Vapore in Italia: Semplicità ed eleganza
Simplicity and elegance characterized the design of many Italian steam engines from Ansaldo, Breda and Co. Two fast passenger steam engines class 685 stopped briefly at San Cassino on the Faenza - Marradi line, leaving the station and the trainset in dense smoke. 09.05.2009
Bella Toscana: View from Fiesole on Firenze
Italy - More than just historic trains: The smoke from the departing train still hung in the air above Firenze when the 685 appeared minutes later on the bridge below near Fiesole. The sun had just risen over the hills, and revealed the lush Tuscan scenery with its tipical, old Manisons. ''The landscape is of an indescribable beauty,'' wrote Goethe on his Italian journey in 1786. ''If someone who lives in the south were to overhear my enthusiasm at all this,'' he writes another day, ''he would think me very childish. But I already knew about it when I was suffering, alas, under an unfriendly sky, and now I have the pleasure of feeling as an exception this happiness that by rights we ought to be able to enjoy as a rule of our nature.''

Picture above taken on May 8, 2009. 

Puente della Maddalena, Garfagnana

On May 10, 2009, Franco-Crosti 741.120 passed the Puente della Maddalena with a special to Piazza al Serchio. 


Ein Reisender, der feine Empfindung genug hat, um durch die Schönheiten, woran die Natur in Italien so reich ist und welche die Kunst weit übertreffen, gerührt zu werden, der trifft in diesem Lande eine Menge von Szenen an, welche ihm die größte Abwechslung darbieten.“ 

Johann Jakob Volkmann,  „Historisch-Kritische Nachrichten aus Italien“ 1770/71

"A traveler sensitive enough to see all the plentyful natural beauties of Italy that go even beyond its arts, may find quantities of sceneries that offer him great diversity."

Ever since the 18th century, when Johann Jakob Volkmann wrote this lines in his first travel guidebook for Italy were visitors attracted by the beauty of the Italian scenery, its arts and rich cultural hertiage.

The 900 year old "Puente della Maddalena" in the Garfagnana in Northern Tuscany is certainly a example of the country's many structures that connect the present with the past. Once laying on a pilgrimate road to Rome, it is nowadays in a quiet valley far off the crowds of Central Tuscany. Only few set foot to the Garfagnana in the Apuane Alps, a remote region with unspoilt, tranquil villages and genuine Italian towns where time still seems go at a much lower pace. 

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Bella Italia: A scene a few metres away from the tracks.


(c) Markus Fischer, Zuerich