through the wonders
of the Italian and Swiss Alps
Nature in all
its majestic simplicity
Today as more than a century ago, when the Swiss – with a unique idea and craftsmanship – began to lay the rails that attract tourists from all over, traveling on one of these carriages is perhaps one of the best ways to appreciate the essential face of the country and the imposing one of the Alps.
Slowly, so as to be able to admire the details of a path that winds its way through green valleys, through gorges and streams, over bridges that seem to hang in the sky, between uncontaminated lakes and glaciers that resist changing of the seasons, up to spiral viaducts, the result of ambitious engineering projects.
The Glacier Express, which certainly goes well with the definition of ‘slowest of express trains’, is a marvel that in 7.5 hours leads the amazed passengers from St. Moritz to Zermatt, along a route that in its most spectacular passage – from Chur to Brig, through the Rhine Gorge, also known as the grand canyon of Switzerland – climbs up to the Oberalp pass. The panoramic carriages, whose floor-to-ceiling windows offer spectacular views, make the experience truly unique.
Instead, it leads to Italy – or of course, in the opposite sense, from Italy to Switzerland – the Bernina Express route that connects Tirano to St. Moritz (Chur), the latter gateway to Valtellina and to one of its most characteristic towns such as Livigno.
When? Practically in every season: in winter, the white of the snow and the glitter of the ice crystals are the undisputed protagonists; in autumn, a palette of warm colors punctuates the landscape, while between spring and summer the bright green of the valleys and the clear blue of the skies draw the outlines of a perfect picture.
Tiny realities & never forgotten traditions
Atmospheres that can also be found a few kilometers away, on the Maggiore and Orta lakes, where some small islands gather this legacy of suspended time, real treasures to be opened slowly, without making too much noise. The island of San Giulio, peacefully lying on the waters of the fabulous lake of Orta, is almost totally dominated by a monastic complex. And when the winter mist envelops it, the legend to which it owes its name (San Giulio would have freed the islet from a dragon who had chosen it as his home) seems almost a reality. Right then, exploring it following the path of the so-called ‘Way of silence and meditation’ becomes an indispensable walk that reconnects with ourselves.
Not far from Orta, on the much larger Lake Maggiore, the fascinating Borromean islands are real jewels that emerge in the heart of the lake: Isola Bella, with Palazzo Borromeo and the Italian gardens and Isola dei Pescatori with the picturesque village. Tiny realities that reflect ancient glories and never forgotten traditions.
Draw inspiration from our travel area and let yourself be guided through emotional experiences and itineraries.