A dip into another era and into another dimension, following the rhythms of nature: from July to October the historic Porrettana Express trains return, bringing back the thematic itineraries on the tracks of the Transappenninica, one of the first lines built in the country to travel by horseback between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna. Seven trips aboard vintage carriages allow you to get to know the Pistoia mountains, small villages, centuries-old traditions and places that have formed the history of Italy, as well as the wildlife and excellent local food and wine, with activities for the whole family. Explore another way to travel, in the European Year of the Train.
The initiative was launched in 2019 with great public success, and restarts now after the stop imposed by Covid with a new travel series and a reduced capacity given the distancing regulations still in place.
Travel tickets can only be purchased online at www.porrettanaexpress.it.
Each trip starts from the Historic Rolling Stock Workshop in Pistoia. After the guided tour, the train stops in the places travelled by the Porrettana, including Valdibrana with a visit to the launching ramp under the supervision of a guide or authorized personnel. This is followed by Piteccio with the model railroading exhibition, Castagno's open air Museum of Contemporary Art, Pontepetri, Maresca and Pracchia. Once the outward journey has been completed, connection is guaranteed for tourists who can continue to discover the area through organized visits with guides or they can participate in events organized at the various rest stations.
THE THEMATIC TRAINS
Several stages have been planned for each of the 7 trips scheduled until the end of October. On July 11, October 3 and October 17, it will be possible to travel the entire route from Pistoia to Porretta Terme, visiting the DEMM museum dedicated to the engineering industry and the Italian motorcycle manufacturer active from 1919 to 1988, taking a selfie in front of the murals dedicated to the Soul Festival (July 11). Or, discover one of the most beloved fruits of the autumn season: chestnuts (October 3). Travellers will visit the educational chestnut grove of varano (Granaglione) for a seminar on the “Talking Chestnuts” project. Don't miss a themed tasting. On October 17, it will also be possible to visit the famous thermal baths of Porretta.
On Sunday July 25 (the feast day of San Iacopo, patron saint of Pistoia), the trip will be dedicated to those who love walking. The train will arrive in Piteccio from where visitors can follow trekking routes to discover the flora and fauna of the Pistoia mountains.
On Sunday September 12 and 19, the trips will be dedicated to children. The first trip will bring both young and old to the museums of Maresca and Pontepetri, part of the Pistoia Mountains Ecomuseum, while the second will allow participants to enjoy a unique experience at the "Dynamo Camp" , an important initiative in the area and the first Recreational Therapy Camp in Italy.
Finally, on October 31, the trip will retrace the history of the Pistoia mountain area during the First and Second World Wars. There will be a stop in Campotizzoro, the town that for many years was the industrial center of the whole Pistoia mountains thanks to the establishment of the Italian Metallurgical Society. There will be guided visits of the museum and the underground shelters of the SMI.
The leader of the project - with teamwork that involved numerous entities both small and large - is Transapp, an association that brings together numerous 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 Regional Council, by Toscana Promozione Turistica and by Fondazione CARIPT, with the notable contribution of Fondazione FS. Giorgio Tesi Editrice coordinated communication and promotion, which over the years has been able to establish itself for its support of the Pistoia area and its tourist, historical and artistic value conducted both locally, nationally and internationally. The Pantagruel Cooperative coordinates guided tours, educational workshops and activities both on and off the tracks.