In Riva del Garda Christmas is very colorful. Until January 7, 2024 you can experience the magical atmosphere in the streets of the historic center.
Every evening at sunset the city in the province of Trento lights up and becomes colorful thanks to the beautiful lights.
But that is not the only reason to reach it, you will also find the Christmas Village whose theme for the year will be “Di Gusto in Gusto”.
Christmas shopping 2024
Until Epiphany, Riva del Garda is colored with aromas and flavors. In the Christmas Village you can taste the best food and wine traditions of Trentino, immersed in the sweet Christmas atmosphere.
Villaggio del Gusto is located in Piazza Cesare Battisti and Piazza Garibaldi, from 10am to 8pm. On the official website you will find the calendar of events.
From November 26th to December 31st you can visit Santa’s House on the first floor of the Rocca in Riva del Garda.
You will have the opportunity to visit an enchanted place full of surprises, such as games, letters and workshops. In the little house, the little ones will be able to write a letter, get to work in the workshop with paper, glue and scissors, color and prepare Christmas crafts in the Creative Elf workshops.
To book here is the official link.
Underwater Epiphany 2024
On January 6, meet Befana of Riva del Garda, the beautiful old lady who will arrive from the water, not the sky, and will bring gifts to all the children.
On the official website you will find all the information about the program and the times.
Small stone houses stacked on top of each other, atmospheres suspended in time and the whole feeling of being part of a Christmas fairy tale.
There are many Italian villages that look like nativity scenes. If you want to experience atmospheres of the past, just browse these little secret gems of our country.
Here are the enchanted villages that look like real-life nativity scenes in Italy to visit during the Christmas holidays.
A group of small houses with red roofs surrounded by vineyards, we are located in Neive, a small Piedmontese jewel of the Langhe in the province of Cuneo.
Although the castle no longer exists, the entire medieval structure has remained almost intact. To visit it is to take a trip back in time.
Among the hills cultivated with vines you can go for walks and tastings, go cycling and horse riding.
Cobbled streets, stone houses make Greccio, in Lazio, a small reminder of the Middle Ages.
The small town located on a hill overlooking the plain of Rieti is famous because in 1223, in a cave where a sanctuary was built, Saint Francis of Assisi erected the first living nativity scene.
Even today the village hosts one of the most beautiful scenes of the manger.
On the east side of Majella, Pretoro is a village with a perfect rock pattern.
It is characterized by an intricate network of alleys and stone streets and takes the form of a triangular medieval village that narrows as it rises towards the top, having formed around the old castle.
From the village you can reach the beautiful Valle del Foro refuge via paths.
Glurns, South Tyrol
It is the smallest town in South Tyrol where the saying “Our town is so small that we must go to the mass outside the walls” applies.
This complex of houses with just over 800 inhabitants is a real gem, the perfect starting point to discover Val Venosta.
Among the rock peaks in the Lucanian Dolomites park, Pietrapertosa is one of the most picturesque villages of Basilicata.
The Route of the Seven Stones starts from the village, an ancient path that will lead you to discover the Lucanian Dolomites and which reaches the village of Castelmezzano.
Perched on a hill overlooking the Aventine Valley, Casoli is a stunning place where you will feel like you are taking a trip back in time.
The village is dominated by the castle overlooking the river valley and Lake Sant’Angelo.
Stone houses leaning on each other, stone alleys and atmospheres from hundreds of years ago.
Pesche is a little jewel of Molise perched on the slope of Monte San Marco that looks carved into the rock.
The ruins of the ancient medieval castle dominate the town.
In the heart of Tuscia Viterbese, Farnese is a small village hanging on a blind cliff surrounded by an enchanting landscape of hills and forests.
Barga, in the heart of Garfagnana, is one of the unmissable villages in Tuscany.
Perched 410 meters above sea level, on Colle Remeggio in the heart of the Middle Serchio Valley, the town is characterized by a maze of narrow streets overlooking buildings and houses that seem to belong to an ancient past.
Rocca Imperiale, Calabria
Not far from Cosenza, Rocca Imperiale is a village that seems to stretch along the face of a hill and gently slope down into the valley.
Dominated by the castle, it is characterized by cobbled streets, ups and downs and atmospheres frozen in time.
