Italy is La Dolce vita, the country of the Eternal City, arguably one of the best cuisines in the world, the picturesque Cinque Terre and Amalfi Coast, and of course, incredible sights like Colosseum, Michelangelo’s David, the Sistine Chapel and the magnificent Duomo di Milano. In a bid to bring back tourism this year and restart the economy, without risking further coronavirus spikes and travellers’ and citizens’ health, Italy has unveiled its grand plans for ‘covid-free trains’.
Encouraging both locals and tourists to explore the country via its beautiful rail routes, which offer incredible routes such as Rome to Palermo and Florence to Milan, the Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane will now offer testing before boarding.
Speaking to CNN, Gianfranco Battisti, CEO of the state-owned rail operator, revealed that both passengers and staff will be tested for the virus before boarding, allowing for more peace of mind and hopefully a rise in ticket sales. Passengers will have to arrive at the station an hour before departure where they will be tested. The intitial testing phase will take place on the popular Rome to Milan route.
“We will launch covid-free trains at the start of April,” said Battisti.”We have chosen the Rome to Milan route for the initial testing phase. Then we will implement this for tourist destinations for the summer.
“It will be a unique opportunity which will allow people to visit destinations such as Venice and Florence.” While no exact time frame has been announced, Rome-Milan train tickets are expected to go on sale in late spring, with the route taking place on the innovative high-speed Frecce trains.
Italy has some of the most desirable rail routs in the world, with many taking place on its main rail operator, Trenitalia. These routes connect popular tourist detsintaions such as Rome, Palermo, Milan and Florence, some routes even available on romantic sleeper trains. The journey from Rome to Palermo is one to tick off, taking 13 hours and venturing south from the capital to Sicily’s coastal hub, crossing the Strait of Messina in the process.
For more information on rail travel through Italy, and for a guide to Rome’s Termini Station, click here.