Sebino Express Historic Train
28 July 2022
Centoporte and Corbellini are the ‘30s and ‘50s style carriages that make up the historical train Sebino Express departing from Milan Central Station towards Lake Iseo. The travel experience is like that of the past, with velvet seats for first class, raised nets for luggage storage, traditional wooden benches for low budget travelers, and a dining car with small tables lit by antique chandeliers. The trip, with short intermediate stops in Bergamo and Palazzolo sull'Oglio, ends in Paratico-Sarnico in front of the wonderful Lake Iseo.
The railway line, built between 1874 and 1876, crosses the Regional Park of the North Oglio River touching the Valcamonica until it reaches the shores of the lake. The journey flows between vast plains and natural landscapes that surround the river, up to the villages of Paratico and Sarnico joined by a short bridge almost as if they were a single village on the lake.
In Paratico, stop for a visit at the Torre Lantieri which houses the Quadrisfera, an innovative installation (of which there are only three other examples in Italy) designed to involve the public in a full experience of images, sounds and emotions. The village is located in the Franciacorta area and from here begins the Wine Road by the same name: a great occasion for tasting wine in local wine shops. The last section of the railroad was turned into a garden for a lakefront promenade.
Also on the lakefront, located in the Municipal Park Segafieni visitors can find: the Palazzina dell'Oselanda, in neo-Gothic style, today hosting various art exhibitions. In the park you can also admire the permanent exhibition of stone sculptures arranged along Viale dei Volti.
For those who practice outdoor sports, it is possible to enjoy a stretch of the cycling route that leads from Paratico to Brescia, or decide to go wakeboarding, water skiing or canoeing on the waters of the lake.
Sarnico is known for the Liberty-style Villas of the early years of the twentieth century located near the shores of the lake. The historical center is known as Contrada and still features a medieval semicircle structure with the back facing the mountain, according to the orientation of the ancient city walls. In the alleys of the Contrada stands the Pinacoteca Gianni Bellini, which houses a valuable collection of masterpieces from between 1500 and 1700. Also make sure to stop by the Church of San Martino Vescovo for a visit.
Leaving from Sarnico it is possible to organize trips and excursions in the surroundings, such as those to discover the villages and castles from Castelli Calepio hosting the Castle of the Calepio Counts dating back to the year one thousand to Castel Trebecco in Credaro on top of a rocky spur or the Grumello del Monte Castle a medieval manor.
For those who are looking for an active hike in contact with nature, it is possible to walk along the Adrara Valley trails crossed by the Guerna torrent or explore the more challenging and scenic routes that lead to Corno Buco at 966 meters above sea level and to the top of Mount Bronzone at 1334 meters above sea level.
The long stopover at the arrival destinations in Paratico-Sarnico lasts about 6 hours and departs in the late afternoon offering plenty of time to plan your day to enjoy your favorite activities. Before leaving Paratico, stop on the Chiatte lakefront, in the Parco delle Erbe Danzanti where you can admire industrial archaeology at work in the ancient barge mooring docks. In fact, from the villages north of the lake, wagons loaded with goods arrived here to be then transferred on the Paratico-Palazzolo railway line, the very line you are travelling on board the Sebino Express. In the pavement along the garden, you can still see the old rails that will guide you to the railway station on your way back to the city.