Porrettana Railway - Visit Pistoia
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Porrettana Railway

The railway track of central Italy


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For more than 150 years the Porrettana Railway track has been an integral part of the Pistoia Mountains

The first railway line to cross the Tuscan-Emilian Apennine ridge and connect Pistoia to Bologna, this great feat of engineering – with 47 tunnels and 35 bridges and viaducts – was designed by the Frenchman Jean Louis Protche.

Officially inaugurated by Vittorio Emanuele II on 2 November 1864, the Central Italy Railway quickly became one of the most important railway junctions in Italy, with up to 80 trains a day passing during the war years of 1915-1918. In October 1921, the special train bearing the Unknown Soldier passed along the Porrettana. With its time-honored tunnels and viaducts, the Porrettana still today helps tourists to discover the small, secluded villages of Val di Brana, Piteccio, Castagno, Sammommè, Pracchia, Lagacci, Molino del Pallone, the spa town of

Porretta, Riola, Marzabotto, and Sasso Marconi before reaching Bologna.

Passengers can travel the route aboard regular trains, or they can choose to ride one of the Porrettana Express historic trains, an experience specifically intended for families and kids, with educational workshops and guided visits to the stations along the route.