Riding the train, often through vast, scenic vistas (even en route to Hogwarts) has been romanticized for years–in my own life, too. I’ve savored several memorable adventures: weaving through Europe, a Eurail Pass in hand, from Spain to Budapest literally consuming each destination’s distinct culture, food, and drink.
So, with great excitement and romance in mind, and loose-fitting pants we’d surely grow into, my partner Matt and I embarked in March on a multiple-city journey and eating rampage through Italy’s northern half–from Rome up to Switzerland’s Italian-speaking Bellinzona, places neither of us had been. Automobile road trips and liner cruises? Uffa!
Part of Rail Europe (www.rail-europe.com), Trenitalia’s high-speed Frecciarossa (Red Arrow), zips through Italy at 180 mph, stopping in major cities including Rome, Naples, Bologna, and Milan; with perks like ergonomic seats and Wi-Fi. Sister lines Frecciargento (Silver Arrow) and Frecciabianca (White Arrow) are almost as speedy, with upper-class comforts like a complimentary refreshment trolley service.