Due to its configuration, Sorano is also known as la Mother of Tuscany, is an ancient Etruscan city founded on a fortress and surrounded by imposing defensive walls.
It is a village of small houses all next to each other and nestled in a volcanic cliff, on which there is a fortress.
San Gregorio Matese, Campania
On the Campania side of the Matese mountains, San Gregorio Matese is a small jewel suspended in time.
Nestled at 765 meters above sea level and embraced by the mountains of the Matese Regional Park, the town is surrounded by unspoiled nature and enjoys magnificent views.
Scanno, nestled between the mountains and with its small stone houses, looks like it has come out of a Christmas story.
It is one of the most photogenic villages in Abruzzo, you will notice it as soon as you drive along the hairpin that leads to the town and offers a spectacular view of the Sagittario Reserve.
Petralia Soprana, Sicily
Narrow streets, courtyards and ancient noble palaces will make you lose your mind in Petralia Soprana, the highest town in Madonie that dominates a magnificent landscape that goes from the snowy peaks of Etna to the mountains of the province of Palermo.
In Tuscany’s Tiber Valley, in the province of Arezzo, Angiari is a beautiful medieval village nestled on a hill under which, centuries ago, the Tiber flowed.
The village is protected by imposing walls and is dotted with small winding streets that wind up and down from the lovely historic centre.
On the Trentino side of Lake Garda, immersed in the green hills, Canale di Tenno is an ancient medieval village characterized by perfectly preserved ancient walls hiding stone houses, ancient inns and arcades overlooking the silent streets.
Mezzano is one of Italy’s most fascinating towns. Apart from the stone houses, narrow alleys, courtyards and galleries, there is one more reason to visit and that is the works of art made with wood.
The village is famous for its artistic architecture made with piles of wood, known as “cataste&canzei”. But that’s not the only reason to get there, the village offers amazing views Dolomites.
For Ambrosia Carnival means his feast Carnival with the Ambrosian rite, different from the Roman one, which is much more widespread.
The town where, par excellence, the Ambrosia Carnival is celebrated and celebrated is Milanwhich also owes this anniversary to its patron saint: Sant’Ambrogio.
What is the Ambrosian Carnival?
But how does the Ambrosian Carnival differ from what (almost) all of us consider traditional and are used to celebrating from childhood?
Mainly for at your home. According to the Ambrosian rite, in fact, Lent does not begin from Ash Wednesday but from the following Sunday, the first Sunday of Lent.
The carnival, therefore, does not end on Shrove Tuesday but continues until the following Saturday. It is called, for this reason, Fat Saturday.
READ ALSO: WHAT TO DO AT CARNIVAL 2024
Why is it called Ambrosian?
According to tradition, the postponed Carnival is designated as Ambrosia because it was Saint Ambrose, the patron bishop of Milan, who asked the city to extend Lent for a few days and proceed with the Carnival celebrations.
This happened when, being out of town, it took a few days before he could return to Milan to celebrate. G
Historians, however, believe that this change was due to more practical reasons: a catastrophic event that did not allow the celebration of Carnival on time in a certain year, or even a modification of the Gregorian calendar in the late 16th century that led to inconsistency in dates.
According to another historical theory, however, all Carnival celebrations culminated on Holy Saturday (rather than Tuesday) and it was a universal choice to move Lent to Ash Wednesday. This choice resulted in exactly 40 days of fasting from the end of Shrovetide to Easter Sunday. Therefore, it would not be the Milanese who postponed the date of the celebration, but the Roman rite which brought it forward.
READ ALSO: BRIDGES 2024
Where it is celebrated
The Ambrosian Carnival, however, is not exclusive to Milan. There are other places, in fact, that follow this rite and not the Roman one.
This is the majority of the municipalities that are currently part of itarchdiocese of Milan (provinces of Milan, Monza, Lecco, Varese and part of the province of Como) and some areas that were once part of it, such as some locations in the province of Bergamo. But also of any other city or location that wants to follow the tradition.
How is it celebrated?
The celebrations are not very different from those used throughout Italy for the traditional Carnival. In Milan on Holy Saturday a long masked procession is organized, which from year to year has a main theme.
