turistici Italiani (Italian Tourist Trains) will begin running in 2024.
The project is divided into diverse categories of trains and routes.
‘Lusso’ or luxury trains will be fronted by the ultra-luxury Orient Express Dolce Vita train, whose launch has been postponed from this year to next.
Also included in this group is the Venice Simplon Orient Express, with opulent carriages restored to their 1920s glamour.
Ride on a vintage train in Italy
The rail company is also introducing refurbished locomotives as part of the ‘espressi’ (express) and ‘treni storici’ (historic trains) categories.
Restored 1980s and 1990s carriages will feature sleeping cabins, restaurant cars and storage areas for bikes and skis.
These trains will mainly run on popular tourist routes linking major cities and favorite visitor hotspots.
They will run from Milan to the Ligurian Riviera and Tuscan coast, for example, and from Rome to the seaside town of Otranto in Puglia and the ancient ruins of Metaponto in Basilicata.
Take a train cruise in Italy
Another category has been dubbed ‘cruise trains,’ which will provide transport for tourists looking to take short trips to popular destinations.
One proposed sleeper route will leave Rome on a Friday night and shuttle passengers up to the Dolomites for a weekend of skiing.
The train will then take travelers back to the capital on Sunday night.
Other itineraries under consideration may involve a five or six-day trip around multiple regions from Umbria to Puglia.
For a more scenic route, the ‘omnibus regionali’ will offer lower-priced, slower journeys on regional trains.
The itineraries will be specially selected to include attractive landscapes and stops at places of gastronomic interest.