What are the best train rides in Italy?
Where are the train lovers here? The train ride is delightful, especially if we are with children, who love a steam locomotive! Today I bring you a very special post about the best train rides in Italy. Read our post now, what are the best train rides in Italy? Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patriciayou make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”
The train is one of the most widespread means of transport in Europe and, of course, in Italy this would be no different. Trains in Italy are increasingly modern and the expansion of their lines is constantly growing, however, being one of the most historic countries in the world, Italy also has tourist lines, with their trains that make beautiful routes and take you to discover places that are truly amazing. To find out all about trains in Italy, click here!
Binari Senza Tempo Project
Italy has a fantastic project called Binari Senza Tempo (Timeless Binaries, in free translation). As mentioned before, Italy has numerous tours with old trains, especially in smaller cities, and it’s difficult to choose the most beautiful one, but the routes that the trains in this project cover, without a doubt, can be included in the list of worthwhile tours. People: it is important for you to know that some tourist trains, in some locations, DO NOT RUN ALL YEAR ROUND, only during the summer. For today, I’m bringing five of the ten most beautiful train rides in Italy. In this list, they are all part of the Binari Senza Tempo project and they are all historic trains.
1) LA FERROVIA DEL SEBINO (LOMBARDY)
Here we find a small train and a freight train. The construction of this railway started in 1874 and finished in 1876, by the Society for Railways of Upper Italy. Its initial aim was to connect and facilitate transport between the iron and steel industries of Lake Iseo with the Milan–Venice line; it was also used to transport limestone from the Sebino Brescia quarries that carried the material to the Palazzolo cement factory, which was the first built in Italy for the production of hydraulic lime. In 1911, the railroad was rescued by the State Railroad, which continued to transport cargo and passengers. Cargo traffic was abolished in 1966 and, in 2014, the train became exclusive for passenger transport, becoming a tourist line. The line runs for just 10km and runs from Palazzolo sull’Oglio to Paratico Sarnico, stopping at Capriolo. Learn more about the Region of Lombardy here!
2) LA FERROVIA DELLA VAL D’ORCIA (TUSCANY)
With some of the most beautiful panoramas, the Val d’Orcia Railway crosses one of the most fascinating areas of Tuscany, passing through the soft vineyard hills of Montalcino, Siena, and the northern slopes of Mount Amiata. The Val d’Orcia railway is 51.2 km long and connects the Asciano station, in the province of Siena, to the Monte Antico station, in the province of Grosseto. The railway was designed in the 1950s to connect Siena to Grosseto, crossing the interior of the region along the Asso and Orcia valleys, very important territories with great agricultural and mining wealth.
The line was open between 1865 and 1872, but during World War II it suffered serious damage that caused the route to close for years. The closing of the mines and the development of the highways also contributed to the decay of the line, however, in 1996, the Val d’Orcia Railroad was reopened to receive passengers and make the tourist route. The stations that make up the tour are: Asciano, Trenquada, San Giovanni D’Asso, Torrenieri Montalcino, Monte Amiata, S. Angelo Cinigiano and Monte Antico.
3) LA “TRANSIBERIANA D’ITALIA” (ABRUZZO-MOLISE)
The “Trans-Siberian Italy” railway is one of the most beautiful in the world! It has a stretch that is more than 1,000 m high and crosses the forests of the Majella National Park, in addition to the famous Abruzzo plateaus, which during the warmer seasons offer us a splendid panorama, with a lively and almost poetic green. During the colder seasons, white dominates majestically by the long white expanses of snow blown in by the icy winds of Siberia. The line dates back to 1879, and was activated in two phases: the first in 1892 and the second in 1897. The line’s path is sinuous and has incredible slopes: from 328 m of Sulmona up to 1,268 m from Rivisondoli-Pescocostanzo station ; then it descends to 793 m from Castel di Sangro, and then climbs again to 923 m to S. Pietro Avellana; finally, it descends 631 m to Carpinone. Learn more about Molise here!
Heavily damaged during World War II, the line was only fully reactivated in 1960, but soon the number of passengers began to drop, as the journey is long. Between 2010 and 2011, the service was suspended and, in 2014, it returned to operation to receive tourists. The stations that are part of the line are: Sulmona, Sulmona Introdacqua, Pettorano Sul Gizzio, Campo di Giove Majella, Palena, Rivisondoli Pescocostanzo, Roccarazo, Alfadena Scontrone, Castel di Sangrio, S. Pietro Avellana, Carovilli, Pescolanciano, Sessano and Carpinone.
4) LA FERROVIA DI MONFERRATO (PIEDMONT)
With its beautiful 45 km along two historic trails, which link Langhe to Monferrato, the line is called Castagnole delle Lanze-Asti-Mortara and was included in the 1865 railway extension plan, being inaugurated in 1870. For being far away of strategic objectives during the world wars, it suffered no damage, but in the 1970s it was sometimes interdicted by numerous landslides that occurred in the area. The problem was definitively resolved in 1988 with the construction of a reinforced concrete viaduct. Due to few tourists, in 2012 the line was suspended, but it returned in full force in 2018. The stations that make up the route are: Asti, Isola D’Asti, Motta di Costigliole, Castagnole delle Lanze, Costigiliole d’Asti, S. Stefano Belbo, Canelli, Calmandrana and Nizza Monferrato. Learn all about Piedmont here!
5) LA FERROVIA DEI TEMPLI (SICILY)
A real time travel! The Temple Railroad is the best way to get to the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, Sicily. The line is 10.1 km long and connects the Agrigento Bassa station to the Porto Empedocle Succursale station. In 1933, the urban section that connects the Agrigento Bassa station with the new Agrigento Centrale station through the San Gerlando tunnel was inaugurated. In 2001, an experimental service for urban passengers was activated on the route, only on weekends, with a stop at Tempio Vulcano. The line was definitively reopened in 2014 and currently operates only tourist services. The stations on this line are: Agrigento Bassa, Tempio Vulcano, Porto Empedocle Centrale, Porto Empedocle Succursale.
Some common questions:
Can I get off at stations?
Yes! Some of them even have excellent enogastronomic options for tourists, but pay attention to arrival and departure times, OK? Be at the station at least 20 minutes before boarding. Enogastronomy tips in Italy!
Are the values the same for all lines?
No! It will depend on the chosen stretch. Also read our special post about the Venice-Simplon Orient Express train!
Can I board at any station along the way?
Yes! And you only pay for the covered stretch.
Do I need to buy tickets in advance?
Yes! Some segments carry out the trip with the sale of tickets only online; we advise, especially if you are traveling in high season, to buy all tickets in advance and be at the station at least 20 minutes before boarding!
- For reservations, detailed itinerary checking, routes, timetables and maps, I invite you to visit the official website of the project mentioned in this post: Binari Senza Tempo.
- I emphasize that not all lines work all year round, so check the availability of routes.
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What are the best train rides in Italy? For train lovers, Italy offers a wide range of tours with historic trains, charming and with incredible itineraries, and in all regions. Just organize your itinerary well and dedicate a day to your favorite route! It’s a different, interesting tour that will bring you delicious memories!
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