Fondazione FS Italiane was born on March, 6th 2013 in order to value and deliver as a whole to the future generations the historical and technical heritage that is not only a mere symbol, but is a real testimony of the industrial development that contributed to the unity and progress of Italy.
The promoters of the Fondazione FS Italiane are the three main companies of the FS Italiane Group: Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Corporate, Rete Ferroviaria Italiana and Trenitalia, plus the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Activities and Tourism is an institutional endorser.
Fondazione FS organizes tours on historical trains. To get in a vintage train and to travel on evocative railway lines is an experience that allows people to revalue landscapes and unusual itineraries so as to discover the beauty of the Italian countryside. Fondazione FS owns a fleet of more than 300 historic trains: from puffing steam locomotives to electro-trains, forerunner of modern High Speed technology, from spartan ‘Centoporte’ cars to the luxurious cars of the Presidential Train (former Royal Train), from the first electric traction vehicles to the famous ‘Littorine’.
The Headquarters of the Foundation are in the historical palace of ‘Villa Patrizi’ in Rome. The historical archives and the library preserve a rich patrimony of designs, books collections, photos and videos.
The Library, in particular, is one of the biggest in Europe about railway transportation and one of the most important about the Italian socio-economic evolution of the last 150 years. It counts over 30.000 catalogued volumes and has the complete collection of timetables starting from 1899.
The Designs Archives preserve both the projects of the railway works and the projects of the rolling stocks: drawings and projects of railway stations, railway lines and of big railway works such as viaducts and tunnels and 7.000 rolls of rolling stocks technical designs.
The Photos-Videos Archive includes 500.000 imagines: glass plates, negatives, diapositives, publishings, digital files, black/white and colored sequences. A wide cinematographic equipment, transferred on magnetic supports and in electronic format, and the collection of about 5.000 movies, videos and shots that describe the history of the railways from the postwar period until nowadays.
Fondazione FS also manages the National Railway Museum of Pietrarsa. The Museum lies between the sea and Mount Vesuvius, with a spectacular view of the Gulf of Naples. It is situated in one of Italy’s most important industrial heritage complexes, originally founded by king Ferdinando II of “Regno delle due Sicilie” kingdom of the two Sicilies, in 1840 it has been meticulously and structurally restored to house the Museum. The Museum is one of the unique exhibition areas which, thanks to the unrivalled location and the quality of the pieces exhibited, is also amongst the European most important railway museums: York, Mulhouse, Munich, Lucerne. It stretches over an area of 36 thousand square meters, 14 thousand of which are covered. The Fondazione FS has embarked upon a mission to turn the Museum into a truly modern cultural center: the ideal backdrop to a vast range of events, it is one of Southern Italy’s largest conference venues, the Locomotive Hangar alone can seat up to 1000 people. The Museum’s ability to host a wide variety of events, adopt flexible closing hours and holiday openings have captured the imagination and needs of citizens and tourists alike and cultivated an interest in it, not only from rail enthusiasts, but from the wider community, without however spoiling its primary calling as the country’s National Railway Museum.
The Foundation’s core business is focused mainly on organizing heritage train journeys along the most suggestive routes, across rarely visited landscapes in some of Italy’s most beautiful provinces.
Most of our passengers are seeking a slow food experience and/or natural surroundings as well as rail enthusiasts, associations and specialized tour operators.
The journeys make use of the entire operating network (excluding the high speed lines and main junctions) and of a number of lines specifically reopened, with tourism in mind, by the Italian Railway Foundation as part of its «Timeless Tracks» project. On these lines Fondazione FS regularly runs historic trains, that are always cheered with great emphasis by the people.
This project counts nine exceptionally beautiful ex lpt lines, that were chosen to become part of a truly “dynamic museum”, that Fondazione FS wants to preserve and value even more.
- the ‘Lake Railway’ from Palazzolo sull’Oglio to Paratico/Sarnico, on the shores of Iseo Lake;
- the ‘Val d’Orcia Railway’ from Asciano to Monte Antico, through the charming Tuscan countryside known as the “Crete Senesi” or literally the Sienese Clays;
- the ‘Park Railway’ from Sulmona to Castel di Sangro, passing Roccaraso and the Majella Park, the second highest line of the Country after the Brenner line;
- the ‘Temples line’ goes from Agrigento Bassa to Porto Empedocle, winding its way among the ancient temples of Magna Graecia, an important Unesco world heritage site ‘Magna Grecia’, an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- the ‘Valsesia Railway’, from Vignale to Varallo, through one of the most picturesque alpine valleys of Italy, right at the foot of Monte Rosa.
- the ‘Tanaro Railway’ from Ceva to Ormea, between the woods and the banks of river Tanaro, on bold bricks and iron bridges that intersect the river several times
- the ‘Irpinia Railway’, from Avellino to Rocchetta S. Antonio Lacedonia, through the Park of the Picentini Mountains, the WWF Oasis of Lake Conza and the sites of community importance of Calitri and Monteverde.
- the ‘Sannio Railway’, from Benevento to Bosco Redole, in the fascinating country between Campania and Molise.
- the ‘Pedemontana Railway’, from Maniago to Gemona, through the evocative landscape of the North Italian pre-Alps region.
For the show is the journey itself, and what flows out of the window…
Address: Piazza della Croce Rossa, 1 00161 Roma