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All Aboard the Epic and Momentous Train Journey in Honor of the Great Poet, Dante Alighieri



29 March 2023

He is one of the greatest Italian poets of our time. His intuitive and epic poem “La divina commedia (The Divine Comedy)” is a poetic and literary masterpiece known worldwide that has been depicted in every form of art and culture imaginable. Equally, his passionate, yet tumultuous life and endearing love for the city of Florence where he was born, as well as the unrequited love he held for his beloved muse Beatrice di Folco Portinari, has also been memorialized in art, culture, verse, and much more around the world.

Dante Alighieri’s talents and beliefs reached far beyond his poetry. Holding prominent and admired positions as a scholar, philosopher, prose writer, literary theorist, and political activist, he is known as the “father of the Italian language,” and was considered ahead of his time with his thought-provoking views on life and humanity itself. Exiled from Florence in 1302 under the findings of corruption and financial mishaps, Dante soon found himself banned for life from the cradle of the Renaissance under the guise of treason, with a formal death sentence placed over his head should he ever return.

It is during this period of exile that Dante Alighieri created “The Divine Comedy,” and traveled through several regions within Italy before spending his final years finishing his pivotal masterpiece in Ravenna, where he died at the young age of 56 in 1321: His sepulcher located within La Zona del Silenzio (The Zone of Silence) in the heart of the city.

Fast forward to the 21st century, and Dante’s name and reputation have finally been restored after a formal declaration revoking his exile was passed by the Florentine government in 2008. Additionally, in 2020, the date of March 25th was legally instilled as Dantedì (Dante’s Day) by the Italian government, in honor of celebrating the poet and writer’s lifelong achievements and heritage. However, what is even more symbolic of the Great Poet’s life, is the epic train journey that has been masterfully created to honor Dante Alighieri during his time of exile, which traverses two enchanting regions in the heart of Italy.

In 2021, exactly 700 years after his death, a sustainable tourist project offering travelers the experience of a literary and historical journey by train came to fruition: Retracing Dante’s travels from Florence (the city of the poet’s birth) through the Tuscan-Romagnolo Apennines, ending in the breathtaking city of Ravenna where he laid his head to rest one last time. And, this is not just any train. Passengers travel via a vintage Centroporte (100-doors) train lined with velvet furnishings and beautiful, polished, antique woodwork through the stunning Tuscan countryside into the Emilia-Romagna region. With six amazing destinations along its route, passengers stop at and experience some of the most picturesque and historic villages found in Italy.

For the 2023 season, Il Treno di Dante begins its leisurely and captivating journey during the spring season beginning 15 April and runs through 14 May, resuming again in the autumnal months from 2 September to 1 November every Saturday and Sunday, offering passengers single-day train journeys, and providing insight into the Great Poet’s life while taking in panoramic and breathtaking views of the two regions that framed it.

The train route begins in Florence and travels to and stops in the stunning and historical locations of Borgo San Lorenzo, Marradi, Brisighella, Faenza, and finally Ravenna. The length of time passengers will visit each location along the way varies between 90 to 120 minutes dependent upon the scheduled day, and any events, festivals, and activities taking place in each location. Passengers will be afforded the opportunity to depart from the train and stroll through each of the destination stops, enjoying regional cuisine, shopping, visiting local cultural sites, and learning about the history behind each location and their connection to Dante.

Il Treno di Dante will also offer three special trip days in 2023 in addition to their normal scheduling: During the holidays of Tuesday, 25 April (Liberation Day), Monday, 1 May (Labour Day), and Wednesday, 1 November (All Saints’ Day).

In addition, the 2023 season brings the announcement of the “Cruise of the Cities of Art.” This magical 3-day train journey through the heart of Tuscany and into the Emilia-Romagna region expands beyond the normal routes, beginning on 2 June (Festa della Repubblica), and running through 4 June. The train journey departs from the S. Maria Novella station in Florence before 9 a.m. and travels to and stops in Brisighella, Faenza, Ravenna, Ferrara, and Bologna with overnight stays on days one and two included in the ticket pricing. Two packages are offered: The Smart Package (Standard Class), and the Charming Package (First Class).

There are also a host of additional experiences afforded for passengers to take part in, such as the "Made in Italy!" ceramic market exhibition in the artsy city of Faenza on the first weekend in September, and the world-renowned, annual Chestnut Festival in the quaint, and historical mountain village of Marradi every Sunday through the month of October that witnesses hundreds of thousands of people attending every year. Each of the train journeys comes with a long list of valuable benefits that are also inclusive of the ticket pricing, no matter which experiences you choose to book.

It goes without saying, that Il Treno di Dante not only offers a sustainable and relaxing mode of travel for visitors to explore parts of Italy, it also affords passengers a unique, historical, once-in-a-lifetime, memorable experience honoring the literary master and father of the Italian language: Dante Alighieri.

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