Last updated: 03:00 PM ET, Wed April 15 2015

Slow Trains are on a Fast Track in Italy

Car Rental & Rail | Tom Bastek | April 15, 2015

Slow Trains are on a Fast Track in Italy

Photo Courtesy of AFP

AFP/Relaxnews is reporting that Italy is putting some investment into “slow tourism” by renovating four older train lines that have come into disrepair.  The trains, made up of converted 1920s train cars, will be pulled by real steam locomotives along scenic routes that haven’t been traveled in years.

Building off of the slow food movement that has become more and more popular worldwide, this form of transportation is meant to key into regional tourism, geography and traditions.

"It is a sustainable tourism model that is particularly important in Italy because Italy offers the world excellence in culture and arts as well as in food, fashion, shopping, [and] scenery," said Culture and Tourism Minister Dario Franceschini.

The rides will last between 20 minutes and three hours and are scheduled to start this year at the beginning of the tourist season.

One of the runs goes through the hills of Val d'Orcia in Tuscany. The second line follows the mountains around Lake Iseo northeast of Milan, the third runs through the central Abruzzo region and the fourth line runs next to Agrigento on the southern coast of Sicily.

Italy is banking on the combination of tourism and nostalgia with Franceschini adding, “The beauty of the scenery aboard historic trains; that is a new sector in which Italy is investing a lot.”

Rail tourism has become more popular both overseas and stateside as well, with continual news coming in about new rail lines. Recently Nepal and China announced they are proposing a train route under Mount Everest.

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