Slow journey on the Sila Train

The magic of a steam locomotive through the snowy forests

© Regione Calabria

Living slow

Have you ever thought of travelling on a steam locomotive in Calabria, through the snow-covered forests of the Sila National Park?

The Sila Train is an experience from another era, which captivates and excites in every season of the year, but offers an extra touch of magic precisely during the Christmas holidays, when the landscape is a snow-covered forest and extraordinary things happen on board: from meeting Santa Claus to a mock "assault of brigands", and the tasting of sweets and typical Christmas products.

Come and discover the Sila Train, a romantic experience for couples or a fun ride with friends and family.


The Sila Train puffing through the woods

Getting on board the Sila Train means going back in time, to the beginning of the 20th century, when the steam locomotive, now refurbished, was blazing from the factory and climbed the slopes of the Sila Plateau along Europe's highest "narrow-gauge" line (over 1400 metres above sea level).

The FCL 353 steam locomotive was built in 1925 by the August Borsig company in Berlin and today is the last example in its class. That's why it is a profound emotion to listen to the train conductor's whistle inviting adults and children to board the original old wooden carriages, signed "Carminati & Toselli" of Milan, with opening windows; to look out from the cast-iron balconies between one and the other and enjoy a journey at a slow pace, the truly "slow" kind and in contact with nature.


What to expect on the old FCL 353? A ride through a fairytale landscape, through the forests and glades of the Sila National Park, in the company of a courteous staff, capable of telling the story of the train and still performing all the operations by hand.

Between one stop and the next, the Sila Train transforms the journey into an experience to be enjoyed with all the senses: costumed representations, surprising encounters, live music and seasonal tastings are the additional elements that make this unique journey back in time, already unforgettable.


What to see along the route

The Sila Train departs from the station of Camigliatello Silano, a mountain and ski village in the municipality of Spezzano della Sila, and arrives at its destination in the delightful little station of San Nicola Silvana Mansio, municipality of Casali del Manco, both in the province of Cosenza.

Before boarding, a tour of Camigliatello offers the opportunity to get to know one of Calabria's historical ski resorts, and taste some good typical branded products among the many shops and gastronomies that characterise this irresistible mountain tourist centre.

Regione Calabria

For example, here it is a must to taste dishes made from the sweet Sila Potato PGI and to buy a Caciocavallo Silano PDO.

Once departing, the Sila Train travels along an approximately three-hour route, completely immersed in a forest of larch pines, ancient beeches and silver firs.

On arrival, the picturesque station of San Nicola Silvana Mansio (in the locality of Serra Pedace, now the municipality of Casali del Manco), painted white and green, is the perfect stop to watch the skilful manual operations by which the locomotive drivers turn the locomotive on itself and prepare it for the return journey.

Ultimo aggiornamento: Feb 14, 2024 2:13 PM