Porretta Express 2019
A historical train departing from Pistoia to cross its beautiful mountains and little villages.
From 15 September 2019 to 27 October 2019
Until 27 October from Pistoia Railway Station you can board the Porretta Express, a fantastic old train that will take you through the Pistoia mountains and reach Porretta Terme on the border with Emilia Romagna. More than simply a trip of bygone days on a vintage train, this is a unique experience that offers something extra: in fact, each journey will have its own theme that will allow you to visit and discover the places and life of the Pistoia mountains and also have fun with your family. Does it sound like a nice idea? All aboard then, but first buy your Porretta Express tickets directly on the event’s website.
How will these fantastic ‘journeys in time’ take place? First of all, you need to present yourself at the time shown on the program at Pistoia train station so that you have time to join the visit to the Deposito Rotabili Storici. It is one of the most important railway constructions in Tuscany that has seen, in over 150 years of activity, the evolution of locomotives from steam to electric ones. Locomotives that you will admire restored to their former glory thanks to the skillful work of artisans and technicians. After this brief but very interesting visit, you will finally board the carriages of the Porretta Express and begin your journey through the beautiful mountains overlooking Pistoia, crossing tunnels, bridges, woods and delightful villages. The Porrettana Railway was built in the second half of the 19th century and when travelling on it you will soon be aware of the challenge that such infrastructure could have represented at that time: a 25-km long route with a 550-meter drop. And today’s technological solutions were recently not available then! The Porrettana trains will usually return to the station in the evening, while lunch can be either boxed by you or you can eat at one of the restaurants associated with the event.
But let's get back to the route and see which charming villages you will visit during the journey: Corbezzi, Castagno, Piteccio, San Mommè, Pracchia and at the end Porretta Terme! Castagno, Pistoia, in the area of Piteccio is certainly a gem to be discovered. The small village perched at an altitude of 500 meters, inhabited by just 80 people, is also an open-air museum: in fact, there are 40 works of arts by Italian and international artists that since 1975 have been dotting the streets and squares of the town. Another town crossed by the Porrettana line is Pracchia, the historic Grand duke customs and, in the past, an important center for the production of cast iron. Nowadays it is one of the stops of the iron and ice exhibition path of the Natural Museum of the Pistoia Mountains. From Pracchia you can also reach Orsigna, beloved by Tiziano Terzani from where you can set off for some excursions to the wonderful Lake Scaffaiolo. The last of the Porrettana train stations where the historic trains will call at will be Porretta Terme, located on the border between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna. The town is a thermal spa visited all year round and also a holiday resort for those looking to escape and refresh from the summer heat.
PORRETTA EXPRESS DATES 2019
- Sunday 15 September
Train "Museo SMI and Linea Gotica"
After departing from Pistoia station, the train will stop for about an hour in Piteccio where you can take part in a guided tour of the hydraulic and structural works of the railway line. After arriving in Pracchia, Pistoia, you will find some historical vehicles that will take you to Campotizzoro, where SMI, the Italian metallurgical company, was located. After lunch, which can be boxed by you or at one of the local restaurants associated with the event, you will have the chance to visit the SMI museum, an incredible experience. In fact, you will be able to visit the 2-km long underground tunnels that were excavated below the plant during the war as a shelter for the workers.
- Sunday 22 September
Treno Verde of Legambiente Pistoia
The departure will be preceded by a visit to the Depositi Rotabili of Pistoia while the first stop of the Porretta Express will be in Pracchia. After lunch there will be many activities organized by Legambiente Pistoia for the whole family: games and workshops focused on recycling. The event is part of the ‘Let's clean the world’ initiative and as such gloves and bags will be handed out to collect waste during the excursions.
- Sunday 13 October
Cooperativa Pantagruel kids train
Children this is for you... you will have the whole train for you that will lead you to the discovery of a beautiful land! Don't worry, you can also bring your parents, it is not forbidden! The Cooperativa Pantagruel will entertain you both during the journey and at the stops in the various stages along the Porrettana route with themed workshops, games and many other activities focused on improving the nature of the area. The train will arrive at Porretta Terme, the beautiful spa resort on the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines.
- Sunday 27 October
Amici del Giallo of Pistoia Yellow Train
After the visit to the locomotives, there will follow two stops in Piteccio (Pistoia) and Pracchia. In both cases you can watch a thriller story by GAD of Pistoia. After arriving in Porretta Terme and the lunch, it will be up to you passengers to find the solution to the riddle told by the story staged in Piteccio and Pracchia.
Porretta Express is certainly an excellent idea to visit the Pistoia mountains by train and admire its views as well as discover the delightful villages dotted along the railway line. All you have to do is look at the program of old trains leaving from Pistoia for the one that best takes your fancy or most suited to your needs. History lovers, avid readers of thrillers, nature lovers and families with children in tow...there will be something for all of you! So, start planning a nice weekend break in autumn in Pistoia and take the opportunity to visit next-door Florence: by train, in this case modern trains, you can reach it in only half an hour! Take a look at our Florence tours and you can add something more to your visit to the cradle of the Renaissance.
Ready, then? All aboard? The Porretta Express awaits young and old on the Sundays of September and October! Don't miss this opportunity...you know, the train only passes once!
Period: From 15 September 2019 to 27 October 2019
Event location: Pistoia Mountains
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