Madonna on the train helps to relaunch a treasure of Italy-


The Minister of Culture writes to «Corriere» after the singer had her portrait taken on a historic railway line. “It’s more than a means of transport, it’s a cultural asset”

Dear director, Madonna on the historic train in Puglia, with the talent and flair of the pop star, has grasped the evocative power of what is much more than a means of transport, and represents a cultural asset. The ancient and ever new magic of the train, which has been part of the collective imagination since the Parisian spectators jumped in wonder for the first film by the Lumière brothers, is the fulcrum of a precise strategy to promote a slow and sustainable way of traveling, a authentic cultural experience. The set of vehicles, narrow gauge rails and tunnels of our country constitutes an extraordinary heritage that we have inherited, and which deserves to be defended and valued. The commitment is to relaunch the historic railways, to discover glimpses, landscapes and cultural itineraries. Move without frenzy and without haste, to admire the beauty that surrounds us, and converse with fellow wagons. On the train he lingers with his gaze beyond the window, opens up more easily with the others, exchanges stories and tales, fragments of the places of departure and arrival.

Awareness of the potential of this precious segment is at the center of a path started since 2014 in the collaboration between the Ministry and the FS Foundation with the project Timeless tracks, reinforced by the approval in 2017 of law no. 128 Provisions for the establishment of tourist railways through the reuse of disused or decommissioned lines located in areas of particular naturalistic or archaeological value which already identified and classified 18 disused or suspended lines as railway sections for tourist use, characterized by particular cultural, landscape and tourist value. In recent years there have been many interventions and resources aimed at this purpose, and in 2020 the year dedicated to tourist trains was inaugurated, then obviously interrupted for Covid.

We have begun the journey to get out of the crisis but the pandemic, with its dramatic health and economic consequences, is not yet behind us. An unprecedented scenario that requires us to combine timely answers and a long look, to start imagining the after. In fact, it has grafted onto dynamics already underway that produce fractures in our paradigms of development and coexistence, challenging us to an overall rethinking of them.

This ability to read the new times and the need for adaptation represents an essential commitment for politics, and promoting a more respectful and conscious use of the landscape does not therefore express a habit but an indispensable necessity. Sustainability, in its various forms, becomes central and must represent the cardinal principle that animates the NRP.

Proprio nel Recovery Plan, in fact, we have foreseen around 435 million euros for routes, historical trains, historical and cultural paths and itineraries. The goal is to offer the opportunity to travel along historical lines to visit the most fascinating and evocative places, and to make known not only the treasures of the great cities of art but also the beauty of a less known but no less rich Italy. of traditions, knowledge and flavors. The project is combined with the dense network of paths present in Italy and with the relaunch of the villages. The whistle of the train that echoes in the silence, the charm of the railway, of the tunnels, of the panoramas, will continue to accompany us, to unite memory and future.

August 23, 2021 (change August 23, 2021 | 21:11)


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