When in Tuscany, you’ll want to explore the local landscape, but you might not want to rent a car or attempt to drive the winding hill roads yourself. If you’re looking for a way to see the best of Tuscany in comfort, the Nature Train is exactly what you need.
Treno Natura, or Nature Train, is literally a relic of days gone by and simply boarding the train can take you back in time to the days of steaming locomotives and carriage cars. The total experience of the Nature Train is one of slow tourism with ample opportunities to sit back and relax as you watch the natural beauty of Italy slide by.
Traveling by Train
There are many options for travel on the Nature Train, but all pathways are unique and special. The train runs on what was once an almost abandoned train line. The original line crossing Sienna, which was all but abandoned, was revived in 1996 as a way to travel through the countryside in vintage railcars pulled by even more vintage engines.
The train tracks bring passengers through crete senesi, the clay hill, which is well-known for it’s haunting presence in the Tuscany scenery. The tracks also pass through broad valleys where Brunello di Montalcino is produced.
Along the Way
Over the last twelve years, small associations along the circular route the train takes have been working to build up walking paths that run into the countryside along the same route as the train. These give passengers an option to walk as well as ride. Some of the paths lead deeper into natural areas and some lead right up to the front door of local homes where you can buy a homemade lunch or the local specialty, sheep’s cheese. The train stops frequently at small towns and hamlets along the tracks. Special discounts also apply at nearby restaurants for visitors arriving by train.
During the summer and fall months, Treno Natura completes a circle between Siena, Asciano and Monte Antico several times a day. The train leaves from Siena at 8:30AM, 11:12 AM and 3:35. You can buy tickets on board the train and a full-trip is 16 Euro. Traveling just to Monte Antico is 11 Euro, and you can bring your bicycle along for an additional 3 Euro. Children under ten years of age travel free with their parents.