The typical desserts of the Ambrosian Carnival are the same as those prepared in the “usual”: chiacchiere, also called frappe. They are made with a flour mixture that is fried and then covered with powdered sugar. There are also some delicious variations that add a chocolate or pistachio coating.
When does it fall this year?
The carnival has no set date. The traditional one, which to be clear has its peak on Tuesday, falls this year on February 13, 2024.
This means that Holy Saturday, the day of celebration of the Ambrosian Carnival, will be on the opposite side of February 17, 2024.
To end the past year on a high note and start well what is about to begin you can do so many things.
Younger people usually party until dawn, families dine together until midnight and, for young couples or groups of friends, a new idea is always sought. Maybe a trip abroad.
One of the most interesting and popular destinations to spend an alternative and certainly not banal party is there‘Iceland.
Here are some possibilities to spend a Unforgettable New Year’s Eve in Iceland.
New Year’s traditions in Iceland
When going abroad for a holiday, the first thing you should do is find out what traditions are associated with that particular day in the state you’re visiting.
Spending New Year’s Eve like perfect Icelanders could actually be enjoyable and interesting.
Plus, it could go down in the annals of memories, don’t you already see yourself saying to your kids, “Remember when we spent New Year’s like perfect Icelanders?”
The tradition of this state dictates that you have dinner around 19:00 with your family – or, if you are tourists, with whoever accompanied you on your holiday – between 20:00 and 21:00 you move around the biggest fire near the house – on December 31 there are enough on several streets of the city – to greet the neighbors and then go home by 22.30.
At that time, in fact, the usual television comedy show that every Icelander watches on New Year’s Eve starts before returning to the streets around midnight.
In fact, the arrival of the new year is expected on the streets of the cities, going from one pub to another and toasting in different places.
SEE ALSO: CHRISTMAS BREAK 2023
The capital is certainly one of the most popular destinations for tourists choosing to spend New Year’s Eve in Iceland.
Besides the traditional dinners and bonfires, this city is famous for one reason above all: on New Year’s Eve, in fact, Reykjavík’s sky is colored with hundreds of shades of fireworks. At midnight, i.e. the beginning of the new year, every house, street or place lights up with fireworks.
It’s not the greatest safety, since fires are shot almost everywhere and by anyone, but the effect is priceless.
There are numerous vantage points from which to watch the firework display: Ægisída, which is also home to one of the city’s biggest bonfires; around the Pearl in Öskjuhlíd or even near the Harpa amphitheater or near the sculpture Sólfarid (“the traveler of the sun”), all heights that allow you to have a privileged and exclusive view of the city’s colorful and bright sky.
Anyone who leaves for Iceland during the New Year period cannot fail to look for the Northern Lights. It is a unique show in the world, to be seen at least once in a lifetime and to be able to do it right between the last night of an ending year and the first lights of a new year that is about to begin. it must have something special, absolutely magical.
Not far from the East Rangà River and Iceland’s main airport, but far enough from the city lights to stop you from admiring the colors of the Northern Lights at their best, is the Ranga Hotel.
A wooden structure in the style of a hut in which the bar has a large terrace from which you can watch the spectacle of the dawn, drinking Brennivìn, the local grappa. If the temperatures are particularly cold on New Year’s Eve, no problem: the hotel is equipped with an indoor observatory.
Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city, situated on the River Clyde, a fascinating port at the heart of Scottish culture, art and music.
Starting from its past as an industrial giant, Glasgow has transformed in recent decades into a exciting and vibrant metropolis where grand Victorian architecture meets the modern bar scene, live music and internationally renowned museums and art galleries.
Exploring the city means discovering building facades, walls and viaducts painted with street art murals like those on the Mural Trail, or discovering the statues in George Square and shopping in Buchanan Street, Argyle Street and Sauchiehall Street or admiring the medieval grandeur of the medieval cathedral. with its stained glass windows.
Glasgow was also the first UNESCO City of Music of the UK and is a hot spot for live entertainment at popular venues such as The Barrowlands and King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut.
To organize the trip to the beautiful Scottish city, you can make it coincide with the annual Glasgow International Comedy Festival or the Pipe Band World Championships.
