If you’ve seen the Harry Potter films, you can easily picture what an old steam engine train looks like. It’s the stuff of fantasy, yet in Tuscany, it’s reality! Not every train here, of course, is a historic steam train, but there is a special “Nature Train” (Trenonatura) that can give you the opportunity to slowly discover the beautiful places of the Val D’Orcia and Siena areas.
The Nature Train is scheduled all year long and has many different thematic itineraries across the province of Siena, offering the possibility to appreciate the extreme beauty of this area and taste great Tuscan food.
The following is the calendar for Summer and Fall 2018 historic train trips, but note that these trip descriptions and essential dates will likely remain true for the following years. Each trip revolves around an annual event, fair or market, so they repeat each year, usually on the same weekend. The information available online is in Italian, so we’ve thought to translate the description of each trip for you here.
Summer 2018 historic steam train Siena
We’re focusing here on the trains that depart from Siena – if you’re staying at Dievole and your holiday here coincides with any of these dates, we highly recommend taking this train day-trip!
May 13: steam train from Siena to Asciano
Asciano is a small town in the province of Siena and this year’s host of the “Mercatino delle Crete” with pecorino cheese tasting and the opportunity to visit the Etruscan Museum, the Museums of Sacred Arts and the Cassioli Museum.
May 20: steam train from Siena to Torrenieri
2018 marks the 153 years anniversary of the opening of the railway line between Asciano and Torrenieri. The “Train Festival” celebration will include food tastings, historic walks and a market with handcrafted products made by the artisans of the area. There is also the opportunity to hike for 7 kilometers with the members of the athletic association “Scarpe Diem”.
May 27: steam train from Siena to Chiusi Scalo
Chiusi Scalo hosts the “Mercatino di Porsenna” with local products, food tastings and the possibility to visit the historical centre, its excellent Etruscan museum and archeological areas.
June 2: steam train from Siena to Asciano
The train will leave from Siena in early morning and will arrive in Asciano after three hours with various stops at specific points that offer breathtaking views of the area. A guided visit to the historic centre of Asciano can be booked for an extra cost. There is also the chance to visit the thermal baths of Rapolano during the afternoon, but you have to make a request 10 days before the trip and pay an extra cost of 35 euros per person.
Booking information for the trips departing from Siena:
The steam train ticket costs 32 euro for adults and 3 euros for children up to 10 years. To book, send an email to [email protected]@com or [email protected] . For more information visit www.ferrovieturistiche.it (in Italian)
Fall 2018 historic train trips in Tuscany
During the Fall, steam trains depart from stations in Siena, Grosseto, Chiusi and Fabbro and arrive in many small and beautiful towns which are very much worth a visit.
September 30: stream train from Siena to Buonconvento
The train will leave from Grosseto at 08:55 am and will make a panoramic tour of the Val d’Orcia and Valle d’Arbia with a one hour stop at Monte Antico where you can admire the beauty of the Maremma countryside. It will arrive in Buonconvento at 11:20 am where you can taste local treats at the Sagra della Val d’Arbia or visit the borgo either with a guided tour or independently
October 13: steam train from Siena to Abbadia San Salvatore
The steam train will leave from Siena at 8.55 am and in order to arrive at Abbadia San Salvatore, which every year hosts the Festa dell’Autunno. This beautiful medieval town celebrates the arrival of autumn with chestnut tastings, cooking stands and guided tour at the Abbey.
October 14: stream train from Siena to Vivo d’Orcia
Vivo d’Orcia is a splendid district of Castiglione d’Orcia, it is one of the few places on Earth where you may be convinced that you’re still living in the Middle Ages. This picturesque medieval borgo every year hosts the Porcini Mushrooms festival – a delicious treat that is collected in the nearby woods.
October 28: stream train from Siena to Montalcino
The stream train will leave from Siena at 8.55 with a 25 minutes stop in the small station of Monte Antico where you will be able to watch maintenance and water supply operations and take evocative photos. The train will arrive in Montalcino at 10.00 am where you can attend the annual Sagra del Tordo.
November 11 and November 18 : steam train from Siena to San Giovanni D’Asso
San Giovanni d’Asso is a very small town in the province of Siena and every years hosts the Mercato del Tartufo Bianco with white truffles and local product tastings, street-art performances and the possibility to visit the medieval castle of the town built in the XV century. The mercatino will also take place on Saturday November 7th and Saturday November 14th.
December 2: stream train from Grosseto to Siena
The train will leave from Grosseto at 09:05 am and will make a panoramic tour of the Valle dell’Ombrone and Valle d’Arbia with a one hour stop at Monte Antico where you can admire the beauty of the Maremma countryside. It will arrive in Siena at 12.15 pm where you can visit the city either with a guided tour or independently
December 8: steam trains from Fabro and Chiusi to San Quirico d’Orcia
Two steam trains will leave from Fabro and Chiusi and then merge into one long train in order to arrive at San Quirico d’Orcia, a beautiful town in Val d’Orcia where you can visit the stands of the Festa dell’Olio and taste local products, organic extra-virgin olive oil and more.
The cost for an adult is 45 euros and it includes entrance into the fair. There is a discount for children up to 10 years of age. For early booking and further information, you can visit pro-marradi.it/en or antologiaviaggi.it.
Valentina Dainelli, the traveler behind the project @TooMuchTuscany, had the chance to experience one of this picturesque trips thanks to AroundSiena and shared some interesting tips in this blog post. Don’t dress in light-colored clothes because the steam will turn them black and wear comfortable shoes. Make sure to bring water and a snack but, most importantly, enjoy the experience and the breathtaking view of Tuscany.