Via Francigena

Discovering the Val d’Orcia aboard a historic train

Simona Spinola
Simona Spinola
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On Sunday 29th of August, the Road to Rome relay march along the Via Francigena will be on the road on the stage between Siena and Buonconvento. The stage will be completed aboard a historic train.

A unique opportunity, which was possible thanks to the collaboration of SloWays and Fondazione FS Italiane, who restructured Italian historical “Centoporte” train carriages to gift us a full immersion in cultural tourism, exactly in this European year of trains. Indeed, rail mobility is celebrated in 2021 and is part of the sustainability program Green New Deal by Von der Leyden, aiming for carbon neutrality by 2050.

The Road to Rome stage will depart from Siena, city of the Palio, touching upon Torrenieri and Montalcino, iconic towns in the spectacular landscape of Val d’Orcia, through a slow and sustainable rail trip. In this landscape, wheat fields, vineyards and sunflower fields are dotted by ancient villages, wrapped in plains and hills: it is one of the most striking areas in Tuscany and along the entire Italian Via Francigena, which hikers and tourists will have a chance to discover through a detailed program prepared by the organization.

The day will start with a brief guided tour of Siena, followed by an urban hike in Montalcino where we will stop and taste authentic products in a typical cellar; we will then continue towards Monte Amiata and then to Buonconvento, returning to Siena late in the afternoon. All of this will happen by traveling on a vintage diesel locomotive, equipped with ‘Centoporte’ carriage, Az 21106 for first class, ‘Grillo’ carriage and luggage carrier.

“The symbolic march – reminds EAVF’s president Massimo Tedeschi – departed from Canterbury on the 15th of June, went through 38 stages in the English, French and Swiss sections of the Via Francigena, and has arrived in Italy on the 1st of August from the Great Saint Bernard Pass. The relay is a great opportunity to discover beautiful places in all of Europe, such as the Kent county, the departments of Pas-de-Calais, Somme, Aisne, Marne, Aube, Haute-Marne, Haute-Saone, Doubs, the Vaud and Vallais cantons, and can promote encounters between communities and citizens, highlighting the European and peaceful spirit that unites us”.

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[Photo: Giuliano Sodi]