Italy to launch Dante Train tracing poet’s journey from Florence to Ravenna

Vintage steam train to take tourists on a slow journey through the landscapes of Tuscany and Emilia Romagna on the 700th anniversary of Dante's death.

This summer Italy will launch 'Dante's Train,' a special route tracing the journey of the Supreme Poet from Florence to Ravenna.

The steam train will take visitors from the Tuscan capital of Florence to Ravenna in the Emilia Romagna region where Dante fled in 1302 to avoid the prospect of being burnt at the stake.

The vintage train will stop in Borgo S. Lorenzo and Marradi in Tuscany as well as Brisighella and Faenza in Emilia Romagna, following in the footsteps of the Father of the Italian language, who died in 1321.

The service will be available to tourists on Saturdays and Sundays from 3 July to 10 October on board an historic 'centoporte' train made available by Emilia-Romagna (FER) railways.

Travellers will be able to take bicycles aboard and can get off to visit the villages, castles and hills that the great poet passed through more than seven centuries ago.

"We are responding to a new demand for experience-based tourism," the regional tourism councillor for Emilia-Romagna, Andrea Corsini, told Italian news agency ANSA.

Dante's Train will leave Florence's S. Maria Novella station at 08.50, arriving in Ravenna at 12.20. It will depart from the same station at 17.55 and arrive in Florence at 21.00.

The train's first symbolic voyage on 6 June had as its special guest the celebrated conductor Riccardo Muti who got off at Marradi to conduct the Luigi Cherubini orchestra for the reopening of the Tuscan town's Teatro degli Animosi.

Also on board was Italy's culture minister Dario Franceschini who hailed the train as "another step towards the return of normality" and said that Italian culture was "starting again" after going through a "real desert" due to covid-19.

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Italy to launch Dante Train tracing poet’s journey from Florence to Ravenna