Countries, Europe

Will Giorgia’s trains run on time?

As Italy votes for its most right-wing leader since Benito Mussolini we ask will Giorgia’s  trains run on time?

Il Duce had a far more grandiose vision for Italy but his lasting legacy to the world was that he got the trains to run on time.

Although revisionist historians now reckon Mussolini propagandised a dispatch from American journalist George Seldes.

On the right track

Well, my train is on time: Mussolini

All of which he was adept at, basking in the glory of the Firenze-Bologna works, ‘the world’s longest double-track tunnel.’

Even though it was a previous government’s brainchild while he made a horlicks of the trains over the course of the war.

Now notwithstanding that the macho Italians don’t even have a female form for Il Duce the Italians have big hopes for their Fit Controller Giorgia Meloni.

Fare play

Just the ticket: Meloni

Roman Giorgia has an advantage on me here (well many) in that she knows the timetables out of the capital.

And she’s not likely to get stuck in a one-horse town 20 miles from the destination in the dead of night.

And her Italian is considerably better than mine.

Local knowledge

Time is right: The Rome timetable

Italy, and particularly in the countryside, works on local knowledge.

And it was my good luck to find an ex-pat on the train who calmed my panic by telling me of a 3am onward bus.

All of which involves a leap of faith as you sit on your suitcase in the clammy Lazio night.

Road to salvation

Mussolini’s legacy: In Bergamo

This being a God-fearing country the first, and best, point of reference is a prayer upstairs.

And when a wave of immigrant passengers emerged from around the corner I gave thanks to Dio omniponte.

Hat’s the way: On the Via Francigena

And the bus driver who got me to Viterbo, albeit at 4am.

So I could make my 8am start for my 100km Via Francigena walk back into La Citta Eterna.

Now the best way to see will Giorgia’s trains run on time or not is by getting out to Il Bel Paese and doing that rail holiday.







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