Railway tourism is making a comeback in Italy. The National Recovery and Resilience Plan is allocating € 6.7 billion to forgotten railways, trails and lesser known itineraries in an effort to revive the country. Soon, we will be able to ride as passengers on vintage steam trains and locomotives through the Italian countryside.

Rome, 28 April 2021 | MIC Ministero della Cultura [+] This is an automated translation

The National Recovery and Resilience Plan allocates over € 6.7 billion to increase the attractiveness of the country’s cultural and tourism system through the modernization of tangible and intangible infrastructures.
In addition to these investments, in the Complementary Fund, the projects of the ‘Great Cultural Attractors Strategic Plan’, for 1.460 billion euros, aimed at financing 14 strategic interventions for cultural protection, enhancement and promotion.
“Culture will guide the restart of the country” said the Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini, underlining how “the strengthening of historic railway lines, paths and cultural itineraries will be fundamental for the development and enhancement of the internal areas in a cultural key” .
The ‘Great cultural attractors plan’ intervenes in a consistent way on the promotion of historic railways and on some of the most important historical and cultural paths and itineraries. The aim is to enhance train travel along historic lines and for this reason the redevelopment and extraordinary maintenance of the Trieste-Campo Marzio railway museums are expected to be completed; the ACE cabin in Roma Termini, an important architectural work of Italian rationalism, and the National Railway Museum of Pietrarsa, home to one of the most important railway museums in Europe.

Introducing Lesser Known Destinations of Italy

Railway tourism train travel in Italy / Wikimedia

Furthermore, interventions for the recovery of sites intended for storage and maintenance of the over 600 km of railway lines of the Binari senza tempo project – built between 2014 and 2018 by the FS Foundation – are financed to increase a new form of railway tourism, which allows reach lesser known destinations in the beautiful country, but of extraordinary beauty to discover art, landscapes and food and wine. Ten exceptional routes that cross areas that are not yet used to great tourism: from the Trans-Siberian of Italy that crosses the woods of the Majella National Park and the Abruzzo plateaus, for a long stretch over a thousand meters above sea level, to the Val d ‘Orcia that crosses one of the most fascinating landscapes of Tuscany, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004.

 Vintage Trains

Historic trains are naturally composed of vintage steam, diesel or electric locomotives towed by carriages from various historical periods, and railcars in original livery. On all itineraries, in addition to the composition of the train, there is a luggage compartment used for the free transport of bicycles, precisely to allow intermodal transport, always in a slow and sustainable way.
As regards the enhancement of the Paths and the historical and cultural itineraries, the intervention of the Plan is in continuity with other projects already financed by the MiC which are strengthened on the occasion. Funds are increasing for the Appia Regina Viarum project, for the religious paths of San Francesco, San Benedetto and Santa Scolastica and on the Via Francigena. Finally, historical and hagiographic analyzes on the Way of St. Peter are planned, in view of planning the next events of the 2025 Jubilee. 

All images Cc0 Wikimedia

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