Looking to tick another country off your bucket list?
Brace yourselves, railway lovers: the country is reintroducing a series of vintage trains, reuniting carriages with tracks across three dazzling routes to provide a unique experience for tourists.
The trains are a major contender for environmentally-friendly holidaymakers, part of a new brand named FS Treni Turistici Italiani and featuring three categories including lusso (luxury), espressi (express) and omnibus-regionali.
Operated by Italy’s state-run operator Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, the long-distance routes include the Orient Express La Dolce Vita, launching in 2024.
Elsewhere, the omnibus-regionali services will offer an affordable, slower option, with the express services acting as speedy transport from major cities to tourist areas including a night train travelling across southern hotspots like Milan and the Tuscan coast.
Some routes even offer transport to ski resorts in the midst of the season, with one ‘cruise train’ option ferrying passengers from Rome to Cortina d’Ampezzo in the northern Dolomiti Superski area.
This package even includes a return route, so guests can board on Friday evening and spend the weekend skiing, before being picked up again on Sunday night to return to the city.
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Constructed 150 years ago by Georges Nagelmackers, the original Orient Express trains – the most luxurious of the three revamped lines – were the first-ever of their kind of Europe.
The overhauled vehicles are a tribute to the ‘glamour, joie de vivre and artistic fervour’ of the 1960s, capturing ‘life, the spirit of freedom, wellbeing and pleasure’ in their essence.
The new designs were innovated by architecture and design studio Dimorestudio, founded by Emiliano Salci and Britt Moran, who are both deeply inspired by the golden age of Italian design.
The suite cabins – of which there are 18 to choose from – come equipped with a master bedroom, private bathroom and a number of sumptuous sofas and armchairs.
Drawing on shades of orange, terracotta and purple, the interiors are centred around twentieth-century designs – and room service is even available to make the experience extra special.
Meanwhile, one step up are the impressive deluxe cabins, with a sofa unfolding into a double bed. A clever adaptation of the space, the footstools even act as coffee tables and chairs.
But it isn’t just opulent interiors: the trains also provide entertainment in the form of La Dolce Vita ballet and the players’ lounge, hosting live music, cocktails and games of backgammon, chess and cards.
There’s an array of itineraries, too: guests can stay for one to two nights, with routes traversing through Rome, Venice and Portofino, Palenta and Matera and more.
All you need is a spritz and some bruschetta and you’re living the Italian dream.
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