A vintage train and a steamship: Lake Maggiore like never before

  • Lake Maggiore
  • Out for…

A different day on the lake with that slightly retro thrill of travelling aboard vehicles that made history

Have you ever wondered what it must have been like to travel during the time of the Industrial Revolution, when steam power propelled the first long journeys? What it must have felt like to be transported by ships and trains across Europe, riding the waves of rivers and lakes, or hurtling along rails, driven only by the crackling fire of coal in the furnace?

Trips that bring to mind that Grand Tour, so fashionable in the 19th and early-20th centuries, journeys that introduced the cultural and natural beauties of Italy to wealthy scions from all over Europe and to elderly aristocrats, ready to come and winter on the shores of our great northern lakes.

Thanks to the renovation of vintage modes of transport and curated itineraries, this nostalgic tour allows you to relive the days of yesteryear.

Navigazione Laghi and the Fondazione FS join forces to enhance their historic vehicles

Navigazione Laghi and Fondazione FS have joined forces and vehicles, forming a collaboration that allows tourists and visitors to experience the atmosphere of the past, aboard trains and boats that have left their mark on history, on two of the largest lakes of north Italy: Lake Maggiore and Lake Como.

This is precisely the first choice you will have to make when you decide to embark on this adventure of yesteryear: which lake would you prefer to visit?

If you are amongst those who have opted for Lake Maggiore, there is an itinerary designed especially for you by Navigazione Laghi and Fondazione FS.

All aboard the Piroscafo Piemonte: discovering Lake Maggiore

Your journey starts in Milan Central station and continues for a couple of hours, making stops and offering alternative departure points in Rho, Busto Arsizio and Gallarate, and concluding at the final destination of Laveno Mombello, a small town situated on the shores of the lake.

Laveno Express: from Milan to Laveno on a steam train

Prepare to marvel at the puffing steam locomotive and climb aboard the historical Centoporte carriages from the 1930s or the Corbellini carriages from the 1950s. Spectacles on the rails that, nowadays, you can see very few times in your lifetime.

The “Laveno Express”, as mentioned before, will transport you to the shores of Lake Maggiore, to the town of Laveno Mombello, the real tourist hub of the Lombard shoreline of the lake.

Piroscafo Piemonte: Italy’s oldest steamship

With one destination reached, other evocative destinations shall open up before you, because the journey does not end there. After embarking from the Navigazione Laghi berths onto the magnificent steamship Piemonte”, a floating gem that will take your breath away, your experience continues using another mode of transport, different yet equally steeped in history and charm.

You will have the privilege of stepping aboard Italy’s oldest operational steamship, a three-deck vessel with paddle propulsion, built by the Escher Wyss shipyard of Zurich back in 1904.

Greeting you inside the Steamship “Piemonte” are Art Nouveau style furnishings, expansive windows and comfortable benches on the foredeck that offer wonderful views of the lake.

Lake Maggiore: the beauty of the Borromean Gulf

The boat trip on the lake will be the perfect end to an unforgettable trip as you will have the opportunity to marvel at the beauty of the Hermitage of Santa Caterina, as well as land for a couple of hours on Isola Bella or Isola dei Pescatori, two gems placed right in the heart of the Borromean Gulf.

At the end of the visit, your return trip to Laveno awaits, again on board the “Piemonte” and, once you disembark, you can choose to return home either by the vintage train or use the modern trains provided by Ferrovie Italiane (Italian Railways).

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