Italy wants tourists to ‘rediscover its riches’ in a sustainable way, with more train routes planned from Milan and Genoa next year.
Ski season is almost here and if you’re looking to the Dolomites this year, Italy has just unveiled an exciting new way to get there.
From 15 December, a luxurious sleeper train is running from Rome to the famous ski resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo.
It’s the first of several new ‘tourist train’ routes from Italy’s state-owned railway company Ferrovie dello Stato (FS).
The service from Rome Termini to the Calalzo-Pieve di Cadore-Cortina d’Ampezzo station will put you in pole position for plenty of other ski spots too, as it’s the main arrival point for many tourists heading to the Dolomites.
What do we know about the new sleeper train from Rome?
The Espresso Cadore train is expected to depart every Friday evening this winter, bringing passengers to breathtaking mountain views on Saturday mornings.
FS is set to release more information on exact timings and prices soon, with tickets available to book through the Trenitalia website from 18 November.
There will be different prices on offer, however. The 220-bed service will be divided into first- and second-class two-person carriages and four and six-person sleepers.
Passengers can look forward to a restaurant car and an all-night bar. As it’s geared around skiing trips, the ‘Cadore’ Express will also have storage and charging space for bikes and skis. And e-bike rental and ski passes can be purchased on board if you’re travelling last minute.
Carriages decommissioned in the 80s and 90s are being repurposed for the train’s cabins. FS says they have been “designed to give a unique experience, never seen before in the panorama of Italian rail transport.”
What other tourist train routes is Italy launching?
This continuity between Italian glamour past and present is a throughline for the new train routes.
The country’s railway company is employing ‘luxury’ and vintage trains on some of the most popular lines, as well as lesser-known itineraries, The Local news site reports.
But there’s something for everyone under the Treni Turistici Italiani (Italian Tourist Trains) initiative, which will include three different types of services, from luxury to slower-paced regional trains.
They will all aim to make the train journey “an integral part of the vacation” according to FS – a touchstone of slower, sustainable travel.
Another new service will link Rome to the ruins of Metaponto in Basilicata and Reggio Calabria in southern Italy. Milan will get a new service to Genova via the Tuscan port city of Livorno.
These and other routes are on track to open in 2024, with more details set to follow from FS.