From Rome to London: The Orient Express returns again this year for an ultra-luxury journey on vintage carriages.
Rome – A name linked to murders, vampires, spy plots but also to a luxury and a “slow” cosmopolitanism possible only in the interwar period and definitively killed by the instantaneous communication of the web and the advent of commercial aviation, theOrient Express more than a vehicle it is a legend which, to tell the truth, has never totally disappeared from the rails.
The story of a legend
Party puffing for the first time from Paris in October 1883, with destination Romania, passing through Vienna, theOrient Express reaches the form in which it is best known, i.e. as an ultra-luxury transport that connected Paris to Istanbul (at the time Constantinople) starting from 1919 with the opening of a new line, the “Simplon Orient Express” thanks to the opening of the Simplon tunnel, at the time the longest railway tunnel in the world. The new line, which also included Milan among its stops, soon became the most used.
L’Orient Express then continued with mixed success until 1977, when competition from the airplane forced the operators to close the service with one last trip between Paris and Istanbul from 19 to 22 May.
The ultra-luxury rebirth
However, La. was immediately interested in the fate of the extra-luxury train par excellence Belmond Management Limitedan English company operating in the luxury tourism sector which has been involved in the discovery, recovery and restoration of the historic wagons of the “Compagnie Internationale de Wagon-Lits“ from the 1920s and 1930s.
The train thus recreated by them, pulled by a modern locomotive but made up of exclusive passenger, bed and restaurant carriages from the golden age of rail transport, takes the name of “Frinice-Simplon Orient Express” and has been operating since 1982 from London and Paris to Venice. The service now runs once a week from March to November and is aimed at well-heeled tourists, with tickets costing over £1200 per person.
The service, which does not pale in luxury and elegance even when compared with the original Orient Express, covers, as one can guess, the route that goes from London to Venicebut there are other intermediate stops or travel packages that also touch cities such as Rome, Florence or Verona.
Here are the dates of the next departures: 27 and 29 April: for the Rome – Paris and Paris-Rome route.
For example, the first departure from Rome is scheduled for 27 April at 16:30 and arrives in Paris on the 28th at 12. The second does the reverse and departs from Paris on the 28th at 16:30 arriving in Rome on the 29th at 14, while.
On 20 and 22 September the train covers the Rome-Paris and Paris-Rome sections, the first section leaves Rome on 20 at 17 and arrives in Paris on 21 at 12. The second does the reverse route and leaves from Paris on the 21st at 4.30 pm and arriving in Rome on the 22nd at 2.00 pm.
A useful opportunity for those who want (and can afford) an extra-luxury holiday but also for all fans of vintage railway equipment, who will be able to observe and photograph a real piece of railway history that returns to that country, Italy , that the construction of the Simplon tunnel (made in collaboration with the Swiss railways, which manage it today), has not helped to make the Orient Express the legendary train that is still today.
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