All aboard! There are half a dozen luxurious new sleeper trains ready to make tracks across Italy.
The famed, century-old train service Orient Express, which is helmed by French hospitality group Accor, has just announced it’s launching six lavish locomotives in 2023 that will take travelers through the boot-shaped country and beyond.
The aptly named La Dolce Vita trains will offer 15 itineraries across Italy and Europe. The 12 scenic routes in Italy will cover 14 of the country’s regions, stopping at a total of 131 cities plus an array iconic destinations, such as the Alps and Tuscany’s Val d’Orcia. What’s more, there will be an opportunity to discover lesser-known areas of the nation, including Matera, where the Bond flick No Time to Die was filmed, along with Calabria’s incredible Sila mountains and the stunning Basilicata coast, to name but a few.
In addition, three international itineraries will take sightseers from Rome to Paris, Istanbul or Split; it’s essentially a way to travel across Europe without ever boarding a flight. The trips will last anywhere from one to three nights, and, on some routes, there will even be a stopover in Rome that includes a stay in the first Orient Express Hotel, Minerva, which is scheduled to open in 2024. Passengers will also get exclusive access to the Orient Express executive lounge at Roma Termini Station, where refreshments will be served prior to boarding.
“Against the backdrop of breathtaking panoramas and a unique blend of cultures, we are convinced that travelers will have unforgettable experiences in Italy with Orient Express La Dolce Vita,” Stephen Alden, CEO Raffles and Orient Express, Accor, said in a statement.
As the moniker implies, the trains pay homage to “La Dolce Vita,” which was a period of glamour and artistic fervor Italy enjoyed during the ‘60s. (It’s artfully reflected in Fellini’s film of the same name.) Designed by Dimorestudio, each train exudes that effortless Italian elegance, with the sumptuous décor directly inspired by the craftsmanship and creativity of the aforementioned era. There will be 11 cars per train, offering space for 63 passengers across 12 deluxe cabins and 18 suites.
Elsewhere on board, there will be a restaurant carriage for fine dining and a lounge bar with live entertainment. As the experience will epitomize the “Made in Italy” philosophy, guests will enjoy haute cuisine prepared by local starred chefs and the finest Italian wines sourced by noted sommeliers. Naturally, you can also expect five-star service and staff on-hand to help with travel planning throughout the trip.
The new service, which was launched in partnership with luxury hospitality company Arsenale SpA, marks a major milestone for Orient Express. The company’s first luxury train took off more than 150 years ago (the iconic Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express route is now operated by Belmond), but this re-launch may see it attract a new generation of travelers.
“These trains offer a new vision of luxury travel that is beyond our imagination,” Sébastien Bazin, chairman and CEO of Accor, adds. “Our association with Arsenale Group has opened up new horizons in perfect harmony with the heritage and philosophy of Orient Express, and marks our constant desire to keep moving forward.”
So, Orient Express France next?