TO Christmas the city fills with festive traditional markets and ice rinks, the winter holidays bring great performances at iconic venues such as Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall.
But what are the best unmissable attractions in Glasgow?
Buchanan Street and George Square
A sightseeing tour of Glasgow can begin with a stroll down one of the city’s historic streets. Buchanan Street dates back to the late 18th century and is home to a stunning array of Victorian architecture as well as unique shops.
The street runs from the Buchanan Galleries in the north to St. Enoch to the south and is surrounded by squares and arcades, Glasgow Central Station and St. George Tron in the center of Nelson Mandela Place.
A short detour takes you to George Square, Glasgow’s central square, surrounded by elegant Victorian architecture, including the City Chambers and statues of Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burns and Queen Victoria.
Following Queen Street you reach Royal Exchange Square, home to some of Glasgow’s largest public buildings, the Gallery of Modern Art and a famous statue of the Duke of Wellington.
The West End is considered to be Glasgow’s most charming area, thanks to its distinct identity that combines character and beautiful architecture.
Here you will find some of the most beautiful vintage shops and alleys full of small bars and restaurants. The main attractions run along the banks of the River Kelvin, which meanders through the beautiful Botanic Gardens and the trees and statues of Kelvingrove Park.
Kelvingrove Park, dominated by the Gothic towers and turrets of the University of Glasgow, is home to the pride of Glasgow’s civic art and art collection, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, on Argyle Street.
The hidden lane
The Hidden Lane area features a number of colorful buildings in Finnieston that are home to a huge community of artists, designers and musicians.
Located just off the busy Argyle Street, it’s a small creative hub with hundreds of studios, independent businesses, art galleries, yoga centres, craft workshops, bakeries and more for an alternative side of Glasgow.
Glasgow Botanic Gardens is an arboretum and public park located to the north of the University and Kelvingrove Art Gallery.
They house several greenhouses, including the remarkable Kibble Palace, recently renovated. The gardens were established in 1817 and managed by the Royal Botanic Institute in Glasgow.
The gardens were originally used for concerts and other events and in 1891 were incorporated into the city’s parks. The gardens have a tea room and are open all year round.
Among the places to visit in Glasgow is the Victorian-era Necropolis, the city’s main burial ground from the 17th century onwards.
To discover the stories and legends hidden behind each tombstone, the best way is to take a guided tour.
The Victorian necropolis is located next to the impressive Glasgow Cathedral, one of the oldest buildings in the city.
Glasgow Cathedral is one of the last remaining great cathedrals in the UK.
It is around 800 years old and has one of the largest areas of stained glass of any house of worship, as well as brilliant arches, hand-carved pews and memorabilia dotting every wall.
Barras has been a weekend market in Glasgow since the 1920s. Its name comes from the word “barrow” (wheelbarrow) as the original market vendors sold their goods from wheelbarrows.
The market is both indoor and outdoor and offers food, clothing, furniture, antiques and other goods.
To spend a few quiet hours in the city, the right place is Kelvingrove Park, located along the banks of the River Kelvin.
Here you can meet wildlife such as Glasgow’s resident red foxes, as well as students from the nearby university, ordinary people, street performers and families with children who come to enjoy the park’s gardens for picnics on sunny days
People’s Palace and Winter Gardens
A visit to the People’s Palace offers a glimpse into the lives of Glaswegians over the past three centuries.
The exhibition chronicles the changes in the city and its inhabitants from 1750 onwards after the industrial revolution.
The museum is in the center of Glasgow Green, a large public park which overlooks the River Clyde and also houses the impressive Winter Gardens, a magnificent glass-domed greenhouse full of tropical flora.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum has 22 art galleries to explore.
This Victorian-era building is characterized by its rich baroque architecture and is huge in size.
A standout in the main room is the reconstructed skeleton of a Diplodocus dinosaur affectionately nicknamed Dolly.
The journey continues into prehistoric times before learning about Scotland’s first people and the long transition to modern Scotland today. The museum houses a unique array of objects including mummified heads, an Egyptian sarcophagus, a World War II Spitfire fighter plane and more.
The art galleries house some of Europe’s most valuable works of art, including Salvador Dali’s Christ of St. John of the Cross and works by Rembrandt, Monet and Vincent van Gogh.
