Rail to Italy: the Bernina Express

Much more than a simple train. The Bernina Express is a real breathtaking experience. It covers the Bernina section of the same name, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008, from Switzerland to Italy and vice versa.

 

Many say it is the most beautiful train in the world, certainly it is the train that reaches Europe at the highest altitudes without the help of the rack: dreamy and daring engineers thought it capable of crossing the Alps, facing slopes and reaching over two thousand meters high. All to be able to admire fairytale landscapes comfortably seated on board.

 

A four hours journey between Chur and Tirano, offering enchanting panoramas and spectacular attractions through 55 tunnels and 196 bridges.

Natural Beauties

The train passes the helical viaduct of Brusio with two rings of 100 meters in diameter each, then runs along the Poschiavo Lake in the homonymous valley and then leads to Alpe Grüm where there is a restaurant with a terrace from which to admire the Bernina massif and the Palü glacier.

 

Before the lakes Lej Pitschen, Lej Nair and Lago Bianco, the wagons pass Ospizio Bernina, the highest station of the Rhaetian Railway at 2,253 meters, to then face the curve of Montebello which opens the view of the Morteratsch glacier and the summit of the Piz Bernina.

Engineering Masterpieces

To overcome the six kilometers that separate Bergün and Preda, the train travels twice the distance between ring tunnels, valleys and dams. And then there are the viaducts: the Wiesner is the second highest railway bridge in Switzerland, while the Landwasser, built in natural stone and 142 meters long, is a symbol of the Rhaetian Railway.

 

Thanks to the harmonious union between landscape and human intervention, the route was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2008.

 

Finally the train crosses the Domleschg, a region renowned for its countless castles, fortresses built to control the alpine routes towards the Splügen, San Bernadino and Julier passes.

London, Paris, Zurich, Milan and the rest of Italy

By Rail

Eurostar links London with Paris in 2h20, have lunch at the Train Bleu restaurant at the Gare de Lyon, then take a TGV-Lyria high-speed train from Paris to Zurich (4h03)

Overnight in Zurich, we recommend the Hotel Schweizerhof, just across the station they will even come to collect your lugagge.

The next day, the Swiss IC or IR trains run to Chur every 30 minutes taking you alongside the shores of the Walensee and then the Zürichsee.

From Chur, you board the Bernina Express to Tirano

 

By Plane

You can reach Zurich International airport from almost anywhere. The rail station is located underneath the Airport Centre, the main ground-side passenger terminal of the airport.

Add another overnight along the way

In the most spectacular panoramic point of the Engandine valley, at almost 2500 meters above sea level, we recommend you stop at the Romantik Hotel Muottas Muragl.

 

This is a romantic hotel with 16 rooms, a large panoramic terrace overlooking the lakes, a self-service restaurant and an à la carte one. You can get there after a 10-minute ride on the Muottas Muragl funicular.

From Tirano to Milan and the rest of Italy

In Tirano, The Swiss Rail connects with the Trenord trains linking Milan Centrale alongside the shores of Lake Como. In Milan, the High-Speed trains run to Florence, Bologna, Naples Rome or Venice.

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