The waterfront promenade at Reggio di Calabria - a town on the toe of mainland Italy which is about to get both fast Frecciarossa and NTV Italo trains to Turin (photo © Antanovich1985 / dreamstime.com).
Trenitalia has just announced that the company will launch its first ever regular scheduled Frecciarossa link to Italy’s southernmost province of Calabria.
In the hierarchy of Trenitalia services, the Frecciarossa is the top-of-the-range train designed first and foremost for use on high-speed lines. But with Trenitalia now having an ample supply of these trains, more and more Frecciarossa trains are popping up on other parts of the network. We reported in December 2018 on the launch of a direct Frecciarossa link from Turin to Lecce in Apulia – which at the time was the longest Frecciarossa route in Italy.
The new service debuts on Wednesday 3 June and will run from Turin to Reggio di Calabria on the toe of mainland Italy by the Strait of Messina. Sicily is just over the water. With a route length of 1,387 km, this will now be the longest Frecciarossa route. And it must surely rank as one of Europe’s longest regular daytime rail journeys that can be completed without changing trains.
For Trenitalia, which enjoys big subsidies from the Italian taxpayer, it’s important to show off the very best of its rolling stock in communities distant from the big cities. That’s why in recent years we’ve seen Frecciarossa trains flying the corporate flag in communities well removed from high-speed routes: Bolzano, Trieste, Genoa, Lecce, Potenza, Taranto and now Reggio di Calabria.
Reggio di Calabria has already had its taste of Frecce trains, but only the lesser grades – Frecciargento (FA) and Frecciabianca (FB) rather than the posh Frecciarossa. In the current timetables there are twice-daily FAs and twice-daily FBs to Rome, but none of these four trains run north beyond the capital.
The first southbound Frecciarossa will leave Turin at 08.00 on 3 June, reaching Reggio di Calabria at 18.50. The first northbound train will leave at 10.10 on 4 June, reaching Turin at 21.00 that evening. That gives an end-to-end average speed of 128 kph.
One-way fares for the new service start around the €100 mark. There are four classes of on-board accommodation. For the ultra-chic Executive class expect to pay upwards of €260. For almost 11 hours of pampered luxury, it might be worth it!
Where Trenitalia leads, NTV Italo follows. Private operator Italo has announced that it too will run twice-daily trains from Turin to Reggio di Calabria from Sunday 14 June. The toe of Italy has never before enjoyed such fast connections to Piedmont.
These new services are the latest in a series of new routes linking Italian extremities. Last September saw a new Frecciargento link from Bolzano (in Italy’s South Tyrol region) to Sibari on the Gulf of Taranto.