If you enjoy traveling by rail you’ll love Italy and looking out the window of a high-speed Italo or Flecciarossa train as it whizzes up the peninsula. The journey from Rome to Florence is particularly scenic and the ever changing landscape outside is a pleasant distraction for the eyes. It’s a 90 minute ride with a top speed of 250kph (155mph) that takes passengers through the regions of Lazio, Umbria and Tuscany. The best views are on the left side of the train facing forward and you should make sure to reserve a window seat if possible.
The minute-by-minute account below provides a brief description of what attentive passengers will see. It can keep children occupied or satisfy any adult curiosity regarding passing landscapes. Start your stopwatch as soon as the train pulls out of Termini Station and let the scenery do the rest:
0-15 minutes: The first and only stop after leaving Termini is Rome Tiburtina Station, which was designed by the late Zaha Hadid. This is the backside of Rome and filled with graffiti and urban decay and renewal.
16-20: A few minutes after starting again the urban clutter begins to thin and buildings give way to countryside. The Tiber River is crossed and the A1 highway appears on the right.
29: Cows and corn, trees and tunnels make their appearance.
32: The town of Gallese passes by in a flash.
36: The first hill town appears.
38: More hill towns dot on the horizon. The Apennine Mountains stretch out on the right side and the A1 remains visible.
42: Vineyards and more tunnels.
45: After exiting one of these the train speeds past Orvieto overlooking a valley. Church spires and bell towers loom overhead.
48: A smaller hill town and more vines.
50: Fields of sunflowers (summer), the A1 switches sides and mountains come back into view.
54: Olive groves and rows of cypress trees. Hilltowns in the distance (Montalese). The A1 runs faithfully parallel.
57: Wide plain in different states of harvest, stacks of freshly rolled hay.
60: Mountains to the right, gentle fields to the left. A flock of sheep, stone farmhouses, solar panels and high voltage wires.
64: Hilltown in the distance and more sunflowers, a stable and scare crow.
68: A large recycling plant. Houses and roads. The train momentarily slows.
70: Pine forest, train tracks, wooded hills, a river and more tunnels.
76: The A1 closer than it’s ever been.
79: Bridge, river, tunnel, warehouses and newly built homes.
82: The longest tunnel of the journey.
86: Olive trees, tennis courts and the outskirts of Florence with its low rise apartment blocks and higher quality graffiti.
89: Yellow buildings with green or brown shutters. Campo di Marte Station.
91: The first glimpse of the Duomo.
92 Final Stop: The tops of the Duomo and Baptistry tantalizingly close. The end of one journey and the beginning of another.
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