Information published on 28 June 2021 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr eNews.

Italy: Tourism in Italy: luxury travel by rail

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Italy has launched a “slow tourism” initiative, encouraging travel throughout the country by rail and offering exclusive services on board. To start, five trains will travel ten iconic routes that have already been mapped out. The routes cover artistic centres, splendid landscapes and symbolic sites such as Venice, Alba, Maratea, Montalcino, Val D’Orcia, Cortina and Sicily.

The first rail tourism project with a luxury offering was presented on 15 June by Paolo Barletta, CEO of Arsenale SpA – a company active in the luxury hospitality sector – together with Luigi Corradi, CEO and General Director of Trenitalia (FS Italiane Group) in the presence of the Italian Minister of Economic Development, Giancarlo Giorgetti, the Italian Minister of Tourism, Massimo Garavaglia, and the Councillor for Public Works, Territorial Protection and Mobility for the Lazio Region, Mauro Alessandri, with a special welcome from the Mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi.

The new iniative will open up a new frontier in the luxury hospitality market, focusing on the huge appeal of the Italian territory and its unique characteristics (seas, lakes, hills, mountains and villages, historic locations, art, regional food and wine, together with the Mediterranean climate), as well as the advantages of using slow, sustainable and more authentic tourism to discover Italy’s best-kept secrets. Following the period of crisis owing to the pandemic, such facets have become fundamental for the relaunch and growth of tourism in Italy.

With investments already in place and a portfolio of luxury hotels soon to open –including, amongst others, Soho House and the Orient Express (the former Hotel de La Minerve) in Rome, Rosewood in Venice and the Santavenere in Maratea – Arsenale has set its sights on the second tier in the tourism sector. The project aligns with the company’s development strategy which, in addition to enhancing prestigious Italian assets in the luxury sector flanked by the largest international brands, integrates its capacity for a premium offering to create new cutting-edge hospitality services of the highest level, ready to face the challenges of the tourism market in the near future.

Paolo Barletta, CEO of Arsenale SpA, said: “We have added a new and important step in the development and growth of Arsenale. Tourism is not just about hotels and restaurants. Italy is an all-round experience and it is precisely from this experience that we must start out once more for an integrated and complete offer. We want to connect Italy and generate that word of mouth which, in the coming years, will lead tourists to discover the destinations that are lesser known today. We would like to be able to take passengers on new itineraries, where the resilience of “Made in Italy” shall construct dedicated experiences, new hospitality and a completely Italian warmth. The Dolce Vita train is a tribute to Italy – the beauty and uniqueness of our territory, its excellence, the cities of art, the unique features of the landscape, through to the good food and dining experiences that are the hallmarks of our country and for which reason will be the pillars of our offer and our iconic trains. With the gradual stabilisation of the global health situation, we are convinced that the luxury sector will act as a driving force for the recovery of national tourism. Our work is aimed at creating the conditions to welcome once more the millions of travellers who, over the next 50 years, will choose Italy as their first destination. This is not just a desire but a commitment.”

“Travelling by train to visit Italy from north to south means choosing a safe and eco-sustainable vehicle, protecting the environment whilst rediscovering the most fascinating, hidden and unique places throughout the peninsula,” declared Luigi Corradi, CEO and General Director of Trenitalia. “The Dolce Vita train is a project heading in this direction, bringing a new form of luxury slow tourism to the railways to enhance the beauty of our country, from the great cities of art to the small provinces.”

(Source: Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane SpA)