‘Dolce Vita’ train will show Italy in style


(CNN) – It is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe with an immense heritage: world-famous cities, spectacular landscapes and a first-rate rail system for getting around.

Italy is already a dream destination – but there are now plans to make the rail experience a bit more dreamlike, with plans being made for a “Treno della Dolce Vita”.

The “Dolce Vita train” has to travel 10 routes through Italy’s most famous landscapes, in retro luxury historic trains, accessories of the Dolce Vita era. The routes will cover 14 of Italy’s 20 regions and reach 128 cities, covering 10,000 miles of tracks from north to south. Itineraries range from one to three nights.

Passengers – who will sleep, eat and be entertained on board, in the style of iconic services such as Belmond’s Venice Simplon-Orient-Express – will be able to travel the famous hills of Tuscany and around Sicily, in luxury trains which pay homage to the film of the same name by Federico Fellini from the 1960s.

The trains are slated to debut in 2023, but were announced with a test drive from Rome to Civitavecchia on the Lazio coast in a purpose-built vintage train.

Matera, in the Basilicata region, will be on the itineraries.

Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Getty Images

Celebrity chef Carlo Cracco organized the trip, giving a taste of what guests will experience.

The Treno Dolce Vita is a joint project between Trenitalia, which is part of the Italian national railway company Ferrovie dello Stato, and Arsenale SpA, a company specializing in luxury hotels which is behind future luxury hotels such as the Soho House in Rome and the Rosewood in Venice.

A spokesperson for the project called it a “new frontier in luxury hospitality”, promising that all of Italy’s main attractions – the sea, the hills, the lakes, the mountains, the medieval villages and the gastronomic destinations – will be served by trains.

The project hopes to capitalize on the desire to travel to less visited places and to travel more slowly after the pandemic.

Paolo Barletta, CEO of Arsenale SpA, said: “Tourism doesn’t just mean hotels and restaurants. Italy is a 360-degree experience and we have to build on that experience to come up with a complete offer.

He promised that the trains would take tourists to “lesser-known places” on “new routes”.

Retro glamor

TOPSHOT - A cyclist rides on a road through fields of Nebbiolo grapes, which are used to make Barolo wine, when harvested in the Langhe countryside in Barolo, near Alba, in northwest Italy , October 18, 2018. (Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP via Getty Images)

The train will pass through the Langhe wine region in Piedmont.

Marco Bertorello / AFP via Getty Images

The experience will rely heavily on the “Made in Italy” brand, with retro accessories from some of Italy’s most famous designers, including Gio Ponti, Carlo Scarpa and Piero Fornasetti.

The company also promises artwork from the period on board.

The routes will cover world famous areas such as the Val d’Orcia in Tuscany, as well as lesser known places. “The Trapani Triangle” will be a slow ride around Sicily, including destinations such as Taormina, Agrigento and Modica, as well as Trapani and Palermo.

Other routes will take guests through less touristy areas of the country, including the Sila Mountains in Calabria and the Basilicata Coast. Matera, the famous ‘cave-house’ town set to appear in the upcoming Bond film “No Time to Die”, will also be on the road.

The northern routes will include Milan to Cortina through the Dolomites, Milan to Turin through the Piedmont wine region and the Ligurian Riviera.

Each 11-car train will carry just 64 people in 32 cabins – 12 deluxe and 20 suites. On board, there will be fine dining, live entertainment, a lounge bar, and concierge service to help with arrangements on the ground.

It is not yet known how much the tickets will cost.

Can’t wait until 2023? In the meantime, Trenitalia has announced new connections for summer 2021, including the first Frecciarossa high-speed train between Milan and Reggio Calabria, and high-speed connections to the mountains, notably from Bolzano to Ancona and from Milan to Trento and Bolzano. Services are also increasing along the Adriatic coast.

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