Another sleeper train route for Europe is now being launched, just in time for ski season, and this one has an extra layer of charm thanks to its luxury and vintage rolling stock.
Tickets already live
The Treni Turistici Italiani (Italian Tourist Trains), run by Italy’s state rail operator, Ferrovie dello Stato, will shuttle between Rome and Cortina d’Ampezzo – one of the jewels of the Dolomites and a main point of arrival for skiers and other visitors to the Dolomites.
Leaving Rome Termini on Friday evenings from mid-December, the “Espresso Cadore” will be able to carry up to 220 overnight guests on a spectacular mountain run, and deliver them bright-eyed and refreshed into the heart of the Alpine scenery on Saturday morning.
Tickets are already live and ready for purchase on the Trenitalia website, with carriages rated first and second class, and sleeping arrangements configured for between two and six people.
As well as the stunning mountain views outside, the trains have been conceived to channel the appeal and romance of bygone eras of travel. The carriages date from up to forty years ago in the ’80s and ’90s and have of course been renovated without taking away their unique character and personality to meet passengers’ needs. Features likely to surprise and delight passengers in the trains’ interiors include a restaurant car, an all-night bar, and ample storage for luggage and ski paraphernalia.
Modernity has not been overlooked though. E-bikes will be able to charged and rentals for those looking to get around on two wheels can be arranged on board. Ski passes too can be taken care of on the train, for those making an impromptu trip.
Sustainable and part of the holiday
More routes are set to be launched in 2024, linking Lombardian capital Milan and the historic port city of Genoa, via Tuscany’s Livorno. Also on the menu in this new age of sustainable “slower” travel that can be treated as part of the vacation, a service will take tourists from Rome to Metaponto’s ancient ruins as well as the gateway to Sicily, Reggio Calabria, at the tip of Italy’s so-called “toe.”
The routes will contribute to Italy’s aim of making tourists more aware of a wide range of less-visited destinations, spreading footfall among different cultural and historic attractions and – the hope is – taking some of the pressure, crowds and ensuing tensions away from tourist hotspots.