If you intend visiting Italy later this year consider a trip on the wine train. Dating back to 1865 and abandoned for decades, the restored Torrenieri-Montalcino train station is now back in its glory as the gateway to Val d’Orcia. But the train station at Montalcino is not… well, just an old train station.
The Montalcino train station is also a winery and cellar where you can see and learn about the entire process of fine-wine production and ageing. The station is also home to a steam locomotive and its fully fitted cars, including a wine car, where you can taste some extraordinary wines, and a shop car where visitors can buy Tuscan delicacies.
Italy, the cradle of beauty, is now also the cradle of slow tourism. The Treno del Vino Adventure leaves Siena on a Saturday or Sunday morning with its 150 guests bound for Montalcino. Coming from Siena, the train stops at Mount Amiata, where a shuttle bus takes guests to the Abbey of Sant’Antimo and Castelnuovo dell’Abate. After visiting the Romanesque abbey and the ancient hamlet, guests enjoy lunch at a historical wine cellar and taste great terroir wines and food.
The shuttle bus then takes guests for a ride along Cru road all the way up to Montalcino, where they visit the 14th-century fortress and wander the medieval streets before taking the shuttle bus to the Montalcino train station, where they taste fine wines in the tasting car and in Roberto Cipresso’s cellar. At the day’s end, the Treno del Vino takes the passengers back to Siena.
The Treno del Vino runs on weekends from Siena’s train station (just an hour away from Florence) to Montalcino. Take a look at their website: www.winestation.it
By Mike Carter.