It may be cold outside, but you are feeling the Christmas spirit and with some more free time available during the holiday season, you are looking for something different to do…so why not try an experience on a historical train?
The Fondazione FS organizes exciting itineraries on the railways of the historic Kingdom of Italy on period trains duly recovered and restored, creating an authentic connection between present and past. Why not go then to discover the hills of Monferrato, recently included in the UNESCO Heritage Sites together with the Langhe and Roero territories?
The historical train with “Centoporte” (one-hundred-doors) coaches and a diesel locomotive, snorting noisily departs from Turin and stops first in Asti, the beautiful main city of the Monferrato region, which gives its name to the famous Spumante (sparkling white wine), a must for Christmas toasts. Coffee in an elegant and welcoming cafe and a nice walk through the narrow and winding streets of the historical city centre to admire the towers (there are more than one hundred !!) and the pointed arch arcades which remind us of the medieval origins of the city.
Lunch in one of the many flagship restaurants of the rich and precious local cuisine: vitello tonnato (appetizer with beef and a mayonnaise-based sauce), agnolotti (first course with filled pasta), mixed boiled meats and Barbera wine DOCG (guaranteed and controlled certificate of origin): thus, we gain knowledge of the Monferrato region from the fabulous flavours of its dishes.
After lunch, back to the railway station again to start the real excursion of the day: the roundtrip on the Monferrato railway: our historical train, which at its quaint 19th century speed, brings us to discover marvellous hills all cultivated with vines and their precious grapes. The scenery is spectacular: on the top of every hill, a little village with its castle, evidence of man’s conquest of these territories during the medieval period and then delicate hills again with no interruption. You’re pervaded by the quietness and relaxing sensation as if somebody has stopped time. It feels like being in a 19th century romanticism painting: the beauty, the tranquillity and the immensity that takes your breath away, that lightens the thoughts, that keeps you there to look and look and just look till when your gaze gets lost and you feel part of the painting: it’s a unique experience.
An experience to be lived, and once having returned to our daily lives, to be looked forward to living it again.