Another place that symbolizes the soul of Glasgow is the Riverside Museum, where history meets the future in a unique setting.
On the banks of the River Clyde, the Riverside Museum stands on the site of a former shipyard in Glasgow’s redeveloped dockland district and features the signature of renowned architect Zaha Hadid.
Outside the museum, is the Glenlee, a 19th century three-masted sailing ship that sailed around the world and is now preserved in the harbor on the River Clyde and is now part of the Glasgow Transport Museum
Other attractions in Glasgow
The number of attractions to visit in Glasgow is very large, among them we must mention: the Auchentoshan Distillery where you can learn more about the process that takes place to create Scotch Whisky, the Scottish Football Museum housed in the national stadium , Hampden Park , Theater Royal is the oldest theater in Glasgow, Glasgow Science Center built to educate and entertain children, giving them an insight into the world of science and technology, Pollok National Park the only park surrounded by greenery just outside the city
If for the next Immaculate Conception long weekend you are looking for destinations not too far away where you can experience the Christmas atmosphere, we recommend 5 villages perfect for the long weekend.
Gubbio on holiday is truly a fairytale. The date of illumination of the largest Christmas tree in the world, built on the slopes of Mount Ingino, was set for the eve of the Immaculate Conception.
The Christmas tree consists of more than 700 light sources, is 750 meters high and occupies an area of 130 thousand square meters.
SEE ALSO: CHRISTMAS SHOPPING IN THE MOUNTAIN VILLAGES
Manarola, its picturesque village Five lands during the Christmas holidays it is even more beautiful. Credit goes to the manger record set on Hill of the Three Crosses from December 8.
Around 8km of electrical cables, 17,000 light bulbs and more than 300 life-size figures, all created with recycled materials, are used to construct the Manarola Nativity scene.
Govone a transforms into the Magical Christmas Town for the holidays.
In the heart of the Piedmontese Langhe you can discover the magic of Christmas by discovering Santa’s House, the elves of the magical yard, the traditions, the lights and the colors of the most exciting party of the year.
A long weekend in Montepulciano is the perfect opportunity to visit Santa’s village, where you’ll find traditional Christmas markets and the Christmas Castle inhabited by elves and full of surprises.
Not far away you can reach Santa’s house in Chianciano Terme.
The special appointment with Luci sul Trasimeno returns to the Umbrian village.
On vacation you can admire the beautiful Christmas tree was created in the waters of Lake Trasimeno, a kilometer-long installation that will ceremonially light up the village Castiglione del Lago.
Imagine the snow, the small and cozy houses, the wooden roofs.
All of these could be the scenario of one Christmas fairy tale.
What if we told you that all over Italy you can find, especially with the coldest temperatures, small towns that remind you of lively scenes from the Nativity scene and villages that really look like a Christmas card?
Perched on hillsides or nestled in valleys, there are many small towns where you can breatheChristmas atmosphere.
Which are the most beautiful? Let’s discover the most beautiful village postcard images.
Visiting Greccio is like taking a trip to the Middle Ages. Stone houses and cobbled streets outline the charming village perched on a hill overlooking the entire Reatina plain.
The village is famous because in 1223, in a cave where a sanctuary was built, Saint Francis of Assisi erected the first living nativity scene. Even today the village hosts one of the most beautiful nativity scenes in Italy.
In the heart of Val Gardena, Ortisei is a little treasure chest nestled at 1236 meters in a picturesque location: the town surrounded by the very high peaks of the Dolomites. Colorful buildings and stone streets make this village truly fascinating.
Scanno is one of the most photogenic villages in Abruzzo, you will notice it as soon as you drive along the hairpin that leads to the town and offers a spectacular view of the Sagittario Reserve.
The village is nestled between Montagna Grande and Monte Godi.
Brunico was declared, in 2009, the best Italian city to live.
It certainly got this record because of its excellent location in the center of two valleys and the amazing combination of the exclusivity of places with a double soul: international and traditional. The village that dominates the castle is truly enchanting.
It’s worth getting there at Christmas to admire the incredible Christmas markets.
