Currently, if you want to get between the southern German city of Munich and the northern Italian city of Milan, the rail route isn’t exactly hassle-free. Not only is there no direct train but it takes a really, really long time. At over seven hours, the rail route takes even longer than it would to get between the two cities by car – usually less than a six-hour journey.
But that could soon change. A joint project from two national rail operators, Italy’s Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane and Germany’s Deutsche Bahn, has announced a new direct cross-border Munich-Milan train route. And that isn’t all: a direct train from Munich to the Italian capital Rome is also on the cards.
The two new routes are set to launch in 2026. The project has the support of the European Commission and could even eventually be extended all the way up from Munich to Berlin – thereby providing a rail line across much of the European continent.
The Rome-Munich route will stop at Florence, Bologna, Verona, Rovereto, Trento, Bolzano, Brenner and Innsbruck. The Milan-Munich route, meanwhile, is scheduled to stop at Brescia, Verona, Bolzano, Brenner and Innsbruck.
Which is all pretty exciting, eh? Several of Europe’s biggest and best cities will soon have direct train links. And that certainly isn’t the only European rail project in the pipeline. From new sleeper train routes to hypothetical projects spanning the continent, Europe’s rail renaissance continues to go from strength to strength.
Did you see this map, which shows you how to get across Europe by sleeper train?
Stay in the loop: sign up to our free Time Out Travel newsletter for the latest travel news and the best stuff happening across the world.