From Lisbon To Rome By Rail
Southern Europe is famous for great food and wonderful culture, and when it comes to taking a long journey across the region, there is no better way to do this than to travel by train. Enjoying the scenery from the carriage is much more relaxing than having to focus on the road as you drive, without even mentioning the benefits of not having to deal with traffic jams. Having spent some time exploring the Portuguese coast, it was time to move on to a new setting, and the historic city of Rome was to be my new destination, but with nearly two weeks before I needed to be there, I was able to spend a little more time savoring the journey.
Choosing The Route
I had looked at doing a simple transfer by plane from Lisbon to Rome, but after looking at the option of buying an eurail pass, it was obvious that taking the scenic route could be a lot more exciting. If I was traveling purely for speed, the best route would have been to head to Madrid, then Paris, and on to Rome, but with plenty of travel time available I chose to take in a few more sights along the route. Rail Europe offered plenty of freedom, and as long as I made sure I had the seats booked, then I could take whichever route appealed to me.
Portugal And Spain
There is an overnight train linking Lisbon and Madrid that is very convenient for those who are pressed for time, but for me, I’d never visited the pilgrimage town of Fatima, and the train from Lisbon was a beautiful route. The Basilica in Fatima was a stunning place to visit, and after a good night’s sleep, I took the train on towards Caceres and Madrid. After another overnight stop, it was time to head on to one of my favorite cities, Barcelona, and the journey gave me another few days to spend there, tucking into the great food of the Mediterranean, and also enjoying a walk down the iconic Las Ramblas.
France And Italy
As a train buff, traveling on the TGV has always been a great pleasure for me, and the double-decker fast service between Barcelona and Paris is a great way to see the country, and it makes 180mph seem like a relaxing cruise between the two cities. With a bit more time to spend, I stayed for a few days in Paris doing all of the usual tourist attractions, and getting to return to the Louvre. The journey then turned south, and the train through to Dijon offered more scenic delights, while the town was also a great place to relax, enjoy the local cuisine and to see both of the beautiful churches.
The Final Destination
Spending a fortnight traveling the route to Rome had been a great experience, and the scenery across Central Europe is home to some spectacular train lines, but I was still able to get into Rome fresh and relaxed. The train from Milan heading south took me on another attractive line through the Italian countryside, and finally rolling into the grand rail terminal at the heart of the city. Buying the Eurail pass from Rail Europe had proved to be a great investment, and turned a simple move from one city to the next into an amazing travel experience.