Madonna di Campiglio
In the heart of Val Rendena, in the fantastic landscape between the Brenta Dolomites and the Adamello and Presanella glaciers, Madonna di Campiglio is a small jewel at 1,550 meters above sea level, in the province of Trento.
Bagnone seems straight out of a fairy tale with knights, dragons and princesses.
It is the ancient castle that dominates the stone village from above that stands on the banks of the homonymous stream. The town, in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines National Park, is located in the province of Massa-Carrara.
READ ALSO: CHRISTMAS SHOPPING IN THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VILLAGES IN ITALY
Perched on the peaks of the rocks in the Lucanian Dolomites park, Pietrapertosa along with Castelmezzano, is one of the most fascinating villages of Basilicata.
At the entrance to the village there is an amphitheater-like fork protected by rocks.
Villalago, above the Gole del Sagittario, is a town frozen in time. Here San Domenico built a hermitage and founded several monasteries.
A small church was built in the cave where the saint lived, which at the beginning of the last century became a small church on the lake. In fact, in 1929 a hydroelectric dam was built and the water that poured into the plain formed a picturesque lake known as Lago di San Domenico.
In Fossombrone, in the Marche region, you can take a trip back in time.
The city along the course of the Metauro River and the Via Flaminia, is perched on a hill dominated by the Rocca Malatestiana. It is the perfect place to explore the Furlo Gorge.
In the province of Isernia, Carovilli is a journey through time. A small town where you can relive ancient atmospheres walking the narrow cobbled streets, with views from stone buildings.
In the Isarco Valley, Vipiteno is a village that seems to have stepped out of history: with its colorful houses and the snow-capped mountains that surround it, it is one of the most picturesque towns in Italy.
During the Christmas season you can visit the beautiful Christmas markets.
Hidden in the gorge of two mountains, in the province of Trapani, there is a very small village consisting of quaint earthen houses, a small chapel, some stables and a narrow cobbled street.
Grotta Mangiapane is a small stone village located in Custonaci, in the Monte Cofano reserve.
With its white houses stacked on top of each other, Monte Sant’Angelo is one of the most picturesque towns in the Gargano.
Founded by the Lombards, the city is famous for a cave sanctuary.
From Sulmona in Roccaraso on historic locomotives traversing whitewashed peaks, villages suspended in time and enchanting fairytale scenery.
It’s the journey you can take on the historic Park Railway Trans-Siberian Railway of Italythe panoramic railway of Italy which, in winter, will allow you to take a magical journey.
Sitting in antique carriages from the 1930s, you can travel through the heart of Abruzzo and Molise between protected areas, small villages and the wonders of the Maiella National Park and the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park, embracing the exciting long-distance railway route.
Dates for the winter season have been announced on the website: here’s when to go.
By train among the snow wonders on the Trans-Siberian railway in Italy: route and dates 2024
You can choose the day trip by train or the overnight stay. All information on dates, reservations and prices can be found on the official website.
With the historic cars of the 1930s you can take a trip back in time to discover the wonderful landscapes found along the Apennines of Abruzzo.
Ticket sales will begin on Monday 11 December 2024. The route will soon be available on the official Parks Railway website.
Winter 2024 dates
All new winter dates to experience the unique charm of “Snow Trains”
Comfortable, convenient, ecological and always exciting, traveling by train can give great satisfaction to anyone who wants to discover the most fascinating landscapes in Europe.
The whole old continent is crossed by one dense rail network that connects the most famous cities or leads to the discovery of remote corners immersed in nature, long-distance routes between several countries or short and enchanting routes in areas off the beaten track.
Beautiful views, comfortable carriages, the hustle and bustle of crowded platforms and the thrill of a new adventure: there are so many good reasons to travel Europe by train.
Here are our suggestions for 10 train trips on the most beautiful routes in Europe living on the ship and with your face stuck to the window.
Golden Eagle Danube Express – Istanbul, Budapest
The long train journey from Istanbul to Budapest through Bulgaria and Romania feels like an adventure from a bygone era.
The route is 1,832 km long to be covered in seven days in comfort on the luxurious Golden Eagle Danube Express train.
The journey starts in Istanbul, crosses Bulgaria and climbs into the wild and forested Carpathian Mountains before crossing the vast Hungarian steppes to Budapest.
