From Florence to Faenza: revive Dante’s journey, with the experience of slow traveling through the ancient and medieval villages that inspired the Divina Commedia.

With Dante’s Train, traveling through the historic Faentina railroad, you have the opportunity to slow down and appreciate some of the beauties that the Italian medieval scenery has to offer. Let’s discover the features of this authentic experience.

Dante’s Train

Why should a train be named after an ancient Italian poet? The idea behind Dante’s Train is simple, yet something different.

What this trip experience wants to give the passenger is the capability of reviving the charm of the landscape, by traveling on a slow train along the path that Dante Alighieri followed in his Divina Commedia.

Here we can witness with extreme precision and accuracy the places where the Italian poet lived and the ones he talked about, between villages and castles. The so-known “Terre di Dante” (Dante’s lands) will take you back in time, when Dante looked for inspiration between these magical lands that nowadays still exist.

Dante's journey

An Ancient Technology Behind The Experience

The Faentina railroad (the official name of this railway line) is an historic piece of work: it has been built at the end of the 19th century, as the first railway of Italy able to cross the mountain range of the Appennines.

In these times, where high-speed trains have become a standard, having the chance to slow down with the Faentina railway represents a method to appreciate in a deeper way the extraordinary territory between Emilia Romagna and Tuscany, in the heart of Italy.

Opened in 1893, with its lenght of 101 km it was an engineering prodigy for that time. Sadly, during the Second World War the railway was heavily damaged by nazists’ bombs. It was only in 1999 that it was able to offer its services again.

Luglio 2013, Minuetto in arrivo alla stazione di Fiesole Caldine – July 2013, Minuetto arriving at the Fiesole Caldine Station. Credits to Caterpillar95; license: CC-BY SA 3.0

Tuscany: The Heart Of Mugello Valley

The suggested trip starts from Florence, at the Santa Maria Novella Station. Here you can take the train for Ravenna: during the first kilometers, you pass through the Etruscan Village of Fiesole, a must see stop when you are visiting the Tuscan capital.

Once passed the Sieve river, the train is entering the Mugello valley, at the north of Tuscany, where you can appreciate the heritage of the historic Medici family, one of the protagonist of the Italian Reinaissance.

Their prestigious domain is witnessed by the presence of the San Martino fortress and the Trebbio Castle, both UNESCO World Heritage sites. Here you arrive at the San Piero station, where you can reach Barberino di Mugello and Firenzuola by bus.

Firenzuola is a highly recommended stop: here you can appreciate an authentic bastion village, with its original configuration of the 14th century.

Dante's journey: Mugello valley
Veduta del Lago di Bilancino da Località Apparita (Via di Panna, Galliano di Mugello) – Sight of Bilancino Lake from Località Apparita (Via di Panna, Galliano di Mugello). Credits to Christianlorenz97; license: CC BY-SA 4.0

Emilia Romagna: A Source Of History

Once passed Borgo San Lorenzo, it comes the most suggestive part aboard of Dante’s Train: the upward path leads to the wild Appennine mountain range, between old vines and ancient villages.

The railway reaches 578, 38 meters of altitude: here you can really feel the essence of this trip, between the sky and the heart of the ground, as in the iconic Dante’s journey.

After the Marradi station, the journey becomes more relaxed. Dante’s train passes through the Romagna plain, characterised by its typical orchards and cherry trees, that offer a remarkable show of colors in the blooming time.

The next step is at the Brisighella village. This medieval town was owned by Cesare Borgia himself, the despot that ispired Machiavelli and his masterpiece of the Italian literature “Principe”.

Dante's journey: brisighella
La Rocca Manfrediana e Veneziana di Brisighella – Rocca Manfrediana and Veneziana of Brisighella. Credits to Umberto Paganini. license: CC BY-SA 4.0

In Brisighella you can visit an original medieval village, but also get some relax time at the SPA center of the Lemone valley.

The trip with Dante’s train is almost done: once passed Brisighella, the railway ends to Faenza. However, here you can take a train to Ravenna, in order to continue your personal Dante’s journey.

In Ravenna you can visit the tomb of the famous Italian poet, but you can also appreciate other artworks from even more ancient times. We are obviously talking about the stunning mosaics of the Galla Placidia mausoleum, in honor of the sister of the Roman Emperor Onorio. In fact, in 402 A.C she moved the Capital of the Roman Empire from Milan to Ravenna.

Dante's journey Galla Placidia
Soffitto del Mausoleo di Galla Placidia, Ravenna – Ceiling of the Galla Placidia Mausoleum, Ravenna. Credits to Incola. license: CC-BY SA 3.0

In this article, we had the opportunity to discover the features of this extraordinary trip with Dante’s train. Read also the top things to see in Siena and surroundings. Enjoy!