La Faentina“,  a relic of an older Italy, still connects Florence with Faenza/Bologna and reveals lesser known places to the one, who likes to travel in a less conventional way. It was established way back in 1839 by the Grand Duke Leopold from Tuscany to connect Italy´s east and west coast in Romagna and Tuscany.

Valley de Lamone

culinary tour italy, train from florence to bologna

Sure, the Bologna-Florence line is faster and more comfortable, but riding through the Valley de Lamone you can enjoy a new aspect of Italy, see students travelling from their small towns to Florence, or old woman with a bunch of flowers in their hand, leaving the train at the next station, probably  to leave the flowers at a relatives grave in the next village. The medieval town of Brisighella is famous for its DOP olive oil Brisighello, but also offers delicious cheese and salumi, not to forget the wine. Stroll the historic center and the donkey path, stop and taste at the foodie shops! In fall you have wonderful markets for forgotten fruits, truffle and olive oil, read www.foodtour/brisighella/  and Brisighella, olive oil and more


You should take the time to get off the train in Marradi, a village right at the  highest point of the pass (573 m), surrounded by forests, rivers and mountains – here the ancient, rural way of life lives on. If you happen to be there in October, don´t miss the chestnut festival – Marradi is famous for it´s chestnut cake Torta Marroni di Marradi! Descending towards Faenza, the valley opens and you look at a beautiful landscape, cultivated with love by families who have lived here for countless generations.

Culinary factory tour

Ideally you leave the train in Brisighella and meet your guide from “Culinary factory tours”, who takes you to Bologna after a culinary wine/olive oil tour. If you decide for some reason not to, go to Faenza and grab the next train to Bologna. Starts: 9.40 am at Florence, Santa Maria di Novella (downtown), arrives at Brisighella at 11.16 am (Marradi is the 9th stop) or    Starts: 2.30 pm at Brisighella, arrives at Florence at 4.10 pm (Marradi is the 4th stop)

by Martina Kuhnert