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Travelling by train? Yes, at night

By Friday, 26 January 2024 12:04

In this age of speed, in a world where flying taxis and AI are driving the travel industry to new heights, travelling by night train seems almost like stepping back in time. 

In Europe this type of travel, after having been overshadowed for a few decades by the dominance of low-cost carriers, seems to be making a comeback. The latest example is Austrian Railways' Nightjet-Obb connecting Paris to Berlin. And Italy, of course, is a particularly charming country to discover by train, as British and North American visitors know only too well, perhaps attracted by slow travel, the quality product, or an affinity for sustainability. Without forgetting that the places of departure and of arrival are an integral part of the journey, and indeed an additional experience. There is still competition from the low-cost carriers which are often the winner. At least for now.

FS Treni Turistici Italiani, the latest of the FS Italian State Railway’s Group's divisions, and the first in Italy dedicated to tourism, recently launched the Rome-Cortina d'Ampezzo. The route from the capital to the Queen of the Dolomites ran up to the 1960s, and is now a high-end offer. The vintage trains now have renovated interiors and hi-tech, single or double sleeping cabins, a dinner and breakfast service and four or six-seater couchettes that can also be reserved for group travel, while the restaurant car, with a selection of regional excellences and the bar, is open all night.  A success?  Time will tell.

Mariella CattaneoMariella Cattaneo
Journalist

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