To dive back into the past, into a different dimension, but aligned with the rhythms of nature: from July to October, the Porrettana Express historic train will be running once again, following themed itineraries through this area which crosses the Apennines; it is also one of the first railway lines ever made in Italy, travelling between the regions of Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna. Seven trips aboard period carriages to get to know the Pistoia Mountains, its small villages, its ancient traditions and the places that have made the history of Italy; but also the wild fauna and the delicious local food and wine, with activities suitable for the whole family. And to discover another way of travelling: in fact, this year is the European Year of the Train.
This initiative – launched in 2019 and reaping great success with the public – starts off again after the pause due to Covid, with a new cycle of journeys, though with reduced capacity due to the rules concerning social distancing, which are still in force. On Sunday 11th July the train will blow its whistle for the first time: departure at 8.30 a.m. with a guided visit to Pistoia’s Deposit of Historic Steam Engines, where even today, maintenance is still carried out on carriages from different ages but which are still working perfectly. The train that will take the passengers along this Apennine route: it will pass through little villages surrounded by the green colours of nature, tunnels and viaducts going back to ancient times, and with the possibility – only for this very first train ride – of going either to Pracchia or to Porretta Terme.
TICKETS – You can only buy tickets online on www.porrettanaexpress.it.
IN PRACTICE – Every trip kicks off with a visit to Pistoia’s Deposit of Historic Steam Engines. After this guided visit, the train will stop at some places along the way, for example, at Valdibrana with a visit to its rescue ramp with a guide or authorized staff, Piteccio with its ‘Ferromodellismo’ – the Railway Modelling – exhibition, Castagno with its open air Museum of Contemporary Art, Pontepetri, Marsca and Pracchia. Once having concluded their outward journey, passengers can continue in their search to discover the area by means of organized visits together with tourist and environmental guides; or else, they can decide to take part in the various events organized at the stations along the line.
Transapp is the project’s leader, an association which connects various Tuscan and Emilian organizations. Porrettana Express is promoted and supported by the Municipalities of Pistoia, San Marcello Piteglio and Alto Reno Terme, by the Tuscan Region, by Toscana Promozione Turistica and by the CARIPT Foundation, and with the essential contribution of the FS Foundation. The Giorgio Tesi Editrice looks after promotion and communication; the Pantagruel Cooperative coordinates guided visits, educative laboratories and activities along the railtrack.
The train’s programme
11th of July – Pistoia – Pracchia – A train journey to discover the Tosco-Emiliano Appennine area
11th of July – Pistoia – Porretta Terme – A train journey to discover the TOsco-Emiliano Appennine area
25th July – Pistoia – Piteccio – Ttrain “trekking” – nature and hikes
12th September – Pistoia – Pracchia – A kids train to discover the Pistoia Mountains
19th September – Pistoia – Pracchia – Kids train “Dynamo Camp”
3rd October – Pistoia – Porretta Terme – The culinary train of the chestnut
17th October – Pistoia – Porretta Terme – Train “to discover Porretta Terme”
31st October – Pistoia – Porretta Terme – Train “the S.M.I. museum and the Gothic Line”