Finally one of my dream came through: a journey through Cretet Sensesi and Valdorcia on an old steam engine train! It’s been on my bucket list for quite some time and thanks to AroundSiena I took this very special ride in occasion of a photographic workshop with Sandro Santionli photographer.
The steam locomotive depart from Siena train station and rides to Monte Antico, running through the historical railroad Asciano-Monte Antico, closed to regular traffic since 1994.
The train rides slowly through the waves of Crete Sensesi stopping at the small train stations of Asciano, Trequanda, San Giovanni d’Asso and Torrenieri. It goes along the river Asso until it crosses Orcia river, announcing the beginning of Val d’Orcia, area included in the Unesco World Heritage List.
From the window you spot Montalcino, while the train crosses kilometers and kilometers of vineyards: this is the land of Montalcino wine! Actually this was harvest time and farmers stopped working to watch the puffing steam locomotive passing by.
Next stops are Monte Amiata, where you can see some lovely nonni watching the train from their windows along the railroad and Cinigiano, small town in Northern Maremma, where you can have a delicious lunch at Trattoria il Riccio.
- Take it easy, take it slow! – a ride on board of an old steam locomotive is the quintessence of travel. You have the time to enjoy the landscape, take some great pictures and relax.
- Make it comfortable – riding on an old train means get dirty. Don’t dress in light colors, because the black steam will turn them black. Wear comfortable shoes and comfy clothings, because you have to get on and off the train, that has quite high steps. Take also a bottle of water and snack with you, because there is no bar on the train and in the small train stations you stop by.
- Add this to your Tuscany bucket list – if you want to go off-the-beaten path, do something unique, then you must take a steam locomotive in the surroundings of Siena!
The steam locomotive rides only few times per year. It’s called Treno Natura and it’s organized by the Italian Tourist Railways. Generally this train rides in Spring and Autumn in occasion of special local fairs and festivals. I suggest you have a look at the official website here or Terre di Siena site.
If you’re interested in doing a photographic workshop as I did (strongly recommended since no crowds and time for taking pictures), I suggest you follow AroundSiena to receive updates on the next event.
Last but not least thanks to my friend Alessio, aka @photoreds on Instagram for this great picture of me that capture my traveler’s soul!