Stops include medieval Veliko Tarnovothe ancient capital of Bulgaria, where a row of stone houses overlook the banks of the Yantra River, and the towers of Bran Castle in Romania, said to have inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Excursions off the train allow for interesting visits to Romania’s medieval towns and castles, while the onboard experience maintains a high level of luxury.
The railway from Oslo to Bergen not only offers views of landscapes of rare beauty from behind the windows of its carriages, but represents the eternal conflict – meeting between human ingenuity and the cruelty of mother nature.
This connection between Norway’s capital and its second city involves approximately 6.5 hours of travel along the west coast, crossing hostile plateaus, fjords and mountains through some of Norway’s wildest scenery.
Once you leave Oslo behind, the landscape transforms into wide valleys, fjords and waterfalls, then slowly the trees begin to fade, the alpine landscape opens up with great views across the arid Hardangervidda plateau to the highest station on the line to Finse (1,222m) , which is also the gateway to the Hardangerjøkulen ice cap.
Freezing cold and snow everywhere will be the evocative companions of this adventure among the ice.
Balkan Express – Belgrade – Bar
The train that connects Belgrade (Serbia) to Bar (Montenegro) is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque and underrated in all of Europe.
Better known as “the Balkan Express”, the train makes an 11-hour journey from Serbia to Montenegro crossing hundreds of bridges on its way and passing socialist architecture buildings in Užice and modern ski resorts in Kolašin as the train runs towards the Adriatic coast and the largest port of Montenegro.
The last part of the journey to the south coast of Montenegro is particularly evocative, especially when the train passes over the marshy Skadar lake.
Once you arrive at the Bar terminal, you can explore the Stari Bar area with its ruined old town and aqueduct, or go straight to relax on the beaches dotted along Ulcinj’s coast.
El Transcantábrico, Spain
The luxury train Transcantabrico takes its passengers on an 8-day journey of 643 kilometers along the northern coast of Spain, meeting the cities of Santander and Bilbao, the sea views of Cantabria, the green peaks of Asturias, the beaches of Ribadeo and the rocky landscapes of Picos National Park of Europe.
The route connects historic Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, San Sebastian in the Basque Country, also passing through the Roman city of Leon and some of the most natural and unspoilt corners of northern Spain.
Many of the places where a stop is planned are part of the UNESCO World Heritage list, among them: the caves of Altamira and the pre-Roman monuments of Oviedo.
The interior of the train features re-imagined 1923 carriages with luxurious suites, private Jacuzzi bathrooms and restaurant carriages serving remarkable à la carte menus to ensure a fantastic travel experience in every respect.
The Little Yellow Train, France
The Little Yellow Train, or Le Train Jaune in French, is a unique train journey that takes passengers through the beautiful Pyrenees in southern France.
The Petit Train Jaune runs along centuries-old lines over suspension bridges, tunnels and flower meadows from the medieval town of Villefranche-de-Conflent in French Catalonia to the Spanish border, up to the summit of Bolquère Eyne, which at 1,592 meters it is the highest railway station in France.
The views along the 3-hour route covering 60 kilometers are breathtaking and the stops full of interest, such as the stunning Abbey of Saint-Martin-du-Canigou, the picturesque villages of Olette and Fontpedrouse and Font Romeu, one of the most famous ski resorts of the Pyrenees.
In addition, the view from the train on the way to the Pyrenees mountain village of Odeillo, Font Romeu is amazing.
The line serves 22 different stations, but the train stops automatically at only 6 stops, those wishing to explore the other 14 stops must request in advance. The little yellow train in summer allows you to travel in open carriages to fully enjoy the mountain panorama.
Odontotos Railway, Greece from Diakopto to Kalavryta
This historic route dates back to 1895, it is one of the last remaining narrow gauge lines in southern Greece.
It is a cog railway that allows the train to climb steep slopes and negotiate sharp bends in the gorge, driving through the beautiful Vouraikos Gorge in the Peloponnese.
The train journey starts from the seaside town of Diakoptos and climbs up the gorge to the mountain town of Kalavryta, passing waterfalls, bridges and tunnels along the way.
The journey takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete and covers a distance of 22 kilometers filled with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and plane trees.
