The Italian Railway Foundation (Fondazione Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane) looks after and manages the Italian State Railways’ vast historic heritage. It oversees a fleet of 400 pieces of historic rolling stock, the national railway archives and library, as well as the Pietrarsa (Naples) and the Campo Marzio (Trieste) Museums. QueerVadis will feature some of the Foundation’s “Timeless Rails” journeys which allow visitors to travel historic routes on vintage-era trains. The Foundation’s huge success and great popularity since its founding in 2013 has largely been driven by that sense of mystique that heritage trains and railways evoke in our collective imaginations.
A journey on board a 1930s “Centoporte” carriage or a 1950s Corbellini is a unique experience, providing us with the key to immerse ourselves in a not too-distant past when trains were synonymous with progress and the driving force behind Italy’s economic and social transformation.
On the tracks –Rail travel in the early 1900s was the only means of transport that could cover previously insurmountable distances – passengers’ stories unfolded and their paths crossed on their journeys to find a better life. Dedicating these historic and beautiful trains to the tourism sector has a dual purpose, a cultural one to keep the past relevant for posterity, and to promote and reveal little known areas of Italy that are yet to be fully discovered.
The Association has, over the years, offered its passengers ever-more comprehensive experiences upon arrival by heritage train such as the chance to discover places and delicacies unique to the province they have travelled to. The importance of sustainable and intermodal travel is key and in addition to the heritage train journey travellers can enjoy a ride on a vintage steamer on the lakes, or on local trains, and perhaps take their own bicycles along thanks to the bike-racks fitted in the baggage cars on all of the historic trains.