What is the "Treno dei Sapori"?
Those chimes are not from a clock: That is the sound of the Treno dei Sapori or Tasting Train, traveling the ancient tracks around the Camonica Valley. The truth is, once you are on board this short train, drawn by an early twentieth century engine, time will seem to stop.
Between samples of typical local products marked by freshness and authenticity, you can watch the horizon tinged by the blue waters of Iseo Lake, all while the bubbles of Franciacorta wine tickle your palate and your imagination. During your life, you have probably taken a train or two. The trip offered by the Tasting Train, however, is completely different. And the destination, as you may have guessed, is pleasure.
The possible itineraries for the Tasting Train are nineteen. This is a wonderful opportunity for a train trip on the Brescia-Edolo line. Each trip starts at the railway station in Iseo and winds towards the Camonica Valley and around Lake Iseo in the most congenial ways.
The Classic itinerary, for example, includes some stops in Pisogne and Provaglio d’Iseo, where you can admire the local monuments. An example is the Monastery of Saint Peter in Lamosa.
Medieval Flavour route, on the other hand, heads towards Villa Orlando of Bornato and offers a visit to the castle of the same name.
The Train of Pitoti Camuni travels between Capo di Ponte and the Seradina Park where you can enjoy the petroglyphs of Camonica Valley up close. This park is very famous as it was the first evidence to be listed in the Unesco World Heritage list.
The “Lake with Taste” (literally Lago con Gusto) package is a bit different, as in addition to the train trip you also get a pleasant jaunt on a private boat towards Montisola.
The train always leaves the Iseo train station at ten in the morning. The meeting place for all trips is the Diana bar in front of the station. The trip can vary according to the package, but we can say that the main destinations are Pisogne, Bornato, Breno, Capo di Monte and Cividate Camuno, this last immersed in the Camonica Valley in a special way.
All trips begin at 10 in the morning. The length of the route depends on the features of the package. Most end around 6 p.m.
The Tasting Train runs on all Sundays and holidays from March to December; for this reason it is strongly recommended that you make a reservation on their website. Moreover, the available routes depend on the month and the season. Here again, you must check the official site to stay informed of the availability of the trips.
The taste of a journey that will delight every sense
Food is really the theme of the Train. All menus on board can vary based on the availability of products: a sign that what you enjoy sampling between one stop and another is the ultimate in freshness and authenticity.
Here there are sausages and cheeses from the nearby Camonica Valley; there you have Franciacorta wines – and others not only of the region – served on board by certified sommeliers.
Some menus include a welcoming aperitif, a seasonal first course and a platter of sliced meats. Also, at the end of the meal you are served the dessert/coffee/coffee-chaser trio, the last featuring local grappa.
The Treno dei Sapori appeals to a varied audience. First of all are families that want to experience an outdoor trip that is different from the usual, amidst greenery and far from the hectic business districts.
It is a unique and fun experience for children, because they can board a train that is the only one in its class. Mothers find this fascinating, whether because of the splendid vistas or because of the ancient little churches that can be visited during the trip. Finally, fathers will find this an excellent occasion to sample good wine and taste local products like cheeses and sausages from right there in the Camonica Valley.
For those who appreciate art and archaeology: Almost all of the different routes include elements of archaeology and local art. These start with the rock paintings seen on the Pitoti Camuni trip and continue with the monuments that adorn the area’s small towns.