Orient express 2022
It’s late at night, and when the carriage suddenly lurches, your cocktail, the aptly named ‘Choo Choo Train Martini’, might have spilled over the coupe glass. There is a tinkling of laughter all around you, as you grab the side of the bar to regain your balance. As the train gently rolls forward again, the Baby Grand’s pianist picks up the beat of ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ and there’s a definite sense of euphoria in the air.
Capturing sunny views of Italy is the route from Florence to Paris , for which you can also opt to spend the night at Villa San Michele, A Belmond Hotel, Florence , to begin your journey in style.
There is a palpable excitement when the train pulls into Florence’s Campo Marte station. Immediately, a liveried, white-gloved attendant ushers guests aboard to settle them into one of the 17 original 1920s and 1930s carriages. Each has its own original decor and features, such as ornate pastel flower marquetry by Art Deco master René Prou and etched glass panels by René Lalique.
Orient-express tickets 2022
The Orient Express La Dolce Vita will consist of six trains, each with 12 “luxury cabins,” 18 suites, an “honor suite” and a restaurant car offering a “five-star dining experience,” including “award-winning Italian wines and exclusive haute cuisine.”
Each of the trains will travel through 14 regions and 131 cities in Italy, as well as Rome, Paris, Istanbul and the Croatian port of Split, with itineraries of between one and three nights when it begins welcoming passengers in 2023.
The routes will cover some 16,000 kilometers of rail line from north to south, including a journey from Venice to Trieste, along the Dalmatian coast to Split, along with trips through the Tuscan hills and around Sicily.
Those stopping in Rome will be able to stay overnight at the first Orient Express hotel, the Minerva, housed in a 17th-century Baroque palazzo in the Piazza di Minerva, when it opens in 2024.advertisement
“The La Dolce Vita train will accelerate luxury rail tourism and attract many passengers as a safe and eco-sustainable form of travel that protects the environment and allows us to rediscover the most fascinating places in our regions.”
If you don’t feel like traveling with 200 or 300 passengers on board in an airplane, trains become the best option for your vacation. And if it is a luxury train that crosses Italy from north to south, the experience can be incomparable.
At night the convoy travels through Slovenian territory until the next day dawns in Venice. The city of canals can be visited, even if only as the crow flies, in one day, to return to the station at sunset and head south.
The next day the luxury train travels through the Apulia region, an area of valleys and forests, where the archaeological sites of Alberobello and Matera are visited, until it reaches Bari, in the center-south of Italy.
The town, which still has a solid medieval wall that protects its port, is famous for the production of high quality olive oil, which is usually tasted in high class establishments.
In the evening the Danube Express crosses the Matese hills until it reaches Naples. Travelers can tour the Bourbon-influenced historic center and the Royal Palace, and then head for the ruins of Pompeii. At the lunch organized at the President Restaurant you will have the opportunity to taste the famous Pompeian bread.
Although it may sound a contradiction in these times, there are some who prefer to travel on trains that crawl at a mere 50 km per hour, instead of the modern high-speed trains that are beginning to link Italy. But it is true that there are landscapes and images that can only be enjoyed in the steam cars of an old-fashioned railroad. And nostalgia only sticks to the old iron locomotives.
Perhaps the best known is the famous Orient Express, which linked Paris with Constantinople, and which offers a romantic and luxurious journey on its way through Italy. But the tourist train options are not only for the wealthy and many are within the reach of any pocket.
The journey is made with steam locomotives and other railway vehicles of the time, emulating a leap back in time, traveling through itineraries that combine unusual nature, history, respect for traditions, and invitations to approach the local gastronomy.