West Highland Line: Fort William – Mallaig, Scotland
The West Highland line between Glasgow and Mallaig is one of the most scenic train journeys in the UK.
The route, also known as the Road to the Isles, is 190km long and passes through stunning Scottish scenery, crossing the shores of Loch Lomond, ruined castles, mountains and waterfalls to the west coast.
The journey starts at Glasgow Queen Street station to continue along the River Clyde in the north-west before entering the wild Scottish countryside between valleys, silver lochs and steep birch-lined slopes.
After Tyndrum the train makes a horseshoe bend at the foot of Ben Doran before heading to Fort William where Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest peak, comes into view. Towards the end of the journey the train crosses the impressive Glenfinnan Viaduct at the top of Loch Shiel.
The Douro Valley Railway – Portugal
The Douro Valley Railway crosses northern Portugal between rolling hills and vineyards on one of the most beautiful train journeys in Europe.
The steam train departs from the beautiful city of Porto and proceeds along the Douro River from Régua via Pinhão to Tua.
Pinhão station is considered one of the most beautiful terminals in Europe thanks to its intricate azulejo decorations, while the spectacular canyon around Régua and the ancient rock art of the Côa valley in Pocinho offer stunning views of nature.
This three-hour journey is one of the most spectacular ways to explore the magnificent Douro Valley and takes passengers into Portugal’s wine region to see where their grapes are harvested and taste test the vast local wine estates.
Pinhão in particular is full of typical wineries of the region offering some of the best varieties of Port.
Derry/Londonderry to Coleraine, Northern Ireland
The journey from Derry/Londonderry to Coleraine takes just 38 minutes, but its 55km gives it the surprise and thrill of one of the continent’s most scenic routes.
Outside the window, windswept beaches, steep cliffs and wild panoramas alternate with long tunnels.
The train follows the River Foyle from Derry, crossing the countryside until it flows into the Atlantic Ocean at Benone Strand, one of Ireland’s longest and wildest beaches. Here the tracks run right next to the sand and the nearby Castlerock stop offers the possibility of a fantastic sand ride. From here, the train heads inland again, this time following the River Bann, to Coleraine and passing the first human settlement on the entire island of Ireland Mountsandel Fort, high on the high bank of the Bann.
Semmering Railway, Austria
Inaugurated as far back as 1854, the Semmering Railway is still considered one of the most fascinating in Europe, to the point that it has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The Semmering route starts from Gloggnitz and ends in Mürzzuschlag, in 41 km and 40 minutes it crosses the Austrian Alps crossing 16 viaducts, 14 tunnels and more than 100 bridges. Once on board, you are treated to a stunning mountain panorama with virgin forests, spectacular sharp curves and impressive mountain passes high up.
This route can also be understood as part of a longer journey between Vienna and Venice and apart from the magnificent view of Semmering, the numerous mountain cottages built for the railway staff distributed along the line are also recognizable.
The 34th survey on Quality of life of Sole 24 Ore which reveals which are the Italian provinces where people live best.
The 2023 edition of the Sole 24 Ore survey on the quality of life in Italy held surprises and confirmations, with Udine winning first place in the overall ranking for the first time.
This promotion marks a historic moment for the province of Udine, which is fully entering the history of the ranking, having reached the top ten only three times between 1990 and today.
The second and third places were respectively occupied by Bologna and Trento, both confirming their important positions.
Bologna, winner of the 2022 edition, stood out once again in the Demography, Health and Society category, thanks to its high levels of education.
Trento, on the other hand, already a winner of the Sportsmanship Index and Urban Ecosystem 2023, continues to demonstrate its commitment to the quality of life of its residents.
Quality of life 2023: the ranking of the provinces where people live best in Italy
The 2023 edition of the Quality of Life report was created taking into account 90 statistical indicators on which the research is based
The Sole 24 Ore survey takes into account 107 Italian provinces, which were analyzed using 90 statistical indicators.
These indicators cover various aspects of daily life, from education to security, from economic well-being to access to services, offering a detailed and complex picture of well-being in the various Italian regions.
The indicators are divided into the traditional six thematic macro-categories (each consisting of 15 indicators) that have accompanied the survey since 1990: